Former students at the Department of Economics

Wilhelm Irwe

Wilhelm Irwe

I am 28 years old, from Sweden. I completed my bachelor’s degree in political science with economics at Uppsala University in 2014. I also have a master’s degree in international relations and sustainable development.

I work in the climate change group at the World Bank in Washington D.C. One of my key responsibilities is to oversee the climate program in one of the World Banks many trust funds. In short, this means that I review and provide suggestions on incoming proposals for financing, and work to strengthen climate aspects in the project proposals. I then go on to recommend strong applications for financing to the trust fund management team. Recently approved proposals include a project to strengthen the resilience to prolonged periods of droughts for national parks in Tanzania, and a study to explore the potential for climate risk insurances to small-scale farmers in Nepal.  

This work is part of the World Banks ambition to mainstream climate change into all its operational activities.

What was your first job after graduation?

This was my first job after my master’s degree.

To what extent is what you learned during your studies in economics at Uppsala University applicable in your current job?

My master’s degree was not that heavy on quantitative methods, so I relied a lot on my economics coursework from Uppsala when working on my master’s thesis where I did a quantitative analysis of the role of ODA in strengthening developing countries resilience to climate change. My thesis played a key role in landing my current job so the courses I took in Uppsala have undeniably had a profound impact on my career thus far.  

Why did you choose to study economics at Uppsala University?

I studied political science but after the mandatory course in economics, I decided to continue with economics instead of political science. I am not sure why I decided to change but it’s certainly nothing I regret.

What is your best memory from your time at Uppsala University?

I had three great years in Uppsala so singling out one memory is very tough. Two memorable experiences during my years at Uppsala University include my semester abroad in South Africa and doing an internship in New York.

What advice would you give to current and future students of economics?

I think the answer will vary a lot depending on what you want to do with your degree in economics. If you, like me, want to work internationally I would suggest making use of Uppsala University’s well-established partnerships with other universities and try to do an MFS or internship abroad.

I also think it is important to have fun and to enjoy the time you have as a student. Skills in econometrics and statistics are high in demand on the job market so there is no need to worry too much about the future.

Saga Brors

Saga Brors

Hi!
My name is Saga Brors, I’m Swedish and 23 years old. I finished my bachelor’s degree with an economics concentration early 2018. I’ve been on exchange studies in the United States and done an internship at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

I work as a junior desk officer at the Swedish delegation to the OECD in Paris. An average week usually entails a couple of days in committee meetings at the OECD, and the remaining time is spent on preparing meetings or reporting from them, as well as administrative tasks.

What was your first job after graduation?

After my internship at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, I worked for a short while as an assistant at the department for international development cooperation at the MFA.

To what extent is what you learned during your studies in economics at Uppsala University applicable in your current job?

My education has provided me with strong analytical tools, which are applicable at various workplaces. I also appreciate the broad understanding of economic politics that is being presented at Uppsala University, something that has helped me understand policy issues, both at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and now at the OECD.

Why did you choose to study economics at Uppsala University?

I’ve always been interested in political and economic issues, and I chose an education that would provide me with analytical and hands-on skills, as well as an overall understanding of the economic system.

What is your best memory from your time at Uppsala University?

It’s tough choosing a single memory, but I’ve had a great amount of fun participating in different events arranged by UPS (Uppsala Politices Studerande), not least the orientation week.

What advice would you give to current and future students of economics?

I would advise students to find a special area of their interest to focus on when choosing electives, internship and thesis subject. There’s a lot of fascinating subjects that classifies as economics, it’s not all interest rates and graphs.

Mirjam Wentzel

Mirjam Wentzel

I am 28 years old and from Sweden. I completed by bachelor’s degree through the bachelor’s program in political sciences in 2012, majoring in economics. I also have a master’s degree in economics from University of Bergen from 2017.

