Feature | 09/24/2018

Dan Savelle Presents at EARIE'S Rising Stars Session

Dan Savelle presented his paper, “Discrete Choices with (and without) Ordered Search,” at the 45th Annual Conference of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics (EARIE) in a Rising Stars Session in Athens, Greece. The Conference consisted of contributed and invited sessions across various IO topics including Search, Platform Economics, Advertising, Auctions, Mechanism Design, Trade and IO, and Financial Markets, with keynote talks by Jakub Kastl, Peter Neary and Xavier Vives. Dan's paper relates two literatures in the field of Industrial Organization, ordered search and classic discrete choice. In IO, the selection choices of a consumer, such as a family looking to buy a house, are often represented by the classic discrete-choice model of decision making, which posits a consumer who receives a match value for each option and selects the option with the highest match value. However, in many markets, consumers may not know their values without first incurring a cost. For example, the family searching for a home incurs costs in terms of time and effort. In this context, the consumer starts with information that can be updated through some costly process like ordered search, a discrete choice model where a consumer selects from a set of products after paying a search cost to learn each product's actual value. Dan proves that in situations where consumers correctly anticipate the choices of firms (e.g prices), ordered search and classic discrete-choice are equivalent models for describing the selections of consumers.


Devaki Ghose

Feature | 05/04/2017

16th CEPR Postgraduate conference at Nottingham

Devaki Ghose presents her paper "Identifying the Role of Vertical Linkage in Agglomeration: Empirical Evidence from India" on Thursday, May 4th, 2017 in University of Nottingham, UK.

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Feature | 03/04/2019

These Interview Questions are Worth Preparing

If you're planning to interview with one of the Big 4 professional firms—DeloitteEYKPMGPwC—you likely know that you'll have to answer questions about your strengths and weaknesses, as well as field a number of so-called behavioral questions.

These behavioral questions typically begin with the phrase "Tell me about a time ..." and most often cover your ability to lead, deal with conflict, work on teams, work within tight time constraints, and deal with failure. And so, to nail any Big 4 interview, you'll most certainly need airtight answers to these questions.

In addition, you'll now need airtight answers to a host of other "Tell me about a time ..." questions.

Recently, we surveyed several thousand Big 4 professionals, asking them about life at their firms. One question we asked had to do with interview questions. And below are 11 new behavioral questions that Big 4 professionals told us their firms are now asking their interviewees.

1. Tell me about a time you set a goal in one of your previous positions and the steps you took to achieve it.

2. Tell me about a time when you had to manage conflicting priorities and still exceed someone's expectations.

3. Tell me about a time you used technology to effectively complete a task or analysis.

4. Tell me about a time you had to be a problem solver and the methods you used to solve the issue.

5. Tell me about a time you were proactive in soliciting performance feedback from a mentor or client.

6. Tell me about a time you enthusiastically led a work team through a major change initiative.

7. Tell me about a time you had to analyze data and present it to a group. How did you get the data, analyze it, and what was the outcome?

8. Tell me about a time you had to adapt to real change in your life.

9. Tell me about a time you had to influence others' opinions on a project or work situation.

10. Tell me about a time you went out of your way to learn.

11. Tell me about a time when you had to think on your feet. What was the outcome?

Of course, chances are slim that you'll receive all of these questions in one Big 4 interview. Still, it's going to be a good idea, if you are interviewing with a Big 4 firm, to make sure you prepare answers for each of these questions.

Here's how to go about dointg that: First, take a few minutes to think about a real time that you experienced each situation (never make up your answer; always base it on fact). Second, take a few minutes to collect your thoughts about what you honestly did in each circumstance (visualize yourself in that situation and try to recall all the details involved, what happened, what you did, the outcome, etc.). Third, take a few minutes to practice your response to each question (you can do this aloud or in your head).

Finally, remember that it's always better to over-prepare than under-prepare. And that this is especially true when it comes to interviewing.

Read More

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Feature | 01/11/2017

Article - 6 Signs that You're Living in an Entrepreneurial Society

In his landmark 1985 book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, famed author and educator Peter Drucker wrote about an entrepreneurial society and its impact on economic development. “Entrepreneurship rests on a theory of economy and society,” he wrote. “The theory sees change as normal and indeed as healthy. And it sees the major task in society — and especially in the economy — as doing something different rather than doing better what is already being done.” What does it mean, then, to live in a society that is becoming more entrepreneurial? I see six major signs: Read more here...

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Feature | 11/09/2021

International Student Job Search- 2021 Report

By: Derek Loosvelt at Firsthand

Published: Nov 07, 2021

Due to the pandemic and difficulties of obtaining student visas, international enrollment in U.S. universities saw a slight decline during the 2019-2020 academic year. That’s the bad news. The good news is international student enrollment at U.S. schools seems to be on the rise again, which means many international students will be looking for employment in 2022 and beyond. And to better understand the job-search landscape for international students, Firsthand spoke with international student career expert Marcelo Barros. Below is an excerpt of that conversation.

Firsthand: Covid is still very much a reality and continues to impact our lives in a variety of ways. What do you see happening now and next year from a hiring perspective that international students need to know about?

Barros: There’s a big difference between large firms and smaller firms. On the one hand, many large employers have actually benefited from Covid. So, we continue to see aggressive hiring of international students from established, larger firms (like the Amazons of the world) in a variety of different industries. These firms are well positioned to continue to hire new employees to fuel their growth, and in many cases, they depend on international students to fill critically important roles.

Meanwhile, also due to Covid, smaller and mid-size firms continue to find it more difficult to tap into new business opportunities. As a result, from my perspective, these firms have become increasingly reluctant to hire international students who might need H-1B visas. Part of what my company, The International Advantage, does is connect with firms that might be open to hiring international students. We have a goal to speak with a minimum of 20 new firms per week in the small/mid-size space, to gauge their hiring needs and position international students who are potential solutions for them. Lately, it’s been harder than ever for us to convince these firms to consider hiring international students.

So, should students be only targeting larger, established companies?

I’ve been recommending that international students spend 80 percent of their time targeting larger, more established firms in their field, and spend the remaining 20 percent of their time targeting smaller, up-and-coming firms where the possibility of sponsorship may exist. Due this new set of conditions we’ve been observing, we’ve adjusted our guidance to international students in terms of which firms to target, which may provide the best chance of sponsorship. By carefully adjusting the type and size of firms to target, as well as methodically building competitive profiles as job seekers who seek sponsorship, international students have a chance to explore wonderful career opportunities in the U.S. In general, it’s a job seeker’s job market out there right now, even for candidates who need sponsorship and may not possess much work experience (as is often the case with our recent college grads) but have in-demand skills that set them apart.

International students should also be asking themselves: ‘Is the field that I’m trying to break into in high demand or not?’ Students who might be targeting fields that are in high demand will likely have a better chance to obtain sponsorship from an up-and-coming, niche, smaller firm that’s poised to grow and secure lucrative contracts. For example, health care is a very high demand area that puts job seekers in the driver’s seat with a real shot of sponsorship. Job opportunities for health care professionals will continue to grow over the rest of the decade—and at a much faster clip than other occupations.

So, if you’re an international student who’s in the health care space, in theory you do have more choices in terms of which types of firms to add to your target list, compared to a student who might be targeting, say, traditional retail, which is a low growth area in terms of job opportunities and sponsorship opportunities.

How are universities currently supporting international students' job-search goals?

In general, compared to last year, we’ve seen a strong uptick in terms of international student career development support. In fact, many universities are levering International Education Week happening this month to offer additional job-search support for their international students. For example, New York University and the University at Buffalo are partnering with The International Advantage to offer a special job-search webinar for their international students during the week. No matter where you go to school, it’s important for international students to investigate what’s available in terms of job-search programming for them during International Education Week.

What do you recommend to international students who are about to graduate and don't have many, if any, job prospects?

One strategy which is highly effective is to look for an internship post-graduation—ideally paid but unpaid should be considered as well. From the employer’s perspective, hiring someone as an intern is a low risk investment, and one that doesn’t typically require any complicated immigration paper work if the international student can secure an Employment Authorization Card. From an international student perspective, it’s a solid way to get your foot in the door and show your value. This is a tried-and-tested formula that can lead to a full-time paid opportunity as long you play your cards right, the company sees the value you bring to the table, and they’re open to sponsorship, of course.

It’s also important to note that international students have a limited amount of time to stay in the U.S. after graduation without employment, so they need to be careful not to violate their immigration status. It’s critical that they stay closely in touch with their university international student office as graduation approaches.

Any final job-search tips for international students? What else can international students do to improve their chances of securing great jobs in the U.S. in their fields of study after graduation?

As F-1 visa holders, international students are often eligible to work on campus. The International Advantage is currently working with a few universities around a campaign called “get an on-campus job international student.” Essentially, we’d like international students to get excited about leveraging this great benefit of their F-1 visa status. On-campus jobs are great ways for international students to gain U.S. work experience during their studies and start acquiring the soft skills U.S. employers look for. Unlike off-campus jobs, on-campus jobs don’t need to be in one’s field of study. In general, international students can work on-campus up to 20 hours a week during the academic year, and jobs for graduate students often pay $20+ an hour. My message is simple: Apply for on-campus jobs, particularly if your ultimate goal is to stay and work in the U.S. after graduation.

How do students find out about these opportunities?

International students should visit their university international student services office to learn more about their eligibility for on-campus employment. If all our international students do is to go class (sadly that’s the case in many instances), then they’re greatly minimizing the quality of their experience in the U.S.—and perhaps also reducing their chances of securing full-time employment in the U.S., with sponsorship, after graduation.

The benefits of campus employment are obvious, ranging from being able to beef up your resume with American work experience to being able to improve your communication skills by working side by side with Americans. In my opinion, the U.S. government is very generous in terms of allowing F-1 international students to work on campus. This benefit must be fully leveraged as a way to create a path towards full-time employment in the U.S after graduation. Campus involvement is a critical aspect of the U.S. college experience. It’s something that U.S. hiring managers and recruiters tend to value when making hiring decisions.

Finally, another training program available to some international students who hold F-1 visas is the ability to work in their field of study off-campus by levering Curricular Practical Training (CPT). This program is available at some colleges and universities to currently enrolled students from certain majors. Not every university or degree program offers it, but if an international student has access to CPT, they should leverage this perk as well.

Marcelo Barros is the founder of The International Advantage, a firm specializing in providing job search training for international students who seek U.S. jobs. Barros partners with over 50 U.S. universities to help their international students get noticed and hired. Barros encourages International students who seek U.S. jobs or internships to enroll in The International Advantage Get Hired Video Course, designed to help foreign students beat visa odds and secure U.S. employment, including internships.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

A Must-Read for Job Seekers from the NACE

A Must-Read for Job Seekers from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

Common Resume Mistakes

It's easy to rely on Spellcheck, but you might be surprised by how many grammatical and spelling mistakes it can miss.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/05/2018


"So… being an introvert does NOT mean you don’t have social skills. As career development folks, we all know this, right? Right. However, it does mean that for many of us, being around lots of people at one time can be draining. I am what you might consider an “expressive” introvert, so I am often mistaken as an extrovert." -Tiffany I. Waddell


Click here to read the rest of the article.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/19/2016


This week's newsletter is loaded with opportunities for economics majors, curated specifically for you!

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 07/31/2021

Blog: Consulting Blog #2

This message was shared by the UVA Career Center for those students interested in management consulting careers. This is message #2 of 3 in the series. For additional information, see Collab/ECO Resources/Vault Guides/Consulting Careers and the ECO website’s Industry Overviews in the “Management Consulting” section. 

Now that you know more about the consulting industry and have a few firms in mind to research, let us talk more about getting prepared for recruiting. This email will focus on building out your materials and upskilling as you prepare for the recruiting process.

Important Process Update:  

Many of the top firms have accelerated their timelines to include deadlines a month or two earlier than previous years. Firms like BCG, Bain and McKinsey have first round application deadlines the second week of July, some of these are posted in Handshake while others are not. Be sure to check the "Careers" page of these organizations to stay in touch with their requirements and deadlines. There are also secondary deadlines in place in the early September period if you miss the July application period. If you have questions, come in and see us!

Create and Update Your Branding Materials: 

The resume is a key indicator into your skills set and how it might align with the consulting industry. It is vital that you spend time refining it to the skills recruiters are looking for and the specific role you are applying to. In addition to the resume, your social media presence is also an important aspect of the recruiting process.  

  • Resume & Cover Letter – Check out the Hoos Career Guide for tips on how to organize your resume and cover letter. Emphasize analytical abilities, experience in teams, communication skills, leadership/management experiences, and a history of achieving results. The consulting page on the Career Center website also has suggestions from firms on resume structure. 

  • VMock is a 24-7 online resume review tool, that leverages data science, machine learning, and natural language processing to provide instant personalized feedback. When you upload your resume, the platform assesses components such as action verbs, format, and how well the 5 core competencies (analytical, communication, leadership, teamwork and initiative) are reflected in your document 

  • LinkedIn – Create or update your LinkedIn account. Learn more about how to organize your profile and use Vmock’s Aspire feature to make sure it is getting noticed by recruiters. 

  • Social media – Clean up your social media accounts! Google your name to ensure that whatever populates is something you are comfortable with employers seeing. 

Make sure that your resume and cover letter have been reviewed by a career counselor. Each career services office also has career counseling available over the summer so it is never too early to have a second set of eyes on your materials. Check here for more information: Commerce Career Services, Economics Career Office, Center for Engineering Career Development, Batten Career Services, UVA Career Center

Build Relevant Skills 

Both LinkedIn Learning and Coursera provide opportunities to build up your skills in a way that can boost your resume. 

If you are not familiar with LinkedIn Learning, it provides you with the opportunity to take advantage of an extensive library of learning content, directly from your LinkedIn profile. Check out this page from the library on how to get started.

While there are numerous skills to focus on, here are a few highlights to consider that are consulting focused.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/16/2021

ECO Article: Resumes and Best Practices

How to Write a College Resume That’ll Get You Hired (Plus an Example!)

by Meredith Pepin at The Muse

person sitting at desk in college dorm room with laptop

James Woodson/Getty Images

When you’re in college, a strong resume is one of the first things that helps you land an internship or part-time job. It represents you to employers when you can’t be in the room (yet!) and is essential to convincing them to call you for an interview based on your previous experiences and current skills. Whether you have a resume you used for college applications or are starting completely from scratch, putting effort into your resume now gives you a higher likelihood of success and sets a solid foundation, making it a breeze to update in the future as you—and it—evolve.

If you feel like you have nothing to put on your resume, don’t worry. After advising hundreds of students on these documents, I know you have more to offer than you think! I frequently meet first-year college students who believe they can’t include many of the things they did before college on a resume. You absolutely can—and you should—until those get outranked by all the other awesome things you’ll accumulate over the course of your college career. Even if you’re a freshly minted high school graduate, you have valuable skills and experiences employers want, and this guide can help you showcase them.

Read on to learn about what goes on your resume, how to format it, and what else you can do to ensure it makes you shine—and to see our college resume example.



What Goes on a College Resume

In setting up your resume, you should use a few core sections to help you easily lay out all the information a recruiter is looking for when they make quick decisions about whether or not to interview you. (And yes, recruiters do skim, reportedly spending an average of 7.4 seconds making their first pass on a resume, so you want to make a good impression fast).

Contact Info

It’s traditional to start with your basic contact information at the top of your document including your name, email, phone, and the city and state where you live. Use your full name (and maybe bump up the font a point or two because you’re a big deal!), and if you have a nickname you prefer, you can include it in parentheses.

Use your college email as it’s typically professional and establishes your educational brand. Now is also a good time to check that your phone’s voicemail greeting is up-to-date. In case a recruiter calls while you’re busy—or you don’t recognize the number and swipe it to voicemail—this greeting could be their first impression of you. Even recording something as simple as, “Hello, you’ve reached Christine. Please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as possible,” can help them feel confident they reached the right person and that you’re able to present yourself professionally.

Your physical location can be based either on your school’s address or your permanent home address. If you’re targeting opportunities in one location or the other, include the most local address so they know you’re familiar with the area (and likely won’t have a problem finding housing).

Pro tip: Save space by listing your email, phone, and location all on one line. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can add that in your contact information section as well. The result might look like this:

Karla Perez
Stillwater, MN ∙ (000) 765-4321 ∙


For college students, education should be right below the contact information on your resume. This immediately orients your reader to the fact that you’re a current student and conveys important information, like what you’re studying. What you include in your education section can also demonstrate that you’re a good match for the opportunity you’re targeting, increasing your chances of a recruiter call.

The basics you should always include are:

  • Your school’s name
  • Your expected graduation date
  • The type of degree you’re pursuing: For example, you might write “Bachelor of Arts” or “Associate’s Degree.”
  • Any majors, minors, or concentrations: If you’re applying to opportunities in these areas, this will help an employer see you already have some knowledge and a motivation for working with them.

Depending on your personal strengths and what jobs you’re applying for, you might also want to include:

  • Your GPA: But only if it’s strong. (It’s usually good to include 3.5 and above.) If you stumbled through some of the general requirements you had to take but nailed all the courses in your major, consider adding two GPAs—your cumulative GPA and your major GPA—to show you have stronger grades in your chosen discipline.
  • Standardized test scores: If you’re applying to opportunities in quantitative fields, like finance or consulting, you might consider listing standardized test scores like the SAT or ACT.
  • Relevant coursework: Selecting and highlighting three to five classes that match closely with the specific opportunity you’re applying to is a really fast way to tailor your resume and make you a more attractive match. For example, if you’re targeting an internship in computer science, you can list your “Introduction to Python” and “Introduction to Algorithms” classes.
  • Other colleges or universities you’ve attended: If you’re a transfer student or you studied abroad at another university, adding these schools can signal that you have other strengths, such as cultural awareness or language skills, or give you a chance to highlight key classes you took elsewhere.
  • Your high school: If you’re shooting for an opportunity local to your high school or went somewhere well-known, then you may want to keep that as your last entry for educational experience. Otherwise, high school is the first entry to cut when you’re short on space. It has gotten you to where you need to be, but the focus should now be on the higher-level degree you’re working on and you should dedicate as much space as you need to boast about all of your amazing college accomplishments!

Here is an example of what a completed “Education” section might look like:


Candidate for Bachelor of Arts degree, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN
Double Major: Political Science and Economics ∙ Expected Graduation: May 2023 ∙ GPA: 3.7
Relevant Coursework: Introduction to Political Theory, Politics and Human Rights, Global Interdependence


The experience section is where the real substance of your resume lives. This is the chance to show a snapshot of the jobs and internships you’ve had (if any), the work you did, the skills you used, and your accomplishments. Let’s talk about what experience you can include, how to pull out skills and demonstrate your value, and what it should look like on the page.

Experience can cover a lot of things. It can be full-time jobs, part-time jobs, internships, or research. Unpaid work—like volunteer and community roles—counts too! Don’t discount the value these other kinds of experiences can add to your resume just because you didn’t earn money. You can leverage all of your experiences on a resume by pulling out transferable skills, or broader talents you’ve developed that will be beneficial even if you aren’t applying to the same type of role.

Take a significant class project, for example. That can be built out as experience as long as you’re clear it was for a class. If you worked on a group project, you probably collaborated on a team, organized, worked under deadlines, completed some independent tasks, presented your work to others, and had some kind of outcome. Even if you were doing something that might not seem widely applicable, like designing a rocket, many of those skills can transfer over to another role. Say you had to do cost comparisons for the materials you selected for your rocket, those same analysis skills could be useful to a business role or for a part-time job where you have to order supplies for a restaurant.

You can also create targeted headers for your Experience section(s) if there are themes that correlate with the internship or part-time job you want. Specific headers—such as “Research Experience,” “Marketing Experience,” or “Software Engineering Experience”—can immediately help your reader see that you’re aligned with the needs they have for their open role.

If you don’t have something that specific, it’s OK. You can still shift your experiences into categories like “Relevant Experience” and “Additional Experience.” For example, if you’re applying to research roles, you’d want to put any research related work under “Relevant Experience,” and your cashier job and website building side hustle would go under “Additional Experience.” These two headers are great for allowing you to bump the best of your experiences up toward the top of your resume.

Once you decide which headers to use, make sure each entry includes basic information—the title of your role, the organization’s name, the location, and the dates you worked there—along with bullet points describing what you accomplished. For example:

InternMinnesota State Senate, St. Paul, MN
June 2019–August 2019

  • Researched prior legislation and current bills, summarized content, and identified alternate actions
  • Coordinated the schedule for Senator Harriet Maxwell and kept accurate minutes for all meetings
  • Drafted memos for important interoffice updates outside of normal meeting schedule


A skills section is a great way to make your most valuable knowledge and expertise stand out—and be easily spotted by a recruiter. Which skills belong in your own skill section depend on the jobs you’re applying for, so be sure to read the job description carefully to figure out what skills are most relevant for each particular role.

Skills that might appear in this section include (but are definitely not limited to): technical skills; software or other tools you know well; languages you can speak, read, or write; other job-specific skills like using a POS system or cash register; and, for some jobs, even your ability to drive different vehicles.

From this range, you can see why it’s important to change things up based on what job you’re applying to! Some skills—for example, being fluent or conversational in a second language—might be relatively permanent fixtures on a college resume. If you’re looking for a part-time job waiting tables, you might add the fact that you can bartend, whereas you might list your mastery in JavaScript instead when going after that software engineering internship you have your eye on.

Once you’ve decided which skills are most important for this role, you can simply list them on your resume. If you have a few different types of skills, you can separate them into categories. For instance:


Languages: Spanish (Fluent); Russian (Basic)
Software: JavaScript, Python, CSS

Note that just listing your skills in a separate section isn’t always enough. You also want to make sure to describe how you’ve used key technical and job skills elsewhere on your resume (usually in the bullet points of your experience section).

Other Optional Sections

There are some other sections you can consider adding depending on your experiences and what your target employer might be looking for. For example, a consumer product firm might be looking for examples of design work. In that case you could add a section called “Design Projects,” which might include significant assignments from some of your academic classes or independent projects that you’ve developed in your spare time. Don’t be afraid to include links to your work if you’re submitting your resume online! (Just avoid hyperlinking out from important words, as this could trip up the online systems that scan most resumes.)

Another popular section is “Leadership Experience” where roles like being the vice president for one of your student organizations or being a co-captain for your athletic team would be a good fit. Employers love to see leadership themes on resumes, as it demonstrates the transferable soft skills they’re looking for like communication, collaboration, and initiative.

An “Activities” section can also demonstrate skills. If you dedicate time to learning more about consulting cases with your consulting club, you likely increased your analytical skills in a team setting, which is valuable for many business roles. If you’re an athlete, you can showcase your ability to manage your time, create or be part of a cohesive team, or organize and motivate teammates during practices. These skills gained as an athlete can be ideal if you’re applying for a heavily collaborative role. Additionally, if the activities that you’re involved in are directly applicable to the job, these are powerful to include as it demonstrates interest and dedication. So if you’re majoring in healthcare administration, adding that you’re a member of the Healthcare Society on your campus can be a major plus for an employer.

Any optional sections like these will usually need to be set up similar to your experience entries. Include the organization (or class), your role, the location, the dates you participated, and your key achievements. Here is an example of an entry you might put under a “Leadership” heading:


Head DelegateModel United Nations, Northfield, MN
September 2019–April 2020

  • Researched global topics such as human rights and sustainable energy and developed persuasive positions
  • Represented Chile as a delegate in an education simulation at a conference with 2,000+ participants; negotiated with others and collaborated on common goals to deliver resolutions on political issues
  • Liaised between the delegation and the Secretariat, serving as a first point of contact and resolving issues


6 Tips for Writing a Successful College Resume

From formatting to crafting strong descriptions, attention to detail can pay off when tackling your resume. Here are six tips to help you develop a great resume:

1. Choose the Right Resume Format for You

Your parents or other family members might share their resume and have you copy it because it has worked for them. But they’re at a different place in their career and their format may not be the best one for you.

There are three main types of resume formats for laying out your experiences, skills, and education—the functional resume, the combination/hybrid resume, and the chronological resume. The chronological format is almost always the best fit for college students.

With a chronological resume, you’ll list your experiences within each category/section in reverse chronological order (most recent to least recent, based on end date). Since this is the most traditional and common resume format, recruiters are familiar with it and can quickly see what you have to offer.

2. Be Clear and Consistent

In terms of resume formatting, there are a lot of small choices to make about things like font, style, and spacing. Whatever you decide, make sure it is easily readable, consistent, and not overly fancy. You could have the greatest content in the world, but if it’s too difficult or annoying to read, a recruiter is going to move on.

In order to make a document easy to scan, use clear headers for your sections. Maybe they’re bold and in all caps, or maybe they’re a couple font sizes larger, but they should be the same throughout your resume. The rest of your content should be consistent as well. For example, all your organization or previous employer names might be in italics, your dates all right aligned, your locations in plain text, and the titles of your roles in bold. Keeping things uniform helps the recruiter easily absorb all the relevant information you want them to have.

3. Make Sure It Can Pass Through an Application Tracking System (ATS)

Formatting is also important because your resume will likely pass through something called an applicant tracking system (ATS), a type of software that helps recruiters organize incoming candidate applications. Recruiters can apply filters or search for keywords, and the ATS will show candidates matching the desired criteria, making it easier to identify good candidates in large applicant pools.

In order for your resume to pass this first round and make it to the human who has the power to get you to an interview, the ATS needs to see you’re a good match. But there are formatting choices that can confuse an ATS—for example, some won’t read the content inside tables, text boxes, or graphics. And if the ATS can’t read your materials, your resume might be filtered out. (Read more about formatting your resume for an ATS here.)

This all means that using one of the fancy resume templates you see online isn’t necessarily the best moveMost basic formatting can be achieved with bolding, italics, and spacing, and you will still end up with a good-looking resume—meaning that starting with a blank document can actually be a better bet. (If you still want to use a template, we’ve curated 41 free ATS-friendly templates here.)

4. Create Impactful Descriptions

Give the descriptions you use for your experiences some TLC, as this is what recruiters will focus on once you’ve caught their attention. I often discover students undersell—or simply forget—all the things they’ve done that might be interesting and of value to an employer (including those transferable skills).

Here’s an exercise that can help. Reflect on an experience (such as an internship you had or volunteer work you completed) and quickly jot down what you did. You don’t need to have much structure for this—try it as a brainstorm. Think about answering some of these questions:

  • What was your role?
  • What were the goals for that position or experience?
  • What tasks did you specifically do?
  • What projects did you work on?
  • Were there any side projects or tasks you completed?
  • Who did you work with?
  • What did you contribute?
  • What did you accomplish? (Or what did/do you intend to accomplish? This can be a useful way to think about things especially when considering research or longer term projects that are still in progress!)
  • Can it be quantified? Numbers can paint a clear and impressive picture of your accomplishments to someone reading your resume. You might write that you fundraised as part of the Student Government Association, and that will generally get your point across, but if you can say you increased SGA fundraising by 30% and were able to create two new social events attended by 100+ students each, that will make more of an impact. Look for ways to quantify your accomplishments wherever possible.

Once you have a good brainstorm, take the information you gathered and try crafting several statements using this formula:

Action Verb + Subject + Outcome/Purpose/Result (i.e. Accomplishment)

So you might say:

Organized a fundraiser event for 70 participants resulting in $1,000 in donations to a local hospital

Your descriptions are most valuable when leading with an action verb that reflects specific skills. For example, swap “Worked on” for “Collaborated on” and “Responsible for” with “Oversaw.” Other verbs I often recommend students use include:

  • Analyzed
  • Communicated
  • Created
  • Facilitated
  • Improved
  • Initiated
  • Led
  • Organized
  • Presented
  • Researched

5. Tailor Your Resume for Each Opportunity

Always tailor your resume to each specific job you apply to. Making it easy for the recruiter to connect your skills to what they are looking for can increase your chances of success. The job description is your blueprint and key to doing this. A couple of these exercises could help you identify what you’ll want to highlight.

  • Activity 1: Take the job description and go through and underline everything you’ve had some experience in. This might be specific tasks, software/programs/tools, or qualities. Write a quick note in the margin to highlight when you’ve done that. Underline things where you have transferable skills too. For example, if you’ve used a software that is similar to a software they’re looking for, underline it. A recruiter should be able to see on your resume that you used similar skills and would be a quick study.
  • Activity 2: If you aren’t sure which skills to emphasize, take the entire job description and pop it into a simple online word cloud generator, like TagCrowd. It automatically shows you the words most used in the description, which are likely of highest importance to the company or role. If you have those skills, make sure you mention them in your descriptions and mirror the language as exactly as possible (our friend the ATS will be looking for precise keywords!).

These activities can help you identify the right action verbs, keywords, and tools—like software—to weave into your descriptions. They can also help you decide what past experiences to include or which of your college courses are relevant to this role and which direct and transferable skills to highlight to make your resume a stronger fit for your target job.

6. Keep a Few Other Tried-and-True Tips in Mind

Here are a few other parting tips to keep in mind as you build your document:

  • Avoid writing in first person (“I,” “we,” “our,” and “my” statements).
  • Bullet points will make your document more readable—usually two to three per entry works well. But it doesn’t have to be even: Give more description space to the most relevant entries.
  • Attention to detail matters. Proofread—not just for typos, but to make sure formatting is consistent (like date dashes). Employers will use your resume to make assumptions about how detail-oriented you are.
  • Review any headers you put in all caps. Some spell checkers are programmed to assume that they’re acronyms and skip them.
  • Ditch jargon and acronyms wherever possible. Don’t assume the reader always knows what you’re talking about. Sometimes the first person reading your document is a general recruiter and not familiar with the technical side of a role.
  • Be aware of tenses. If you’ve completed an experience, those descriptions will be in past tense, and current roles can be described in present tense. (If you’re still actively involved in a role you can list the role through “Present,” and if more than one entry has the same end date, make a strategic decision to put the most relevant experience first.)
  • Acceptable margins are usually between one and 0.7 inches.
  • Pick a readable font, like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman, and try not to go below font size 11.
  • As a college student, stick to a one-page resume. However, you should consider keeping a longer version (called a master resume) for your own personal use. That’s where you keep a full record of your experiences to make it easier to pull out the relevant ones each time you tailor your resume for a specific job.

What Does a College Resume Look Like?

A college resume should showcase your education, experiences, and skills (direct and transferable!) in a clear way, while keeping in mind what is most relevant to your target employer. The resume below shows a student highlighting their relevant education and experiences specifically for internship opportunities in government and politics.

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Feature | 09/29/2016

Top 10 Jobs for Economics Majors

Read about 10 jobs that match up with many of the skills Economics majors are equipped with:

Note, although this article includes a Top Ten List, the ECO does not claim that these are the "Top Ten" jobs for majors. This list is meant to be one resource in your search and provide food for thought.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 03/26/2023

17 Tips to Survive Your Next Networking Event

Article written by Darrah Brustein from ForbesThe ECO pulled our top 15 tips most applicable to the 2023 Undergraduate Economics Career Forum to feature below.

You arrive alone. Your heart is beating a little faster than normal and suddenly all of your charisma and charm go out the window. You try to lock eyes with someone so that you can find a temporary home in what can feel like a sea of strangers. But everyone looks happily engaged in conversation.

