Panelists Talk Careers for Econ Majors

By Will DiGravio

On Thursday, Nov. 12, the Center for Careers and Internships (CCI), in partnership with both the Economics Society and the Department of Economics, hosted the latest event in its field guide series entitled “Beyond Wall Street: A Field Guide for Economics Majors.”

Now in its second year, the series invites a panel of alumni to discuss the various career paths they pursued with their given major. This event was the first focused exclusively on economics majors looking for postgraduate opportunities beyond the financial services sector.

“The whole idea is to say that your liberal arts education can go a long way and there are many diverse things that you can do,” said Director of Academic Outreach and Special Projects Amy McGlashan. McGlashan is a coordinator for the field guide series.
Attendees heard from a panel of four alumni who pursued different paths upon graduating from the College.

“Everyone thinks, ‘I’m going to go do finance, I’ll make a lot of money. That’s great, but there [are] other alternatives too,” said Alyssa J. Ha ’11, who works as a fiscal officer for the city of Alexandria, Virginia.

The panel discussed their experiences finding jobs after graduation. They stated that networking and being proactive greatly enhanced their chances of acquiring their desired jobs.

“Networking really does matter,” Ryan Gillette ’08 said. He is the assistant director of the social impact bond lab at the Harvard Kennedy School. “You’ll be surprised by how willing people are to help.”

“You learn a lot about what you want to do by just talking to people,” said Neviana Petkova ’01, a research economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The panelists advised that, when accepting a first job, it is more important to focus less on the title and more on where that job will lead you.

Matthew Groh ’10 advised students to take risks and try new things when figuring out what they want to do.  After graduating Groh worked on a microfinance research project in Egypt. Now he is the lead data scientist at Qadium, Inc.
“Study whatever you want to do, pursue your passion,” he said.

The discussion was followed by a reception where students could meet and connect with the alumni presenters.
“I [now] know a lot [about] jobs available to someone who is not necessarily looking at consulting or finance,” said Trisha Singh ’18, an attendee and economics major.