Former RAs

Lauren Lambie-Hanson

"In my time as an intern and, later, a research associate for economist Paul Willen, I researched housing and mortgage issues, particularly the community impacts of the recent foreclosure crisis. I was responsible for maintaining large datasets of property transactions and mortgage data, writing memos, and conducting larger research projects. My research with Paul was published in the Journal of Urban Economics and other publications, and on several occasions I had the opportunity to present research undertaken with Paul to policymakers and researchers in Massachusetts. I worked at the Boston Fed while completing my Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Studies at MIT. After graduating, I took a permanent job with the Philadelphia Fed’s Risk Assessment, Data Analysis and Research group."

Chloe Lee

"At the Boston Fed, I was research assistant to senior economist and policy advisor María José Luengo-Prado and helped with research on household consumption and saving decisions. As an RA, I worked with a diverse range of data to gain meaningful insights, and this has helped me discover where my true interests lie—leading me to pursue further studies in data science at the University of California, Berkeley, where I am pursuing a master’s degree in information management and systems. I value my time at the Boston Fed because, in addition to gaining extensive research experience and analytical skills, I received invaluable mentorship from economists and formed lasting relationships with fellow RAs."

Jimin Nam

"I am currently pursuing a PhD in marketing at Harvard Business School, where I am working on topics related to behavioral economics and consumer psychology. I spent three years at the Boston Fed working for senior economists Anat Bracha and Mary Burke. I was exposed to research projects related to both behavioral macro and labor economics and was able to enhance my research and empirical methods. More than that, I built relationships with economists and colleagues, whom I still contact to this day—whether it’s for personal reasons or research related. I’m extremely grateful for not just what I learned, but also for the honest advice and support I received (and still receive) from the Boston Fed that ultimately led me to academia."

Kovid Puria

"After working at the Boston Fed as a research assistant to senior economists Falk Bräuning and José Fillat, I am now pursuing a PhD in economics at the University of Washington. I enjoyed my time at the Bank, and being an RA was a great way to explore research topics and learn about monetary policy. José and Falk are fantastic mentors and helped me develop my skills as a researcher. I highly recommend the RA program to any college graduate looking for an opportunity that will serve as a steppingstone to graduate school."

Nikhil Rao

"As an RA at the Boston Fed, I worked for senior economists Jenny Tang and Slavik Sheremirov, which proved to be a great learning experience. Through the mentorship of Jenny and Slavik, as well as through other RAs, I was able to learn a lot about macroeconomics and econometrics, and I gained valuable coding experience. This knowledge and experience have proven useful in my time in the economics PhD program at the University of Michigan. In addition to gaining these skills, I was able to view a large part of the research process and the process of writing papers, which, for me, was very helpful to have experienced prior to deciding on an economics PhD."

Sondra Spirovska

"I am currently a PhD candidate in economics at University of Wisconsin, Madison. My research focus is in labor economics, with specific interest in economics of education, workforce development, and international migration. At the Boston Fed, I was an RA to senior economists Jenny Tang and Slavik Sheremirov and benefited a great deal from that experience. I learned coding and best practices in Stata and Matlab, which made me more efficient in working on my own research ideas. These skills also helped me secure RA positions early on in my PhD program, which exposed me to new research topics, data sources, and opportunities to coauthor. I also used the Boston Fed’s generous tuition reimbursement program to take math courses needed for an economics PhD. By attending seminars and in-house conferences, I discovered which research topics I was really excited about pursuing. (Realizing you’re not excited about a topic is invaluable.) I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to be exposed to the process of doing research before actually doing it on your own, and the Boston Fed RA position provides exactly that opportunity. Jenny and Slavik were wonderful mentors who involved me in every part of the research process—from reviewing the literature and collecting and cleaning data to doing statistical analyses and thinking hard about what the results tell us to weaving those results into a coherent story. I was also fortunate to coauthor a paper with Slavik and experience the publishing process firsthand. All these experiences helped me decide that I enjoy doing research and that pursuing a PhD in economics is right for me. Although I have left the Boston Fed, Slavik, Jenny, and others in the research department continue to provide guidance and much needed encouragement as I navigate my PhD journey."