Gen Covindassamy

Current Role: Economics PhD Student, American University
Graduate Year: 2011

What made you decide to earn your degree at American University as opposed to another institution?
I decided to attend AU because it was a policy oriented program... I also felt that Washington DC was a great location, especially in the field of economics and I knew from AU’s reputation that I would have access to great work opportunities.

In your opinion, what do you think is your program’s biggest strength? Please explain why.
The biggest strength was offering a variety of field classes. This allowed students to focus on their specific interests. Also, since students had a variety of classes to choose from they could choose from many different fields of interest.

How was the coursework and curriculum relevant to your field today? How did the faculty keep the curriculum current?
I am currently in the economics PhD program at AU. Coming out of AU I applied to several schools and got admitted to a few other good schools but in the end I returned to AU, I really loved the economics department and I knew I would have great professors. AU professors always make the effort to relate coursework to current events. Even outside of field courses, macro and micro professors always provided context to the theory by relating it back to events in the real world both historical and contemporary.

Is there a class, project or assignment that was particularly memorable? Why?
The most memorable class was my microeconomics class. The class was challenging and made me realize how rewarding graduate studies are. I learned a lot and worked hard, but I didn’t mind because I was learning and understanding new concepts and theories. I started having questions of my own which I eventually turned into research papers.

Briefly describe in what ways the program exceeded your expectations.
The professors exceeded my expectations. They are extremely available to help out their students and to help them with their own research ideas. Professors also allow students to pursue various research avenues that are catered to their interests. Students are able to research topics that are of interest to them rather than imposed.

What skills did you learn in the program? What were the major takeaways?
I learned how to write a professional research paper. This is a key asset in today’s job market as you are often required to submit proposals or papers. AU gave me several opportunities to go through the entire research process and produce a quality paper. Another asset was learning how to use several statistical software and having access to computer labs with friendly staff that are knowledgeable in terms of programming.

How has earning your degree impacted your career?
It allowed me to get several serious internships and it allowed me to pursue a PhD program.

To learn more about American University’s online MA in Economics, request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614.