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Can you tell us about yourself?
Meghna Katoch from India decided to do an MSc in International Economic Consulting at Aarhus Univesity as it is far more practical and specialized in comparison with an ordinary MSc in Economics. However, before deciding to embark on her degree in Denmark, she knew nothing about the country except the name.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?
“I wanted to study something that would help me understand applied economics instead of just theory, so the classes I’m taking here are much more practical than what I’m used to. I like that very much,” says Meghna Katoch, explaining how in her 2nd semester students had to form consulting groups whilst the professors acted as clients.
What did you study ?
Meghna did her B.A (Economics) from Punjab university and her Master’s in Business Administration from ICFAI Business School. After that she worked in a public sector bank which was followed by a second masters with an Msc in International Economic Consulting from Aarhus Univeristy in Denmark. Here she worked on a research paper in the field of Child Health and Education in India, which is in the process of getting published. She did a stint with a consulting firm which helped social enterprises and NGO’s scale-up their projects. She also worked with a company on their CSR project in rural Madhya Pradesh on pre-primary education
How was the experience at Aarhus?
“The exercise was very good, because we got down to basics and you really found out what you needed to do and what you needed to know in order to work as a consultant in real life. It was also a very good way to get to know your class mates better because it broke the ice. Danes are a bit shy, so this really helped and now we are interacting a lot more. I hope similar interactive teaching methods can be used for classes in the first semester; that way students will get acquainted to one another a lot quicker,” she says, before going on to explain that today the exercise is done with real companies.
To Meghna Katoch the study environment in Denmark is a lot different from what she is used to in India.
“The relationship between the students and professors is distant in India, while here it is much more comfortable and informal. You address the professor by their first name which was very awkward for me in the beginning but I realized that helped to make the atmosphere more relaxed. You can engage in a discussion with your professor and they never get offended if you question or differ from what they say and frankly express your opinion,” explains Meghna Katoch.
What are you doing now?
Meghna joined IFMR as a Senior Research Associate in May 2014 and has been working on projects related to Microfinance, Infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate and women empowerment.