Degree: BS in Economics
Class Year: 2012
Position and Employer: Database Developer, Center for Advanced Transportation Technology, University of Maryland College Park
Anna Petrone, who majored in economics and math with a minor in physics, landed a position in the Federal Reserve’s two-year research assistant program within its Macroeconomic and Quantitative Studies section. She credits the Drexel Co-op program with providing her with the experience necessary to land this position.
“They were looking for someone with programming and analytical skills,” she says. “My first co-op was at a start-up energy supplier called Energy Plus. That experience made me realize how necessary programming skills are… it got me thinking about data and query language.”
Petrone’s second and third co-ops were both in the Informatics Department of Independence Blue Cross. Informatics handles most of the business critical data, from claims processing to risk analysis. “This is where I learned SQL, SAS, and became familiar with a few other programming languages.” Through her physics minor and math major, she also learned C++, python and Matlab. “It was certainly this collection of languages that made my resume stand out at the Fed. They were looking for someone with programming and analytical skills.”
Petrone began her studies at Drexel as a physics and math major, but decided to switch to economics because she was attracted to its practicality. “I was drawn to econ for its relevance and because every day, new problems arise that constantly challenge and develop the theory itself. You just don’t have that in the more formal science fields,” she says. “As a math major, I view economics as a highly applied area of study, which is why I like it so much.”
Her assignment at the Federal Reserve was in a department that is part of the Economics and Research division of the Fed’s Board of Governors. It develops and maintains the quantitative models of the economy, which are used by other sections of the Board.
Since completing her two year program at the Federal Reserve, she completed her masters degree in Transportation Engineering at the University of Maryland College Park, served as an operations research scientist at Split Technology Inc. and now works as a database developer at the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology at the University of Maryland.