I am a PhD research scholar at the Norwegian School of Economics, focusing on research in labor economics. My two current projects are related to pension reform and effects of victimization. Currently I am working on analysis of register data, but I also teach, go to seminars, write and read academic papers.

What was your first job after graduation?

My first job after graduation was as an analyst for the Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate, where I was employed after an internship during the last semester of my bachelor. I worked there for three years with writing reports, and got experience with working with register data, but also conducting interviews and qualitative studies.

To what extent is what you learned during your studies in economics at Uppsala University applicable in your current job?

My studies in Economics at Uppsala University gave me a stable foundation, and knowledge about the mechanisms that drives human behavior. I developed my analytical skills, and learnt how to write academic texts. The base I got has been important in my further studies.

Why did you choose to study economics at Uppsala University?

When I applied to the bachelor’s program, I was planning to major in political science. But during the compulsory course in economics, I discovered how useful it is for analyzing the effects of policies, and I realized that this was what I wanted to do.

What is your best memory from your time at Uppsala University?

My best memories are connected to the student environment, getting to socialize and work together with my friends.

What advice would you give to current and future students of economics?

Ask for help – from your fellow students, professors and seminar leaders. Also, do an internship if you have the possibility. This was a valuable experience and a door opener to the labor market

Unn Lindholm

Unn Lindholm Photo: Anders Hansson

I am 26 years old, from Sweden and graduated from the Master Programme in Economics the spring 2017.

I am currently working the department of forecasting at the National Institute of Economic Research. I work both as a system developer at the department, helping out with econometric coding and making sure our processes are efficient. I also work with GDP analysis being responsible for the forecast on and analysis of Swedish production, hours worked and productivity in the business sector.

What was your first job after graduation?

Yes this was my first job after graduation.

To what extent is what you learned during your studies in economics at Uppsala University applicable in your current job?

My studies in economics has been very applicable in my current job. This since my job is largely about economic analysis in terms of trying to understand the development of the economy and where we are heading. The analysis is based on economic theories, but also include empirical analysis where we use econometric methods trying to explain relationships between different variables.

Why did you choose the Master’s Programme in Economics at Uppsala University?

I have had an interest in numbers and data for a long time, and wanted to combine this with some kind of analysis. Economics therefore suited me very well. The fact that I chose the Master programme in Uppsala was because you had a course offering that interested me, and a good reputation in macroeconomics. You also seemed to have a good relationship with potential employers, which I saw as an advantage.

What is your best memory from your time at Uppsala University?

My best memory of my time at Uppsala University is all the fun moments that I have had with my class. The daily snack at 3 o'clock, all common laughs when you do not understand the task to be solved or the days in the computer hall writing the essay. I would never had passed the programme without these moments with my class.

What advice would you give to current and future Master students?

Be sure to attend the study visits offered by the Department of Economics because it is a great way to establish contacts. Working at the department is also an advantage, as it also links contacts in the academic sphere.

I would also recommend learning some statistics / econometrics in addition to the economics. There are many employers who also seek knowledge in this area.

Daniel Olai

Daniel Olai

I am 28 years old, born and raised in Sweden. I graduated from the Master’s Programme in Economics in the spring of 2015.

I currently work at the budget department of the Swedish Ministry of Finance with policy analysis. A typical day consists of administrating errands within the government offices with a focus on policy evaluation and matters of budgetary concern.

What was your first job after graduation?

My first job after graduation was as a pricing analyst at the German consumer electronics retailing company Media Markt. I was responsible for analysing and setting prices for the Swedish market mainly using statistical analysis and modelling.

To what extent is what you learned during your studies in economics at Uppsala University applicable in your current job?

Studying economics has given me valuable tools to deal with a myriad of questions in a systematic way. The lessons from economics and the methods provided from studying econometrics are the singularly most important instruments to properly analyse the consequences of political decisions – and I use them every day.

Why did you choose the Master Programme in Economics at Uppsala University?

