Andrew Hanson

Andrew Hanson

Senior Research Fellow

Strada Education Network

Indianapolis, IN USA

Ultimately, the question is: do you have enough skill to contribute something that's valuable to others? And, I think we all do.


By Roadtrip Nation

Andrew Hanson


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I applied to my first choice college too late into my senior year, got waitlisted, and ultimately ended up in a guaranteed transfer program where I attended a community college for two years.
I worked 40+ hours every week for my first two years of college. I struggled to balance school and work. I failed a class my sophomore year, which put my transfer in jeopardy.
I took 18 credits the second semester of sophomore year while working full-time to ensure my transfer went through. My life sucked that semester, but I survived, and my transfer went through.
My financial aid didn't come through my junior year, and I had to take out a loan from my stepfather, which I paid back by maxing out a credit card. I had to work a lot and budget to pay it off.
In my senior year of college, I applied for and was accepted by Teach For America, which changed my life by giving me access to a network of brilliant, driven professionals in the education industry.
Spent two years as a teacher in the Saint Louis Public Schools, I struggled in a high-stress environment that did not match my introverted personality, but persisted through my two-year commitment.
I transitioned from the teaching profession to a career as a higher education researcher by making a cross-country move and casting a wide net with many opportunities on the table.
I got lucky, working under the tutelage of brilliant economists at Georgetown University, picked up technical skills (statistics, programming, policy analysis, data viz), and developed as a writer.
Keep following my journey


High School
Beaver Dam High School
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Economics, General
University of Wisconsin-Madison


Senior Research Fellow

I lead and manage large research projects, author white papers, op-eds, and blogposts, and conduct speaking engagements.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Problem Solving

Day to Day

From the morning to the early afternoon, I'm usually managing multiple research projects, writing, researching, and analyzing data. In the afternoons, I'm communicating with my team to via Slack, meetings, and other venues to share updates, provide feedback, strategize, and plan new work. I also have a steady diet of collaborating with internal and external colleagues and a steady digest of reading new research and articles to stay abreast on the state of our field.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Start reading economics blogs and following economists on Twitter. Learn some basic technical communications skills (writing, social media, HTML, etc.) and try to get an internship. Express an interest in research and see if you can get involved in a project in some capacity (editing, working with data, communications outreach, etc.). Interview researchers and talk to them about what they like / don't like, and think about whether your own talents, interests, and personality are a good match.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"What are you gonna do with a philosophy degree?"

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student