What are you up to right now? What projects and new ideas are exciting you personally, academically?
Currently, I am living in New York City working at an economic consulting firm. The firm has a fast-paced, yet academic environment, so I am constantly being challenged, and at the same time I am gaining a deeper understanding of a variety of different industries. I have worked on everything from major telecom mergers to antitrust lawsuits in the healthcare services industry. When I started at the firm in 2014, I had little experience with the rigorous analysis this type of work requires (both qualitative and quantitative). However, I have had the fortune of working alongside some truly brilliant minds who have mentored and supported me throughout my tenure. Now that I have assumed a more senior role as an Economist at the company, I am working with new analysts and look forward to offering a similar sense of guidance and mentorship.
Have you been keeping in touch with your Bezos Scholar alumni, and if so — how?
A few months ago, we had a Scholar dinner in the West Village. As a newcomer to New York, it was incredibly refreshing to meet other Scholars, re-connect with Bezos staff I had met during my own Scholar year, and rekindle a sense of community. In light of how much I enjoyed it, I definitely think the NYC Scholars might be overdue for another meet up - perhaps a picnic in Central Park?
Which influential books, albums, podcasts, or films would you personally recommend to the BSP community of curious minds?
I recently watched a TED Talk on stress by health psychologist Kelly McGonigal. She discusses how simply changing your view of stress can not only enhance performance in stressful situations, but also how it can alter the body's physical reaction to stress for the better. Backed by empirical studies, her talk makes a bold statement on how the way a person thinks can manifest in meaningful, observable changes in his or her life. Click here to watch the video.
I would also recommend Vice News' weekly special reports, which feature topics that have national and/or global significance. The reports cover everything from the United States' immigration policy and its impact on families to the threat of space debris on satellites and technology.
Who or what are you finding inspiration in right now?
New York City! Growing up in Kansas, it was always my dream to live in New York, and I cannot believe for the past year, it has been my reality. Even a year in, I'm still enthralled by the culture, food, people, and experiences the city has to offer. Knowing that not everyone can afford to live in the city given the cost of living, I am grateful for the opportunity and have been inspired to make the most of my time here by exploring new places, interacting with new people, and trying new things.
Anything else you want to share with the BSP community?
If any Scholars are involved with non-profits in New York City, I would love to connect! I'm currently in pursuit of a meaningful way to donate my time and give back to my community.