Rohan Bhatia is an economics alumni. He is currently working at Eckler Ltd. as an Investment Analyst.
Q: Why did you choose to study Economics at UWaterloo?
A: Being an international student, I had to rely solely on the internet to make my decision. Applied for the AFM program because of co-op and that didn’t work out all that well because I realized I wasn’t built for accounting… But, I absolutely loved ECON 101 and 102 in 1A. I was always going to go down the CFA route rather than the CPA route so decided to switch to Econ and the rest is history (well, it’s still being written!).
Q: How is your economics degree applicable to your field of work?
A: In investment consulting clients can ask you about anything that they want to know (absolutely anything!). Studying Econ at Waterloo gave me a foundation to understand big events that drive the economy, economic policy and ultimately their impact on the financial markets. Waterloo Econ gave me a great foundation for understanding the tools that policymakers use and made it easy for me to digest it and apply it to my work on a day-to-day basis.
Q: What is your current role? What does a typical day look like at your job?
I work as an investment consultant at a company called Eckler- they started off by providing actuarial consulting services and have been growing ever since! I’m fortunate enough to work with some of the brightest minds in the investment industry with diverse experiences and very strong technical backgrounds.
I know everyone says this but every day looks different in consulting! We service large institutional pension plans, insurance companies and other entities with corporate assets. We’re essentially financial planners for companies, we help them invest their assets in order for them to meet their future financial obligations. My main responsibility is providing our clients with investment monitoring reports and other research with actionable insights that would help them make key investment decisions. I also help consultants answer questions we get from clients on an ad hoc basis (literally anything! as long as there’s an answer to it…and usually about the investment industry).
Q: What was your favourite economics course at Waterloo? Why?
A: Hard to single out one course but I’d say Econ 372. I loved learning about how economics and the financial markets are connected. I was also able to learn more in-depth about financial instruments, valuation and pricing was pretty cool (helped out a bit with CFA L1 as well!).
Q: What is one thing you miss about university?
University, what a simple time! I think that’s what I miss the most is how simple and easy life was back then… just kidding, I make it sound like it was a breeze- it wasn’t! It was a grind, working hard every day, getting so many opportunities to push myself and get out of my comfort zone, it was thrilling (except for some assignments that used to be due at 3am(WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT?!?) and I really miss that.
Q: What was your favourite part about being involved with the Economics Society? (or other UW clubs in general)
I was lucky enough to join Econ society probably around what I think of as my “lowest” point in university, not a great time… Through Econ society, I was able to meet some people who I now consider lifelong friends! I never expected to find new friends after first year- especially because someone told me that it’s hard to make friends after first year… well, I’m the last 2 years, 2 of my friends got married and I was able to attend those (HOW COOL IS THAT?). It was an absolute blast, being a part of Econ society (more so than any other club I’ve been involved with).
Q: If you were to do one thing differently during your undergrad, what would that be? Why?
A: I wish I networked with more people and started very early on. For the longest time, I just felt that grad school was the next best step- or working at the Bank of Canada as an analyst. Turns out, there are quite a few people out there who did Econ from Waterloo and are working in investments. People are always willing to help- don’t be afraid to ask!
Q: What is one piece of advice that you would like to give current economics students?
A: ‘Just keep swimming’ – Dory the blue fish from Finding Nemo. It’s not easy, just hang in there and keep pushing. There is a light at the end of what may seem like a never-ending tunnel. If I can do it- so can you. I believe in you!!!!!