Samantha St. Amand

Q: What is your current role and what does a typical day look like at your job?
A: I am a Research Associate at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). In one sentence, my job is to conduct research on a wide range of topics concerning the global economy. Day-to-day activities can vary extensively. I can be writing an op-ed one day, attending a conference the following day, and performing statistical modeling the rest of the week.

More recently, most of my time has been devoted to writing papers on the implications of central bank policies in international finance and economics – including the role of central banks in macroprudential policy, the effectiveness of monetary policy at the zero lower bound on interest rates, and the international implications of unconventional monetary policies.

Q: Why did you choose UW’s Master of Economics Program?
A: There are two reasons I chose UW. First, I love the City of Waterloo. I did my undergrad at Laurier and felt at home in this city. Second, and more importantly, I chose UW because its Master’s program emphasizes research and applied economics. I already knew going into my Master’s that I wanted to leave with strong research and analytical skills. This is exactly what I found at UW and I couldn’t be happier with the skills I acquired during the program.

Q: If you were to do one thing differently during your time at Waterloo, what would it be? Why?

A: I would have taken more macroeconomics electives. Specifically, I wish that I had taken Applied Macroeconometrics and the Money and Banking course because these are two courses that are directly applicable to my current job.

Q: What did you decide to do after graduation? How is your Economics degree applicable to your field of work?
A: Frankly, the only thing I had decided was that I wanted and needed a job. Ideally I wanted to find a job where I could do policy-relevant research or statistical analysis. I was very lucky in finding an opportunity at CIGI where I could do just that! My economics degree is directly applicable to my field of work. I have probably used something that I learned in each course I took at some point or another; but what has been most relevant is what I learned in econometrics and macroeconomics.

Q: What was your favourite economics course at Waterloo? Why?
A: My favourite course was Applied Microeconometrics taught by Prof. Mikal Skuterud. I really enjoyed it because I learned so many different econometric techniques and we directly applied them using real data. Prof. Skuterud was a fantastic lecture as he always tried to relate what we were learning to real-world research questions.

Q: What is one thing you miss about university?

A: What I miss the most is the freedom to work and take breaks freely as I need them. While I find that I am good at doing the 9 to 5 thing, being able to take an hour off mid-day (or the whole day off) to get some exercise, cook a good meal or watch TV is something that should not be taken for granted!

Q: What did you want to be “when you grew up?”
A: A meteorologist, geologist or seismologist. I have always had a fascination with physical geography, and often consider pursuing this when I grow up.

Q: Do you have any talents you’d like to share?
A: I don’t know if it would be considered a talent, but I do a lot of arts and crafts. Recently I have been sewing, crocheting and painting.

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