Working as a broker in Minneapolis, Amanda Elkin asked herself, “Is this something I want to do for the rest of my life?” Her answer was “no,” which led Amanda to William & Mary’s public policy program. “I’m interested in public policy as opposed to concentrating only on economics,” she explained. “Public policy draws on new fields, and there’s exposure to new disciplines. The center of the policy world is Washington, D.C., so I knew I wanted to study somewhere nearby.”
She found the Thomas Jefferson Public Policy Program attractively small. The history of the Williamsburg area, and its comparatively mild weather, were also big draws. “The program was also generous with financial aid,” Amanda noted.
Focusing on international economics and global healthcare policy was an eye-opening experience for Amanda. “I didn’t realize the number of jobs in medicine that aren’t clinical in nature. There’s a lot to be done with improving the system in general.”
In the summer of 2006 she interned at the Government Accountability Office, working on the Financial Markets and Community Investment (FMCI) team. There she was an analyst on two projects, one concerning financial literacy and another involving corporate statement reissues. “Financial literacy is becoming more and more important,” she explained, noting that corporations and individuals alike are often uninformed when it comes to deciphering legalese. She believes that work like hers in this area can bring unprecedented levels of clarity, efficiency, and helpfulness to healthcare at a global level.
Amanda hopes to return to the Government Accountability Office after completing her graduate work. And then? “Ideally, I’d like to get a job at the Department of State, or the Department of Health and Human Services.”