Ameline Yow studied Economics at Otago. This might not look like a science degree, but Economics is now available as a Science major at Otago. This is her story...
“I wanted a university that’s outside the main cities (i.e Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington) and I also wanted to experience a campus lifestyle; Otago ticked all my boxes. I must admit that the lower living costs of Dunedin and cheaper fees also played a part in my decision!
“I had done Economics during my A Levels and it was something I wanted to pursue at university. So naturally, I looked up the Economics department and the rest as they say is history.
“What I particularly liked about Economics was discovering the real world applications! Economics is and can be used to explain a heap of things and by having a greater understanding of those concepts, I think one can truly have a better understanding of what is going on in the world today.
“In my 4th year I completed a dissertation on labour economics. More specifically, I looked at the mobility patterns of doctors in New Zealand. I examined the practice locations and mobility patterns of New Zealand-trained doctors and compared them to internationally-trained doctors.
“My background in Economics is really relevant to what I do now...
I’m a carbon analyst with a forestry company called IFS Growth. I work in a specialist carbon team that provides advice on carbon forestry that is related to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS). The NZETS is part of the government’s climate change initiative to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. It puts a price on emissions and polluters are penalised by having to surrender carbon credits or New Zealand Units (NZUs). Forest owners on the other hand, are rewarded with NZUs as the trees they grow absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is where I come in; I help forest owners claim those NZUs from the government. Once they have those NZUs, they are then able to sell them on the carbon market.
“I think Economics is good because it’s BROAD. With any course you have to start with the fundamentals, and then the cool and interesting stuff happens later on when you start applying them to real life situations and scenarios. So don’t be too put off at the start; stick around and you’ll enjoy it!”