Graduate Spotlight

Aziza Banerjee

Where are you from?

I'm originally from New Delhi, India, but I have been in the United States for over five years.

Why did you choose UC, and this program?

I completed my undergraduate degree from UC, and I wanted to pursue a graduate degree. I knew that I would gain a valuable set of skills that would enable me to attain a successful career.

How would you describe the admissions process? What do you remember most?

I enjoyed the streamlined nature of the admissions process. It provided me with access to resources that were helpful for planning. I would encourage students to apply early.


What do you like most about the program?

The professors were all very different, but equally passionate about the subject they were teaching. Some classes were in the evening, so having engaged professors was important to keep students engaged. I also like the fact that several lenses of economics were examined. This allowed me to see the various uses for economics in the real world, and made the project-based learning very relevant.

Where do you work now? How has this program helped you in this position?

I'm a category manager with Unilever, a consumer package goods (CPG) company, and my primary focus is category analysis. I apply the skills I learned in the MS Applied Economics program to my daily routine.

What are your goals for the future?

My goals are to continue to network with other alumni, with professors, and to make connections for the future. I'm particularly interested in how Economics can be used in creative ways. I have a creative background and have always been fascinated with how to apply the creative and analytical sides. I want to be able to help companies with a quantitative justification for why they made a creative decision.

What advice would you give to prospective students?

Plan ahead, look at the semester holistically, and build great relationships with your peers, your professors and alumni.

Samuel Kirschner

Where are you from?

Cincinnati, Ohio.

Why did you choose UC, and this program?

I went to UC for my undergraduate degree and enjoyed the experience. Because I was working full time, I wanted to go to a graduate program that I could attend part time but still attend classes in person. I chose UC’s MS in Applied Economics program because I knew I wanted to work in the analytics field and develop the specific skills that were taught in the program. I also desired to learn more about economic theory and pursue my passion for that area. The MS in Applied Economics provided that synthesis between theory and practice.

How would you describe the admissions process? What do you remember most?

Admissions was fairly smooth and painless. I was already enrolled in Business Analytics classes, and so the process from the beginning of my application to admittance was only a few weeks.

What do you like most about the program?

I liked the hands-on nature of the curriculum. Much of the work was project-based and provided an opportunity to learn by doing. I also enjoyed the professors and how easy it was to access them as a resource. I loved the diversity within the program; the international students in particular provided an interesting perspective on the subject matter and course material.

Where do you work now? How has this program helped you in this position?

I'm a senior manager at Nielsen Catalina Solutions. I was an analyst when I started in the MS in Applied Economics program. I definitely think the skills and expertise I learned to apply to on the job allowed me to advance far quicker and reach the level of responsibility that I enjoy today.

What are your goals for the future?

My career goal, in general, is to study how people make decisions and use their scarce resources through the use of empirical analysis. I hope to continue this pursuit with Nielsen and grow into a career where I can follow that passion in a meaningful way.

What advice would you give to prospective students?

This degree, and any graduate degree, is only as valuable as the work you put into it. Take advantage of the opportunity to focus on learning, and use the expertise of the professors.