Department of Economics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Master of Professional Studies
Program in Applied Economics

Dr. John Straub, Program Director

College Park location
1102 Morrill Hall
Program Coordinator:
Stephanie Bergwall
(301) 405-3557

Washington, DC location
1400 16th Street, NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20036
Program Coordinator:
Eileen Kramer
(202) 525-4308

Student and Alumni Profiles

Alumni Profiles

Brian Bonis, Graduated December 2013

     Brian entered with our first cohort of students in the fall of 2012.  At that time he was working at the Traveler's insurance company, looking to transition into a career related to economic research.  Brian is now a Senior Financial Analyst at the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, where he began working in February of 2013, just 5 months after beginning our program.  
     Brian completed our program in 15 months, earning his master's degree in December of 2013.  In addition to working full-time at the Fed, he has also been pursuing a PhD in economics at George Mason University since September of 2014.  He was able to transfer some of the credits he earned in our program and apply them towards his PhD at George Mason.
     Brian is an active member of our program's alumni network and has been back to visit, giving presentations in our core macroeconomics course in the summer of 2015 and the winter of 2016.

A quote from Brian: "The experiences and knowledge I gained in the Master's in Applied Economics program at the University of Maryland were instrumental in helping me transition into a career in economics.  From STATA and the applied economic concepts to interacting with faculty that are well established in the field, I had the tools and resources I needed to start an economics career."

Mary Donovan, Graduated December 2015

     Mary started our program in the fall of 2013.  Balancing work and school, she generally took just one course per term in our program.  When Mary entered our program she was an Account Coordinator at Kellen Company, a global management and communications nonprofit.  In the spring of 2015 she moved to NDP Analytics as a Senior Associate.  NDP Analytics is a strategic research firm specializing in economic analysis of public policy and legal issues.
     Like about half our students, Mary did not major in economics as an undergraduate.  With a bachelor's degree in International Relations and French, she began her career in roles that leveraged her strong communications skills.  In her current position she combines those skills with economic analysis. 

A quote from Mary: "Maryland's program helped me gain the foundational knowledge and skill set necessary to change career paths.  I was able to get a job in the  field mid-way through the program.  I use the skills I learned on a daily basis."

Jonathan Marandure, Graduated May 2014

     Jonathan came to our program in the spring of 2013 with a background in accounting and finance.  He has been working since 2011 at Population Services International (PSI), a leading global health organization.  Jonathan works at PSI as a Financial Analyst.  Many of the projects on which he works are focused on reproductive health and HIV.

A quote from Jonathan: "Upon completion of the program, I started working on cost-effectiveness analysis assignments to assess the health impact of our programs with respect to the level of investment. I found the skills and knowledge acquired from the program to be extremely useful for those assignments."

Mary Sue Hamann, Graduated December 2015

     Sue is a Science Evaluation Officer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  She earned her PhD in Education from Ohio State in 1997 and has been working at the NIH since 2008.  She enrolled in our program in the fall of 2014 to formalize her ability to apply economic analysis, which had become increasingly relevant to her work at the NIH.  

A quote from Sue: "The program far exceeded my expectations.  I literally learned things on Monday nights that I applied on Tuesday mornings.  The four most recent entries I have added to my CV (manuscripts and presentations) are all things that I would not have been able to do without the things I learned in this program."

Guillaume Kasten-Sportes, Graduated December 2015

     Guillaume earned bachelor's degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Maryland in 2013 and entered our Master's in Applied Economics program the following spring.  At the time Guillaume was working as a mechanic for the University of Maryland's shuttle bus service.  He was hired as a Pathways Intern Economist at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis in June of 2015, where he was also offered a permanent position even before his graduation from our program that December.  Guillaume decided to accept a different offer - from KPMG Consulting, where he is an Associate working on a variety of projects including a sampling analysis in the health care sector and a project related to appropriate valuation of firm stock options.     

A quote from Guillaume: "I can't overstate the value of the program.  It gave me the additional education and background that have completely transformed my options in the job market.  Some of the instructors have also been excellent sources of career advice to me outside of class."

