Categories: News, Newsletter Issue 2019:2

Great Mentors: Marianne Bitler

By: Patrick Button

I was very lucky to have Marianne Bitler as an advisor when I did my Ph.D. at UC Irvine in 2015. Marianne was my “methods” guru. She was incredibly good at keeping up with the breaking econometrics literature and ensuring her students were up-to-date on this and always employed the most rigorous econometrics. I now teach a graduate econometrics course that is based on her approach and her courses. In my work I always think “What would Marianne do?” as a mantra to improve my methodology to be ahead of the pack.

What was particularly impactful about Marianne’s mentorship is that she provided very level-headed and targeted feedback when I ran into issues that were beyond econometrics. As many other graduate students, I had difficulty balancing all my research projects and obligations. Marianne gave me practical advice on how to manage my time, such as discussing with me which projects were a higher priority and why. This was refreshing to hear as others just told me to “work harder” (but I was maxed out, so I couldn’t). Issues like work-life balance and time management are pretty crucial, and I appreciated that she cared about me as and individual.

Patrick Button is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Tulane University.