89 new master’s students gathered on Monday, August 19th for their orientation. The students fall into one of four degree programs: M.A. Economics (MAE), which has 60 students, M.A. Analytical Political Economy (MAPE), 4 students, M.S. Economics & Computation (MSEC), 14 students, and M.S. Quantitative Financial Economics (MQFE), 11 students. This year’s cohort is comprised of 40 woman and 49 men, and they come from the United States, Taiwan, Singapore, Peru, Malaysia, Lebanon, South Korea, Kazakhstan, India, Colombia, and China.
Director of Graduate Studies Kent Kimbrough greeted new students and went over program requirements and how the next two years at Duke will look. “Remember,” he said, “Our goal is to balance theory and measurement. You want to be able to mix the two successfully for your own growth and the growth of the profession.” Kimbrough also encouraged students to write papers “early and often,” whether students will be going on to Ph.D. programs or looking for careers after they graduate. He stressed the importance of forming study groups, telling students that they will learn equally as much from their classmates as their professors.
After Kimbrough was finished, Master’s Program Assistant Addie Stagg from the Economics Center for Teaching (EcoTeach) spoke to students. The EcoTeach Center helps to optimize student experiences by providing educational guidance, helping them navigate transitions within and beyond the department. Stagg covered everything from emails to electric scooters, explaining the ins and outs of the department and who students should contact for what issues. Both Stagg and Kimbrough emphasized that students should stay in communication with the department, and to reach out if they ever have questions, concerns, or life struggles.
Following lunch, the students had a Q&A with second-year Master’s students.
“You can learn a ton if you just devote yourself to your work,” said Kimbrough in his closing. “Take advantage of all the resources and good material being offered.”