When asked what the next step is post-graduation, Sarah Yu, an Economics MA student, gets right down to it: “The next step is to start working.”
“Having worked for the federal government for two co-op terms, I’m seeking opportunities in public service,” she explains. Sarah completed the co-op option in the MA Economics, working as a Junior Analyst for Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) in Gatineau. “It was a great experience in terms of learning and exploring. I substantially improved my writing skills, and discovered that I am interested in working with big data.”
Sarah’s responsibilities as Junior Analyst involved examining social economic issues using Employment Insurance (EI) administrative data. She then prepared technical reports on her findings, which were submitted to her team for further discussion. “I had the opportunity to work closely with my colleagues, discussing issues and trends at team meetings.” With respect to career development, the ESDC provided excellent resources for co-op students. “It was a great place to make connections, share our ideas and experiences, and learn more about the federal government.”
The master’s program in Economics at UWaterloo is one of the very few in North America that offers a co-op option, which has established strong ties in both private and public sectors, including departments in the governments of Ontario and Canada. Many Economics graduates have seen their co-op position translate into a permanent job.
“My graduate degree in economics enhanced my skills in problem solving and data analysis,” says Sarah. “I learned to think and to present my thoughts in a logical and clear manner. Economics itself is an extremely interesting field, overlapping in ways with sociology and public policy.”
Sarah found the program challenging, but extremely rewarding. “It taught us to work hard, prioritize, and not be defeated by failures. I benefited greatly from the program, both academically and personally.”
“I am excited to start a new chapter in my life. My learning won’t stop here. I hope to make great contributions to society, and become a financially independent citizen.”