Mark Nicholas Bewley
Describe your dissertation, thesis, or capstone (if you completed one):
My work uncovers the danger presented by central banks' use of capital stress tests. While purporting to increase the robustness of the banking system, stress tests actually create homogeneity across the industry, leading to a buildup of systemic risk.
How did you choose your specific area of study?
Russ Roberts, a former Mason professor, inspired my interest in economics through his podcast EconTalk. There I learned that economics is about more than just GDP or business smarts. Economics is fundamentally about human action. Knowing that I would have the chance to study with some of the greatest thinkers in the field, such as Dr. White or Dr. Boettke, was the encouragement I needed to know that Mason was the place for me.
How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you?
My time in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences has reminded me how much I enjoy the academic environment. Getting a chance to be with professors and students who all share a vision for open debate and respectful dialogue is refreshing. It gives me hope for the power of reason to bring people together.
Of which accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud?
I am most proud of the environment that our cohort of students created at Mason. Our time was filled with open conversations, honest dialogue, and (occasionally) heated debate. But at the end of the day, we all respected one another as human beings.
Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career?
Dr. Rosolino Candela made a big difference in my time at Mason. Early on, I was skeptical of some of the implications of what we were learning in his introductory courses. Time and time again, I would meet with him during office hours, and he would kindly walk me through the materials. Each time we met, I came away with a clearer understanding of the subject, but I also got a chance to see the inspiration that has made Dr. Candela so passionate about economics. His love for the economic way of thinking is contagious, and it led me to persevere in my studies.
What advice would you give to an incoming cohort of graduate students?
Fall in love with your subject and the grades won't matter. If you become genuinely interested in your studies and engage your professors when you have questions, you will be better off than if you desperately try to get the best grade.
What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?
I am an analyst at Patomak Global Partners, a financial sector consultancy in Washington, DC. Whatever my long-term career ends up being, I know that I want to inspire others with the economic way of thinking, whether that be teaching students or policymakers.