Undergraduate senior Jessi Meadows has always believed in the benefits of attending college and continuing her education; seeing learning as an avenue for growth and self discovery as well as a path toward opportunities and skills for self-sufficiency and independence in order to pursue one’s best self. Recognizing the diverse range of high-caliber programs and research opportunities available at U-M, Jessi felt Ann Arbor would be a place she could not only see her coursework in action, but also one where she could grow and thrive.

First discovering economics in high school, Jessi was astounded by just how much economics could explain. Intrigued to learn more about its interconnectivity, Jessi began her undergraduate career intending to focus on economics and political science with the plan to attend law school. In her second year, though, Jessi shifted her attention soley to economics; focusing instead on coursework which would allow her to participate in economics research and take an honors track in Economics, as well as prepare her for a PhD program in the future. She also added minors in applied statistics and mathematics.

Particularly interested in regulatory economics and macroeconomics, Jessi’s senior honors thesis explores the elasticity of employment in the oil industry. She hopes to develop a model to explain how quickly employees get hired and fired during oil price shocks, understanding how allocating resources and creating an economy that thrives on sustainability will be especially pertinent in the future. Jessi feels this thesis has been the greatest impact on her work and studies—helping her narrow her interests in economics and gain confidence in her abilities.

Jessi has been an active student in the U-M Department of Economics and beyond. Not only has she focused on learning empirical economics and gained proficiency in using statistical software and techniques, she has applied these skills in a variety of settings from research positions with faculty within the department to an internship with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Jessi has also served in a leadership role for the U-M’s chapter of Omnicron Delta Epislon, the international honor society for economics; worked with Nexecon Consulting Group, a student-run consulting group in the Ross School of Business where she’s applied her economics degree to financial and business settings by working with real clients; and participated in the Society for Women in Economcs (SWiE), an undergraduate group providing community and support through lectures and opportunities that are women-focused, which has helped Jessi to see many of the various opportunities and career paths women take in the field. Additionally, Jessi has progressed to a blue belt with club sport Michigan Taekwondo.

Motivated by a fundamental curiosity about the world and a desire to make an impact, Jessi trusts her economics degree will provide her tools and capabilities to do just that. She is extremely pround of her accomplishments to date including her GPA, placing second at the annual University of Chicago Econometrics competition, succeeding in research and professional positions within and outside of school, and most importantly: growing as a person. She looks forward to pursuing a graduate degree in economics or statistics (or both) after spending some time in the workforce, as well as cultivating hobbies and making a difference wherever she goes. To others just starting out at U-M, Jessi would encourage openness to everything. Know that there is no set path and success is possible no matter what you choose to pursue—it is more important to try new things than plan the next 50 years right now: You never know where life will lead you.