Imran Chiosa is a master’s student in the Economics Graduate Program. His education is sponsored by the Agricultural Transformation Initiative Fellowship and Scholarship Fund (ATIFSF) through the Institute of International Education (IIE). Chiosa is from Malawi, where tobacco makes up about 53% of the country’ exports. ATIFSF aims to strengthen the capacity of researchers and professionals in Malawi in high-priority areas that will help the country transform its agricultural sector by reducing dependence on tobacco exports.
Chiosa, already a trained statistician, said he wanted to “use this opportunity to strengthen my research skills in the field of economics, since I have been working with the Agricultural and Economics Statistics Department at the National Statistical Office in Malawi.” When he saw the advertisement in an a local newspaper to earn a master’s degree, he applied and was offered a scholarship.
We asked Chiosa to tell us more about his experience at NC State.
What made you choose the NC State Graduate Economics Program?
I leant through a website that NC State is one of the best research institutions in the world and specifically the Economics Graduate Program offers opportunities to candidates from different backgrounds. For example, I studied statistics for my undergraduate studies but since my first job was conducting economic surveys and analysis of economic data, I found the NC State Economics Graduate Program most suitable to my academic needs.
Last year, COVID-19 made it impossible for you to travel to Raleigh to attend classes. What challenges did you face with online learning?
I had a tough time adjusting to the classes in the middle of the night. To attend a 6:30pm class, I had to login around 1:30am because Malawi is 7 hours ahead of eastern standard time. I had challenges with the internet as well as electricity because these services are not very reliable in my country. Thanks to my professors who understood my situation and uploaded the recorded lectures on Moodle.
What are your career goals after graduation?
My career goals are to become an expert in the field of economic analysis, study for a PhD and work in a very reputable research institution.
What is one word you would use to describe NC State?
Good luck this semester, Imran!