Darian Woods studied towards a B.A. in economics at University of Canterbury. After finishing the B.A. in 2009 and before starting his Honours year in 2010, Darian worked as an intern at Motu.
This twelve-week internship was dedicated to one project. Darian’s project considered how farmers could respond to the Emissions Trading Scheme by rearranging trading patterns. Darian used international trade data to test the degree to which New Zealand farmers and agricultural processors held market power internationally. He reviewed literature on relevant topics, reshaped data, learned how to write code to analyse the data, drew graphs, and wrote a paper discussing his findings. The basic principles of economics that his lecturers had taught him at university helped his understanding of the topics involved, but he learned most of the specific data-manipulation skills by interacting with colleagues.
During his time with Motu, Darian met many economists and enjoyed the engaging guest seminars. He says that Motu helped him understand the nuances of research that could not be taught in a lecture theatre. Motu’s flexible work hours, friendly colleagues, and relaxed working environment made the summer internship an enjoyable experience. Darian says that it was not so much a summer of hard work but a summer of learning.