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Student Blog – UNISG Summer School in Empirical Research Methods

ishmaelMy experience attending the GSBN sponsored summer school at the University of St Gallen in June 2015 was highly motivating. Over two weeks I attended a modelling empirical phenomena course and another on categorical data analysis and found them very useful in developing my PhD concept. It was great to interact with professors who have published widely in ‘A’ journals and tap into their expertise and ability to simplify complex econometrics into something easy to understand and interpret. In addition, the participants in attendance were also at a high level in quantitative research skills and were great to interact with. As soon as I got back to my university, I was able to present a concept paper to my faculty, something which was made possible by the summer school.

I am currently an assistant lecturer in Finance at School of Finance and Applied Economics at Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya and it is at the same place I am doing my PhD. Since 2010 I have been teaching Bachelor of Business Science students portfolio management and from last year leading a research center for value investing in the same School. In this research center I have a number of working papers which I plan to submit to peer reviewed journals.

I found St Gallen and Switzerland exceptional in terms of geographical and artistic beauty; Buildings in town were a wonder to behold as well as the baroque architecture in the Cathedral at the Abbey of St Gall. This view helped internalize the mathematical models from the classes. In addition, I was fortunate to make good contacts with a diversity of people from as far as India, Poland and Nigeria and the ground for future collaboration in research is well laid down.
Ishmael Maina is lecturer of Finance at Strathmore University’s School of Finance and Economics.