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Darla Moore School of Business

MAEcon candidate found program to launch his dream career in his own backyard

Nov. 19, 2018

Kirk LeCureux, Master of Arts in Economics (MAEcon) and Master of Applied Statistics candidate

Why did you choose to attend the MAEcon program?
A few reasons: I thought that the MAEcon program being part of the Moore School would make it easier to collaborate on banking and financial services industry research with finance professors. The MAEcon program also gave me the flexibility to take extra math courses that I need to become a viable Ph.D. applicant. The applied statistics courses, which are offered as part of a Department of Statistics certificate program available to MAEcon students, offers training on additional statistical programming applications such as R and SAS, which are desirable for economic research positions at employers like the Federal Reserve.

Who at the Moore School most impacted you?
Chun-Hui Miao is the only professor I’ve had so far. I met with him when I was deciding between UofSC and Georgia Tech. Professor Hess has also offered advice about academic careers, and Cynthia Stanley has always been extremely helpful when I ask weird questions about my track!

What do you enjoy most about your program?
So far, I’ve most enjoyed diving deeper into monopoly and oligopoly, which I had previously covered from a different perspective in an antitrust law course during law school.

What is the most valuable thing you've learned through your program?
I’d have to say it’s learning how to apply mathematical concepts to microeconomic problems. With my background in law and regulatory policy, I’m interested in applying empirical methods to government policy, so I’m hoping that an improved understanding of the underlying mathematics in economics will help me to effectively translate quantitative models and predictions to effective policies and laws.

What are your career goals?
My immediate career goal is to land a research position with the Federal Reserve System or another financial services regulatory agency. After five to 10 years, I hope to have completed a Ph.D. in Financial Economics or Finance and start a tenure track position as a professor.

As someone who's earned his law degree, what do you think about the value of a joint J.D./MAEcon program such as the one offered at the Moore School?
I think a joint degree in economics and law has value in certain niches. For example, if somebody is interested in public policy, whether it’s as a Congressional staffer, an employee for a government regulator or an advocate for an organization such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, having a strong background in both law and economics can be beneficial and help someone translate quantitative data into effective policy.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
I looked all over the country for a program that would facilitate my transition to a career in economic and financial research. I was lucky to find such a great fit in my own backyard!

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