SP14 Graduating Seniors Provide Advice for Current Students!

In our 2014 Spring Exit Survey we asked our new alumni “What is one piece of advice you’d give to a new Economics/Management Science/Joint Math-Econ major?” Below are some selected responses for our continuing and incoming students to consider:

Succeeding in the program:

  • Spread out your electives and don’t necessarily take them when all of your core courses are completed. Taking all of the core classes at the same time was stressful.
  • Go to office hours and get to know your TAs and professors, I know it’s cliché, but every single quarter I ask myself why I didn’t do this earlier when binge office-hour-ing during finals week.
  • Find a good TA and go to their office hours often. Form a study group. Keep up with the material.
  • Going to class, reading the textbook, and doing the practice problems is essential to doing well. Also, go out of your way to learn simple coding, excel, sql, etc. Many employers ask for these skills yet we are not taught them.
  • Pace yourself with the courses.
  • Seek out a mentor in the Economics department to guide you through your undergrad.
  • choose your courses wisely because if you want to go grad school some courses will help more than others
  • Take the 191AB series if you can, even though it seems intimidating. It was a great experience for me and I feel like I got to write the kind of paper that very few college students ever do. Great experience.
  • Do the problem sets even if they aren’t due. It will usually be the most helpful thing you can do.
  • I would stagger the series (100, 120, 170) throughout college. My junior year was especially tough because I took 4 upper division Econ requirements each quarter, and that was not the easiest route.
  • I would tell them to make sure that they have a strong grasp of calculus.
  • Know what concentration you want to pursue before majoring in Economics/Management Science/Joint Math-Econ because these majors are really broad.
  • Take advantage of the faculty in the department. Go to office hours, get involved in research, and just talk to them. It’s pretty enlightening once you get over the intimidation factor.
  • Please take advantage of the opportunities such as research because I knew about those things a little too late.
  • It takes a lot of effort for the professors from big lectures to know you, so talk to them individually.
  • Get that GPA up, start internships early, and join economic clubs. start networking as soon as possible
  • I would advise that you study hard! Additionally, start exploring career options while it is still early. You do not want to be stuck with an Economics degree, and not know what you want to pursue as your career.
  • Go to class and meet your professors. There is so much to learn from them, especially career advice wise.
  • Take advantage of all the resources the department provides (honors classes, mixers with grad students and professors, etc.)
  • Do your homework and don’t forget the concept/material you study because it will come back up in future classes.

Career Advice:

  • More technical skills: machine learning, SQL, Java, PowerPoint, and more Excel
  • Apply early and always work on your resume. Next few years your salary will be noticeably smaller than that of engineers, but years down the road, theirs increase slowly and yours exponentially.

Other Advice:

  • Start networking and talking with peers and especially professors right away. I barely did any networking because I was shy about it, and now after graduating I’m really wishing I had put myself out there and talked to my professors more.
  • Have a game plan/idea of what you want to do with the degree before taking it on.
  • Get an on campus job and look for summer internships. Get as much experience as possible. Take an excel class if you can.
  • Take advantage of networking opportunities and get involved in leadership for various student organizations. It’s extremely important to build practical business acumen and develop strong communication skills outside of learning pure economic theory.
  • Take as many interesting electives as possible! You never know what you’ll excel in or which ones will peak your interests.
  • Most courses will not teach you any useful info, just critical and analytic thinking skills. Look outside the dept. to student orgs and classmates for professional advice.
  • Understand what you’re getting into! An Econ degree will only be worth as much effort as you put into, so carefully consider your interests and decide if this degree is right for you.
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