STU Students Gaining Practical Experience in Economic Policy Development
Five St. Thomas University students took part in the Bank of Canada’s Governor’s Challenge, a virtual event that allows students from across the country to gain real-world experience in economic policy development.
Alec Pellerin, Thao Pham, Maria Amalia Cordova, Fabiana Rosado, and Giao Dang formed the STU team. Dr. Fariba Solati, from the Department of Economics, was the team’s faculty adviser.
The annual event challenges students to use their knowledge of macroeconomic theory to develop and defend monetary policy initiatives as policy advisors to the Bank of Canada’s Governing Council. This year was STU’s first time participating.
“It was a great opportunity to apply what we learned in class into practice,” said Giao Dang, a fourth-year student from Vietnam.
“We analyzed the datasets on the economies of Canada and its staple trading partners, the US and China. From that, we projected some economic growth indicators for Canada and made recommendations about monetary policies that Bank of Canada should implement.”
The team formed in the summer and began researching and reading about monetary policy, macroeconomics, and major economic events. All five students were in Fredericton at the time, so were able to bubble and meet at the library or on campus.
Fabiana Rosado, a fourth-year student from Ecuador, says participating in the Governor’s Challenge was an amazing experience.
“We met senior economists of the Bank of Canada, which was particularly exciting," she said. “The Q&As were the most difficult part, but we managed to answer all the questions. It was very nerve-wracking, but I was delighted we pulled it off.”
Despite the heightened challenges facing students due to the pandemic and online education, Dr. Fariba Solati said she is proud at how well her students did.
“They were sharp and answered tough questions with such ease that showed their mastery of the theories we had discussed in class,” she said.
“Having the opportunity to participate in events like this allows students to gain practical experience in the world of economic policy development. It also builds their confidence to know that they are able to create convincing solutions to problems that the top economics in the country are also trying to solve.”