Sam entered the Master's program at the University of Waterloo in 2012, directly after completing her BA in economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is interested in pursuing a career in the public sector doing research in public policy or statistical analysis.
What interests and goals led you to graduate studies in economics?
I enjoyed studying economics in my undergrad and I felt like I had much more to learn. I chose the UW program because it was more applied than at other universities, focused on public policy, and there was a co-op option.
How has your graduate training in economics impacted your career path?
Since I am a recent graduate, I don't have a career path. It was, however, a necessary qualification for my job as a researcher.
What aspect of Waterloo's economics graduate program did you find most useful in terms of your career?
Graduate school forced me to work really hard and refine my skills in not procrastinating. This is useful when you enter the workforce and are required to work straight 8 hour days, rather than at your leisure as most students become accustomed to. The second semester of the program at UW was very useful for my job because of the focus on research strategies, critical analysis, and applied statistical analysis.
Any other comments about the Department? Would you recommend it as a destination for graduate education? If so, why?
The staff and faculty in the Department are very accommodating and supportive in pursuing the education that you want. By this I mean, the program is flexible and can be tailored to what you are looking for. If you want to complete your graduate work in 8 months, you are more than welcome to. If you want to gain work experience through co-op, pursue further research by taking a third research term, or both, they are happy to accommodate. This flexibility was important to me because I was unsure if I wanted to enter the workforce or pursue a PhD after completing the master's program. I was also attracted to the applied nature of the program, and the co-op opportunities it offers. The UWaterloo MA in Economics has a large focus on developing research skills, which was also something that I was looking to improve.