Young alumna Courtney Wiegand '13 and colleague Louisa Liles met with the Upper School economics class this April to share their experiences working as research assistants in the Office of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank in Washington, DC. The two discussed the structure and workings of the Federal Reserve and the challenge it faces with its dual mandate to maintain stable price levels and to achieve the maximum sustainable, non-inflationary, levels of employment.
After discussing the Federal Reserve, Wiegand and Liles engaged the class in a Federal Reserve simulation in which the students chose different monetary policy options to try to achieve the dual goals. Multiple rounds of the simulation permitted the class to explore how different choices might exacerbate inflation or result in inadvertently increasing unemployment. The guest speakers conducted this outreach as part of a Federal Reserve Bank initiative to interest young women in pursuing careers in economics and finance.
Wiegand plans to return to school this fall to pursue a Ph.D. in economics and finance. Liles will be at the Federal Reserve Bank one more year and hopes to return to Holton to meet with next year's economics class. Both encouraged students to build a solid foundation of higher math in preparation for quantitative studies as undergraduates. They also noted that they have spent much time at the Fed working with and programming in computer languages.
Federal Reserve Bank research assistants Courtney Wiegand '13 (top row, third from right) and Louisa Liles (top row, fourth from right) spoke with US economics students this April.