A lot of people question me (till today) why take a minor in Economics? You’re a Physics Major. You have all the things you need to be a true physicist as such people most especially in my department would say. Others may comment such as, “You are just killing yourself. Why the pressure?”
Many of my peers back in high school know what a big flop I was in Economics. I was at the brink of not being able to graduate with a DOST Diploma because of the subject. Even Sir Vlad would agree that Economics was not my stronghold – making it one of my many reasons of not pursuing any Management course or a BSM AMF course as well. But look at me now, almost finishing a minor in Economics despite getting my second degree in B.S. Material Science and Engineering.
We were all fools back when we were still young. We may not know it but our weaknesses may not necessarily be our Krypton for life. I tried to stay away from anything Economics-related back as a freshman in college. But when I reached second year and took English 12, I chose a topic to write on which was not typically me. I wanted to write on Marcos’s Agrarian Reform and what it brings at an Socio-Economic point of view. I passed that subject with flying colors, receiving praise of making this paper from our teacher.
Soon afterwards, I met Walfredo Belen, a teacher that I still admire for his simplicity in teaching Economics – Not too much math with a good foundation in concepts. It made me consider on taking a minor in Economics besides from my gaining interest in Global Politics. As the year progressed, I still had not idea what to do with my degree. I continued my soul-searching until I passed by the Chemistry Department’s promotion of their courses. What struck was not really their research but of one of the career possibilities after attaining a scientific degree.
It had me at hello. Looking on with her basic biography, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I did not want to cross the boarders and shift to Political Science or anything related to the typical politician path – where one has to focus on Law or MBA then straight up. I wanted to be a scientist. That is for sure. But more than that, I wanted to be a scientist who had a good stronghold in dealing with policy-making, in tackling issues that involved our country and other countries as well. As globalized as it seems, I wanted to be this German Chancellor who finished a Ph.D. in quantum chemistry – Angela Merkel.
All throughout my remaining years, I took Economics electives just for the heck of it. I really had no main goal on why I took it but the topics they discussed looked interesting. Capitalist Development and Money and Banking – really enjoyed not because the teachers had a good grasp of what they were talking about but if you just let me read the textbooks for fun, I’d gladly read it.
When the time came for me to apply for a Minor, the form asked why I wanted to take it. I wrote the typical reason of ,’getting a background on economics for future business reasons while obtaining a science degree.’ It got approved. Well, that was what I thought of when my dad insisted that I do investment banking as one of my options because I could become independent from my family fast as well as earn big bucks. With my degree/s, I can go anywhere. With my developing communication skills, I can climb the ladder of success. At the back of my mind till now, I’ve thought of investment banking or risk management as one of my career paths but I am still open to other options.
I have loved Physics, ever since third year high school. I really do. But I also have a passion of serving a country that has positioned itself as a developing country. Serving not in terms of a common politician but as a contemporary leader. We all have big dreams and this I guess is my big dream. When I earn my investment, I guess I’d write books on Science and Technology development, and the sorts. I may even give talks or teach. Who cares. Yes, investing is a responsibility and need in my book of life but serving for my country and my God – that’s what is first in my heart. I already have my tools and other loves – science and the social sciences of development – but man improves not because of materialistic reasons but reasons above these (i.e. morality/common good/etc).
For Science. For Development. For Country. For God.
I may sound silly and idealistic but with the right game face and mind-set, I hope to be able to smile ten to twenty years from now as I write this article during one of my busiest days as a super senior here in the Ateneo.