Tomáš Mičko, our 2020 Master’s in Applied Economics graduate, started a position as an analyst at Council for Budget Responsibility in Slovakia last year. What knowledge and skills obtained in MAE are useful at his job? And why has he participated in Bratislava Climathon? Find out more in our Blog Interview.
Before coming to CERGE-EI you graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a Masters in International Finance. Why did you decide to apply for an MAE?
My Nottingham experience was very inspiring and uplifting for me. I really enjoyed writing my dissertation thesis under the supervision of a highly experienced Professor. On the other hand, I felt that I would really like to dig deeper, but lacked the quantitative skills. This was the turning point for me to start looking for advanced studies. In Slovakia, CERGE-EI has a great reputation, so when I was offered Public Service Fellowship, I had no doubts that for the next year I would belong to CERGE-EI.
You started a position as an analyst at Council for Budget Responsibility in Slovakia last year. Can you tell us more about the institution and your work there?
Council for Budget Responsibility is an independent fiscal watchdog. Its main task is to evaluate fiscal performance of the Slovak Republic. To make a long story short, we act as a lobbying voice for future generations in terms of public finance sustainability.
Currently, I am working at the macro-fiscal department, preparing methodology for the assessment of new policy based on a Recovery and Resilience plan called “expenditure ceilings.” My first task at the Council was to re-estimate tax elasticities in the Slovak Republic. Soon, I shall start working on stochastic forecasts of public debt.
What knowledge and skills obtained in MAE are useful at your job?
Definitely the quantitative skills and econometrics 😊. This is what I like the most. Also, I have to admit that the communication skills I’ve gained are also very crucial. But what is the most valuable for me is truly the spirit of CERGE-EI. Highly motivated and well-prepared Professors with PhDs from the best universities are who I’ve ever dreamed of meeting. So, sometimes when I am not motivated, I just think of what I received at CERGE-EI and I rebound very quickly😊.
You were a member of a team that won the Bratislava Climathon 2021. Can you tell us more about your project and your motivation to participate in the event? Do you plan to continue with the project?
It is sort of a funny story, but the majority of our team were fresh graduates from CERGE-EI or from Charles University as well as from Collegium of Anton Neuwirth in Bratislava. In addition to that, we all have just moved from Prague to Bratislava. So, the decision to join this team was quite easy.
During the hackathon weekend, we created an algorithm that identifies connections/traffic points in Bratislava where cars drive faster than public transport on a city scale and vice versa. These connections can be further optimized by city planners. Consequently, we were invited to participate in the development of a mobile app mapping public transport in Bratislava, but so far time was our enemy.
I believe that this year we will support and upgrade the idea of travel and traffic optimization and thus have (at least a small) real impact on the climate and ecosystem around us. This was the main motivation for our team to participate at the Bratislava Climathon 2021 and to win the challenge.
What do you think is the strongest message CERGE-EI gives to its students?
CERGE-EI gives the opportunity to everyone to become the best version of him or herself. There is no time like the present (at CERGE-EI).