Why did you choose to major in Economics?
I chose to major in Economics because it involved working with numbers, offered job flexibility, and is focused on analytical/critical thinking. I was motivated by the economic challenges in my country, Honduras, and initially aimed for a career in politics or international organizations to address these issues. I believe that the most interesting problems in the world are economic, and to be a good economist you need to have a strong basis in mathematics, history, philosophy, politics, among others.
What advice do have for current students who want to make the most out or their experience at UK Department of Economics?
Get involved. I learned the most during office hours where you can get 1 on 1 time professors. To this day I maintain relationships with many professors that helped me out at the undergrad level. There are plenty of opportunities to be involved in research projects and professional activities. There are clubs for everything that you can think of. On the more technical side, get comfortable in dealing with real world applications of your degree. It was useful for me to have internships to help me decide what I wanted to do. Also, learn to code.
How did your education at UK Department of Economics prepare you for what you are doing today?
The single most important thing I gained from the UK was the relationships I developed throughout my time there. However, another key thing I got from my time there was learning how to effectively present information. Every class placed a focus on having some sort of presentation of your work. Doing this you realize that less is always more, you need to engage your audience, and get your point across in the first 5 seconds of the presentation.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
My greatest professional achievement was to complete my master's degree at the University of Cambridge. The last person from Honduras to get a degree from the institution attended 7 years before me.
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field? Recommend any data skills, programs, etc?
The most important thing is getting experience early. Work experience does not necessarily need to come from an internship. For example, UK offers many opportunities to get involved in research, which is just as valuable as work experience. Get comfortable with numbers. Learn how to extract insights from those numbers. For example, what can sales data tell you about how you should price your product? Learn how to code. Every economist should be comfortable with at least one programming language R/Python/STATA.