Major: Economics and a Master of Finance Minor: Mathematics and French Year: Class of 2023
Ester Muzychuk is a storyteller. But instead of words or pictures, her tools are numbers and graphs. Her latest endeavor? A role in telling the story of the Economic Report of the President.
Each year, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers releases this report to track the country’s economic state. As an intern with the council this semester, Muzychuk is contributing by compiling datasets, writing and debugging code, and completing literature reviews.
“I have learned so much about policy processes as well as the impactful applications of economics,” she said.
The book Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt sparked her interest in the field of economics and inspired her to consider it as a major. Now at Case Western Reserve University, Muzychuk is a fourth-year student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in economics with a focus on quantitative methods, combined with a master’s in finance on the corporate financial analytics track at Weatherhead School of Management.
“[I] found it absolutely enthralling,” she said of Freakonomics. “Despite the fallacies indicated by critics in the book, I think that economics equips one with the empirical and theoretical tools scalable to use for research in a variety of fields.”
Muzychuk has used her education in the field to explore various sides of finance. In addition to her ongoing work on the governmental side, she has previously held internships in the private sector.
She’s also exploring the realm of nonprofits through a project with the Cleveland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Alongside four other CWRU students, Muzychuk is helping create a proposal for software and asset allocation for an organizational structure in addition to a financial management plan.
“The experience has been incredible; I have learned so much about how nonprofits work and how different they are from the private sector and government,” she said. “The best part has been being able to apply skills from my economics coursework!”
Muzychuk also has found another way to give back to the community. This semester, a member of Project Ukraine at CWRU suggested a fundraiser for warm winter coats for children in a Ukrainian orphanage in Poland. Originally from Ukraine, Muzychuk is well aware how brutally cold the winters in Eastern Europe can be. And paired with the ongoing war in Ukraine, the need for warm coats was even more extreme.
“I am extremely grateful to be able to give back!” said Muzychuk, who is president of Project Ukraine. “I remember one night working on my homework and then seeing a news article about a bomb dropping on the airbase not too far away from my elementary school; it’s so beyond my imagination. With Project Ukraine, we really try to find a way that we as students here can give back!”
In addition to her work with Project Ukraine, Muzychuk is involved in several other organizations at CWRU. She also is president of Women in Economics, co-president of the Weatherhead Consulting Club, a member of the Wolstein Society and has served on the Academic Integrity Board.