While this might sound like your experience at a middle school dance, it's also what many people feel when they enter a networking event. These are completely natural reactions, even for the biggest extroverts. The great news is that people go to these events to meet strangers, so you’re in the same position as everyone else. Here are 17 helpful tips for navigating a networking event and making the most of your time there:

  1. Be yourself. Networking events are meant as jumping-off points for relationship building. If you can't be yourself, you’ll be starting off these new relationships with a lie. Don’t try to be the person you think others want to meet. Be genuine. The people you connect with when you are authentic are the ones you’ll want to stay in touch with.
  2. Set reasonable expectations. When attending an event, understand what you are there to do. Is your goal to feel out a new organization and get to know the vibe? Is it to meet five new people? Is it to meet one or two specific people? These are all reasonable expectations and it takes a little pre-planning to set these goals.
  3. Take notes. When you ask for someone's card after having a great conversation, take notes on their business card after they walk away or immediately after the event. This will help you to be more specific in your follow-up.
  4. Introduce yourself to the organizer. A great way to get to know more about an organization and who is involved is to seek out the event organizer and introduce yourself. He/she can then help point you in the right direction and can introduce you to other attendees to get you off on the right foot.
  5. Treat people like friends. Would you go to a friend, interrupt his/her conversation, hand over a business card, talk about yourself and then walk away? Of course not. Treat new networking relationships as you’d treat your friendships. Build rapport and trust that business will happen.
  6. Ask great questions. The only way to get to know someone else is to ask them genuine and thoughtful questions. It’s always best to walk away from a conversation having allowed the other person to speak more than you did. Not only will they feel great about the conversation, but you’ll have gotten to know a lot about him/her, helping you plan and execute your follow-up more thoughtfully.
  7. Sharing is caring. This is no less true now than it was in kindergarten. If you are willing to share your contacts and resources, others will be more likely to help you as well. Develop a sincerity in your giving nature without expectation of something in return.
  8. Consider their network. When meeting people, it’s important to remember that even if they can't help you directly, someone in their network probably can.
  9. Treat connecting like a puzzle. If you’re asking great questions and considering how you can help others, you’ll naturally start to draw connections between who you are talking to and others in your network. Offer to make these connections! Perhaps they are two people who have the same target client industry, or maybe you know that a contact of yours is looking for the service the other provides. Encourage both parties to follow up with you after they meet so that you can hear what came of their interaction. It will not only pay dividends for you, it will also help you hone your matchmaking skills.
  10. Don’t be a card spammer. The closest thing to you throwing all of your business cards away is handing them out to anyone and everyone you meet without them asking. If you haven’t built enough rapport with someone to encourage them to ask for your card, don’t offer one.
  11. Be specific. The more specific you can be about what you do and what others can do to help you (if they ask), the better. Tell them the names of a few specific companies you’re looking to work with.
  12. Ask yourself why they should care. Consider why the person you’re speaking to should care about what you’re saying. Craft your conversations accordingly. You only have a short time to make an impression, so try to make it favorable.
  13. Be engaged. Keep eye contact with your conversation partner. Nod your head and tilt your body towards them when you’re speaking. These small cues go a long way towards making them feel like you care, which helps you to build rapport and trust: the foundation on which you can later do business.
  14. Do NOT "work the room." Don't try to meet as many people as possible in a room; focus on making just a few solid connections. People can sense when you’re simply speaking with them to grab their card and go. These short interactions will not be memorable and therefore work against you. Aim to meet a few people and begin a meaningful dialogue.
  15. Don’t be afraid to join in. There is nothing wrong with joining a conversation and waiting for a natural break in the chatter to introduce yourself. In most cases, the people who are already speaking will enjoy the interruption because it gives them a chance to meet someone new. If you sense that you’ve entered into a serious discussion, it’s okay to politely excuse yourself.

Now you're prepared to rock your next networking event and hopefully build some meaningful relationships in the process. And remember; do talk to strangers!

Darrah Brustein is the founder of Network Under 40, a networking organization for young professionals.

Feature | 07/19/2019

Diego Legal-Cañisá Presents Research on Consumer Bankruptcy at NAMSES

In June, 2019, Diego Legal-Cañisá presented his paper "Unemployment Insurance with Consumer Bankruptcy" at the North American Meeting of the Econometric Society in Seattle, Washington. The data shows that Chapter 7 bankruptcy rates across counties and Unemployment Insurance (UI) generosity are negatively correlated. This fact suggests that Chapter 7 bankruptcy and UI are substitute programs and raises the question of about the implications of consumer bankruptcy for optimal UI. Diego constructed a model matching main statistics regarding the U.S. unsecured credit and labor markets, including the main features of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and UI. The model successfully accounts for the negative relationship between bankruptcy rate and UI generosity observed in the data. In the model, for low levels of UI, a more generous UI reduces bankruptcy and allows more debt. As UI keep increasing, employment falls and lenders react by contracting credit supply. From an ex-ante welfare perspective, an increase in the replacement rate from 50% to 60% is welfare reducing when bankruptcy is allowed but would be welfare increasing without bankruptcy. The conference allowed Diego to get valuable feedback on his research and meet with prominent researchers in the field. It also resulted in an invitation to Diego to present his research at the Economics seminar series at VCU School of Business.

Feature | 01/18/2022

“Phillip Jefferson, UVa PhD (1990), nominated to serve on the Federal Reserve Board

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Feature | 08/30/2016

ARTICLE - Choosing a Career Path: A Collegiate Perspective

This is a guest piece by Elizabeth Santoro, a senior at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, who will begin her career at a technology company upon graduation.

In my experience, college leaves you with more questions than answers. Entering college you may or may not know what career you want or what direction to take. Either way, college seems to be anything but linear, — it’s more a series of switchbacks and loops.

I thought I would work for some Condé Nast beauty magazine among New York City’s skyscrapers or, on the flip side, dig deep as an investigative reporter. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, I’m on a different spectrum entirely and accepted an offer to work in product marketing for a tech startup.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Source: By April 20, 2017Talent


Feature | 03/14/2019

Diego Legal-Cañisá, Participant in the new Initiative for Computational Economics (nICE)

Computational technologies are exploding in their ability to analyze complex scientific problems. In August 2018, 5th year PhD student Diego Legal-Cañisá attended the new Initiative for Computational Economics (nICE), organized by Kenneth Judd at Stanford's Hoover Institution, which focused on how these technologies could be applied to the analysis of economic problems. Diego (seen in the accompanying picture, seated in the second row, first from the left) cites the many benefits of participating in nICE: "It was an excellent experience where the state of art numerical methods and their application to economics problems were surveyed. I learned about some powerful software tools, I heard some of the leading experts in computational economics presenting the latest developments in the field, and most importantly, I presented my research--focusing on its computational aspects--and discussed it with top researchers and fellow graduate students from other universities."

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Feature | 04/30/2023

Does Your Resume Pass the Six Second Test?

Article written by Kailyn Rhone for The Wall Street Journal

And, click here to read the ECO's response to this article. 

No pressure, but your résumé has six seconds to make an impression before it is sent to the don’t-even-bother pile.

That is how long a recruiter typically skims a résumé to decide whether to pass it on to a hiring manager, said J.T. O’Donnell, chief executive of career-coaching site Work It Daily. Recruiters often have hundreds of online applications to wade through, even with algorithms helping filter many of them out. They will likely give yours little more than a glance to judge whether you make it onto the shortlist of candidates.

In other words, your résumé has to be highly “skimmable,” Ms. O’Donnell said at The Wall Street Journal’s recent Jobs Summit. “The human eye works in a Z-pattern, and I’m going down, looking for four to five things that I was told you need to have or you cannot be considered.” 

The CV won’t clinch a job offer, but it gets you to the next step, she and other career coaches say. A résumé that’s hard to skim or fails to mention key skills needed for the job could keep you from ever getting the chance to make your case in an interview. 

Some ways to make your résumé stand out, and some job-search killers to avoid, according to the experts at the summit:  

1) Forget the professional statement.

Job seekers have long been advised to include a short paragraph atop of their résumé summing up their skills, experience, achievements and goals. No more.

“Recruiters don’t have time for that,” Ms. O’Donnell said. Instead, open with a one-line “headline” stating your occupational specialty—ideally with words matching the role you’re applying for, like “digital marketing specialist” or “technical writer,” she said. 

Follow the headline with two short columns of bullets with concrete skills. If you coordinated a team to pull off a big assignment and the job posting mentions project-management experience, use that same language, since that’s what recruiters and their applicant-tracking-systems will screen for, said Jane Oates, president of WorkingNation, a nonprofit focused on workforce development. 

“Every job you apply for, you should customize your résumé just a little bit by putting in some of the words that are in that job description,” Ms. Oates said.

2) Don’t be a jack of all trades.

It is tempting to pack your résumé with the entirety of your work experience, especially for those who have a lot of it. Resist the urge, and focus on your relevant professional work history. “You don’t need to have any more that you scooped ice cream at the Margate Dairy Bar,” Ms. Oates said.

Recruiters are looking for a match to that particular job opening, Ms. O’Donnell said. They aren’t interested in the twists and turns of your career, which could suggest you’re overqualified for the role. 

“A lot of companies don’t want to overpay, and that’s exactly the message you’re sending when you put everything on your résumé,” she said. 

It is OK for a résumé to be two pages, if necessary, she adds. But make sure it is formatted with enough white space to be easily skimmed. Start each line about your experience with the bolded job title, so that they are easy to scan down the left side. 

3) Use numbers.

Avoid subjective, ambiguous language, such as “passionate self-starter” or a “dedicated hard worker.” The hiring manager or recruiter will assess your soft skills when they interview you, Ms. O’Donnell said. A résumé is about your hard skills, which are best told through numbers.  

Her tip: Circle all of the nouns on your CV, because they can usually be quantified.

If you are describing your experience as a receptionist, for instance, don’t just say “Answer phones.” More effective is something like: “Work for a 300-person company, answering more than 100 calls a day, on a 12-line phone system,” she said.

4) Make your LinkedIn profile the priority.

“Your LinkedIn is really your best résumé,” said Brian Liou, founder and CEO of Rora, which advises tech-industry professionals in negotiating with employers. Recruiters trawl LinkedIn to find candidates for a given job opening. A few hacks can improve your chances of coming up in their searches.

First, set a reminder to switch up some of the keywords in your profile every two weeks. Changing the content helps prompt the site’s algorithm to re-scan your profile, keeping it toward the top of recruiter searches. 

And take advantage of Creator Mode, which Ms. O’Donnell calls one of LinkedIn’s best-kept secrets. The setting alters the presentation of profiles to emphasize topics that users discuss most on the platform and lets them choose hashtags aligned with their skills, showing LinkedIn you are an active user. “This is going to help get your content showcased,” she said.

One LinkedIn feature she does discourage using is the “Open to Work” banner. Though more hiring managers say they don’t frown upon career breaks, discrimination against people between jobs persists, she said. Instead, tweak your privacy settings to signal more indirectly to recruiters that you’re open to invitations, she suggested. 

5) Resist using ChatGPT.

The artificial-intelligence chatbot from OpenAI has quickly become a popular tool for creating and tweaking résumés. The trouble is, recruiters can spot a ChatGPT-built résumé “a mile away,” Ms. O’Donnell said, “and you get points off for that sort of thing.”

The chat assistant can be helpful if you’re building a résumé from scratch, but use it only as a starting point, she cautions.

One tool she does suggest is a free word-cloud app. ( and are two popular ones.) Paste the text of the job posting to see which words show up as the biggest—the ones repeated most often in the ad.

 “That’s how you’re going to find your top five or six things” to describe your skills and experience, she said.

Feature | 12/14/2021

ECO Article: Hiring Projections Up for Class of 2022

From the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), November 2021, by Kevin Gray

Employers plan to hire 26.6% more new graduates from the Class of 2022 than they did from the Class of 2021, according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2022 report.

The data NACE collected in its Job Outlook 2022 survey appear to be in line with job opening trends in general. With job openings exceeding 10 million and the unemployment rate now below 5%, employers are obviously viewing a very competitive labor market.

This is also evident in the Job Outlook 2022 results that show that almost 60% of responding employers have plans to increase hires this year, compared to just 16.5% last year. Furthermore, the largest group of respondents (48.6%) rate the overall job market for Class of 2022 graduates as “very good” and 14.1% rate it as “excellent.” This is compared to last year, when just 3.9% of respondents rated the overall job market for Class of 2021 graduates as “very good” and 0.5% deemed it “excellent.”

The Job Outlook survey is a forecast of hiring intentions of employers as they relate to new college graduates. Data for the Job Outlook 2022 survey were collected from August 18, 2021, through October 1, 2021. Of the 157 total respondents, 116 were NACE employer members, representing 15.7 percent of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2022 survey was also distributed to nonmember companies from which an additional 41 responses were received. The Job Outlook 2022 report is available in MyNACE.

Figure 1: Job Outlook Hiring Projections, 2011 – 2022*

2022 26.6% NA
2021 -0.1% 7.2%
2020 5.8% 6.3%
2019 16.6% 10.7%
2018 4.0% -1.3%

Source: Job Outlook 2022, National Association of Colleges and Employers. *Projections are for U.S. locations only.

Feature | 10/05/2018

4th Year Moogdho Mahzab leads Impact Evaluation Training in Bangladesh

This short course provided training on impact evaluation on quasi-experimental research. Participants learnt about important econometric techniques used in policy research design. Those techniques included but were not limited to matching, instrumental variables, propensity score weighting, regression discontinuity and panel data methods.  A separate session introduced participants to the features of randomized controlled trials.  The two days of training focused on using programming languages like STATA in hands-on empirical exercises, understanding and comparing the identification strategies associated with different econometric methods, assessing the robustness of results and learning efficient ways to report them. It was organized by the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM). The approximately 25 participants--including young researchers from different research organizations, young faculty members from private and public universities, and central bank officials—offered very positive feedback on the program. 

Feature | 12/01/2021

Yutong Chen Presents at 2021 SEA Conference

Yutong Chen, a fourth-year graduate student, presented her paper at the Southern Economic Association’s 2021 Meeting in Houston, TX. The paper, “Does the Gig Economy Discriminate? Evidence from Physicians in China,” finds that patients discriminate against female physicians, which leads to gender gaps on an online healthcare platform. Additionally, the platform’s ranking algorithm exacerbates gender gaps via the feedback loop.

Feature | 10/23/2023

Veconlab Table at the Economic Science Association Meeting in Charlotte, NC

Current and former Veconlab RAs presented papers on teaching and research using laboratory experiments.  From left to right: Charles Holt, Brian Buck, Juliette Sellgren, Madeleine Green from UVA, and Erica Sprott (CLAS 2022, now a predoctoral research fellow with Opportunity Insights at Harvard). Student travel was funded by the Marshall Jevons Fund.

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Feature | 08/12/2016

How to Ace your Graduate School Interview

Graduate school interviews can be a nerve wracking process. Learn how to impress from this helpful article.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

What College Can Teach the Aspiring Entrepreneur

How do you use college to learn how to be an entrepreneur? For the student looking to launch a company after graduation, the answers to the typical questions—where do you go to school,

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/20/2018

Employment Possibilities Abound in This Article: Study: Netflix users are so addicted to bingeing there’s not much time left for family

By Andy Meeks

Imagine, for a moment, how much time a day you spend uninterrupted with family members. Got it? Now go ahead and double it. That, friends, is roughly how much time every single day the average Netflix user spends bingeing content.

It’s an estimate that comes via Streaming Observer, which found that the average Netflix user now spends a little more than an hour a day streaming content on the service. Which adds up to some 434 hours, the equivalent of 18 days, over the course of a year.


Here’s how the site arrived at those numbers. “At the end of last year, the company announced that its users streamed 140 million hours of content per day. At the time, there were 117.58 million subscribers. Simple math shows that dividing 140 million hours of content watched daily by 117.58 million subscribers results in the average user spending 1 hour and 11 minutes each day watching content on Netflix.”

One hour and 11 minutes doesn’t sound so bad, until you put it up against the roughly 36 minutes of quality, distraction-free time that other studies have found people spend with family members each day.


Here’s a closer look at what Streaming Observer has found:

“Recent studies have found that families only spend anywhere from 34 to 37 minutes of quality, undistracted time (e.g. time where they “feel they actually bond”) together on a typical day,” Streaming Observer notes. “Let’s average that out to 35.5. That means the typical subscriber spends about half as much quality time with their family as they do with Netflix.”

But there’s more. Again, these are all rough estimates, but according to the most recent annual edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey, the Streaming Observer data also shows that Netflix users generally spend a lot more time bingeing than they do exercising, reading and hanging out with friends. Combined!

The crazy thing is that even with numbers like this, and with Netflix binges eating up so much of users’ time already, the company’s CEO Reed Hastings thinks the company still doesn’t own enough of its users’ day. “We’re still a small fraction of every society’s overall viewing,” he said on a call with investors earlier this summer. “So I think there’s still room to go there.”


Indeed, the company is still working to grow as much and as fast as it can. During the most recent quarter, Netflix reported 130 million global subscribers, up 25 percent from 104 million in the year-ago quarter.

Per Zacks Equity Research, Netflix is hoping to add 650,000 subscribers in the U.S. and a little more than 4 million internationally in the third quarter.


Read more

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Feature | 08/12/2016

Negotiating Your Salary

Factors to consider when negotiating your salary.

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Feature | 10/26/2021

ECO Blog: Virtual Job Fair Preparation

Greetings Majors!

There are two virtual job fairs this week, which I recommend for our majors:

Marketing, Advertising, and PR Job Fair, Tuesday, 10/26
Fall Job and Internship Fair, Thursday, 10/28

Employers will hold info sessions with groups, and 1:1 meetings with individual students. Schedule at least an hour in your day to attend if you are internship or job-seeking. And if you're curious, but not ready to job search, the info sessions provide a great opportunity to hang back and listen. Please check out the links below about approaching the fair. If you are in a full-on job search, I recommend choosing 3-5 employers that are your "must-sees" and schedule around those sessions. 

  • Make sure your lighting is good and your mic works in case you choose to speak.
  • If possible, appear in a neat room, or use a virtual background.
  • Dress neatly. This does not mean you need to be in professional business attire or even business casual. Neat and tidy are important.
  • Prepare your pitch using VMOCK (AI platform that records your pitch and scores you) and/or this ECO template and these tips.
  • Have your resume handy to borrow talking points and possibly share with employers.
  • Research the employers that are the most interesting to you and come with questions. You'll find some at the links belowl You may always ask about next steps if you're interested in applying for opportunities.
  • Be yourself (really!).
  • Send a thank you after the info session or 1:1 session.

Vault's Recommendations for Attending a Virtual Career Fair

Participating in a Virtual Fair - from Handshake 

Handshake's Guide to Virtual Fair Attendance

Good Questions to Ask Employers

Better Questions to Ask Employers

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Feature | 10/11/2021

7 Kinds of Questions to Ask at a Career Fair to Make a Great Impression

by Stav Ziv at The Muse

Let’s be honest: Walking into a career fair can be incredibly intimidating. Look at all those people who have the power to give you a job one day! Look at all those other people who want some of the very same jobs you want! No one would blame you for feeling overwhelmed.

Start by considering that the recruiters on the other side of the table (literally or metaphorically) are people just like you. Then remember that you’re unlikely to elicit a job offer on the spot from any one of them. Put those things together and you’ll lower the stakes for yourself and do what might actually help your career: have great conversations.

“Remember that recruiters are humans, not robots. They like having conversations,” says Victoria Morell, a Muse career coach and Associate Director of Miami University Farmer School of Business Careers. “You always want to leave them with, ‘Oh I want to learn more about that person.’”

Easy to say, yes, but what do you actually say when you’re face-to-face with a tired recruiter who’s already spoken to 47 other prospective applicants today? At a career fair, your goal is to get the information you need to decide if a company or role is a good fit for you, while also leaving a good impression that could help you get one step closer to nabbing that job.

Here are seven kinds of questions that will help you do just that.

1. Ask About a Particular Role

Most people will come up to a table, say hello and give a little spiel about their background, and then ask, “Do you have any open roles?” according to Muse career coach Chelsea Williams, who in a previous position at an asset management firm attended dozens of career fairs to look for talent. “The recruiter will sometimes say, ‘We do. Check the website.’ That’s not a powerful way to maximize your time,” she says. And it tells the recruiter that you didn’t take the time to do any research and you’re not serious about their company.

Don’t be one of those people. You can stand out right away by taking a different approach. Spend some time ahead of the event looking through the list of companies attending, finding a handful that seem most enticing to you, learning what you can about them, identifying any roles that seem like a good fit for you, and ideally submitting your application before you walk in.

That way, you can use your time to delve deeper into anything that wasn’t clear in the job description and to gather information beyond what’s available online, which could help you continue to evaluate whether it’s really the right fit and come in handy later if you move forward in the interview process.

You can try to get right to the heart of the matter by asking, “What are you truly looking for in this role if you could have your ideal candidate?” Morell suggests. Not only can you get the inside scoop on what’s most important to them, but it also “gives you an opportunity to say, ‘Oh, this is how I’ve done that!’”

Try questions like:

  • Is the [open role] you currently have listed more focused on [some function or aspect of the company] or [some other function or aspect of the company]?
  • I noticed the job description for [open role] listed [some vague item] in the responsibilities—what do you mean by that?
  • In a typical day, what does [open role] do?
  • What’s the biggest challenge the new [open role] can help solve?
  • Who’s the manager/direct report for this role?
  • What’s this team’s biggest goal in the next six months?
  • I don’t have a traditional background in [field or function] but I have worked on [something relevant]. Would that be a good fit for [open role]?
  • I noticed you didn’t have any [type of role or roles on a specific team] open just now. What kinds of opportunities in those areas do you foresee down the line?

2. Ask About the Hiring Process

A one-on-one conversation with a recruiter is also a great opportunity to glean some information and calibrate your expectations for the hiring process. Muse career coach Brad Finkeldei once interviewed for a consulting job in a hiring process that had eight stages. “They really want to make sure it was a good match culturally,” he says. Knowing something like that up front would help you get a sense of the kind of timeline you can expect. (And you might decide to send out some more applications while you wait!)

Try questions like:

  • What does the hiring process for [open role] look like?
  • Can you tell me a little bit about the different stages in the hiring process for [open role]?

3. Ask About Their Experience

One of your main goals going into a career fair should be to use it as a starting point for building long-term relationships, says Muse career coach Clayton Wert. To that end, you “don’t just want to talk about yourself all the time. Be insightful and curious about the other person,” he says.

The person you’re speaking with works at the company. Ask them about their experience there! You might learn something about the culture that you could never glean from a job posting or website alone. Plus, says Muse career coach Kristina Leonardi, “the more authentic and personable and relatable you can be the more memorable you can be.”

Try questions like:

  • How long have you been at [Company]?
  • What do you like about [Company]?
  • What’s your favorite thing about your job?
  • What do you really enjoy about this role in particular?
  • What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your role or at [Company]?

4. Ask About Growth and Development

You may be a student or recent graduate looking for your first real step into a new field, but you won’t be a newbie forever. It’s worth asking not just about the role you’ve applied for, but about how you can learn and grow and do more down the line. “It lets the recruiter know you’re thinking about the future and the long-term with the company, that you’re really invested in what your future could look like there,” Morell says.

Try questions like:

  • What does growth and development look like at [Company]?
  • How does [Company] support its employees as they look to grow and level up their skills and responsibilities?
  • I imagine that [innovation at the company or change in the industry] will change how you’re working on [project or product]. How are you developing your workforce to keep up with this?
  • How does [Company] work to upskill and reskill its employees?

5. Ask About the Company’s Products, Services, or Recent News

Nothing shows you’ve done your homework like casually mentioning something timely about the organization. “Go to the company blog when doing your research, find a recent article or press release, and reference something the company’s currently going through,” says Wert.

If the company’s just reached a major milestone, released a new product, or announced some great news, he suggests going in and saying, “Congratulations, that’s awesome! Hopefully it makes doing your job easier. What do you think this means for you?” Or you could say, “I saw you’re launching [new product]… That’s great! What do you think that’s going to do?”

And if you have a genuine personal connection to the company’s products or services—whether it’s been your favorite thing since you were five or your mother’s always talking about how much she loves it—share that with the recruiter and use it to lead into a question.

Try questions like:

  • I recently read an article about [event, announcement, or news related to the company]. What was it like to be a part of that?
  • I know you’ve just announced a strategy change. How is that shift taking place internally?
  • I love [product/service], I use it all the time! How do you think it’s going to evolve in the next year?

6. Ask About Company Culture

Whatever role it is that you have your eye on, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You’ll be working with colleagues, a team, a department, and an entire organization that has a unique culture. One of the most effective ways you can use your time at a career fair is to ask questions that’ll help you understand a company’s culture and determine if it’s the kind of environment you want.

It’s not necessarily about the culture being good or bad, it’s a matter of finding a match. For example, you might be looking for a highly collaborative atmosphere or, on the flipside, you might prefer to work independently 95% of the time. In either scenario you’ll need a different kind of work culture to thrive.

If you’re new to the working world, you might not know exactly what you’re looking for (and that’s okay!), but you can still use these kinds of questions to feel out whether a company sounds like a place you can see yourself spending most of your waking hours.

When you ask questions about culture—and throughout your conversation—make sure you’re attuned to body language, hesitations, and what’s not being said, in addition to the actual verbal response. “Especially as a recruiter, they’re going to be pretty well rehearsed. They’re there to sell the brand and positions,” says Morell. But small cues like pauses or a perfectly inoffensive but canned answer can raise questions to look into more later.

For example, Morell says, “if you ask about diversity and they only mention one kind of diversity or their statement feels very much like a corporate statement on diversity, that could be a red flag.”

Try questions like:

  • What kind of person is most successful at [Company]?
  • What does communication look like at [Company]? What kind of technology do you use for communication?
  • What kind of culture is there around feedback at [Company]? How do people like to give and receive feedback?
  • Diversity is really important to me. How do you support different identities?
  • I saw photos of [volunteer, diversity, or social event] on the company’s Instagram account. Can you tell me more about that program?
  • Do people hang out outside of work on a regular basis?

7. Ask How You Can Stay in Touch

Now that you’ve had a fantastic chat, wrap it up by ensuring that this doesn’t have to be the last time you talk. Make sure you know the person’s name and take a business card (if they have one) or ask how you can keep in touch with them and the company. That way, you’ll have a contact to reach out to if you don’t hear back about your application.

And you can also start developing long-term relationships. Who knows, “you might connect back with them at a time that’s not as busy and get coffee,” Morell says. Even if there’s not a perfect role for you at this company now, or if this one doesn’t pan out, you never know what might open up in the future.

Try questions like:

  • What’s the best way to stay in touch with you?
  • What would be a great next step to take after meeting you here?
  • Who can I follow up with about [open role]?

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/07/2023

Tips to Attract More Recruiters on LinkedIn

Article "I'm a designer at LinkedIn. Here are 4 tips to attract more recruiters" written by Katie Jacquez for UX Collective


Understand how recruiters source candidates on LinkedIn and how to optimize your profile to improve your chances of being found

Last month nearly 60,000 employees in tech were let go (Visual Capitalist). Economic headwinds, a change in leadership (hello Twitter and Elon Musk), and pandemic-fueled hiring sprees are cited as a few of the varied drivers ( November 2022. Waves Of Tech Layoffs — Which Tech Companies Are Cutting Their Workforce And Why? Forbes).

If you are one of the many people impacted, you’re likely looking for your next play. The good news is that companies are still hiring, it’s just a matter of identifying and landing the right position (Estrada, Sheryl. December 2022. These 10 employers are still hiring tech and finance talent like crazy. Forbes).

Your job search should include a push and pull strategy, where you actively reach out to people at companies you’re interested in, and one where recruiters and hiring managers come to you. This article will help your pull strategy; I’m going to show you how to optimize your LinkedIn profile to attract recruiters and hiring managers.


Before we dive into actionable tips, it’s important to understand how LinkedIn works.

Your LinkedIn profile is a searchable page

Your LinkedIn profile is a page, like any other page on the internet, with keywords that can be searched. When a recruiter is looking to hire a candidate, they use a tool called “Recruiter”. Recruiter basically is a search engine that combs through LinkedIn profiles. To give you an example of how it works, let’s say a recruiter is looking to hire a UX designer in New York or remote and is looking for someone with systems thinking, wireframing, and usability testing skills. Each one of these is a keyword they type into Recruiter. LinkedIn profiles with these terms will be more likely to appear at the top of the results page.

Recruiter surfaces candidates more likely to be interested in a role

It’s important to understand how recruiters matching algorithm works so you can make the most of it. Think of it as seeing the rubric for a class before starting the semester; you will then know what to do to succeed.

LinkedIn Recruiter “require[s] not just that a candidate shown must be relevant to the recruiter’s query, but also that the candidate contacted by the recruiter must show interest in the job opportunity.” (Sahin Cem Geyik, Qi Guo, Bo Hu, Cagri Ozcaglar, et al. 2018. Talent Search and Recommendation Systems at LinkedIn: Practical Challenges and Lessons Learned).

Recruiters matching algorithm uses a variety of signals to determine how likely a candidate is to be interested in switching jobs, such as turning on the ‘open to work’ feature, response rate to recruiters messages, and overall engagement on the platform.

How to optimize your LinkedIn profile

Before joining LinkedIn, I thought the experience section was the only way to attract recruiters. I’m going to walk you through small steps you can take to optimize your LinkedIn profile for visibility with recruiters with your work experience and beyond.

Name and headline

This is an underutilized portion of your profile. Rather than just stating your name and current role, you can use your headline to provide more context about you. For example, Harrison Wheeler, is a design manager at LinkedIn and the host of the Technically Speaking podcast.

People actively looking for a job can use this real estate to indicate what types of roles they’re going after. For example, Emma indicates that she’s “looking for 2023 internship”.

Use a headline that is consistent with your industry; recruiters typically are not looking for a “Design ninja”. Furthermore, be specific. “Design @ LinkedIn” could mean a variety of positions with different levels of experience, from associate, to mid-career, to management. “Senior Product Designer @ LinkedIn” is specific and will attract recruiters with open roles appropriate for your career goals.

About section

Next is the about section. This is especially useful for career switchers who likely do not have work experience in their desired field. When I was going from marketing to UX design, I was still getting messages from recruiters for marketing roles.

The about section is where you can weave your prior work history to the new role you’re going after, highlight your strengths, and tell your story. For example, Kristine Yuen is a design manager at LinkedIn and previously worked as a consultant for Deloitte. She uses the about section to explain why her consultancy work makes her a better designer.

As a career shifter, your prior work history gives you a unique perspective. In fact, teams with diverse experiences, thinking and background perform better than homogenous teams (Beilock, Sian. 2019. How Diverse Teams Produce Better Outcomes. Forbes).

To illustrate how your non-design work can be a strength and not a hindrance, I previously worked as a marketer and strategist. Today I’m a designer at LinkedIn building products for the people and teams I used to work with. This experience helps me empathize with customers to build better advertising products.


Daniel Dinay, a hiring manager at Marqeta, says his recruiting team leans heavily on the experience filters in LinkedIn Recruiter. If a profile comes up in the search results, he may have less than a minute to look at a profile, so keep the experience section pithy and scannable. For each role, show the core responsibilities, any results or value you brought to the team, and awards or top accomplishments. If you’re a career shifter, you can tailor your prior work experience to highlight any relevant experience to the new role you’re going after. Staying at a company for several years shows loyalty and success within an organization so add any promotions to show career growth and progress. This will show up as a timeline in each role.

