We recently asked our new PhD students a few questions to get to know them better.
1. “What drew you to UB?”
Michael Burich: “Well, I grew up just a few miles from the North Campus and have spent just about my entire life in Buffalo. And I was drawn by UB's international standing. The prospect of meeting people from all over the world really appealed to me. When you combine that with me not having to leave behind my home, UB represented the ideal choice for me.”
Yu Huang: “I was a student here at UB. After taking our EQE program, I find economics even more interesting and we have really amazing professors here. Plus, Buffalo is kind of like my second home, I am quite getting used to my life here, so I finally chose to stay.”
Sabarna Mukherjee: “Starting my graduate career at UB was a dream and it finally came true after I was enrolled into the Economics PhD program. The force which drove me to become a part of the UB Community was first and foremost the alignment of my research interests with the faculty in the department. I was really pleased to see the type of groundbreaking thoughts they are delivering into the domain of the discipline. Their research areas are quite interesting, multi-dimensional, not only confined to the world of theoretical knowledge but they are quite consistent with the empirical analysis they carry out. I personally think that this is a very good and robust approach to any research objective. This has led to valuable contributions by many faculty who have worked at the department and who are still working presently. The progress is immeasurable and unquantifiable. I feel honored to be a member of the UB Community and pledge to work as much as possible to carry forward the tradition.”
Donghyun Seo: “Plenty of research opportunities under the guidance of exceptional professors.”
Hayley Sipos: "I could see that UB was going to offer me great opportunities. I know that I will gain a great education, be connected with amazing people in the field of economics, and be able to explore and research my own curiosities about the field."
Yiyuan Wang: “1. UB is a world-renowned university, which is an ideal goal for me to further my study. 2. Buffalo provides a quiet and peaceful learning environment.”
Wenhan Yang: “UB is a fantastic university which provides a vibrant, diverse and inclusive environment. As long as we want to explore, there are always resources and opportunities to take advantage of.”
2. “What led you to becoming interested in the field of Economics? Is there a specific sub-field you find particularly thought-provoking?”
Michael Burich: “Economics is interesting to me because I see it as the intersection of a number of fields - math, politics, history, even involving seemingly unrelated fields such as biology or anthropology, at times. I like the idea that economics is, in a way, to apply scientific methods to trying to understand different human behaviors.
I really enjoy macroeconomics - studying behavior with a broader perspective, looking at government policies, seeing how countries interact with one another and the effects of those interactions. Being from the United States, a focus on US economics has obvious relevance to me, but I have a particular interest in Latin America, especially Brazil. I took a great class on the history of colonial Latin America and that combined with my previous experience working in foreign exchange with LATAM banks helped foster a desire to learn more about the region.”
Yu Huang: “My potential research field is applied microeconomics, mainly focusing on labor economics and economics of education.”
Sabarna Mukherjee: “My entry and interest into the field of Economics was to search for the answer to the question of why people are poor. Are people poor because they are poor or is it related somewhat to inefficiency in the market structure which will exist in most cases in our real lives and that's why we have the distinction between poor and rich? Is it due to the way the society's resources are allocated? Is it something that we don't have information about i.e. lack of information and information asymmetry? So this array of questions really provoked and compelled me to study further the discipline of Economics. To search for answers to the sequence of questions, I decided getting into Research was the optimal choice for me. Research only gives us the opportunity to search for the unknown and to know more. I am especially interested in the field of Economics of Information.”
Donghyun Seo: “[My preferred sub-fields are] Applied Microeconomics, Empirical Industrial Organization.”
Haylee Sipos: "I studied math in undergrad and economics was a field that I could apply my knowledge of math to. Whenever I took my first econ course, an intro microeconomics class, it made me question whether I really wanted to study math or switch my major to econ. As I progressed through undergrad I came to find out how much math and econ coincide. So after finishing my undergrad in math I knew that furthering my education in econ would be a perfect fit.
I became especially interested in economics while I took courses in forecasting and econometrics. They were more math/stats heavy courses so of course I was interested, but it also introduced real world applications and theory that tied it all together for me."
Yiyuan Wang: “Since my major as a postgraduate student was Finance, I am interested in global financial crisis in 2008; [I] want to know the reason of the crisis and the business cycle. In addition, I am also interested in asset pricing and all of these issues are belonging to economics. Thus, I want to take a further study on the relevant topic and still [be] interested in economics.”
Wenhan Yang: “I found my interest in Economics from the research, classes and internship during previous study. Exploring mathematical methods and economic theories to find the rules behind economic phenomenon is attracting. I am interested in financial economics which I feel thought-provoking. I majored in finance during undergraduate and interned at a corporation which left [many] unknowns, inspiring me to research further.”
3. “Where do you hope to see your academic experience take you in the future?”
