We hope everyone has a great summer! We’re looking forward to seeing everybody back at events once school starts in September!
ESA provides tutors for Econ 101 / 102 courses every Thursday from 5:30-7pm in Helen C. White 4208. Stop by for any questions or confusing you may have on the material!
The ESA Tutoring Service is in need of 101/102 tutors! Please email Isabella Agnes (email@example.com) if you are interested or have questions. This is a great opportunity to get involved, and we encourage all students that are familiar with the 101/102 material to consider it.
Applications are open for Spring 2016. As the official student organization for the UW Department of Economics, the ESA presents fantastic professional opportunities and academic services. In addition to events currently posted, we have events planned for the rest of the entire spring semester.
Meet ESAAC – Lowell Ricketts
Q: What is a brief description of your current job?
A: I am the senior analyst at the Center for Household Financial Stability (HFS for short) at the St. Louis Fed. I conduct economic research using data on household balance sheets to identify the economic and social outcomes of varying levels of savings, assets and net worth. I use statistical software (SAS, R, Matlab) on a daily basis to analyze large data sets from both public and private sources.
Q: What was your career progression?
A: After graduation I had the opportunity to work with Professor West as a summer research analyst, this helped me further develop my interest in economic research as a profession and strengthened my resume for similar positions at the various Federal Reserve Banks. I joined the research department at the St. Louis Fed in 2010, a little under a year after graduating. While there, I worked on a wide variety of research projects across many different fields of economics such as macroeconomics, monetary policy, econometric forecasting, and applied microeconomics. I joined HFS in October 2015 to focus my work on the study of household balance sheets as well as gain more experience communicating research findings to public audiences.
Q: Do you have any advice for current undergraduates?
A: If you’re reading this blog then I assume that you’re interested in or are currently studying economics. Excellent choice! A degree in economics can take you far along many different career paths. Try to ask yourself which is the best path for you and find ways to strengthen your skill set to make you competitive in the job market. If you’re looking to do economic research make sure you take the courses listed for the mathematical emphasis in the major. Also, be sure you have some experience with statistical software. The introduction to R programming class offered by Coursera is an excellent and free way to get ahead in that regard.
Q: What is your favorite social spot or bar in Madison?
A: I used to frequent Ram Head (Google tells me it is now called Sotto) before it was shuttered for serving one too many underage patrons. I assure you I was over 21! After that I loved to go to Essen Haus to split a boot with meine Freunde.
Q: What was your favorite class?
A: One of my favorite classes outside of the econ department was Astronomy 103: The Evolving Universe. Learning about evidence of the big bang, dark matter, and cosmology was a mind bending experience which still fascinates me to this day.
Q: What was the most useful class that you took at UW-Madison?
A: The most useful class was Econ 590: Tutorial in Research Project Design. For my research paper I studied the “superstar effect” in the NHL and found that hockey players accrue large rewards at the top of the performance distribution above and beyond what can be explained by their performance differential. This class was taught by Professor West and really shaped my career more than I ever could have imagined. It not only taught me a great deal about how to design and execute a research project, it also allowed me to hone nascent programming skills that I had started in Econ 410. I also had a wonderful group of peers to learn from, several of which now serve on ESAAC!
Q: What is your best interviewing/résumé tip?
A: Polish your resume and writing/research samples so that inconsistent formatting or more substantial issues with content don’t send your application to a recycling bin. With a hefty stack of resumes in front of them, hiring managers sometimes have to turn their attention to the little things to winnow the field of candidates. Be sure to reach out to alumni at potential employers and introduce yourself as a prospective applicant. Getting to know people, even if they aren’t directly involved in the hiring process, can be more helpful than you think. Take advantage of mock interviews and resume workshops, interview skills can be greatly improved with a little bit of practice.
Q: What is your best memory from being in Madison?
A: I fondly remember summers in Madison. Even though I worked full time I still enjoyed beers and popcorn on the terrace with friends, lounging on our back porch in the sun, and staying out late on state street. Madison is a special place, enjoy it to the fullest before you leave for whatever lay ahead!