Undergraduate Economics Honors Students: Conference Presentations and Career Paths
Two undergraduate honors students, Trisha Biswas and Leanne Klock, discuss their honors thesis projects, their experiences presenting at conferences and their future career paths.
Honors thesis: Being accepted to the honors program has given me the chance to experience the ins and outs of research as an undergraduate student. After taking two courses in Econometrics and one course in International Economics I was fascinated by the two subjects and wanted to incorporate both into my own research. With the assistance of my faculty advisor, Professor Guido Kuersteiner, I was able to develop such a research topic. My thesis tests monetary policy independence by empirically relating domestic interest rate movements to interest rate movements in the base country. My main contribution is the use of instrumental variables to account for endogenous movements in the base country interest rates, which is not yet addressed in the literature.
National Conference: As part of the honors program I applied and was accepted to present my honors research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Central Oklahoma. It was an incredible opportunity for me. I was able to experience presenting my work in front of an audience, feeling like an actual researcher. It was remarkable to see the broad range of research that was being presented at the conference. This gave me the opportunity to meet with many different undergraduate students across the country and learn about their research interests. In the future I hope to attend many more conferences and continue to present my research and share my academic interests with my peers.
Career path: Continuing my passion for research, next year I will be working as a Research Assistant at the Federal Reserve Board in the Financial and Macroeconomic Stability Section.
Honors thesis: The honors program has presented an exciting opportunity to learn more about the research process. Although I spent last summer interning as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve, I entered my senior year with a desire to explore new topics and strengthen my research methods. I had previously worked as a research assistant for Dr. Ethan Kaplan, so I thought he would be the best fit for my faculty advisor in the honors program. Together we devised a research topic that sits at the intersection of economics and politics. My paper examines whether economic conditions effect changes in partisan affiliation. Previous literature demonstrates a relationship between economic conditions and electoral outcomes, but I want to know whether these findings extend beyond the polls.
National Conferences: Last fall, I applied to a couple of undergraduate research conferences to showcase my paper and gain exposure to the conference circuit. I was accepted to present at both the Midwest Economics Conference in Chicago and the National Conference of Undergraduate Research at the University of Central Oklahoma. Attending these conferences has been a really insightful and interesting experience. I have gotten valuable feedback on my paper, and I’ve been able to exchange ideas with other academic researchers.
Career path: After graduation, I will be continuing my studies at Stanford University where I will be pursuing a PhD in Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business.