Grad School Spotlight, Olin Marman

Eller PDC Coordinator Alumni Stories, Student Stories

Olin Marman is a 2020 Eller graduate who majored in Economics (BA), Ag-Biz Economics and Management, and Environmental Water and Natural Resource Economics.  He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Applied Economics at Cornell University.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

I decided to attend graduate school to better understand the intricacies of some of the coursework and research I touched upon during undergrad. This specifically centers around econometrics, or the use of statistical tools for economic analysis, and international trade and development. I specifically wanted to attend a research based masters program to “dip my toes” into the academia world and determine if I would want to continue working towards a doctorate degree.

What do you hope to do after you complete the program?

After completing my masters degree I am hopeful I will have a better picture of what my research interests are and the context in which I’d like to explore them. Economics is a wonderful program of study because it allows students to study such a wide array of topics and opportunities, but at points that freedom can seem daunting.

What advice do you have for students looking to pursue the same advanced degree?

For any graduate opportunity centered primarily around research, I think the most important thing is to have at least some concrete idea of the field and topics you are interested in before you begin the application process. Not only will this make things like a Statement of Purpose easier to write, but it will signal to admissions committees that you are ready to hit the ground running. While everybody finds what those fields and topics are in their own unique way, I know for me that spending time abroad was a necessary step to discovering what I was most interested in studying. Once you find a topic you are passionate about, tackling the GRE and all the other hurdles of the application process becomes that much easier.