Short story of my professional development:
My first studies were in mathematics at the University of Freiburg in a combined bachelor’s and master’s program. I specialized in applied and mathematical statistics (my other fields of interest were probability theory and real and complex analysis). As minor subject I chose economics, after initially starting with philosophy. At the end of my studies, I became aware that it is actually economics that interests me the most.
After finishing my studies in mathematics (graduating with “very good”, the best possible grade, in all final examinations), I started the graduate program in economics at the Tinbergen Institute. After the coursework, I joined the Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision Making (CREED) at the University of Amsterdam to conduct research. The work on my thesis was supervised by Arthur Schram and supported by a “Research Talent” grant of The Netherlands’ Organisation for Scientific Research (~170 000 €). In my thesis I examine different policy relevant topics from a behavioral viewpoint. As I like empirical work and as experiments are a useful tool to test behavioral theories, such experiments play an important role in my thesis. Furthermore, experiments allow to investigate the effects of policy variations with maximal control.
Following the completion of my PhD-research, I joined the newly created Center for Excellence in Finance and Economic Research (CEFER), a joint project by the Bank of Lithuania and Vilnius University. Reasons why I found this position particularly interesting are the connection to both a central bank and a university, good working conditions, and the opportunity to work in a young and aspiring institution with enthusiastic people, flat hierarchies, and direct contact to policy making. Furthermore, I have started to become more and more interested in behavioral finance and especially behavioral macroeconomics (still mainly from a public policy point of view) towards the end of my PhD, so that the research center of a central bank looked particularly appealing. My choice to join CEFER turned out to be excellent and I started to engage more in behavioral macroeconomics and behavioral finance since.
For family reasons, I had to relocate again after a few years. I am very happy that I found an outstanding place to continue my work with the School of Finance at the University of St. Gallen where I have just started to work.
My professional (and personal) development has been supplemented by some other experiences. These include working in a cancer clinic in Heidelberg within the framework of the German Zivildienst, a half-year student exchange in Lincoln, Nebraska, a half-year stay in Senegal where I was with the main German development cooperation agency, and a year in Utrecht within the framework of the Erasmus exchange program. Last but not least, these experiences also include a few months of research visits at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (supported by Jordi Brandts) and at the University of California in San Diego (supported by Uri Gneezy).