Tobias Etzel was born in 1987 and grew up in Reutlingen, Germany. Following school, he spent a year of community service in Chicago from 2007 till 2008. He then obtained his undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Vienna and completed an MPhil in Economic Research at Cambridge University in 2013.
Why I chose the University of Mannheim and in particular the GESS
Comparing the program to some other PhD programs in economics, my reasons for choosing Mannheim included the focus on academic job outcomes, guaranteed funding and the fact that faculty members do research in a variety of fields within economics.
The best part of being a doctoral student here
The interaction with fellow students which is probably a main advantage of studying at a graduate school, generally the friendly atmosphere at the department.
A description of my fellow doctoral students
The cohort is usually international and there is diversity in terms of previous studies, which is enriching. I would also say that everyone is ambitious to a certain degree but this doesn’t translate into fierce competition, people cooperate.
My most challenging experience within the program
So far: The fact that the program required full devotion during the first year, which can mean long hours.
My advice for prospective students
I think it is important to be aware of the challenges of the first year and to carefully think about one’s long-term goals even though it is not uncommon for people to change their research interests and also career plans.