College of Business > Academics > Department of Economics > News & Events > Brian Thompson UG Director

Meet Brian Thompson, Economics Undergraduate Director

Brian Thompson
Brian Thompson
Brian Thompson, a Double Demon and Chicago native (Joliet, Ill.), is the new director of the undergraduate program at the Department of Economics. Thompson completed his MBA in Business Strategy & Decision-Making and DBA at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, and his master's degree in finance at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Thompson started teaching at DePaul as an adjunct faculty member in 2013 and became a clinical professor in 2019. Prior to joining DePaul, Thompson  worked in a family real estate business, owned a martial arts school, and worked as a securities trader in Chicago. Thompson brings his eclectic work experience into the classroom and enhances student experience by providing different perspectives and presenting information from different angles.

What are some of the things you look forward to in your new role as undergraduate director?

I get the benefit of following the previous director, Laura Owen, who did a tremendous job. There is a great infrastructure in place where I seek to communicate the value of our program to a broader audience. So many of our graduates have gone on to do great things. Additionally, our faculty are second to none in terms of the breadth of their experience and their ability to inspire the minds of our students. I view myself as a conduit to sharing those experiences with others so that we can continue to impact the lives of our students and help transition them into great alumni.

How did you become interested in economics?

My interest in economics really flourished here at DePaul. It went from being a subject to becoming a way of thinking, and I try to express that in the classroom. This way of thinking has usefulness across most industries and career types. Employers are looking for critical thinkers, and I think this type of training gives you the confidence to analyze and debate topics with people at different levels in an organization. For me, I think it really tapped into my desire to ask questions.

What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?

I am pretty big into triathlons. I do the Chicago triathlon every year and currently I am training for a couple of 70.3 distance races. While I may not be as fast as I used to be, I think it is certainly helpful for keeping the mind and body in shape.

What classes will you be teaching this year?

I mostly teach in the Business Strategy & Decision-Making concentration, but I also teach the principles courses at the undergraduate level and the managerial economics class at the graduate level. We have an undergraduate and graduate Business Strategy & Decision-Making concentration. This concentration focuses on enhancing the way in which individuals approach decisions and strategic situations.

I will also be teaching two new courses this fall, ECO 308, which is the undergraduate business strategy course, and ICS 392, which is a capstone course where we'll be focusing on innovation from a multidisciplinary perspective. I feel very strongly that the undergraduate business strategy concentration can benefit students going into professional services such as consulting, financial analysis, etc.

Why should students major in economics?

Although I am biased, I believe economics training is suitable for just about anyone. Economics is a platform for learning how to think differently, to ask better questions, and to critically assess information that allows you to draw better conclusions.