Alexa Evans, an Economics major at The VSE.
- Can you tell us about your current position?
In my current role, I work as a Junior Analyst for the Financial Institutions Commission, a regulatory agency of the Ministry of Finance. In this position, I assist the Central Supervision team in overseeing centrals- Central 1 Credit Union and Stabilization Central Credit Union- in performing regulatory duties. I also prepare reports and research for the Risk, Surveillance and Analytics team. Some responsibilities thus far include designing monitoring reports on Tableau, preparing biweekly financial monitoring reports on economic, commodity and interest rate indicators using Thomson Reuters, performing macroeconomic research on BC’s development regions and conducting supervisory reviews.
- Why did you decide to apply for Co-op? What did you find to be the most valuable benefit of the program as a whole?
I decided to apply to co-op as I heard many great things about it from family members who had attained careers through co-op as well as I have friends who have had excellent work experience that aligned well with their interests and studies. Also, knowing that employers like to hire candidates who have completed co-op terms upon graduation made the decision straightforward.
The co-op program truly enriched my university experience. I found the most valuable aspect of the program was the fact that I could try out a few positions and get more familiar with my career interests whilst developing my professional development portfolio. Through the co-op program, I was able to apply my studies in different economic arenas and determine where I think I will fit best once I graduate. Along the way, I have also made amazing connections and found mentors.
- Do you feel that you’ve been able to apply your coursework at UBC to the work you’re doing at The Ministry of Finance?
Definitely! In my current role, I analyze data in real time to complete reports on indicators like the consumer price index, velocity of money, trade deficit, exchange rate, gross domestic product and the bank rate so I have definitely pulled out my class notes and textbooks to refresh my memory on micro and macroeconomic formulas and metrics on international finance.
- What are three top tips you can give other students that are considering co-op?
3 tips I can give to other students considering co-op are:
1) Think of how co-op can supplement your theoretical background from school and allow you to apply concepts learned in the classroom in a dynamic setting.
2) If you want experience with challenging tasks that will make you more confident academically once returning to school, apply! For example, at my first co-op at the BC Cancer Research Centre I worked on an econometric model for patient quality of life post-diagnosis and I quickly learned that not all data sets are large and fairly straightforward like the examples used in class. In fact, working with a skewed sample of patients decreasing at each time point allowed me to better understand model selection and how to use Stata – areas that are not really explored in lecture or in a textbook.
3) Spend time on your application and treat it the way you would treat an application for your dream job! You never know what amazing experiences you’ll get out of co-op. I have wanted to work at the Ministry of Finance since I started co-op in third year and saw the posting. Currently, I couldn’t be happier working here!