College of Business > Academics > Department of Economics > Economics Alumni
Our program prepares students to work in a wide array of fields. Learn more about our alumni and how they’re using their economics degree in these interviews.
BA Economics '16Vice President | AlixPartners
I support clients in regulatory/legal disputes, advisory engagements and other independent research. My responsibilities include planning and implementation of data analytics, with a focus on translating quantitative models into intuitive deliverables and robust economic conclusions. I have contributed to expert testimony on matters involving financial market manipulation, international trade disputes and illegal subsidization, market power analyses in the energy infrastructure space, contract violations and other matters.
I entered my undergraduate years unsure of what I wanted to study. After getting some exposure to public policy through political science courses and an internship at a political campaign, a mentor told me to consider majoring in economics to reinforce things I was learning on the job. That was great advice.
From day one at DePaul, there were opportunities for me to find internships and volunteer gigs through which I learned about myself and the world around me. I think that is a critical process for anyone starting out – you have to give numerous things a try to know your strengths and interests. As a university at the heart of an active and diverse place like Chicago, DePaul gives students opportunities that I just don’t think are available in all places.
History of Economic Thought was fantastic. Other notables for me were Money and Banking and International Monetary Economics.
Identify jobs you think you will enjoy as early as possible. Figure out what courses and experiences they are looking for in eventual graduates. Try to get some scripting (Stata, SAS, Python, etc.) and econometrics under your belt. I think anyone who has succeeded in the right courses, has a bit of quantitative exposure and has one or two diverse internship experiences (economics or other) should do pretty well after graduation.
I consult on large-scale financial transformation efforts that focus on delivering operational, technical and/or product development change, such as system and operational conversions, enhancements, process re-engineering, and new product development, with an emphasis in banking and capital markets.
During my senior year of high school, I read two books on a recommendation from my history teacher: "Naked Economics" and "Freakonomics." Before this point, I had a very little knowledge of what economics was, but after reading these books, I was blown away by how all-encompassing and impactful economics was not only in a government and business context, but socially as well. I couldn’t get enough, and I went on to pursue a degree in economics to expand my knowledge of how the discipline plays a role in different contexts.
DePaul’s huge alumni network is something that I tapped into early and helped me throughout my time in school. Seeing what kinds of career paths various economics alumni followed opened my eyes to all the options at my disposal. Getting to know alumni taught me that having an economics degree doesn’t limit the type of work you can do, and can actually open up opportunities in traditionally unconventional fields. It also helped me get a jump start on networking which became hugely important when I started looking for a full-time position.
Behavioral Economics (ECO 341).
Don’t feel discouraged to pursue opportunities in finance or banking – they’re not just for finance and accounting majors. Many economics majors feel pushed toward policy or academia, but the skills you learn in your economics courses will give you a unique perspective on business issues in these fields that will set you apart in these roles.
I co-manage the daily operations of the fund and raise capital from high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors.
I was always interested in why some countries are wealthy and others were poor.
The macroeconomic classes with Professor John Berdell were the most memorable, and his accessibility during office hours were always insightful. He always made you feel right at home. He still does!
Game Theory (ECO 379).
An MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
Economics and finance are hard because as Herbert Simon pointed out, we are all constrained by “bounded rationality.” We are not aware of what we do not know and there is high chance that we never will be, and there is no reason to believe that we have perfect information or anything close to it. We are far more likely to be wrong than to be right. A lack of humility will kill you in this business.
I was an analyst at Compass Lexecon, one of the world’s leading economic consulting firms. Compass Lexecon provides analysis on a broad spectrum of matters to law firms, corporations and government clients. As an analyst, my duties were varied and included quantitative and qualitative analyses, gathering and organizing data, analyzing data through either excel or a statistical program (SAS or STATA), providing industry research, and reviewing analyst reports and business documents.
Introduction to Economics was the first class I took in economics as an undergrad. This class was one of the most interesting classes I had taken. I was captivated by the subject, so I decided to take a few more classes, and after another semester I decided to switch my major to economics.
The fundamentals I learned in Research Methods I and II were instrumental in helping me excel in my career. The data analysis and programing skills in STATA allowed me to catch on quickly at Compass Lexecon. Additionally, the background in programing at DePaul helped me learn other statistical languages quickly. Without these two courses, I don’t believe I would be exceling as an analyst at Compass Lexecon.
I wanted to find a program that put an emphasis on the application of economics in the real world, but I didn’t know what types of careers were available. This program caught my attention because its focus is to apply economics to policy issues.
Economics of the Public Sector. This course combines all of the objectives of the MS in Economics and Policy Analysis program. Throughout this class you combine microeconomic concepts with theoretical models to look at real-world applications. The culmination of this course was to write an empirical research paper. I think this is an extremely important and valuable aspect of this class and the program as a whole.
There are many more ways to apply economic analysis to your career than you think. Figure out what aspect of economics you enjoy and most likely there will be a job that combines that passion with economic analysis. As students, we sometimes get caught up in just finding a job, but it’s important to take the time to find a job that excites you.
MS Economics & Policy Analysis ’11
BA Economics & International StudiesSenior Economic Research Analyst | Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
I took Introductory Microeconomics and then Intermediate Microeconomics the following quarter with Gabriella Bucci and became interested in the ability of economics to model complex systems. From then on I was hooked.
The fundamental approach to data analysis I learned in the econometrics sequence is something I use every day. I constantly work with large datasets and the skills I lerned helped me to manage and analyze them.
