Hannah Sheldon '20
Applied Economics and Accounting major Hannah Sheldon ’20 has never been comfortable with accepting things at face value. “You have to look at things with a critical eye,” she says, “and you need to make sure the actual data make sense.” At Bryant, she’s used that natural curiosity to see what makes the world tick.
Her professors have helped guide her on her mission to figure out the world. “They’re so excited about what they do and want to share it,” Sheldon, who recently accepted a position as a Research Assistant on the Data Services’ International Data and Economic Analysis (IDEA) team with DevTech Systems, notes. “They want to work with you and want you to be excited about what you're learning as well.”
Inspired by competing on Bryant’s Federal Reserve Challenge Team, which tasks students with analyzing economic and financial conditions and formulating monetary policy recommendations, Sheldon decided to continue examining big ideas, with an aim toward making a difference.
“I learned a lot from the Fed Challenge and it helped me realize that I really love to do economics research,” says Sheldon. “I like being able to ask ‘Hey, what if we tried this?’ Or how can we take this theory and beat it up? Or if we took this hypothetical situation and did something new, what would happen next?’”
On her own initiative, she began to investigate New England unemployment rates with Professor of Economics Edinaldo Tebaldi, Ph.D., and has used what she’s found to challenge key economic models. A grant from Bryant's Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies is helping her expand her research on employment across the country.
The research she’s doing, she knows, will help her stand out after graduation. “Working with an economist gave me a new perspective on the process of economic research,” says Sheldon. “It’s a real differentiator.”
But mostly, she hopes that what she finds can be used to aid others. That was the result of a recent project she undertook with Professor of Economics Allison Kaminaga, Ph.D., that examined how land and home titling empower women in Africa. The project will be presented at the 2020 World Bank Land and Poverty Conference. “I took Professor Kaminaga’s Economic Development class and my eyes were opened to the challenges that women face in developing countries,” says Sheldon. “I knew I could help these women by contributing to the research.”
Real World Experience
• Received a grant from Bryant's Center for Global and Regional Economic Studies to conduct research on the natural rate of unemployment across regions within the United States, focusing on calculating an alternative natural rate
Co-author, Are New England Unemployment Rates Too Low?
• Investigated how unemployment is measured in New England
• Published in the Providence Business News
Co-author, Property Titling and Women’s Empowerment: Help or Harm? The Impacts of Land and Home Ownership and Titling on Women’s Acceptance of Intimate Partner Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa
• Examined how land and home titling can empower women in Sub-Saharan Africa
• To be presented at 2020 World Bank Land and Poverty Conference
MyPath Mentor, Economics
• Guides exploratory students through major and career decision making
• Assists with planning and implementing MyPath programs and events
Accounting and Economics Peer Tutor
• Works with students individually and in groups to reinforce concepts learned in class
Federal Reserve Challenge
• Worked with a group of students to prepare a monetary policy recommendation
• Conducted econometric research and analyzed data to develop policy recommendation
• Presented conclusions at the Federal Reserve in Boston
Assurance Intern - Financial Services, PwC
• Worked with team members to execute financial statement and internal controls audits for asset management clients
• Created data visualizations in Tableau to help clients understand the implications of the team’s findings
Congressional Intern, Rhode Island Congressman James Langevin
• Worked with staff members to support their efforts to aid constituents with various issues, with a focus on helping veterans and military families
• Engaged with the community in various capacities
Secretary, Bryant Economic Student Association
• Made valuable connections and discussed topics related to economics
Treasurer/Founding Member, Bryant Consultants
• Provides strategic business solutions for local companies to improve competitive advantage. Maintains financial records and request funding when needed.
Project Manager, Bryant Enactus
• Managed semester-long projects that have an entrepreneurial and sustainable aspect as part of an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic, and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve livelihoods and empower people
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An awareness of constant change informs his teaching. “Trying new things isn’t an option. It’s a must.”