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The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

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The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Ultimate Colgate Stereotype: Is an Economics Major Worth the Work?

The Ultimate Colgate Stereotype: Is an Economics Major Worth the Work?
Caroline Collins

Economics is perhaps the quintessential Colgate major. At an institution with no business major, students interested in careers in finance are all funneled through economics courses. While there are certainly stereotypes associated with the major (the concept of an “econ bro,” for one), students studying economics at Colgate speak highly of their experiences with the course material and the department as a whole.

Junior William Upchurch is an economics major aiming to minor in Spanish. His tenure as a student in the Colgate economics department was planned from day one.

“My dad works in the insurance industry, which is part of the financial markets. Because of that I took an economics class in high school and kind of fell in love with the subject, so I knew coming into college what path I wanted to pursue,” Upchurch said.

Upchurch expanded on why he found the study of economics so appealing.

“I think economics is a pretty unique combination of understanding theory and being able to crunch numbers along with having to communicate those ideas and […] results at a high level,” Upchurch said.

Junior Caroline Collins also majors in Economics, but, unlike Upchurch, did not originally intend to focus on the subject. However, she was inspired to change her major after taking an economics class during her sophomore year.

“I was originally a Biochemistry major, but by the end of my [first] year, I realized that my heart was not in it,” Collins explained. “I had always known that I wanted to pursue a MBA, so I tried out an economics course and realized I loved the material.”

Collins and Upchurch are both passionate about their major and have classes they’d recommended to others interested in studying economics.

“My favorite class is 100% Games and Strategies! I am obsessed with Game Theory and problem-solving, and as a competitive individual, I love a challenge,” Collins said.

“The most interesting class I’ve taken was my Economics of Immigration class with Professor Chakraborty,” Upchurch said. “It looked into how immigration affects all the different financial markets and other industries as well such as healthcare, taxes and other government expenditures.”

Colgate is known for the strong and passionate alumni community eager to help current students with networking and job searches, and Collins noted that this is especially true in careers related to economics, business and finance. 

“Economics is an incredibly popular major at Colgate with most individuals working in high-status firms across the country,” Collins said. “What I have learned about Colgate alumni is that they will go out of their way to help you succeed in whatever career you want to pursue; you just have to be willing to reach out to them.”

Neither Collins nor Upchurch desire a career in economics specifically, but both appreciate the foundation in finance and economic principles the courses provide. 

“I’m pursuing a career in finance, which I think economics builds off a lot of the theory and ideals on,” Upchurch explained.

“I plan on pursuing a career in either management consulting, private equity or investment banking,” Collins said.

Collins and Upchurch both emphasized that economics is not an easy major, and a certain work ethic is required to succeed. They also both spoke highly of the subject, and Upchurch especially highlighted his love for the inter-dimensional aspects of economics.

“If you are not prepared to do a ton of work, go above and beyond what is assigned and push yourself, then this is probably not a major you should pursue,” Collins said. “However, if you are an ambitious individual that loves a challenge and is always willing to give everything you do 110%, then this is the place for you.”

“I most definitely would [recommend economics as a major],” Upchurch agreed. “I’ve learned a lot about the world economy and how various individuals and firms and even countries and governments interact, and it’s definitely taught me a lot about how the world works.”

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About the Contributor
LJ Coady, Baker's Dozen Editor
LJ Coady is a junior from Houston, TX concentrating in political science with minors in history and religion. She has previously served as a contributing writer for the Baker's Dozen, Arts & Features, News, and Commentary sections. On campus, LJ is the President of Colgate College Democrats, a leader of MadCrafts and Habitat for Humanity, and is a member of the University Church Board.

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