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Laurel Graefe

Laurel Graefe isn't just showing off. After graduating second in her class and magna cum laude from Agnes Scott College with a degree in economics last May, Graefe wanted to snag a job she knew would make a real difference, not just a gig to pay the bills.

"I'm really interested in U.S./Latin America relations and public policy, and I knew I would enjoy working at the Federal Reserve a lot more than anywhere else," Graefe says.

Her internship at Atlanta's branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, where she has worked since her sophomore year, demonstrated to her how she could create that positive change through economics. She focused her work on helping research economists with a wide range of assignments from organizing research papers and presentations to data analysis.

"The people I've worked with have really shown me what I could help accomplish through a career in economics," she says.

Graefe emphasizes the importance of getting an internship in college, and not simply because it looks good on your résumé: "The experience was invaluable to me because it helped me decide what I would be interested in doing in the future."

Graefe looks forward to starting her new job in August as an economic analyst for the bank's Latin America Research Group. "I was really hoping I would stay in Atlanta and continue working there, and I was thrilled when they made me an offer," Graefe says.

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