AP Economics Teacher
My Academic Journey
When reflecting on your journey and what led me to where I am today, I often think of my schooling at Vanderbilt. It was by far the most influential 4 years of my life that really shaped me as an intellectual and economist. I graduated in 1995 with a B.S. in Economics, and I love every minute of it. I had the chance to work closely with excellent professors and conduct studies and projects with real companies (a few fortune 500’s sprinkled in). But out of all the opportunities, Vanderbilt gave me an edge when it came to networking and publishing my senior thesis.
As an honors student, I had the unique opportunity to do research under a professor in the economics department my senior year. I chose to research the Gender Wage Gap in Norway from 1985-1995. Publishing this study was one of the most challenging parts of my undergraduate career. It provided a snapshot of what performing research in this field would be like, and if it wasn’t for this experience I don’t think I would have made the right career choice upon graduation.
Another major aspect of college that stands out was getting the opportunity to shake hands with some of the greatest economists in the field. Vanderbilt organized several mixers and speaker series every year, and these events always featured an economist from a notable company. My junior year, I met an economist from American Express and found myself in a very deep and inspiring conversation. I gave him my resume after our conversation, and one week later I had a full offer for a summer internship with American Express. Crazy, right?
During my 3rd year at Vanderbilt.
All in all, regardless of what your major is, those who go into the the business sector should be very selective about where they obtain their undergraduate degree. Look for schools with excellent corporate connections and alumni, publishing opportunities, and anything that can help you achieve your post graduation aspirations.