An alum’s perspective on the Drexel foundation

Academics, Research

As an incoming transfer student with a year and a half of music conservatory studies under my belt, I had little idea of what to expect from a more traditional university setting. I was apprehensive about the coursework before me and about my professional trajectory. After a brief stint studying political science and philosophy, I decided at the beginning of my junior year to switch to economics, in hopes that it would give me a more practical, quantitative framework through which to analyze the social issues that first drew me to politics.

 

With time and guidance, my concerns abated and my interest in economics grew. I became involved in the Drexel Economics Society and worked as a research assistant with a faculty mentor over a summer. I also became heavily involved working in LeBow’s then-new economics tutoring hub, which proved to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my undergraduate career. Finally, I had the chance to enter and eventually win an undergraduate research in economics competition, which cemented my interest in monetary policy and its far-reaching effects.

 

I’m confident that without the applied coursework and research opportunities Drexel afforded me, as well as the advice I received from professors, I would not have landed my first job or been admitted to graduate school.

 

With only two years left to complete my degree, I needed to make quick, informed decisions about how to finish my studies and prepare for post-graduate life. Here, guidance from my economics professors proved indispensable. From advice on coursework to take, to research mentoring, to career guidance, the faculty was always willing and eager to advise any students who were interested in their field.

 

When it came time to apply for jobs out of school, I eventually landed a position as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve. I spent two years in Washington, DC assisting economists with research and policy analysis on the interactions between monetary policy and financial markets. There, I had the chance to develop skills in statistics, computer programming, and financial research while being exposed to topical issues in macroeconomic policymaking.

 

Even after I left Drexel in 2014, the faculty made themselves available to answer questions I had about applying to graduate school. Their insights and recommendations eventually guided me to Princeton University, where I’ve just started working on a master’s degree in finance. There, I’m applying tools and insights I’ve learned to advanced courses in financial economics, statistics, and related fields. Drexel was crucial in laying the foundation for this work.

 

Most students seem drawn to Drexel for its internship opportunities, but my experience shows that students have much to gain outside of the co-op cycle. I’m confident that without the applied coursework and research opportunities Drexel afforded me, as well as the advice I received from professors, I would not have landed my first job or been admitted to graduate school. I will always be grateful to the economics department for the doors it opened for me, within the Drexel community and beyond.

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