Tess Snyder grew up in Hanover, New Hampshire, but chose to come to Baltimore because of Hopkins’ focus on research. “I also liked how flexible the curriculum is, which allows people to pursue multiple majors and fields of study. The beautiful campus definitely didn’t hurt.”
Tess double-majored in economics and applied math and statistics, and minored in mathematics. She chose to major in economics because she has always loved math, and economics provides a really useful way to apply those analytical skills. “Economics is so broad that it speaks to a lot of topics that I feel passionate about, such as climate change and health care. I realized that many of these issues could be better explained through an economic framework.”
Tess enjoyed taking advanced econometrics for the ability it gave her to understand cutting-edge economics research. “One of the things that really stuck out to me in my classes was the interconnectedness of markets, and how difficult it is to understand the actual impact of a policy or price change. I am still surprised at how much my ability to understand and explain these connections has grown.”
Outside the classroom, Tess was president of Mental Notes, an a cappella group on campus, a teaching assistant for Introduction to Probability in the Applied Math Department, and a PILOT leader for Linear Algebra.
For two years, Tess worked as a research assistant for Professor Nina Pavcnik in the economics department at Dartmouth, analyzing the impacts of the US-Vietnam bilateral trade agreement on micro-enterprises in Vietnam. She also interned with 21st Century Cities at Hopkins, researching topics as diverse as crime rates and digital equity in Baltimore.
Her senior thesis, written under the guidance of professors Barbera and Wright, analyzed possible adverse effects of climate change policy. “It was a great learning experience that allowed me to apply all the skill I have learned thus far. It is also supremely satisfying to see the culmination of a year’s worth of work.”
After graduation, Tess will be pursuing a PhD in economics at Stanford. “Some of my most meaningful and fulfilling experiences in undergrad were in my roles as a research assistant and teaching assistant. I know that I want to be able to pursue research in the future and I really love teaching. Going on to a doctorate seemed like the best way to be able to do that.”
Does Tess have any advice for potential economics majors? “Take programming classes! They will help you get more out of econometrics classes and expand what you can do with your knowledge of economics. Hopkins is such a great place to study multiple areas in depth, so take advantage of that. This will broaden your education more generally but also make you a better economist.”