Brandeis International Business School

Lara Loewenstein, MA’12, PhD’16: Researching the world around her

Lara Loewenstein
Why did you want to earn a PhD in international economics and finance?

I am a first generation American with family all over the globe. Maybe because of that I’ve always been drawn to lines of thinking that take a more international perspective. I also graduated from college in California in 2007, so my initial experiences as a full-time member of the labor force were colored by the financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession. While I had previously not considered economics or finance as subjects of interest, I became fascinated by what I saw going on in the country and the world and wanted to better understand it.

The PhD program gave me the tools to conduct independent research, which is the main component of my job as a Research Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Why did you choose Brandeis?

Before attending Brandeis, I had been working on a master’s degree at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins. A professor I met there had formerly worked at Brandeis and recommended the program.

I found the small size of the program to be very reassuring. I watched other people at more intense, larger programs at more brand-name schools and saw that despite being at larger departments, they often struggled to find mentors. Brandeis is small enough that they are concerned about the success of every one of the PhD students that attends their program.

What was your favorite experience at Brandeis?

Outside of academics, I really enjoyed being in Boston. It’s a great city. Boston is a small, but dense city with a big academic community. I enjoyed it for social reasons—I met my husband while I was there!—and for professional reasons. Namely, I ended up working at the Boston Fed while finishing my PhD at Brandeis, which was a fantastic experience.

MA in International Economics and Finance
Class of 2012

PhD in International Economics and Finance
Class of 2016

Job
Research Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Previous experience
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, World Bank

Home Country
United States