As a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., I work with economists and analysts in the Division of International Finance. My job consists of two broad components: assisting with research and facilitating day-to-day production work. In my case, this means helping manage the Treasury International Capital (TIC) survey database with the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
I enjoy experiencing the world of economic policy firsthand. I build technical and quantitative skills and learn new concepts in economics and finance daily. I especially appreciate being able to participate in facilitating a meaningful policymaking process and contribute to a robust research institution. Recently, I helped prepare an economist for a briefing of the Board of Governors immediately proceeding a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. I'm able to put my degree to use in a real policy setting.
George Mason's economics program provides a robust foundation in classical theory and the economic way of thinking. In particular, I found my econometrics course, which gave a uniquely abstract introduction to the subject, useful. I was able to apply the base of theoretical knowledge I gathered at Mason to better understand the technical statistical and programming skills that I use daily.
Mason is, in large part, what you choose to make of it. There are a number of opportunities available through the school in the Washington, D.C., area, especially in economics. For instance, I was able to study abroad and expand my field of knowledge at the University of Oxford, and I completed an internship at the United States Department of the Treasury during my time at Mason. Both were invaluable experiences in helping me be successful in my job today.