Question: Why did you choose a career in economics?
Answer: As much as one can, I knew relatively early on in my academic career that I wanted to be in the field of Economics. How I got there is an interesting story in itself. I found myself (way back when) at the University of Waterloo studying Accounting, in the hopes of one day coveting the title of Chartered Accountant. I realized pretty quickly in first year, while interesting (and probably a lucrative career in many respects), accounting was just not for me. And tucked away in the midst of all those accounting courses, was Economics 101 (microeconomics still to this day!).
Having the pleasure of being taught by the now famous Professor Larry Smith, the content intrigued me so much that I fully switched into the study of Economics as my major. The workings of the economy that interplayed with variables such as interest, exchange, unemployment rates and so many other variables captured my attention in a way that no other course content has, even up until this day. After all, as they say, ‘money and the economy make the world go around’. I felt I needed to understand this very important concept and how it affected all aspects of life and every corner of the world. I loved it so much, that I went on to graduate school, also at the University of Waterloo.
As an aside note, I struggled for a long time whether to go the route of MBA or specialize more fully in the topic of Economics and to become a subject matter expert. Specialization won out for me as I felt it would single out more fully my analytical skills and allow me go pursue a more specialized career choice.
Even before fully graduating, I had secured my first job – Ontario Ministry of Revenue – where I did important analytical work that fed into the Ministry of Finance and the creation of the annual budget. This led to a similar role, but within the oil and gas sector. From there, I found my way to the pharmaceutical industry (prescription drug development to be exact). And this is how I began a career dedicated to product development, to which I still hold today. And finally, to a product development role in financial services sector. Here is where I am fully able to impact the creation and delivery of valuable financial products to Canadians and to make differences in their lives. Once again, bringing me back to the field of Economics.
But to bring things back full circle – three years ago, I joined the University of Waterloo Economics department as a part-time lecturer. At this point in my 25 year career, I felt it was important to impart some of the knowledge and experience that I have gained, to the next generation. It gives me tremendous joy to see the interest that students have in the field of Economics. In particular wanting to understand what’s going on ‘in the real world’ and how I can help them to navigate their way through getting their first job and beyond. The students keep me young and engaged and I in turn share some important tidbits of information and real life experiences.
I continue to work in the field of product development within the financial sector in addition to teaching on a part-time basis. I hope over the years to more fully engage in teaching. I think it’s a perfect mix and continues to solidify for me that I made the right choice in moving to the field of Economics.
Rosemary Peros Biography:
Since graduating from university, Rosemary has spent the past 25 years working within various industries that include government finance, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and financial services. Roles include that of analyst to product developer. Rosemary is currently at Manulife Financial, based in Waterloo, Ontario. Several years ago, Rosemary joined the University of Waterloo Economics department in the role of part-time lecturer.
Rosemary holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Economics from the University of Waterloo. She also holds a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (C.E.B.S) designation that focuses on Employee Benefits, Pensions and Compensation.
In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with family and friends and in particular traveling to destinations around the world that allow her to experience new cultures.