As the curtain draws on my internship at BII+E, I look back at many of the things I learned, accomplished, and enjoyed over the past 4 months.
As a PhD student in Economics, I had a strong interest in exploring and working on innovation, technology, and topics on labour economics. When I was offered the internship, I was determined to use this opportunity to expand my horizons, acquire a deeper level of knowledge in my areas of interest, and have fun.
Between hours spent editing and learning “datatable” and “ggplot” R codes, writing (what I thought were cool) blog post titles that Nina Dow (Comms + Marketing Specialist) would not approve, and asking questions that my mentor, Viet Vu (Manager of Economic Research), would answer with even more questions that would send me exploring further and further into the literature, I believe I managed to achieve all my goals for the summer.
At BII+E, I worked in a supportive, innovative, and encouraging environment. I had all the knowledge and tools I needed to be able to write and publish research. I also found unwavering support from Michelle Park (Manager of Strategic Initiatives), who helped me a lot throughout the onboarding and beyond.
During these 4 months, I conducted research on movements in the digital economy and the effects on labour demand across jobs in Canada. I participated in weekly editorial content meetings and wrote a blog post on AI and patent laws. I was able to improve my programming skills after learning several new powerful R packages. I also learned how to create visually appealing data representations. During my down time, I broadened my background knowledge by completing readings on innovation, digital technology, labor economics, and more.
One of the highlights of the summer was being able to work at a Research Data Centre (RDC). There, I gained insights on the process of requesting data, vetting output, and starting a new project at the RDC, which I believe will be essential throughout the upcoming years of my PhD studies. While I was a bit disappointed that the RDC looks more like a regular office than what I imagined would be a set from one of “The Matrix” films, I certainly learned the importance of data and privacy rules. The analyst at the RDC would offer a lot of insights and support whenever needed, and works to ensure that vetting is done correctly and for the purpose stipulated in the project request.