Backbone is the corporate magazine of Erasmus School of Economics Published three times a year, once in print and twice online, the magazine highlights successful and interesting alumni, covers the latest economics trends and faculty research, and reports on school news, events, and student, faculty, and alumni accomplishments.
Combining a study with research, a career and experience abroad
Meet our students
Dive in the world's most inspiring city
A short introduction to our groundbreaking research
Research in a nutshell
Five professors share their story with us
Meet your professor
Facts & Figures
Noted & Quoted
Meet alumna Sanne Blauw
Publication Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam Editors Ronald de Groot, Yrla van de Ven, Babette den Daas, Henk Goris, Aleksandra Stuip, Madeleine Kemna, Annemarieke Dumay-Roest, KrisKras context, content and design Concept, design and realization Kris Kras context, content and design Illustrations Carolyn Ridsdale Photography & Video Rotterdam Branding Toolkit, Kees Stuip Fotografie, Sophia van den Hoek, Marc Heeman, Daarzijn, Rien Bexkens, Koala Koncepts, Eric van Vuuren, Ka-Chun Lo, Willeke Machiels.
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Study & Research
Caroline Liqui Lung
Study & Exchange
Study & Career
'As part of the curriculum of the Erasmus School of Economics Bachelor Honours Class my partner Sebastian Snijders and I had to write a paper, in which we needed to apply the models we had been hearing and learning about in the last two years and perform a real research.
The first challenge with conducting such a research was finding the topic. Since we wanted to use our econometrics skills, and big data was a ‘large' topic of conversation, we soon started to think about Google. We discovered that plenty of research has been done around Google Trends, which showed potential for a research topic, but we were also not sure if we could find our own niche. Together with the advice of our supervisor Philip Hans Franses, Dean of Erasmus School of Economics, we came to writing our paper ‘The Power of Google search data: an alternative approach to the measurement of unemployment in Brazil’.
Finding our topic was followed with long reads of previous research in the field, struggles in the data collection process and especially many hours in the computer lab. After submitting and presenting our paper in the Bachelor Honours Class, we got the opportunity to send in our paper to the national Student Research Conference of 2017 in Nijmegen. Were invited to give an entire workshop about our research and when we presented it, we were put into the top three of our category. This qualified us for the public award, which we won. A key lesson that I learned out of this success, is to never hold back on grabbing opportunities when they come your way.
I also experienced that there are always more new and exciting ways of developing yourself on a range of different levels. What gives the Bachelor Honours Class its charm is that it is up to the students to choose their own lecture cycle themes, form co-creation groups to organise events, plan trips and organize company and government visits. This means that every year is different and a student can take as much out of it as he or she wants by investing the right amount of effort.
After my third year of the BSc2 programme (double bachelor in Economics and Econometrics), I will take part in the Netherlands Asia Honours Summer School programme, together with 99 university students from all over the Netherlands. Currently I am already in the middle of a business case project for Huawei, which I will finish this summer with 7 other students. From July on I will study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for five weeks and afterwards I will go on a cultural and business trip in Shanghai. After this long but likely very rewarding summer, I will start my minor at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.
My advice to students that want to write a successful paper or thesis would be: Do. Not. Hesitate. Many students think about research as an overwhelming mountain and are scared to even begin with it until time forces them to. But it is a process that needs to be approached step by step, which you will only begin to enjoy once you are in the middle of it. To conduct a topic, think about something you like, or particularly dislike, you don’t understand or have always wanted to know more about, and think of a question around it that needs answering. After that make a plan of action, write stuff down, talk to experts, collect sample data and think about methods to solve your hypothesis. Make mistakes or get stuck, then you will really start to think about the core of the problem. Dare to try, and it will be very rewarding.'
Fernando Manuel Lasso Pena
Study & Research
'After finishing my bachelor and master of Econometrics at Erasmus School of Economics, I was ready for a new experience. Therefore I chose to do a research master abroad at Paris School of Economics. I figured that this would allow me to do something new, expand my horizon, meet new people and learn about other cultures all at the same time. I also wanted to challenge myself by getting used to a new environment, a new way of teaching and new professors.
Paris School of Economics was an attractive choice for me mainly because of the type of Master they offered. When I finished my Master in Econometrics, I wanted to continue with a PhD but I did not want to continue with Econometrics per se. I decided that I wanted to do a research master first. Paris School of Economics offered the option to start in the second year, which meant that I wouldn’t have to repeat anything from my master.
