Alumni Profiles - Meet Michelle Wei
Hometown: Herndon, VA
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major: Resource Economics
Minors: Sustainable Development, Environmental Economics, Art, Economics
Intramural Volleyball, Ag Ambassadors
Current Position of Employment or Education:
Graduate Student at George Mason University - M.A. in Economics program
Describe your best Ag experience:
My best Ag experience was working as an Ag Ambassador. I loved meeting prospective students and helping them explore all that UD could offer them, especially telling people about Resource Economics and letting them know more about a major which isn’t so well known!
Which Ag course was your favorite and why?
I honestly cannot say I had a single favorite Ag course. I loved all of my resource economics courses since I learned so much from them, but some of my favorites were: environmental economics, research methods, sustainable development, resource economics, and ag and natural resource policy. I really loved all them since they were an application of economics or math to real situations.
Tell us about your current position or program of study and what led you to that field.
For the summer I will be attending the Koch Summer Fellowship Program. For 8 weeks it is an internship at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. and 2 more weeks are seminars. Starting in the fall I will be attending George Mason University in the MA in Economics program as one of the Mercatus Center's MA Fellows.
The Mercatus Center’s MA Fellowship Program is for students who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in applied economics in preparation for a career in public policy. As part of the fellowship I get a stipend for working as a research assistant, have to complete a policy essay, take specialized economics classes as my electives, participate in theory to practice readings group, workshops in career development and job placement, and quarterly workshops during the year following my graduation from the MA economics program.
I have wanted to work on agricultural and environmental public policy since high school. In the beginning of college I figured out that policy analysis would be an ideal career path, although I was not sure on a specific specialization yet. When taking environmental economics taught by Dr. Duke, I decided that I wanted to find more economically efficient solutions to environmental problems, specifically exploring ones which can be provided by the free market. This is the perfect pairing of my interest in economic efficiency developed in countless economics classes, and my desire to improve the environment.
How did your College of Ag experiences prepare you for your current job or post-graduate education?
I have had such an extensive background in all types of agricultural and economic policies that I now have the ability to call on all of that information to apply it to classwork. I also feel prepared to handle the coursework in graduate school from the rigorous schedule and classes I had in the College of Ag.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
There are so many applications of economics, the environment and policy that you can really take it anywhere you want so explore all your options. Take extra economics electives in subjects that seem interesting or read some books, you might just find something you love!