Christine Liao, ex-manager on the Recruiter team at LinkedIn, encourages users to add contextual skills to specific roles in the experience section; it helps a recruiter understand the recency of a skill.


In addition to adding skills in the experience section, there is a dedicated section in the profile. Skills directly surface in LinkedIn Recruiter so list any skills that align with the type of role you are seeking. If you’re not sure what to include, cross reference profiles of people with the job you want. UX designers may want to use terms such as:

  • UX design
  • UI design
  • Product design
  • Interaction design
  • Systems thinking
  • Wire framing
  • Prototyping
  • Usability testing

Reorder your skills so the top three skills shown on your profile align with your job search. These skills will be most likely to be endorsed by colleagues which help with credibility. You can do this by hitting ‘show all skills’ and the ‘reorder’ button in the overflow drop down.

If you’re shifting careers, remove skills that are no longer relevant. For example, I removed most skills related to marketing and replaced them with UX design skills. After making this change I received more messages from recruiters for UX roles than marketing roles.

Finally, you can have up to 50 skills. Max them out — it only increases your chances of appearing in recruiters search results.

Next steps

Once a recruiter has reached out, it’s time to start networking. If you’re interested, keep the lead warm; respond promptly and set up a discovery call. Even if you’re not ready to apply, you can use the opportunity to build a relationship, learn more about the role, and the company culture. At the end of the call you can ask for a referral to a designer at the company to get an insider’s point of view and see if the company and the role is the right fit.


Looking for a new role during industry wide layoffs can be discouraging. But have hope; when one door closes it creates space for another to open. Companies are always hiring and there are tools at your disposal to attract recruiters and hiring managers. Optimizing your headline, about, experience, and skills for the role you want will help you appear higher in recruiters search results, ultimately helping you find your next play.

*This article was inspired by conversations with job hunters and a deck created by and co-presented with Kristine Yuen. It was reviewed and vetted by design managers on the Recruiter (Christine Liao) and Profile team (Lisa Chen) at LinkedIn.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/06/2017


"You've heard it before: The best way to land a new job is through networking and making connections. But many people are stumped as to what that means and how it plays out in reality, unless you're lucky enough to have been offered positions throughout your career. What exactly does making those connections look like, and how should you approach it?"- Marcelle Yeager

Click here to read the rest of the article 

Feature | 12/11/2019

Ramiro Burga Presents Paper on Bilingual Education at APPAM Conference

In November, Ramiro Burga presented his paper “Fixing an Instructional Mismatch: The Case of Bilingual Education among Indigenous Students in Peru” at the 2019 Fall Research Conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management in Denver, Colorado. In this paper, he studies the effects of a bilingual education reform that targets indigenous populations and intends to correct the mismatch that exists between the language of instruction (status-quo language) and the students' mother tongue. The results of his research suggests that students progress faster towards upper grades as a result of the policy. 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/09/2022

The ‘Great Resignation,’ Employee Leverage and Company Response

*This article offers great insight into today's hiring climate. Keep these tips in mind with your own job search.

“People have reassessed priorities – whether it’s more flexibility with their schedules or relocating to be closer to family – and are seeking jobs better aligned with those priorities,” UVA’s Jennifer Coleman said.

November 12, 2021 Catherine

The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an unprecedented reckoning by the American workforce that some have dubbed the “Great Resignation.” Workers have been not only leaving their jobs en masse, but also reconsidering what they are looking for in their careers.

As executive director of the University of Virginia’s Armstrong Center for Alumni Career Services at the Darden School of Business, Jennifer Coleman has been coaching MBAs on how to best achieve their career goals for more than a decade. But she has never seen a moment like this one.

In the center’s one-on-one coaching sessions, Coleman and her colleagues have helped alumni navigate this brave new world of confusion and opportunity. UVA Today spoke to her about the insights she’s gleaned.

Q. What do you see as the biggest factors going into this trend of the “Great Resignation?”

A. What has happened over the past 18 months is that people have reassessed priorities – whether it’s more flexibility with their schedules or relocating to be closer to family – and are seeking jobs better aligned with those priorities. With my coaching team, we’ve always tried to dispel the myth that it’s a zero-sum [equation] between work and life. What we’re seeing people do now is look for ways to make everything work more in concert – including recreation, relationships, health and work.

Q. How are companies responding to this trend when it comes to hiring and retaining the best talent?

A. Companies are being compelled to rethink what culture means and how important being physically present is to an organization. They are having to be far more flexible, not just on physically where employees are sitting, but also on how employees are structuring their days. Are they working 9-to-5 days? Or is it more fluid, a situation in which they work for a few hours in the morning, then pick up and care for their kids, and then work again from 9 p.m. onward? It’s all about options and choice and empowerment. It’s not about being completely in the office, or completely remote – because working at home is not for everybody – but it’s about giving people flexibility.

Q. How can employees leverage this moment to negotiate the best deal for a new job?

A. For people who are negotiating new positions, relocation isn’t always necessary. I’ve been coaching for about 13 years, and this is the first time I would advise people that if there’s a company halfway across the country that you’re really interested in, by all means pursue it, because you might not have to move.

Moreover, in a hot job market, talent’s always going to be incrementally more expensive, so as candidates think about their value, whether it’s cash compensation or other benefits, they’ll be in more powerful negotiating positions. They can use that as they negotiate the details about remote work environments. Is the company going to pay for your travel to headquarters when it’s required? What are they doing to support your home office environment in terms of equipment?

Q. When do you have the conversation about flexibility and scheduling – during the interview process, or after you’ve already been offered the job, or after you’ve started work?

A. During the interview process, you can get a sense of the culture and ask questions of employees, but I wouldn’t get into the weeds. You don’t want anything to distract the employer from your core value, and the fact that you have kids who need to be picked up at 4 o’clock, for example, is not part of who you are as a candidate. In general, I’d push that stuff off until you are the preferred candidate – ideally until after you have the offer.

It is worth making sure you are aligned on all of that before you start the job, however. I’ve seen people accept jobs in which these kinds of things are not discussed, and they can become problems quickly.

Q. What advice do you have for people who have had a so-called “COVID epiphany” and are considering a larger career change?

A. A big piece is finding a way to dip your toes into the proverbial waters of what you think you are interested in – whether that means you volunteer or take some classes or do something extracurricular that will allow you to talk and network with people. Anything you can do to expose yourself in a meaningful way will help you to really understand what you’re getting yourself into before you quit your job. It also gives you some credentials you can speak to in the interview process.

Q. How much of what we are seeing now in employment is a permanent change in the way people work, versus a temporary disruption?

A. There is definitely a shift here that is permanent. We’ve got a rising workforce of Gen Z that is already completely rethinking their relationship with work, even as this seems like a major mindset shift for older workers. Now that we’ve proven that flexibility and remote work are possible – and developed the technology to support it – I don’t see how we go back to square one. Pieces of this will last for sure.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/17/2019

9 Tips for Thinking on Your Feet When You're Put on the Spot and Have to Sound Smart

9 Tips for Thinking on Your Feet When You're Put on the Spot and Have to Sound Smart

By: Stacey Lastoe
Source: The Muse

1. Focus on What’s Important

If you’re nervous [about speaking up in an impromptu setting], it probably means you’re overly focused on how other people are going to perceive you. Instead, focus on what’s being discussed and think about three questions: What do I not understand which could be better clarified? What question could I ask that would advance the discussion? What perspective or insight do I have that’s shareable? Don't worry about ‘looking smart’ or making some amazing point or comment. It’s a discussion, not a debate. 

Bruce Eckfeldt

2. Repeat the Question

One of the hardest parts of contributing to a conversation or answering questions in meetings is feeling as though you are under pressure to produce an expected response. One way to overcome this feeling is to not jump into your feedback too quickly. If your response isn’t clear, it can come off as an incomplete thought, or it may fail to address the question. To calm your nerves and come up with a thoughtful answer, simply repeat the question that was asked. This will ensure that you completely understand what’s going on before you attempt to contribute to the conversation. 

Allison Tatios

3. Call Upon Your Knowledge

People usually talk about the things that are of interest to them (professionally or personally), or information most relevant to the organization. Use your knowledge to generate questions that demonstrate your involvement in the conversation. Engaging others by asking questions puts them in a position to share more information, and it takes the stress and pressure off of you. For example, if one of your managers or leaders discusses the company mentoring program, ask her about her best or worst mentoring experiences. You can relay your enthusiasm or interest by restating highlights of what she shared. 

Adrean Turner

4. Take a Deep Breath Before You Do Anything Else

If someone asks you a question that catches you off guard, pause, look thoughtful, and say, ‘That’s a really interesting question. Let me take a minute to think about it.’ This gives you a moment to take a deep breath and collect your thoughts before responding. You’ll be less likely to get flustered. It’s a strategy that works well in interviews, too, if you’re asked a question you don’t have the answer to. 

Heidi Ravis

5. Project Confidence

This all boils down to having confidence in yourself. If you know who you are and feel good about what you’re doing, are regularly and positively engaged in your work, have learned the industry and, in general, have strong interactions with your peers and managers, you should feel comfortable sharing your insights and opinions in any given situation. 

Kristina Leonardi

6. Stop Being Afraid

Get over your fear of looking stupid. If you make a mistake and say something that isn’t immediately met with nods of agreement or approval, that’s OK. Follow your inner voice, and have your own thoughts. Asking a question is an easy way to assert yourself without risking too much if you’re especially nervous about adding to the conversation. But, if that’s the case, and your fear is making you mum, I recommend reading Patricia Ryan Madson’s Improv Wisdom, Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up

Anna Runyan

7. Take a Moment of Silence

Silence can be golden, so don’t be afraid to use it. If you’re unsure of how to answer a question, or are searching for the right words, it’s OK to pause for a bit before speaking. You can say, ‘Let me think,’ or ‘That’s a great question,’ while you piece your thoughts together in your mind. These phrases help buy you time until you’re ready to present the ideas swimming in your brain.

Ryan Kahn

8. Provide Your Point of View

I find it fascinating that when we’re asked for our input on a given topic, we often freeze up, or we feel unqualified to speak. You hold back because you don’t think you have enough expertise. But, you don’t gain expertise by keeping your mouth shut. You gain it by putting your ideas out there, and following what sticks. One of the biggest revelations I’ve helped my students achieve, is understanding that, while you may not feel entitled to share an expert’s opinion, you are always entitled to share your point of view. When you acknowledge that you’re providing your point of view, it takes the pressure off of needing to know everything, and helps you feel at ease sharing your thoughts. 

Rajiv Nathan

9. Avoid Going on the Defense

When we feel caught off guard, it can be easy to get defensive. If, during a meeting or spontaneous conversation, a colleague rattles off a litany of criticisms as to why your proposal won’t work, resist rejecting them by responding with ‘No, but...’ Instead, try the ‘Yes, and...’ strategy, a technique borrowed from improv comedy. By saying, ‘Yes, and... here’s how we overcome those challenges...’ you move the conversation forward. You inspire creative problem-solving, invite possibility, and create an atmosphere for constructive conversation.

Melody Wilding


Need a little help in your job search? Book one of these coaches for a one-on-one strategy session.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/16/2021

ECO Blog: Thanksgiving Edition

Hello Majors,

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving as you take a break from classes. It has been a pleasure serving our majors back on the grounds this semester, and I've been grateful for the opportunity to be here in-person with all of you.

Take some time after your Tgiving meal to think about how you'd like to spend your Winter Break. Just a little research now will pay dividends later. Here is a timeline of activities for our majors and some resources you may want to look at before your finals begin.

Planning for Winter Break. It will take no more than 10 minutes of your time to review the links below. In addition to JTerm classes, you may gain knowledge and experience through micro-internships and skill-building courses. Think about winter break as an opportunity to build your skills and experience through projects, work, online courses, or case competitions. Check out Coursera for short classes on dozens of business subjects and technical skills. Pick a short-term project posted by our awesome alumni through the Virginia Alumni Mentor network here. Real short-term projects have included:

  1. Research, analyze, and create reports of high net worth donors for equity programs
  2. Literature review for a gamification project
  3. Waste and Social Equity Mapping Project for a NYC group
  4. Design and Create Marketing Materials for a UVA Scholarship

Try out a micro-internship through ParkerDewey, (often paid) which is a hub for short-term experiences. Case competitions offer experience, contacts, and often a monetary reward. Check them out in Handshake and through MindSumo for an ever-changing array of opportunities.

Another route for winter break experience is to apply for seasonal/holiday work with an employer to get your foot in the door. Then, apply for full-time work once you are in the system and have a track record of solid performance. The ECO subscribes to for our majors, which offers a wide array of flexible, remote, and part-time jobs across industries. Let me know if you'd like to use the subscription. And here are more! (Not all jobs relate to our majors' interests or skills.)

The ECO will be closed 11/18-11/28 for Thanksgiving. Appointments resume 12/1. You may sign up on Handshake now.

Best wishes!



Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/23/2016

Midwest Macro conference: Jorge Miranda-Pinto

"This is definitely a great conference for macroeconomists and graduate students working on research. I could interact with Macroeconomists and students from all over the world (U Chicago, Northwester U, Feds, IMF, Bank of Canada, U Warwick, U de Chile, U Hong Kong, World Bank, etc). I attended very interesting sessions and learned a lot about the frontier of macroeconomic research, e,g. explaining the sources of inequality, monitoring financial institution to control systemic risk, predicting future crisis, etc. I received great feedback on my research, not only during my presentation, but also talking to economists throughout the conference. 

I presented my Job Market Paper "Sectoral Connectivity, Volatility, and Downturns: Lessons From Cross-Country Data". In this paper, I find that in emerging countries higher inter-connectivity among sectors of the economy (density of connections) is associated with higher volatility and sharper macroeconomic downturns. I observe the opposite for the group of developed economies, where denser sectoral connections are associated with lower volatility and milder downturns. I then build a multi sector model that, unlike existing models, has a role for the density of connections in shaping aggregate fluctuations. The key for the model to deliver the facts is that emerging economies have less flexible production technologies (manufacturing-intensive economies) while developed economies have more flexible technologies (service-intensive economies). The model implies that during downturns emerging economies with denser connections face constraints in the use of intermediate inputs, while developed economies with sparser connections face constraints in the use of labor."

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 12/18/2018

The Rise of a Global Media Firm


Uncubed, a UVA-founded tech/recruitment company in NYC specializing in helping undergraduates find employment in tech firms, hosts webinars on diverse topics. The ECO encourages you to check out Uncubed's website to learn more about the best in class and up-and-coming tech firms that are hiring!  And they host a huge career fair each fall in NYC. Read on...

VICE's rise from Canadian counter-culture rag to multi-billion dollar global media empire is an astounding tale of growth. 

But with that scale comes great complexity. Including the technical challenges of serving up VICE's signature content - from a look at rising cannabis use among senior citizens to the emotional toll of shopping online – in 35 countries and nearly 20 languages. 

Hear how the company handles this and learn about VICE's inner workings from Jessica Brown, Direct of UX, and others. 

Watch Now

(This is the latest video in Uncubed's collaboration with Amazon Web Services, where we talk with the people building the world's most impactful brands.)



Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 02/03/2023

How to Write a Script for a Job Interview That Feels Authentic

Written by Judith Humphrey for Fast Company

So, you have a job interview at a company you really like. It’s your dream job. Your interviews are scheduled, and you ready to start to preparing. But how?

Most candidates research the company, the interviewer, and the job, then jot down notes on what they’ll say and write out questions to ask. But how many job seekers actually write out a script for themselves? Not many! They may fear sounding wooden or robotic in the interview. Or they suspect they’ll panic if they forget their lines.

Don’t believe it. Without a script, you’re rudderless. You’ll deliver whatever comes into your head at the moment. And you won’t necessarily get across a clear, consistent message about your readiness for the job.

As a former speechwriter, I can tell you, good scripts don’t come “in the moment.” There’s a slight chance you’ll get it right. But more likely you’ll deliver mixed messages that don’t add up to a clear and compelling picture of yourself. You have to think a lot about how you’re going to tell your story. After all, it must inspire that particular interviewer, and that company.

Follow these four steps, and you’ll be able to do just that.


The first step is to decide how you want to tell your story in the interview.

Ask yourself, “How will I open?” You’ll want something that builds rapport with the interviewer. Perhaps, “I’ve heard so much about you and your leadership—great to meet you.” Or, “everyone I’ve met speaks so highly of you. I’ve been looking forward to our conversation.”

Next comes your message. What is the one big idea about yourself that you want the interviewer to hear? Every job seeker needs a message. It’s the distillation of what you believe about yourself as a candidate for that role. You’ll want to bring it forward early in the interview, and repeat it in various ways throughout the interview. It allows the interviewer to “get you.”

Following the message come three or four proof points that support your message. If these can be presented with quantifiable results, do so.  For example, if you had a strong sales record, prove it with numbers.

End your script with next steps. Do you want the job? Then ask for it. You likely won’t say, “Do I have the job?” but it would be good to say, “I’m excited about this role. I believe I’d be an excellent fit, and I look forward to hearing about next steps.”

Write out your script in full sentences or bullet points and prepare answers to any questions you might be asked. You may decide to add a “demo” or just keep it as an outline of what you want to say. And for every interview—especially if you’re applying for different jobs, or in different companies–customize your script.


For the script to be useful, make it your own. Go over it silently, making sure you have it down solid. In the days leading up to the interview, be obsessive about mastering it. Whether you’re having coffee, commuting to the office, or relaxing on a walk, repeat it to yourself over and over again.

Make sure it sounds like you. For example, if you’ve written “I have a deep background in the field of marketing,” you may decide it sounds too stiff. So, change it to “I’m a marketing whiz. Marketing is in my blood!” Customize the script so you sound like you’re speaking not from a script, but from your gut.

As you master your script, you’ll have something carefully thought out to say. You won’t ramble, over answer, or go blank in the interview. You’ll have ideas that you “own” and want to deliver. This will make you more purposeful.


Call upon friends or family members to listen to you deliver your script and answer questions. If the interview is going to be over Zoom, rehearse it that way. If it’s going to be in person, rehearse it that way. If it’s a video interview, create a video.

Have the person interviewing you ask you questions, and as she probes, find opportunities to interleaf your script. This will result in a back-and-forth dialogue that mirrors the interactive conversation you’ll be having. And it will save you from sounding wooden or programmed.

Don’t worry if you don’t use exactly the same words every time you rehearse. In fact, that’s a good thing. You’ll be shaping what you say to the tone and style of the mock interview.


Once you’ve rehearsed successfully, you’re ready for the interview.

Leave the script behind when you go to the interview. It’s no longer needed, because that script has become your way of thinking. And whatever comes your way during the interview, you’ll know what your message is, what points you want to make to support that message, and how to begin and end. And you’ll likewise have answers to anticipated questions. So primed, you’ll sound confident, clear, and leader-like.

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Feature | 01/31/2017


"If you’ve heard a lot about “soft skills” lately, it’s at least partly because employers want you to develop them. According to our Global Recruiting Trends study here at LinkedIn, more employers are rolling out “soft skills assessments” to test job candidates on the cognitive and personality qualities you don’t go to school to learn: critical thinking, adaptability, learning agility, communication, etc. By all indications, these factors aretrading at a higher value in 2017 than they have in the past."-Brendan Browne

Click here to read the rest of the article


Feature | 07/13/2017

Aaron Phipps presents at the APPAM on July 13, 2017

"The Role of Production Uncertainty in Teacher Performance Pay: Theory and Experimental Evidence", presented at the International Conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) on July 13

Teacher performance incentives have not had consistently positive effects in the U.S. A necessary theoretical and empirical problem is how to design an incentive to induce the optimal allocation of effort among multiple tasks, which is usually modeled by assuming agents know the production function. Unlike some production processes in which output relies solely on worker skill and effort, teaching is distinguished by its complexity and its dependence on the reciprocal effort of students. The result is a context in which individual teachers are uncertain about the net marginal productivity of inputs. The innovation of this paper is to develop a model in which uncertainty about the production process in student learning (“production uncertainty”) is incorporated explicitly in the model of behavior and to assess agent responses to different incentive schemes in a laboratory experiment.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

From the ECO: Networking Tips

How to plan your networking strategy.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/17/2019

The Best Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

The Best Ways to Imrove Your Communication Skills

By: Melanie Pinola
Source: LifeHacker

Illustration for article titled The Best Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

We learn to talk at an early age, but most of us don’t have formal training on how to effectively communicate with others. That’s unfortunate, because it’s one of the most important life skills there is, and one you use your entire life. Whether you want to have better conversations in your social life or get your ideas across better at work, here are some essential tips for learning to to communicate more effectively.

Watch your body language

You tell your partner you’re open to discussion but your arms are crossed; you say you’re listening but haven’t looked up from your phone yet. Our non-verbal and non-written cues often reveal more than we think they do. Whether it’s how you make eye contact or how you hold yourself during a video interview, don’t forget that you’re constantly communicating even when you’re not saying a word.

One strange way to tap into your body for better communication? Think about your toes. Or adopt a power pose if you need to boost your confidence before a big talk. Or learn how to read other people’s body language so you can respond appropriately.

Get rid of unnecessary conversation fillers

Ums and ahs do little to improve your speech or everyday conversations. Cut them out to be more persuasive and feel or appear more confident. One way is to start keeping track of when you say words like “um” or “like.” You could also try taking your hands out of your pockets or simply relaxing and pausing before you speak. Those silences seem more awkward to you than they do to others, trust us.

Have practice conversations

If you don’t think you’re great at communicating with co-workers or people you don’t know very well, practice on friends and family that you’re comfortable with. Ideally, find people who will give you honest feedback and let you know if you’re getting too quiet, personal or might make someone else feel uncomfortable.

Have a script for small talk and other occasions

Small talk is an art that not many people have mastered. For the inevitable, awkward silences with people you hardly know, it helps to have a plan. The FORD (family, occupation, recreation, dreams) method might help you come up with topics to discuss, and you can also turn small talk into conversation by sharing information that could help you and the other person find common ground. Hey, all that small talk could make you happier in the long run.

Tell a story

Stories are powerful. They activate our brains, make presentations suck less, make us more persuasive and can even help us ace interviews. Learn the secrets of becoming a phenomenal storyteller with these rules from Pixar or by simply using the word “but” more to structure your narrative. Everyone’s got at least one great story in them.

Ask questions and repeat the other person

Let’s face it, we’ve all drifted off when someone else was talking or misheard the other person. Asking questions and repeating the other person’s last few words shows you’re interested in what they say, keeps you on your toes and helps clarify points that could be misunderstood (e.g., “So to recap, you’re going to buy the tickets for Saturday?”).

It also helps for small talk and to fill in awkward silences. Instead of trying to stir up conversation on mundane topics like the weather, ask the other person questions (e.g., “Got any plans for the summer?” or “What are you reading lately?”) and engage in their answers. It’s more important to be interested than to be interesting.

Put away the distractions

It’s pretty rude to use your phone while someone’s talking to you or you’re supposed to be hanging out with them. Maybe we can’t get rid of all our distractions or put away technology completely, but just taking the time to look up could vastly improve our communication with each other.

Tailor your message to your audience

The best communicators adjust how they talk based on whom they’re speaking to; you’d probably use a different style of communication with co-workers or your boss compared to when you’re speaking with your significant otherkids or elders. Always try to keep the other person’s perspective in mind when you try to get your message across.

Be brief, yet specific

There’s actually a BRIEF acronym—Background, Reason, Information, End, Follow-up—to help you keep your emails short without leaving anything out. It’s a good policy for both written and verbal communication (I’ve always felt that my job as a writer was to clearly get the point across and then get off the page as soon as possible. Just two more items on this list!) Clear and concise are two of the 7 Cs of communication, along with concrete, correct, coherent, complete and courteous.

Up your empathy

Communication is a two-way street. If you practice taking the opposing viewpoint, you can reduce the difficulty and anxiety that sometimes arises when trying to truly communicate with others. (For example, knowing what your significant other really means when she says she’s too tired to talk.) Developing empathy helps you better understand even the unspoken parts of your communication with others, and helps you respond more effectively.

Listen, really listen

Finally, going hand-in-hand with most of the points above, the best thing you can do to improve your communication skills is to learn to really listen—to pay attention and let the other person talk without interrupting. It’s hard work, we know, but a good conversation is a bunch of words elegantly connected with listening. Then, even if your communication styles don’t match, at least you’re both working off the same page. And hopefully the other person will be attentively listening to you too.

Feature | 03/06/2020

Amzad Hossain Presents Paper on Effects of Gender Matches in Higher Education

Amzad Hossain, 4th year PhD student, presented his paper on "The Match Between `She' and `Her': Performance Gains from Gender Match in Higher Education" at the Eastern Economic Conference in February 2019. Using a novel and confidential administrative dataset from a highly reputed economics program in a developing country, he assessed the benefit of the match between female students and female teachers and found that female students gained in terms of both grade performance and better long-term outcomes, such as cumulative GPA and degree completion time.  Comparing the test scores of the blind and non-blind exams for the same course, he showed that the gain from gender-matching is not driven by gender bias in teachers' assessments. He also presented several novel results: First, the interaction effect  (the gender-match gain) is much higher when students are matched with more experienced female teachers. Second, the female teacher-student interaction effect monotonically increases over successive semesters. Finally, the interaction effect is much higher when the female teacher has a Ph.D. degree than when she does not. 

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Feature | 08/12/2016

Working Overseas

This article offers terrific advice about searching for jobs and internships overseas.

When reading the “Consider the Possibilities” section, keep in mind that many countries abroad have U.Va. alumni chapters, which you may access here.  The ECO is certain that alumni who manage these clubs would be amenable to speaking with you about your questions and ideas.

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Feature | 02/24/2022

How to Prepare for a Virtual Interview

Great Advice from Capital One for Virtual Interview Preparation (This advice applies to more than Cap One interviews.)

7 Tips to Nail Your Virtual Interview

You did it. You scoured job boards, got your resume together, successfully applied for a job at Capital One and got the call to do your final round of interviews. Interviews, at the best of times, can be nerve-wracking but on top of those normal butterflies, you’ve now been told that your interview will be virtual instead of in person. While there are some obvious advantages (no travel time and interviewing in a familiar, comfortable space), you may need some reassurance on the virtual interview experience. Never fear! We are here to help make this experience as smooth and as comfortable as we would at our interview suites. Here are our top tips to help you stay calm and land your dream job at Capital One.

1. Read all the emails from your recruiter carefully

Your recruiter knows that a virtual interview might be a brand new thing for you. On top of sending your interview schedule, they’ll be sending instructions on how to sign into your virtual interview. Be sure to review all of the instructions prior to your interview day so you can get your questions answered and make sure you fully understand the process. You’ll also receive instructions on how to use our video meeting platform, Zoom. You’ll definitely want to test it before the start of your first interview! [If your recruiter at other firms does not do this, ask for this information.]

2. Check your computer and internet speeds

As simple as this may seem, make sure your computer and internet are in good working order. Your computer should be running on the most recent updates and you’ll need a reliable internet connection. Consider running a test using a video chat app, like Zoom, on your computer with a friend before your interview day to confirm that everything is working properly. Do this a couple of days in advance so you aren’t struggling the morning of and adding to your stress before the actual interview! Additionally, have your computer plugged in or be sure the battery holds enough charge for the entirety of the interview.

3. Consider your surroundings

Remember when we suggested running a video test with a friend? While doing that, check out what is behind you and how visible you are on the screen. You want the interviewer to concentrate on you, not be distracted by a TV playing in the background, your posters hanging on the wall or the fact that they can't see your face very well. If you'd like, you're welcome to use one of our Zoom backgrounds for your interview. Lighting is a huge factor you might not consider—like all interviews, you want to put your best presentation forward so make sure your face is visible. Try sitting next to a window or close to a bright lamp so your face is illuminated. It's important that the light is coming from an angle that illuminates your face, so don't sit with a window or light behind you either. Also, try putting the dog and cat in another room or consider having a friend watch them for the day if they tend to get noisy.

Basically, don’t let your surroundings detract from the great things you are saying… you want to come across as you are—smart, capable and ready to take on the serious and innovative work we do here at Capital One.

4. Dress like you’re going to an in-person interview

As a general rule, if you wouldn’t wear it to an in-person interview, don’t wear it to your virtual interview. Like all interviews, this is your opportunity to make a great first impression so you should look put together and professional, even from the comfort of your home. And again, like an in-person interview, choose something that you feel confident in. Your confidence will come across the screen much like it would if you were meeting your interviewers in person.

5. Come prepared to answer and ask questions

Would you wing any interview? Probably not! Just because you aren’t coming to the office in person, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared to answer questions or to ask questions of your own. Do your research and be prepared for each type of interview. And if you’re doing a case, read up on how to ace it! Your recruiter will be sending instructions on how to conduct your case interview over Zoom, so read those carefully so you understand everything. [If your employer does not send these instructions, please ask for them.]

In fact, because you aren’t visiting the office in person, it might be a good idea to ask even more questions, including ones about team dynamics and the workspace. What is the team’s work from home policy? If they routinely work from home, how do they stay connected? You can also explore the resources here on the blog, including checking out our offices in McLeanRichmondPlano and New York, as well as finding out more about our on-campus food services.

6. Hit a technical snag? Don’t panic!

If, despite all your tests, your call drops or video is buffering, try to stay calm. As frustrating as it might be, sometimes a quick reboot can solve the problem. Try to convey the problem as best you can and what steps you're going to take to try to remedy it. Hopefully, you can get it sorted and continue with the Zoom interview. If it’s not possible to continue the interview in Zoom for whatever reason, try a phone call. That doesn’t work? Make sure to send an email to your interviewer and recruiter so they can help you with next steps.

7. Relax and be yourself

As tough as it may be in any interview, try to relax and let your personality and skills shine. Since you may not be able to convey enthusiasm as much on video as in person, make sure to explain why you think you’re a great fit for the role and why you’re enthusiastic about joining Capital One. Remember—it took a lot to get to this point. You have the skills, now let the interviewers get to know you. You’ve got this.

While you may not be as familiar with virtual interviews as you are with in person interviews, they don’t have to be scary. Following these virtual interview tips can help you relax, be clear about your skills and land your dream job at Capital One. Good luck and happy interviewing!

Copyright ©2022 Capital One. Opinions are those of the individual author. Statements are deemed accurate at the time of posting. Unless otherwise noted, Capital One is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, any company mentioned. All trademarks and intellectual property used or displayed are the property of their respective owners.

Feature | 01/14/2021

Yen Ling Tan Coauthors Paper Presented at ASSA

UVA PhD student Yen Ling Tan's joint work with University of Auckland economist Simona Fabrizi, “Consumer (and Driver) Decision-Making under Uncertainty on Digital Platforms,“ was presented at the platform design session during the Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA) 2021 Annual Meeting.


Feature | 09/12/2018

Econ Grads Soccer Match, a Yearly Tradition

It is a yearly tradition for current Econ graduate students to meet, greet, and challenge the incoming class to a friendly soccer game. Current students include Hunda 'Hazard' Kebede, Abiy 'The Ankle Breaker' Teshome and Joaquin 'El Matatopos' Saldain, among other stars. After this first dust-up, new students are invited to join the Econ Grad soccer mailing list and team. Though you couldn't tell from this picture, this 2018 game was a co-ed event, and we hope that in future years, more female students will participate!



