Featured Alumni

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Owen Ragsdale ’22 began his post FSU career at Resolution Economics in DC

Owen Ragsdale

“I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to apply my existing knowledge around economics while still promoting continued growth; therefore, I applied to Florida State’s masters in applied economics program where I was incredibly fortunate to be accepted and named a Kaul Scholar. During my time at Florida State, I learned many theories, methods, and approaches that would go on to be used in my new career as a Consultant at Resolution Economics. My day-to-day work involves programming in SAS, researching economic theories, and finding data resources; all of which are skills I learned in the program. While the course work provided the foundation for my success, the summer project reassured me that curriculum and more importantly, the faculty had prepared me for life after the program. I am so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to learn practical methods and gain applicable skills from such amazing people.”

Jonathan Guarine ’20 was named a Rising Star by Influence Magazine, Winter 2022

Jonathan Guarine 

“[Guarine] was the primary author of TaxWatch’s analysis that found it would cost Florida businesses $36.5 billion to implement the Florida Privacy Protection Act as initially proposed by lawmakers…Guarine crunched the numbers, making them readable and accessible to anyone, including lawmakers and those in the Governor’s Office. Upon the report’s release, the Senate went back to the drawing board, wrote a scaled-back version and scrapped the private cause action.”

Read more about Jonathan in Influence Magazine

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Mariah Kill ’20 mentors interns at the UWF Haas Center in Tallahasee

Mariah Kill

“I graduated at a weird time since COVID hit halfway through our school year. I was a bit anxious about finding a job when so many people were losing theirs, but the program had steady postings coming in and this one appealed the most. A typical day for me is anything from constant meetings, to an entire day of research. I have a broad range of skills, so I’m involved with projects from start to finish. Data collection, Tableau visualization, analysis/report writing, presenting, teaching interns and so on. I’m uncertain of the next step, but I know the program has paved a great beginning for an even better future.”

Zerina Hadzalic ’19 studies market trends as a Capital Markets Analyst in NY, New York

Zerina Hadzalic

I began my professional career at Ernst & Young as an International Transfer Pricing Analyst in their New York City office a month after graduation in 2019. My role involved a copious amount of both qualitative and quantitative analyses, such as drafting transfer pricing reports and examining companies’ financial statements and raw data.  I felt fully equipped and comfortable going into a demanding and challenging work environment.

In 2021, I transitioned into a new role as a Capital Markets Analyst at MUFG. As a Capital Markets Analyst, my responsibilities include staying up-to-date and summarizing current market trends and geopolitical news as these are all macroeconomic factors which potentially influence the pricing and issuance of bonds and loans. I was also able to sharpen my analytical skills through our Econometrics, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics coursework, which has now proven to be very useful in my current position. 

Choosing to continue my education and obtain a master’s degree in Applied Economics at FSU was one of the best decisions that I have made.  With a small class size, I was able to truly interact and work together with each and every one of my classmates and professors – which was quite a distinct experience from my undergraduate career and mimics what occurs daily in the professional world.”

Kyle Baltuch ’15 promotes equal opportunities for earned success at the Florida Chamber

Kyle Baltuch

“Florida State University’s Master’s in Applied Economics Program open the door to a career trajectory that otherwise would not have been possible.

In my current role as Senior Vice President, overseeing the Florida Equality of Opportunity Initiative at the Florida Chamber Foundation, I am responsible for leading America’s first comprehensive, Chamber-led approach that works to ensure everyone in Florida has an equal opportunity at earned success, regardless of the circumstances one was born into. 

To this day, I use the core skills taught in the Masters in Applied Economics Program in my course of work every day. For example, the Professional Development course taught as part of the program helped prepare me for the dynamics managing teams, the advanced economics and analytics courses taught me how to view challenges through a different lens and apply analysis to build data informed decisions, and the capstone project helped sharpen my skills in the area of team work and project management.”

Keith Leslie ’14 recruits talent for Softcrylic in Atlanta, GA

Keith Leslie

“During my career, I have worked as an analyst across various industries including marketing, building materials, air travel, weather, and food & drink. Across those industries, I have worked with divisions that use data to solve problems that differ wildly: sales & marketing, logistics, supply chain, and HR. The Master’s in Applied Economics Program at FSU provides an excellent foundation for such a career. The coursework requires students to regularly work with & derive insights from raw data in order to provide recommended solutions & courses of action. Students then have to present these solutions & recommendations to audiences, which is what they will be doing time and again throughout their careers.

In my current role as Director of Talent and Organizational Development at Softcrylic, I am responsible for our company’s recruiting efforts. I am always looking for candidates who have promising and/or proven technical and problem-solving abilities. Graduates of this Master’s program are my ideal candidate, and Softcrylic has hired multiple graduates of this program each year since 2018. The Master’s in Applied Economics program at FSU has been critical to my career success and has helped our organization grow year after year.”