Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Analyst

Greta Bernard MacdonaldGreta Bernard Macdonald

Greta Bernard graduated in 1999. She is an experienced management consultant and audit professional with a wide range of experience working with a variety of clients in the public and non-profit sectors, including healthcare and transportation. She has performed dozens of operational, performance, and compliance audits of public agencies, non-profit organizations, municipal governments and public hospitals and health plans. Greta has developed audit guidelines, designed, administered and analyzed the results of questionnaires, case studies, and structured interviews.

"I do remember loving my public finance course, taught by Bob Fischer, who inspired me to go on to get a master's in public administration. As a government consultant, at a high level, we are constantly advising our clients about how to efficiently and effectively allocate scarce resources, be it funds, staffing or infrastructure. Or sometimes, if it's an internal audit rather than a consulting project, we identify where there are weaknesses in a process, program, or department, which is impacts efficiency or effectiveness. I enjoy connecting with clients and providing them with solutions that focus on improving outcomes."

Jay ChamberlainJay Chamberlain

Jay Chamberlain, who graduated from Chico with a BA in economics in 1983, received his PhD in economics at UC Davis in 1987. After spending a couple years in Washington D.C. working for the federal government and a consulting firm, he moved back to California to take a job with the California Franchise Tax Board. Jay spent 20 years there, developing analytical tax models and managing the Economics and Statistical Research Bureau. He is currently the Chief of the Financial Research Unit at the State of California Department of Finance, a position he's held since the fall of 2010. His main responsibility is to oversee all the major revenue forecasts (Personal Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Sales and Use Tax, and others) that are used for the development of the Governor’s Budget. Besides developing revenue forecasts, his unit is tasked with analyzing tax legislative, as well as regulations and initiatives. Jay also provides technical advice to policy-makers and he testifies at legislative hearings regarding any tax proposals of the Governor. His unit is also responsible for the Finance Bulletin.

In a recent email Jay stated that "The quantitative, analytical, and writing skills that I developed at Chico are very important in my current position. While I did go on to get my PhD at UC Davis, I find that most of the economics questions I have to answer (as opposed to tax-law questions) relate back to things I learned at Chico. In my role in training staff and advising policy makers, most of the issues I deal with come back to basic concepts like opportunity costs, externalities, and standard methods of quantitative analysis. While I enjoyed all my economics coursework at Chico, I am particularly indebted to John Eckalbar, Michael Perelman, and Robert Fischer, both for what I learned in their classes and for their enthusiastic encouragement for me to pursue further education and a career in economics."

Michael CioccaMichael Ciocca

Michael Ciocca graduated in 2013. He is an operations specialist for Financial Telesis Inc. (Benjamin W. Wong and Associates). He is learning more about the securities industry, working with his firm's Investment Service Team to assist clients with any questions they may have as well as providing them with financial advice. He is currently working toward acquiring his Series 7 Licensing in order to advance his career in financial planning.

"I use economic thought and problem solving regularly in my position. I am constantly using techniques that I learned in economics to perform everyday tasks. I look at pricing statistics, financial growth models and many other things that all relate to what we are taught as economics majors."

"I would say the most important thing that I learned in Economics came from Michael Perelman and Anita Chaundry who taught us how to think on our own. They always taught us that the most important way to learn is to question everything. Do not settle for what someone tells you even if it is someone who you believe is smarter than you. Do your research and produce your own answer. For the 2014 grads I want to let you know that if you work hard and stay open minded you will find a job. I remember being very afraid coming out of school last year as a fresh grad. But if you follow your intuition and face your fears you will guide yourself to a career that you will enjoy. Give yourself a pat on the back this is a great time in your life, enjoy it!"

Steve CowdinSteve Cowdin

Steve Cowdin, who graduated from Chico with a BA in economics in 1972 and an MPA in 1977, worked as an economist for Department of Water Resources in Sacramento. His areas of expertise include:

Water resource project planning analysis, including plan formulation and evaluation; Consequence analysis, including economic impact analysis, population-at-risk estimation, and life loss estimation; Development of innovative methods for benefit-cost analysis of multi-objective projects; Flood damage reduction analyses using Corps of Engineers and FEMA models and methods; Risk management, risk assessment, and risk communication

I was the CA DWR lead economist for flood risk management studies and contributed economic analyses to several significant Central Valley flood risk reduction studies, including the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins Comprehensive Study, Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study, and Colusa Basin Integrated Watershed Management Study.

He retired from state service in 2010 but am currently with David Ford Consulting Engineers, Inc. (Sacramento) still doing flood risk management studies for CA DWR and other agencies, including the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan.

garth hansenGarth Hansen

Garth Hansen, who graduated in December 2011, works in the Healthcare Informatics Department at Cambia Health Solutions as a Consulting Research Analyst Associate. He works on a small 7 person team that serves as consultants for Cambia and their company portfolio. They conduct program evaluations, and provide statistical, methodological, and content-specific consulting on a variety of projects. His team is involved in many facets of the company ranging from actuarial to provider care. 

