Amazing Student: Drew Schmitt

The master's student in economics has a passion for understanding financial networks.

Feb. 25, 2020

As a Foundation Fellow, Drew Schmitt has been able to study around the world, is becoming a Double Dawg, and had an internship that is leading to his career in the world of economics and financial networks.

Hometown:
Rochester, New York

High school: 
Brighton High School

Current employment:
A master’s student in economics. I am also a teaching assistant for the economics department where I work for 10 hours a week for ECON 4040. I am an incoming associate consultant at Bain & Company.

Family ties to UGA:
I am the first in my family to become a Georgia Bulldog. My parents are both proud Michigan alums and I am the first of the family to attend a school in the South.

Expected graduation:
Spring 2020

Degree objective:
A.B.-M.A. Economics

Other degrees:
Minor in Statistics

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I came to UGA ultimately because of the opportunities available in the Foundation Fellows program. The scholarship offered unparalleled travel opportunities that I took full advantage of during my time at UGA. The program offered travel to New York/Washington, D.C., where I met Clarence Thomas; a Maymester program at Oxford University; a spring break trip to Vietnam and Tanzania; an independent travel study to Easter Island, Machu Picchu and the Galapagos; and a conference in Australia for this spring break.

At UGA, I was recognized for my achievements in mathematics by receiving a Hollingsworth Award twice. The Hollingsworth Award is awarded to the top student in each section for various math courses. I received the award for both “Intro to Higher Level Mathematics” and for “Sequences and Series.” I have also been a presidential scholar for six semesters and will be graduating this semester summa cum laude.

The achievement at UGA that brings me the greatest satisfaction has been my participation in the dual bachelor’s and master’s in economics offered through the Terry College of Business. The program consists of the first year of the economics Ph.D. program spread over two years that culminates in a yearlong master’s thesis. My master’s thesis on “SEC Deterrence on Insider Trading Profitability” overseen by Dr. Mustard has been both intellectually stimulating and an amazing learning opportunity.

During the spring of my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to research opioids under the mentorship of the head of the economics department, Dr. Cornwell. The research was investigating the effects of state opioid “pill mill” laws on heroin mortality. The research sought to explore the possibility of opioid pill users substituting heroin when obtaining opioid pills became more difficult. I want to thank Dr. Cornwell for his mentorship and guidance during this research.

The summer going into my junior year, I interned in the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research. In the course of my 10 weeks, I analyzed 1860s interbank Pennsylvania networks to proxy shadow banking network contagion risks, created and formatted charts for the Office of Financial Research annual report to Congress, developed a research project on “Mutual Fund Redemption Risk During VIX Events,” and I trained incoming interns after my project researcher transferred to FDIC four days into the internship. I thank the Foundation Fellows program for paying for my room and board expenses; D.C. is quite expensive and the internship was unpaid.

The summer going into my senior year, I interned with Bain & Company’s Private Equity Group. I managed a team of 10 temporary workers to undertake market research, conducted data analysis on market data for market share and NPS by region and facility size, forecasted the incremental ARR of a new revenue stream, and gathered primary research to develop a market model. I thank the Honors Program’s Corsair Society for their help in preparing me for interviews. I will be returning to work for Bain & Company full time next year as an associate consultant.

I chose to attend UGA because …
… of the Foundation Fellows travel opportunities and the research opportunities that only a large R1 university could provide. Additionally, I wanted the diversity of course options and campus involvement that UGA offered.

My favorite things to do on campus are …
… working out at Ramsey, hanging out in Moore, playing IM basketball and eating at O-House.

When I have free time, I like …
… reading through the WSJ and NYT apps, watching trashy CW shows, and hanging out with my four roommates that I have had for the last three years.

The craziest thing I’ve done is …
… lean out the window of the safari Jeep to take a selfie with a lion while I was in Tanzania.

My favorite place to study is … 
… the Main Library first floor. It is relatively quiet and people do not look as sad as they do at the Science Library.

My favorite professor is …
… David Mustard. I was a student in his “Law and Economics” class and later he advised my master’s thesis. David goes above and beyond for his students; whether that is answering questions after class or overseeing research projects.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with …
… my econ A.B.-M.A. study group. Throughout the last two years we have easily spent on average three to four hours a day together working on homework, studying for midterms or eating at Bubble Cafe. Even when I had full-time employment lined up after graduation, I knew I wanted to continue in the program, not for the degree, but to continue spending time with this amazing group of people.

If I knew I could not fail, I would …
… open up a Taco Bell franchise. I think Taco Bell is the best value proposition in the fast food market. It experiments regularly with its menu and constantly seeks to improve its offerings and engage its customer base. Their focus on the consumer dining experience for cheap results in the best food product to price ratio in its market.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to …
… start my own private equity fund. Private equity is fascinating because you put your money where your mouth is. It is all about trying to search for inefficiencies, strategic combinations and betting the market is missing something.

What is your passion and how are you committed to pursuing it?
My passion is understanding financial networks. I want to help create a more interconnected capital market that is less prone to market disruptions. I want to see a world where consumers and small businesses have access to credit at competitive rates, while banking networks can maintain liquidity and solvency in times of crisis. To achieve this, I want to understand banking from an academic, policy and private sector perspective. So far, I have developed experiences in the academic and public policy sphere, while only limited experience in the private sector. I hope through my time at Bain & Company I can develop a richer perspective. I am committed to this passion after seeing the effects of the Financial Crisis of 2008 within my community growing up and the failure of current policymakers to understand the causes of the crisis.

After graduation, I plan to … 
… return to Bain & Company as an associate consultant. I look forward to the learning opportunities available at this management consulting firm and see where this path takes me.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be …
… my Oxford Maymester. The Oxford Program at UGA is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. My environmental economics course had a class size of three!

I will always remember watching the championship regattas, studying in the Bodleian Library and visiting Stonehenge. Studying abroad is definitely an experience college students should attempt while at UGA. The Oxford experience not only exposed me to a different style of learning, but also to British culture.


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