Alumni Spotlight

Master’s program graduates talk about how their time at Miami University has helped them achieve their personal and professional goals.

Samuel Jerow, (Board of Governors), 2018

“Participating in the MA program at Miami uniquely prepared me for my current role as an analyst at the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Every day, I rely on my understanding of economic concepts, critical thinking, and technical skills to help provide answers to some of the most relevant research and policy questions. I wouldn’t be able to succeed in this exciting work had it not been for skills I gained and connections I made as an MA student in Miami’s Econ program.”

Charlotte Smith (Worldpay from FIS), 2016

“In my role with Worldpay, I have been responsible for the global integration of three lines of business into one following an $11B merger of rival payments companies. The integration work was fraught with challenges and yet fascinating and rewarding as we solved numerous complex problems to design a global sales process that accommodates a variety of unique requirements. My experience in the rigorous MA Econ program was invaluable to the development of my ability to think critically, synthesize complex information, and solve problems with limited instruction. If I think about my day to day in the corporate world, those are three of the leading skills I leverage in order to progress my career.”

Becca Jorgensen (Board of Governors), 2015

First as a Research Assistant [Board of Governors] and now as a PhD student [UPenn, Wharton], I analyze large data sets to inform academic research and policy questions. Through the MA program, I learned how to analyze existing literature to look for contributions, think critically about methods and assumptions, and work with data to gain insight into economic questions. These are skill sets I continue to use on a daily basis working on my dissertation. Writing a thesis in the MA program sparked my passion for academic research, the challenging coursework gave me a strong foundation for graduate school, and the faculty mentorship helped me choose the optimal next step. All in all, the MA program proved invaluable in helping me achieve my goals.

Sylviano Valdez (EY), 2015

"In my profession I help large multinational companies navigate complex international tax laws that are everchanging. Daily I assist with a wide variety of projects such as audit defenses, tax planning, compliance and operational finance. There is no doubt that a large degree of my success comes from the preparation I received from Miami’s rigorous MA program in Economics. The program teaches you how critically think quantitatively, a valuable skill for multiple career paths."

Nathan Klyn (Oracle), 2014

“In my role as a Data Scientist at Oracle I am constantly working with internal and external stakeholders across industries and the world. It’s my responsibility to provide our clients with rigorous analysis that moves their business forward but also ad hears to the rules of ever changing business environments. Miami’s MA program in Economics was invaluable in preparing me for my current role and will continue to open doors in the future. The program teaches you effective communication skills, how to think critically and use quantitative methods to solve problems.” 

Marc Punkay (Rand Corporation, UChicago Urban Labs), 2012

“I think the MA program at Miami gives you a really thorough and well-rounded foundation in graduate-level economics to pursue whatever you want to afterwards, whether it be a data-driven private sector career or a PhD. The 1st semester provides a great theoretical training, while the 2nd semester balances the 1st with a more applied focus, which gives you the best of both worlds. And in doing an exit paper at the end, you also get a taste of what it's like to do your own research and to go through a dissertation-like process. All in all, I highly recommend the program to anyone interested in learning how to apply economic thinking and techniques beyond the undergrad level to problems in the world.”