Sharing experience of studying Quantitative Economics: foreign lecturers, valuable internship and career opportunities
An international level education – this is what motivated Agnė Marcinkevičiūtė to try out the bachelor study programme in Quantitative Economics provided by Vilnius University (VU) and supervised by the Bank of Lithuania. The decision turned out to be the right one – she used valuable knowledge and experience gained during studies to pursue a successful career and further academic excellence. And the future might even turn her career path to becoming a university lecturer.
“The Quantitative Economics study programme is unique because it closely links the fields of economics, finance, econometrics and data science. They are necessary to acquire economic logic and the ability of data-based reasoning. It is also taught by researchers and professors with international experience, so it is a way to get an international level education in Lithuania,” Agnė, who has already received her diploma, points out the advantages of the study programme.
However, choosing where to study was not easy, she recalls, as there were not many study programmes to suit her needs. After a long search for a place to study, and already having options both in Lithuania and abroad, she noticed an online presentation of Quantitative Economics studies.
Having listed Quantitative Economics as her first choice, she was soon greeted with the good news that she had been invited for a motivational interview. She prepared for the interview by reading about the situation of European and global markets and significant economic events; however, this interview was more like a discussion, giving space for reasoning and insights, and testing the ability to think logically rather than the wealth of knowledge.
“This experience was extremely useful. During the motivational interview, I learnt more about my studies, the tasks revealed the nature of studies, and I got a better overall picture,” says Agnė.
Lectures by foreign lecturers
Having received the invitation to study and attended her first lectures, she was soon certain that she had made the right choice – she had found a study programme of a high international standard. And once she was a student, she discovered her field of study, i.e. finance. Agnė was most interested in the lectures on financial application, international finance and experimental economics. These subjects helped her to better understand the workings of economic crises, the subtleties of the financial market and the financial instruments.
“This three-year programme, modelled according to prestigious global universities, has become an opportunity to acquire an international level education in Lithuania. Many of the lecturers are professionals and researchers graduated from foreign universities, who presented the latest economic trends, always added a lot of new information, presented the study material in an interesting way and supplemented it with real research results. We also had guest lecturers from Europe, so naturally the studies are in English,” says Agnė.
As the Quantitative Economics study programme is supervised by the Bank of Lithuania, students have the opportunity to analyse and model data, interpret the results, formulate hypotheses, test them in a real-life environment, and look for valid answers. In addition, students of this study programme can apply for a scholarship from the Bank of Lithuania.
Becoming part of a successful career
During her studies, Agnė did an internship and then got a job at the Nasdaq Vilnius Stock Exchange, one of the social partners of the Quantitative Economics study programme. During the internship, the knowledge of the principles of operation of the stock exchange and the types of financial instruments were of great help, and the knowledge of economics and financial markets acquired during the studies and deepened during the internship contributed to achieving the position of a Senior Securities Operations Analyst. Her successful career progression led her to work as an Investment Analyst at Intrum, a credit management company, where she benefited from her knowledge of data science.
“My job involves forecasting the expected returns of investment portfolios. I analyse financial data using the R programming language I learned during my studies in Quantitative Economics. I intend to continue my career as a Risk Analysis and Management Expert at the national development institution UAB Investicijų ir verslo garantijos (INVEGA). This position also requires the knowledge of finance and data science acquired during my bachelor studies,” says Agnė.
The fact that the knowledge acquired during the bachelor studies helped to enrol in VU master degree studies in Financial and Actuarial Mathematics last year also proves that the choice to study the Quantitative Economics study programme was the right one.
“I wanted to deepen and broaden my knowledge of finance, and the master studies give me additional knowledge specifically in the actuarial field. The fundamentals of exact sciences are particularly important in these studies, so the statistics, econometrics, mathematics and other disciplines I have learned have helped me to resume my studies smoothly in the master study programme. I plan to continue to develop as a professional and an academic, and I would like to share my knowledge in the future. I believe that it is up to us, university graduates, to ensure the further growth of our country’s economic science,” says Agnė.
Read more about the bachelor study programme in Quantitative Economics supervised by the Bank of Lithuania here.