Grad School Spotlight – Sarah Sylvester

Eller PDC Coordinator Alumni Stories, Student Stories

Sarah Sylvester is a 2019 Eller graduate who majored in Mathematics and Economics.  She is currently a 2nd year PhD candidate at George Mason University.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

I have always loved learning and after taking an Economics class on a whim my freshman year, I was immediately attracted to the way Economics makes you think about the world. Deepening my knowledge of Economics along with doing research and teaching others made graduate school the best place for me.

What was the preparation and application process like?

Being organized really helps getting started (I recommend an Excel sheet with schools, important dates, research interests, etc.). Talking to different professors at the U of A really helped me get a sense of what graduate school would be like and if it would be a good fit for me. Also, I was fortunate enough to be a McNair Scholar under the UROC program at U of A, which really helps prepare students for applying and succeeding in all types of graduate schools.

What has been the most challenging part of your experience? The most rewarding?

The most challenging part of my experience was moving so far away. I definitely miss Arizona at times; however, meeting new people with similar goals and getting invested in incredible research (check out Experimental Economics!) has made every challenge extremely worth it.

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

I hope to become a professor so I can continue working on my research and entice other students to join the world of Economics!

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

Talk to professors who know you to see if it will be right for you and the earlier you plan for graduate school, the better. Getting invested in some sort of research as an undergraduate will definitely help, whether it’s working with a professor or writing an Honors Thesis.  Feel free to reach out to me for more questions and good luck