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Huntsman Grad Starts Prestigious Master's Program at Oxford

October  2018

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Jackie SullivanLast week, Jacklyn Sullivan, ’18, Economics, started a Master of Science program in Economics for Development at the University of Oxford. Growing up in Bountiful, Utah, Jackie hadn’t considered that pursuing an advanced degree at Oxford would be in her future. But during her senior year at Huntsman she developed a strong interest in applied economics in the context of international development, and a desire to pursue a postgraduate degree in that area. Oxford offered an impressive program in her exact interest area, so she decided to apply.

The application process was rigorous, requiring three letters of recommendation, two 4,000-word essays on economics and international development, a 1,000-word personal statement, high GRE test scores, and a transcript showing a minimum GPA of 3.7. Jackie credits her Huntsman professors for helping her through the application process and preparing her for the program.

“My interactions with three professors at the Huntsman School, John Ferguson, Shannon Peterson, and Briggs Depew, were critical to my preparation for this opportunity,” Jackie said. 

Dr. Depew's economics courses greatly sparked her interest in economics, and his mentorship allowed her to undertake a substantial economics project during her senior year. Professor Ferguson and Dr. Peterson were both “incredible mentors,” said Jackie. “Their classes truly changed my life and provided me with the critical thinking and writing skills necessary to create a successful application to my program.”

Jackie is thrilled to have started her program last week and was surprised by how nice all her professors are. Although it feels likes she’s in the “Beverly Hills of Academia,” as she said, her professors already know her by name, and she’s been invited to dinner by a professor and his wife.

Jackie believes more Utah State students should apply to prestigious postgraduate programs. “Before I arrived at Oxford, I had a preconceived notion that all my classmates would come from Ivy-League schools and be smarter and better prepared,” she said. “They are smart and they are prepared, but not more so than my friends at Utah State.”