Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

Mannkal Student Internship Blog

Miguel Forjaz – Week 4: Centre for Independent Studies

Miguel Forjaz

10 August 2016

This week bore many fruits of knowledge and wisdom for me. I learned that the Parliamentary Budget Office spreadsheets are very difficult to interpret. I learned that you should always ask your resident taskmaster exactly how they would like their document to be formatted before spending three hours compiling said document. I learned that it takes quite a while to entirely reformat an extensive research document.

Sydney diet is going well!

The past week has yet again been a fantastic experience for me at the CIS. And again I was given a huge range of tasks that all required different approaches to complete. The main focus of the week, however, was getting stuck in to the OECD statistics database.

As Michael and I continued to investigate corporate tax rates across economies I was asked to compile a number of data sets to cross-analyse.

The public data available was extensive and often extended into the little known columns of an excel spreadsheet (AD and BC) that make you feel confused as to whether you are running economic modelling or studying the history of modern civilization.

I was lucky enough to finish off my week of grinding out excel spreadsheets and formatting PBO historical budget analysis with a refreshing dose of data entry before jetting off (there isn’t a fun verb for catching a train) to the Blue Mountains. As I gazed out of the window during my two hour train ride up to Katoomba I was confused and alarmed that the mountains were not, in fact, blue. Nevertheless I persevered with my, now marginally less colourful, adventure.

The Three Sisters from Echo Point Lookout

The cold mountain air was a refreshing change to the not-really-that-wintery Sydney weather and I was definitely glad that I had packed some warm jackets and scarves. The view from Echo Point was stunning and I could help but think, “how’s the serenity?!”.

I finished off the week with a surprisingly healthy brunch in Bronte before walking to Bondi for some fresh juice and then all the way back to Bronte. This was definitely a great week and I am sad that my time at the CIS is almost over. I am still loving every moment of my time here and for that I would like to thank Ron Manners and the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation for making this experience possible!

Till next week!

Exploring on the Bondi to Bronte cliff walk

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