How to survive your first year of graduate school in economics (Matthew Pearson)

원문 링크

Greg Mankiw의 대학원 생활에 관한 조언 링크 모음에서 가져왔다. 저자는 UC Davis에서 박사를 하고, 현재 인더스트리에서 일하고 있다. Games and Economic Behavior, Experimental Economics에 논문을 실었는데도 아카데미아를 떠난 것이 흥미롭다.

지금 내게 필요한 대목 몇을 옮긴다.

Hating the material with an intensity becomes par for the course rather early on. No matter what you like about economics, I can guarantee that you will spend a fair bit of time your first year studying material that you do not like. Statements like, “this is not what I came here to study,” or, “this is not why I like economics,” or even, “this stuff is not economics at all,” are heard from time to time. However, like almost any profession, learning the fundamentals is the least glamorous part, but it is indispensable. This year you will be learning the tools that every economist needs. It is rarely glamorous or fun, but once you have learned them, you will move on next year to things that you will find far more interesting, moving quickly ever closer to the particular research questions that inspire you.

(난 지금 더 fundamental하게 들어가야 생각해서 짜증낸다는 점에서 다르긴 하다.)


Develop your intuition

I cannot stress this enough. As I mentioned above about studying for understanding and not merely memorizing, you must believe that the intuition is there and that the material will seem much, much easier once you have grasped it. As you study for prelims in the spring, you will begin to realize, if you have not already, that your first micro course was really just a handful of concepts applied in different ways. You will begin to understand things that you thought you understood in the fall (trust me, in most cases, you didn’t). The earlier you grasp this intuition, the better. The type of exams that you will be subjected to require a level of understanding that was probably never required of you as an undergrad. When you aim for this kind of understanding, however, things become so much clearer (one way to develop your intuition is to study your assigned micro topics in Hal Varian’s intermediate microeconomics textbook2).

Often the barrier to true understanding is the nagging sense that you have SO MUCH to study, so you really must move on to the next topic. However, grazing over lots of material gathering cursory familiarity can be, at best, far less productive than studying one thing until you really understand it and do not need to depend on memorized content, and at worst it can be time completely wasted. You will be surprised how adept you and your colleagues will become at convincing yourself that you understand something that you really do not. Repetition can do that to you, because it used to be sufficient for understanding when you were learning less challenging material, but this is no longer the case.


한줄요약: Don’t be an expert beginner.