My name is Alexander Avramov and I was part of the inaugural MIEF program. I graduated in 2015 and I now work at NERA Economic Consulting as an Analyst. I’ve been with NERA for just over a year.
I chose the MIEF program because of the great curriculum designed by the outstanding faculty and staff and the strong emphasis on economics and quantitative methods. I chose the program because I knew I would be challenged and that it would bring out the best in me. It has been a year and a half since I graduated and I apply many of the things I learned during the MIEF program to my daily responsibilities at work. While I learned several valuable skills during the program, I will narrow it down to the four main ones.
First, the MIEF degree drastically improved my critical thinking skills. In particular, Professor Marquez’s classes were instrumental in reinforcing the mentality of always questioning what I am reading. This has proved extremely valuable in my ability to think critically about an opposing expert’s report, where finding holes in the opposing side’s analyses is key.
Second, the MIEF degree taught me to be extremely detail oriented. The degree provided me with the flexibility not only to take the required courses, but also to take on other opportunities, where possible. In particular, I was a Research Assistant during the majority of the MIEF program, for Professor William Lincoln. Not only did the work force me to think critically, but much of it also required me to pay attention to the smallest details and point out errors. This ability is vital in my line of work.
Third, the program gave me the freedom to think on my own instead of just following directions from my professors. This may be the most valuable of all and this is where the capstone project comes in. It allowed me and my partner to work on a topic, which we were very passionate about, while being given the freedom to be as creative as we wanted. At my job, it’s critical to be able to synthesize information and be creative in devising strategies and plans of best action.
Last but not the least, the program teaches teamwork. Much of the program is based on learning to work in teams and being able to manage projects in a group environment. I cannot emphasize how valuable this skill is at my job.
I strongly encourage anyone who is reading this to learn more about the MIEF degree. For me, it was one of the best investments I have ever made.