From Intern to Hired

Maria Alejandra Arias, MA & BA ‘13

For Maria Alejandra Arias, it was her two passions – soccer and economics − that led her to Webster University. A bright student, Arias graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2013 with a master’s degree in Management and Leadership, a bachelor’s degree Economics and minors in Finance and French. In addition to her rigorous course load, Arias played competitive soccer, both for Webster and for Costa Rica’s National Women’s Soccer Team.

“In the classroom and on the field, Webster provided me with the training I needed to be competitive and achieve my goals,” Arias said.

During her junior year, she leveraged her professional network to secure an internship at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The experience she gained proved invaluable because it laid the groundwork for a full-time research analyst position at the Fed. Today, she serves as a senior research associate where she works with leading economists to analyze economic conditions, conduct research and publish articles on timely issues.

“A career is a journey, and you have to make the most of every opportunity. It’s important for you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and meet new people. By doing this, you’ll grow your network and develop new strengths.”
-Maria Alejandra Arias

At the Fed, Arias’ research has spanned such topics as economic growth, liquidity, labor market conditions, Bitcoin and more. One of her recent publications, “What Does Money Velocity Tell Us About Low Inflation in the U.S.?”, which was co-authored with Yi Wen, assistant vice president and economist, provides readers with an understanding of how the velocity of money can be calculated and subsequently used to gauge the economy’s strength or people’s willingness to spend money.

Read the article and view Arias’ other publications.