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World Ready Research- Q&A with PhD Alumnus Eugene Kiselev

Eugene Kiselev, PhD '13

January 20, 2016

Eugene Kiselev, PhD '13, is an Industry Economist for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). While at Brandeis IBS, he focused his research on institutional economics, economics of corruption, and industrial organization. Eugene, now based in Washington, DC, shared insights on his experience at Brandeis IBS and reflected back on how his time at the business school influenced his career path. 

How did you wind up at Brandeis IBS?

I came to Brandeis straight out of my undergraduate program at Lehigh University. I was born in Russia but have spent nearly all of my life in the U.S., particularly on the East Coast – so the transition to Brandeis was quite easy. The focus on international economics and applied work in the PhD program was a big draw.

Did your international background intertwine with your research at all?

My international background certainly influenced my research agenda, and the fact that my advisors were familiar with the datasets that I used made discussing my research much easier. It ultimately made their contributions much more valuable. Broadly, my research was in industrial organization – but I was able to apply IO theory to Russian firm-level data. 

What impact did faculty have on your career path?

Professor Kathryn Graddy had an enormous positive impact on my experience at the school and on my career. She was my dissertation chair and provided invaluable support. In fact, I developed interest in my dissertation topic while taking her industrial organization class. Professor Blake LeBaron taught one of my favorite courses on financial bubbles and crashes. 

How does your current work tie back to what you learned at Brandeis IBS?

As an industry economist, much of my work focuses on market analysis in the telecommunications industry. We’ve recently had a number of high-profile proposed mergers between telecom giants, and I’ve had the opportunity to perform merger review and analysis on these transactions to determine whether they will benefit consumers. Even though the telecommunications field was less familiar to me when I first started, my coursework and background in industrial organization was enormously helpful in providing me with the skills needed for the job.

What’s your advice for students ready to transition to a job out of graduate school? 

Aside from finding a job that you genuinely like, I would say not to worry if you don’t know what’s going on at first. You were hired because of your abilities and confidence – so don’t stress out. You’ll pick things up quickly.