College Up Close: Webster Woltersdorf, economics
Senior Webster Woltersdorf’s interest in economics and passion for research go hand in hand.
In class as an economics major, Woltersdorf studies a mix of quantitative and qualitative subjects –– everything from data scrubbing to coding to calculus.
“We regularly connect class discussions to real-life events,” he said. “For instance, in advanced international economics, we evaluated U.S. trade policies on solar panels that would maximize welfare for U.S. manufacturers and domestic consumers.”
Inspired by his education through the United World Colleges curriculum before he came to Carolina, Woltersdorf, who is originally from Leipzig, Germany, spent this spring break in South Africa studying brain drain from international schools.
“I interviewed African Leadership Academy staff, alumni and students to better understand factors behind students’ decisions to emigrate and build careers abroad,” said Woltersdorf, who also has a second major in business administration through Kenan-Flagler Business School and a minor in environmental science and studies.
Along with his academic passions, Woltersdorf is an undergraduate learning assistant, a teaching assistant in the Business School and a Morehead-Cain Scholar. He is also pursuing an honors thesis in economics, and his advisor, Stan Rabinovich, described him as having a “huge drive to connect his research to his lived experience.”
Beyond class, Woltersdorf plays on the men’s club rugby team. His favorite Carolina memory was watching UNC beat Duke in the Final Four in New Orleans last spring. “The scenes in the stadium, the 18 lead changes and Caleb Love’s last 3-pointer were just epic,” he said.
After graduating next month, Woltersdorf plans to explore pre-doctoral research positions in economics. He gives special thanks to his mentors Klara Peter, Stan Rabinovich and Patrick Conway for making his Carolina experience “unforgettable.”
By Jess Abel ’19
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