Fall 2023 Opportunities
The Lowe Institute of Political Economy invites students to apply for paid student analyst positions advancing research and reporting into economics and related fields of social science. Positions include the following:
- Research Assistants
- Forecast Analysts
- Economic Journalists
- Bilingual Survey Interviewers
- Social Media Coordinator
The Lowe Institute sponsors quantitative research in economics, political science, history, psychology, and environmental studies, among other fields.
Research methodologies combine conceptual approaches learned in the classroom with data analysis and econometric testing. Students working at the Institute learn a variety of software packages, including STATA, R, Excel, Tableau, and ArcGIS. Research sponsored by the Institute is widely published, including in academic journals, newspapers, and conference presentations.
We take applications and match students to faculty and specific projects. Students and faculty can form their own partnerships prior to applying to the Lowe Institute for funding and support.
The Lowe Institute hires through an application and interview process. All applicants should apply on Handshake.
Lowe directors, staff, and students will be at the CMC Engagement Fair on Friday, Sept. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Athenaeum to answer all of your questions about working at the Lowe!
A Lowe Institute Info Session will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 6 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Bauer Founders. We will go over all student roles and expectations and answer any of your questions about working at the Lowe Institute. Refreshments will be served.
Applications Due on Handshake Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023 by 11:59 p.m.
About Our Student Analyst Roles
The following applies for all student analyst roles at the Lowe Institute of Political Economy:
- Duration: 1 year.
- Lowe student employees reapply each year, except those selected for leadership positions on the forecast team. New opportunities may arise mid-year, but this is not guaranteed. We plan to accept applications only in the fall.
- Positions are open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors from CMC and the other Claremont Colleges (Pomona College, Scripps College, Harvey Mudd College, and Pitzer College).
- The Lowe Institute is an equal opportunity employer with no preference as to gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or political views. Applications will be judged solely on the expected ability of the applicant to perform the job as defined below.
- Skills with software and programming languages useful for data organization, analysis, and geo-mapping (e.g., Excel, Stata, R, Python, ArcGIS) are highly valued but not required for all roles.
- Completion of Econ 50 is required, and completion of Econ 120 is highly valued. (This criteria is for all student analyst positions except Bilingual Survey Interviewers and the Social Media Coordinator. However, understanding of and interest in economics is helpful for all positions.)
- Each role involves pursuing open-ended tasks for which the successful path is not obvious. Successful Lowe RAs demonstrate initiative, determination, and optimism to pursue leads with persistence until goals are met. Deadlines are important.
- Students are expected to seek guidance from supervising faculty and staff for successful completion of tasks.
- Students are expected to self-manage within teams, respect deadlines, and communicate effectively with team members and supervising faculty and staff.
- Compensation: For AY 23-24, Lowe Student Analysts will be paid as follows:
- Incoming: $16.00/hour
- Returning: $17.00/hour
- Student Managers: $18.00/hour
- Students are expected to work 5 to 10 hours per week, as needed and depending on the position.
- The current CMC policy does not permit students to work more than 20 hours per week, cumulatively, across all jobs on campus.
Role Requirements & Details
Economic Journalists (EJs) will work in a team with the Lowe Institute Director and CMC Professor Cameron Shelton and Assistant Director Rena O’Sullivan to develop content for the Institute’s Lowe Down blog and social media accounts. Content will be defined based on the EJs research interests as well as the Lowe Institute’s focus on economics, politics, healthcare, education, transportation, and environmental studies pertinent to the Inland Empire and California.
EJs will need to be entrepreneurial in helping to generate ideas, pursue and analyze data, and write content. A weekly meeting with the entire group is required. Meeting deadlines is critical to success. EJs are expected to produce at least one publishable article a semester, and they are encouraged to work individually and in teams.
This role is a good fit for those interested in public intellectualism, journalism, and the intersection of academia and the public. This is a young and expanding program and EJs will be expected to provide energy and ideas in helping expand the program. Successful participants will present entrepreneurship while taking editorial direction in pursuit of data analysis and writing.
- Basic data visualization and data analysis skills (e.g., graph creation and design, pivot tables, functions, basic transformations, regression)
- Strong at reading, interpreting, and analyzing graphs/data tables; able to make economic inferences based on data
- Completion of Econ 50 is required; completion of Econ 120 is extremely useful
- Strong writing skills
- Ability to adhere to established article posting deadlines
- We expect to hire 8 to 12 Economic Journalists, which may include returning EJs from the previous year.
- Apply on Handshake, job posting #8130255
Forecast Analysts (FA) will work in a team with Lowe Institute Associate Director and CMC Professor Manfred Keil and leading student managers to generate macroeconomic forecasts for the Inland Empire (San Bernardino and Riverside counties). This involves collecting, organizing, and analyzing macroeconomic data, writing reports about cities in the Inland Empire, preparing slides and graphics, and completing other work to prepare the forecast book. The forecast will be produced quarterly, with two extensive forecast reports produced in early October and early March. Students will also work on monthly press releases and employment reports for the Inland Empire.
