Student Testimonials

Douglas Spafford

Class of 2018, BAH Economics and Politics

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It was a somewhat difficult decision for me to decide to leave the well-paying jobs of the oilfield in order to get a university degree, but after experiencing Acadia in my first year, I have never looked backed. Coming from rural Alberta, I was very hesitant to enroll in a large University or even to move to a large city to pursue my educational aspirations. Finding Acadia, with its small class sizes and personable experiences, nestled into small town Nova Scotia in what has to be one of the most beautiful regions in this province was therefore the perfect fit.

I decided from day 1 that I wanted to pursue a double major degree in Politics and Economics, but I had always felt Politics was the more dominant interest for me. This changed around second year, as I began to explore the logic and practicality of economic theory, as well as develop real friendships with the professors in the Economics department, who above all else, just want to see us students succeed. Because of the time and effort these people put into challenging me to really think about my future and what I was passionate about, I found the motivation required to turn my aspirations for a double major into a double honours degree. This was challenging at times, and there were weeks when I was overwhelmed, procrastinating and experiencing mood swings but the professors in the Economics department were always there to hear and experience some of these research-related issues with me and keep feeding me the support and encouragement I needed to finish. I know for sure that I could not have done a double honours if I was working at a different school or with a different department.

Studying Economics at Acadia has also afforded me with extra-curricular opportunities, which have given me valuable leadership and organizational experience. I was elected president of the Acadia Economics Society in my 4th year, which not only gave me further opportunity to work closely with the department, but also to help develop additional supports for Economics majors both inside the classroom and out. Due to our fund-raising activities this previous year, we were fortunate enough to be able to send four potential honours students to the Canadian Economics Association Annual Conference, in order for these students to hear and see a variety of Economics researchers discussing and debating important topics among peers in their respective fields. Last year, Acadia, out of all other schools, sent the largest complement of undergraduate students to the conference, so I know for certain that this opportunity is another example of the Acadia Economics advantage.

The Economics department was also instrumental in my application for grad school and funding. I am fortunate enough to have received a place in the Master of Arts in Economics program at Dalhousie next year and have also been awarded the SSHRC scholarship to assist with my research efforts. The professors assisted me with both of these applications and wrote me references that played a huge role in my receipt of these opportunities.

I could not begin to thank Acadia Economics enough for the time and effort they have invested in ensuring that I have had numerous opportunities to succeed. I hope what I have written here today encourages other potential students to pursue an undergraduate degree in Acadia Economics. I am fully convinced that working with this department is where you will find the greatest return on your investment.