Analyzing data at the Federal Housing Finance Agency

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The Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, former Congressmen Mel Watt, and David Agorastos at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Pathways Program.

Name: David N. Agorastos

Hometown: Brentwood, CA

Major(s): Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Economics

Undergraduate Research: Defense Economics

Academic Goal: Ph.D. Economics (currently applying for Fall 2017)

Career Goal: Economist

As a student trainee at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), I worked in the Department of Risk Analysis and Research in the Division of Bank Regulation performing various functions of a data analyst. Specifically, I worked with the collateral risk modeling group analyzing data provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank System (FHLBank System) to the FHFA. My project consisted of three main parts: data cleaning, dataset construction, and data analysis. The culmination of which was a final presentation to the department. The primary tools I used to clean, construct, and analyze my datasets were Stata: Data Analysis and Statistical Software and Microsoft Excel Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Furthermore, I was able to participate in various meetings within the collateral risk modeling, credit risk modeling, and research groups in which each team would present and discuss the progress of their respective projects. During these meetings I was able to glean greater knowledge into the vital role economic research performs in the regulation of the secondary mortgage industry.

My studies at Pacific greatly prepared me for my internship at the FHFA by giving me the opportunity to tailor my education, both within and without the classroom, to my academic and career goals. For example, after completing my Econometrics course, I was able to enroll in an independent study and an independent research course with Dr. King pertaining to the subject of Defense Economics. Pacific’s Office of Undergraduate Research then financed my trip to the National Conference of Undergraduate Research at the University of North Carolina Asheville where I presented my paper “The Effects of Military Expenditure Growth on Economic Growth using an Augmented Solow Growth Model in Selected OECD Countries in the Post-Cold War Period.” The combined academic support of the professors of the Department of Economics and the financing support of the Office of Undergraduate Research Pacific Fund Grants allowed me to further develop the analytical research skills necessary to perform my functions as a student trainee at the FHFA.

Aside from the weather, living in Washington D.C. was a great experience. I lived at The George Washington University with a fellow University of the Pacific student, Austin Weatherholt. Living at GW, within walking distance of the National Mall, was an incredible experience. After work and on the weekends we would often visit the national memorials, monuments, and museums. Out of all my extracurricular activities, my most fond experiences were going to the Arlington National Cemetery and the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia on Memorial Day and watching the fireworks show at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on Independence Day. Memorializing and showing reverence to our nation’s fallen servicemen and servicewomen and being able to celebrate our nation’s independence were exceptionally moving and formative experiences that I will forever cherish.

In conclusion, I am deeply grateful to the professors of the Department of Economics and the staff of the Department of Risk Analysis and Research for supporting my opportunity to participate in the FHFA’s Pathways Program. Specifically, I would like to thank Dr. Herrin for his invaluable assistance in gaining this internship opportunity. My experience interning at the FHFA, collaborating with and working alongside economists, further affirmed my desire to continue my education as an Economics student in graduate school; and for that I am most thankful.

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