This role is a good fit for students who wish to work in a team, see statistics and forecasting in action, understand the economics of cities within a region, think about associated policy issues, and gain hands-on work experience in a professional environment. It is excellent preparation for jobs in many fields, including public policy, economic research, and data analysis. Several past FAs have gone on to work at the Federal Reserve.
The FAs will be split into two divisions: Forecast Team and Data Automation Team.
The Forecast Team will be responsible for report writing and graph interpretation as described above. Forecast Team members are expected to interpret graphs and data tables as well as have basic Excel knowledge (e.g., pivot tables, basic transformations). Excellent writing and analytical skills are also needed for this position.
The Data Automation Team will be responsible for building a data pipeline–that is, pulling and scraping data from specific sources via their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) used within the reports and generating graphs with that data. After this is completed, this team will move towards quantitative research using programmatic tools (e.g., Python and R). Data Automation Team members are expected to be proficient in Python and/or R, specifically having a working knowledge of dataframes, plotting libraries, and generating requests to APIs, as well as working knowledge of Git and Github.
Data Automation Team:
- Proficient in Python and/or R, specifically having a working knowledge of dataframes, plotting libraries, and generating requests to APIs.
- Working knowledge of Git and GitHub
- Must be able to adhere to established project deadlines
- Strong at reading, interpreting, and analyzing graphs/data tables; able to make economic inferences based on this data
- Basic Excel skills (graph creation and design, pivot tables, functions, basic transformations)
- Ability to adhere to established project deadlines
- We expect to hire five to seven Forecast Analysts.
- Apply on Handshake job posting #8130453
Research Assistants (RA) will work one-on-one with a professor on one of the professor’s research papers through the Lowe Faculty-Student Research Program. The professor will outline tasks for the RAs, which will likely include finding, generating, cleaning, and manipulating data, and might also include data analysis and generation of figures, tables, and graphs.
RAs will learn about the specific research project and the general process of research through regular discussions with the professor. The project will produce a research paper by the end of the year.
This role is a good fit for students interested in academia or data analysis. It affords the preferred opportunity to build a close relationship with a professor while developing the skills of data acquisition, organization, and analysis that are the foundation of entry-level data analyst positions. It also affords a close look at academic research and a potentially valuable letter of recommendation, should duties be performed with initiative and distinction.
We expect to hire two to four Research Assistants.
Apply on Handshake job posting #8130525
Bilingual Survey Interviewers (Travel Required)
Applications are being accepted for Bilingual Survey Interviewers to work in the systematic collection of immigration data, including data collected through in-person interviews with asylum seekers residing in shelters near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The work requires traveling to Mexico, delivering scripted survey questions, and recording answers from asylum seekers at the Cobina Posada del Migrante Shelter in Mexicali, and possibly other shelters on the Mexicali-Calexico route. The role is expected to include a number of trips of two days’ duration every four to six weeks for the research cycle. The research project is led by Lowe Institute Director and CMC Professor Cameron Shelton.
A second phase, one year later, will involve data collection through telephone interviews with asylees who have been approved for entry to the United States by U.S. immigration officials.
Survey Interviewers will be responsible for inputting data in digital format, as well as cleaning and organizing the data.
The role is a good fit for students who have strong skills communicating in Spanish and who are seeking experience with survey data collection, working in teams, and engagement with advocacy and research-related to immigration.
- Fluent in speaking and reading in English and Spanish at the level of advanced proficiency; native Spanish speakers are preferred.
- Detail-oriented and quick with data recording
- Strong interpersonal skills, including professionalism, and a cooperative attitude
- Flexibility interviewing men and women; ability to maintain a positive attitude with immigrants
- Ability to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, during trips to Mexico
- A valid passport or other identification documents for international travel
- The pay range for this position is $17 – $18 per hour.
- The start date is to be determined.
- The Lowe Institute expects to recruit about six Bilingual Survey Interviewers.
- Apply on Handshake job posting #8130663
Social Media Coordinator
Social Media Coordinator (SC) will work with the EJs, the Director, and the Program Coordinator to promote the content on the Lowe Institute’s Lowe Down blog and social media accounts. The goal is to increase exposure and develop a readership. Responsibilities will include updating The Lowe Down blog content in a timely manner, managing social media engagement to promote events hosted by the Lowe Institute, and reviewing social media analytics to assess success.
Prior experience with social media promotion is strongly preferred.
This role is a good fit for those interested in brand management and digital marketing. This is likely to require a great deal of entrepreneurialism as there is relatively little current expertise in this area.
- Functional knowledge of social media platforms and their practices
- Excellent communication skills
- Availability to attend in-person events hosted by the Lowe Institute and produce photographic content
- Ability to adhere to deadlines related to website updates
- The Lowe Institute expects to recruit one social media coordinator
- Apply on Handshake job posting #8130748