Rice Economics Fall 2017 Newsletter - Page 3

And What Did You Do This Summer? An Interview with Victoria Johnson, ‘18 interesting one to be looking at issues surrounding taxation, as lots of speculation surrounded what the new administration would propose and what consequences that would have for the country. What have you done at Rice that prepared you for this position? Victoria Johnson is a senior MTEC major at Duncan College from Torrance, California. In addition to her internship this past summer at the Brookings Institution, she has also held positions in financial institutions, insurance companies and local government. What kind of internship did you have this past summer? I was a research intern at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., in the Economic Studies Department and specifically in the Tax Policy Center, which is run jointly by Brookings and the Urban Institute. For most of my time there I worked on various issues in the realm of tax policy, since my supervisor was Dr. Bill Gale, the co-director of the Tax Policy Center. I didn’t have one specific project but focused on a couple of different areas, including the partial repeal of income tax cuts in Kansas, the taxation of imputed rental income from owner-occupied housing worldwide, and the status of household finances for millennials. What I did day-to-day ranged from helping to draft op-eds and blog posts to working with data sets to performing initial literature reviews. Since Public Finance very closely related to a lot of topics I covered this summer, it was definitely the most directly useful class for me. I’ve taken several classes that utilize computer programming through STATA and R, and these were helpful skills in looking to analyze large data sets. Microeconomics with Dr. Brown also greatly influenced my interest in and approach to economics generally. Besides just classes, I’ve been lucky to meet a lot of people here who are passionate about public policy, and conversations about federal and local issues greatly contributed to my interest in working in these areas. How did your internship affect your future plans? Being exposed to policy research at such a high level definitely made me want to work in a similar position after graduation, especially since I hadn’t had a similar full- time research position before. I also hadn’t previously considered working in D.C. long-term, but now I can see myself living there to work on federal policy. Because of my experience this summer, my goal currently is to work as a research assistant for a few years and then potentially go to graduate school. Ultimately, I’d like to end up working to effect change through public policy, either within the government or at a non-profit organization. What was your favorite part about working at Brookings, as well as living in D.C.? I really enjoyed what I was working on, and being at Brookings was amazing because they host a variety of eve