As a student interested in international development, Juliana Serje chose to pursue a degree in economics because of the professional options it would open up for her.

“I did some research on which professions would be a possibility with an economics degree and found that policy analysts, economists and research positions were common,” explains Serje.

Her time at Carleton taught Serje how to balance economic principles like the free-market with impact-driven policy approaches. By her second year, she recalls understanding that, although the market needs to have supply and demand, there is also a role for government to subsidize certain industries and curve externalities.

“I started falling in love with economic modelling,” she remembers. “It dawned on me that you could create models to predict human behaviour, which in turn could be used to build policy.”

Serje graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Economics in 2012 from Carleton. After earning a master’s degree at the Université de Lausanne in Switzerland, she got a job as an econometrician at the World Health Organization. But even though she had secured a prominent international position, she felt disconnected from economics and missed Canada.

“I wanted to have an impact at the local level,” Serje explains, “so I returned for a job with McSweeney & Associates in community and economic development.”

Starting out, Serje ran numbers, created PowerPoints, and wrote reports. She was quickly promoted to a senior position, during which she met with clients, put together requests for proposals, conducted data analysis and drafted business development plans.

Serje is now a Senior Strategic Data Analyst for the University of Ottawa’s Institutional Research and Planning Department. Although her career has taken her around the world and back, she credits her undergraduate degree at Carleton University with teaching her the foundations of data analysis, econometrics, microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Written by Michelle Hennessy.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024 in , ,
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