Olga Baranoff ‘16

“I was attracted to the blend of quantitative and qualitative analysis within economics. Majoring in it gives you skills and a framework for analyzing issues in a way that is very useful and applicable to many career paths. I have enjoyed getting to know professors in the department and learning about the different types of research they do. It really is a very diverse academic area, and I am grateful for the exposure to the range of economic topics the department provides.”

Olga Baranoff transferred to Hopkins after her freshman year at a small liberal arts college because sh ewanted to combine an interest in Economics and Russian with the new minor in Social Policy. Why economics? “I was attracted to the blend of quantitative and qualitative analysis within economics. Majoring in it gives you skills and a framework for analyzing issues in a way that is very useful and applicable to many career paths. I have enjoyed getting to know professors in the department and learning about the different types of research they do. It really is a very diverse academic area, and I am grateful for the exposure to the range of economic topics the department provides.” In upper-level electives, Olga enjoyed reading academic papers and critically analyzing them in class. “While the exposure to established economists’ research is valuable, class discussions with peers and the ability to apply knowledge from lectures has been equally constructive.”

In Spring, 2015 Olga was one of the first cohort of students to be accepted into the competitive Social Policy Program. As a Policy Fellow in D.C., Olga interned four days a week at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth where she conducted research on labor market issues. Along with the other Fellows, Olga also took policy-related classes taught by professionals from think-tanks, government organizations, and private and non-profit sectors. “I found the DC Social Policy semester to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my time at Hopkins, and a unique networking opportunity.” Olga has filled her time at Hopkins with a variety of other activities, including writing for Politik, a weekly online political magazine, tutoring with the Tutorial Project, and playing Varsity squash. After graduation Olga hopes to work either in finance, consulting, or a policy-related field. “Regardless of where I end up, I want to be doing something that continuously challenges me and requires me to apply the analytical and critical thinking skills I’ve gained by majoring in economics.”