Catching up with UConn MSQE Alumnus Alex Gu and the NABE

Alex Gu picture

Launched in June 2020, the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) Scholars program expands on current NABE Foundation scholarship programs by providing scholarships to NABE conferences specifically to minority students and early-career economists to attend NABE conferences and events.

In its inaugural year, UConn’s Alex Gu was one of 20 selected scholars.

Alex recently graduated from UConn, earning his Master of Science in Quantitative Economics (MSQE) in December of 2021. We recently spoke with Alex to hear his reflections on the benefits of the program, his experience with the NABE conferences, and his advice for current (and potential) students.

We asked him: Why did you choose UConn?

“In high school, two of my most influential teachers were UConn Alumni. They encouraged me to check out UConn’s programs, and I knew I wanted to attend somewhere on the East Coast (having lived in Texas, California and China). I attended first as an undergrad, then decided to continue with MSQE program.”

Alex feels the MSQE program prepared him well, equipping him with tangible skills that he will be using regularly: Practice in coding with Python, R, and Stata; working with machine learning models; prediction models; and convex optimization. He credits Professor Oskar Harmon’s Writing and Communication for Economics and Business class, as well as UConn’s Career Center, for preparing him for the dozens of interviews he has been going on as he enters the job market. The MSQE program prepared me well for the technical questions, and the Career Center helped prepare me for the behavioral questions.”

Through the NABE Scholarship program, Alex was able to attend conferences in Washington D.C. that allowed him attend discussions with representatives from top companies on pressing current issues such as the supply chain, and the future of transportation. He enjoyed the opportunity to meet in-person, and make connections with leaders in the industry. “I realize how important networking is, as well as the importance of constant learning.”

Alex encourages current and potential students to use the resources UConn provides and to never stop practicing to keep your skills sharp. He intends to take the CBE exam in the coming months, and looks forward to taking the next steps in his career.

Check out these scholarship opportunities and more by visiting the NABE website here, and thank you Alex Gu for your enthusiasm and insight.

The 2022 NABE Scholar application process will open in late March/early April – stay tuned for details!

UConn students who are awarded a scholarship to attend a NABE event can apply to the MSQE Scholarship Program (contact Lisa Foss for details) to partially offset travel and lodging costs.

MSQE Alumni Panel on April 29, 2021

MSQE Program alumni Claudia Rodriguez (MSQE December 2019) and Jonathan Gonzalez (MSQE December 2019) participated in a virtual MSQE Alumni Networking Panel on April 29th.

Claudia currently works at Moody’s Investor Service, as a Structured Finance Associate Analyst, where she works on the Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities team, and the Collateralized Loan Obligations team.

Jonathan currently works for a Connecticut Non-Profit advocacy group.  He is currently providing data analytics research support for advocacy of Connecticut Senate Bill 842 An Act Concerning Health Insurance and Health Care in Connecticut.

They spoke highly of their MSQE training in Python, and R, the value of networking and recommended applying for summer internships.  In conversation about deadlines, it was mentioned that in industry meeting deadlines is crucial, not like class deadlines where professors’ give extensions.

The panel was moderated by Professor Harmon.