Olivia Lewis

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As an undergraduate at USC, I was part of the B.A. Economics program. I have a strong inclination toward statistics and math, and I loved how a degree in Economics allowed me to understand complex, real-world problems using a variety of statistical analysis techniques.

Economics is a very broad field of study with many potential career options. I chose to apply to the Spatial Economics and Data Analysis through the progressive degree path because I have always been drawn to problems that involve our built environment and spatial systems. This interest was intensified with the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the integral connection between global economies, transportation networks, international trade and human capital migration.

The M.S. SEDA Program has been a perfect continuation of my undergraduate degree and has allowed me to take challenging courses, specifically, related to economics in a spatial capacity. I have also gotten the opportunity to utilize Esri software and take high-level Big Data courses. All these concrete tools and skills I developed throughout the program will be directly applicable to my future career.

After my graduation in May 2023, I will be working for a large economic consulting firm in San Francisco, specifically focusing on antitrust litigation and mergers and acquisitions. My rigorous Economic courses have prepared me well for this role, but I also expect to use my spatial analysis knowledge to understand the catchment areas of businesses and whether their movement can be considered anti-competitive.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to complete my M.S. and B.A. degrees simultaneously, and I recommend looking into the progressive degree pathways for any student who is interested in challenging and engaging educational experience, as well as access to research positions.


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