I was born and raised in a family of teachers, and I grew up in a house filled with books, where teaching was part of the everyday conversation. While attending Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland, I admired the passion and dedication of some of my teachers, and by the age of sixteen, I had decided already to become a teacher. Ultimately, my path took me first into a career as a business executive, but while serving in senior global roles in BBC and Reuters, I came to understand that our world’s collective future will be determined by how well we educate our children in the present. My grandmother used to say that when you teach, you truly make someone rich. This is my heartfelt belief also.
As a high school sophomore, I read Robert Heilbroner’s The Worldly Philosophers, my first introduction to economics. By the time I entered Columbia University, I already knew that I was going to major in economics, but it was in the classrooms of the university’s Nobel-laureate economists that I fell in love with it. I realized that the models and theories of economics present a powerful philosophical paradigm for interpreting the world we live in. It is a subject rooted in day-to-day concepts such as money and savings and working for a living, yet these concepts themselves represent deep abstractions of how people interact. Economics is subtle, it is sophisticated, and can be maddeningly mysterious at times, but it is also deeply fulfilling when you finally grasp something difficult. I’ve sensed the delight students feel when they understand the money multiplier, or that there is an opportunity cost of spending today instead of saving for tomorrow, or the social power of a positive externality. I love my subject, and I try my best to make others fall in love with it too!
At Columbia, I worked as a Teaching Assistant/Fellow at the Department of Economics, teaching both microeconomics and macroeconomics to undergraduate freshmen and sophomores as well as bond pricing to incoming MBA students in the Graduate School of Business. These experiences taught me the importance of always linking new topics back to first principles and using graphs and diagrams to show how the movement of one phenomenon or event impacts the movement of all other phenomena. In tutoring high school students in their economics courses, I have also realized the importance of explaining concepts using examples from real life. For example, opportunity cost and the need to make difficult choices become clearer when we discuss why Mark Zuckerberg chose to drop out of Harvard.
I’ve also studied film making and screenplay writing, and I write poetry and short stories. A few of my pieces have been accepted for publication.