I completed my undergraduate and Master of Arts degrees in Economics at the University of Victoria in 2005 and 2007 respectively. I am currently continuing my studies at UVic as I work on my PhD dissertation. My main research focuses on the areas of entrepreneur finance, industrial organization, and economic growth and development. I chose to continue at UVic, for the most part, because of the nature of the Department which is relatively small in size and possesses a diversified group of outstanding professors. In addition, the Department of Economics has a strong Co-op Program, through which I earned experience as an Economist at the BC Ministry of Health.
Don is Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, TD Bank Financial Group.
Don was born and raised in Victoria, British Columbia, where he graduated from the University of Victoria Department of Economics. He subsequently received his M.A. in Economics from Queen's University.
He joined the federal Department of Finance upon completing his studies at Queen's. During almost 23 years at Finance, he held a series of progressively more senior positions in the areas of economic analysis and forecasting, fiscal policy and tax policy. His last three positions were respectively, Assistant Deputy Minister of Fiscal Policy & Economic Analysis, Assistant Deputy Minister of Tax Policy & Legislation and most recently, Associate Deputy Minister. In this latter position he was responsible for economic analysis, fiscal policy, tax policy, social policy and federal-provincial relations. In particular, he coordinated the planning of the annual federal budgets.
Don joined the TD Bank in June 2000 as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. He leads TD Economics' work in analyzing and forecasting economic performance in Canada and abroad. For Canada, this work is conducted at the city, provincial, industrial and national levels. TD Economics also analyzes the key policies which influence economic performance, including monetary and fiscal policies.
Don travels widely across Canada and abroad, speaking about the Canadian economy and its prospects and he is frequently quoted by the media on economic and policy issues. We hope to have Don speak here in the near future.
ECON at UVic – what does it mean to me as I graduate with a BSc?
Excellent teaching: My professors are open and willing to listen and to provide guidance. The honours program helps students get their feet wet with research, as I did literally – with the help of my supervisors Professor Farnham and Professor Hutchinson, I found my passion in water economics.
Community: Students can feel at home within our community, through social activities, sports and service, to form lasting friendships. I strongly recommend all students to get involved with our Student Tutor Centre. Pop in to say hi and consider volunteering – it’s so worthwhile.
Opportunities: The co-op program provides opportunities for students to apply the tools learnt to work and find new sparks of interest to fuel continued learning. Working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for one summer in Ottawa, I learned about agricultural trade, the public service, and a new city. Give it a try!
Next steps: Working for Professor van Kooten the summer after my fourth year on resource economics has been a valuable work and learning experience. As I start law school next, I’m grateful for all the advice, friendships, analytical tools and research interests that UVic econ has helped me gain. Ultimately, when you choose to study ECON at UVic, it’s up to U. You’ll find a host of mentors, friendships, opportunities and choices here. Get involved, make the most of it and turn it into your memorable experience. Good luck!
Dumela (hello in setswana), my name is Shirin Mazidi and I have lived in 7 countries. I came from Botswana, Africa; a land locked country, and ended up in beautiful Victoria BC, attending a university 5 minutes from the ocean. I attended the University of Victoria from 2001 to 2005, only to find out when I was about to graduate, that I do not want to leave the Economics program and the department that I had come to love. So I decided to apply for the Masters program, and I GOT IN!
One of the main reasons I was drawn to the Economics program and wanted to do my Masters within that field was my upbringing in Botswana, Africa. I felt that economic development is an area of high demand back home. I am currently focusing my essay topic on measuring health inequality.
I really love the Economics program at the University of Victoria; I was greatly impressed at the relationship between students and professors. Teachers were your friends and mentors not distant lecturers. I found the whole department very helpful in guiding students towards a path that was suited to them. I would like to extend my gratitude, as it was here that I found my destination.
I am now in the final year of my Masters and I have noticed something that is quite ironic. While most students are dying to be done with school, I am now considering a PhD.
I have lived in many different countries and attended schools all over the world but I can honestly say that my best experience has been here at UVIC. I would like to thank the University and in particular the Economics department for showing me my path and for making my stay here in Victoria memorable.
Ocean Fan Lu
It was just like yesterday when I first walked into Dr. Ferguson's office, scared, excited and confused about how to achieve my academic goals in becoming an economist. Dr. Ferguson, the undergraduate advisor at that time, soon calmed me down and insured me that UVic was the right place for me. He pulled out a piece of yellow paper, and wrote down all the courses that I needed to take for each semester. I followed everything on that piece of paper. Two and a half years later, I finished my BSc in economics and was admitted to the graduate program right away. With taking all the right courses in the undergraduate program, I found that the graduate program was easier than I had expected, which allowed me to devote all my spare time to another passion of my life, Chinese Dance. I formed Ocean Rain Chinese Dance Troupe, and organized the first Chinese New Year Party for the Department along with my fellow students. The Department of Economics is like a big extended family to me, and I was honored to share my culture and customs with everyone.
