atlanta: the end, part 1.

I said I would finish writing about my time in Atlanta, and here I am! I really do apologize for taking so long. I’ll break the end into two parts, one for the internship, and one for all the other stuff I did.

My internship was wonderful.  I learned a lot of things pertaining to my topic, econometrics, how to do econ research, and what it’s like to be a grad student.  I had so much fun working with the data and trying to analyze which variables (I think I ended up picking 14) aside from the types of crises could have an effect on fiscal decentralization.  My mentor only gave me four–GDP, population, corruption, and urbanization.  Internal and external conflicts, ethnic tensions, the bank assets to GDP ratio, privatization, and entry barriers are some of the variables I added.  I spent days running regressions and making tables and got some statistically significant results for the inflation crisis!  I wrote a pretty nice paper, in my opinion, and it looks super legitimate because it has the GSU header on it.  My presentation went well, as did everyone else’s.

I was kind of sad when the job was over; we were a really fun group.  On the last day, we all decided to play a prank on Dr. Marton.  All summer he’d been telling us how they would put our picture on the main page of the GSU website, and we found out he really likes having his picture up.  Once we had our picture taken and he sent it to us, we photoshopped it and made a mock website. Here’s the screen shot:

So yeah, overall I really enjoyed this internship, but it did solidify for me that I don’t want to get a doctorate.


i’m cheap.

Sometimes. Like yesterday when I walked over 2 miles to Georgia State in the middle of the day instead of buying a one-way MARTA pass for $2–My monthly one expired, and I get a discounted one at the school. I had a nice juicy nectarine to keep me hydrated though.  I’m pretty sure at least half of my diet here is fruit. 

Yesterday afternoon we had a tour of the Atlanta Fed.  We first got to meet with Julie Hotchkiss, a labor economist there with ties to GSU.  I learned that there are several jobs I could get there with just my Bachelor’s, including one as a financial analyst, which is what I was pretty sure I wanted to do for a good amount of time.  It has a starting salary of $65K.  After meeting with her, we got to go upstairs to the boardroom.  I have to say, this is the nicest building I’ve ever seen.  Wooden floors, marble on the walls, high ceilings, expensive furniture…I was beginning to think, ‘holy taxpayer money’, when I remembered that the Fed is a private-owned institution.  Anyway, in the boardroom we met with a guy who does policy research.  He graduated college in ’09 and was definitely still really chill and not stuffy.  His position is more of a 2-3 transitional thing before going on to grad school.  Perfect.  Can you imagine if I got a job at the Cleveland Fed? At least it’s not Detroit.

I went into work a little after this.  For some reason, there’s been someone at my desk in the ISP, so I’ve been working on the 6th floor where most of the other interns are.  Kendon, Stephen, and Julia were there and we had a good time talking/complaining while we worked.  At about 6:00 I went to dinner with Stephen and Julia even though I had already eaten, but I was done with my work for the day so I figured why the heck not.  We went to the German Biergarten and I enjoyed a nice tall glass of ice water.  I love the taste of free.

We rushed out of there to make it back to school to meet up for the Braves game.  Possibly the most entertaining part of the game was the fact that we were sitting under the big lights, so once it got dark there were these little bugs everywhere.  The Braves ended up winning won 4-0 and put on a good fireworks show at the end.  Those may have to count as my 4th of July fireworks.  I think I’ve been home for the 4th once in the past five years.  Twice it was Cali, then it was camp, now I’m here…so needless to say, I’m not going to be bummed to spend it writing my paper.  Riding MARTA back after the game was fun/insane.  While waiting for the train I ended up talking to these Orioles fans (what?! I know. I know.).  They were also Steelers/Pens fans.  The story was something like the dad was from Pittsburgh and the mom from Baltimore but she was a Colts fan so it was okay.  Makes sense since the Colts were originally there.  I never would have talked to them except I heard the guy talking about how in Pittsburgh the whole city’s emotions are tied to wins and losses, and thinking it was just some dumb Baltimore fan, I chimed in ‘woo Pittsburgh!’  When the train finally came we were all packed in like sardines and I talked some people my age.  It was a pretty hilarious time.

As for the rest of the weekend, Cassie invited me over to her place to work/swim/cookout.  I might go over tomorrow afternoon.

So yeah, it might have taken half the program, but good friendships are finally forming.