Meet Our Students
Hometown: Tampa, Fla.
Robyn Kibler always knew she wanted to get her master’s degree. She also knew that the University of South Florida was the perfect school for her to hone her skills. Kibler previously received her undergraduate degree in economics from USF, and it was her experience as an undergraduate that led her to pursue an advanced degree in economics.
Kibler said she has been and continues to be impressed with the whole educational experience at USF.
“The professors in this department are excellent instructors, and I think that played a significant role in strengthening my interest and abilities in economics," Kibler said. “The more classes that I completed, the more that I realized earning an M.A. in economics at USF was the right choice for me.”
With one more semester left before she graduates, Kibler feels that her master’s education has adequately prepared her for her future in economics.
“I feel well prepared to apply to economic related Ph.D. programs in the future,” Kibler said. “I’ll also probably be applying to some policy related fields where I can use my economics and analytical abilities to help make decisions.”
USF provided funding for Kibler to attend graduate school. Kibler said USF has funding opportunities for master's students, and she was excited to receive funding.
Being a part of the master’s program in economics allows Kibler to share words of wisdom for future students.
“I would recommend to students who have an interest in pursuing a master’s degree in economics that they have a solid quantitative background, but not to forget the concepts that they learned in principles courses because both of these are essential to success in the program," she said. “You definitely need to have that economic intuition.”
Hometown: Sofia, Bulgaria
Boris Nikolaev has come a long way with his studies of economics - literally.
Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, the fourth-year Ph.D. student is currently working on his dissertation. It was nearly five years ago that Nikolaev made the decision to study at the University of South Florida.
"I am not sure if I chose USF, or USF chose me," he said. "It was one of those decisions in life that you make and think about it later. Five years later, I have no regrets about my choice, not in the least. USF has been an amazing place to be."
It was when Nikolaev was an undergraduate that he became fascinated with economics. The idea that the fundamental problems of economics are really philosophical ones, is what interested Nikolaev.
"This is what makes it so interesting to me, because [economics] is full of controversial questions that don't have an easy answer, and a lot of times the economic solutions are purely ideological," he said.
Nikolaev talks highly of the Economics Department at USF. The Department has many funding opportunities from first-year fellowships, to graduate teaching and researching assistantships.
"The department is also dedicated to building a strong program, and recognizes that graduate students are an important asset for it," he said.
Once Nikolaev graduates, he wants to pursue and academic career. He also has advice for students who are interested in the field of economics.
"My advice to prospective economic students is not to be discouraged by all the jargon and mathematics that economic textbooks are often filled with," he said. "The contemporary approach to teaching economics is rather quantitative, so students should be prepared to face a lot of mathematical challenges. But economics is about much more."