Yanji NieYanji Nie, a student in the Master of Applied Economics and Policy program, gives a presentation in the business communication class.

Economics program enhances business communication skills

The Master of Applied Economics and Policy (MAEP) program has more than doubled in size since its 2015 inception, and Nurlan Turdaliev, head of the Department of Economics, thinks he knows why.

“This program has been gaining popularity due to its unique feature — it is designed to bridge theory, policy, and business,” says Dr. Turdaliev.

To earn a MAEP degree, students must finish 13 courses within 16 months, or four semesters. The 13 courses include five core economics theory courses, seven selective courses ranging from public finance, monetary policy to economic analysis of law, and a business communication course.

“When we designed the program in 2015, we wanted to offer students something different from our traditional MA program,” says professor Jay Rhee, director of the MAEP program.

“On one hand, MAEP allows students to learn fundamental economic theory and its policy implications. On the other hand, the program offers students a chance to get a touch of business practice in the real world.”

The business communication course is organized differently from the other regular courses: it is broken into four modules spread throughout the four terms.

“This course emphasizes the different forms of communication that will occur in the business world,” says instructor Chris Lanoue. “The goal is to prepare all of the students for their future careers, from career search to presentation skills.

Lanoue says MAEP students are incredibly eager and look forward to class participation. Before presenting case studies during his course, one of his students told him they really like his course and were hoping to be the first that evening to present.

“This course will prepare us better when job opportunities arise,” says Rinado Magumba-Mufu, an MAEP student.