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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Economics

Current Students

MA Graduate Degree

Alumni Profiles

Lekan Ayanbule  

Year Graduated: 2004

Thesis:  A Minskian Appraisal of the Japanese Financial System

Current Employer: Executive Director in the Model Risk Development group at JP Morgan NY.

How did you become interested in studying Economics?
It was the subject I enjoyed the most in high school, and I was really good at it. It just made sense to me. 

Why did you choose to get an MA degree at DU?
I graduated undergrad in 2001, during a mild recession in the US. Jobs were not plentiful then, so enrolling in a graduate program really made more sense. I wanted to study macroeconomics under Dr. Mott, and DU offered me a scholarship which made the program more attractive. 

What knowledge and skills that you picked up in our MA program have proven most valuable to your job?
Two key skills: (1) the ability to think critically and express one’s thought clearly, and (2) getting to the crux of complex topics and knowing how to separate details from the underlying problem. 

What did you enjoy most about the program at DU?
The macro courses are balanced; you learn classical, neoclassical and unorthodox theories. And the small classes sizes allowed professors to give each student full attention in and out of the classroom.

What unique aspect of our program do you most appreciate now?
My exposure to unorthodox theories has been invaluable personally and professionally. These theories, which I learned over a decade ago, are now being embraced by the mainstream since they did much better predicting and explaining the 2008/9 crises than mainstream theories. You will now see hedge fund managers today applying “Minskian” principles in their trading strategies.

What was your favorite Class at DU? 
Advanced Macroeconomic Theory.

What advice would you give to someone considering getting an MA in Economics from DU?
It is a good program for macroeconomic theory. Read all the reading assignments from Dr. Mott and take papers seriously. You will leave the program knowing enough about many different macroeconomic theories. If you’re interested in econometrics or statistics, you may need to supplement the econometric courses with additional statistics courses at DCB (e.g., time-series analysis, multivariate data analysis, etc.) which I found to be very good.