Studying economics with a worldwide perspective
Allison Fitzgerald ’18 has long dreamed of working at the World Bank, a global partnership that provides financial assistance to developing countries.
As a graduate student at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, the recent St. Olaf College graduate is one step closer to her goal.
Being a Norwegian citizen, Fitzgerald always wanted to return to Scandinavia after graduating from St. Olaf. “I decided early on that I wanted to go to Norway for a graduate program,” Fitzgerald says. “When I started looking at programs in my field of interest, I found that the Netherlands had a lot of great options. I also felt that going to the Netherlands would be a great way to push myself out of my comfort zone.”
At the University of Groningen, Fitzgerald is pursuing a dual master’s degree in economic development and economic growth. After earning that degree, she will travel to Lund University in Sweden to complete the second part of the master’s program specializing in economic development. After completing both of her degrees, Fitzgerald plans to pursue a career with the World Bank. She says, “The institutions that make up the World Bank aid the developing world in a multitude of ways, and I would love to be part of such a globally active and innovative institution.”
Allison Fitzgerald ’18The institutions that make up the World Bank aid the developing world in a multitude of ways, and I would love to be part of such a globally active and innovative institution.
Fitzgerald’s passion for economics began with the first class she took at St. Olaf with Associate Professor of Economics Ashley Hodgson. “Her passion for the subject was really inspiring,” Fitzgerald says. “Each of the successive four courses I took with her solidified my decision that economics was something I wanted to study further after my time at Olaf.”
Fitzgerald majored in economics with an emphasis in economic analysis and policy and finance in hopes of going to graduate school. Knowing the program required a strong background in economics and mathematics, she took two to three economics and mathematics courses per semester and studied economic progress in China during Interim of her sophomore year.
In addition to her studies, Fitzgerald was captain of the rugby team, a member of the St. Olaf Mock Trial Team, and a member of the Undergraduate Women in Economics Club.
She notes that the professors were very influential in her St. Olaf journey. “When I think about my most impactful experiences, I think of the people,” Fitzgerald says. “The best part of St. Olaf is how accessible and kind the professors are. To some, office hours may seem like a trivial thing, but the ability to meet one-on-one with my professors was incredibly valuable. In addition to helping with course-related material, they are interesting people who are a wealth of knowledge.”