2014 (MA) and 2019 (PhD)
Fate directed me to study Economics at Dalhousie, where I discovered the path to both academic and career success.”
I graduated from the Department of Economics at Dalhousie University (DAL) with an MA in 2014, followed by a PhD in 2019.
Having a preference to study in a coastal city, I applied to only two universities in Canada, one of which was DAL. Fate intervened when I attended a seemingly random seminar featuring Prof. Barry Lesser from DAL as the guest speaker. Little did I know, this encounter would shape my journey in Canada. Engaging in a brief dialogue with him after the seminar, I gained valuable insights into DAL. A few months later, I was wavering in making the decision between DAL and a job offer as an English lecturer in China. Prioritizing personal interests to work in academics, I decided to embrace the latter opportunity on the deadline day, consequently deferring my admission to DAL for a year. This seemingly last-minute decision turned out to be pivotal, igniting my passion for academia.
Standing in front of the small, green-coloured house, it took about 10 seconds to grasp that this house was the main building of the economics department. Stepping inside, I met Heather, Cheryl and Monique in the office on my right side. They greeted me with warm smiles, instantly fostering me with a sense of belonging. During my two-year MA study, I discovered my interest in studying applied econometrics and conducting empirical analysis. A summer of intensive effort culminated in my MA thesis, guided by Prof. Casey Warman, which paved the way for pursuing a PhD under his supervision. I took most graduate-level courses that the department offered and a few courses in statistics and computer science, with the intention of discerning my research interest. I still remember the playful remarks from my friends and a few professors about my “addiction” of taking courses. Two hundred and eighty footsteps between the PhD students’ office on top of the right-side department house and the Research Data Centre in the Killam library recorded those five fulfilling and productive years. I completed my PhD in 2019 mainly focused on health and labour economics and followed it with a postdoctoral research fellow position in health economics, supervised by Prof. Mohammad Hajizadeh from the Faculty of Health. This position allowed me to further work on my research interests in health of minority peoples in Canada, marking a new chapter in my academic journey, and culminating in my current position as an assistant professor in economics at UBC Okanagan. Embracing academia has been a profound journey, and I remain deeply grateful for the opportunities and experiences afforded to me by DAL.
The memories of my time studying at DAL remain vivid in my mind. Despite the modest size of the three department houses, the basements connected by a tunnel served students as a cozy haven, ideal for studying and relaxation after classes. I forged lifelong friendships and received unwavering support from professors, peers, and the dedicated staff. The wisdom imparted by Profs. Peter Burton and Lars Osberg continues to resonate with me: “A proficient economist should possess the ability to explain complex economic concepts to their grandmother." Profs. Casey Warman and Shelley Phipps consistently offered their patient supervision, motivation, and unwavering encouragement throughout my academic journey. I embraced their supervisory style when mentoring my own students. My role as a teaching assistant for Prof. Mutlu Yuksel across all levels of microeconomics courses solidified my understanding of teaching this subject. Profs. Barry Lesser and Kuan Xu provided invaluable mentorship and guidance during crucial decision-making moments. Additionally, through the courses I took with Profs. Yulia Kotlyarova, Talan İşcan, and Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel, I learned how to deconstruct and understand intricate theories and break down complex objectives into manageable steps for comprehension. The dedication of these educators, coupled with the department's strong ethos of supporting students, transformed my experience at DAL into something truly exceptional and I am always proud to be a DALer!