University of Calgary

One Economics PhD’s journey from classroom to multiple job offers

UToday HomeMay 9, 2013

By Trisha Kingcott

After applying for more than 100 positions, Jevan Cherniwchan says he interviewed with nearly 30 institutions in just a few daysAfter applying for more than 100 positions, Jevan Cherniwchan says he interviewed with nearly 30 institutions in just a few days at economics conferences in December and January. Photo by S. Riegel Jevan Cherniwchan is getting ready to start a new job. One of six economics PhDs on the job market this year from the University of Calgary, Cherniwchan is happy to be finished with interviews.

He will soon begin his career as an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing, Business Economics, and Law at the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta.

He’s most looking forward to the research environment. “The economists in the business school almost all do environmental economics or international economics, both things I’m interested in,” he says. “I think it will be a really stimulating place to work.”

Cherniwchan applied to over 100 positions last fall, “mostly online, thankfully,” he says. He then attended the annual economics conferences in December and January for initial 30-minute interviews.

He interviewed with nearly 30 institutions in just a few days, sharing his key research and answering questions. The hardest part was staying positive throughout.

“You’re thinking really hard for hours, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an interview every hour for half an hour,” he says. “It’s physically and mentally draining.”

“Ultimately, it’s stressful, but you’re doing it anyways so you have to have fun,” Cherniwchan says. “The fun thing about it is you have a whole bunch of people interested in listening to you talk about your work. You don’t have such a focused audience ever again, at least not on the same scale.”

He received invitations for campus visits from University of Miami, University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, Berkeley, University of Mannheim, University of Maryland, University of Alberta, and Wilfred Laurier.

Typically institutions have a number of candidates come through before they make an offer. The University of Alberta made Cherniwchan an offer the day after his interview. When the University of Mannheim made him an offer as well, the U of A quickly countered.

That an institution would fight for him is a pat on the back for Cherniwchan, but he credits the University of Calgary economics department, saying the instruction and support for students is exceptional.

“Calgary’s PhD program in economics is still pretty young,” Cherniwchan says, “but it is starting to gain a really good reputation. It’s on an upward trajectory.”


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