#IncomingElliott: Brad Hamilton

#IE B Hamilton

Brad Hamilton is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in International Economic Policy at the Elliott School of International Affairs. He received a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY. Upon graduation, he worked in the private sector as an analyst for a printing and publishing company, as a coordinator in client and consultant relations for an asset manager, and, lastly, as an analyst for a wine and liquor distribution company. Deciding to transition into the nonprofit sector, he came to Washington, DC, as a ProInspire Fellow, a professional development program that pairs professionals with private sector backgrounds with a nonprofit partner to help improve business processes and operations. After two and a half years at a human services membership association, he now works in Global Membership at the Institute of International Finance, a global association of the financial services industry.

What made you interested in your undergrad field of study and how, if at all, did that contribute to your decision to go to grad school?

 I began undergrad as an accounting major, but after one accounting class realized it wasn’t for me. I took an economics class the next semester and knew immediately it was what I wanted to study. I enjoyed how challenging it was and how it taught you to be analytical and look at things from a different perspective. I also appreciated how applicable it was to everyday life and how many different industries, sectors, and fields you could work in with an economics background. The professor in my first economics class was also very passionate about what he was teaching and made studying game theory fun, so his excitement and energy helped me to be excited about the field, as well. During undergrad, I took a class covering international trade and loved it. It was then that I decided I wanted to work in international business or international relations, and it was that class that arguably contributed the most to me applying to the M.A. in International Economic Policy because I was so interested in the topic. I knew I wanted to study it in more depth and learn even more about it. 

What are you looking forward to about starting your MA program?

I’m looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of international economics and international business and how the world economy is intertwined. I’m excited to become more involved in this niche field of economics and discover how it can push my career forward. I’m also looking forward to meeting my fellow classmates and learning about their backgrounds, what their interests are, and how they plan to use this program to advance their careers or research. Lastly, I’m looking forward to going back to school after having been out of it for eight years.

Is there anything about moving to DC/starting grad school that you’re nervous about? 

I’ve lived in DC for four years, so I’m pretty settled into life in this city. I’ve been fortunate to have made a lot of great friends that have helped me get to know the city and all it has to offer. It feels like home now. Regarding starting grad school, I’m nervous about two things. The first is the amount of debt I’m taking on for grad school. While it’s an investment in my future, it still unnerves me to think about the amount of debt I’ll have when I’m finished. The second thing I’m nervous about is starting school after being out for so long. It will take a while to get back into the groove of studying and taking exams since I haven’t done so for 8 years, but I’m ready to get back to learning and growing my skillset!

I wish I would have taken a picture of my face when….  

I spent 3 hours hiking up Cerro Chato in Costa Rica through pouring rain and muddy trails only to get to the top and realize the entire view that we had hiked up to see was completely covered by fog. I’ve always wondered what the look on my face was upon that realization. I imagine it was quite funny to my friends.

The #IncomingElliott series highlights incoming Elliott School graduate students and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective and current students. The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs. Find out more about this program by creating a CustomViewbook!

For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail esiagrad@gwu.edu.