Hometown: Whitefish Bay, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Year in School: Senior
Interests/Hobbies: Sailing, skiing, cooking/baking, traveling, current events
Involvements/Employment/Activities: I currently assist with economic research on campus and will intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia next summer. Throughout college, I have also been involved with Alpha Xi Delta and Women in Economics.
Where is your favorite place on campus and why?
I’ve got to go with the classic, Memorial Union. It is great to be able to have a coffee, study, or eat with friends while looking out at the lake. Plus, I joined Hoofers Sailing and fulfilled my dream of learning how to sail all at the Union/Lake Mendota! It is the most affordable (and fun) way to learn to sail and I recommend it to anyone staying on campus over the summer.
What has been your favorite Econ course?
Econ 462-Latin American Economic Development. This was the perfect class for my two majors and allowed me to learn important theories of economic development and explore specific areas within the region for the country groupwork. Overall, Bradford Barham is an amazing professor.
If you have any other majors or certificates in addition to Econ, how did you decide to add Econ or add the other major/cert?
I have always wanted to learn Spanish, so that was an easy choice. Then, I was in between econ and pre-med but realized how many doors an economics major would open and how many different applications there are. I’ve been able to marry these majors with coursework and research, such as Latin American Economics, and assisting in one of our econ professors in a research project focused on Argentina – even using Spanish data and resources!
This semester (my second to last semester), a, I’ve also added the Data Science Certificate because it overlaps well with Econ courses and is super useful and interesting! I would recommend other students interested in Econ to try out a beginner Python or R course to get coding basics under their belts for future internships and research.
How do you manage your course load?
By having fun! At Madison, we work hard and play hard, so with your classes, projects, and homework, make sure you spend time with friends, try different clubs or hobbies, and enjoy the different social activities we have on campus. Of course, also try to get good sleep and schedule workouts when you can. It sounds like a lot, but mainly, just make sure that academics don’t consume you. Madison has so much to offer.
Where did you intern/research, and did you have a good experience? Why or why not?
This past summer, I interned at Wisconsin Microfinance, a local nonprofit. I met amazing people on the board who focused on sustainable business models and got to create and complete many projects through the summer. Although it wasn’t as aligned with the economic work that I hope to do long run, it was a great experience. This summer, I’m excited to intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia this summer doing economic research while continuing to serve on the Board of Wisconsin Microfinance.
What advice do you have for students seeking an internship/research experience?
Make a spreadsheet of places you want to apply and when their deadlines are! It is good to get organized early or everything becomes a jumble.
Also, reach out to people – professors, advisors, and alums. This semester, I went on LinkedIn and looked for recent UW Econ grads working in the FRS and messaged someone who had similar skills and interests as me. She responded and ended up not only helping me navigate my decision process but also pointing me towards a professor whose research aligned with my goals. It was so helpful and so unexpected!
Do you know what you want to do after graduation? If yes, what? If not, what advice would you give to another student who may not know either?
I’m not 100% sure what I want to do after graduation – I am looking at working at the New York Fed but am not going to limit myself to one plan! Econ opens many doors and it’s a good idea to explore those options.
For anyone else unsure what they want to do, don’t worry! A job is not permanent, you can always change course. Just take time to look into different possibilities and find what interests you personally.
Also, I highly recommend gap years (especially with an unplanned travel component). I took one after high school and it allowed me to grow and have amazing, memorable experiences that changed my perspective on life and happiness. Plus, it can be affordable – think of au pairing, working in hostels, or even just cooking some of your own meals instead of always eating out.