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Andreas Straathof talks about final year

A day in the life

Andreas Straathof talks about final year

Econonomics_Andreas-Straathof-2

By studying economics, you’re gaining a really strong tool set to analyze the world, both quantitatively and qualitatively. It’s a study of behaviour and resource management – you’re seeing how something can be done more efficiently.

Making "the best decision"

Halfway through third year, Calgary native Andreas Straathof was well into completing a combined honours degree in Contemporary Studies (at the University of King’s College) and Political Science (at Dal) when he made the decision to change one of his majors to Economics.

“I loved that class,” he says of a quantitative research course that partially inspired the switch. Changing his schedule for the following term to add Economics courses “was probably the best decision I’d ever made.” Now, he’ll graduate with a Bachelor of Arts with combined honours in Economics and Political Science, and a minor in math.

It was the empirical research that fascinated Andreas. He knows there’s a place for philosophical debate, but he prefers evidence-based arguments. “I also understand you can’t solve everything with numbers – you can get lost in them,” he says. “It’s important to be extremely critical of everything – not just what people say with numbers, but the numbers themselves.”

Andreas is now in the homestretch on his honours thesis, which is about repurchase agreement markets. He says Theresa Cyrus, the department’s honours advisor, “always goes above and beyond, not only giving excellent advice but also being students’ number one supporter in whatever endeavors they are pursuing.” Overall, it’s been easy to get to know his profs. “It’s a young faculty – everyone is really excited about what they’re doing and interested in students doing well.”

First a vacation... and then the Bank of Canada

Though eventually Andreas wants to go to graduate school, for now he’s looking forward to starting a job at the Bank of Canada. “I’ll be working in a group called Macro-Financial Studies,” which examines factors that impact both households and firms toward making recommendations for various economic policies.

He says he’s “really excited” about the opportunity, but first he’ll take a post-graduation vacation. “I’m going to Japan for a few weeks,” he says, explaining that he plans to visit family, and a friend who’s currently living there.

Though he didn’t do a co-op work term, he highly recommends getting some work experience (he worked during the summers as a bank as a teller and risk analyst). “It’s valuable for interviews,” he says, adding that his interview with the Bank of Canada “went better because I could draw on examples.”

His experience on a varsity soccer team also came in handy for interviews. Morning practices were “good for learning discipline” and being on the team was “a lot of fun too.” But also, he says, interviewers “always ask teamwork questions.” Being involved in sports offers “a lot of opportunity for personal development, in terms of leadership and learning to schedule. There are a lot of benefits.”