My SUE Story: Meet Director of Communications Maurice Cuny

What degree do you hope to graduate with? (what program are you in):

I am in the last year of my B.A. Economics degree, with a minor in Biology. I plan to graduate at the end of Winter 2016.

Where are you from originally?:

I grew up in Lloydminster, AB. It’s a pleasant town on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan. It takes about 6 hours to drive there from Calgary. Since my family and childhood friends are there, I often visit whenever I have a chance.

Why Economics?

In my first year, I took my first introductory Economics course and absolutely enjoyed it. Economics answered a lot of the questions that I often pondered. I wondered, “Why do we form governments? Why are there monopolies? What holds a company back from flooding a market with their products?” When I took an Intermediate Microeconomics summer course with Dr. Kent Fellows, I finally decided that I wanted to pursue a degree in Economics. I realized that talking about Economics always excited me. Economics is always in the news and is a common conversation topic, even among non-economists. I really wanted to be able to better interpret economic news and be able to add to economic discussions.

What is your position with SUE?:

I am a Director of Communications.

Describe your job with SUE (in as few words as possible):

I am responsible for reading, responding, and forwarding emails on behalf of SUE. Whenever a new member registers with SUE or anyone emails a question to SUE, I’m usually the first person to assist him or her. I am also responsible for maintaining our membership records. Lastly, I also volunteer on various projects as they arise.

How did you first get involved with SUE?:

I knew Will Bui (the current SUE president) from my Cost-Benefit Analysis class. One day, we had coffee and Will welcomed me to check out SUE. I attended my first SUE meeting and quickly felt drawn to the club. I was informed that extra help was needed specifically with the club’s email communications and gladly volunteered.

What is your favourite part of working with SUE?:

Although I can think of many great parts of the club, my favourite part is that the club connects students with professionals and professors in the field of Economics. I can understand how some students might feel shy to initiate and approach these individuals, especially when students are in their first year of study. Our Industry Gala and Professors Mixer have been great opportunities for students to meet professionals and professors in a fun and comfortable environment. I was happy to see how relationships were built at these events.

What is the most challenging thing you’ve learned while doing your job for SUE?:

I’ve learned that it’s important to view challenges as development and learning opportunities, rather than just objectives that need to be completed. The more challenging a task appears, the more likely it can become an opportunity for personal development.

What is a student resource you wish more students would know about/take advantage of on campus?:

If they have not, I would advise students to consider joining clubs. Through joining clubs, I feel that I have developed my interpersonal skills and feel that I am part of a community at the University of Calgary.

Favourite SUE event this year?:

I surely enjoyed SUE’s Industry Gala. It was a great chance for students to learn about the various applications of a degree in Economics. A lot of work was put into organizing this event for the first time. It was great to see that it was a success and I hope it will continue in the future.

What is the coolest trip you’ve ever taken?:

In my first year of university, I took a volunteer trip with another UofC club (Project90) to Haiti. We went there to design a technical school for young adults in a fairly remote region of the country. I was responsible for surveying the site and produce a topographical map. I like that we had a chance to work and interact with the local residents. That trip was impactful and memorable to me.

Greatest piece of advice for other students?:

Don’t be afraid to explore and be involved in the clubs on campus.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?:

As a hobby, I enjoy collecting coins. Coins are a great window into how a country perceived itself, whether it’s in historic times or distant places. Whenever I show a coin to someone, I like when I can share stories related to the coin. Sometimes, I have personal stories attached to a coin. At other times, I might have stories about historic events that occurred when the coin was minted.

Are you involved in other clubs?:

I was involved in Project90 and ORI-AID. Project90 is a club dedicated to applying design skills for non-government organizations in third world countries. ORI-AID is the UofC’s origami club and it aims to raise funds for various charities by selling origami on campus. I am a former president of ORI-AID. I have made many friends and great memories in both clubs; I recommend any interested students to check them out.

Favourite place to study?:

On campus, I enjoy studying wherever my friends are. That way, we can watch each others’ stuff whenever one of us needs to briefly leave. I enjoy the third floor of TFDL. As long as I find a comfortable location, I often enjoy the background noises on that floor.

Favourite place to eat on campus?:

Especially during the spring season and with friends, I like eating outside on the deck in MacHall between Tim Horton’s and A&W. I enjoy the fresh air and bright sunshine.

What is the best job you ever had?:

I had the pleasure to work as an economist summer intern at the Alberta Energy Regulator. I specifically worked in Energy Forecasting. I learned a lot of technical and professional skills. It was inspiring to see how my coworkers applied their economics knowledge to understand the Alberta energy industry.

Is there a song, book, or movie that changed your life? If so which one?:

I wouldn’t say that this book changed my life, but I often think about Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It was a book I read in high school English class. The book made me think about the importance of good leaders and how we come together as a society.

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