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Feature | 08/18/2021

ECO Blog: Virtual Career Fairs

Commerce Career Day Is for All Majors! (Really it is!)

Hello Everyone,

I hope your week is off to a great start! This week I want to speak with you about virtual career fairs. These are great opportunities to meet with employers online. UVA hosts several a year and this fair draws fairly large, established employers. The name here indicates that this fair is sponsored by and hosted by the Commerce School. It is their expectation that all undergraduate students will attend this fair. 

When you click the link above, you will find employers such as American Express, Altria, Bessmer Trust, Capital One, Carmax, Deloitte, Inveture, Genworth, Yext, and ZS Associates. Most of these employers have established training programs and know what their hiring needs are well in advance of next spring/summer.

Employers will hold info sessions with groups, and 1:1 meetings with individual students. Later this week, I'll send a note through collab with the ECO's employer picks for this year's fair, which will be held this Friday, 9/10. Schedule at least an hour in your day to attend if you are internship or job-seeking. And if you're curious, but not ready to job search, the info sessions provide a great opportunity to hang back and listen. Please check out the three links below about approaching the fair. If you are in a full-on job search, I recommend choosing 3-5 employers that are your "must-sees" and schedule around those sessions.

  • Make sure your lighting is good and your mic works in case you choose to speak.
  • If possible, appear in a neat room, or use a virtual background.
  • Dress neatly.
  • Prepare your pitch using VMOCK (AI platform that records your pitch and scores you) and this ECO template and these tips.
  • Have your resume handy to borrow talking points and possibly share with employers.
  • Research the employers that are the most interesting to you and come with questions. You'll find some at the links belowl
  • Be yourself (really!).
  • Send a thank you after the info session of 1:1 session.

All the best,



Vault's Recommendations for Attending a Virtual Career Fair

Participating in a Virtual Fair - from Handshake 

Handshake's Guide to Virtual Fair Attendance

Good Questions to Ask Employers

Better Questions to Ask Employers


UVA Econ BJ Vargas and Students

Feature | 01/10/2017

Article - How to Improve Your Networking Skills in 2017

"You've heard it before: The best way to land a new job is through networking and making connections. But many people are stumped as to what that means and how it plays out in reality, unless you're lucky enough to have been offered positions throughout your career. What exactly does making those connections look like, and how should you approach it?

There are many ways to do it – in person, through social media, phone or by email. All are valid and can be useful in different ways. Nothing can replace interactions in person, but it will require follow up. Some of the ways to develop new connections are to join groups with similar interests (hobbies or social), reach out to alumni from your school or find shared connections on LinkedIn. Once you begin the process of connecting, make sure you're making them count." - Marcelle Yeager

Learn more here:

Feature | 01/09/2023

AEA Distinguished Economic Education Award presented to Charles Holt

The AEA Distinguished Education Award acknowledges excellence in economic education at a national level. Recipients are able to demonstrate a sustained and impactful contribution to several areas of economic education. These areas include teaching, the development of curriculum and pedagogy, scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) of economics, mentoring of students and young faculty, and service at the institution, regional, and state level.


Charlie is one of the outstanding teachers of the University of Virginia Economics Department.  His undergraduate class in Experimental Economics is always oversubscribed by a factor of two.  His experimental lab in the basement of Monroe Hall involves additional students in the production of economic knowledge and has become an academic hangout for our most talented students, both graduate and undergraduate.  Charlie treats his students like colleagues, involving many in his research.


Beyond the grounds of the University of Virginia, in the broader sphere of experimental economists, Charlie is a star – in part because of the way his research has been applied in the classroom.  Charlie’s publications influence not only the field but also the teaching of experimental economics – not to mention the real world of auction design. Charlie’s book, Markets, Games, and Strategic Behavior (Princeton Press) is a model of teaching state of the art material in a way that reflects crystal clear pedagogy.

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Feature | 11/12/2023

New Grad? 12 Pieces Of Advice That Could Help Launch Your Career

Article from Forbes 

Every year, new graduates enter the workforce—each entering a different job market than the one before them. Navigating such a large change successfully can be difficult on one’s own, which is why it helps to consider the advice of those who have walked the same path before and who are achieving their goals.

Here, 12 members of Young Entrepreneur Council consider their own journeys and offer up their best advice to new grads entering the workforce and looking to launch their own successful careers.

1. Know That Passion Will Take You Far

Your degree does not define your limits, nor does it dictate your success. The biggest thing I've learned in business ownership is that you can be successful in any area where you have passion. With the growing interconnectivity of the world, if you have a unique idea backed by passion, it is relatively easy to find highly skilled people to build your business. Ideas are the new currency. - Alexis Austin, Right Law Group

2. Prioritize Building Your Network

New grads should prioritize building a strong professional network through industry events, alumni connections and professional associations. A strong network can offer valuable mentorship, job leads and collaboration opportunities, helping launch their careers by providing new experiences and connections. - Nic DeAngelo, Saint Investment - Real Estate Funds

3. Define What Success Means For You

Define what success means for you and the lifestyle that you seek. This can help you set personalized goals and priorities, ensuring that your career trajectory aligns with your values, passions and aspirations. By defining your version of success, you can better evaluate job offers, career moves and networking opportunities, leading to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven professional life. - Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

4. Learn How To Solve Problems

Learn how to provide value in any situation by offering solutions instead of discussing problems. Anyone can learn this skill by practicing mental models such as the Eisenhower Matrix and Occam’s razor. For example, you can list problems you see in a work setting, break down what’s urgent and then solve accordingly and quickly. Be the first to identify and solve. - Libby Rothschild, Dietitian Boss

5. Always Wake Up Feeling Excited And Grateful

I would tell new grads: I was in your shoes 16 years ago as I graduated pharmacy school and started my residency. I would love to remind you all to wake up every day feeling excited and grateful for what you have. As you are launching your career, make decisions based on where you want to be instead of making decisions based on where you currently are. What do you want your life to look like in 2028? - Dr. Christine Manukyan, STORRIE Institute™

6. Stay Eager To Learn

College gave you a baseline for learning; the workforce will give you actual practice. One of the perks for companies hiring recent graduates is that you're malleable. They can offer you training opportunities, try to steer you clear of forming "bad habits" and set you up for career growth as long as you put in the work. Keep a good attitude and stay open—your leadership notices. - Greg Ashton, GROW

7. Reflect On Your Perfect Job And Go Find It

Take a moment alone to sit with a pen and paper and write out the perfect job for yourself. Be as detailed as you please. Don't hold yourself to your sense of what is realistic because, as a new grad, you don't know every option the world holds. Describe your day, your compensation, the impact of your work, the type of people you work with and everything that matters to you. Then, go find it! - Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

8. Take Initiative

Don't wait for opportunities to come to you; seek them out and create them for yourself. Whether it's taking on additional responsibilities, seeking out mentors or networking with professionals in your field, be willing to put in the work and take calculated risks to achieve your goals. Be open to learning from your mistakes and adjusting your course as needed. - Kelly Kercher, K3 Technology

9. Embrace The Unknown

Embrace the unknown! As new grads enter the workforce, being open to new experiences, challenges and opportunities will help them learn, grow and adapt in a dynamic work environment. It's a mindset that fosters resilience, innovation and continuous learning, setting them up for a successful career launch. - Sujay Pawar, CartFlows

10. Trust Your Instincts

Trust your instincts about job offerings that seem to have red flags. While you sometimes have to settle for positions that are less than satisfactory, sometimes companies are taking advantage of your lack of experience to underpay or violate expectations of candidacy. Never hesitate to ask for help from trusted mentors in your life to review any contracts or terms. - Duran Inci, Optimum7

11. Prioritize Self-Care

One piece of advice I would give new grads entering the workforce is to prioritize self-care. Launching a career can be stressful and overwhelming, and it's important to take time for yourself to recharge and avoid burnout. This can mean different things for different people, whether it's taking breaks throughout the day, practicing mindfulness or finding a physical activity you enjoy. - Pratik Chaskar, Spectra

12. Be Open To All Opportunities

Be open to opportunities that may not seem like your ideal fit. You are not likely to land your dream job on day one. Being receptive to different roles that you come across is going to help you find the right position. You never really know what life is going to throw at you, but the more receptive you are to opportunities, the further you will go. - Jennifer A Barnes, Optima Office, Inc.

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Feature | 07/05/2022

Employers Ranking High in Diversity Recruiting, Forbes

Meet America’s Best Employers For Diversity 2022

Jared Council

Forbes Staff

I cover stories at the intersection of business and race


Apr 26, 2022,09:45am EDT



Over the past two years, the focus on racial disparities has put a spotlight on several industries. The impact of Covid-19 on the lives and livelihoods of Black families has raised questions about healthcare equity. The economic fallout for Black workers and Black-owned businesses has once again illustrated the need for financial inclusion and access to capital. Meanwhile, remote learning has turned attention to the disparities in resources and academic outcomes for students in underserved communities.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that those sectors have been laggards in embracing the importance of racial diversity in serving the underserved. However, the devastating impact of Covid-19, combined with heightened attention to racial inequities following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, appears to be having some impact. Although far from sufficient, those sectors made the greatest gains in addressing one of the key factors in advancing representation in Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity.

This year’s list features a higher proportion of companies in banking and financial services, the healthcare and social sector, and education. Each sector increased its presence on the 500-company list, with each making up 8% of the list versus 6% last year.

“The impact of Covid-19 took the world by storm and revealed the magnitude of inequalities that exist in communities of color, especially Black- and minority-owned businesses,” John Patton, head of U.S. diversity and inclusion at TD Bank, told Forbes in an email. “To stay on track and continue on our path to diversify talent across the organization, we’ve enhanced our focus on diversity and inclusion and we report on our progress annually as part of our Environment, Social and Governance Reporting suite.”

This commitment helped earn TD Bank No. 9 on our fifth annual list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to survey 60,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees and pinpoint the companies they identified as most dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion. Respondents were asked to rate their organizations on criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation equality, as well as that of general diversity. More than 10,000 companies were reviewed and roughly 2,000 were given a diversity score, which takes into account surveys of a firm’s diverse employees and its publicly disclosed information about representation.

Statista found that some of the best-performing companies on the list have tangible action plans and initiatives aimed at providing support and representation for diverse employees. That includes initiatives such as leadership programs that target underrepresented groups and women. According to Statista, 16% of researched companies had women CEOs, and 31% had executive leadership and board positions filled by women. More than 55% had an executive leadership position with the explicit task of promoting diversity and inclusion.

Despite the progress companies have reported in increasing diversity, much work remains. A case in point is ChristianaCare in Newark, Delaware, which set a goal in July 2020 to grow the number of people of color in leadership roles there by 15% in three years.

Caregivers from ChristianaCare's Pride Employee Resource Group and Inclusion & Diversity department celebrated Pride Month with a special flag-raising ceremony on ChristianaCare campuses.

Caregivers from ChristianaCare's Pride Employee Resource Group and Inclusion & Diversity department celebrated Pride Month with a special flag-raising ceremony on ChristianaCare campuses to symbolize the organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Ranked at No. 40 on the list, the company is on track, growing to 46 from 41 since July 2020, a 12% increase. However, the percentage of non-white employees ranked at or above director level actually got smaller, from 15.9% that summer to 14.7% today. In other words, the growth rate for managers of color was slower than that of the overall pool.

“I saw this 12% increase, and I got excited. And then I saw that the overall percentage went down, and I stopped being excited,” says Pamela Ridgeway, the chief diversity officer and vice president of talent at the 13,000-employee healthcare system. She says she’s encouraged, though, and that experience taught her to celebrate wins and set new targets.

The healthcare industry is under pressure to improve DEI-related outcomes given some of its glaring racial disparities in health outcomes, such as higher death rates for Black women in maternal care. The mandate for many DEI healthcare leaders has included lowering racial disparities within employee and patient populations, and the belief is that the former can help with the latter.

“We are bad to Black patients, and we’re bad to Latino patients,” says José Rodríguez, associate vice president for health equity, diversity and inclusion at the University of Utah Health system, referring generally to outcomes in the healthcare industry. The Rocky Mountain-based healthcare system ranked No. 41. “However, there’s emerging data that shows when you have more Black providers, the health outcomes for your Black patients go up. And the same is true for your Latino population. So we’re working to end disparities.”

Progressive Insurance and technology company VMware ranked first and second, respectively, on the list this year, up last year from No. 20 for Progressive and No. 11 for VMware. Progressive’s DEI related efforts include a “Dare to Disagree” diversity workshop, while VMware has won acclaim for its efforts around disability inclusion.

Adobe, which ranked No. 6, has a number of efforts underway, including partnerships with historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-serving Institutions, and the Equity and Advancement Initiative. The latter initiative involves collaborating with 11 nonprofit organizations and is designed in part to foster discussions around issues of importance to diverse populations, such as voter rights.

“We really want to make sure we create an ecosystem outside of Adobe that enables us to see around corners,” says Brian Miller, chief talent, diversity and inclusion officer at Adobe. “So where companies can get very reactive … we wanted to start creating organizations that allow us to get in front of that conversation and then tie them to our employee networks.”

For the full list of America’s Best Employers For Diversity, click here.


To determine the list, Statista surveyed 60,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. All the surveys were anonymous, allowing participants to openly share their opinions. Respondents were first asked to rate their organizations on criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation equality, as well as that of general diversity. These responses were reviewed for potential diversity gaps. Statista then asked respondents belonging to underrepresented groups to nominate organizations other than their own. The final list ranks the 500 employers that not only received the most recommendations but also boast the most diverse boards and executive ranks and the most proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives. The survey period ran from September to October 2021.

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Feature | 04/01/2019

10 Great Skills You Can Teach Yourself

10 Great Skills You Can Teach Yourself

by Stephan Maldonado | March 22, 2019

In a competitive job market, employers typically encounter many highly qualified candidates with impressive resumes and interesting backgrounds—particularly among MBA candidates. When making the tough decision between one excellent candidate and another, a hiring manager will often look for something that sets you apart—fluency in another language, for instance, or a special skill.

Many of the skills that stand out to hiring managers are taught in class or learned throughout your career, but taking the initiative to teach yourself new skills is a great way to bolster your resume. You can find anything on the internet these days. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or edX offer a bevy of free or low-cost courses that you can take at your own pace, and there are many other websites and products dedicated to teaching specific skillsets.

If you're looking for ways to bolster your resume and stand out from the crowd, here are ten great skills you can teach yourself.

1). Coding

Even if you didn't pursue your MBA with the intent to pivot to a career in web development, basic coding is still an excellent skill to have—especially if you work in the digital or tech spaces. Codeacademy and The Odin Project are two great, free platforms (although Codeacademy does have a paid option) that can teach you HTML, Javascript, CSS, and a variety of other coding languages.

2.) Graphic Design

Employers love to see experience in a wide variety of programs, and if even basic Photoshop skills are something you can add to your repertoire, you'll be able to demonstrate versatility and creativity. Format Magazine (a publication of Format, the portfolio-building platform) compiled a great list of 11 free online graphic design courses, which even includes a course from MIT OpenCourseWare.

3.) Content Management Systems (CMS)

A content management system is a platform that manages the creation of digital content for a website. While many companies use their own in-house, proprietary CMS to host their website content, many others use services like SquareSpace or WordPress. Because every CMS is different, learning how to use one is specific to each. However, platforms like WordPress offer free or low-cost tutorials to teach you how to use them (check out WP 101 as an example). Being familiar with the features of at least one CMS puts you at an advantage when it's time to learn a new one.

4.) Microsoft Excel

This seems either obvious or cliché (and it probably shouldn't go on your resume), but there is no overstating the importance of knowing at least a few handy Excel formulas. With enough formulas to fill an entire spreadsheet (there's a reason Udemy's course contains 16 hours of videos), there's virtually no limit to what you can do with Excel. Knowing your way around a workbook will make your job much easier.

5.) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is an essential component of any company's online success. SEO is essentially a multidisciplinary strategy for optimizing a website in order to appear on the first page of Google when somebody searches for a term relevant to your business. It's a booming and rapidly changing industry, and employers are always on the lookout for people who keep up with it. Moz, a leading SEO platform, has a free Beginner's Guide to SEO and a truly insightful blog that offers plenty of resources.

6.) Marketing Analytics

Understanding how to analyze a company's performance with respect to its marketing efforts, and gleaning insights from trends, data, and user behavior is a highly impressive skill. Google Analytics, which is one of the most popular tools for measuring marketing performance, has a free online class called Analytics Academy that can teach you the basics or help you refine your advanced skills. The Moz blog also has an extensive analytics section.

7.) Social Media Marketing

A brand's reputation and growth on social media depend on so much more than posting content. Successful social media marketing is an entire strategy that depends on following trends, analyzing data, and maintaining a relationship with your followers. Again, Moz has an extensive section on their blog devoted to this topic, and DIY Genius has a great list of 10 free online courses for social media marketing

8.) Copywriting

Being able to write professionally is absolutely essential; copywriting, however, isn't a skill that everyone has. The ability to write persuasively and with purpose, particularly for the web, is definitely a skill that might come in handy when you least expect it. Copy Hackers has an entire suite of copywriting tutorials, articles, and other resources.

9.) Stock Trading

Whether you're in investment banking or stock trading, knowing how the stock market works is an invaluable tool, both personally and professionally., and Morningstar, Inc. all offer great information to help get you started. Your bank may also provide resources and advice.

 10.) Blockchain

Blockchain is the ridiculously complicated technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which is arguably one of today's buzziest industries. The FinTech industry, especially, is looking for people who keep up with this emerging technology. Coursera has a Blockchain Basics course, and Medium also points to some good resources.

Read more here.

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Feature | 08/21/2016

ECO Newsletter 8.21.16

 Job and Internship Search Basics Pre-reqisite Workshop Sign-up is Open!

Feature | 05/23/2022

Gayoung Ko Presents at the International IO Conference

Gayoung Ko, a sixth-year student, presented her paper, "Gender Discrimination in the Gig Economy: Evidence from Online Auctions for Freelancing," at the International Industrial Organization Conference. This paper proposes an empirical framework to study gender discrimination in an auction-based online platform for freelance jobs.

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Feature | 08/12/2016

Brexit and Your Next Interview

Be prepared to discuss Brexit in your next interview. The question will surely come up and you will want to be fully prepared to discuss it knowledgeably. 

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Feature | 08/30/2021

ECO Article: How A Rising Generation Views Remote Work (WSJ 8.24.21)

I subscribe to The Wall Street Journal. You can read it for free through the UVA library. Here's a recent piece I thought our students would enjoy this week. The link to the full article is at the bottom of the page.
-Jen Jones

Editor’s note: This Future View discusses whether the absence of an option to work remotely would be a deal breaker for potential employees. Students should click here to submit opinions of fewer than 250 words before Sept. 7. The best responses will be published that night.

Don’t Go Fully Remote

I enjoy the flexibility and convenience of working remotely as much as the next guy, but I don’t believe it can fully replace in-person work. I see the option to work remotely a day or two a week as a plus, but its absence wouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Face-to-face interaction is important for building employee morale and work culture. When I entered the workforce four years ago, being surrounded by my peers in an office energized me and built a sense of solidarity as we worked together. The opportunity to bump into colleagues from other teams or grab coffee with senior management added variety to the day. I think these encounters are especially important for teaching fresh graduates how to behave in a professional environment and stimulating their ambitions.


Working in Shanghai last year, when the city recovered from the pandemic around April, I saw that Chinese companies didn’t give employees any illusions that they would work from home forever. Workplaces shifted very quickly from split-shifts to back-to-office in the span of a few weeks. My co-workers’ initial reluctance quickly dissipated and everyone got back into the groove very quickly. They became thankful for more-productive face-to-face meetings and a dedicated space to work without distractions.

—Celeste Chia, Harvard University, M.B.A.

New Opportunities

Five days a week in an office is a thing of the past. Remote work, in some capacity, is bound to become the norm. It’s unlikely anyone will want to give up the flexibility. For many parents, work-life balance has become just that—more balanced. For me and other members of Gen Z, access to remote work means career opportunities aren’t constrained by geographical proximity. A whole generation of rising professionals can begin to establish careers without having to live in unaffordable cities.

—Melina Khan, Quinnipiac University, journalism

The Young and the Restless Need the Office

Remote work is ideal for parents, and it adds flexibility to the workweek that many adults appreciate. But it shouldn’t be a requirement for young people. Working remotely is less intense—which is great if you have a family or other competing responsibilities. But for workers around my age, it offers less opportunity to showcase work ethic and capabilities. I want to work my way up, and that will be harder without face-to-face interaction with superiors. I love the flexibility of a hybrid model, because it makes my workweek easier and I have more time for friends, family and hobbies. But lack of remote work shouldn’t be a deal breaker. If you’re young and looking to grow professionally, put in the time now and reap the reward of flexibility later.

—Joseph Penhallow, University of Rhode Island, economics and business administration

No Flexibility

The goal is to get the work done. How that happens shouldn’t matter as long as it is finished in a timely and professional manner. Some people work better remotely, some in-person and some hybrid. I wouldn’t take a job that doesn’t offer flexibility in work arrangement.

Not allowing for any remote work speaks volumes about the values of a company. It tells me that the company isn’t keeping up with the changing technology. Remote work is the new normal, just as keyboards are the new typewriters and smartphones are the new pagers. We embrace these new innovations because they are more efficient.

Forbidding remote work also tells me that the company cares little about the well-being of its employees—that it gives priority to profit over people, which is counterproductive anyway. Working from home saves time and expense on commuting, traveling and the rest, giving employees more time to work on their assignments. It also expands the talent pool as prospective employees are no longer limited by location. A competent company would give workers the option.

—Shawn Tran, University of California, Berkeley, public health

Firsthand Experience

Job opportunities lacking the option to work remotely seem few and far between nowadays. But in pursuing a career in civil engineering, I think the value of collaboration and site work trumps the desire to stay home. In an engineering field, one of the most important aspects of growth is firsthand experience of the real-world problems you encounter, not a PowerPoint presentation of the issue from the comfort of your own home.

—Christopher Flannery, Quinnipiac University, civil engineering

Teams Are Formed in Person

As a senior deep in the job search, I consistently see postings advertising “remote work available,” “telework options” and “hybrid working schedule.” In recent interviews these options have been floated as enticements. The problem is that I don’t want to work remotely.

I would rather take a job that requires office work without exception. The convenience of remote work, with the ability to set your own schedule, live elsewhere or travel while working, is all great. But what about the lack of office camaraderie, communication and learning? While interning remotely, I found that I never truly connected to teammates, understood office dynamics or learned where to take questions and problems when they arose. Compared with my internship this past summer, which was all in-office, the difference was night and day. I felt a part of a team, understood the office dynamics, and had a truly positive working experience.

—Benjamin Harris, Auburn University, finance

Click here to submit a response to the next Future View.

Feature | 01/31/2022

2021 Summer Paper Award Winners

The 2021 Snavely Outstanding Summer Paper Prize was awarded to Joe Anderson (not pictured here), for Institutional Strategies and Debt Maturity; Yang Yu, for Venture Capital and the Dynamism of Startups; and Ritika Gupta, for Can Affirmative Action Influence STEM Choice and Math outcomes? Each winner received a cash award and certificate in recognition of their achievement. Congratulations and keep up the excellent work!

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Feature | 10/24/2022

What is an Information Session and Why Should I Attend?

Thanks to our friends at UCBerkeley, below is some solid information about employer information sessions and why the ECO encourages you to attend these programs. Read on or see the original article here.

Information Sessions

Each fall, employers come to campus to host info sessions. Given all the info available on the web, do you really need to attend?

Only if you want a job! -- especially a job with an employer whose organizational culture and management style are compatible with your own values and interests. So how will attending a company info session help? These sessions offer an unmatched opportunity to:

  • Get a feel for the organization, its people and culture.
  • Have the opportunity to determine if you would be a good fit.
  • Learn about the positions available.
  • Learn how your position fits into the larger organization.

All of this adds to the information available on the website and will help you explain in an interview the congruence between your goals and values and their culture -- in essence the nature of the critical "fit" employers are looking for.

In addition, info sessions constitute a rare opportunity to make a personal connection within the organization while at the same time demonstrating your sincere interest in it as a potential employer. It's always helpful to say you went to the information session during your interview or to mention in your cover letter that you met specific representatives and can therefore credibly describe why you are interested in the job and company. All these actions make you seem informed, well-prepared, and thoughtful in your career plan.

What to expect

Many companies hold information sessions on campus during the recruiting season in order to explain the job opportunities they have available and offer more information about the company and its organizational culture.

Most info sessions range from 1-2 hours and consist of a company presentation where current employees explain the values and mission of the company followed by an opportunity for students to talk to company representatives about the company and ask any pertinent questions. Employer reps are often recent grads able to describe what you might expect during your first couple of years should you join the organization.

How to prepare

  • Research what the company does, specializes in, and the job opportunities they offer, especially at Cal.
  • Be knowledgeable of competitors in the industry and how this company views itself in comparison.
  • Learn about the industry so you understand exactly what the companies do and the expectations for entry-level professionals.

Think about what's important to you and what you want to get out of the information session. This is your chance to interact with company employees and hear about work experiences. If you don't have a clear idea about the company or the job description, it would really help to do your research beforehand so you can ask deeper questions you really want answers to.

Oftentimes, people don't find information sessions helpful because they go there unprepared and don't feel like they can ask questions or talk to the representatives because they don't know anything about the company.

It's always a good idea to bring a resume in case they accept resume drops. With your resume, they may also record your attendance at the information session - helpful when you apply to interview with the company.

How to make the most of it

To maximize the value of an information session, pay attention to what is said during the company presentation. Typically you learn a tremendous amount about the firm, its mission, its services or products, and what type of culture and environment exists at the firm. Also, the information you can draw from these sessions can be used to craft more effective cover letters or can be used to come up with additional questions about the company to be asked during the interview.

In order to optimize the experience at an information session:

  • Think of questions to ask representatives that build on the information presented.
  • Talk to a few representatives of the company in order to get a better feel for the company.
  • Make sure your voice is heard, but not at the expense of a peer - you want to demonstrate respect to reinforce that you are a team player.
  • Ask well-thought-out questions based on your research.
  • Think on your feet and ask relevant questions based on the flow of conversation.
  • Only when there is a noticeable break should you change the subject.
  • The answers to your questions help build your sense of the job and company and determine if it is something of interest to you.
  • Wait to formally say goodbye to a representative before you leave the information session or walk away.

It is valuable to ask for a business card or contact information in case you have any further questions, and also so you can remember names if you interview with the company in the future. These conversations with company representatives help build your network. Networking with numerous companies and representatives gives tremendous insight in multiple careers, industries, job opportunities, and illustrates your genuine interest come interview time.

What you gain

  • Expanded Network - This is an opportunity to create targeted contacts that could be helpful in the future.
  • Understand employers' corporate culture - Speaking with representatives helps you determine whether or not you are a good fit for the company.

Visualize an information session as a way of interviewing the firm and finding out if they are a good employer to consider working for. You'll be more knowledgeable about the company, job, and industry, and have greater confidence in interviews. Also, during information sessions you get a chance to meet and talk to peers who may be interested in similar jobs, companies, or industries.

Info sessions also make you a better applicant. In addition to demonstrating your interest, they are a great opportunity to learn more about what they look for in a candidate. Think about how you can use what you've learned to highlight the aspects of your background and experiences (e.g., leadership or teamwork) that fit their conception of what a strong candidate looks like. Now that you know what they're looking for, you can demonstrate these qualities in your resume, cover letter, and interview.

How to find them

Login to Handshake, select the Events tab and then search for Info Sessions. Check back periodically for new sessions. Space is often limited, and you are encouraged to "Join Event" if you plan to attend.




Feature | 07/19/2019

Sarah Turner and PhD Candidate Emily Cook Publish Article on Effects of Universal College Testing

The study was referenced on June 25th in The Washington Post, Education Week, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; the abstract can be accessed using the following link:

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Feature | 07/31/2021

Blog: Consulting Blog #3

This message was shared by the UVA Career Center for those students interested in management consulting. This is message #3 of 3. For additional information, see Collab/ECO Resources/Vault Guides/Consulting Careers and the ECO website’s Industry Overviews in the “Management Consulting” section.

This email focuses on interview preparation and strategy. You will likely experience both a behavioral and case interview during your recruitment process at most firms. It is critical that you practice both of these in advance, so you present the best version of yourself in interviews.

The Career Center offers many options for support with both, if at any time you have questions on how to practice, come and see a career counselor by visiting Handshake. Mark your calendars for the events highlighted below to get practice directly from employers on both behavioral and case interviews!

If you are concerned about virtual interviews, this blog post provides advice on how to make a good impression in a virtual space.

Behavioral Interviewing: 

Your interviewer is using this as an opportunity to assess your fit within their firm. They want to see if they could spend hours working with you at a client site or traveling with you week to week, and if they'd be comfortable putting you in front of a client. 

  • Practice telling your story but using the VMock Elevator Pitch tool. For more information on this resource, check out the resources page on the Career Center website. 

  • When responding to questions, be articulate and concise -- Use the STAR method to structure your answers. This stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result and provides a framework for answering behavioral interview questions. [The ECO adds an extra “R” for Reflection. This final piece, allows candidates to discuss what they’ve learned/what they may do differently now. 

  • To help prepare, practice answering questions aloud -- check out page 64 of the HoosGuide for a list of sample behavioral interview questions. 

  • Street of Walls also provides a comprehensive guide on consulting interview questions and answers that will give you a better idea of what to expect. 

  • Lastly, the Career Center offers Mock Interviews as appointment types so you can practice with a counselor. Schedule an appointment today to get practicing. 

Case Interviewing: 

This is a way for the employer to assess your thinking and analytical skills in a real-time environment. The focus does not need to be on answering the problem correctly but more on how you think and structure the response. For more information on case interviews click here.  

Learning the Case: 

Running the Case: 

  • Throughout the case interview, do not be afraid to ask questions if you need clarification. 

  • Take thorough notes; be sure to compose your thoughts before moving forward. 

  • Be confident in your analysis but pay close attention to how the interviewer is guiding you and change direction if you need to. 

Practice Makes Perfect: 

It takes time to feel comfortable with both the behavioral and the case portions of the interview. To perform well on case interviews, it is crucial that you understand how to approach them, and practice is key to that success. 

  • Create a Case Interview Preparation Plan 

  • Utilize case guides found on Handshake. (Handshake > Career Center > Resources > Business Community) 

  • Check out the "Help Topics" in Virginia Alumni Mentoring, one of those areas are Mock Case Interviews for practice with alumni 

  • Our Career Peer Educators created this helpful session on case interviews that is a fantastic resource 

  • Practice, practice, practice! Find classmates who are also pursuing consulting and set up a time to practice case interviewing together.

Mental Math Tips: 

Sometimes cases are more quantitative than qualitative. This likely will depend on the organization you are interviewing with and the type of role you are interviewing for. Try to gain as much insight as possible before, so you know more of what to expect. If it is math heavy, here are some tips: 

  • Use round numbers where you can. 

  • Do “ballpark” calculations – there is some margin of error allowed. 

  • Memorize key numbers: World Population (7b), US Population (320m), Life expectancy (US: 80y, World: 70y). Check out these key statistics to know. 

  • Practice mental math; download this app to fine tune this important skill. 

