Taking time off from school and working at the Bank of Canada was definitely the right choice for me
My name is Madigan Dockrill, but I always went by Maggie while I was studying at Dalhousie. I graduated in 2016 with a BSc Honours in Economics and Mathematics. I am currently completing my PhD at University College London.
I’m from Halifax and absolutely love the city, so naturally I decided to start my studies at Dalhousie. The Economics Department is a great place to be an undergraduate student. One highlight for me was participating in the Governor’s Challenge, a competition run by the Bank of Canada for undergraduate students to make a monetary policy recommendation. This competition introduced us to the way central banks work and sparked my interest in monetary policy. At the same time, I was writing my honours thesis, which was my first attempt at doing my own research. It was an exciting year for me, and by the time I finished my BSc, I was convinced that I would pursue a PhD.
In 2016, I started my Master’s degree at the University of British Columbia. I learned a lot during my year in Vancouver and confirmed that I wanted to do research in macroeconomics. However, after a really challenging year, I decided I wasn’t quite ready to commit to a PhD and took a job at the Bank of Canada as an Economist.
I joined the Canadian Economic Analysis department at the Bank, and their rotation program, which meant that I was able try out three separate teams during my two years in the department. I learned about many different aspects of conducting monetary policy and saw a glance of the different career paths available at the Bank.
Taking time off from school and working at the Bank of Canada was definitely the right choice for me. After being a student for so long, studying a lot of theoretical economics, it was important to get out in the “real world” and see what being an economist is all about. I got to learn so much about using data and managing research projects, and even got to present one of my projects at the 2019 Canadian Economics Association conference in Banff.
Eventually I decided that I was ready to go back to school. At the time I was working on the Bank’s model development team and learning about their New Keynesian model of the Canadian economy. I knew I wanted to do research, the type of research my colleagues were conducting at the Bank, developing models that might be used by central banks in the future. I wanted to be able to commit all my time to learning about this field and PhD was the best way to do that.
This past September I started my PhD at University College London in the United Kingdom. It has been another tough year full of late nights doing problem sets and studying for exams. But I know now that it’s the right path for me, and I’m looking forward to getting started on my dissertation this summer.