Michael Burich: “This is a tough question because it's always tough to know where our paths might take us. But, in general, I am here to be challenged and to grow. I'd hope to help make the world a better place through my career, although I'm not exactly sure how. And I'm looking for fulfilling careers opportunities”
Yu Huang: “Being a professor is my dream, so it is always on the top of my career goals.”
Sabarna Mukherjee: “I hope to carry on Research in future and stay in Academia and take Teaching as a profession in the future. I hope my academic experience will benefit me in carrying out my Research work in the near future. Also, it will help me a lot in gaining experience of what it is all about to stay in the field of Academia.”
Donghyun Seo: “Korea Energy Economics Institute(Republic of Korea), Economic Development Board (Singapore), and so on.”
Haylee Sipos: "In terms of a profession, I hope that my academic experience leads me to a career in data analytics. But outside of that I hope my academic experience in econ will lead me to being a better thinker and analyzer. From undergrad, I understand math and stats, but I think that econ will provide me with a better intuition with how things work and how to analyze problems. I might know how to analyze a problem. but I believe that econ will provide me with figuring out what it is that I should be analyzing."
Yiyuan Wang: “I want to be a professor in university to achieve my dream. I would love to be accepted in a university with good academic environment after I finish [this] academic experience.”
Wenhan Yang: “I hope to go to a university in the future to continue academic research; for the more I learn, the more I need and want to learn. There are infinite possibilities to realize. And I also hope that my academic experience will give me ability to return something beneficial back to society.”
4. “Prior to beginning your time at UB, had you known much about Buffalo? For those of not yet on campus, what is something you look forward to doing when you’re here locally? For our students already here, have you had any ‘classic Buffalo’ experiences yet (e.g.: Eating Buffalo wings, checking out the Olmstead park system, visiting Niagara Falls, etc.)?”
Michael Burich: “Obviously quite a bit! This is my home, and although at times I take it for granted, it is a wonderful place to live. There is great food, beautiful weather in the summer and fall, and lots of things to do - Toronto is just an hour away. There is an incredibly diverse community here as well - people from Italy to China to Moldova have settled here.”
Yu Huang: “Before coming to UB, I only knew about Niagara Falls. Two years later, I've visited several places like the state parks and Niagara Falls. I've been enjoying having Buffalo wings with my friends when we're watching football games or the US open. Now that we have the Blue Jays in downtown Buffalo, I guess when it is available, I'll definitely go for a game-watch.”
Sabarna Mukherjee: “I knew about the famous and popular destination Niagara Falls. I look forward to exploring new adventurous destinations which are rich in culture and heritage at and around Buffalo once I arrive in Buffalo. I look forward to having a wonderful and memorable experience in the city of Buffalo throughout my graduate career.”
Donghyun Seo: “I heard that the heavy snow continues all winter.”
Haylee Sipos: "Prior to starting school at UB, I had never been to Buffalo before even though my home town is less than 3 hours away and I attended undergrad about an hour and a half away. I am very excited to explore the new city like going to Niagara falls and hopefully traveling to Canada once the borders open. Since moving here, I have enjoyed some Buffalo Wings and watched some sunsets at the lake".
Yiyuan Wang: “Buffalo is a port city on the eastern shore of Lake Erie in western New York State and is the second largest city in New York State. As a northerner, I love the long winter there. Although I haven't been there now because of the policy, I would love to try the Buffalo wings in the future.”
Wenhan Yang: “It is a pity that I am not here locally because of the epidemic. I am looking forward to meeting with my classmates and friends in person when I arrive at UB. Besides, it is known that there are many famous interesting places and delicious food such as Niagara Falls, Buffalo wings, etc. I cannot wait to experience them. Besides, Buffalo is close to New York and Canada, and it is only a 30-minute drive to the most famous Niagara Falls. The traffic is convenient. We will never lack a beautiful reason to go out and about.”
Meet all our current Phd students.
Meet our Economics major students and the department's current College Ambassador. College Ambassadors are outstanding students nominated by their department to represent the department at campus and community events.
I chose to study economics because I want to help create policy that has its intended effect. Often legislation is enacted with measures that seem effective, but their actual consequences are never fully realized. I want to be able to predict how legislation and taxes passed by the government will effect society before it is too late. I’m looking to go to graduate or law school after college then pursue public policy.
I chose economics to affect social change. Many of the issues facing ordinary individuals such as unemployment, healthcare, poverty, and gender and racial equality are all intertwined with the field of economics. After my bachelor's, I am planning to pursue post-graduate study in the field. I hope to eventually go on to work in economic policymaking, either in the public or private sectors. Outside of my studies, I am heavily involved with our Vegan Club, Amnesty International, and the Monroe County Democratic Party.
The Department of Economics has a long-standing commitment to diversity. We welcome students from near and far, and believe that our programs are strengthened by a wide variety of experiences, cultures and educational goals.