‘A great weight off my chest’
“If my donor was here right now I would probably give them a hug,” says Carlos Jabbour, a master’s student in Concordia’s Department of Economics. “I would explain to them how much the award helped me and thank them for their generosity. When I won the fellowship it took a great weight off my chest at a very stressful time of my life.”
Jabbour, who received the J.W. McConnell Memorial Graduate Fellowship in 2017, adds, “I was really worried about how I was going to make tuition payments, maintain my standard of living and focus on my research and studies. The fellowship allowed me to reduce the number of hours I worked and it really helped me move along with my research and maintain a high GPA.”
Even with his hours cut back, Jabbour still works three part-time jobs, including at Concordia as a teaching assistant and for the Graduate Students’ Association. His third job is as a consultant for a private company.
Jabbour’s research explores the impact of technology on the labour force and population welfare. “There are a lot of smart systems out there that have taken over many of the activities that used to be done manually,” Jabbour explains. “They’ve also replaced a lot of service jobs. I’m interested in understanding what kind of impacts we’re going to see over time as technology becomes more and more advanced.”
Developing tools for the job market
“My time at Concordia has been an overwhelmingly positive experience,” he says. “I’ve received great support from both my department and my peers and the learning was a good mixture of theory and practice. It’s definitely allowed me to develop the tools I’ll need when I enter the job market.”
Jabbour is set to graduate this spring. He has already accepted a position with the federal government slated to begin in September. His goal is to gain real-world experience for a few years before heading back to the classroom.
“I’m going to continue working in the area of socio-economic sciences. Later on, I would like to revisit economics at a PhD level and conduct more in-depth research on various social issues in Canada. I will definitely consider coming back here for my PhD,” Jabbour says.