Name: Leanne Klock '18

Current Graduate Program: PhD in Political Economics

Current University: Stanford Graduate School of Business

Major: Economics

Minors: Statistics and Spanish




Why did you decide to go to graduate school (i.e. career advancement, encouraged/sponsored by a current or former employer, personal interest)?

I grew up with two parents with PhDs, so I was always open to the idea of graduate school. Towards the end of college, I realized there was still a lot more I wanted to learn and research, so graduate school was the next natural step.

How did you narrow down your graduate school selection?

My mentor, Professor Kaplan, really helped me identify programs that fit my interests and experience. I was ultimately drawn to the Stanford Graduate School of Business because the faculty is incredible, and the program offers a unique cross-curricular environment with other departments.

Why did you choose this type of program?

I chose a PhD program to gain the skills and credibility needed to research development economics and hopefully shape future policy decisions.

How has your undergraduate coursework helped you in your current graduate program (i.e. quantitative skills, research techniques, communication skills)?

I can undoubtedly say every economics class I took at UMD has been helpful. The more classes you take, the more familiar you become with the field and the easier it is to generate research ideas. My minor in statistics has also helped immensely. It's really important to have a strong understanding of econometrics and statistics before starting a graduate program.

Do you have an assistantship?

PhD in POLITICAL ECONOMICS Right now, my only job is to make sure I continue to pass all of my program benchmarks. I won't have to start teaching classes or help out as a research assistant until my 3rd year in the program.

What do you enjoy most about graduate school?

The people! And the place. There's rarely a cloud in the sky in Palo Alto.

What do you hope to do after graduate school?

I hope to get a job in academia and continue to pursue exciting and interesting research.

Any graduate school advice for students interested in your field?

Stick with it, it takes a while to feel like you know what you're doing. The more classes you take, and the more papers you read, the more confident you will feel in your research.

Anything else you want to share with undergraduates?

Don't take UMD for granted! California is awesome, but nothing beats College Park.