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Christopher McDowall

BA Economics (Honours),

Why I majored in Social Sciences and not SAIT
After floundering around in school as most students do in the first two
years, I took time off to pursue my second calling at the time,
bartending and waiting tables. Realizing that slogging beer is not as
grand a pursuit as you might think, I returned to university with the
intent on getting an education. I realized in my time away that if I
just wanted a job I could easily go to SAIT or some other technical
school and save myself some time and money. I however decided I wanted
an education as well as a career - for this purpose I chose economics.

Why economics
I chose the honours economics program at the university of Calgary
because it offered both the opportunity to apply a set of technical
skills as well as a theoretical education that is both liberal and
artistic. It offered a sound grounding in the theory and the analysis
of the social world. Finance, my other option, offered only the
technocratic skills and not the artistic skills that I wanted to

What I have found since I graduated
I work as a trader on a commodity trading floor. Definitely not as
glamorous as the movies make it out to be, but there isn't another job
I would rather have. In my day to day routine I constantly use economic
reasoning to evaluate market positions that I have taken or I am
thinking of taking. Also I am involved in the some of the policy
discussion facing the new Alberta electricity market. My economic
training allows me to add to the conversation and help shape this new
unregulated world.

An open option on the future
With an education in economics I have an open opportunity to further my
education in a number of different areas. Unlike with my other intended
path (finance), economics gives me the opportunity to pursue a wider
area of post graduate study, some of which I have already started.

September 2000

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