  • If you are looking for even more practice, RocketBlocks provides comprehensive drills to help with the entire case framework. [The Department of Economics subscribes to RocketBlocks for our majors. You may claim your account by logging in with your UVA email (example and using the password “monroe.”

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Feature | 08/12/2016

4 Interview Questions Venture Capital Firms Ask

Venture capital interviews aren’t tricky. Generally, there are no brainteasers or case questions. A VC interview is a chance for venture capitalists to get a sense of you, the same way they do when meeting with entrepreneurs. That’s how venture capitalists make investment decisions—(You may need to login into CavLink to access this article).

Feature | 12/11/2019

PhD Candidates Present at SEAS

In November 2019, Ekaterina Khmelnitskaya and Miguel Mascarua presented their research at the annual conference organized by the Southern Economic Association in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This large three-day conference included presentations by a diverse set of scholars from universities and government research organizations from all across the United States, including the top universities like Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, etc. Ekaterina presented her paper “Competition and Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry” that studies how competition between novel drugs that have not yet entered the market affects the rate of innovation in the industry. She also discussed a paper presented by a researcher at the Federal Trade Commission. Both papers were part of the panel on Industrial Organization and Health. Miguel presented two papers during the sessions. The first one was his job market paper “Weak laws, informality, and organized crime: An establishment-level approach” that quantifies the costs of weak institutions on aggregate output. Also, he presented a work-in-progress titled “A whiter shade of wealth: Skin color discrimination and the distribution of wealth.” Both sessions were productive since he received excellent feedback that will improve the quality of his work.  


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Feature | 02/17/2023

Best Companies to Work for for Professional Development

Article from The Muse.

One way to guarantee career growth: Never stop learning. In fact, a recent study shows that a whopping 96% of respondents said it’s important or very important for them to continuously develop their work-related skills, with the top driver being personal growth. But it’s one thing to educate yourself, and quite another to have the full support of your company behind you. (In the same survey, 58% of workers said they are likely to leave their company if they don’t have access to professional development opportunities.) Thanks to perks like tuition reimbursement and free trainings, the companies below have made learning a celebrated part of their culture.

Professional development is just one of the seven perk and benefits categories we highlight in the 2022 VIBE Awards. “VIBE” stands for “voted in by employees.” As the name suggests, our methodology combined our own data as well as votes from employees, who ranked the strength of their company’s perks and benefits. Each category includes winners and honorable mentions for small (up to 250 employees), medium (251 to 5,000), and large (more than 5,000) companies.

Employees at Good Apple, a winner among the small companies, celebrate the company’s dedication to internal mobility and opportunities to attend conferences and receive training from professional coaches. “I’ve been at Good Apple for six months and have already done more in my team here than I did in the last two years at my previous agency,” says one employee. “I’m grateful to the company for helping me continue to grow in my career.”

A medium-sized company winner, Brilliant Earth, offers a variety of ways for team members to learn and grow. “I’ve taken countless courses on LinkedIn Learning and Coursera, many focused on diversity, inclusion, and belonging, as well as excel, data analysis, and talent acquisition,” says an employee. “I’ve also participated in a few cohorts with LifeLabs Learning, which have allowed me to improve my leadership, time management, organizational, and collaboration skills tremendously.”

And at Boston Consulting Group, which earned one of the top spots for large companies, new hires feel supported the minute they join the company. “From day one, BCG connected me with mentors and resources to make sure that I’m always learning and advancing in the exact direction I want my career to go,” says one respondent.

Read on for the full list of winners in the professional development category.

Small Companies

Good Apple

Who they are: This independent ad agency that works with clients in a range of industries, from fashion to healthcare.

What employees are saying: “Good Apple encourages us to attend industry conferences in person and virtually. They also provide coaching and pay for us to get certifications in all necessary platforms and study on company time.”

Read more about Good Apple’s award-winning perks and benefits.


Who they are: Intradiem develops AI-powered technology that allows back-end offices and contact centers handling customer service issues to work more efficiently.

What employees are saying: “Leadership is always asking what I want in my own career progression and what they can do to ensure I have the tools needed. They aren’t just empty words since I know many people, including myself, have been internally promoted or made lateral moves into another department to pursue a different path.”

Read more about Intradiem’s award-winning perks and benefits.


Who they are: This fintech company offers a platform that businesses and consumers can use to streamline digital lending and payments.

What employees are saying: “Opportunity at Momnt is here for the taking. My career has grown exponentially since joining the company.”

Read more about Momnt’s award-winning perks and benefits.

Honorable Mention: GameChanger

Read more about GameChanger’s award-winning perks and benefits.

Honorable Mention: Promenade Group

Read more about Promenade Group’s award-winning perks and benefits.

Medium Companies

Brilliant Earth

Who they are: Brilliant Earth sells jewelry made with ethically sourced diamonds and other gemstones.

What employees are saying: “I have utilized our tuition reimbursement program to take a negotiation course as well as earn my diversity leadership certification, which helped me found and lead our Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Council. Our internal training teams have created a vast amount of content related to leadership development, general business skills, and interesting industry-specific topics.”

Read more about Brilliant Earth’s award-winning perks and benefits.

Flatiron Health

Who they are: The healthtech company is focused on accelerating cancer research and improving patient care.

What employees are saying: “I have used the generous external learning allowance to attend conferences and purchase materials that are relevant to my work and professional development. ‘Learn, Teach, Grow’ days provide dedicated time to devote to professional development activities.”

Read more about Flatiron Health’s award-winning perks and benefits.


Who they are: This software company provides supply chain planning solutions to industries ranging from aerospace to consumer products.

What employees are saying: “We have a generous professional development budget that I’ve used to take courses and attend conferences. We also have a company-wide LinkedIn Learning subscription that I use when I need to quickly brush up on topics for my daily work. Both options help me stay current in my industry and grow as a people manager.”

Read more about Kinaxis’ award-winning perks and benefits.

Honorable Mention: Dolby

Read more about Dolby’s award-winning perks and benefits.

Honorable Mention: DTCC

Read more about DTCC’s award-winning perks and benefits.

Large Companies

Boston Consulting Group

Who they are: This global consulting firm works alongside other businesses to help solve real-world problems.

What employees are saying: “BCG has learning and development coaches available at any time. Whether it’s a personal question, a one-time professional issue, or longer-term career development planning, there is a wealth of expertise and resources to lean on. Additionally, we have one of the most comprehensive online learning platforms as well as regular trainings, mentorship programs, and consistent feedback and evaluation so that you are able to grow quickly in your career.”

Read more about Boston Consulting Group’s award-winning perks and benefits.


Who they are: Chick-fil-A is one of the largest American fast-food chains and is known for its chicken sandwiches.

What employees are saying: “There are so many development opportunities available with Chick-fil-A, it could nearly be a part-time job. In-house offerings are available to employees, and there’s a stipend to gain additional development so we can meet personal professional goals. In addition, there is a true open-door policy when it comes to connecting with others across the organization, including executives and those in the C-suite.”

Read more about Chick-fil-A’s award-winning perks and benefits.

Palo Alto Networks

Who they are: This cybersecurity company provides cutting-edge defense against cyber attacks.

What employees are saying: “We have so many options for development. In the past year, I’ve been able to hear from leaders in everything from leadership to mental health, attended a Marketing Learning Day, and was funded to attend an industry conference. All of these have reinvigorated my passion for the job, given me new tools, and made me feel valued.”

Read more about Palo Alto Networks’ award-winning perks and benefits.

Honorable Mention: Signify

Read more about Signify’s award-winning perks and benefits.

Honorable Mention: Visa

Read more about Visa’s award-winning perks and benefits.

Feature | 05/23/2022

Tyler Wake and MJ Nilayamgode present at MMC

Graduate students Tyler Wake and Mrithyunjayan (MJ) Nilayamgode attended the Midwest Macro Conference at Utah State University in Logan, Utah on May 20 and 21, 2022. They presented original research co-authored with their advisor Ana Fostel, “Collateral Expansion: Pricing Spillovers from Financial Innovation,” and attended a variety of talks, including two keynote speeches from Ayşegül Şahin and Tom Sargent. Other UVA Economics PhD graduates in attendance included Joaquin Saldain (Bank of Canada) and Ia Vardishvili (Auburn University).

The Midwest Macroeconomics Conference began meeting in 1994 and is one of the longest- running dedicated macroeconomics conferences in the United States. Its next meeting will be in Fall 2022 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/08/2017


"These days, we do lots of things online. While this saves us a lot of time, it also demands more focus and concentration on our part. With all the distractions the internet offers, you may want to use some effective time management tools to eliminate them." -Jack Milgram


Click here to read the rest of the article. 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 02/02/2017


""For students who may be thinking about federal jobs and wondering how the hiring freeze impacts them, we want to highlight a few key points. The hiring freeze remains in place, with a longer-term plan to reduce the size of the federal workforce due from the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget by the end of April."-Dreama Johnson 

Click here to read the rest of the article 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/09/2014


"Tough interview questions are supposed to challenge job candidates and make them think on their feet.

This could make the typical job interview "the most harrowing forty-five minutes of your life," writes Vicky Oliver in her book "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions."

But you can be prepared ahead of time. We've compiled some of the toughest interview questions from Oliver's book — and how to answer them."-Vivian Giang and Alexandra Mondalek


Click here to read the rest of the article.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

A Different Recruitment Method

Large companies are hiring recruits first then assigning a job role to them later. Review the insightful comments at the bottom of the articles.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 10/10/2016


Resources Galore! Upcoming Events!

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

What Can I Do with an Economics Major?

Wondering what you can do with a major in Economics?  Find out here!

Feature | 05/23/2022

Gayoung Ko Presents at the International IO Conference

Gayoung Ko, a sixth-year student, presented her paper, "Gender Discrimination in the Gig Economy: Evidence from Online Auctions for Freelancing," at the International Industrial Organization Conference. This paper proposes an empirical framework to study gender discrimination in an auction-based online platform for freelance jobs.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 10/10/2023

Fall Internship Panel is Here!

Panelist Bios will be listed below the flyer on Wednesday, 10/11/23.

Click the flyer to register.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 06/07/2018

How to Answer "Why Do You Want to Work for Us?"

One of the more common interview questions these days, especially for entry-level positions, is some form of "Why do you want to work for us?" Other forms of this question include "What attracts you to our firm?" and "What about our firm excites you?" Whatever the exact phrasing you receive, there are a few things you want to get across as clearly and concisely as possible when answering.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/08/2019

3 reasons you’re experiencing college burnout (& how to deal)

The stress. The anxiety. The worry. All of us have those moments where we’re completely overwhelmed by the amount of work college demands. While we try our best to finish everything as quickly (and as accurately) as possible, we sometimes digress into a state of despair and self-doubt when our hard work isn’t giving us the results we want. At some point, we begin feeling so helpless and depressed that we retreat into our shell, away from our peers and the people who care about us the most. We’re frustrated, confused, lonely, and don’t really know what to do. Eventually, with everything piling on top of us one after the other, we snap.

College can be a tough time for a lot of  students. Whether you’re trying to fit in or trying to survive classes, I think we can all agree that college life isn’t perfect. However, there comes a time when things just don’t feel good and you’re not feeling the same way towards things as you used to. Sure, everything seems fine but you’re just not happy with where you’re at right now. You’re exhausted and unmotivated; you just want the semester to end now. Feeling stressed out is one thing, but feeling burnout is a whole other issue.

Pressure and Expectations

Entering college, I think a lot of us unintentionally place a large amount of pressure on ourselves. We worked unbelievably hard in high school to get where we are today, and so as soon as we enter college we expect ourselves to start off strong. At first, things seem like they’re going fine (and they are), but once we get deeper into the semester we’re not feeling as confident as we did going into the semester.

I think one of the worst things to feel in college is disappointment. Imagine this: You’re in a class working hard. You stay up late to work on assignments and study for exams. As you’re going through the semester, you notice your grades aren’t as good as you want them. You then work and study as hard as you can. Nothing improves. Getting this feeling is absolutely frustrating and disappointing and can certainly upset many people, including myself.

Look, I may not know much about each and every student’s college experience, but from what I know, hard work does eventually pay off. You’re probably going to feel immense pressure to do well in all of your classes, especially if you excelled in all of your classes in high school. But this isn’t high school. There are people around you who have worked just as hard to get where they are today and deserve to be there. It sucks when people are showing off their 4.0 GPA’s or bragging about how well they did on that last test. However, the truth is, none of that matters because you are who YOU are. Do the best that YOU can and that’s what counts.


Finding the right group of people is hard, especially for introverts like myself. You think, “Oh there’s thousands of other freshman who don’t know many people, I’m bound to be friends with one of them.” This is a good thought, but maybe not realistic.

I know many other people disagree, but I think that finding friends in college can be extremely difficult. There are probably going to be a lot of people you meet within the first few weeks of classes as everyone begins the new semester. However, once those first few weeks are over it seems as if everyone has their own little group and sometimes you get left out of those groups of people.

Now before you accuse me of lacking faith in the friendliness of other people, I’m not saying that people intentionally form their own group of friends to single people out. Rather, I think it’s difficult for some people to maintain contact with others because of their lack of connection. Basically what I’m trying to say is that it’s hard to keep up with people when their schedules are so different. You meet so many people within the first few weeks of class, but let’s face it: how many of them are you going to remember or talk with by the end of the semester?

Nevertheless, finding people you feel the most comfortable with is important in college. Whether you like hanging around people or not, try pushing yourself to go out and meet new people. The best way to make friends is through your classes, because you’ll be seeing them on a weekly (if not daily) basis. If you’re still having trouble making friends, definitely utilize some of the student services your school offers. While they can’t help you make friends, they can definitely help guide you to resources and organizations that cultivate lifelong friendships.

Fitting In

Are you that awkward duck in the middle of the pond? Yup, that’s me alright. I think one of the most difficult parts about being in college is feeling at ease. With homework assignments and exams galore, there isn’t always a lot of time to think about where you’re at in terms of fitting in. However, it can sometimes take a toll on people as it did for me. I felt like I was sort of fitting in with the general population of students, but somehow I felt a personal disconnect from everyone. I talked with people from time to time, but it just didn’t feel the same as high school.

If you’re a college student still transitioning from high school to college, there are plenty of other people who are still having trouble fitting in. I have to admit, even though my school has a smaller student body than some other schools, I sometimes feel like I’m just there. I go to school, do homework, and take tests. That’s it. I know this is probably hard to hear, but things take time. You’re still transitioning, and this feeling is absolutely normal. As you go through the semester, you’ll likely find your way through things and be able to finally enjoy your college experience.

The College Burnout

College can be a rewarding experience for many people interested in learning and growing in a different environment. Compared to high school, the possibilities seem endless. However, college life can be difficult for some people as well, particularly those who are still transitioning from high school to college. While college can bring exciting new opportunities to students, it can also provide additional stress and anxiety with the amount of work and energy demanded.

If you’re feeling college burnout at any time, take some time to relax. Yes, I realize that you have things to work on and study for, but let’s be honest: are you really going to be productive when you’re feeling that bad? Don’t push yourself over the edge; it’s just not worth it.

On another note, try not to give yourself a hard time when it comes to grades. Although academics is central to the college experience, don’t allow yourself to become involved only in academics. You’re going to make mistakes. It’s going to suck. But yet, we’re all human. No one’s perfect. You can continue to beat yourself down over your grades, but what good is that going to do? There’s so much more to life than just grades. Your happiness comes first. You might argue that good grades equal greater job opportunities and more money. Look at the expectations you’ve created. They’re nothing unreasonable or anything, but realize what you’re doing to yourself. You’re tired. You’re unhappy. You feel like giving up. Is this the way to live?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pay attention to your academic performance in college, but make sure that you give yourself some credit once in a while. You’re in college. You have an opportunity that others can only dream of. Be proud of yourself for all you’ve achieved. You’ve made it this far. Give yourself a pat on the back and feel proud of everything you’ve done thus far. You deserve it.

College burnout isn’t enjoyable and can almost always affect your college life. That being said, there are other things that can also hinder you from succeeding and being happy in college. To be honest, I’m really struggling in college right now, not just academically. There are days that I feel like I’m at the top of the world and then there are others when I’m in the gutter of despair. You’ve probably heard of this a million times, but college is what you make of it. Be happy, be sad, be angry – that’s your choice. However, know that you deserve to be there, and don’t ever doubt that. Sure, you might have doubts about why you’re there but think about this: you’re there already. Shouldn’t you make the most of what you have now?

Read more

Feature | 05/01/2020

Devaki Ghose Wins Graduate Student Award at EIIT Conference

In October 2019, Devaki Ghose won the Graduate Student Award at the 2019 Empirical Investigations in International Trade Conference for her paper "Trade, Internal Migration, and Human Capital: Who Gains from India's IT Boom?" A link to past student prize winners can be found here, .


Feature | 09/11/2018

Welcome to Our New Graduate Students

The UVA Department of Economics is delighted to welcome its incoming class of graduate students. The cohort of 20 students is equally divided with regards to gender. Fifteen of the 22 are international students, 9 of whom earned degrees at other universities in the U.S. Each student in the cohort has at least one previous degree in economics, if not two, and several had a second undergraduate major in math or statistics. They bring with them a wide range of real world experience: one student is completing a position as a Fulbright Scholar at the Free Market Foundation of South Africa; several have completed internships with places such as the Korea Economic Research Institute,  the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Yale School of Management; and others have held professional positions--as economists, research assistants, or analysts--at organizations such as the Bank of Korea, the University of Wisconsin Hospital Emergency Medicine Research Group, the DC Federal Reserve Board, and the NERA Economic Consulting firm.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

Tips from a former Morgan Stanley Intern

A former Morgan Stanley intern, Ellen Jin, turned full-time Credit Risk Analyst talks about her experience with finding an internship and how she worked her way up to where she is now!

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 12/01/2021

10 Easy Ways to Organize Your Job Search


Updated on November 09, 2021

In today's job market, it's not uncommon to submit applications for many positions. That involves lots of time, and it's a lot to keep track of. You don't want to squander those precious hours by missing important application deadlines, garbling companies and positions, confusing interview times, or forgetting to follow up.  

Accordingly, properly organizing and managing your job search is just as important as identifying job opportunities and submitting your application.

Here are ten ways to get organized, keep track of your job applications, and stay on top of the job search process.

Create a Job Application Spreadsheet

If you're familiar with Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or a similar program, creating a spreadsheet is a simple and effective way to keep track of your job applications.

You can use a spreadsheet to keep track of which companies you applied to, when you submitted your application, what materials you submitted, and other important factors in the application process.

It doesn't have to be fancy, and it's up to you how detailed you want to get. But, here are the key columns to include:

  • Company Name - The name of the organization you're applying to.
  • Contact - Your point of contact at the company; probably who you addressed your cover letter to, such as a Director of Human Resources or Office Manager.
  • Email - The email of your point of contact, or, if preferred, a phone number.
  • Date Applied - When you submitted your application.
  • Application Summary - What you submitted: a cover letter, resume, and any additional materials, like a portfolio or reference list.
  • Interview - When your interview is scheduled.
  • Follow-Up - Did you send a thank you email or letter? If so, indicate here.
  • Status - If you were rejected, offered the job, asked in for a second interview, etc.

Create a Job Application Table in Word

If Excel isn't quite your cup of tea, don't fret. You can create a simple table in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or a similar word processor.

Use your word processing program to create a table to keep track of important information, dates, and deadlines relevant to your job search.

Just insert a table and choose the number of columns based on how many categories you want to keep track of  (company name, contact information, date applied, and so on) and the number of rows relative to how many positions you're applying for.

In addition to the basic categories listed above, if you're feeling especially ambitious, here are some other points you might want to include:

  • Application deadline
  • Potential start date
  • Where you found the job listing
  • Company information, like its location, number of employees, size, recent developments, etc.
  • Names and contact information of any network connections at the company
  • Estimated likelihood of getting the job
  • Your relative preference for the position compared to other jobs

Use Google Drive and Calendar

If you like to stay organized online, Google is a great way to go. If you have a Gmail account, you can use Google Drive, through which you can create, save, and export spreadsheets, in addition to written documents, like your cover letter and resume. You can also link up with Google calendar to make sure you stay on top of important dates. 

Set Up Job Alerts

Most job sites have job alert systems that notify you when there are new job openings that match your interests. Once you sign up, the system will send you job listings via email so you can check for job openings in your field without having to mine through every job search engine.

When you decide to apply for one of the job listings you receive, you’ll be able to use the information in the message as a starting point for keeping track of your application.

Use a Job Search Organizer Website

There are a variety of websites that offer free or reasonably priced job search management tools that are specifically designed for job hunters who need assistance in managing their applications.

For example, JibberJobber is perhaps the most well-known option​ and is an excellent resource for staying organized.

While Huntr provides a centralized place to organize your job search. It helps you keep track of opportunities, tasks, notes, events, and contacts relevant to your search. The chrome extension makes it easy to save jobs from any job search site in one click, and the mobile application allows you to track your search on the go.

Use Your Favorite Job Search Site

Do some digging in your favorite job search site - you'll probably find a built-in way to keep track of potential job interests and your submitted applications.

Many job search sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn offer built-in tools to keep track of your applications. Although the downfall to using a site-specific method is that you may have to keep track of various lists on different sites, if you have a favorite job search site you're sticking to, it's not a bad option.

Use an App

If you spend more time on your phone or tablet than you do on your computer, consider using a mobile app to organize your job search. Download a mobile app (or two) to organize your job search on your smart phone or tablet.

Here's a list of some of the best job search management apps available for smartphones and tablets.

Use Your Smartphone

For a do-it-yourself method of organization, consider using your smartphone" as is" - for example, use your notes or download a spreadsheet app and keep track of your information there. You can also use alarms, alerts, and your calendar to stay on top of impending deadlines, interviews, and other important dates and times.

Use a Notebook

If you're a pen-in-hand type who likes to keep it old school, buy a notebook and dedicate it to your job search. Keeping track the old-fashioned way, still works well for many people.

Sometimes, technology can be cumbersome, so if you want a more tangible method of organizing your job search, use a notebook. In addition to keeping track of your applications, you can also use it to jot down a cover letter draft, take notes during interviews, and record anything else that comes up while you're looking for jobs, networking, and interviewing.

Simplify Your Search

Clearly, there are plenty of ways to keep track of your job search, but there are also ways to cut down on the mental overhead to begin with. Making an effort to simplify your job search will pay off.

Focus on quality, not quantity: only apply to legitimate positions that you're qualified for, and make each application count, personalizing each cover letter and updating and proofreading your resume.​

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 10/17/2016

From Vault: Prestigious Internships

"Today, Vault released its annual ranking of the 50 Most Prestigious Internships. This year, the ranking was based on a survey of more than 11,000 interns and former interns at more than 100 firms. Our survey asked interns to rate the prestige of other employers in order to determine which internships are the most desirable." (Derek Loosvelt)

Feature | 08/16/2021

ECO Blog: Job Seekers! What You Should Be Doing Now

Hello Majors!

I've been thinking about what to write to you all today and decided to use some inspiration from my friend and colleague, executive coach, Elizabeth Hope Derby. In Elizabeth's recent newsletter, she discusses her kickboxing experience and uses the kickboxing metaphor ultimately to describe how many of us  "stretch a little bit harder, jump two inches higher. [Who] share this desire to push beyond our limits and savor the satisfaction of a really good stretch." This is how I view our majors, as people, who stretch. But, beware stretchers, as Elizabeth warns in her newsletter through personal narrative, there is a point at which we may push "past 'stretched' to 'stretched too thin.'" Elizabeth suggests "marry[ing] the ambition of your brain with the intelligence of your body." 

I want all of our majors to keep this in mind as you begin the semester next week. You will have myriad commitments in addition to the most important, your academic coursework, and there will be times when it may be useful to examine how "stretched" you are and if you need to rebalance. Below this blog are resources to help prevent and mitigate stretching-too-thin.  Now, having said that, I'm sharing below my many recommendations to prepare for your career exploration and job search this academic year. There is a lot! However you approach reading this list and taking action, keep in mind the stretch and stretching-too-thin. There's a lot listed below and you may want to pace yourself rather than take from the buffet all in one pass.

1 - Update your resume, Handshake profile, LInkedIn profile with any summer experiences you have had and have these critiqued by VMOCK and career counselors:​

  • ​Research (your own, work-related, or from a class)
  • Classes that are relevant to the work you are pursuing, (include UVA, community college, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, etc.)
  • Work experience - include all of your accomplishments and responsibilities on a general resume, and then draw from them as you customize your resumes by industry and job function before submitting
  • Personal accomplishments in a Skills and Interests section - If you trained for a marathon, taught yourself guitar, learned a language, etc, this is information to include in a resume (See me or UVA Career Center to discuss further)
  • Update your GPA
  • Click here for resume and cover letter samples and review the UVA Hoos Career Guide for more

​2 - Handshake (Take these action steps, at the very least):

  • Update your work preferences by industry, job function, and geographic location. This allows alerts from the ECO and from employers
  • Determine if you'd like your profile viewable by employers
  • Take the On Grounds Interview (OGI) survey to be sure you are eligible to attend employer and alumni office hours, and apply for jobs by employers recruiting on Grounds
  • Review events and jobs by date to prepare yourself for upcoming relevant programs

3 - Self-Assessment:

4 - Job Applications and Interviews:

  • Familiarize yourself with recruiting calendar for the employers that interest you (pages 46-47 in the Hoos Career Guide)
  • Familiarize yourself with the types of application materials (resumes, cover letters, assessments, interviews) that are used in your sector/industries/job functions of interest
    • HireVue is a virtual job application platform. Many employers use this or other similar video assessments as screening tools
    • Pymetrics is a personality assessment many employers ask applicants to submit; there are many other types. Don't stress over these! 
    • VMock - an AI tool to help you prep your resume and your elevator pitch and perfect your LInkedIn profile
  • Visit job boards 

And if you want more....check out the ECO's suggested timeline of activities here.

Balancing resources:



City of Tampere

Feature | 11/01/2018

Cailin Slattery Presents at 74th Congress of the International Institute of Public Finance

Cailin Slattery presented two papers at the recent International Institute of Public Finance (IIPF) conference in Tampere, Finland; "Campaign Spending and Corporate Subsidies: Evidence from Citizens United v FEC" and "U.S. State Incentive Spending and Large Establishment Spillovers." Both papers use a new data set that she created on state incentive spending, and are closely related to her job market paper on how states compete for firms using discretionary subsidies. She received valuable feedback on her papers and discussed her research with Public Finance scholars from all over the world, including recent UVa grad Elliott Isaac, who is now an assistant professor at Tulane University. The conference was not only filled with research sessions, but included a walking tour along the Pyynikki Ridge,  the world's highest gravel ridge, which was formed by sediment accumulating between two glaciers.


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/22/2016

Maintaining Connections through Your Internship

See tips on how to maintain the professional connections you make through your internship.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/31/2017


Networking Programs! New Job Postings! Economics Career Forum!

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/17/2020

Week of Jan 13 Newsletter

Things just haven't been the same without you! As you get back into the rhythm of the semester, keep an eye out for upcoming ECO events and networking opportunities on Handshake. On the 24th, the ECO will be holding an Internship Panel with Econ upper-level students who have successfully gone through the recruiting process. Drop by for snacks and straightforward advice from your peers. The ECO offers individual advising to majors. You can sign up through Handshake for appointments if you've taken the brief pre-req workshop. The next pre-req worksho will be held this Friday, January 17 at noon in Monroe 120. Sign up at the links.

ECO Internship Panel

Join us and a panel of economics majors at the ECO's Spring Internship Panel as they discuss their recruitment experience, the internship search process, on-the-job experiences, and their next steps. The program will include 30 minutes for the panel, 15-30 minutes of formal Q&A and then 30 minutes of networking with the panelists. We will provide snacks for attendees at the networking portion of the program.
Sign Up Here

Upcoming Events

ECO Orientation for All Economics Majors; Job and Internship Workshop- Pre-Req for Advising (Sponsored by the ECO)
Fri, Jan 17 12:00 pm EST - 12:50 pm EST
Monroe Hall, Room 120
Sign Up Here

ECO Internship Panel (Sponsored by the ECO)
Fri, Jan 24 12:00 pm EST - 1:30 pm EST
Monroe Hall, Room 130
Sign Up Here

UVA Spring 2020 JCPenney Suit Up!
Sun, Jan 26 6:00 pm EST - 9:00 pm EST
1639 Rio Rd E, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901
Sign Up Here

2020 Spring Job and Internship Fair (Engineering and University-wide Career Fair )
Wed, Jan 29 10:00 am EST - 3:00 pm EST
Thu, Jan 30 10:00 am EST - 3:00 pm EST
Newcomb Hall (Student Center)
Sign Up Here

2020 DC IMPACTLink Interviews - PSG Day in DC
Fri, Feb 7 9:00 am EST - 5:00 pm EST
1779 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington, District of Columbia 20036, United States
Sign Up Here
Deadline for resumes is January 20th

Employers Recruiting at ImpactLink in DC

  1. American Enterprise Institute
  2. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  3. Cleary Gottlieb
  4. FEMA
  5. Hanover Research
  6. KaBOOM!
  7. Keybridge Communications
  8. National Endowment for Democracy
  9. Tesla Government
  10. US Department of Justice/Antitrust Division
  11. Y Analytics, PBC

Jobs & Internships for Econ Majors

Jobs on Handshake

1/28: Financial Planning and Analysis Associate, Ciena (Hanover, MD)
1/30: Account Executive, E. W. Scripps (Baltimore, MD)
1/31: Business Development Representative, Quorum (Washington DC)
1/31: Marketing Associate, CRC Companies (Arlington, VA)
2/1: Private Equity Operations Intern, Broadtree Partners (NYC)
2/8: Venture Capital Analyst, Blisce (NYC)

Jobs Selected from External Boards

1/17: Royster Lawton Fellowship for Entrepreneurship and Social Impact
1/20: Strategy and Innovation Summer Associate, The Capital Group Companies Inc (L.A., CA)
1/31: 2020 Summer Leadership Academy, Accounting and Consulting Group LLC (Atlanta, GA)
3/1: Market Data Analyst, Bloomberg (Princeton, NJ)
3/1: Finance Leadership Development Program, Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ)
Summer Internships and Jobs found at WayUp

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/06/2022

Barrons Shares Its "Best Job in America"

The ‘Best Job in America’ Pays up to $125,000 a Year—and Has 10,000 Job Openings

This article originally appeared on MarketWatch.

Most people want to find a job that keeps up with inflation, provides some level of flexibility, but they also want to be happy. After all, most Americans spend at least eight hours a day working—and often without paid time off.

It’s the $125,000 question in an increasingly unpredictable labor market: How can you have it all? Is there a job that comes with the prospect of a six-figure income, high job satisfaction and has enough job openings to make it a real possibility?

Workers quit their jobs at record pace in November, suggesting that people are fed up. The number of quits increased by 370,000 to a record 4.5 million in November. The “quits rate” rose to 3% from 2.8% in October. 

At the same time, job openings fell by 529,000 to 10.6 million on the last day of November, the Labor Department said this week. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a gain to 11.1 million vacancies.

Computer scientists remain in high demand

Companies are always keen to use intel to improve efficiency and learn more about their customers and, so, computer scientists are in high demand. They are also one of the privileged professions to have the opportunity to work remotely.

Java developers are No. 1 on Glassdoor’s “50 Best Jobs in America” for 2021. They typically work at startups focused on the creation of a variety of web applications to go to market and to fill existing customer orders, the careers website said.

