Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Princeton University

Spring 2021

Position: Research Assistant 
Major: Economics & Mathematics Junior
Name: Ximena Mercado Garcia

This spring semester, I have been working as a research assistant to Prof. Christopher Neilson, an applied microeconomist at Princeton University. His research focuses on the study of public policies and regulation in education markets. I found this position after attending a virtual conference called ASHE Hispanic Pre-Doctoral Pipeline Conference, which was meant to connect Hispanic students with prominent pre-doc hiring institutions. The organizers of this event sent an email regarding this internship opportunity, which I became interested in. As part of my duties, I have helped Prof. Neilson advance his research documenting the prevalence of centralized admission systems in education markets throughout the world. I have been updating a spreadsheet on the status of the admission system per education level (primary, secondary, and tertiary) of each one of the countries. I have also written descriptive paragraphs for some of them, which will be later used to update the project’s website. My favorite thing about this internship experience is the support and mentorship I have received from my supervisor and the research team. I have gained a better understanding of predoctoral fellowships and graduate school by talking with other people at Princeton. This has helped me confirm my desire to pursue a research career in economics. I’m excited about starting to apply to predoctoral fellowships next semester!

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