Majoring in economics at George Mason University teaches you to understand the economic way of thinking, allowing you to see issues and current events from an entirely new perspective, according to senior Andrew Meleta. And he was eager to put this useful knowledge into practice.
While attending George Mason, Meleta earned two internships that, he said, have allowed him to apply what he’s learned from his professors directly to work. The first internship was at the Cato Institute, a public policy research organization and think tank that provides ideas and advice on a variety of topics. The other was at Economics21 at the Manhattan Institute, a nonprofit organization that focuses on economic research and public policy.
At the Cato Institute, Meleta was responsible for working with scholars and the humanprogress.org department doing data management, summarizing articles, and conducting research. In addition to his daily responsibilities, Meleta had the benefit of attending lectures by Cato scholars and outside scholars—including economics professor Bryan Caplan, who works for Mason’s the Center for Study of Public Choice.
Meleta also had the opportunity to grow his skills and knowledge as an intern with Economics21. While supporting the policy writers with their own research, interns were given the opportunity to research and write articles of their own choosing. Meleta had five articles published, one of which was in the National Review, along with his others being posted on the E21 website, Real Clear Policy, and The Foundation of Economic Education.
With Mason’s close proximity to the Washington, D.C. area, Meleta said he appreciates and takes advantage of the internship opportunities available to him throughout the year.
“What makes Mason so unique is the ability to provide students the ability to have these kind of internships year-round instead of just in the summer,” he said. “Mason is very accommodating when it comes to working around your schedule for internship opportunities. It was a very painless process and felt like I didn’t have to go through all these hoops to get credit for it.”
In addition to his internship experiences, Meleta is the President of Mason Ambassadors and is involved with 180 Degrees Consulting—an organization with branches on several campuses that work with non-profits in the DC area.
“At Mason, you are given all these opportunities that allow you to become great here. You don’t have to be the best or smartest coming in. The school can bring out the best in you to become who you want to be.”