Nak Suthapreda grew up in Bangkok, Thailand and moved to the United States at age 18 to pursue undergraduate studies. He initially studied in Boston, but transferred to Hopkins at the beginning of his junior year because of the numerous macro/finance electives offered by the Hopkins Economics Department. He ended up majoring in Economics and minoring in Financial Economics.
Why did Nak choose to major in Economics? “I studied Economics because of how essential it is in our everyday life. I am fascinated by the connectedness of markets and how policy decisions in the United States influence markets in other continents, and vice versa.”
Still, Nak’s most memorable class was a labor economics course, Economics of Discrimination taught by Professor Morgan. “The structure and content of the course were unique. We were asked to read research papers and write short responses summarizing and analyzing the points in each paper. We exchanged ideas with about the research with our classmates. Given the diverse backgrounds of students at Hopkins we were able to hear contrasting views.”
Nak wrote his Senior Honors Thesis on Thailand’s Optimal Investment Portfolio with Professor Greg Duffee. The topic was inspired by his internship at the Bank of Thailand. “The Senior Honors Thesis was a challenging, yet rewarding journey. It was challenging because of the freedom in conducting our investigation. However, Professor Duffee was integral in guiding me through my exploration. I was able to apply the theories I learned from my courses at Hopkins to assist Bank of Thailand in forming monetary and capital outflow policies for Thailand.”
Outside the classroom, Nak introduced the Global Economic Awareness (GEA) Profit, a Boston based non-profit to Hopkins students. “We recruited JHU Economics students to become GEA Leaders and lead Economics workshops taught to students in developing countries to foster economic literacy worldwide. So far there have been nine GEA Workshops hosted worldwide since 2016.”
After graduation, Nak will be going to graduate school to complete an MSc degree in Data Science at Brown University. He plans initially to work in the United States as an Economist/Data Scientist but will ultimately move back home to Thailand. “I want to use my knowledge and experience to help underserved communities in Thailand and provide them with the necessary means, education, and opportunity for them and their families to have a fighting chance in our society. “
“Thank you to Professor Greg Duffee for guiding me through my Senior Honors Thesis. Thank you to Professor Barbara Morgan for enlightening me about the presence of discrimination in our society. And thank you to Professor John Driscoll, Professor Yuya Takahashi, and Professor Bruce Hamilton for making my journey at Hopkins a challenging, yet fulfilling one.”
Nak, it has been a pleasure to get to know you, keep in touch.