Tulu Makonnen had a unique academic history before coming to the University of Waterloo to pursue his degree in Economics. With an undergraduate degree in Science, he ended up with internal business roles and found that he needed more exposure to business in order to further his career. Tulu was certain that an MBA was not something that interested him, and hence came to the University of Waterloo to pursue a Bachelor and Masters in Economics. According to Tulu, his Economics degree filled in the gaps that he was missing when he was in the Sciences – markets, pricing, price changes etc.
With such an interesting background, Tulu Makonnen did not fall into a typical role within Economics. With his fondness for econometrics, he used his speciality to his benefit by becoming an expert in statistical software, Excel and other kinds of automation with data collecting. His econometrics background distinguished him and served as a differentiator when applying to jobs within the pharmaceuticals industry like Sanofi-Pasteur.
His advice on differentiating his resume, and tips on starting a career were also valuable. Words like “efficiency,” “cost cutting” and “analytical” are valuable on a resume, and according to Tulu, that has helped distinguish him. His advice on interviews is to take feedback and gain from the experiences even if they aren’t successful. Additionally, he believes that regardless of the job mandate, to focus on your personal core competency and to differentiate yourself beyond what is expected. Tulu also shared that his first job was on a friend’s recommendation and stressed that networking is very helpful in growing your career.