SUE March 7th Newsletter- A Harvard Lecture and an Interview Workshop

March 7, 2016

In this week’s newsletter we give a quick run down on Harvard professor Nathan Nunn's presentation "The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence from the Kuba Kingdom", and give you details on the "Accenture Career Development Workshop", a workshop designed to teach you how to interview successfully. 

Scroll down to read more about each topic. But first, a quick note on elections. Over the past week the SUE facebook page has featured various roles on the SUE executive team. Nomination packages will be available through facebook and our website on Friday. You can also check out more in depth profiles on current SUE executives to find out what it's like to be on the team on our website. Learn what it looks like working on the SUE team!

 

 

Do not forget about SUE's weekly Study Hall Sessions- a time and place where economics students can get together to study and learn together. Join us every Tuesday from 3:30-5:30 in SS403. 

 

You are also invited to come to our Student Mixer and SUE Elections Results Announcement on Thursday March 24th at 5:00pm in the Last Defence Lounge. More details to come. 

 

Accenture Career Development Workshop

 

At SUE we have been trying to find creative ways to prepare students for your transition into the job market. Even before you have graduated, it can be difficult knowing what it takes to get that summer job you've always wanted. Accenture is an organization that hosts career development workshops geared toward helping U of Calgary students' master effective communication during the recruiting process and beyond. They will be hosting a workshop on Wednesday March 16th at 5:00pm in the Administration Atrium. YOU MUST RSVP IN ORDER TO ATTEND. If you are interested, RSVP to Brandon.j.mather@accenture.com or madeline.r.swalm@accenture.com

The workshop will consist of three parts: 
         1) An introduction to Accenture and the work they do
         2) Breakout sessions to review good interview practices, develop behavioural question framework, and share key stories and insights into how to interview successfully.
         3) Debrief to share experiences and learnings from the breakout sessions

Space is limited so if you are interested get your name in before you miss your chance. Although this is not specifically a SUE event or even an Econ event only, this is an important opportunity for those of you who are unsure where to look for guidance on how to build some of the professional interviewing skills. These are skills that could mean the difference between getting your dream job or working another summer at that fast food chain (and who on earth would want that?). Even if you do not attend this specific event, knowing how to interview well is vital to a successful career. Always make sure that you go into an interview prepared. Practice being interviewed by an experienced friend or a professional you know in order to feel more comfortable. 

 

What Makes Successful Countries Successful?:
A quick review of Nathan Nunn's presentation at U of C

 

On friday afternoon the MacHall Ballroom was filled with eager students and professors ready to hear from Harvard professor and researcher Nathan Nunn on his attempt to answer part of the question 'what makes successful countries successful?'. Nathan Nunn, a completely Canadian educated economist, is shockingly young for a fully tenured Harvard professor. You can read the paper upon which his presentation was based here

He quickly proved that youth does not mean inexperience as he presented the findings from his behavioural economic research conducted in the Congo. His research was designed to find what impact well established institutions have on a society's average willingness to "do the right thing", particularly when no one is looking. His experiences getting different tribes, specifically those from the Kuba Kingdom to typical economic games such as the ultimatum game helped reveal average honesty levels among the tribes.

What made this experience so unique was the fact that these tribes have remained relatively unimpacted by western cultures, colonization, and institutions. This meant that these isolated cultures provide a unique environment where, from the same historical roots, the major difference between them is that one has well developed institutions including diplomacy, politics, meritocracy, courts, military, and police while the others do not.

What Nunn shared with us was the surprising finding that those from the Kuba Kingdom with well established institutions were far more likely to lie, cheat, and steal for financial gain within the games. Though it was hard to tell the exact implications this has for western cultures, Nunn concluded with the reminder that there is a tension between formal institutes and the cultural values established and maintained by the people. An explanation he offered is that parents within formal states feel less of a need to instill the values into their children. 

Though an interesting deviation into an entirely unique experiment in economic research, Nathan Nunn's presentation came nowhere close to answering the question of how institutions affect economic growth. His research raises many more questions regarding the complex relationship between institutions and growth and reveals the difficulty of determining what makes economies successful.

Overall, Nathan Nunn's presentation offered a unique opportunity for economics students to hear about how research can try and answer seemingly unsolvable questions. Hopefully he instilled a passion for some of you to try and help answer these questions which obviously take more research to even begin to understand. 

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