Just when I thought I could finish my MA like a piece of cake, another surprise came to me. At the end of the first graduate year I was pregnant with my beloved daughter, Alana. Again, I felt scared, excited and confused. There were a lot of doubts about how and when I could finish my MA. Dr. Giles, my supervisor and mentor, guided me through the most difficult time and helped me realize where my strength lies. I could not have completed the graduate program without my professors' endless support.
I have been working for BC Stats as a senior economic analyst since my graduation. I felt that everything I learned from the MA program enabled me to carry on realistic economic analysis, and I truly value my experience in the department of economics at UVic. I hope all my fellow students will feel the same.
Chair's Comment: The words above are Ocean's. On behalf of the Department I would like to return Ocean's complements and express our gratitude for the contribution that she has made to the life of the Department, both through the force of her personality and through her work with the Ocean Rain dancers, many of whom are our students.
I graduated with a BSc in Economics (Finance Option) in May, 2006. This past summer I was a research assistant for Dr. Engineer. In September, I entered the Master of Financial Risk Management Program at the Segal Graduate School of Business at SFU. This is a demanding program that will draw on the analytic and quantitative skills that were part of my Economics program. I am grateful for how well the UVic BSc Program has prepared me for this program.
Chair's Comment: For more information about the program that Glen has entered see the Segal School Financial Risk Management Program Description.
I graduated from UVic in 2005 with an MA in Economics. For myself and many others, the economics department was at times a second home, though there were regular 'departures from study'. Amusing digressions from somewhere out in left field or some "Change" on the guitar. And those late evenings at the office often ended with strapping on a pair of cleats for a game of Ultimate, heading over to the gym for some late night volleyball, or gathering at a local est. for some bevy's.
As part of the co-op program, I worked for eight months with the BC Ministry of Forests and six months with Natural Resources Canada at the Pacific Forestry Centre. Both were truly worthwhile experiences, and during my time at the PFC I was able to complete my MA paper and extend it into a journal publication.
Two months of traveling through China with Wenbo (a great friend and fellow graduate) made for a nice transition from school to my current position as Assistant General Manager at Dunkley Lumber Ltd. in Prince George.
In the words of my academic colleagues, my time at UVic was indeed utility maximizing and the opportunity cost was well worth it. I received a first-rate education and valuable work experience, but perhaps even more important were the externalities - invaluable experiences and friendships that will stay with me permanently...one in particular :)
Having taken what, at different points, seemed like an eternity to finish my degree in Economics at UVic, in June 2006 I finally finished. The experience had its fair share of ups and downs. It seems like I spent more time learning about what I didn't want to do (electrical engineering) than I did learning what I wanted to do. To be honest no moment in particular sticks out in my mind other than having many good teachers and meeting many amazing people.
Since my graduation I have continued to call the university my second home, working for Professor Van Kooten as a research assistant on many different projects, allowing me to continue to learn as I work. Economics has provided me with an interesting avenue to continue to use my mathematics and computer programming skills in an applied way. I am using those skills to look at real world questions that surround us in everyday life. In the near future I intend to apply to grad schools to study some form of applied economics. At least that's what I'm thinking today; however, every idea is subject to change at any moment. I also intend to possibly spend some more time seeing the world, while it's still a world worth seeing.
My experience in the MA program at UVic is definitely an experience I will not forget. Having a background in forestry, I was initially attracted to UVic for its strengths in environmental and natural resource economics. The program did not disappoint. After gaining some important theoretical underpinnings from coursework, I got involved with an applied project that investigated the socio-economic impacts of expanding timber auctions in British Columbia. This work carried over into an 8 month Coop position at the BC Ministry of Forests Economics and Trade Branch. The experience at the Ministry of Forests was an important reminder that natural resource policies, in practice, had to be formulated in a way that met both efficiency and distributional goals. Without question, however, my most memorable experiences came from time spent with my classmates, many of whom remain close friends.