In a recent email Garth said, “I have always wanted to understand how the world works. This has led to a diverse set of interests from history and sociology, to physics and geography. I studied mathematics and economics because I felt those encompassed many of my interests, albeit in an indirect fashion. Similarly, this is why I decided to study for a master’s degree in statistics. Every field uses statistics to some capacity and I want to learn new subjects and fields during my entire career.” 

“At the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion, I started as an intern and was eventually hired as a research assistant. This job was a great experience because it helped give me a sense of direction with my studies and career path which was to continue on with a master’s degree in statistics to get a job in either research and evaluation, or analytics.” 

When asked how he uses economics in his career, Garth stated that “Despite economics being a hodgepodge of theories explaining how one situation happened, economics somehow manages to weave its way into anything and everything making it a useful field of study. As a person with a mathematics and statistics background, my studies in economics provided a focus for applying those skills to real world problems by developing my analytical, quantitative, writing, and research skills. While I may not be employed in the economics field, I consistently apply these skills in both my professional and personal life.”

JohnsonBobbi Jean Johnson

Bobbi Jean Johnson, graduated in May of 2012, and she landed a job as elections analyst for Yuba County in July of 2012. She is involved with the entire election process from planning, data collection and forecasting to processing candidate documents and poll site coordination. In a recent email she said, “I love my job and Chico prepared me well for the job market.”

Thomas LoganThomas Logan

Thomas Logan graduated in 2012 with majors in economics (honors) and finance and minors in mathematics and accounting. Since February 2013 he has been working in San Francisco, California, as an analyst on the institutional sales team that supports J.P. Morgan’s business development and capital raising efforts. His team works with clients, corporations, unions, and state and local governments, to raise capital for a variety public and private investments across equity, fixed income, and real estate markets around the world. More specifically, he is responsible for answering client inquiries and developing customized presentations based on client concerns, investment outlook and financial market conditions. Client responses and presentations cover a range of portfolio management topics, but broadly focus on asset allocation, investment strategies, macroeconomics and financial economics.

Jake LovisoloJake Lovisolo

Jake Lovisolo graduated in 2013 with honors in the economics major. He now works for Deloitte Consulting in Pleasanton, California. As a Human Capital Analyst, he helps companies align their employees with their overall business strategy. “More specifically,” Jake explained, “I work with the clients to figure out their specific needs from Workday based off of their strategies and processes. I then take this information and configure the system to work according to the way the client needs.”

Marcy McCormickMarcy McCormick

Marcy McCormick graduated in 2012. She is in graduate school at the University of Colorado, Denver, and has an internship with Datalogix. She expects to complete her master's degree in May 2014 when she will move from the internship to a permanent position with Datalogix as an analyst in the Industry Facing Research branch of the Analytics department. "I'll essentially be analyzing our methodologies and results to contribute to industry whitepapers on marketing analytics," Marcy stated in a recent email. Her official duties from her offer letter are as follows: (a) Work closely with Datalogix team leads to become one of the most knowledgeable analysts in the industry when it comes to measuring campaign performance. (b) Leverage Datalogix Analytics resources to develop best in class investigative reporting to identify and help resolve issues that compromise campaign performance. (c) Identify opportunities for improvement in internal systems and processes, investigate hypotheses, report findings, and drive necessary change/advancements to various internal groups (R&D, Account Management, etc.) (d) Structure projects and guide technical team members in the creation of dashboards, KPIs, and reports to lead adoption of fact-based decision making in the organization.

Erik NixErik J. Nix

Erik J. Nix received his BA in Economics in 2011. He works for APX in San Jose as a Market Operator. Erik works one-on-one with clients such as energy trading firms or power plants to assist them in participating in various energy markets both domestic and international. In a recent email Erik said that “I use analytics that I learned at Chico to create and change how we work with our clients and how best to view and work with different real time data streams. My degree has been very helpful in doing analysis on the job and particularly with Excel, which I constantly use. I have used my knowledge of economics to great effect in my workplace; I was hired because of it.”

Katherine Puliafico-DiPasquaKatherine Puliafico-DiPasqua

Katherine graduated from Chico State in 2006 and received her master's degree in public policy from Mills College in 2009. As part of her graduate thesis she conducted an award-winning economic impact analysis of a tax increase on alcohol in California. The analysis, which was published by Mills' Policy Journal in 2013, utilized price elasticity of demand to predict how a price increase on alcohol would impact sales and jobs within the alcohol industry. She works as an analyst for Sonoma-Marin Area Rain Transit (SMART Train).

In a recent email, Katherine stated that, "My degree in economics provided me with a solid foundation in quantitative analysis, critical thinking, and problem solving, which has helped me immensely in both post-graduate work and in my career.