Economics major Madeline Finnegan was sworn in as president of the Association of Student Governments Governments (ASG) on April 15. Recently featured in a story in NC State’s Technician, Finnegan will be representing more than 220,000 students on all 17 campuses in the UNC System.
As ASG President and as a member of the UNC Board of Governors, Finnegan will be making decisions that affect all students within the entire UNC system, a role that she said her studies as an economics major has prepared her for.
In an interview with Poole College Communications, Finnegan said that through her major courses she has learned to logically progress through arguments and policies and understand consequences of decisions.
“It’s important to be able to think beyond the goals of a policy change to understand the impact that decisions we make can have on all students of the system, and I think that my economics degree work has helped me to see the bigger picture…” she said. As she is interested in public policy, Finnegan said her major allows her to explore a range of topics, including discrimination in the workplace, how to assess the impacts of various public policies, and ways to predict market trends.
On a broader scale she said she has learned more about how people and societies make decisions, which she says is “invaluable.” In addition, Finnegan has greatly enjoyed the opportunities for building relationships with faculty members in the department and opportunities to engage in undergraduate research. She has been working on a project with Dr. Thayer Morrill, assistant professor of economics, in which she is investigating the impact of school start times on student performance in a K-12 setting.
She recommends the economics major because “it provides students with the opportunity to have both breadth and depth in college education.” While she has to take specific courses for her program, the flexibility of the major has allowed her to pursue two minors while staying on track for graduation. In addition, she has taken courses in religious studies, political science, and history.
In the future, Finnegan said she plans to pursue a doctorate in Economics which will complement her other goal to work in educational policy. “I’m hoping that my career takes me down a path that allows me to analyze educational policy effects in the United States either through research or consulting on a federal level,” she said.