Take as many math and programming courses as you can. The ability to efficiently perform quantitative analysis is a valuable skill in the working world.
BSB Economics, with a minor in Finance ’12Key Account Manager Americas | DSV - Global Transport & Logistics
I've always been highly analytical which made me quite drawn to the questioning and reasoning trait of economics.
Campus involvement at DePaul was very important to starting my career. There are so many different organizations, including the Economics Club, that really helped me navigate my future.
Be mindful that change is constant so keep an open mind and be patient when planning your careers – the opportunities will come.
MS Economics & Policy Analysis ’13
Director of Operations & Relationship Management | RCM Wealth Advisors
I provide client support and coordinate activities related to sales and servicing clients’ accounts and act as one of the main points of contact for RCM clients. I creates efficient and comprehensive strategies designed to manage risk, sales process, client onboarding and servicing, investment selection and reporting.
While majoring in finance at DePaul, I realized that functionality of the financial markets, as well as their performance, strongly depend on the economic outlook and public policy. Learning the theories of economics and conditions for implementation of public policies, I believed that such knowledge can contribute to accuracy of financial analysis which was the career path I decided to take on.
Learning about the influence risk management has on the financial world and therefore economic, definitely enhanced my curiosity to analyze such topics in depth. Several classes which required technical and analytical skills pointed out the direction of my interest toward a post-graduate career. Having an internship at a financial firm gave me direct exposure to the market where I was able to apply my knowledge gained at DePaul, as well as learn directly from the work experience.
Economics, Public Policy, Business and Ethical Environment of Government.
I believe that being successful in the world of economics definitely requires being up to date with current events, nationally and globally. Use the real-world examples to apply your knowledge gained in school. Try to complete an internship or two; on the job you really get to know where your true interests and abilities are.
MS Economics & Policy Analysis ’14Senior Analytics Consultant | West Monroe Partners
As a consultant in business intelligence and predictive analytics, I use technical and critical thinking skills to synthesize data into insights so that businesses can make actionable and timely decisions from their data. For business intelligence projects I help businesses identify and understand their data sources as well as devise ways for them to leverage these sources. For predictive analytics projects, I use statistics, econometrics and machine learning algorithms to transform businesses' data into meaningful measures of future performance.
The MSEPA program allowed me to delve further into economic theory and how it applies to the understanding of societal and business interactions. Also, the program was rather flexible and the time allotted for electives permitted me to take additional courses in mathematics and statistics. These courses in conjunction with econometrics and advanced microeconomics gave me a solid foundation to become a data-driven professional.
Advanced Microeconomics was my favorite course because it was my foundation for understanding economic reasoning and it provided me the perfect context to understand and apply the quantitative topics that I was interested in.
Make sure to get plenty of exposure to quantitative topics. DePaul offers great coursework that will complement economics beautifully such as statistics, mathematics and computer science. As society becomes more data-driven, it will become even more important to not only think critically, but to also support critical thinking with sound quantitative reasoning.
MS Economics & Policy Analysis ’11
Vice President | Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
I became interested in economics after being displaced from Dillard University in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina when I realized the impact that poverty can have on people's lives. I realized that it was important to study the impact that economics and economic policy can have on the lives of low and middle income people across the country.
I really appreciated the trip we took as a class to Washington, D.C. under Professor Kallen. It helped nudge me in the direction of taking a leap of faith and moving to Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in policy.
I don't think I have a favorite course, but my favorite courses were ones that allowed me to apply economic theory to real-world problems like poverty.
Try to get as much experience as you can in as many areas as you can. Do research. Get published. Read a lot. I think economics is an exciting field and you have many opportunities to learn more and more!
MS Economics & Policy Analysis ’11 BA Economics ’08Rentals Associate Planner | REI
I was a sophomore that came into DePaul's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences as a psychology major simply because I didn't want to be undeclared. I didn't know what I wanted to study or what I wanted to do after college. I took some political science, math and sociology courses, and I stumbled into micro and macro economics spring quarter thinking business courses could help me find a job after college. I was instantly hooked. Economics combined everything I enjoyed in a science, quantitative rigor, objective analysis, real-world implications, and just the right amount of questions, concerns, wild ravings and vicious attacks.
DePaul has many wonderful resources to help you find the career that's right for you. What helped me the most was DePaul's network of alumni and current students. I was lucky enough to meet many undergrads and graduate students as the economics department tutor, and one MBA student thought I had the right skill set to be an analyst at Walgreens. In my job-hunting experience I've found that the best way to get a job is to meet people who work for the company you want to be at. You can find them through your own network and on Linkedin, and take them out to lunch and discover if that company is right for you. Having a cheerleader on the inside will really help your chances of being called in for an interview.
I'm a micro guy, and I'll always love principles of microeconomics. I think the takeaways in Principles can apply to almost any decision you have to make in life. Learning to be a good decision maker is what microeconomics is all about, and there's so much insight that exists underneath the surface of the choices we make every day.
Many people divide econ grads into three buckets: academics, government and professional. All three have their pros and cons, but all three are in high demand of graduates with excellent quantitative reasoning skills and experience working with big data. Also, a good perk of being an data analyst is it's the 21st century's sexiest job!
BA Economics & International Studies ’09Director, Head of Short Term Pricing Excellence | A.P. Moller -Maersk
MS Economics & Policy Analysis ’11Senior Manager, Public Policy | Amazon