An enriching opportunity in economics – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

An enriching opportunity in economics

Elaine Aguasvivas ’10 is putting her economics skills to good use this summer while interning at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. “This opportunity is helping me understand and further develop my previous knowledge in economics,” she says. “I love how enriching it has proven to be.” She learned about this internship opportunity at the Latin American Organization’s Extravaganza last semester. Alumnus Reinaldo Llano ’99, founder of Extravaganza, gave Aguasvivas contact information for alumna Sandra Rivera ‘85, Assistant Director of the Office of Economics at the International Trade Commission, who helped Aguasvivas land her internship. The Salisbury Center for Career Services was very helpful during Aguasvivas’s process of securing her internship. She credits Brandi Ferrara and Bob Murphy in particular for helping her make the internship possible. “I was awarded an endowment fund scholarship, which is helping cover most of my rent here,” says Aguasvivas. “Reinaldo also made a donation, which he has compromised to do on an annual basis for other HWS students, called the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. With the aid of these two scholarships I have been able to just focus on making the best out of my internship here in D.C. as I need not worry as much about monetary issues.” Aguasvivas’s work with the International Trade Commission in Washington D.C. is ensuring that there is fair competition in dealing with foreign countries. Currently, she is working with Dr. Bob Koopman, director of the economics department, and Dr. Michael Ferrantino, lead international economist, on the association of the Consumer Price Index with US exports. “By looking at the time series 1990-YTD08, we expect to be able to draw conclusions on whether the level of US imports has had an impact on the level of domestic consumption,” explains Aguasvivas. “I have been learning how to look at data in different ways, how to read numbers more efficiently, and how to conduct my own research.” She credits her statistics course at HWS for providing her with a solid foundation to engage in this work. In addition to her internship at the International Trade Commission, Aguasvivas has also taken the time to join Toastmasters, a club to help people hone their public speaking skills. “My goal is to give ten speeches before the end of the summer – two speeches per week – so that I can get my Competent Communicator certificate and start a Toastmasters once I return to campus,” she says. Aguasvivas is a economics and Spanish double major and Latin American Studies minor. In addition to maintaining an impressive schedule of courses, Aguasvivas participates in Women’s Collective, is a Teaching Fellow for the Spanish department, and is the treasurer of LAO.