Kyle Boutilier


As a research assistant with the Bank of Canada, Kyle Boutilier gets to see economics in action. Boutilier completed an Honours Specialization in Global Economics and the Scholar’s Electives program at Western University and had many interdisciplinary learning opportunities.

When Boutilier came to Western, he was interested in attending business school; after completing an introductory economics course, he was impressed with the course content and the faculty and decided to continue in an economics degree. His global economics degree provided theoretical training in economics, as well as practical skills he applies in his job, including coding in R and the ability to distill articles and information into clear reports.

“In first-year, you take courses in many different subjects. Western really encourages an interdisciplinary approach,” he said. “The professors really encourage going beyond the course material and finding the niche within the area that you study.”

Boutilier said Western was welcoming and supportive including providing more communication during the application process and providing great support during the transition to online learning in response to COVID-19.

He received many awards and scholarships during his education, including the President's Entrance Scholarship, the Robert T. Jones, Jr. Scholarship, the Hon. Edward Blake Scholarship for Second Year Economics and the Walter J. Koenig Scholarship. Along with financial support, many of the awards came with networking or mentoring opportunities, which provided valuable insight and guidance.

“The financial aspect was helpful to be able to focus on my studies and not worry about funding,” he said. “It also gave me opportunities to be involved in extra-curricular activities.”

Boutilier made the most of his student experience, including participating in many student clubs such as the Western Forex Association, EnviroWestern and the Western Economics Society. He also went on exchange at the University of St Andrews in Scotland in his 3rd year. The exchange helped enrich his undergraduate education, providing a broader understanding.

Boutilier continued to expand that understanding in 4th year, volunteering with HEAL as part of a capstone project for Scholar’s Electives. In this role, he was part of a team reporting on modes of active transport for students. The experiential learning opportunity was different than studying economics, and a good chance to see diverse perspectives and approaches to work, said Boutilier.

Overall, Boutilier saw his time at Western as one of great personal and intellectual growth, giving him skills and friendships he will carry through life.