You are a research financial economist. Tell us more about that role.
I currently work as an Economist/Quantitative Risk Modeler for Simmons National Bank. My key job functions is providing technical knowledge and advice to the Director of Quantitative Analytics and Senior Bank Management related to quantitative econometric analysis, economic capital, and stress testing.

What prompted you to want to become a research financial economist?
My interest in Financial Economics was piqued by specific and fascinating lessons learned growing up with a family friend who was a financial economist with the Ministry of Finance in Ghana. He oversaw Asian grants to Ghana around the time that I was starting my undergraduate studies in economics. Observing his career, I developed a passion for high-performance teams that innovate solutions and drive change in the finance sector.

Does your academic work have any influence in your job as a research financial economist?
Yes, very much so. My current job requires a deep understanding and estimation of econometric models, particularly time-series analysis. A key skill from my academic work that proves really useful is the ability to work both independently and as a team player. Once projects are assigned, I have the liberty to identify the best approaches, while at the same time communicating progress to get helpful feedback. This is akin to the relationship I have built with my academic advisor towards my dissertation work.

Can you give us a brief description on your research in international finance?
In my dissertation, I analyze the risk sharing implications of regional integration in financial markets and real economic sectors for most European countries. I seek to understand if being part of the European Union and/or adopting the Euro allows residents of European countries to diversify risks to their income or consumption.

How do you feel your research makes you a better instructor?
Students like interesting stories that relate to the lecture. With all the discussions concerning Great Britain leaving the European Union (Brexit), I find that students are fascinated to hear how my research is connected to it. In addition, and crucially, research is about being convincing to technical peers. I see teaching in a similar vein, being convincing to students. Thus, as an instructor I make the effort to embed in my slides, stories, pictures, short videos, worksheets, that altogether make the lecture “alive”.