Maria Cecilia Deza, Graduated December 2015

     Maria is a Consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank, where she has been working since 2012.  She works on projects related to the fiscal policies and fiscal management of governments in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Like many of our students, Maria took advantage of employer-provided tuition benefits to enroll in our program in the fall of 2014.   

A quote from Maria: "I absolutely got what I was looking for in the program.  It has been a very enriching experience, especially in quantitative methods from both a theoretical and empirical point of view, and a perfect complement to my previous master's degree in public administration and economic policy management, which was more policy analysis-oriented."

Student Profiles

Qiang Cai, Expected Graduation May 2016

     Qiang holds degrees in Environmental Science (Peking University), Geography (Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of Iowa) and Biostatistics (University of Iowa).  He currently works as an Applied Statistics Manager at Fannie Mae.  Qiang's work focuses on understanding the relationships between consumers and the housing market. His projects have involved building a consumer sentiment index on home purchases, estimating the effect of student loan debt on home ownership, and studying consumers' shopping behaviors when applying for a mortgage.

A quote from Qiang: "The training I received in Maryland's Applied Economics Program has been invaluable.  It has helped me to think and speak like an economist, while working as a statistician in an economics research group.  This has enhanced my perspective on my work and opened doors to several professional opportunities.  I also appreciate the flexibly of this program, which has allowed me to work full-time, raising two babies, while still receiving a top quality economics education all at the same time!"

Sarah Lord, Expected Graduation December 2017

     Sarah earned her bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Maryland in May of 2015, with a minor in Global Poverty.  She developed a passion for economics in college, pursuing several opportunities beyond the standard undergraduate curriculum.  In the summer of 2013 Sarah worked on a project related to savings incentives in Malawi.  In the summer of 2014 she interned at the Department of the Treasury.
     Sarah remains passionate about economics, with a primary interest in applied work rather than academic research.  She currently works as an Economics Research Assistant in the Emerging Market Economies section of the International Finance Division at the Federal Reserve.   

A quote from Sarah: “My classes in the Applied Economics Masters Program at the University of Maryland have paired very nicely with my work at the Federal Reserve.  The classes allow me to continue pursuing higher education while still acquiring valuable work experience.  The macroeconomics class I am taking now teaches many ideas that are directly relevant to my work.”

Alejandro Segarra, Expected Graduation May 2017

     Alex is an Account Executive with the District Communications Group and a Civil Affairs Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve.  He earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maryland in 2008, and has managed programs and logistics for USAID, the Department of Defense, and other large scale domestic and international companies.  Alex began our program in the spring of 2015.

"I came to the program with a liberal arts background.  The courses are rigorous and challenging, even for students with more math and economics in their backgrounds, but the program has helped me adapt to a quantitative and economic analysis mindset quickly."

Somayah Eltoweissy, Expected Graduation February 2017

     Somayah earned her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry, with a minor in Global Poverty, from the University of Maryland in December of 2014.  As an undergraduate, Somayah participated in a University of Maryland Gemstone Honors Program research project and interned at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  She has been working since February 2015 as a Data Manager at The Emmes Corporation.  Somayah enrolled in our program in the fall of 2015.

A quote from Somayah: "I have been involved in nonprofit humanitarian relief volunteering and leadership.  My interest in economics is based in a desire to contribute more to economic development in the future.  My background as a biochemist has given me much exposure to the scientific method and I recognize the value of quantitative methods.  This program's focus on quantitative analysis definitely attracted me, and I'm eager to develop program evaluation and economic modelling skills for future employment."

Chad Bolt, Expected Graduation August 2016

     Chad is a Legislative Assistant to a member of the United States Senate.  He earned a bachelor's degree in Government and Political Affairs at Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 2008 and enrolled in our program in the spring of 2015.  Chad's work as a Senate staffer has required analysis of policies related to foreign affairs, homeland security, trade, labor, financial services, and taxation. 

A quote from Chad: "This masters program has given me a new set of tools with which to analyze public policy and to think even more critically about the challenges facing our country and the middle class.  Since enrolling in the program, I have been promoted to a higher level of responsibility, providing the senator with analysis and recommendations on a range of policy issues."

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