Braxton was attracted by Hopkins’ reputation in the life science and medicine, and his plan was to major in chemistry and become a cardiologist. However, he ended up majoring in economics and minoring in accounting & financial management.
“After my first semester at Hopkins, my interest in pursuing a degree in chemistry faded. In my second semester I took a variety of different courses to figure out where my interests lie, and microeconomics stood out to me. I was easily able grasp the concepts and had a fantastic teaching assistant who got me interested in the material outside of the classroom. This experience led to my eventual decision to major in economics.”
Braxton thinks all of the professors teaching economics are great “as they care deeply about the subject material.” But his favorite course was Econometrics, taught by Professor Husain. “Our final research paper was a blast to write as we were able to pick any topic we desired and gather data to conduct a real-life study. My specific topic focused on a way to predict the number of pay-per-view buys for professional boxing fights, a subject I am genuinely interested in.“
Braxton learned skills in economics that he could apply to other disciplines: “For example, I wrote a research paper about Chinese military strategy and utilized game theory, a concept I learned in one of my upper-level economics courses, to explain how militarized nations respond to trans-national terrorism.”
Braxton’s first internship was at a Baltimore nonprofit, Leveling the Playing Field, where he eventually secured a full-time role as operations manager, playing a big part in the company’s growth. He later served as a financial planning intern for Johns Hopkins.
After graduation, Braxton will be working in investment & private wealth management for Alliance Bernstein. “The more standard track of going into investment banking didn’t appeal to me, as I don’t think I could compete with the kind of intensity required for Wall Street. However, in this field I can spend more time working with clients and listening to their needs.”
Does Braxton have advice for economics majors? “Don’t feel stressed about not knowing exactly what you want to do the moment you walk in the door! Take a variety of different classes that seem interesting and ,most importantly, start networking early on so you can find internships that you might like. And take at least one course with Dr. Morgan! She’s a great professor and the class is super fun.”