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Please tell us about your AFECO experience  and its benefits to your development

After having studied agricultural sciences with a focus on agricultural economics in my bachelor’s in Bonn, I decided to continue with the AFECO. I didn’t plan to do a certain major or minor from the beginning but rather took the courses that sounded interesting to me. I especially enjoyed the course on behavioral economics. I wanted to apply some of the knowledge I learned there in my master’s thesis, so I actively searched for a topic that interested me content-wise and methodologically. At the chair of production economics, I then wrote the master thesis. For me, it was very important and helpful to have some personal interest and intrinsic motivation in the topic, as you deal with it for a longer time. I enjoyed the work on my master’s thesis so much, that I decided to stay in academia.

What is your current occupation?

I am a Ph.D. student at the ILR, in the “Data Science in Agricultural Economics Group” of Hugo Storm. I am employed within the PhenoRob Cluster of Excellence where we focus on new technologies in crop production. I mainly work on 1) farmers’ adoption decisions and 2) policies needed to exploit the full potential of new technologies. I am interested in behavioral economics, spatial econometrics, and close contact with farmers. For me, doing a Ph.D. is a perfect combination of being able to develop myself and working on things that interest me while being in a supportive and friendly setting. I enjoy the freedom of organizing my work day, the possibility to travel to conferences, and the chance to meet many interesting people from all around the world.

How did AFECO help you get where you are?

During the AFECO master, I realized more and more where my interests lie and I could develop my personal and professional strengths. In the beginning, I wasn’t a fan of method-focused courses. However, during my master’s and especially during the master thesis, the goal of solving certain research problems has awakened in me an interest in the necessary methods. The AFECO master’s offered the possibility to learn a lot about different topics related to agricultural and food economics, which helped me to decide in what direction I want to go.

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