Katie Laursen: Research Assistant for a health economist at the University of Michigan

"I also benefited from the research experience I gained through working on my honors thesis at Davis and doing some summer RA work before my senior year."

Name: Katie Laursen 

Major: Economics (Specialization in Policy)

Minor: Mathematics 

Current Position/Status: 

Research Assistant for a health economist at the University of Michigan

 What do you do in your job? What is your work like?

I help my professor with her various research projects, doing tasks that depend on the stage of the project. I have worked on some Revise and Resubmits for papers that are going to be published soon, but most of my focus is on a new project. I worked on requesting a custom dataset and getting IRB approval, and now that we received the preliminary data I have been cleaning and analyzing it. I have also been working on grant applications and helping my professor work on some of the theory for this new project.

If relevant, is your current job related to Economics and/or the skills you learned from the Economics major?

Yes, the RA position is targeted at people who think they would like to get a PhD in economics. We mostly use Stata for our data analysis, which I learned at Davis. I also benefited from the research experience I gained through working on my honors thesis at Davis and doing some summer RA work before my senior year.

How did your UC Davis education prepare you for this work?

The work ethic that I had while I was a student at UC Davis definitely helped prepare me for this job. Being motivated and willing to work on things that you have never done before has been very important for this work. I also enjoy still being in an academic environment after graduating because it feels more comfortable and similar to college in many ways that I imagine working for a company would.

How long did it take you to get a job after graduating UC Davis?

I got this job offer in December of 2020, so about 6 months before I graduated in June 2021.