#WeAreElliott: Clare Otting

Clare Otting, MA International Economic Policy, Class of 2022, #WeAreElliott Current Student

Clare Otting is a first-year graduate student in the International Economic Policy program at the Elliott School, concentrating in international trade. After receiving her bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and German from the Elliott School in 2019, she was a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals fellow and lived, studied, and worked in Germany. Clare has previously interned at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt, the Representative of German Industry and Trade, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. She is currently the program assistant for the International Economic Policy program, assisting both current and prospective students.

What has been your favorite experience at the Elliott School so far and why?

I’m currently taking a course called Quantitative Models for Trade Policy Analysis, which is taught by the Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission. I’m very interested in trade, so it’s been fascinating to analyze the effects of trade policies using these models. The course also focuses on how to write clearly and effectively communicate results to policymakers, which I hope will be a useful skill in my future career.

What courses have you found most helpful in your work/intern/volunteer experiences and how have they been useful?

I’ve been building up my quantitative data analysis skills by taking courses on Mathematical Methods for Economics, Probability and Statistics for Economics, and Stata Fundamentals. I’m now comfortable using R and Stata for statistical analysis. Strengthening my quantitative skills opens doors for me professionally.

Describe the pros and cons of being a full-time/part-time student at the Elliott School

I’m a full-time student with a part-time job, which works well for me. Almost all of our courses are offered after 5pm, so I’m able to both work and study during the day and go to class in the evenings. Many of my classmates do the opposite – work full-time and study part-time – and manage to balance that as well!

What resources or strategies have proven to be the most valuable in helping you reach success at the Elliott School?

It’s been important for me to develop relationships with fellow students and alumni. Even though this requires a little more effort in the online environment, it’s definitely possible. I’ve gotten to know the other members of my cohort through online social events, and I look forward to meeting them in-person soon. I’ve also made connections with alumni through LinkedIn and networking events. Over the course of the academic year, our program has hosted a series of three alumni career panels, focusing on the private sector, public sector, and international organizations. I’ve built relationships with alumni who are currently working for organizations like the World Trade Organization, U.S. Trade Representative, and International Monetary Fund. Receiving advice from them and learning about their experiences has been so valuable.

What advice do you have for prospective students who are comparing a graduate program at the Elliott School with other DC grad schools?

Talk to current students! There’s only so much you can glean from a program’s website. You’ll get a much better idea of the program’s offerings and student experience by speaking with actual students. Please feel free reach out to meor my classmates – if you’re considering coming to the International Economic Policy program at the Elliott School!

What city outside of the U.S. should people visit and why?

Berlin. It has a fascinating history, diverse art scene, and vibrant nightlife. Plus, if you’re a big fan of the Smithsonian museums, you’ll love Berlin’s Museum Island!


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The #WeAreElliott profile series is managed by the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions and highlights current students to answer common questions posed by prospective, incoming, and current students. For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admissions at esiagrad@gwu.edu.

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.