MA in Economics

Gabby Beaumont-Smith, 2018

Gabby Beaumont-Smith

What type of work are you doing now? 

I am a Policy Analyst for Macroeconomics in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation. I conduct analysis on the effects of trade policies, agricultural policies, and regulations on the economy. I am also working to build some models to look at the effects of trade and agricultural policies on macroeconomic variables.

I also contract for The Mercatus Center where I help Marginal Revolution University categorize resources like podcasts, videos, articles, etc. that is passed on to educators for their economics curriculum.

How has your graduate degree from Mason prepared you to do this work?

The emphasis on classical liberalism in the program gave me a toolbox that I use in my job every day. Truly grasping the fundamentals has been key in the analysis I perform. The basics along with public choice and institutional analysis helps me to understand why certain policies were or are demanded and the effects that they have on people and therefore, the economy. In seeing this, I can make recommendations that may be more beneficial. There is one Adam Smith quote that has always stuck with me from my Smithian Political Economy II class with Dr. Boudreaux, “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.” I like to think of this particularly when performing analysis on protectionist policies.

What did you like about your graduate education at Mason?

I liked how engaging every class was. I never had a professor who was not passionate about the field and that made learning much easier. The professors were also flexible, I had at least two classes that required papers but the professors said that as long as it was economics, we could write about anything. That freedom was vital for my development.

What advice would you give current students about developing their careers?

Go with your passion, even if there aren’t many classes that focus on it, you can get involved in other ways like writing a paper, or a blog post, or join a group – there are so many associations in DC, which is also a great way to network. Also, don’t expect to be an expert by the time you graduate, the learning continues well into your career.

Any additional comments?

I was an MA Fellow at The Mercatus Center, which was an invaluable experience. I would recommend any student apply for the fellowship. I applied and was awarded it in my second year of the program. I am so grateful for the experience and support I received and continue to receive from them.