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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Economics

Current Students

MA Graduate Degree

Alumni Profiles

Jason Reuter 

Year Graduated: 2013

Thesis: The Role of Private International Financial Capital Flows in Support of Development in Emerging Market Countries

Current Employer: Assistant Vice President in the Investor Services Division at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

How did you become interested in studying Economics?
I have a long-standing interest in economic topics going back to a young kid. My grandfather owned his own business and kept abreast of macroeconomic topics. My father obtained his undergraduate degree in economics. Through my interactions with them I came to learn that economics was a means to learn why and how the world operates the way it does. For me, economics is a pursuit of understanding. 

Why did you choose to get an MA degree at DU?
As an investment professional, I wanted to complement my financial analysis training with a wider lens. After the start of the global financial crisis in 2008 I felt the need to revisit foundational theories and beliefs with an eye toward greater skepticism across economic philosophical precepts. DU's economic program and its focus on introducing heterodoxical approaches broadly provided more tools for analysis. Markets, whether financial or real goods, are complex environments with many factors to consider. Those factors should be contemplated from multiple viewpoints. 

What knowledge and skills that you picked up in our MA program have proven most valuable to your job?
The skill that I focused on in my graduate studies was a focus on assumptions in model construction. Professor Schneider was excellent at listing and discussing key assumptions to contemplate before deploying and utilizing a particular model. When assumptions are not given adequate consideration, their usefulness diminishes significantly. If you are going to take action based on results of model outputs you better spend the upfront time in reviewing the assumptions and setting for each model you utilize. 

What unique aspect of our program do you most appreciate now?
I truly appreciated how approachable and professional all the professors were throughout my time in the program. As a working professional during my graduate experience, I valued the ability to discuss the theoretical concepts and application based on my field of work. Whether it was with professors after class, in hallway discussions or during the thesis research process, all of the faculty were generous with time and perspectives. 

What was your favorite Class at DU? 
I enjoyed Advanced Microeconomics and Advanced Macroeconomics. These are the keystone courses in the program and both have provided numerous tools and takeaways I still draw on within my profession. My favorite activity from the program was the Thesis Research. This is the culmination of your coursework and the program. The ability to identify a topic, research thoroughly, receive guidance and criticism from your advisor, construct an argument and defend that in a review process was an excellent experience. In addition, the final product is a useful demonstration of your capabilities and promise. 

What advice would you give to someone considering getting an MA in Economics from DU?
I believe that economic analysis and understanding is a highly valuable activity to invest in. The range of application is substantial and it is an intellectually rewarding field. At DU, you are encouraged to be curious and thorough in your studies. If you approach the program with this mindset, you will succeed throughout the process