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Student story

Daniel Watt

20 July 2023

"The lecturers at UC and the whole culture at UC outside of study are great..."


Bachelor of Science in Economics and Computer Science

Consultant, Sapere Research Group


What’s involved in economic consulting work?

Business and the government come to us with economic questions that they can’t or don’t have time to solve. We then look at the evidence and tell them what we think the answer is.

For example, as part of the government’s coalition agreement, they wanted to do a study on the future of the Port of Auckland. Our firm won that work, so we pulled in economic and technical expertise from all fields and weighed the evidence in a cost-benefit analysis. We then reported our findings to the Ministry in a written report.

How are you enjoying the challenge of your role?

I’m never just working on one thing, I get to work across many different sectors and I often need to apply many different skills. In consulting you essentially write back-to-back research reports, so the essays and research reports I did at UC helped me a lot.

What made you combine Economics and Computer Science in your degree?

An interest in politics and gaming. I do web design on the side, and I’m hoping to set up a side hustle where I can make a bit of extra cash doing web-related projects for people.

I recommend to take COSC 121, take a generous serving of 100 and 200-level math courses, and double down on study.

What highlights came out of study with UC?

I took part in an overseas course in Chile to study the economics of the wine industry. I don’t think I realised it at the time, but it was a really great experience. Me and my friends on the trip still talk about it all the time. I would definitely recommend it to other students.

Sounds like a great experience!

The lecturers at UC and the whole culture at UC outside of study are great as well. Even though I lived in Christchurch, moving into a flat near UC (with several friends who were also at UC) was a great call and an incredibly fun experience.

So what are your next steps?

I’d like to work at Motu, or on the cutting edge of economics and computing.

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