The programme at Uppsala offered an interesting mix of advanced optional courses, for me the courses in political economics and public economics were of particular interest. Also, the program had a focus on econometrics which I was interested in learning more about.

What is your best memory from your time at Uppsala University?

I studied a total of five years at Uppsala university: to summarise that time in a single moment would do an injustice to the joys of living in Uppsala and attending the university. But, if I had to pick one experience it would be writing a master thesis which provided an opportunity to put all my skills to use for a single product.

What advice would you give to current and future master students?

My advice to any student is to make the most of the time spent in the programme: devout yourself to the material, interact with people, and make use of all opportunities. The connections you make and the knowledge you acquire will be immensely helpful once you enter the job market.

Hanna Runald

Hanna Runald

I am 27 years old, from Sweden. I graduated from the Master’s Programme in Economics in 2017.

Currently I’m working at the Stockholm chamber of commerce with issues and projects regarding international trade. It is difficult to describe a particular work day, as the work is extremely varied, however my responsibilities concern the issuing of export documents and strive to develop our department and make it more efficient.

What was your first job after graduation?

The work at the Stockholm chamber of commerce was my first job upon graduation. I also worked there concurrently with my studies.

To what extent is what you learned during your studies in economics at Uppsala University applicable in your current job?

Since my work is related to international trade, it has been important to understand how these processes work and effect different aspects of the world. My economics education is the foundation in understanding these connections. Furthermore, I’ve had huge benefits of having developed by analytic problem solving skills in my education; something that is obviously useful in all trades.

Why did you choose the Master’s Programme in Economics at Uppsala University?

I got my Bachelor’s degree at Uppsala University and chose to continue my studies there, since I was already familiar with the university and knew that it has a stellar economics department. I was keen to dive deeper into some of the areas in economics that are the strong suits of that department.

What is your best memory from your time at Uppsala University?

From an academic standpoint it was definitely writing my master thesis, since I relished the opportunity to independently focus on a specific area and apply everything I’ve learned during nearly five years of intense study. Outside of the academic life proper I must admit that the best thing was meeting my current boyfriend.

What advice would you give to current and future master students?

Since university life is only of a brief and limited period of time, the best advice I can give to current and aspiring master students is that it is important to find a good balance between the purely academic life and university life in general. I believe that many make the mistake of going to far in either direction. You are there to learn, but it is also an opportunity to have some of the best and most joyful years of your life.

Julia Tanndal

I am 26 years old, from Sweden. I graduated from the Master’s Programme in Economics spring 2015.

I am currently pursuing a PhD in Economics at Brown University, RI, USA. My research concerns wealth and income inequality in the context of Public Economics, my most recent paper studied tax avoidance. I am now at the stage in the PhD programme where I spend most of my time doing independent research. Hence, I spend most of my time writing code to analyse data, but there is also a fair amount or reading and writing.

What was your first job after graduation?

I still haven't gotten a ‘real’ job yet. I started the 5 year PhD programme right after I graduated from Uppsala.

To what extent is what you learned during your studies in economics at Uppsala University applicable in your current job?

The classes at Uppsala University in applied methods gave me a great insight into the forefront of research methods in empirical microeconomics. This was helpful to me as I entered the PhD programme with a good understanding of what the current academic work actually looked like, something that made my decision on what to write my own dissertation about easier.

Why did you choose the Master’s Programme in Economics at Uppsala University?

Uppsala's connection with IFAU was important to me in my choice of Master's Programme. The institute gives the programme an edge in the fields of Labour and Public Economics, which are my main interests within economics.

What is your best memory from your time at Uppsala University?

What made my time at Uppsala University memorable was all the wonderful friends I made during these two years.

What advice would you give to current and future master students?

My advice for current and prospective students is to plan ahead. Two years go by quickly, and if you want to go into academia, you might want to plan your second year differently than if you want a job in the public or private sector. If you know what you want it’s easier to seek advice from faculty and others.