They boast a salary range of $69,000 to $125,000 and have a median base annual salary of more than $93,000. They had a 4.2 out of 5.0 job rating, and there are approximately 10,103 job openings for Java developers.

Java developers ideally have a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a professional IT certification, and are required to have expert level Java programming, plus experience in database management and computer architecture.

Data scientists were No. 2 on the list

They were followed by data scientists at No. 2 ($113,736 median annual base salary) and product managers at No. 3 ($121,107), enterprise architects at No. 4 ($131,361) and devops engineers at No. 5 ($110,003).

Data scientists and software developers use programming language such as Python, followed by R, SQL, Hadoop and the more well-known Java. Product managers are responsible for the strategy and blueprint of a product or product line.

An enterprise architect is responsible for a company’s entire IT infrastructure, while a devops engineer is proficient in both engineering and coding, and creates and implements systems software, and improves existing systems.

These computer scientist positions are in high demand across all industries, career consultants say, particularly in Silicon Valley companies such as Meta (ticker: FB), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), and Microsoft (MSFT), among many others.

Three factors comprise Glassdoor’s score

The “Glassdoor Job Score” is determined by weighing three factors equally: Earning potential (median annual base salary), overall job satisfaction rating and number of job openings. C-suite and intern level jobs were excluded from this report.

For a job title to be considered, it must receive at least 100 salary reports and at least 100 job satisfaction ratings shared by U.S.-based employees in one year. Results represent job titles that rate highly among all of those three categories.

The “Glassdoor Job Score” is determined by weighing three factors equally: Earning potential (median annual base salary), overall job satisfaction rating and—of critical interest—number of job openings.

But computer scientists have competition. A separate report by the U.S. News & World Report on the best jobs of the year lists physician assistant as No. 1 ($112,260 median salary and 39,300 openings). Software developers were No. 2.

Write to


Feature | 08/24/2017

ECON Grads at the 6th Lindau meeting on Economic Sciences

Graduate student Devaki Ghose was selected among young economists through a combination of written application and interviews to be a panelist alongside Eric Maskin (Nobel Laureate, Economics) and Howard Yana Shapiro (Chief Agricultural Scientist, Mars Incorporated) to discuss economic inequality in a globalized world on August 24th.


The panelists first discussed their views on economic inequality, solutions and then the forum was open to questions from the audience. The following articles cover the event-


ECONGrads Cailin Slattery and Ia Vardishvilli also participated in the conference.

Ia presenting her work to laureates (you can see Pissardes in the picture).

Cailin with the other NSF sponsored students at a lunch with two laureates (standing next to Prescott).

Melissa Moore

Feature | 06/20/2018

Melissa Moore Elected VP of Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Council

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Council (GSASC) represents the interests of graduate students at University of Virginia. As GSASC’s Vice President of Administration, 4th year Economics PhD student Melissa Moore helps run the council and organize events for GSASC. Melissa was elected to the Vice President position this May, after serving for a year as the Initiatives Committee Co-Chair. In that position, Melissa led a review of funding issues affecting graduate students at UVA and helped kick-start a GSASC Research Grant program. In Spring 2018, the GSASC Research Grant provided grants of up to $1,000 for ten students in the graduate school, including Economics student Emily Cook. Graduate students will continue to have the opportunity to apply for the grants every semester.  When asked why she, as a busy graduate student, would seek out this additional responsibility, Melissa explains that “serving on GSASC has helped me become connected to the university community. I’ve been able to meet graduate students from other departments and learn more about the administration of a research institution. I think it’s important for graduate students to have a voice at the university and I’m happy to contribute my time towards furthering that goal.”

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/08/2018

Does Your Resume Have a Perfect Sales Pitch?

Does Your Resume Have a Perfect Sales Pitch?

No matter your field, there's plenty of selling in the job search, with prospective employers as buyers for the products, which are the applicants themselves. As a result, sales skills matter, and they get a lot of attention. But they're mostly thought of as the skills you need to bring to the interview, a place where your performance is akin to a sales pitch. That perspective is far too limited, however, because knowing how to sell is critical to many other parts of the search. Nowhere is that more true than in the way you handle your resume.

That seemingly cut-and-dried piece of paper can actually be a powerful sales tool if you give it half a chance. To do that, though, you have to understand something that the best salespeople, the true pros, know, and you have to be willing to apply that knowledge to your resume. With that, your resume can really do its job. In Martin Scorsese's 2013 film "The Wolf of Wall Street," Leonardo DiCaprio, as stock-promoter Jordan Belfort, issues a similar challenge to his would-be associates in boiler-room shenanigans: "Sell me this pen!"

Editor's note: You can find the clip here. We'd embed it, but it, like much of the rest of the movie, is NSFW. 

The point of the exercise is to show them, despite the high opinions they hold of their own sales skills, that they don't really know how to sell. They make all the rookie mistakes. They talk about how wonderful the pen is. They extol its beauty. They focus on its features. 

We don't need to detail all the ways they get it wrong. We don't even need to elaborate on what it means to get it right, because getting it right comes down to one very simple principle: Start with the customer, not the pen. 

In other words, a good salesman needs to know who's buying what he wants to sell. Features are nice, but they may be completely irrelevant to a given customer. Benefits, as the word itself suggests, are things worth getting, but we don't all seek the same benefits. Before selling benefits, you need to know your prospect and the benefits that actually matter. 

That's the method – call it the "buyer-first approach" – and it's often pressed into service as a good way to manage the job interview for sales and non-sales jobs alike. In that context, it works, and it does so because it's invariably helpful to know your interviewer. 

Without that knowledge, you're liable to rattle off accomplishments and experiences that don't really matter. With it, you can target the things that do, the ones the interviewer sees as important. What is she looking for from an applicant? What is this job about? What qualities suit that job, and, it follows, what qualities should you emphasize? Which of your accomplishments translate well to this new position? Which won't matter at all? What does she want to see, and how can you make her see it in you? 

The buyer-first approach is really just a matter of learning to see things through the other party's eyes, and the interview is the most obvious use case for its implementation. After all, it's the one place you might be called on to sell an actual pen to that actual person on the other side of the desk. It happens in real life, not just in the movies. 

However, if the interview is the obvious place for the buyer-first approach, it's not the only place. In fact, the approach can be profitably applied throughout the job search. 

Take resumes, for example. You may have put a lot of effort into crafting a resume that looks great. It conveys loads of positive information in a beautifully organized and highly readable form, and that's quite an accomplishment. It's as close to perfect as can be, and it should make a wonderful impression on anyone who receives it. The world trembles in anticipation. 

Before you unleash this creature on that trembling world, take a step back. There's every chance that the document you've created, beautiful though it may be, is a document that, first and foremost, looks good to you. That's to be expected, but now it's time to apply the buyer-first approach. It's time to look at it through the eyes of the people who'll be on the receiving end.

First of all, those people are not all the same. Even in the same industry, or in the same field within that industry, different companies and different jobs call for different qualities. Sometimes, those qualities are spelled out in a job posting, and the applicant needs to simply hit the marks explicitly laid out. At other times, you have to dig deeper to find what's on a hiring manager's mind. You have to interpret what the "buyer" wants, using any clues you can find. Again, you need to see things through his eyes.

To complicate matters, it may be that no human eyes are involved at all. Then, it's not a hiring manager you need to impress. Instead, it's an algorithm, an automated system that scans your resume for the right keywords. Without those keywords, no hiring manager will ever know how good you could have been. You can still use the buyer-first approach here by looking through the system's eyes and giving it the keywords it wants to find. 

There's a catch, of course, to adopting the buyer-first approach, but it's a catch worth tolerating if you want your resume to have maximum impact. 

Simply put, the catch is that there's more work to do. You have to tailor your resume to the needs of a particular employer. You have to highlight the achievements that really seem to matter to this company. You have to spell out the skills that matter in this specific job. You may have to emphasize experience or education in slightly different ways. In essence, you sell the pen differently to different buyers, and that means revising the resume you worked so hard to perfect. 

In the end, though, it's worth it. When you're in the job market, you're the pen, and putting extra effort into your sales pitch will seem like a small price to have paid if it helped you make this one very big sale.

Paul Freiberger is President of Shimmering Resumes and author of When Can You Start? Ace the Job Interview and Get Hired. For career help and resume writing and LinkedIn profiles, contact him at

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 06/07/2018

How to Answer "The Difficult Team Member" Question

One of the more common behavioral interview questions is “Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a coworker and how you dealt with it.” A similar question is “Tell me about a time you were on a team and team member wasn’t pulling his or her weight and how you addressed the situation.” While these questions are slightly different, they’re both looking for the same thing: how you work in teams and how you deal with conflict. 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/01/2021

Article: Top Private Equity Firms Hiring College Grads!

A KKR talent exec says the private-equity firm’s college recruiting is expanding beyond core target schools

After years of relying on lateral hiring, private-equity firms are now battling with investment banks to recruit talent directly from college campuses to fill entry-level, often six-figure roles. 

But thanks to virtual recruitment, the group of schools that the private-equity giant KKR targets for entry-level talent has broadened. 

KKR launched its first formal analyst program in 2020, which it filled with college graduates, many of whom had interned at the firm. It hired 12 full-time analysts this way out of 762 collegiate applicants in 2020, and in 2021 it hired 19 out of 1,678, amounting to an acceptance rate of less than 2% in both years, Grace Koo, KKR’s head of talent acquisition, told Insider.

Before, the firm had hired junior investment professionals only after they landed jobs at other financial institutions, most often investment banks. While a majority of KKR’s junior hires still come to the firm laterally, Koo said campuses are now becoming an equally important pipeline.

The pandemic and switch to remote work helped KKR rethink how it approached on-campus recruiting, Koo said. 

KKR has been able to access more students through webinars and virtual tools this year. Koo said that the age-old practice of recruiting within a group of core "target" schools is now "almost an obsolete concept," as the firm no longer feels it must be physically present on a campus in order to connect with prospective hires.

"It’s no longer: Here are my four schools or here are the 12 schools I care about. Technology has completely leveled the playing field," Koo said. 

KKR received applications from students from close to 150 schools this year.

"There’s no way we ever would have been able to physically appear at these campuses," she said. "But with virtual tools, I think we can tell our story to so many more students and reach that diverse and rich pool of talent."

A spokesperson for KKR said they were unable to provide specific data on the diversity of the company’s candidate pool this year.

Before 2020, first-year investment-banking analysts would apply to KKR for "on-cycle" private-equity associate positions, committing two years in advance to starting those jobs. On-cycle recruiting for the class of 2020 associates was delayed throughout the industry as firms including KKR sought to give these investment-banking analysts more time to gain work experience before interviewing.

Koo said that firms expect to start recruiting on-cycle associates again this fall. She said KKR sees the late start to recruiting as a positive for first-year investment-banking analysts, who will have the chance to gain hands-on experience before making an informed choice about their post-banking career path.

Anita Ramaswamy July 17, 2021 at 05:45PM

View this article on the original webpage here.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/31/2022

ECO Article: The Ten Best Jobs for Introverts

Below the ECO is sharing the 10 Best Jobs for Introverts as written by The Muse. Our majors may be particularly interested in numbers 1, 5, 9, and 10. But they are all worth a glance!


Not every job is the right fit for every person—so it makes sense that you’d be looking to find a job and career path that feels well-suited to your personality.

While some folks might thrive in a role where they’re interacting with people all day, for others—particularly introverts—that might be completely draining.

So if you’re an introvert, you might wonder how to find a job that plays to your strengths, feels true to who you are, and leaves you feeling energized and excited at the end of the day. Rest assured, there are plenty of options.


What, Exactly, Is an Introvert?

Before we jump into the perfect jobs for introverts, let’s take a minute to define what an introvert actually is.

An introvert “gets their energy from solitude,” says Stephanie Thoma, leadership coach and author of Confident Introvert, a professional networking book for introverts. So while an introverted person can definitely hold their own in social situations, the experience can feel exhausting—and after extended periods of social interaction, they typically need alone time to rest and recharge.

One major misconception about introverts is that they’re shy. But that’s not necessarily true. While introverts can be shy (just like anyone can be shy!), introversion is not the same thing as shyness. “Deriving your energy from solitude doesn’t exclude you from feeling confident and comfortable in the presence of others,” Thoma says. “It just means you may need to take more care to preserve and conserve your energy when socializing.”

What Makes Certain Jobs Better for Introverts—and What Should Introverts Look for in a Role?

Because introverts get their energy from solitude, jobs that allow for independent working time are typically a better fit for introverts.

For example, “An introvert may thrive as a CPA, crunching numbers with precision and in-flow, formulaic repetition; a market research analyst who gets to pore over detailed qualitative or quantitative data; or a professor who has gotten to create materials about a specific subject matter to then share with purpose and passion with pupils,” Thoma says. The best jobs for introverts, she says, “have structure and clear expectations with an opportunity for creativity, and allow for focus.”

So introverts should look for jobs where some amount of solo work is built in—allowing them regular opportunities to focus on their own work—rather than roles that require constant engagement with coworkers, clients, or customers.

But pretty much every job requires at least some level of interaction, collaboration, and socializing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, even if you consider yourself a more introverted person. Again, introverts can still enjoy working with other people and be successful doing it. It does mean, though, that you should also look for a company that prioritizes work-life balance and self-care—and allows you the opportunity to recharge when you need it.

“Self-care is an emerging priority for many companies who know that when employees are able to take walking breaks or lunch away from their computers,” Thoma says, or take care of themselves however they see fit, they “are more likely to thrive—and provide quality work to match. Since introverts may need more downtime outside of meeting rooms, this is an important consideration.”

Are you a proud introvert—and ready to find a job that plays to your strengths? Here are 10 roles to consider, plus salary information from the compensation resource PayScale (just keep in mind that PayScale’s database is updated nightly; the figures below reflect the latest information as of March 2021):


Software Engineer

Average salary: $86,803

Software engineers are responsible for engineering or developing different types of software (which is why they’re also called software developers). They are problem solvers at heart; they need to identify what problem the user is having—and then design, test, and develop software that solves that problem.

A career as a software engineer could be a great fit for an introvert because a large chunk of the job is writing code, testing, and fixing bugs—all of which involve independent work—though they should also be prepared to collaborate with their teams.

While some companies require a specific degree, many rely on technical interviews to assess candidate coding skills—so if you’ve got the coding chops, you can get your foot in the door as a software engineer.

Find software engineer and software developer jobs on The Muse


Content Marketing Manager

Average salary: $68,395

Content marketing managers are responsible for the development and execution of a marketing team’s content strategies. Depending on the company, a content marketing manager may oversee one or multiple content verticals, including print, digital, video, social media, and audio.

Content marketing managers may work with a variety of other people, including content strategists, writers, and creators; marketing colleagues; and folks on sales and other teams. Ultimately, their goal is to understand their target audience and drive awareness and engagement with their brands, products, and services. Depending on the size of the company, content marketing managers may also manage other people. But this role could still be a great fit for an introvert because it’s usually pretty evenly split between independent and collaborative work—giving introverts plenty of time to recharge.

While some companies require their content marketing managers to have a degree, many are more interested in candidates with a background in content development and promotion—so if you’re well-versed in all things content, you should be able to get your foot in the door.

Find content marketing manager and other content marketing jobs on The Muse



Average salary: $53,313

Editors are responsible for taking a piece of writing from the “just an idea” phase to the “working draft” phase to the “ready for publication” phase. This includes making suggestions to writers on ways the writing could be improved (for example, pointing out sections that are unclear or helping the writer define their voice and tone) as well as correcting any spelling or grammatical errors. While editors may work for newspapers, magazines, digital media companies, or book publishers, they may also be employed by businesses to support their content efforts—editing blog posts, ebooks, website copy, and more.

Editors do partner with writers (and often have to walk them through their edits) and other content or editorial team members to brainstorm and strategize—but the bulk of the actual editing process is a solitary activity, making it an ideal fit for introverts.

In order to succeed as an editor, you need to know the ins and outs of writing, including grammar, structure, style, and narrative. As such, many editors are writers themselves—and most have a degree in journalism, English, communications, or a related field. Editors who work for newspapers, magazines, and digital publications also need a solid grasp of reporting and fact-checking.

Find editor jobs on The Muse


Graphic Designer

Average salary: $46,010

Graphic designers are responsible for developing visual assets for a company. Depending on the company’s needs, this may include branding assets (like logos), marketing materials, product packaging, and digital assets. Many graphic designers are well-versed in a variety of design styles and techniques, though some specialize in certain areas (like logo design, packaging design, or infographic design). Graphic designers may work directly for a company, for an agency or design studio that works with clients to deliver on any design needs, or as freelancers or independent contractors.

While graphic designers will need to collaborate with supervisors, clients, or other stakeholders to get clear direction and feedback on their design assignments, during the designing phase, they’re free to work on their own—making this a great role for introverts.

In order to succeed as a graphic designer, you’ll need creativity and working knowledge of a variety of design programs—which many get through degree programs (though there are plenty of online learning platforms that can help you get up to speed if pursuing a degree isn’t the right fit).

Find graphic designer jobs on The Muse



Average salary: $51,639

Accountants handle financial tasks, which can include budgets, forecasts, financial reports, payroll, taxes, and audits. They may work for a company in house or for an accounting firm that provides accounting services to external clients.

A huge part of accounting is crunching numbers—a task that’s mostly done solo—making accounting a great field for introverts.

In order to land an accounting role, candidates will need to have a degree in accounting or a related field—and public accounting firms will typically only hire Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) or recent accounting graduates with plans to take their CPA exam.

Find accountant jobs on The Muse


Mechanical Engineer

Average salary: $71,538

Mechanical engineers are responsible for designing (or engineering), developing, building, and testing machines and other products. Mechanical engineering is, at the core, a problem-solving role; mechanical engineers need to not only be able to identify problems and build solutions, but also identify and solve mechanical issues as they build and iterate.

Mechanical engineers are highly technical critical thinkers and although they typically work in teams and need to be comfortable collaborating and managing projects, they also spend a lot of their time working independently—a great setup for an introvert.

To get hired as a mechanical engineer, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering—although many companies want their mechanical engineers to pursue advanced degrees.

Find mechanical engineer jobs on The Muse


IT Specialist

Average salary: $57,872

Information technology specialists (a.k.a., IT Specialists) are responsible for maintaining and managing a company’s internal IT processes and products. This can include managing IT requests, troubleshooting IT issues, installing and upgrading company hardware and software, and ensuring that all IT operations are running smoothly.

As an IT specialist, you’ll have to work with leadership and employees to field requests, identify IT issues, and answer IT-related questions—but the job also requires plenty of independent work time to manage IT systems and fix problems, so introverts will get the time they need to recharge.

While some companies require their IT specialists to have a degree in information technology or a related field, many will hire based on skill alone—so if you have an in-depth knowledge of IT systems, you should be able to get your foot in the door without a degree.

Find IT specialist and other information technology jobs on The Muse


Data Scientist

Average salary: $96,420

Data scientists are responsible for creating the frameworks that help their companies leverage data to make better business decisions. This can include everything from running data tests and experiments, implementing statistical models and algorithms, developing data products, and continually tweaking and optimizing their frameworks for more effective data analysis (and better business outcomes as a result).

While there is a certain level of collaboration necessary to succeed as a data scientist (for example, with data analysts or key business stakeholders as well as other data scientists or machine learning engineers), a good portion of a data scientist’s work is in framework development—a solo job great for an introvert.

A bachelor’s degree in computer science, math, statistics, engineering, or a related field is generally a must to pursue a career in data science—and some companies want their data scientists to hold advanced degrees.

Find data scientist and other data science jobs on The Muse


SEO Manager

Average salary: $70,244

SEO (which stands for search engine optimization) managers are responsible for making sure that when someone searches a relevant term, their company ranks at the top (or as close to the top as possible) of the results pages. The goal is to help increase the company’s visibility and drive new users or customers to their website. SEO managers develop and implement the SEO strategy, determining which technical and content-based search engine optimization strategies are going to drive the best results—and then continually adjust that strategy to improve their rankings.

SEO managers do collaborate with colleagues on other teams—including content and engineering. But they also spend a good deal of their time analyzing data, developing suggestions, and implementing optimizations—making this an ideal role for an introvert.

There’s no specific degree required to get into SEO, but in order to land an SEO manager position, you need to know the ins and outs of search engine optimization—and be able to stay on top of SEO practices, which are always changing and evolving.

Find SEO manager and other SEO jobs on The Muse



Average salary: $96,032

Actuaries typically work in the insurance industry and are responsible for evaluating risk factors and determining whether the insurance company should issue a policy to a specific person or business and, if so, what the premium for that policy should be.

This role is almost entirely focused on digging deep into math, data, and statistics, which is an inherently independent task—and a great fit for introverts (at least, for introverts who geek out on all things numbers).

Actuaries need to have a deep working knowledge of data and statistics—and a degree in actuarial science or a related field (like statistics or math) is often a requirement to get your foot in the door. You’ll also need to complete a series of exams given by the Society of Actuaries or Casualty Actuarial Society to earn your certification.

Find actuary jobs on The Muse

Deanna deBara

Deanna deBara is a freelance writer living in Portland, OR. When she's not busy building her business or typing away at her keyboard, she enjoys spending time hiking in the Pacific Northwest, traveling with her soon-to-be husband, or doting on her dog, Bennett. You can follow her on Twitter (she's a newbie!) at @Deanna_deBara.


Feature | 01/15/2021

Brett Fischer presents at NTA Annual Conference

PhD candidate Brett Fischer presented his paper, "No Spending without Representation: School Boards and the Racial Gap in Education Finance," at the National Tax Association's 2020 Annual Conference, as part of a panel on education finance.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 05/09/2023

Still Seeking a Summer Internship? Here Are Some Ideas
From the Muse: 


Find Part-Time, Full-Time, or Freelance Work at a Company

There are plenty of organizations that don’t have official internship programs but likely could use some extra assistance. Focus first on these questions: What’s your desired industry? What role do you hope to get? If you don’t know exactly, what position would you like to try, even just to determine whether it’s a good fit? If you like coding and think you might like working for a small tech startup, for example, isolate companies that fit that description and see whether they work with freelancers, temps, and/or part-time employees—if so, they might be interested in working with you, too.

Once you’ve narrowed your interests and done some research, make a list of companies you’re reaching out to, and start connecting directly. Sometimes there’s an HR contact on the website or you might find someone who’s in a managerial role on LinkedIn. Try to find a specific person’s email, and politely reach out.

Tim Birmingham, a career coach for both private clients and students at St. Michael’s College, lays out a basic email structure:

  • Write a brief introduction and reason for interest in the company. This should be specific and target each company.
  • Highlight relevant experience, skills, education, and qualifications for what you think they might need. This doesn’t need to be a complete summary; keep it short and strategic.
  • End with a good call to action, including availability to talk by phone and contact information. For example, you might write: “I’d like to explore the value I could offer XYZ this summer and am available to talk by phone this week at your convenience.”

This format can work any time you want to reach out for a potential opportunity, so long as you tailor it to the person and context.


Complete a Microinternship (or Several!)

As remote work and gig work have increased in the workforce, microinternships have increased in popularity. Microinternships are small, project-based internships that encompass about five to 40 hours of work but can often offer payment. “This gives students something project-based to get actual experience, develop skills, and have something to show for it at the end,” Slusher says. In practice, you might be writing a 1,200-1,400 word article for a company’s marketing blog, identifying 25 qualified candidates for a role a company’s hoping to fill, or studying competitors’ social media accounts and writing reports identifying what they’re doing successfully.

These microinternships can usually be done remotely and if you don’t like the work, it doesn’t usually last long. You can do several of them over the summer—which can help you explore roles, companies, and industries you’re considering—and it’s great for building your professional network with hiring managers. 

You can find microinternship opportunities on sites including Parker Dewey and MindSumo.


Get a Local Summer Job

Seasonal industries and other local businesses might need short-term workers. Never underestimate the value of working at an ice cream shop, a nearby museum that draws tourists, a venue that needs caterers for events, a local clothing shop looking for retail associates, or even a babysitting gig for a neighbor’s kids.

This might not sound as exciting as a prestigious internship but it will add to your skill set and show that you’ve developed a work ethic. In case you’re skeptical that this kind of summer job will be resume-worthy even if it’s not connected to your major, Baska emphasizes that the key is to bring the right attitude to the work, and that “skills from those sorts of experiences can be translated to a future internship or full-time job (think communication, teamwork, professionalism, etc.).” Slusher says he works with students who have this type of experience all the time: “It’s all about thinking about the skills you’ve used there. Let’s communicate that in a way employers will value.”

To land a local job, you can either try to find a contact form if there’s a website, walk in with a resume, or call the person who would hire you if you’re able to find their phone number. And once you’re in the door, you could potentially ask to do something more specific to what you’d actually like to learn, from updating a website to developing a sales plan.


Assist a Researcher or Another Professional

You could help a professor or researcher at your school (perhaps you like their work or have taken one of their classes) or assist a professional outside your institution whose work you admire. If that individual writes papers and books, for example, you could ask if they need help with background research, proofreading, fact-checking, transcribing, or completing other tasks for their latest project. Or if they’re a web developer with their own freelance or consulting business, perhaps you could help route client inquiries, do some coding or other site setup tasks, conduct research, or write up a few case studies or testimonials to feature on their site.

You’ll need to do some proactive outreach. Use a modified version of the template Birmingham lays out above, demonstrating interest and expertise in the specific subject matter and your ability and willingness to help. See if you can figure out where their need is greatest and try to fill in the blanks—help them see the value you can provide, and make it easy for them to have you jump right in.

You may have to reach out to more than one prospect here, since some academics and other professionals may receive multiple requests like these, some may be too overwhelmed to respond, and some may just not see how to direct you appropriately.


Work on an Independent Project

This requires perhaps the most work on your part but could also be highly fulfilling. Think of this as akin to a senior year thesis or independent study. Could you develop an idea in an area you find fascinating? Or can you build on a topic you’ve touched upon in class but haven’t been able to pursue in depth? If you took a course on digital privacy and are eager to learn more, for example, a summer project might delve into the long-term impacts of recent data breaches based on available news sources. Your goal could be writing a paper, putting together a presentation, building a diagram, or testing a hypothesis and recording the results. 

It might be helpful to consult with a faculty member to make sure your time isn’t wasted and determine what your research question should be—and you can even ask if they’ll advise you throughout the process—but it will be entirely on you to see the project through.

The key here is to set up a schedule and stick to it even if the hours need to change over time. “[Students should] pretend like they’re going to work every day. [They should] have set start/end times and have a quiet space where they can get work done,” Baska says. “They can talk with a friend or family member about goals they hope to achieve and give them updates—that will help them stay accountable.”


Do Online Coursework

It may be too late to sign up for a summer course at your college or university, but you can always turn to massive open online classes (MOOCs), some of which can be taken anytime or have open enrollment. “Many likely require a subscription, but students should check with their institution because it’s possible the school has a subscription so that students can access these classes for free or at a reduced cost,” Baska says. (EdX is one such platform that provides memberships for participating universities.)

There are also platforms where students can learn all sorts of specific skills: programming languages, web design, social media, and even drawing and painting. Employers love to see skill development. “The vast majority of employers hiring for the vast majority of entry-level positions are looking more at the skills you have than they are at your major or even GPA,” Slusher says. “It’s all about skill development and how you articulate the skills that you have and how you’ve used them.”

Read More: 14 Best Sites for Taking Online Classes That’ll Boost Your Skills and Get You Ahead



Nonprofits don’t necessarily have the funds to pay an entry-level worker or summer intern, but they often need volunteers. You could work for organizations such as your local pet shelter, a food bank, a tutoring service for kids who need it, an organization that supports civics in the classroom, or a group that dresses women who need business-appropriate clothing. The work itself can range from talking to potential donors and encouraging them to give money to working on marketing campaigns to spreading awareness about a particular initiative. You could work directly with the animals or people who need your help or volunteer virtually to help an organization outside of your immediate area. When there’s a cause you care about, this can be quite fulfilling work.

If you have a nearby nonprofit in mind, check their website, give them a call, or stop by to inquire about volunteer opportunities. Your university’s community service office can also help since, much like your career center, it may be open during the summer and willing to talk to you about available opportunities. 

Read More: This Is Exactly How to List Volunteer Work on Your Resume


Conduct Informational Interviews

This is an even lower level of commitment than asking someone for a job or microinternship: Simply reach out to someone who’s doing work you want to do and ask for 30 minutes or an hour of their time to tell you about what they do every day and what advice they’d share with someone who wants to follow a similar path. You might be surprised how happy people are to share, especially if they like their work.

“Tapping into a school’s alumni network is an excellent way to start with this,” Baska says. Plus, you can turn to connections you might have through friends and family members (friends of your parents, parents of your friends, etc.), supervisors and colleagues you met at previous internships, and even people you don’t know at all but whose work intrigues you. You may need to reach out to a few people before you land on someone who has the time and bandwidth to chat. You can also do multiple informational interviews over the course of a summer to gather in-depth insight into your chosen career or to explore a multitude of potential career paths.

Even though this might not sound as impactful as summer work, you’re still showing a commitment to learn from others, ruling out jobs you don’t like, and honing your focus. You can also set up informational interviews in conjunction with a summer job, independent project, or other options on this list. 

Read More: 3 Steps to a Perfect Informational Interview


Job Shadow

Interested in a certain kind of job theoretically but unclear what it would actually mean to do it in practice? You might benefit from seeing for yourself. “Some schools do formal job shadowing days, or you could explore doing it on an informal basis,” Slusher says. For example, if you really hit it off with someone at an informational interview—and it’s safe to do so—ask if you can join them in their workplace for the day. 

This isn’t just about seeing what a job is like day-to-day: You’re also building your professional network. You can count anyone you’ve shadowed as a connection, so make sure you ask to shadow politely, be gracious if they say no, and thank them effusively if they do give you the opportunity.

“Most jobs are not found through job boards—we need to leverage the people in our networks as part of our search,” Slusher says. “[The summer] is a great time to be building connections in a professional capacity. You don’t need an immediate return—plant the seed, then when you’re ready to job search those job connections could be critical.”


Pursue Personal Creative Work

If you’ve been eager to explore your creative side and haven’t had the chance to do it during the semester—or if you’re in a creative field and you’d like to have a portfolio of work to show potential employers—there are a ton of ways to scratch that itch. You could start a blog or a vlog, create a podcast either alone or with a friend, do some creative writing for yourself or to submit to a writing competition, make a series of paintings or multimedia collages on a theme, or do some other form of creative work. The sky’s the limit, but treat it in the same way you would an independent project: Set up a specific goal, give yourself time limits, hold yourself accountable, and aim to have an end product.

Know that by taking on a creative project, you’re also working on your grit and resilience—especially if it turns out to be tougher than you expected. “Through the process you can develop a mindset of: I’m learning from this process, here’s why I’m doing it, here’s where my inspiration comes from, here’s what happens when I hit a wall,” Slusher says. “Even the end it’s not what you thought it would be, what did you learn?”


A Few More Tips To Make the Most of Your Time

So you’ve settled on one or a few internship alternatives and you have the beginnings of a plan. What now? The experts we spoke to had a few more tips to balance productivity and self-care.

