Anthony Carr is a second year student at the Elliott School in the International Economic Policy Program. He has received his Bachelors of the Arts in Economics and German Language in 2020 from Guilford College. He has had the opportunity to experience over nine countries and maintain conversational Spanish and working proficient German. As a career aspiration he wants to contribute to the knowledge of how the global economy functions, focusing on the macro economy. He is currently in the STEM track, learning econometrics and time series, in conjunction with taking advanced mathematics as elective credits. He has lived abroad in Munich, Germany, living with a 98-year old Herr Polzin, studying intensive German language. He enjoys debating current issues, cooking new foods, and learning new languages.
What path led you to apply to graduate school? Why did you pick the Elliott School?
My path to apply to graduate school was haphazard at best. I knew I wasn’t done learning economics and I wanted to learn more specialized skills to wind up at the Fed or the Treasury someday. When the pandemic hit, I had already applied to two graduate programs in economics to keep my options open. As it turned out, it was the best decision I’ve made.
I chose the Elliott School for numerous reasons, all meticulously typed on an Excel spreadsheet (Econ nerds, right?). Yet, my top reasons were the flexibility of the class schedule, the glowing recommendations on the core professors via RateMyProfessor, and the location of the Elliott School. I remember getting a call from Dr. Michael Moore, with him telling me of his view of the most influential government and international agencies from his office. Whether that was the usual lines or not, it sold me one hundred percent. I affirmed my commitment to the Elliott School that week.
What has been your favorite course at the Elliott School so far and why?
Surprisingly, my favorite classes revolve around math and statistics. The first was Mathematics for Economists with Dr. Danger and the second was Probability and Statistics with Dr. Kassekert. Both classes pushed my understanding of mathematics and theoretical concepts to a point where I feel confident reading published papers, grasping both the proofs and the regression equations. These classes also gave me a perspective of the applicability of math in the real world – something I was lacking in my understanding of economics.
Though, you honestly cannot go wrong with any classes you take at the Elliott School. All of the professors, in my experience, are really passionate about their subjects and want students to learn concepts that they can directly apply to the workplace. Professors at the Elliott School also have a wide range of expertise. If you have a passion or something you want to learn more about, there’s a professor who has worked or is working for an agency that does research in that area.
One of the ideas I have as to my future career is working for the Treasury in the International Affairs Office. I enjoy the idea of researching economic, political, and legal concepts with the idea of furthering global interests. If I were to project out five years from now, I would like to say I would be working for the government in some capacity either here in DC or abroad. The Elliott School prepares you to take on a wide assortment of roles, as the courses are so all-encompassing. Since we have alumni in the private sector and the public sector, it makes it compelling to get experience in every area that you can.
Think of where you were when you applied to the Elliott School. What advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now, as a student?
When I applied to the Elliott School, I was wholly engrossed in my studies and clubs. I was working part-time at a Catering Company and Guilford College’s Global and Off-Campus Initiatives Office, in addition to being the treasurer for three clubs. Talk about burn out. At that point in the chaos, I knew I needed to follow my passion for economics further and so I applied to the Elliott School.
Some advice I would tell myself at that time would be to roll with the punches. Throughout this past year, I and everyone else experienced large, personal and career losses. Confucius has a quote that goes, “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”. Rarely, do I quote Confucius, but this particularly resonated with me. Being prepared and hearing this would have allowed me to make the best out of a less-than-ideal situation (putting it euphemistically) sooner than later.
Though the summer felt eternally long, in the fall and spring semesters, I met incredible people in my cohort and in the neighboring DC area, who all have a humbling amount of insight to the world around us.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far at the Elliott School?
I don’t know if I can identify just one important thing I’ve learned at the Elliott School, though I can list a couple lessons.
Always check if your microphone is on. One would have thought that I had learned this lesson in the first semester of being online. Nope. Are you convinced that you have it off? Check. You just muted yourself after talking? Check to make sure you did.
Zoom happy hours are more fun than one would think. It is a great way to meet your fellow classmates and rant about classes. What is a better way to social distance and relieve some stress from graduate school?
DC is a big, small town and everybody knows more than you. I say this jokingly… sort of. A lot of people in the academic community and the public sector know each other. It is great in terms of networking because of this fact, but it was unexpected from a guy whose hometown totals 8,000 people (I thought I left a small town). To the latter statement, I remember calling my folks in disbelief saying, “The competition is so intense! Everybody knows a foreign language and has a master’s already!”. While the idea that everybody knows more than you is overly dramatic, I find it a good philosophy to have. There’s a lot of smart people around you that you can learn from. With preconceived paradigms aside, one can learn a lot.
How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?
Absolutely! But it can’t simply be pineapple. You have to go all out, with the BBQ sauce and ham too!
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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 email@example.com.
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.