BS in Economics

Molly Harnish, 2021

Molly Harnish

How did you choose your degree program?

My dad actually suggested that I study economics when I was applying to college, so I declared it as my major. At the time, I knew little to nothing about the discipline except that it combined math and writing, two things I enjoyed. As soon as I walked into my first economics class, I was hooked, and I knew I'd picked the right major.

How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you?

My academic experiences in CHSS impacted me by teaching me that I really enjoyed doing research. I also found that research could look like all sorts of different things, from in-depth qualitative interviews to handling huge datasets.

What accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of completing my senior thesis in economics. I had the idea for the question in my sophomore year. In the semesters since then, several members of Mason's faculty and staff have encouraged and guided me (especially my thesis advisor, Dr. Jason Dunick). In my senior year, I had the opportunity to collect and analyze data to write the thesis. I've learned so much about the research process, not least the importance of perseverance, through that project!

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career? Please give an example of this impact if possible.

There are so many. I'm especially grateful to my thesis advisor Dr. Jason Dunick, Dr. Jennifer Victor in the Schar School, Dr. Anthony Hoefer in the Honors College, and Dr. Stefanie Haeffele at the Hayek Program. Each one of them encouraged me to do research, told me about opportunities at and outside of Mason and encouraged me to apply for them, and showed interest in helping me to become a better student, writer, and researcher.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

I will be working as a Research Assistant at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. for two years following graduation. After that, I hope to get my Ph.D. in economics and work in academia or public policy.