• August 5, 2011

Under the sponsorship of the Robert R. Nathan Memorial Foundation, Esme-Thea Rogers spent eight weeks at Nathan Associates Inc. learning about applied economic research and analysis in a business setting.

Esme, who is majoring in economics and minoring in mathematics at Washington DC’s Howard University, was under the wing of three of the firm’s junior professionals: Maggie Pagel, Pooja Pokhrel, and Peter Miller.

For the first four weeks at Nathan, Esme worked in the firm’s litigation support practice, learning the ins and outs of economic data ”cleaning” and analysis necessary in antitrust and damages cases. To support ongoing case work, she studied case histories, made maps for use in presentations to attorneys, and gathered and formatted county-by-county GDP data to help determine the role of a particular industry in a state’s economy.

In the second four weeks, Esme gained exposure to a range of home office work in international development. She read USAID requests for proposals and Nathan Associates, responses to those requests, gathered data on land use and availability in East African countries for a food supply and demand projection to 2020, helped summarize the number of baseline and post-food-distribution monitoring assessments for each geographic and demographic category being served by UMCOR, created a gantt chart outlining the chronological sequence of assessments to identify assistance gaps, and catalogued data received for further processing.

As a self-declared “numbers person,” Esme appreciated the tight focus and timeline of litigation support and the ease of acquiring data needed for analysis. But, according to Esme, gathering data on crop projections from sources such as the World Bank was not so easy: “They told me the countries themselves have to authorize release of data, if there is any to be released.” Without data what’s an economist to do”

For future Nathan Working Scholars, Esme says “to be open to doing any and every kind of work–it’s a great opportunity to find out what your interests are. The people here are very friendly,and the lunches are great! ”

Nathan Associates wishes Esme all the best as she finishes her last year of study at Howard University.

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