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Los Angeles


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Eva Ma '21


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Washington, DC

Oxy Major/Minor:  


Current Company:

Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Current Position:

Research Assistant

Campus Involvement/Special Programs:

Women of Economics
Economics Student Association
Peer Tutoring

Secondary Schooling:


Favorite MP/Cooler Food:

Stir fry

Best Oxy Class:

Interpretation of Dreams
Global Politics of LGBT Rights

Groups I Identify With:

APIDAA students, APIDAA first gen students, non-white women in econ


I am a Research Assistant at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in DC. I am in the Microeconomic Surveys section in the Research & Statistics division. As an RA, I work with the PhD economists in my section to support their research and policy work.

I started exploring econ research as a potential career through the URC after my sophomore year. I strongly resonated with how econ research uses reliable techniques to connect theory to real-world data to study issues that I care about. I continued to pursue econ research through college, and I wanted to work on it full-time after graduation. I thought that the Fed Board was a great place to grow as a researcher.

I had a lot of help getting to where I am now from my professional network. It really did take a village. I hope to pay it forward as a mentor.

Career Advice:

1) Invest in your long term well-being. Maybe that means dropping a class that's making you miserable, even if you're worried how the "W" on your transcript might look to employers or grad schools. Or, maybe that means choosing a less prestigious internship because you like the company culture better or it's in a city with better food. You are in this for the long haul, and you never want to be in a position where you have all the success you ever wanted but feel too burned out to enjoy it.

2) Advocate for yourself. People in your Oxy network want to help you succeed, but it's up to you to ask for. Be both intentional and considerate in your ask, and the worst thing that will happen is someone says no. But if you're asking for 30 minutes of someone's time, you shouldn't expect to hear no very often, at least from your Oxy network.

3) Don't compare yourself to others. I believe that the idea of success being strictly a function of work ethic and ability is outdated. We often forget that success is also largely influenced by our socioeconomic background, race, gender, health status, whether you are a first-generation student, and sometimes sheer luck and good timing. No two stories are exactly the same, so comparing people's success often will not give you an apples-to-apples comparison.

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