Internship - Master's programme in Quantitative Economics
Is an internship mandatory? What kind of internships is it possible to get?
Internship is an integral part of the studies at the MA Quantitative Economics programme. There is a compulsory internship, but several students have taken also additional internships on top of the compulsory one, either during studies, but sometimes even after graduation.
The aim of the practical training is to gain economic research experience by applying the theoretical knowledge obtained during the coursework to the empirical or theoretical study of a specific economic problem. The internship may comprise very different kinds of activities: economic analysis in central bank research department, work in a data analytics company, work in a ministry or other public sector organization, helping to establish a start-up company. In the practical training, some linkage with quantitative analysis and economics is expected, i.e. we do not expect academic economic research in narrow sense, but internship may include e.g. 1) writing applied reports; 2) collecting information; 3) making data accessible for research; 4) statistical data analysis; 5) collecting literature and writing literature reviews.
When do students generally do their internship?
Most of the master students have taken internship in the summer month after the 1st year of the studies. It is logical to apply for internship after the basic skills in economic theory and econometric analysis have been acquired in the courses of the 1st year of the master studies. Yet, we encourage the students to take internship also outside of the summer months, e.g. in the Fall or Winter of the 2nd year of the master’s studies. A few students have been offered a permanent position at the end of the internship.
How do students find internships? Does the university help with that?
Yes, the University of Tartu helps the students to find internship. In particular, we have provided to the students list of possible places (companies and other organisations) for practical training in Estonia and the other Baltic States – see the file over here. There has been created also the internship mediation webpage FUTULAB. However, students have to apply to the internship themselves. The internship can be taken in any country given that it matches the profile of the study curriculum. When taking internship abroad, one can apply for funding from the Erasmus+ programme. University of Tartu has offered some internship opportunities also itself, either as part of the work for some research projects of the School of Economics and Business Administration, or at the University of Tartu Centre for Applied Social Sciences.
Examples of companies where students have done their internships during the last few years:
- Central banks: Eesti Pank (central bank of Estonia), Center for Excellence in Finance and Economic Research (CEFER), established by the Bank of Lithuania and Vilnius University
- Think-tanks: CENTAR (Estonia), PRAXIS (Estonia), BICEPS (Latvia), PMCG (Georgia), CASS (Estonia)
- Financial institutions – Swedbank (Estonia), Bigbank (Estonia), Redgate capital (Estonia), Friendly Finance Group (Estonia), Scorewise (Estonia), Dataminer (Estonia), LHV Bank (Estonia)
- Public sector institutions – Estonian Unemployment Insurance Foundation, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Foresight Centre of the Riigikogu (parliament of Estonia), Estonian Development Fund, Enterprise Estonia (Estonia)
- Universities: University of Tartu (Estonia), CERGE-EI (Czech Republic)
"I took on a three-month internship role at the Center for Excellence in Finance and Economic Research (CEFER), Bank of Lithuania. Besides providing an opportunity to hone my skills in data analysis and research under the supervision of Swapnil Singh, a principal Economist at the prestigious bank, it also created a platform through which I integrated myself with people from diverse cultures. At the end of the internship, my ability to independently take on projects and deliver desired results was greatly enhanced thereby equipping me for future work in my field of study."
Pearl Etie, 2nd year student as of 2020
"Being a student of Quantitative Economics provided many internship opportunities. I chose the internship that I want to explore the career path, and it helped me gain crucial work experience. Also, the chances QE creates enabled me to apply what I learned from classes."
Berk Ekan, alumnus of Quantitative Economics