ATLANTA—Gregorio Macias Garcia (B.S. in Economics ’21) of East Point, Georgia, has a head for numbers. What he really enjoys, though, is being able to quantify real world events and then make decisions with that knowledge. That’s why he plans to pursue a master’s degree in economics and eventually become a data scientist.
“I took the econometrics for my major and really enjoyed the courses, so want to get a deeper understanding of econometrics and economics in general,” he said. “I knew I was interested in economics but didn’t know I was interested in the deep data aspects of it. The advanced degree will help me improve my skills in economic forecasting.”
A report he completed for his undergraduate coursework and an internship with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have shown him the possibilities his career choice will offer.
“The report was for a class Dr. Lorenzo Almada taught,” he said. “I was looking at car accident factors, analyzing data for the United Kingdom from 2005 to 2013. I found that every 10 years a driver ages, his or her probability of being in a fatal accident increases by .0003. Rain, too, increases the probability by .0005. It’s not that much, but still interesting and had me wanting to learn more about econometrics.”
Garcia looked up analytics internships on the Handshake website and secured a position working remotely as a data analyst for the FAA’s Business Intelligence headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“I was looking for a summer internship where I could practice my skills,” he said. “I decided to apply with the FAA because it’s a federal agency, difficult to enter, and I thought it would be easier to enter federal government if I got my foot in the door.”
Since his internship, he’s been in talks with his FAA managers. He’s looking for a full-time entry-level economist position with the agency that will allow him to work simultaneously towards his master’s degree.
Garcia, who chose Georgia State upon graduating from Tri-Cities High School in Fulton County, Georgia, is a Dean’s List scholar who entered Georgia State University on the GSU Achievement and Zell Miller scholarships. He hopes his story will inspire other students to consider majoring in economics.
“For one, economics skills are really sought after,” he said. “While doing my project, the places I interviewed were interested in the skills I learned in the economics program. These skills can be applied in a lot of industries – wherever you have a passion – and are a great opportunity to make a change in these areas.”