Peter Durham ‘18

Peter grew up in Western Maryland and chose to attend Johns Hopkins both because of the location and because of the emphasis on academic research. He completed a double major in Economics and German. “Economics is a widely applicable subject that can be useful in many different fields. As someone who entered Hopkins undecided, Economics was a good fit and helped me find direction throughout my college career.”

Peter’s favorite aspects of economics classes were the small sizes in the upper-level courses as well the wide variety of options available. From majoring in Economics, Peter learned: “how to approach problems critically, especially when trying to rationalize behavior. I also developed skills in quantitative analytics as well as modeling.”

In his junior summer and senior year, Peter worked as a research assistant for the Poverty Inequality Research Lab where he conducted quantitative research on public housing programs. This led to a senior thesis, advised by Professor Nick Papageorge, faculty in the Economics Department, and Phil Garboden, graduate student in the Sociology Department, investigating the impact of increasing fair market rates on the segregation levels of section 8 voucher holders. “Writing the thesis provided me with the invaluable experience of conducting independent research and helped me integrate economic concepts and skills that I learned in my economics classes.”

During his time at Hopkins, Peter also enjoyed serving on the executive board of Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed business fraternity and working as an analyst for Students Consulting for Non-profit Organizations. He was treasurer of the Medical Translation and Interpretation Initiative, whose mission is to improve the means of communication between patients and health -care providers.

After graduation, Peter will be working as an analyst for Merkle, creating digital marketing solutions to aid clients. “My work with Merkle will combine my interests in quantitative analysis with marketing and business. Ultimately, I hope to pursue a career in either advanced analytics or to transition into management positions where I would lead teams through rapidly changing business environments.

Advice for potential Economics majors? “Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try courses across the wide range offered by the Economics department. Don’t specialize before you’re certain you’ve found the field/discipline for you.”

Peter, we couldn’t agree more!