Michelle Chan is an economics alumni. She is currently working at TD Securities under Capital Markets as an Analyst.
Q: Why did you choose to study Economics?
A: I chose to study Economics because Economics is a social science that provides analysis of real-world problems. It affects everything from how much we pay for goods and services to how much employees get paid. Studying Economics at university gives you a new view of the world and how it functions when it comes to business and economics. My area of study was mainly focused on financial economics, which is a specialized branch of economics concerned with the origination and management of money, credit, banking and investment. This landed me a career in the financial sector.
Q: What was your favourite economics course at Waterloo? Why?
A: My favourite economics course at Waterloo was ECON 322 – Econometric Analysis 1. This course taught me how to interpret data and models which was useful especially since data analytics have become an important part of our lives to help us make better decisions. In addition, I learned how to use a statistical software program called R and I found coding to be enjoyable. Nowadays, most technical jobs require some sort of programming skills and by taking this course, it will allow you to put R on your resume/CV.
Q: What did you decide to do after graduation?
A: After graduation, I went to grad school and completed my Master of Financial Economics degree at Western University. This program allowed me to apply my knowledge in Financial Theory and the Economics framework to real-life applications, as well as developing analytical and quantitative skills in finance. With my master’s degree, I have decided that I wanted to pursue a career in finance which I’m currently working at TD Securities under Capital Markets as an Analyst.
Q: How is your Economics degree applicable to your field of work?
A: My Economics degree has provided me with a “big picture” understanding of the relationship between the economy and financial markets. As I am currently working in the Capital Markets area, it is useful and essential to understand how the economic situation affects the financial markets/products such as stocks and bonds. This would impact the way individuals/businesses make their financial decisions.
Q: What would be the best piece of advice you would give students?
A: I would encourage students to attend as many networking events as you can and connect with people. This allows you to learn and gain valuable insights from others and may potentially lead you to your future career/co-op job. You’ll never know until you try!