  • Develop and refine your LinkedIn profile. Take the time to ask yourself questions like: What really interests me? What skills are really motivating to me when I get to use them? What roles, companies, and industries do I think I might want to target next time I’m searching for an internship or job? This is the perfect time to build or update your LinkedIn profile with the answers to those questions in mind and add all the connections you’re meeting this summer. (Not sure where to start? Check out our best LinkedIn tips!)
  • Start small and build on your work. It could look and sound like this: “If I spend one hour a day working on my resume, then LinkedIn, by the end of two weeks I should see some serious progress,” Slusher says. “We really underestimate breaking things down into much smaller, manageable steps. And summer provides the opportunity to build in some fun reward systems.” Do you want to have a game night with your friends? Take a day trip to the beach? Set up clear and concrete “prizes” for when you’ve completed your work.
  • Get help from your school’s career center. Most university career centers are still open during the summer, and Baska says they’re always invested in helping students. This could involve mock interviews, a resume review, a skills analysis, or help crafting a future job search strategy. They can even help students find “people at organizations and/or alumni who may be able to help them as they are exploring projects” or while they’re working on them.
  • Practice self-care. Build rest into your process and be gracious with yourself as you work, Slusher says. No matter what you end up doing, it’s normal for you to not meet your goals sometimes. Treat yourself as a friend: How would you love and support someone if they fell short? Learn from the failure and take important lessons from it.
  • Stay positive. “It’s competitive out there,” Birmingham says. “Be proactive and look forward. Didn’t land an internship this summer? Start focusing on finding one this fall.”

Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine J. Igoe is a full-time Boston-based freelance writer and part-time contributing editor at Marie Claire. Previous to freelancing, she worked in education and higher ed, and loves helping students make important academic decisions. Igoe: “I go to the store,” not “Her huge ego.” You can follow her, ask questions, and suggest story ideas on Instagram or Twitter.


Feature | 04/15/2021


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Feature | 12/01/2021

Organizing Your Internship, Job, or Graduate School Search

Hello Econ Majors,

With finals just ahead of us, I'm sure you're focused on preparing for your exams and papers. 

Wishing you great success in the next few weeks.

When you return to your internship, job, or graduate school search, consider using the tools below to help keep you organized, which will surely reduce stress! 

This article recommends numerous electronic resources as basic as an MSExcel spreadsheet or MSWord table to track your applications, to websites and apps like JibberJobber that will keep your job search materials in order. Of course, the ECO recommends Handshake, but that is just one tool in your job search toolkit!

While the article offers resources to help build your resume and cover letters, UVA has its very own AI tools for you! Check out VMock in Handshake. The three modules we license are:

  1. Resume Review Tool (Scores your resume based on industry/job function and offers suggestions for improvement)
  2. LinkedIn Review Tool (Aspire) (Connects with your LInkedIn profile to score and recommend improvements)
  3. Elevator Pitch Tool (Records your pitch for scoring and recommends improvements)

All three have built-in algorithms to review your materials and help you prepare for conversations with alumni and employers. Please do not use the resume builder tool in VMock because its template is not flexible enough to customize your resume once it is built.

Again, best wishes during this finals period. I look forward to seeing you in the new year!

Jennifer Jones, Economics Career Office


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Feature | 01/09/2017

US News: Ways to Improve Your Rhetoric for Interviews

Tips on how to more persuasively communicate your skills and accomplishments to impress interviewers:

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Feature | 06/28/2023

New Grads Have No Idea How to Behave in the Office - Help is on the Way!

From The Wall Street Journal, 6/16/23

Recent graduates might be great at accounting or coding, but they need a little help when it comes to dinner parties and dress codes. 

Many members of the class of 2023 were freshmen in college in the spring of 2020, when campuses shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They spent the rest of their college years partially in virtual mode with hybrid internships and virtual classes. Students didn’t learn some of the so-called soft skills they might have in the past by osmosis on the job, from mentors and by practicing on campus. 

To address deficiencies in everything from elevator chitchat to presentation skills, companies, universities and recruiters are coming up with ways to train new hires and give them clear advice. They are eating it up.

Recent graduate Joslynn Odom had her first hybrid internship after her junior year and found working in person to be draining thanks to wearing professional attire and staying energetic consistently. It made her realize that she needed to sharpen her communication and networking skills. 

Programming arranged by her college, Miami University in Ohio, has since helped. Just before graduation she attended an etiquette dinner where she learned to follow the lead of more senior leaders over dinner: Eat at their pace, discuss neutral topics and avoid personal questions. When buttering bread, it is best to put a slab on one’s own bread plate before applying it to a roll, and when cutting food, holding the fork hump-side up is best, she said. 

“Knowing that, I feel more confident,” she said.

William Lopez-Gudiel, 23 years old, interned last year for Warner Bros. Discovery and found a presentation on office dynamics especially helpful. It covered dress codes, navigating interpersonal relationships and what working in person is like, he said.

The company said it has offered similar guidance in the past. Some of it felt like common sense to Lopez-Gudiel, who graduated in December from George Mason University and is a self-described extrovert. 

But Lopez-Gudiel ultimately appreciated the information, realizing that the pandemic may have limited what soft skills he might have learned at past work experiences. He will be working at the company full time as a software developer.

Many soon-to-be graduates are itching to get rid of Zoom and work face-to-face with co-workers where their interpersonal skills will be quickly tested. In an April survey of about 700 Class of 2023 graduates from the virtual student-health company TimelyCare, 53% said they wanted a fully in-person work environment, while 21% said they wanted to be fully remote. 

New KPMG hires at the company’s training facility in Orlando, Fla., where KPMG teaches presentation skills, the art of talking in person and how to resolve conflict in teams. PHOTO: KPMG

Graduates’ disrupted college experience might mean they struggle with the basics reading colleagues’ cues or navigating a meeting, said Heidi Brooks, a senior lecturer in organizational behavior at Yale University’s School of Management. In class, when students didn’t have cameras on, that was harder to determine.

New hires will need to learn “those nuances of, how do you actually create enough connection, visibility, ability to maneuver,” she said. 

The missing piece for young professionals who have graduated since 2020, in fact, has been no real proximity to mentorship and leadership, recruiters say. 

“This is so much more important today,” said Sandy Torchia, vice chair of talent and culture at KPMG, whose full-time hires this summer and fall will go to the firm’s training facility in Florida where they’ll get new presentation training. 

They’ll practice scenarios involving conflict within teams, plus the basics of talking in person—as simple as how to introduce yourself to a client or colleague. Key tips include maintaining eye contact, taking pauses and avoiding jargon. It is also best to listen carefully to others, and to adjust your introduction to highlight pieces of your background that will be most interesting to them. 

The company has found that some young professionals are stiff, talk too fast, or rely too much on filler words like “um,” as they presented. Some of the employees said they wanted to feel more comfortable, too. 

Allan Rubio, 21 years old was a freshman at Dartmouth College in the spring of 2020. Online classes continued all through his sophomore year, which Rubio completed from his family’s home in Bangkok. Course sessions stretched to 11 p.m. or sometimes 2 a.m. local time, he said. 

Professors were far more flexible on deadlines during the pandemic, amenable to extensions if students asked, he said. When Rubio had an in-person internship last summer, he realized his manager, team or client depended on him meeting deadlines. 


KPMG trainings with early-career workers at the firm’s training facility in Orlando, Fla. PHOTO: KPMG

Presentation skills are also something Rubio needs to learn better, he said. He had presented virtually in academic classes, and often kept a few thoughts and scripted language in a Notes file on screen—or on a separate device nearby. Once on a video call, he said, he blamed an internet delay while he stopped talking midsentence and collected his thoughts. 

None of those aids could help him through presenting in-person on stage at a hackathon on campus. It was more difficult than he expected, he said. 

Since then Rubio, who graduated this month, has rehearsed extensively before live presentations. He lays out key points and slims a longer script into bullet points before memorizing key areas. 

Though new hires are digital natives, today’s graduates’ professional email skills need improvement, said Jialan Wang, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Many won’t acknowledge important messages but will expect a response from professors immediately, even over holidays, she said.

Michigan State University’s business-school career center has urged companies to be explicit about what students should expect at work, to over-communicate details about how a first day will play out, what to wear and what people typically do for lunch.

Marla McGraw is the director of career management at Michigan State University’s business school, which requires students to take classes on soft skills.  

The school last year began requiring many business students to take classes on soft skills in the workplace, after observing that students are more awkward and unsure when they network than they used to be, said Marla McGraw, director of career management.

The program goes step by step through an in-person networking conversation. In one handout, the center instructs students to introduce themselves by their first and last name. “STOP! Let them tell you their name,” it reads. 

Later it urges the students to share that they are interested in hearing about opportunities at the company and share that they follow the company closely, are familiar with its products or services or know someone who interned there, among other options. 

“STOP! Pause for only a few seconds to see if they offer any questions or input on your above comments. They may ask you for your resume.”  

Students should keep an eye out for signs that a person is trying to end a conversation, McGraw added. Someone might begin to gather their things, or look around the room, signaling they need to talk to another person. Often, one can facilitate a smooth exit by saying, “Well, thanks so much. It’s been a pleasure.” 

Scott Redfearn, executive vice president of global human resources at Protiviti, urges new graduates to introduce themselves around the office, stick out their hands and smile. PHOTO: PROTIVITI

Professional-services firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and Protiviti have had to tell some young workers what types of clothes are appropriate, including for client-site visits.

Many people are dressing less formally, said Scott Redfearn, Protiviti’s executive vice president of global human resources. 

Now the company defines what it means by business casual—including slacks, tailored denim, sport jackets, dresses, skirts, collared shirts, blouses, sweaters and professional footwear—and explains why it’s important to maintain a serious professional image. The company also relays that when it is appropriate to wear bluejeans, darker hues without rips are best, he said.

The company has tried to be proactive when it shares broad guidance about attire, but when a worker shows up in athleisure or flip-flops, that is best handled with a one-on-one conversation.

“Working hybrid brings a lot more decisions to the individual employee,” Redfearn said. 

During the pandemic, the firm extended its onboarding process to a series of small-group virtual meetings that took place over a full year. One topic includes making conversation as a social skill, he said. It includes an improv-based public-speaking workshop, where in one prompt, participants need to describe themselves in three words quickly, going with their first impulse. The company said the sessions help workers to find their authentic communication styles. 

Protiviti hosts social gatherings around in-person meetings so that workers can practice. 

Redfearn said he gives a pep talk to new graduates, urging them to introduce themselves around the office, stick their hand out and smile. Another tip: Have a prepared question ready to ask if needed. 

Ray A. Smith contributed to this article.

Write to Lindsay Ellis at


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Feature | 11/21/2021

5 Networking Mistakes Even the Smartest Students Make

October 24, 2018

by Raquel Serrano at WayUp

Going to school isn’t just about gaining an education; it’s also about forming professional relationships that’ll help you carve the path to your dream career. From your first year in college to your last, part of your time as a student should revolve around preparing for your career and making sure to use all of the resources at your disposal. Networking is an essential and integral part of your professional development and definitely shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Even the best students make these gaffes, so let’s go ahead, and get your professional network in tip-top shape by discussing the top 5 mistakes students tend to make.

1. Thinking It’s Way Too Early to Start

A common mistake students make is believing that they need to be juniors or seniors before starting to build their professional networks, but like any relationship in life, the more time you invest into it, the stronger it becomes. As early as your freshman year (if not earlier), you should begin forming a career plan and be on the look-out for opportunities to connect with companies and professionals in your industry.

A great way to get started is by joining a professional organization at your school! Industry-minded organizations such as the ACS (American Chemical Society) and the SEA (Student Education Association) have chapters located in colleges all throughout the country. They host networking events of their own all the time, focusing on providing students of all years with valuable knowledge and connections in their fields. Some may require membership dues (as low as $10/year), but the leverage gained really pays for itself.

It is never too early to go out and gain exposure in the professional world. Show up to events, talk to everyone, be honest about where you currently are, express your interest and stay in touch. A conversation you had your freshman year might score you a job upon graduation.

2. Connecting Only With Students in the Same Major

Some of the greatest collaborations and partnerships known throughout the world began between college friends. It’s a commonly overlooked fact, but you might have a potential business partner sitting in your classroom right now. Start talking to some of your peers, and you might find that your career goals align.

Don’t just focus on connecting with students only in your major, though. Strive for compatibilities, not just similarities, so that you create a wider and more diverse network. If you’re a graphic designer with hopes of creating your own magazine and your roommate is an English major and aspiring editor, keep in touch! These are the times to form those relationships that will help carry your career forwards, so hold them close.

3. Speaking to Professors Only About Grades

Your greatest source of support and connections will sometimes come from the very individuals teaching your classes. Your professors are people who have years of experience and are more than willing to share all of that with you (otherwise they wouldn’t be teaching!).

If you have questions or would like recommendations for graduate programs or professional options, send your professors an email or talk to them after class. Set up a time during their office hours to discuss your career path; they can shed a light on any doubts or concerns you might have.

4. Keeping Circles Local

As a student, it may be tempting to keep your contacts within a few miles outside of your own home or college town, but this isn’t a wise move in the professional world. There are plenty of opportunities available to you beyond your town and state, so don’t be shy about branching out. In this age of social media and the internet, it’s easier than ever; companies located miles away are now only an email or tweet away!

Even if you aren’t contemplating relocating after college, keeping your network wide and open will lessen the risk of you missing out on a great opportunity not only within, but also beyond your own backyard.

5. Failing to Stay in Touch

Once you’ve made a connection with someone, it is essential to keep in contact with them over time, or else that connection will fade. Sending people a quick “hello” or tagging them in a relevant article with a note like “This reminds me of your work” keeps the conversation going even years after you’ve last seen each other. You don’t have to maintain in constant communication with them, but do be present and accessible.

Feel free to reach out for advice or an opinion concerning something relevant; just be sure not to ask for too much or make the conversations all about what they can do for you. Don’t worry if they don’t respond right away; recognize that they may be pretty busy, so remember to be patient. If it’s been some time since you’ve met, begin first by reminding them how you know each other, and always be sure to exercise proper social media and email etiquette in order to keep your communication professional.

So, which of these mistakes are you guilty of? The good news is, it’s never too late to fix any of them. Make the most of your life as a student and set yourself up for even greater success with strong connections and contacts. So, be bold and get that network growing!

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Feature | 09/16/2021

ECO Article: Career Advice for College Students: 5 Tips to Build a Strong Foundation

by Lucy Manole | September 08, 2021 from Vault

College years are all about that hustle and bustle. From attending classes and parties to tackling exams and social life, there’s little spare time on your hands.

Even so, college years are crucial for career building. It’s the right time to not just think about your career aspirations but also to take action. In this post, we share some actionable advice and experience-backed tips to build a solid base for your career. Let’s dive in.

Find your true passion.

What you’re studying in college may interest you, but is it your true passion? Say, you’re majoring in computer science—do you see yourself building a lifelong career in that field?

Don’t disregard the cliché quote, “If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life” just because you’re tired of hearing it. Picking a career path is a long-term decision, and college years are the perfect time to ponder what profession floats your boat. Whatever you pick as your career, aim to be better than the best in your field. And that’s only possible if you’re truly passionate about what you do, as doing what you love means you’re motivated to give your best each day.

So, strive to find your true passion. Think about the subjects you love in your major and excel at. Think about luminaries you admire. Many college graduates ultimately end up doing something completely different from what they studied, and that’s okay. It’s all about finding and doing what you love, and the money will eventually follow.

Proactively seek opportunities.

College is a time for fun, but also a time to gain some valuable, hands-on experience in your field. One of the most important and effective ways to do that is by getting internships.

Internships allow you to try out different fields you’re interested in. You get to learn new skills and gain real-world exposure without the pressure and commitment that comes with a full-time job. You might even get paid! Professional experience—even if it’s unrelated to the career you ultimately land in—will better prepare you for the real world and narrow down what you love. Besides, getting a foot in the door while you’re still in college will make the eventual job hunt a bit less stressful.

Volunteering is another great way to gain valuable experience and show future employers that you’re serious about the things that matter to you. And to find internship and volunteering opportunities, you need to...

Build your network.

To a large extent, it’s true that “your network is your net worth” (this is the title of a book by Porter Gale). Your college days are ideal to start sowing the seeds of professional relationships that:

  • In the short term, help you land internships and freelance work.
  • In the long run, help you land job offers and business opportunities.

There are plenty of ways to start building your professional network:

  • Start with your professors, peers, and family. Ask them to let you know if they come across any opportunities in your areas of interest.
  • Get (and keep) in touch with your college alumni to learn about internship opportunities at their companies.
  • Use social media platforms, particularly Twitter and LinkedIn, to post your college learning experiences, connect with professionals in your field, join networking groups, and look for opportunities.
  • Attend career fairs and similar events to get in front of potential employers.

Learn financial prudence.

You may not be earning just yet, but the earlier you learn the basics of building wealth, the better.

Whether or not you have a source of income, the first step to financial prudence is making a habit to spend wisely. Of course, the occasional indulgence is fine, but avoid impulse shopping or spending on things you don’t really need. After all, money saved is money earned, and that money can help you better manage your monthly college expenses and debt.

Oh, and if you have spare funds, learn how you can start investing. You can also consider P2P lending or, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, crypto trading.

Start a creative side hustle.

While tackling college academic work is often a tall order in itself, carving out time for a creative side hustle is almost always possible and potentially very rewarding.

So if you have an entrepreneurial drive to start something of your own—be it a blog, a simple online store, a YouTube channel, etc.—do it. Don’t put it off and binge-watch Netflix instead. Starting your side venture during college gives you an amazing head start, and who knows what good things it might lead you to.

Freelancing in your free time isn’t a bad idea either. Love web design, coding, or writing and are good at it? Why not leverage and hone your skills by taking on real-world projects, while getting paid for your work? Not to mention freelancing will also help in your network- and resume-building efforts, and (at least to some extent) finance your college expenses.

Wrapping up

Like it or not, college time flies fast. Before you know it, you’re reminiscing about your college days—wanting to relive fond memories but being grateful for not having the stress of exams and assignment deadlines—while worrying about some project’s deadline at work.

Make the most of this time. In the long run, your college grades may not matter much, but how you spend your college years matters a lot.

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Feature | 11/21/2021

Giving Thanks

Hello Econ Majors!
I hope your Thanksgiving week is off to a great start.

This week, our theme is thanks. We have a wonderful network of alumni to be thankful for. Each year dozens of economics alumni meet directly with our majors through ECO programming. In the last 12 weeks, more than 15 alumni sat on career panels and held office hours with our students through the How I Got This Job career program, the International Development and Humanitarian Aid Career Panel, and the Virtual Think Tank Trek . I encourage you to get in touch or stay in touch with these alumni! Below are some articles and tips to get you started, or help you continue connecting with our awesome alumni.

How to Network in a Virtual World The first 8 paragraphs are relevant for our majors. The remainder of the article offers food for thought as you begin growing your network and fortifying those professional relationships you've already begun to build.

How to Make the Most of Your Alumni Network Paragraph 6 through the end of the article seem most relevant for our students. The Virginia Alumni Mentor network, through the UVA Career Center, includes micro-internship projects, which our awesome alumni have posted. Additionally, the ECO has a list of more than 500 economics alumni, who have offered to speak with our majors about their work and yours. That list is in the ECO Collab folder, which all majors have access to at the link above. For more networking resources, check out UVA's LInkedIn page, UVA's Alumni, Friends, and Parents LinkedIn page, and UVA"s Economics Alumni page. Our students are welcome to join each and connect with alumni. Check out these other networking and professional development resources. And if you're wondering what econ majors do after graduation, look here for industry overviews and here for recent graduates' next steps.

Best wishes,

Jennifer Jones
Economics Career Office 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/17/2018

The 30 Best Tips to Prepare for an Interview


  1. Spend a few hours learning everything you can about the company—from as many sources as you can. Talk to friends and contacts, read current news releases, and, yes, spend some time on Google. Often, candidates just look at the information a company is pushing out via the website and social media, but fail to look more in depth at what others are saying. By doing so, you’ll get the larger picture about the company (along with any negative press).


  2. Get a sense of “who” the company is and how to embody a similar personality during your interview. Start by reading the company’s blog and Facebook page—the tone of the company’s content on these sites will speak volumes. Or, try reading individual employees’ blogs to figure out what type of people work (and excel) there...Click here for more:

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Feature | 11/01/2018

MarketWatch: Why Oil Prices are Plunging...

Why oil prices are plunging despite U.S. sanctions on Iran’s energy sector

The oil market has had nearly six months to assess the possible effect of U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports. Surprisingly, the prospect of significantly tighter global supplies has resulted in lower prices.

President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that he would end the participation of the United States in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 2015 pact aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear activities, signed by Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and the European Union.

Read more...\


Read more 

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Feature | 02/22/2022

ECO Article: The Value of an MBA Degree from the WSJ

A Graduate Degree That Pays Off: The M.B.A.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of federal student loan data found 98% of programs leave students with manageable debt loads

The Columbia University campus in New York.


By Patrick Thomas Follow  and Andrea Fuller Follow

Oct. 27, 2021 5:30 am ET

Borrowing money to go back to graduate school can be a surefire way to get mired in student debt. But one master’s degree appears to pay off for many people who finance their education: the M.B.A.

At about 98% of universities that offer master’s of business administration programs, graduates typically made more money two years out of school than they had borrowed, a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal student loan data for nearly 600 programs found. That stands in contrast to law schools, where roughly 6% of programs had graduates with higher median earnings than debt in the same time frame.

Jenny Le and her husband, Quan Nguyen


Jenny Le, 29, enrolled in 2018 at Columbia Business School, where total tuition and fees surpass $160,000 for the two-year M.B.A. She tapped savings and scholarships and borrowed $38,000 to attend, assuming she would take several years to pay down the debt after graduating. Thanks in part to a signing bonus she got with her new role as an associate in corporate strategy and development for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America in New York, she cleared the debt in six months.

“I thought it would be worth it in the long run, but wasn’t sure about the short-term,” Ms. Le said of her degree. “I’ve seen so many others my age struggle with debt payment. It was a better investment than I was expecting.”

Many people who pursue their M.B.A. do it for the promise of a bigger payday, the ability to pivot to a new industry or launch themselves onto an executive path. The high sticker price for some programs, which can range from $100,000 to $250,000 or more once living expenses are factored in on top of tuition and fees, can turn off prospective students, as can the two-year career break required to go back to campus.


The federal government allows graduate students to take out a fixed amount of relatively low-interest loans. After that, students must turn to higher-interest Grad Plus loans, which have no cap. Thousands of M.B.A. students take out six-figure loans every year to help finance tuition, fees and living expenses. A small number of M.B.A. candidates at some elite schools rely more on private loans with lower interest rates. The debt figures the Journal examined don’t include private loans, and the salary data reflects only students who take out federal loans.

Many M.B.A. candidates have experience in the professional workforce, so the degree often boosts their existing career trajectory. Traditionally, some students have come from more affluent backgrounds and people who already work in finance or other high-paying sectors have tended to gravitate to the degree, which has made the pool of M.B.A. candidates a financially healthy group, though business schools say they have been trying to expand their pool of applicants.

Juliet Lawrence


When Juliet Lawrence, 37, graduated from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business with her M.B.A. in 2013, she decided not to immediately pay off her more than $108,000 in loans. She opted to put her higher salary and bonuses at Dow Inc. DOW -0.07% into her 401(k) and the stock market while making loan payments. Ms. Lawrence, now a senior finance manager at Dow, paid off the last of her debt in 2020.

“From a net worth perspective, you get more return from that than just straight paying off loans. There was no real rush,” Ms. Lawrence said of investing instead of wiping out loans quickly. “Your M.B.A. pays off, but where are you going to get more growth?”

Not everybody who attends a well-known school catapults into a new income bracket. Bradley Hoefer, 31, borrowed about $110,000 to get his M.B.A. from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business in 2020; he already had about $85,000 in loans for his undergraduate degree. He estimates it could take him 20 years to pay down the debt.

Mr. Hoefer had hoped his M.B.A. would help him leave banking, the sector where he worked for five years, and enter the videogame industry. After a year of job hunting and working part-time to make ends meet, he recently took a full-time job at Citigroup Inc. C -0.44% in Buffalo, N.Y., with a remote start from Ormond Beach, Fla., where he currently resides. His salary of $60,000 a year is a modest increase over the salary he drew before graduate school.

“It was worth it for the experience,” Mr. Hoefer said. “I think there is a little false advertising with respect to some M.B.A.s. People expect to increase their salaries from $60,000 to $120,000.”

Paulo Goes, dean of Tulane’s business school, said the class of 2020 has had a particularly tough time because many companies stopped recruiting M.B.A. job seekers during the pandemic, which is reflected in graduates’ placement and salary.

Debt-to-income ratio

A ratio above one means a typical student would graduate with more debt than income two years after graduation. A ratio below one means the typical graduate has income greater than debt.

