Lehr McKenzie

“I do not feel I could have received a better education anywhere, including Ivy League.”

Home: Fort Mill, South Carolina

UT Dallas Degree: PhD - Political Economy
Profession: Vice President & Manager - Global Banking and Global Markets Stress Testing and Modeling, Bank of America

My Work

In my current position, the group I manage is responsible for financial stress testing for the global banking and global markets segments of Bank of America. This includes developing, testing, and continuous improvement of econometric models used in forecasting various revenue streams, under various macroeconomic conditions, as dictated by economic scenarios developed by the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Once the models are built and stress tests are completed, our team has responsibility for analysis of the results and for reporting the results to the bank corporate structure and to federal regulators.

The Value of My Degree

The political economy program taught me to think critically in an interdisciplinary manner. This is the way our world functions on a daily basis. Economic, political science and social science events do not occur in a vacuum. Each of the events of any one of the disciplines is impacted by the other disciplines. This is especially true of regulated industries. Having developed these skills, interdisciplinary thinking and analysis have allowed me to think outside the conventional modeling paradigms and take a more holistic approach to stress-testing problem solving.

My EPPS Success

The caliber of the professors was a major contributor to my EPPS success. I do not feel I could have received a better education anywhere, including the Ivy League schools. There was no shortage of good mentors at UT Dallas. The professors I had showed great interest in teaching us how to think about issues rather than just the mechanics of solutions.

Advice for EPPS Students

Regardless of whether one has a concentration in economics, political science, public policy or social science, take advantage of the array of quantitative classes that are available, including research design. Quantitative skill sets are a real resume differentiator for those applying for jobs in the area of the social sciences. There is more and more demand for social scientists with quantitative skills and simultaneously there is a supply deficit, particularly of US-educated candidates.

Other Interests

I enjoy doing work at my church, playing golf and vacationing in Hilton Head.

 

Posted August 2012