This summer I interned at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal in Raleigh, NC, a think tank for higher education policy.
I spent most days looking through databases for statistics on higher education, including graduation rates, admission standards, student loan default rates, etc. Then, I would use skills I have acquired in my economics classes to analyze the data and draw conclusions, which I would then display in some sort of graphic to make it easier to understand for our readers. I would also write a short article about what I learned from the data (another skill from my economics classes), making sure to highlight the most important information for our audience specifically.
The whole internship experience was oriented toward learning, which I really love. We even had assigned readings, mostly focused on the importance of maintaining the free market and the philosophical and economic consequences of too much interference, with lunchtime discussions about them afterwards.
I got to see how the economic principles I have been learning the past two years play out in policy that specifically affects me as a college student, which I think has given me some really unique perspective that I will definitely be applying going forward.
Madeline Baker is an Honors student studying International Economics and Finance, one of three undergraduate majors offered by the Department of Economics. For more information, visit pages about our programs, classes, and opportunities for internships!