2 answers

I want to work in Economic Development as a career what should I do when I enter college to prepare me for a career after I graduate?

Asked Port St. Lucie, Florida

I am going to be a freshman in College startinf fall 2019.I am going to major in economics and/or Business Administration. #economics
#businessmajor #development #collegefreshman

2 answers

Anand’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

Hi Sabrina,

Great question! and I'm glad you're thinking about this well in advance. I have worked in the economic development space so I can tell you a bit about how to prepare. I actually got a phd in economics and then went to India and did research on economic development policies, conducting large field experiments. It was a great experience to see whether certain policies are impacting people on the ground or not.

I'm going to give you a few suggestions on how you should go about preparing yourself to work in the economic development domain:

Anand recommends the following next steps:

  • Here are a few organizations you should research that do economic development work across the world- povertyactionlab.org, innovations for poverty action, world bank, 3ieimpact.org
  • As an undergraduate, it would be great if you could connect with a professor at your school who does research on economic development. See if you can be a research assistant (RA) for any project with him/her. Being an RA will probably be towards your junior year when you've had some chance to take upper level courses.
  • Take a few courses that deal with measurement and analysis such as statistics and econometrics. These are good skills to have. Many of the organizations may give you a test in a software called STATA.
  • Lastly, volunteer at a place that helps the economically disadvantaged groups in your community. Having this experience will show that you have a passion for making an impact on people's lives.

Alexandra’s Answer


Hi Sabrina,

I work university recruiting and often mentor students on this topic. The fact that you're asking this question now means that you'll be that much better prepared as you enter college and beyond. Here are some items I would recommend that you focus on in your first quarter/semester in college.

Alexandra recommends the following next steps:

  • Set regularly scheduled meetings with your academic and/or career advisor. Even as a freshman, it's never too early to schedule these meetings. Your advisor will provide you with knowledge and access to a variety of networking groups, university affiliate groups in your field of study, internship and financial aid information.
  • Find a mentor! Many students wait until the end of their academic coursework to find a mentor. I have found throughout my career, and in working with students, that those who actively work with a mentor are much better prepared for interviews and the workforce in general. Here is a guide on seeking mentorship: https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-findingand-gettingthe-perfect-mentor
  • Create a support network. The first year of college can be difficult. Creating a support network of people that you can study with, bounce ideas off of, and generally help keep you motivated and accountable, is a fantastic way to set yourself up for success. Think of this as your extended mentorship group.
Good day, Sabrina you have a nice name. Smile - Carry a great attitude, realize the blessings from each person you encounter on campus and stay close with professors that you can form a bond with, including taking them again and carrying out research on ratemyprofessor. Active - Staying active along the way with career counselors, academic advisors, job fairs are all sure ways to get in the field you want to. Again smile, shake hands and keep a positive attitude when meeting people that simply want to help and know more about you. Enjoy - Enjoy yourself along the way, learn from your experiences, do not fear failure and be a dependable person that can be counted on to perform tasks, learn new things, and is trustworthy. Stay positive and imaginative! Troy