Cynthia Medeiros undertook the MSc Economics in 2017/18, and proceeded to PhD study at the University of Strathclyde.
Why did you choose the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics?
After pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Economics, I decided to proceed to the master’s because I wanted to learn more about the subject, and because I thought that the experience would be a valuable contribution to me both academically and personally. After analysing the programme’s structure, I realized that it was exactly what I was looking for – the mandatory courses covered what was essential, balancing really well the theoretical and applied topics, and there was a wide range of optional courses to choose from.
What attracted you to this programme in particular?
The main reason why I was attracted to this programme was the way it was structured: the disciplines, and the fact that it is a collaboration between different Scottish universities. I also knew that this programme in particular had a great reputation. Additionally, the fact that I would get to study at the University of Edinburgh – a leading and traditional institution – and live in Scotland for a year was also very appealing.
What did you enjoy most about your time here?
It was a lovely year. I enjoyed the lectures very much, and the library was probably where I spent most of my time – so, it is naturally among the spots in Edinburgh that are dear to me. My favourite memory is probably walking all the way up to Arthur’s Seat after each exam.
What are your plans for the future?
I am currently pursuing my PhD – my research topic is text analytics and statistical learning for high-dimensional, unstructured data. The masters prepared me for this next step in my education in many ways: in the Econometrics courses I became acquainted with several statistical tools that are now useful for me, in addition to programming in Stata; the short course offered in summer “Numerical Methods in Python” also introduced me to that programming language, which I now use in my research; the large amount of subjects to study in that year prepared me for the several hours I now spend doing my research.
If you could offer any advice to new or current students, what would it be?
The first advice I would give is not to be afraid to ask questions or ask for help: literally everybody in the School of Economics is eager to help you with anything – professors, tutors, the postgraduate office, etc. Secondly, it is really important to talk to everybody in your class in the first week – soon after that, you will be busy with the heavy workload and will not have time to socialize with the people you haven’t talked to yet. Last but not least, enjoy the city and everything it offers (nature, architecture, cultural events) as much as you can.