Five University of Winnipeg students are carving out their own unique paths towards successful futures in economics.
Despite women making up less than 50 per cent of the economics majors in Canada and the U.S., Camila Navarro, Katherine Nemeth Crapper, Keelan Dagdick, Huiqi Deng, and Razia Seman are excelling in the classroom and in the workplace.”
“These five students are inspiring not only because of their strong academic performance, but because they’re excelling in the labour market, internships, and volunteer pursuits,” said associate economics professor Dr. Melanie O’Gorman. “Each of them took a very different path to economics, yet ended up with similar enthusiasm for the subject. I’m sure they’ll all excel after leaving The University of Winnipeg as well.”
“It is a pleasure to see students learning to appreciate and apply various economic concepts and tools taught in our programs in order to improve their understanding of a wide range of socio-economic problems and to use them to succeed in their future careers,” said Dr. Soham Baksi, professor and acting chair. “These students exemplify such learning, having excelled in their academic and other pursuits. Their participation in classroom discussions, case competitions, internships, and volunteer work has not only enriched the University experience for them, but also set high standards for their classmates to emulate.”
Originally from Colombia, Camila Navarro is graduating this June with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in economics and minoring in human rights. She chose UWinnipeg as her place of study because the small class sizes were similar to the universities and schools in Colombia.
She became interested in economics after realizing its real-world value and while taking classes with associate professor Melanie O’Gorman.
“I’m very interested in policy, social economic change, and social impact, so based on her interests I was immediately drawn to her,” she said.
Narvarro’s hard work in the classroom has paid off in the form of scholarships. She was the recipient of the Buhler Economics Scholarship and the Great West Life Scholarship, which included a paid summer work placement with the company.
Those accomplishments have solidified her decision to focus on economics as a career path.
“You really feel appreciated because all of your hard work pays off and people are seeing that,” Navarro explained. “It has led me to push harder in courses and my studies.”
Once she graduates in June, Navarro hopes to pursue a full-time position with Great West Life. Down the road she hopes to return to school and obtain a master’s in policy studies from Queen’s University.
Katherine Nemeth Crapper
Katherine Nemeth Crapper didn’t know economics was the path she’d take while at UWinnipeg.
After dabbling in environmental sciences and humanities, Nemeth Crapper discovered her passion for the subject after taking a class taught by O’Gorman.
“The way she taught the material was challenging and interesting to me,” she said. “And she brought in some of her own research as well, so it made it approachable.”
She also mentioned economics instructor Dennis Ng as being a mentor figure and someone she turns to for job and life advice.
Now in her fifth and final year at UWinnipeg, Nemeth Crapper is working part time with Manitoba Hydro as a research analyst. She is also a recent recipient of the Buhler Economics Scholarship.
“Working at Manitoba Hydro has shown me a lot of economics can be applied in different areas,” she said. “I really like the versatility it brings.”
After graduation in June, Nemeth Crapper plans on starting her career as a policy analyst, but is also keeping the door open on returning to school to obtain her master’s.
It didn’t take long for Keelan Dagdick to fall in love with economics.
Now in her fourth of five years at UWinnipeg, she originally came intending to study business. However, after taking micro and macro intro courses to economics, she quickly knew that was the right path for her.
“I really started to realize the impact economics can have on the province and within our communities,” she said.
This current academic year has been a special one for Dagdick. After finishing her second summer interning with Western Economic Diversification Canada, she has gone on to earn three scholarships — the W.W. Buchanan Economics Major Prize, Professor Gordon G. Blake Memorial Scholarship in Economics, and the MABE-CABE 2018/19 Scholarship.
She said the scholarships confirm her love for economics and noted her time at Western Economic Diversification Canada has really solidified her decision to choose it as a career path.
“My love for economics has extended past my education and has influenced my decision to support others in their studies,” she said. “Camila (Navarro) and I co-run a tutoring service which provides us the opportunity to encourage students to get further involved in economics.”
With another academic year left at UWinnipeg, Dagdick is considering all future opportunities — but would love to one day become a policy analyst for the government.
Huiqi Deng arrived at UWinnipeg with an open mind. Unknown to her at the time, she was about to fall in love with economics.
“I went to the Career Fair my first year and realized there are a lot of opportunities for economic students in terms of career paths,” she said. “And I also happened to find out that I was very good at it.”
During her four years of studies, Deng said she’s loved all the economics professors she’s worked with, but specifically noted Dr. Wenbiao Cai as one of her favourites.
“His teaching style is unique — he has a flexible structure,” she explained. “And when he tries to teach something, he explains it in great detail.”
Outside of the classroom, Deng has been excelling as well. She was awarded the Great West Life Scholarship and interned with the local company for the past two summers.
Besides covering tuition, she said her time there has “given me the courage to do a lot of things I never thought of doing before.”
After convocation, her intention is to continue working at Great West Life before coming back to UWinnipeg to advance her minor in statistics into a major.
Razia Seman Seman knew she wanted to study economics long before attending UWinnipeg.
The now third-year student developed a passion for the subject when she was introduced to it during her junior year of high school.
“It’s such a practical field and it affects every one of us,” Seman explained. “That’s what drew me to it originally.”
Last year Seman was recognized for her hard work in the classroom by being awarded the Isbister Undergraduate Scholarship. She has also recently received the Great West Life Scholarship and will complete a work placement with them this summer.
She credited the team of professors in the department for enhancing her passion for economics, adding their diverse and unique styles of teaching really make learning fun.
“Every class is different in its own way and it’s so interesting,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed every single one of my classes.”
Seman will return to UWinnipeg for one more academic year before jumping into the workforce. Although she doesn’t want to pursue a master’s immediately after graduating, it’s in her future plans.