MA in Economics

Kara Simmons, 2020

Kara Simmons

How did you choose your specific area of study?

I studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) for my undergraduate degree. I found that studying these three disciplines together helped me to better understand my economic thought and to come to the conclusion that a free market allows people and societies to flourish. I wanted to continue to study economics at the institution that specializes in the value of free markets in promoting peace and prosperity, and there is no better place for that than George Mason University.

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

My academic experience in the CHSS helped me to have a stronger foundation in my economic beliefs to be able to work towards bringing about a freer society in whatever role I might be in after graduation.

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

I am most proud of being able to honor James Buchanan’s name as being a James Buchanan Fellow during my time at Mason.

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

I am honestly thankful for the faculty at Mason for the passion they have for their subjects. Dr. Webb made a difference during my Mason career by pushing my set thoughts to consider new topic areas I had not yet considered. I am honestly sad that only one of my semesters was fully in person; I wish I had more in-person interaction with the faculty at Mason because they truly are world class scholars.

What advice would you give to an incoming cohort of graduate students?

My advice to an incoming cohort of graduate students would be to get to know your peers. My class has done a great job of getting together outside of class to sit around and talk about different economic ideas, which truly adds value to the overall experience at Mason. Mason economics attracts high quality students that will have different views than you, and you should take time to get to know them and their thoughts to better form and adjust your own thoughts and arguments.

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

Long-term, I would love to be more involved in the research and implementation of community-based economic development initiatives, especially ones that focus on strengthening the family unit and bringing about the best education for the students in different areas. I hope to help mobilize social entrepreneurs to make an impact in their local communities in order to alleviate poverty.