By Karen Kelly
Photos by Bryan Gagnon

Aidan Ryan

Aidan Ryan, Bachelor of Economics

Aidan Ryan began his academic career at Carleton as a chemistry student.

“A lot of it was working in a lab and grinding out all of the details,” he says. “I felt like I was leaving the big picture behind.”

His friends in Economics described a different experience—one where you could still apply mathematical and scientific reasoning, but all the while studying social issues.

“What appealed to me about Economics was that it straddled that line. I liked that you get to challenge yourself quantitatively while still asking these important questions.”

One of the highlights of Aidan’s undergrad experience was the IPAF 4900 course, a for-credit research mentorship where undergraduates work one-on-one with a professor.  He conducted a broad literature review of innovative teaching practices in Economics 1000 classrooms across North America, on behalf of Professor Simon Power.

He says Professor Power was just one of a number of top-notch faculty members.

“There are a lot of great professors who are eager to work with you and help you through things,” says Aidan, who was awarded a Senate medal for academic achievement at convocation.

Next year, Aidan will be pursuing a master’s degree in Economics at the University of Toronto. But he offers some advice for younger students who are just getting started in university.

“A lot of high-achieving students have developed this internal link between their grades and self-worth, and it’s a double-edged sword. It can motivate you, but it can also be harmful to your mental health,” says Aidan. “I think students should be aware that getting a bad grade isn’t a reflection of your value as a person.”

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
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