2011 Major: Economics
Current Employer: Bain & Company — Los Angeles, California
How has being an Economics graduate from Duke helped shape your professional success?
"Given that Duke doesn't have an undergraduate business major, and only a handful of finance / business-related classes when I was a student, Economics seemed like the best bet if I wanted to go the business route.
"For me the best parts about the major were:
"a) The professors (particularly Emma Rasiel, John Caccavale, CJ Skender, Bill Brown, Michael Munger, Thomas Nechyba, among many others) who got the class excited about Economics, which can be a dry subject. The subject matter itself isn't necessarily translatable to the "real" world, but the way of thinking absolutely is. The amount of math / critical thinking required, combined with social science, really helps prepare you for consulting in particular.
"b) The other Economics majors. Most of us had an interest in business, and I met a lot of my future friends this way!"
What advice would you give students in Economics?
"My main advice (which I did not do when I was an undergrad - learned this lesson later): I'd spend time thinking about what YOU want to do and not what you think you SHOULD be doing based on what others are doing. It takes a while to get out of that mentality, and it's so freeing when you do...the only person you can be is you.
"My other advice would be to not stress about whether you understand the intricacies of micro- or macro-economics / what grade you got on your midterm relative to the curve, but instead really meet the professors in the department (literally just email them and set up time to speak with them about their lives, what research they enjoy, etc.) because the professors are top-notch and more importantly, such great people."