After graduation I kept my contacts in the forestry sector and began working as a consultant on several projects with the British Columbia Council of Forest Industries (COFI), the Interior Lumber Manufacturers Association (ILMA) and the Forest Economics and Policy Analysis research group at UBC. I also began to teach first year micro and macro economics on a part-time basis at Thompson Rivers University. This time teaching prompted me to take a new career path as I entered into a PhD program in economic geography at the University of Groningen with the goal entering academia full time. This goal is just about realized, as I am set to defend my dissertation later this year, and have recently moved to Christchurch, New Zealand to begin lecturing in forest economics at the University of Canterbury.
"I took the Bachelor of Science Economics program from 1998 to 2003. It introduced me to a wide range of interesting issues, methodologies, and applied techniques that I was able to apply during two Co-op work terms with the federal government. Most students find the Bachelor of Science degree more challenging, but it is ultimately more rewarding, as I found it was excellent preparation for graduate studies. I also took advantage of the fact that the department offers an Honours option, where students have the opportunity to conduct their own original research under the supervision of a professor. It was alot of fun applying the methodological skills I had learned to an original problem. During this time, I was also able to become involved as a peer tutor for 1st and 2nd year undergraduate economics courses and participate in several social activities put on by the Economics student association.
After taking a year off from my studies, I came back to UVic in 2004 to do a Master of Arts degree in Economics. This program gave me a much deeper understanding of some of the techniques I had previously learned in my Bachelor's degree, as well as opening my eyes to many new topics and methods. The M.A. program appeals to many students because of the option of doing Co-op work terms; I chose to forego this opportunity and instead was able to finish the program a bit early with the help of my supervisor. M.A. student's can also work as teacher's assistants - this experience convinced me that I would like to pursue teaching as a career. When I finally chose to apply for PhD programs, the department was very supportive of my applications.
The program at UVic is nice because it offers so many options in terms of work experience (co-op, tutoring, teaching) and topics (Finance, Business, Math, Statistics). You have the opportunity of exploring many different fields and jobs in a supportive and exciting atmosphere. I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in understanding economics.
I entered the Ph.D. program in the department of Economics at UVic in September, 2001. After two-years of course work, I did my dissertation on non-market valuation under the supervision of Dr. van Kooten. My years spent at UVic were the most challenging, rewarding and memorable for me. As an international student, it was challenging to adjust to the new education system, new culture and studying advanced courses at the same time. Thanks for the patient support from the knowledgeable, intelligent faculty members; the endless help from friendly staff and the friendship of many fellow students, all which made my time at UVic successful and unforgettable.
I am working at the Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria doing research on the sustainability and competitiveness of the Canadian forestry sector.
I studied at the University of Victoria between 2002 and 2004. Attending UVic was a very rewarding experience, the campus is beautiful, and I met really great people, many of whom, I am still in contact with today. The faculty went out of their way to ensure that I was successful and that I had the opportunity to get involved with a number of exceptional projects. I participated in the 2004 National Hydrogen Association's Student Design Contest. We won the grand prize; a trip to California to present our work at the Hydrogen Association's annual conference. I worked on a very interesting M.A. essay, which focused on building a transportation model that could eventually be used to test impacts of environmental policies. I was also fortunate enough to co-publish a paper on the costs of carbon offsets.
The experiences that I had at UVic have since resulted in a number of other great opportunities. My participation in the co-op program led me to a position at Environment Canada, in Ottawa, Ontario. While there I examined the potential impacts of various Climate Change policies. I am currently working at the National Energy Board in Calgary, AB, where I am helping to develop a long term energy supply and demand forecast for Canada.
I am looking forward to even more great experiences and opportunities. This is in large part thanks to the knowledge that I gained through my time at UVic.
I came to UVic in the Fall of 2002 with my wife and 8 month old daughter from the US. I vividly remember many people asking me why an American would want to come to Canada to study. After meeting the people on the UVic faculty and staff along with the life-long friendships made with my student colleagues, there is no doubt that the rigor of the program along with the quality of the people I've met and the natural beauty of the Victoria region, has made the decision of coming to UVic one of the best of my life.
I now work as a research associate at the Centre for Non-Timber Resources at Royal Roads University, focusing on the commercial and sustainable development of non-timber forest resources within North America and beyond. I have assisted with the development of two new Natural Resource Societies in BC, the Kootenays Forest Innovation Society and the BC Bio-products Association, where I have had the opportunity to use my talents in business (my former MBA work) and natural resource economics. My wife and now 2 children plan to stay in the Victoria region.
- 2013-05-29 - Lecture/Seminar - Brown Bag Seminar - Daniel Rondeau
- 2013-06-12 - Lecture/Seminar - Brown Bag Seminar - Carl Mosk
- View all events on the UVic Economics calendar