A day in the life of an Economist – Joel Glynn
Joel Glynn has recently joined the Infometrics Team. In a few short months Joel has written a number of news releases and co-hosted our popular monthly webinars, so this month we sit down to chat with Joel to find out more about him and what he’s working on at Infometrics.
Don’t miss Joel’s article on the boom in solar farms in this month’s Infometrics newsletter.
Bio - Joel Glynn
Studied at: Victoria University of Wellington
Resides in: Wellington
Jacqui: Can you describe a typical day at work?
Joel: Most of my work is in the Infometrics forecasting team and involves keeping clients updated with the newest information through news releases or more detailed reports. I also work on our subscription products, so that might involve writing a summary for the Quarterly Economic Montior (QEM) or researching major infrastructure projects for the Infrastructure Pipeline Profile (IPP). From time to time I’ll contribute to a consulting project as well.
Jacqui: What are you currently working on?
Joel: My work typically involves writing news releases and regular reports, such as updating our clients on the latest real estate figures. We’ve just updated the IPP, so there were a few loose ends to tidy up after everything was uploaded. I’m also preparing to take over some work for the transport forecasts next quarter. I have a project on the backburner at the moment, which involves re-estimating our quarterly GDP forecast model.
Jacqui: What has been your most rewarding work experience?
Joel: I like learning new skills and plugging away at challenging things, so the re-estimation model has been really rewarding. My studies barely scratched the surface of econometrics, and that’s something I would have done differently in hindsight, but the project has given me a chance to try out the basics of econometric modelling and re-introduce some statistics. It’s also helped me get started in R, though I’m still very much a novice. Going from completely clueless to understanding the basics of econometrics and R has been very rewarding.
Jacqui: What has been your most challenging work experience?
Joel: The most challenging work experience so far has been understanding the details of the transport sector. It isn’t typically a topic that gets much focus at university, instead we talked about things like the labour market, finance sector, or government spending. Transport is an interesting industry that plays an important role in the macroeconomy, so I’m excited to learn. The team has been helpful at showing me the ins-and-outs of the sector, so I’m confident I’ll pick it up quickly.
Jacqui: What is your background and how has this influenced your work at Infometrics?
Joel: During my legal studies, I noticed that some very intelligent students would struggle whenever statistics or economic concepts were involved in a legal subject, such as the Baumol-Willig rule in New Zealand’s competition law. I realised that communicating numbers and economic theory effectively is a skill, and one that I think is important.
While studying, I worked a part-time job in sales, and my manager there always said “Perception is reality”. If I can’t communicate facts to people in a way that they’ll understand, the facts don’t matter. I realised that turning numbers into a true, meaningful, and relatable story is what I wanted to do. I feel that I’ve already made big improvements in my time at Infometrics, but I know there’s a lot of work left to be done.
Jacqui: What do you do when not at work?
Joel: I like spending time with friends and family. We often find ourselves playing board games, drinking coffee, or heading out for a nice meal. My family all attended my graduation in May, and it made for a special day.
I play football for VUWAFC, so I attend trainings and stay fit in the gym during the week and play in games at the weekend. I also spend time watching football. I got up early on the last Sunday of May to watch the Champions League final with my teammates and I’m really looking forward to the World Cup kicking off in November.
I like reading books. I used to read a lot, but the number of assigned readings I had to complete while studying meant I never really felt like reading in the evening. Since finishing up at university, I’ve jumped back in. I enjoy both non-fiction and fiction books, currently I’m reading Asimov’s Foundation.
Jacqui: What is an intriguing fact about you?
Joel: I moved to New Plymouth from North Yorkshire in 2008 at age 9. I’m 23 now so I’ve been here for over 14 years, but often people are surprised to find out that I’m not a citizen. I’m eligible to apply for citizenship, and have been for quite a few years, but I’ve just never got around to doing it – maybe next year.
Jacqui: Thank you for chatting to us Joel. We look forward to hearing more about your work in the future.