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UA Alumni - Eugene Or

UA Alumni - Eugene Or was the Asia Regional Winner in the Economics category.

Since then, Eugene has graduated from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 2021, with a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Economics (BSocSci - Honours with Highest Distinction), a 2nd Major in Public Policy and Global Affairs, as well as a Minor in Translation.

He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Economics at Nanyang Technological University.

What are you doing now and what has happened since the award?

After the award, I went on to complete my undergraduate degree and graduated with Honours with Highest Distinction. During then, I was also awarded the 2021 Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (Economist Service) Best Thesis Award, NTU AY19/20 Undergraduate Dean’s List as well as NTU President Research Scholar.

Following my graduation, having enjoyed my undergraduate studies at NTU, I proceeded to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics at the school.

Where do your interests lie?

My main research interests are Urban Economics, Policy Evaluation and Applied Microeconomics. I am interested in understanding social problems and evaluating policies, with the ultimate objective of seeking solutions to improve society’s welfare.

I had this ambition since from a young age. Over the years, given the various leadership roles that I held before, I have engaged with people from many walks of life. I have seen each of them having their own difficulties, and always hoped that I could alleviate their concerns, even if just a little.

In the past, being a child who still needed help from adults, the help I could provide was limited. Now that I have the ability and knowledge to look into these issues, I hope that I can not only suggest solutions, but also materialise these ideas to improve their lives.

What do you like the most about what you do?

Doing research is simply understanding the happenings around you. I often encounter phenomena that I find interesting, and going through the research process to answer something so relatable intrigues me. Finding out the ‘5W1H’ of the occurrences in life enables me to make more sense of life (i.e., how society works). More importantly, a deep knowledge of society helps me to identify its strengths and weaknesses, thus providing me with opportunities to improve society’s welfare.

I particularly enjoy such a process, which is why I decided to pursue a Ph.D. and a research career.

Has receiving an award for your hard work helped?

While research has always been my interest, during the early years of my education, I was never sure if I was cut out for it, especially since the Ph.D./research field is tremendously competitive.

Receiving such a prestigious award provided a great boost to my confidence, and prompted me to acknowledge my strength. These helped me to be more adventurous with my research ideas and further reinforced my desire to pursue a Ph.D. (establishing a career in the academia). The award was timely; it was during my penultimate year, when I had to start putting my career plans into action.

Why should students submit their work?

You have nothing to lose. The process is simple; submit work that you have already done and put it out to test where you stand. While it is normal for many to desire to be awarded in this event, regardless of the result, you establish a connection with the UA community, and I believe that is an important takeaway from the experience.

To learn more about Eugene, check out his website here.