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               The brown door on the right side wall going to the computer lab beholds a secret so magnificent, so powerful that we just had to make an article about it. So what is the secret? There is IDEA behind it, or more specifically, Institute for Development and Econometric Analysis. But there is more to it than just a label, and with the help of an interview with a research assistant (RA), Arjay Bautista, and a student assistant (SA), Maan Espinosa, we will soon discover what it is.

                First question that comes to mind is, “What does IDEA do?” Well, Kuya Arjay has an answer to just that. IDEA is an “economics think-tank that specializes on market and macroeconomic research”. Not only that, they also publish a series of publications; on the side they do meetings by their esteemed members such as Prof. Paderanga. When that is not enough, we ask what it is like to work for IDEA. Not only is IDEA a small company, but it also has a small office which means the workers here are very close. You can tell by the way they tease each other, laugh at their jokes and simply entering the light yet serious atmosphere at their office. But fun doesn’t always mean relax because RAs and SAs have clients to please and deadlines to meet. Data doesn’t come from trees, you know.

However, the [benefits may outweigh the demands] of working in IDEA. For one, it “exposes you to different kinds of information and data”. Doing research gives you a different perspective on things you take for granted before. It is also good “training for graduate school studies”. As for us students, we could get to apply the theories, terms and lessons from our econ classes. The knowledge could go beyond notebooks and the classroom; in fact, being an SA helps with academics more than it interferes! And of course, we could learn to manage our time better.

Although Mr. Bautista, and perhaps the rest of the RAs, confesses that being an RA isn’t the most rewarding job financially and that there is “temptation to look for greener pastures”, working for IDEA still has perks over working for a big company such as having better opportunities to balance work with other things you want to do. As for Maan, even though her workload as a student is heavier because of IDEA, she would not have realized her future career path or learn something new about herself if she was not an IDEA SA in the first place.

In a span of 28 minutes, questions have been answered, curiosities have been satisfied and new knowledge has been acquired. If the readers are interested in joining Arjay and Maan in IDEA, just go to the door going to the Computer Lab and make sure you satisfy these requirements:

For an SA:
·         minimum 1.75 GWA
·         at least Junior standing
·         proficient in writing
·         background in economic theory and dynamics

For an RA:
·         With MA units or MA candidates or graduate
·         With degree from Statistics or Economics

Written by: Jes Manipon, IV BS Economics

Rap Fulgar
6/18/2010

The stress outweighs the benefits??

Reply
Kenn Chua
6/19/2010

Hi Rap! Article corrected. :D Thanks for commenting! :)

(And as a former SA myself, I can attest that the stress was nothing compared to the lessons I learned from working there.)

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