Infometrics welcomes Merzan Wadia to our team of economists. Merzan’s article “Fall, rise and decline: the story of New Zealand’s self-employment rate” appears in our March 2019 newsletter.
We chatted to Merzan about what a day in his life is like…
Bio – Merzan Wadia
Studied at: Victoria University of Wellington (Master of Professional Economics).
Resides in: Wellington
Jacqui Clarke: What awakened your interest in economics and started you on your career path?
Merzan Wadia: Growing up in India, my father discussed dramatic economic events with me, and I was made aware of the emergence of the Asian Tigers, the Asian Financial Crisis, the trade cycle (theory of boom and bust), economies experiencing good growth rate despite massive corruption, the Economic Apocalypse looming in the world and so on. This led to many unanswered questions as a teenager and set me on the path of studying economics.
Jacqui: What is your background and how has this influenced your work at Infometrics?
Merzan: I moved to New Zealand in 2010, to continue my post-graduate studies. My qualification includes BA (Econ), & Master’s in Professional Economics. Before joining Infometrics, I was a Tutor at Victoria University and was also employed by MBIE to work on the “Research, Science and Innovation System Performance Report 2018”.
My academic background and work experience paved the way for me to undertake challenging projects with open arms, think differently and deliver projects to the expected standards.
Jacqui: Can you describe a typical work day?
Merzan: The day usually begins around 6am with some light yoga and meditation. Followed by a cup of coffee and catching up on the news, from sports to politics.
I make my way to the office at around 9:00am. My first task of following up on emails, before moving on through my personal daily task board (I use “Monday” app) to prioritise the projects and plan the day accordingly. From there on, each day tends to be quite varied. Some days, I might in the office the entire day working on just one project, other times I might doing multiple things and move in and out of office frequently.
Jacqui: What are your ‘special interest areas’, economically speaking?
Merzan: Currently, I have quite a few interest areas ranging from economics and tourism, labour market analysis, to forecasting macro variables and the list goes on …
Jacqui: What are you working on now?
Merzan: I’m working on multiple projects that include data mapping, rural contracting reports, scenario analysis model and creating Power BI dashboards for wellbeing indicators and labour market framework.
Jacqui: What was the most interesting or challenging project you worked on?
Merzan: I would say… the “current phase”. It is challenging in the sense that most of these projects are quite diverse, posing different sets of challenges. They are Interesting in the sense that they challenge me to push my own boundaries, learn new skills and give me an opportunity to get better at what I do.
Jacqui: What is the nature of your work at Infometrics and how do clients benefit from what you do?
Merzan: I work on transforming economic models from Excel into R, and help the team with forecasting models in R. I also create data visualisation dashboards in Power Bi and work on consulting reports..
In a nutshell, the clients benefit as they are delivered exactly what they are after to make a well-informed decisions.
Jacqui: What do you enjoy doing when not at work?
Merzan: I enjoy having a nice, long sleep. In addition to that, I enjoy doing a range of activities when I am not at work. I like to keep myself occupied and develop new skills. I enjoy landscape photography, sporting activities, long drives, and most recently have taken up a PADI diving course.
Jacqui: What is an intriguing fact about you?
Merzan: I am an amateur landscape photographer and a trained barista.
Jacqui: Thank you Merzan, for taking the time to chat to us.
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