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A thoughtful finish!

March 4, 2009

            So if you haven't already figured- I'm done with comps!! After what seemed to be an awfully long and grueling week, Friday at 4:30pm (a whole half hour before it was actually due!)- I made a dash for the finish line and handed my sixty four pages long senior economics thesis. Until the moment I handed it in, I was so caught up in making it perfect that I hardly took a moment to reflect on the importance of doing this comprehensive exercise. It was not until I saw some freshmen fretting over what classes they should sign up for spring term, that I remembered my freshman year spring term. I had come to Carleton thinking I would major in either Biology or Math- the two being my favorite in high school. However, in keeping with the Carleton ethos of trying new subjects and living the liberal arts experience I signed up for an introduction economics course. Just as one thing leads to the other I found myself taking more economics classes, enjoying the discussions in class- realizing how many of the choices we make in our day to day lives (rational or not) were actually economic decisions based on the theory of maximizing our utility(economists’ term for happiness) given our preferences. It was just more formally laid out with bigger terms and theories- but at the end of the day, everyone-whether or not econ majors- are faced with the same decisions and have to make choices whether or not they can officially refer to them in economic terms. I tried a variety of courses ranging from game theory (behavioral econ) to developmental economics; from investment finance to health economics. The senior thesis I submitted bridged the two topics of health and developmental economics as I evaluated the effects of maternal education on child health in India.

            Coming back to the point, the senior thesis was the culmination of the four years of economics at the undergraduate level. It might not sound impressive, but for someone who came in thinking biology was the one, finishing comps in Econ is definitely a feat worthy of mention. Where from here? - Graduate school/work – the question can’t loom in the background any more. I will be working at Credit Suisse after I graduate- however, graduate school in econ definitely seems to be on the agenda. As much as I complaint during my comps about the long hours of hard work, at the end of the process I experienced a learning like never before- and feel prepared-more so than ever to take on the challenge of graduate school.