Talking about your own experience, what have been the main benefits of this program?
The main benefit of this program was being trained to “think” like a political economist. When I read about policy developments in the news or discuss them with peers, I naturally find myself applying economic concepts and arguments, all while understanding the politics at work and the institutional constraints. It’s an impressive skill set, one that will stay with you long after your final exams, papers, and projects.
Tell us about one of the courses and/or a professor who made a strong impression on you. What did you learn from it/him/her?
John Rogers, who taught Open Economy Macroeconomics at GU and works at the Federal Reserve Board, went above and beyond to help students feel equipped as economic analysts. As an expert in his field, he truly wanted students to get as much out of the course as possible. He pushed me to understand complex economic papers and methodologies, while the homework assignments enabled me to build my programming skills.
What kind of key personal and professional skills do you feel you have acquired during this year?
The intensiveness and broad scope of this degree instilled me with the tools to unpack complicated political and economic issues while being mindful of the different approaches in the US and Europe. I have also grown more comfortable facing a steep learning curve — whether that be a new programming application, an unfamiliar economic concept, or simply living in a foreign city. Though my French and Flemish pronunciations often failed, perhaps I grew the most by branching out and becoming friends with other international students who, like me, came to call Brussels a second home.
What is your job position?
I got a job at the Bank Policy Institute, a trade association of leading banks operating in the US. They primarily do regulatory and legislative advocacy, although I’m working for their two PhD economists on the research team as a Research Analyst.
In which way was your master instrumental to obtain your current job?
I wouldn’t have been able to obtain this job without this masters. Of course, the data analysis skills and understanding of micro/macroeconomics are directly relevant to my position. But perhaps more importantly, I think the uniqueness of this degree really set me apart as an applicant. People are simply curious as to what this dual degree is all about, and I’m eager to tell them.
Please describe your Solvay and Georgetown experience in one sentence.
There are no more interesting places to study political economy than Washington D.C. and Brussels.