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.
I've always had a keen interest in understanding the world around me through observation and trying to understand how mechanisms that govern and operate our society and interact with one another work in tandem and create what we see around us. Simple questions like why is a candy bar more expensive than it was last year to complicated thought such as what does this new policy imply and how does it change our experience at a micro and macro level.
I found that economics was an excellent bridge that could help to explain the more qualitative aspects of how society as a whole functions and translate that into a field that one could model and understand through mathematics and analysis. The introductory principles of macro and microeconomic classes at DePaul opened my eyes to this aforementioned hypothetical bridge and brought my mind to a realm of thinking that I had always sought to place it in.
From brief lectures about game theory and trade offs to micro and macroeconomic models that put topics like consumer tastes, interest rates, unemployment and other complex theories and models into a light that made these topics easily visible from a conceptual standpoint, I knew that I had found a field of study that peaked my interest in theoretical thought and helped me understand the empirical aspects of our surrounding reality.
I think the most influential aspect of my time at DePaul and how my path is currently shaped was definitely the professors and research opportunities I was granted during my time with the university. Namely, the work that I was able to do with Professors Anthony LoSasso and Yanchao Yang.
This experience opened the door that bridged two academic passions of mine: writing and quantitative reasoning. Being able to publish a research paper and spending two years on a project that went from pure theory and speculation to transforming that project into a publication in the Health Affairs journal showed not only the potential that I have as a researcher and my enjoyment for research, but also made me come to the conclusion that this is definitely what I want to do after my time at DePaul. Learning under the tutelage of Professor LoSasso in his health economics courses opened my perspective into the world of health economics and has proven to be a pillar of my career and studies since the first day I entered his class at DePaul.
Being able to conduct research and work with talented and experienced economists helped me to see that while economics is a challenging and, at times, an unintuitive field, it is a field filled with extraordinary results and beautiful conclusions that can help the most complex questions be answered with simple solutions and elegant explanations.
A career in economics is one that can be frustrating. It is a career that can breed feelings of confusion, conflicting opinion and interpretation of fact and can create a general sense of "do we know that this is true?"; however, I would argue that this is the beauty in economics and where one will find passion in both their studies and work. Complicated economic problems, challenges and predictions can take five minutes, five days, five weeks, five years and more to solve; this is why economics can be an entertaining and rewarding field.
Economics is a field where many disciplines will come together to construct an understanding of our world. Mathematics, statistics, data analysis, data structure and engineering, human behavioral psychology, industrial organization, finance, criminology, writing and a plethora of other studies all combine under this umbrella where you may find that the most elegant solution is a fundamental building block of one of these fields. A complicated lock could be unlocked by a simple or fundamental key hidden inside of another discipline. One example of where you may find an answer to an economic problem could lie in linear algebra, and how an understanding of linear optimization can yield simple solutions to what would otherwise be an intricate problem. While you may not have gone to study as a mathematician, you will find yourself utilizing their tools in an effort to find an economic truth or principle; in this process you might also find a new passion or interest.Keep an open mind to everything that you learn and absorb in other classes and disciplines; keep an open mind to your ability to mold those lessons into what you do in your pursuit of knowledge and advancement in your own work and studies.
As an excellent economist, you will more likely than not find yourself to also be an excellent statistician, mathematician, epidemiologist, data engineer, financial advisor, psychologist, writer, journalist, professor or perceive yourself as someone in a profession from a field that may not seem related upon initial observation. Economics could be perceived as an amalgamation of knowledge that helps to explain the world around us, and gives you the unique opportunity to learn and see the world in a variety of lenses from both the macro and micro perspective.
The first classes that come to mind would be the health economics courses taught in both undergraduate and graduate levels (though I may be biased as I specialized in health economics). I couldn't offer an unbiased opinion of which class was my favorite as I gained a plethora of knowledge from every class I took, I can say through an unbiased lense that this was due to the professors that I was blessed to have been able to work and learn with and from. The abundance of knowledge that DePaul's economics professors possess and plant into their courses have grown into trees of information that I utilize to this day in my career and daily thought.
MS Economics '18Senior Associate | Potomac Group
I attribute my interest in economics to these courses in particular: ECO 516 Public Economics with Professor Gabriella Bucci, ECO 507 & ECO 508 Data Analytics I&II with Professor Avi Stoler and ECO 558 International Macroeconomics with Professor Sebastien Mary. I worked closely with Professor Mary and Professor Stoler during my graduate studies at DePaul as a graduate assistant and this helped develop my interest and research skills in macroeconomics and econometrics.
That is the beauty of DePaul: the faculty actively involve you in research, both inside and outside the classroom.
I also found internships in policy research with think tanks and the World Bank that helped narrow my interests to macroeconomics.
The greatest thing about graduate studies at DePaul was the interaction with the faculty. The faculty in the Economics Department actively develop their students academically and professionally. Professor Bucci was an awesome mentor throughout the program. She helped with everything from networking and career advising to classroom and research assistance. Professor Mary and Professor Stoler were great professors to conduct research with. They actively took interest in my career development. The entire Economics Department at DePaul was an open and conversive environment. It also helped to have some great colleagues and classmates at DePaul, many of whom I’m still in touch with. DePaul was a community beyond the classroom.
ECO 558 International Macroeconomics with Professor Mary. Professor Mary's course went way beyond theory. He made us conduct thorough research for our final papers, something which came in very handy during interviews, especially with the IMF.
Reach out to your professors and do as much research for the classes and on the side as you can. Keep in touch with your classmates because everyone in the MS program ends up somewhere good!
BA Economics '16Asset Manager | Invenergy LLC
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.
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 ’11
BA Economics & International StudiesSenior Business Economist | 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, Minor in Finance ’12Global Account Director | 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 ’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 ’14Analytics Manager | Relevant Radio
I have always been interested in understanding behavior and quantitatively analyzing systems. I began my undergraduate career in engineering, but realized my true calling after taking intermediate microeconomics and statistics for economics and business in undergrad.
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 ’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 ’11 BA Economics ’08Business Analyst| Perpetual Motion Northwest
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 ’09Head of Design & Innovation| A.P. Moller -Maersk
MS Economics ’11Senior Manager, Public Policy | Amazon