The second year consisted of 11 subjects that I could choose freely in almost every single area of research that exists in economics. This allowed me to explore all the possibilities the field of economics has to offer and discover what interests me the most. Since Paris School of Economics is also considered a good university with very famous economists, the choice was easy to make. In order to complete my application for the research master and the grants to study in Paris, I got a lot of help from my professors at the Erasmus School of Economics. I am very grateful for all their advice and willingness to write recommendation letters.
When I started my research master I had quite a difficult time at first, since starting in the second year means that everyone else already knows each other. Moreover, the majority of students were French and I barely spoke French on arrival. But thanks to the fact that the school is quite small and personal, I got to know the other ‘foreigners’ quite fast. The master also helped me a lot in finding my way in economics. I ended up specializing in Behavioral Economics, a field I had never heard of before I came to Paris.
A different approach
Since I am studying something completely different in Paris than I did in Rotterdam, it is difficult to compare both schools with each other. One of the major differences between them is the organization. At Erasmus School of Economics everything is organized into perfection, which means that you know at the beginning of the year when and where your classes and exams are. In Paris everything changes during the year, professors plan exams three or four days in advance and the school runs a lot of improvisation. It was difficult in the beginning, but I now realize it has its charm as well.
Studying at Erasmus School of Economics gave me an excellent background for what I am doing now. In Rotterdam I got taught the basics very thoroughly which provides me the ability to learn new things very quickly. More advanced subjects were also covered in Rotterdam, which allowed me to stand out from my fellow students in Paris relatively easy.
During my time in Rotterdam I acquired the skills and insights I need to pursue an academic career and I would definitely recommend Erasmus School of Economics for anyone with the same ambitions.'
Caroline Liqui Lung
Study & Exchange
‘Explore the possibilities
the field of economics
has to offer'
'During the last year of the Double Degree BSc2 Economics/Econometrics programme at Erasmus School of Economics I realized that I might want to do something different before continuing with a master. Within this gap year I wanted to work at an international public organization, because I am very enthusiastic about different languages and cultures and I have always been quite idealistic, which means I wanted to add value to society through a public institution.
The idea to work at the World Bank in particular was formed during a study trip to India, organized by the Economics Faculty association Rotterdam (EFR) in 2015, where we visited the World Bank in New Delhi. When I finished both studies in July 2016, I started working as a consultant for the World Bank in Washington D.C.
As a consultant I have been working on several projects ranging from macro-economics to finance and markets, but also environmental economics. It depends on the projects whether I do individual research, with which I am contributing to internal and external World Bank reports, or whether I work in a team on more current policy-related issues.
With my last team project, in finance and markets, we assessed the impacts of G20 financial regulatory reforms on developing countries, which are not required to impose the same financial standards but which might be affected through reform spillovers. Therefore we conducted a survey with central banks, supervisory agencies, global and local banks in developing countries all around the world and we presented our findings at a roundtable event with finance ministers and central bank governors at the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings in April 2017. Currently we are summarizing all of our analyses, to present them in a publicly available policy paper.
Working in Washington D.C. as a young person is a great experience, because the city is full of young professionals from all over the world who are eager to learn from each other and to build their careers. The city also offers a very nice life style, which means that weekends are generally off and working hours are not too long into night such that there is sufficient balance between work and life. In addition, the concentration of political power in the city ensures many interesting events at which you can meet very fascinating people. Compared to Rotterdam, I found that the city is much less inclusive and was quite shocked by the big gaps between rich and poor. I also noticed that things like excellent public transportation throughout the country and an awesome biking infrastructure are easily taken for granted after living in the Netherlands for a while.
The quantitative background I built during my studies at Erasmus School of Economics was certainly helpful, both to get into the World Bank as well as to perform interesting tasks. Being able to meet tight deadlines was certainly something I learnt at Erasmus School of Economics as well. Besides the skills I gained during my studies, I also benefited a lot form the international environment in Rotterdam and at the Erasmus School of Economics, which was a great preparation for an international organization such as the World Bank.
Overall, my education at Erasmus School of Economics has been very helpful and I never had the impression that I was lacking on something. I think it is really important for students that want to work at an organization such as the World Bank, to realize that they will be able to add excellent value to an organization and don’t lag behind other students who might have studied at some “more prestigious” university. However, networks and contacts also play a large role and therefore I can only encourage everyone interested to be proactive and to write to employees at the World Bank, asking them if there are internship or consultancy opportunities. Excellent English skills (and ideally also Spanish, French, or Portuguese) and a strong quantitative background are also skills that will contribute to obtaining such opportunities. Programming skills, econometrics, statistics and economics are always welcome.'
Study & Career