MA in Economics

Luke Ashton, 2021

Luke Ashton

How did you choose your specific area of study?

I fell in love with the ideas of Austrian economics in undergrad but never had the opportunity to pursue it to the extent I wanted. After a few years, I found the MA Fellows program through the Mercatus Center which rekindled my passion for economics.

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

My experiences have given me a fantastic tool set to understand how our world works in combination with my previous experience in political science and anthropology. I've improved my writing skills exponentially and feel more confident in engaging with others in public policy.

Of which accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud?

Entering my MA Fellowship with the Mercatus Center and co-authoring a policy brief with Mercatus scholar Kofi Ampaabeng.

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

Try new topics in economics. I went in wanting to work on healthcare and technological innovation and ended up having a fascination within the energy industry where I now work. You don't know you love it until you try it.

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

I have accepted a full time position as a Regulatory Economist with RegTech startup HData. My long-term goal is to create my own research team where we will build cutting-edge computing techniques to better equip economist and other social scientists for engaging in the public policy space.