Adelphi University $32,547 $70,296 0.46
Alabama A & M University $46,348 $43,798 1.06
Albany State University $34,750 $38,289 0.91
Albertus Magnus College $41,000 $57,318 0.72
Alvernia University $37,027 $60,878 0.61
Alverno College $30,691 $63,005 0.49
American InterContinental University $35,281 $45,244 0.78
American International College $33,000 $52,107 0.63
American Public University System $33,178 $66,728 0.5
American University $78,230 $99,458 0.79
Anderson University $30,425 $61,020 0.5
Anderson University $37,885 $65,238 0.58
Antioch University-Midwest $41,000 $62,012 0.66
Appalachian State University $26,005 $49,084 0.53
Arizona State University-Tempe $50,795 $98,650 0.52
Arkansas State University-Main Campus $30,749 $57,318 0.54
Ashford University $41,000 $51,179 0.8
Ashland University $22,700 $73,035 0.31
Assumption College $20,701 $64,572 0.32
Auburn University $41,000 $114,892 0.36
Augsburg University $35,500 $72,602 0.49
Augusta University $37,967 $66,821 0.57
Aurora University $33,828 $65,238 0.52
Averett University $38,500 $63,898 0.6
Avila University $39,782 $59,969 0.66
Azusa Pacific University $39,000 $59,425 0.66
Babson College $51,316 $103,078 0.5
Baker College $37,490 $61,144 0.61
Baker University $37,931 $67,473 0.56
Baldwin Wallace University $38,205 $86,129 0.44
Barry University $51,250 $51,482 1
Bay Path University $29,176 $63,005 0.46
Baylor University $43,366 $96,457 0.45
Belhaven University $41,000 $46,673 0.88
Bellevue University $38,224 $71,495 0.54
Benedictine University $34,608 $71,661 0.48
Bentley University $35,096 $89,968 0.39
Bethel University $34,500 $80,858 0.43
Binghamton University $26,359 $68,443 0.39
Bluffton University $26,660 $57,995 0.46
Boise State University $30,750 $74,786 0.41
Boston College $47,630 $115,060 0.41
Boston University $46,446 $106,688 0.44
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus $31,788 $79,688 0.4
Brandeis University $40,647 $72,214 0.56
Brandman University $46,309 $78,029 0.59
Brenau University $56,878 $60,173 0.95
Brigham Young University-Provo $41,000 $119,642 0.34
CUNY Bernard M Baruch College $40,956 $101,518 0.4
CUNY Brooklyn College $18,899 $52,107 0.36
CUNY Graduate School and University Center $20,000 $80,964 0.25
CUNY Lehman College $17,000 $56,157 0.3
California Baptist University $22,098 $73,075 0.3
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona $37,948 $85,357 0.45
California State University-Bakersfield $27,333 $71,015 0.39
California State University-Channel Islands $30,750 $64,990 0.47
California State University-Chico $27,133 $50,856 0.53
California State University-Dominguez Hills $29,584 $69,338 0.43
California State University-East Bay $33,635 $79,838 0.42
California State University-Fresno $35,795 $90,049 0.4
California State University-Fullerton $27,750 $80,779 0.34
California State University-Long Beach $41,000 $67,660 0.61
California State University-Monterey Bay $41,000 $79,389 0.52
California State University-Northridge $31,963 $88,907 0.36
California State University-Sacramento $35,381 $73,739 0.48
California State University-San Bernardino $41,000 $72,214 0.57
California State University-San Marcos $34,954 $74,576 0.47
California State University-Stanislaus $30,200 $73,949 0.41
California University of Pennsylvania $26,004 $48,139 0.54
Campbell University $30,000 $54,810 0.55
Canisius College $35,245 $65,387 0.54
Capella University $43,094 $61,281 0.7
Capital University $25,009 $83,177 0.3
Cardinal Stritch University $41,000 $66,461 0.62
Carlow University $32,419 $60,623 0.54
Carnegie Mellon University $82,000 $133,383 0.62
Case Western Reserve University $70,520 $85,860 0.82
Centenary University $34,167 $79,755 0.43
Central Michigan University $31,976 $65,180 0.49
Chadron State College $20,988 $73,949 0.28
Chaminade University of Honolulu $26,595 $56,415 0.47
Champlain College $40,922 $73,635 0.56
Chapman University $70,158 $80,459 0.87
Charleston Southern University $33,500 $59,425 0.56
Chatham University $39,601 $58,221 0.68
Christian Brothers University $32,438 $76,460 0.42
Citadel Military College of South Carolina $35,805 $82,123 0.44
City University of Seattle $46,125 $74,200 0.62
Claremont Graduate University $80,616 $61,020 1.32
Clarion University of Pennsylvania $25,625 $72,796 0.35
Clark University $41,000 $64,328 0.64
Clarkson University $35,637 $71,575 0.5
Clayton State University $41,000 $53,894 0.76
Cleary University $35,455 $59,045 0.6
Clemson University $36,101 $74,262 0.49
Cleveland State University $37,309 $65,610 0.57
Coastal Carolina University $25,500 $48,198 0.53
Colorado Christian University $47,009 $66,541 0.71
Colorado State University-Fort Collins $38,934 $80,301 0.49
Colorado State University-Global Campus $39,541 $82,440 0.48
Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs $41,000 $47,957 0.86
Columbia Southern University $32,433 $58,990 0.55
Columbia University in the City of New York $61,349 $170,426 0.36
Columbus State University $19,714 $51,106 0.39
Concordia University Texas $40,224 $65,131 0.62
Concordia University-Chicago $31,352 $59,576 0.53
Concordia University-Irvine $36,000 $62,012 0.58
Concordia University-Portland $52,759 $59,576 0.89
Concordia University-Saint Paul $34,771 $75,795 0.46
Concordia University-Wisconsin $35,160 $72,462 0.49
Cornell University $100,370 $145,332 0.69
Cornerstone University $29,943 $64,493 0.46
Curry College $41,000 $82,882 0.5
Dallas Baptist University $45,073 $67,324 0.67
Dartmouth College $41,000 $167,295 0.25
Davenport University $34,601 $63,318 0.55
DePaul University $47,997 $100,096 0.48
DeSales University $29,726 $79,284 0.38
DeVry University-Illinois $46,125 $64,686 0.71
Delaware Valley University $30,167 $66,104 0.46
Dominican University $67,373 $55,840 1.21
Duke University $81,299 $148,189 0.55
Duquesne University $40,974 $65,486 0.63
East Carolina University $30,750 $64,493 0.48
East Tennessee State University $26,953 $43,798 0.62
Eastern Illinois University $20,500 $54,386 0.38
Eastern Michigan University $51,250 $66,077 0.78
Eastern Nazarene College $24,000 $57,318 0.42
Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus $29,772 $62,409 0.48
Eastern University $40,845 $58,402 0.7
Eastern Washington University $26,379 $53,358 0.49
Elmhurst College $27,475 $84,653 0.33
Elon University $38,730 $71,854 0.54
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach $39,906 $75,047 0.53
Emmanuel College $25,504 $83,546 0.31
Emory University $61,500 $134,287 0.46
Evangel University $33,185 $47,650 0.7
Everglades University $32,236 $65,797 0.49
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus $30,750 $74,953 0.41
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University $39,238 $52,107 0.75
Florida Atlantic University $41,000 $59,688 0.69
Florida Gulf Coast University $30,765 $66,821 0.46
Florida Institute of Technology $41,000 $75,787 0.54
Florida International University $57,732 $67,685 0.85
Florida Southern College $35,750 $61,020 0.59
Fontbonne University $50,299 $54,035 0.93
Fordham University $56,586 $113,850 0.5
Fort Hays State University $31,765 $55,286 0.58
Franklin University $37,584 $61,580 0.61
Friends University $35,504 $57,995 0.61
Frostburg State University $23,875 $78,719 0.3
Full Sail University $41,000 $42,905 0.96
Gannon University $30,750 $54,154 0.57
Gardner-Webb University $30,865 $54,748 0.56
George Fox University $41,000 $75,518 0.54
George Mason University $41,000 $105,585 0.39
George Washington University $62,739 $114,046 0.55
Georgetown University $102,713 $127,040 0.81
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus $76,863 $127,034 0.61
Georgia Southern University $20,500 $65,486 0.31
Golden Gate University-San Francisco $46,000 $88,861 0.52
Goldey-Beacom College $20,500 $55,286 0.37
Gonzaga University $47,631 $82,685 0.58
Governors State University $32,015 $73,635 0.44
Grand Canyon University $34,435 $64,265 0.54
Granite State College $23,717 $53,775 0.44
Grantham University $34,239 $60,523 0.57
Gwynedd Mercy University $39,961 $58,402 0.68
Hamline University $42,940 $65,238 0.66
Hampton University $25,316 $63,749 0.4
Harding University $35,491 $67,101 0.53
Herzing University-Madison $41,000 $44,389 0.92
Hodges University $31,750 $56,415 0.56
Hofstra University $64,931 $108,092 0.6
Houston Baptist University $40,384 $80,022 0.51
Howard University $75,985 $76,460 0.99
Hult International Business School $78,837 $67,420 1.17
Husson University $20,500 $58,943 0.35
Idaho State University $20,300 $61,516 0.33
Indiana State University $26,040 $63,005 0.41
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus $29,841 $59,726 0.5
Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion $49,187 $66,326 0.74
Iona College $45,443 $70,456 0.65
Iowa State University $28,955 $70,680 0.41
Jackson State University $20,500 $46,087 0.45
James Madison University $32,719 $91,744 0.36
John Brown University $24,772 $74,105 0.33
John Carroll University $26,679 $58,402 0.46
Johns Hopkins University $34,166 $106,421 0.32
Johnson & Wales University-Providence $24,245 $50,677 0.48
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale $46,196 $39,653 1.17
Kennesaw State University $41,000 $91,949 0.45
Kent State University at Kent $41,000 $73,635 0.56
Kettering University $32,190 $103,746 0.31
Keuka College $39,853 $58,673 0.68
King University $40,721 $53,810 0.76
LIM College $34,816 $43,575 0.8
La Salle University $31,300 $84,100 0.37
Lake Erie College $23,922 $52,733 0.45
Lake Forest Graduate School of Management $39,936 $113,168 0.35
Lakeland University $41,000 $60,689 0.68
Lawrence Technological University $70,000 $89,968 0.78
Le Moyne College $20,500 $56,776 0.36
LeTourneau University $38,750 $67,660 0.57
Lewis University $41,000 $60,071 0.68
Liberty University $34,818 $57,714 0.6
Limestone College $33,212 $55,286 0.6
Lindenwood University $29,256 $52,107 0.56
Lipscomb University $35,680 $63,005 0.57
Long Island University $55,138 $60,623 0.91
Lourdes University $45,136 $55,964 0.81
Loyola University Chicago $66,007 $87,470 0.76
Loyola University Maryland $47,410 $92,188 0.51
Lynn University $30,750 $46,790 0.66
Malone University $28,749 $61,814 0.47
Marist College $28,505 $88,506 0.32
Marquette University $37,829 $98,506 0.38
Marymount University $40,789 $74,157 0.55
McKendree University $28,452 $59,942 0.48
Mercy College $35,875 $64,196 0.56
Meredith College $41,984 $73,949 0.57
Methodist University $17,800 $52,464 0.34
Metropolitan College of New York $39,006 $54,622 0.71
Metropolitan State University $30,750 $65,131 0.47
Michigan State University $51,250 $98,481 0.52
Mid-America Christian University $41,000 $43,519 0.94
MidAmerica Nazarene University $30,412 $61,218 0.5
Middle Tennessee State University $34,155 $67,101 0.51
Midland University $28,700 $63,005 0.46
Millsaps College $30,000 $61,516 0.49
Misericordia University $20,500 $47,650 0.43
Mississippi State University $20,000 $88,527 0.23
Mississippi Valley State University $38,296 $33,993 1.13
Missouri Baptist University $35,283 $53,358 0.66
Missouri State University-Springfield $16,982 $58,402 0.29
Molloy College $38,403 $68,499 0.56
Monmouth University $33,128 $62,211 0.53
Monroe College $30,450 $52,357 0.58
Montclair State University $41,000 $88,971 0.46
Montreat College $41,000 $49,214 0.83
Morgan State University $41,000 $51,750 0.79
Mount Mary University $46,333 $69,338 0.67
Mount Mercy University $34,439 $68,666 0.5
Mount Saint Mary College $31,770 $52,941 0.6
Mount Saint Mary's University $41,000 $67,660 0.61
Mount St. Mary's University $28,516 $68,331 0.42
Mount Vernon Nazarene University $39,904 $61,516 0.65
National American University-Rapid City $39,207 $51,722 0.76
National Louis University $41,000 $63,600 0.65
National University $40,192 $65,238 0.62
National University College $13,900 $32,032 0.43
New England College of Business and Finance $22,111 $69,338 0.32
New Jersey City University $38,503 $63,749 0.6
New Jersey Institute of Technology $35,250 $85,918 0.41
New Mexico Highlands University $17,860 $54,192 0.33
New York University $81,350 $145,543 0.56
Newman University $24,881 $57,318 0.43
Nicholls State University $13,300 $56,641 0.24
Nichols College $24,200 $65,387 0.37
North Carolina Central University $57,746 $44,384 1.3
North Carolina State University at Raleigh $37,014 $74,200 0.5
North Central College $30,750 $62,260 0.49
North Park University $27,900 $58,303 0.48
Northcentral University $35,016 $49,990 0.7
Northeastern State University $24,659 $67,660 0.36
Northeastern University $30,750 $61,516 0.5
Northern Arizona University $30,125 $65,042 0.46
Northern Illinois University $30,750 $91,587 0.34
Northwest Missouri State University $18,667 $51,197 0.37
Northwest Nazarene University $32,740 $64,493 0.51
Northwest University $34,167 $77,715 0.44
Northwestern University $149,545 $189,565 0.79
Northwood University $41,000 $57,995 0.71
Norwich University $31,250 $79,912 0.39
Notre Dame de Namur University $51,250 $78,074 0.66
Nova Southeastern University $50,395 $58,605 0.86
Nyack College $30,750 $61,516 0.5
Oakland University $28,381 $89,412 0.32
Ohio Christian University $30,750 $51,482 0.6
Ohio Dominican University $37,356 $62,260 0.6
Ohio State University-Main Campus $49,189 $108,577 0.45
Ohio University-Main Campus $37,666 $90,283 0.42
Oklahoma City University $21,600 $76,083 0.28
Oklahoma Wesleyan University $37,469 $66,077 0.57
Olivet Nazarene University $29,160 $48,432 0.6
Oral Roberts University $37,562 $53,608 0.7
Oregon State University $34,166 $63,997 0.53
Our Lady of the Lake University $39,955 $55,625 0.72
Palm Beach Atlantic University $20,500 $60,689 0.34
Park University $28,885 $52,265 0.55
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus $40,999 $94,864 0.43
Pepperdine University $82,310 $92,733 0.89
Pfeiffer University $35,013 $57,318 0.61
Piedmont College $20,969 $41,342 0.51
Pittsburg State University $18,194 $48,432 0.38
Plymouth State University $46,000 $60,771 0.76
Point Loma Nazarene University $37,576 $69,338 0.54
Point Park University $35,087 $57,735 0.61
Portland State University $41,000 $86,867 0.47
Prairie View A & M University $36,119 $54,109 0.67
Presidio Graduate School $59,662 $42,682 1.4
Providence College $20,500 $65,198 0.31
Purdue University-Main Campus $42,475 $88,342 0.48
Queens University of Charlotte $41,000 $86,867 0.47
Quinnipiac University $32,454 $70,044 0.46
Ramapo College of New Jersey $41,000 $97,604 0.42
Regent University $41,000 $45,500 0.9
Regis University $40,646 $66,897 0.61
Rice University $41,000 $127,993 0.32
Rider University $37,724 $79,473 0.48
Robert Morris University $37,583 $61,516 0.61
Robert Morris University Illinois $28,000 $57,770 0.49
Rochester Institute of Technology $41,000 $67,101 0.61
Rockhurst University $30,750 $70,176 0.44
Rollins College $49,888 $62,806 0.79
Roosevelt University $42,905 $61,350 0.7
Roseman University of Health Sciences $171,883 $94,408 1.82
Rosemont College $26,000 $58,221 0.45
Rowan University $26,387 $65,486 0.4
Russell Sage College $29,459 $59,124 0.5
Rutgers University-New Brunswick $53,313 $109,327 0.49
SUNY College at Oswego $26,128 $56,716 0.46
SUNY Empire State College $51,250 $69,897 0.73
SUNY Maritime College $41,000 $76,460 0.54
SUNY at Albany $38,391 $74,576 0.52
Sacred Heart University $35,000 $73,949 0.47
Saginaw Valley State University $31,399 $57,318 0.55
Saint Ambrose University $38,768 $78,657 0.49
Saint Cloud State University $21,750 $75,204 0.29
Saint Edward's University $45,802 $65,486 0.7
Saint John Fisher College $28,437 $54,686 0.52
Saint Leo University $46,125 $56,918 0.81
Saint Louis University $41,000 $88,904 0.46
Saint Martin's University $42,644 $58,221 0.73
Saint Mary's College of California $45,825 $108,331 0.42
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota $34,166 $72,469 0.47
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College $18,500 $52,107 0.36
Saint Xavier University $46,784 $71,957 0.65
Salem University $28,200 $41,342 0.68
Salisbury University $20,500 $53,537 0.38
Salve Regina University $17,420 $61,888 0.28
Sam Houston State University $34,937 $68,858 0.51
San Diego State University $40,998 $68,499 0.6
San Francisco State University $29,677 $80,124 0.37
San Jose State University $35,250 $87,973 0.4
Santa Clara University $54,666 $128,588 0.43
Seattle University $41,000 $86,424 0.47
Seton Hill University $24,836 $51,169 0.49
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania $20,500 $65,066 0.32
Shorter University $26,630 $45,249 0.59
Siena Heights University $30,466 $60,771 0.5
Simmons University $54,920 $71,778 0.77
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania $20,500 $59,124 0.35
Sonoma State University $38,979 $83,768 0.47
South University-Savannah $41,000 $42,799 0.96
Southeastern Louisiana University $19,867 $51,106 0.39
Southern Arkansas University Main Campus $24,825 $58,402 0.43
Southern Connecticut State University $36,366 $64,706 0.56
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale $30,750 $54,809 0.56
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville $24,412 $56,931 0.43
Southern Methodist University $111,000 $120,363 0.92
Southern Nazarene University $39,100 $58,092 0.67
Southern New Hampshire University $39,292 $69,218 0.57
Southern University and A & M College $47,436 $49,344 0.96
Southern Wesleyan University $29,050 $42,682 0.68
Southwest Minnesota State University $21,763 $55,964 0.39
Southwestern College $26,979 $60,523 0.45
St Bonaventure University $22,500 $54,401 0.41
St Catherine University $53,143 $66,915 0.79
St John's University-New York $47,825 $63,430 0.75
St. Joseph's College-New York $34,600 $81,997 0.42
St. Thomas University $36,500 $53,358 0.68
Stanford University $41,000 $163,337 0.25
State University of New York at New Paltz $20,500 $51,607 0.4
Stetson University $30,661 $62,260 0.49
Stevens Institute of Technology $38,500 $125,611 0.31
Stevens-Henager College $15,736 $49,136 0.32
Stockton University $27,250 $57,318 0.48
Stony Brook University $30,949 $50,563 0.61
Strayer University-District of Columbia $74,380 $56,911 1.31
Suffolk University $41,000 $83,388 0.49
Sullivan University $44,885 $50,742 0.89
Syracuse University $71,750 $77,966 0.92
Tarleton State University $23,003 $60,013 0.38
Temple University $45,523 $102,409 0.45
Tennessee State University $40,438 $54,463 0.74
Tennessee Technological University $19,727 $62,579 0.32
Texas A & M International University $21,995 $45,696 0.48
Texas A & M University-College Station $39,749 $115,761 0.34
Texas A & M University-Commerce $31,680 $68,688 0.46
Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi $24,888 $57,318 0.43
Texas A & M University-Kingsville $28,247 $57,526 0.49
Texas A&M University-Texarkana $11,989 $62,012 0.19
Texas Christian University $41,000 $97,663 0.42
Texas Southern University $45,040 $52,941 0.85
Texas State University $31,750 $68,965 0.46
Texas Tech University $41,000 $75,706 0.54
Texas Woman's University $28,748 $65,131 0.44
The College of Saint Rose $34,952 $58,673 0.6
The College of Saint Scholastica $32,383 $75,383 0.43
The New School $65,598 $59,788 1.1
The University of Alabama $39,932 $80,004 0.5
The University of Findlay $26,013 $61,814 0.42
The University of Montana $21,129 $58,673 0.36
The University of Tampa $31,055 $59,253 0.52
The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga $27,350 $76,041 0.36
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville $39,250 $99,251 0.4
The University of Texas at Arlington $37,188 $76,460 0.49
The University of Texas at Austin $67,500 $131,707 0.51
The University of Texas at Dallas $41,530 $94,674 0.44
The University of Texas at El Paso $33,963 $52,420 0.65
The University of Texas at San Antonio $35,572 $74,786 0.48
The University of Texas at Tyler $31,530 $68,858 0.46
The University of West Florida $30,637 $49,854 0.62
Thomas College $20,500 $49,883 0.41
Thomas Edison State University $27,462 $71,015 0.39
Thomas Jefferson University $43,242 $57,619 0.75
Thomas More University $38,979 $70,456 0.55
Trevecca Nazarene University $30,750 $59,967 0.51
Trident University International $21,995 $64,990 0.34
Trine University $19,329 $52,941 0.37
Trinity Washington University $45,334 $61,303 0.74
Troy University $35,735 $58,549 0.61
Tulane University of Louisiana $72,378 $87,973 0.82
Tusculum University $20,750 $68,219 0.3
Union Institute & University $30,750 $72,899 0.42
Union University $31,637 $70,456 0.45
Universidad Ana G. Mendez-Carolina Campus $15,310 $33,993 0.45
Universidad Ana G. Mendez-Cupey Campus $24,370 $32,678 0.75
Universidad Ana G. Mendez-Gurabo Campus $20,514 $37,208 0.55
Universidad Politecnica de Puerto Rico $29,600 $53,358 0.56
University at Buffalo $36,648 $68,499 0.54
University of Akron Main Campus $29,000 $81,111 0.36
University of Alabama at Birmingham $36,500 $70,176 0.52
University of Arizona $41,000 $92,743 0.44
University of Arkansas $27,800 $106,421 0.26
University of Arkansas at Little Rock $34,343 $54,739 0.63
University of Baltimore $41,000 $75,204 0.55
University of Bridgeport $38,750 $60,161 0.64
University of California-Berkeley $57,297 $171,936 0.33
University of California-Davis $61,589 $116,258 0.53
University of California-Irvine $78,253 $90,983 0.86
University of California-Los Angeles $77,000 $143,744 0.54
University of California-San Diego $90,670 $101,406 0.89
University of Central Missouri $22,700 $55,286 0.41
University of Central Oklahoma $18,250 $67,324 0.27
University of Chicago $68,376 $159,442 0.43
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus $28,606 $79,284 0.36
University of Colorado Boulder $40,500 $80,503 0.5
University of Colorado Colorado Springs $39,009 $71,015 0.55
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus $41,500 $89,184 0.47
University of Connecticut $37,490 $106,249 0.35
University of Dallas $50,000 $77,966 0.64
University of Dayton $20,039 $63,005 0.32
University of Delaware $41,000 $86,424 0.47
University of Denver $40,544 $54,661 0.74
University of Detroit Mercy $61,500 $81,111 0.76
University of Dubuque $15,784 $57,589 0.27
University of Evansville $25,250 $45,221 0.56
University of Florida $36,520 $88,546 0.41
University of Georgia $49,576 $111,283 0.45
University of Hartford $24,223 $90,348 0.27
University of Hawaii at Manoa $45,106 $78,719 0.57
University of Houston $41,000 $92,563 0.44
University of Houston-Clear Lake $25,394 $78,343 0.32
University of Houston-Downtown $20,500 $64,990 0.32
University of Houston-Victoria $31,178 $67,324 0.46
University of Illinois at Chicago $43,535 $80,189 0.54
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign $56,209 $95,930 0.59
University of Indianapolis $30,263 $62,260 0.49
University of Iowa $42,795 $96,991 0.44
University of Kansas $29,960 $73,299 0.41
University of La Verne $43,500 $69,657 0.62
University of Louisiana at Lafayette $24,209 $46,869 0.52
University of Mary $23,309 $60,230 0.39
University of Maryland Global Campus $50,831 $72,006 0.71
University of Maryland-College Park $71,000 $106,102 0.67
University of Massachusetts-Amherst $30,750 $99,741 0.31
University of Massachusetts-Boston $29,697 $74,200 0.4
University of Massachusetts-Lowell $30,750 $71,854 0.43
University of Memphis $29,022 $73,446 0.4
University of Miami $83,312 $83,022 1
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor $47,258 $140,166 0.34
University of Michigan-Dearborn $33,937 $90,856 0.37
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities $45,000 $112,319 0.4
University of Mount Olive $22,042 $45,947 0.48
University of Nebraska at Omaha $31,940 $87,068 0.37
University of Nebraska-Lincoln $22,247 $91,017 0.24
University of Nevada-Las Vegas $40,703 $90,856 0.45
University of Nevada-Reno $20,500 $82,440 0.25
University of New Mexico-Main Campus $31,721 $59,688 0.53
University of New Orleans $35,500 $63,692 0.56
University of North Alabama $40,593 $66,461 0.61
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $68,719 $127,836 0.54
University of North Carolina at Charlotte $36,725 $84,653 0.43
University of North Carolina at Greensboro $32,829 $64,121 0.51
University of North Florida $24,863 $65,557 0.38
University of North Texas $22,587 $77,401 0.29
University of Northwestern Ohio $40,284 $48,432 0.83
University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus $33,750 $95,473 0.35
University of Oregon $41,000 $86,621 0.47
University of Pennsylvania $47,275 $175,674 0.27
University of Phoenix-Arizona $34,354 $56,498 0.61
University of Pikeville $19,005 $37,424 0.51
University of Portland $34,810 $72,510 0.48
University of Redlands $41,000 $79,037 0.52
University of Rochester $49,734 $89,524 0.56
University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne $25,681 $64,706 0.4
University of Saint Mary $31,793 $69,338 0.46
University of San Diego $49,653 $89,672 0.55
University of San Francisco $51,048 $96,866 0.53
University of Scranton $40,457 $82,440 0.49
University of South Carolina-Columbia $40,222 $95,102 0.42
University of South Dakota $21,934 $68,778 0.32
University of South Florida-Main Campus $30,250 $66,566 0.45
University of Southern California $82,279 $131,090 0.63
University of St Francis $35,653 $69,338 0.51
University of St Thomas $44,614 $101,300 0.44
University of Toledo $27,250 $71,575 0.38
University of Utah $42,250 $98,213 0.43
University of Virginia-Main Campus $89,889 $155,263 0.58
University of Washington-Seattle Campus $46,712 $127,652 0.37
University of West Georgia $27,437 $62,343 0.44
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire $26,396 $85,206 0.31
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee $27,837 $65,267 0.43
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh $23,467 $80,292 0.29
University of Wisconsin-Platteville $30,000 $77,087 0.39
University of Wisconsin-River Falls $30,500 $73,949 0.41
University of the Cumberlands $11,340 $49,787 0.23
University of the Incarnate Word $37,583 $59,253 0.63
Upper Iowa University $39,092 $63,005 0.62
Utah State University $21,882 $71,015 0.31
Valdosta State University $28,278 $55,964 0.51
Vanderbilt University $83,273 $127,087 0.66
Villanova University $41,000 $109,095 0.38
Virginia Commonwealth University $41,000 $93,467 0.44
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University $39,888 $113,246 0.35
Viterbo University $30,626 $61,218 0.5
Wagner College $49,385 $58,557 0.84
Wake Forest University $51,549 $76,836 0.67
Walden University $41,000 $58,943 0.7
Walsh College $37,255 $73,486 0.51
Walsh University $29,719 $65,089 0.46
Warner Pacific University $41,000 $50,856 0.81
Warner University $43,050 $41,349 1.04
Washington State University $39,505 $100,915 0.39
Washington University in St Louis $82,799 $112,270 0.74
Wayland Baptist University $35,968 $53,984 0.67
Wayne State University $33,187 $90,079 0.37
Waynesburg University $20,494 $67,660 0.3
Weber State University $28,916 $76,878 0.38
Webster University $47,198 $64,473 0.73
Wesleyan College $41,000 $63,005 0.65
Western Carolina University $28,340 $55,286 0.51
Western Governors University $13,990 $70,169 0.2
Western Kentucky University $20,746 $61,144 0.34
Western Michigan University $39,601 $73,801 0.54
Western New England University $27,513 $71,015 0.39
Western Washington University $21,874 $63,005 0.35
Westminster College $47,129 $80,521 0.59
Wichita State University $22,253 $57,318 0.39
Wilkes University $33,000 $52,733 0.63
Willamette University $66,763 $73,530 0.91
William & Mary $43,126 $68,499 0.63
William Paterson University of New Jersey $33,309 $65,238 0.51
William Woods University $16,600 $50,856 0.33
Wilmington University $35,843 $54,697 0.66
Winthrop University $24,103 $54,724 0.44
Woodbury University $30,750 $63,997 0.48
Worcester Polytechnic Institute $40,500 $119,061 0.34
Wright State University-Main Campus $35,769 $69,338 0.52
Xavier University $41,000 $84,284 0.49
Yale University $69,938 $147,858 0.47
Youngstown State University $26,203 $64,706 0.41


Note: Shows median debt for graduates in roughly 2015 and 2016, compared to median income two years later. Data isn't available for programs with few graduates. Figures are only for graduates who borrowed federal loans. Program names are standardized across schools and may include multiple degrees. Different colleges sometimes report graduates of similar programs across degree levels or program names due to inconsistent coding. (For instance, Harvard Business School's M.B.A. is listed as a professional degree, not a master's degree.)

Source: Education Department

For-profit business schools had fewer students who repaid their loans after two years. At Strayer University in Washington, D.C., 2% of graduates fully repaid their loans within two years, while about a third asked to temporarily suspend payments. Strayer students borrowed a median $74,000, yet half earned less than $57,000 two years after graduation. Strayer didn’t respond to requests for comment.

About a dozen other business schools showed median debt loads outstripping graduates’ median earnings, the Journal’s analysis found. Several of those schools said their debt numbers are inflated because the federal debt data reflect students in pricey dual-degree programs. Roseman University of Health Sciences had the highest debt compared to earnings of any school, with students borrowing a median $172,000. That figure includes students in the school’s dual dentistry and M.B.A. program, a school spokesman said.


 At several elite M.B.A. programs, including Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business, the median starting salary after graduation allowed more than half of alumni to fully pay off their federal student loans within two years, according to the data the Journal examined.

Some of the most expensive M.B.A. programs had some of the lowest debt loads, federal data show. At Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and some other top schools, graduates borrowed a median $41,000 in federal loans, which is the maximum amount that students can borrow at the most favorable interest rates, without resorting to higher-interest Grad Plus loans.

At Harvard Business School, students had $41,000 in debt and median earnings of about $172,000, according to the federal data. About 56% of the 2020 class of M.B.A.s graduated with some debt, averaging $79,000 in federal and private loans combined, said Chad Losee, Harvard’s managing director of M.B.A. admissions.

 Daniel Huizinga, 29, landed a job at consulting company Accenture PLC after getting his undergraduate business degree from Baylor University in 2015, but he decided to pursue an M.B.A. in the hopes of moving up at Accenture or landing a job at one of the top consultancies—McKinsey & Co., Bain & Co. or Boston Consulting Group. He calculated that going back to school, and providing for his young family for those two years, would cost him about $300,000. He landed a $90,000 scholarship from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and had $100,000 saved from five years of working. He borrowed $100,000 to enroll last fall and will graduate in the spring of 2022.

At one of the big consulting firms, Mr. Huizinga expects to make roughly $200,000 a year upon graduation, which will allow him to pay off the debt in two to three years.

“I wanted to go to a top school with a good brand name. It opens doors I didn’t have after undergrad,” he said. “For me, it was a no-brainer.”

For interactive content, visit the article on line. You may need a subscription to the WSJ for access.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 05/07/2019

5 Ways to Look Confident in an Interview (Even When You're Freaking Out)

Taken from The Muse:
After the long, exhausting journey of searching for and applying to new jobs, you’ve just been rewarded with a golden ticket—an interview.

But after a brief moment of celebration, the panic sets in: Your heart is already pounding, your palms are beginning to sweat, and you’re wondering: Are hiring managers like sharks—can they smell fear?

If the thought of sitting across from a hiring manager makes your stomach turn, you’re not alone. But don’t let your nerves get the best of you! Try one these strategies that will help you feel calm, cool, and collected—or at least make you appear that way.

1. Just Breathe

While waiting to be greeted by your interviewer, take a few moments to do some breathing. (Yes, like a pregnant woman in labor!) By doing this, you can redirect the troublesome emotion you’re experiencing (e.g., nervousness or fear) and be able to focus on something else (in this case, the amazing job that you’re hoping to land). Holistic health expert Andrew Weil, MD praises breathing exercises, saying, “Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind.”

To do this most effectively, take a deep breath through your nose (really feel your stomach expand) and then slowly blow it out through your mouth. Repeat this three times, while concentrating on centering your thoughts. The best thing about this technique is that you can do it anywhere (and quite unnoticeably), so if you feel your nerves start to swell during the interview, simply take another breath.

2. Don’t Fidget

Nervous fidgeting is one of the most telltale signs that you’re nervous, so this is an incredibly important skill to master. My go-to trick is to keep my hands clasped together on the table or in my lap to avoid any subconscious table tapping, hair twirling, or otherwise noticeable squirming. I’m also a leg-shaker—but keeping my hands in my lap and applying a bit of pressure to my legs helps remind me to keep the shaking to a minimum.

If you think you don’t have any fidgety habits, you might want to think again—most people aren’t aware of their own nervous tendencies because they’re such an ingrained part of their natural behavior. To double check, try doing a few mock interviews with a friend who can call you out on any fidgeting. Once you know exactly what to avoid, you can practice controlling it.

3. Make Eye Contact

One of the best ways to fool a hiring manager into thinking you’re more confident than you feel is to keep steady, natural eye contact throughout the interview. Mary Griffin, a Human Resources Director for a national healthcare company says, “A key giveaway of a nervous Nellie is a lack of direct eye contact—looking down, looking away, and not looking the interviewer directly in the eyes. A more confident interviewee appears to be engaged with the interviewer.”

One way to remind yourself to make regular eye contact is to focus on a spot between the interviewer’s eyes. You can even imagine a colorful bulls-eye there—whatever it takes to keep your eyes from wandering too much.

On the flip side, you don’t want to stay so intensely focused on making eye contact that you end up sending out a creepy vibe! So remember to take natural breaks, like looking down at your resume every once in a while. It’s a balancing act, so just keep practicing until it feels comfortable.

4. Press Pause

Some of us (myself included!) tend to ramble when we’re nervous. This can be dangerous because once we start talking, it’s incredibly easy to veer off topic and say more than what’s needed—or worse, more than what’s appropriate.

To preempt any rambling, I try to answer each question with only one thought or idea at a time. For example, if you’re asked to describe a trait you disliked about a previous supervisor, you could say, “I found that her tendency to micromanage conflicted with my productivity.” Then stop. This will save you from unnecessary add-ons like “She was a total control freak whose inability to let me make my own decisions made me want to run down the hall screaming obscenities”—even if that may be the most honest answer.

The key to mastering this technique is to keep your tone sincere, so that even if your responses are brief, they don’t come off as curt or dismissive. It’s more about sticking to one main topic per question instead of going off a nervous tangent. And don’t worry—if the interviewer wants you to elaborate on a certain topic, she’ll ask.

5. Think Positively

Finally, calm your nerves by reminding yourself that you deserve to be there. Hey, you wouldn’t have been invited to interview if you weren’t being seriously considered as a candidate! Use this knowledge to your advantage to mentally pump yourself up before the interview. It can take the edge off enough to allow you to approach the situation with a burst of self-assurance and poise.

Most importantly, remember that while you certainly need to be calm, collected, and confident in order to score the job, an interview is not a life-or-death situation. Hiring managers are humans, too—and they’ll understand and forgive a few minor nervous blips.

So with that in mind, relax, gather your strength, and walk into that interview with a newfound confidence (at least on the outside!).


Read More

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/27/2019

How to Answer: Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake


Although no one likes talking about their mistakes, being able to discuss your past mistakes in a job interview can actually be a great way of impressing the interviewer. So when you encounter a question like, “Tell me about a time you made a mistake,” during an interview for an internship or entry-level job, you should focus on how you dealt with the mistake and what you were able to learn from it. When the hiring manager asks this question, it’s not because they’re trying to trip you up; rather, it’s a chance for the interviewer to see that you are able to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them, two very important qualities. An employer would rather hire candidates who admit and grow from their mistakes than those who think they never make any.

As with any frequently asked question, it’s important to make sure you have an answer prepared before you go in for the job interview. These tips will help you describe a time you made a mistake in a way that will make it clear you’re the right person for the job.

Be honest

It’s important to be able to admit that you’re capable of making mistakes (as we all are), and that you’re willing and able to admit it. Therefore, you should refer to an actual mistake you made instead of attempting to appear that you don’t make any.

Take responsibility

It’s tempting to catalog how other people’s actions led to your error. But if you spend time during your interview talking about all the ways in which others — or the company itself — failed, you’re not actually admitting you made a mistake. Instead of pointing the finger at others, acknowledge the role you played. Your answer should be related to work; the interviewer doesn’t want to hear about the argument you had with your parents. Nor do you want to reveal any mistakes that could indicate a lack of professionalism on your part. Stick with school or work-related issues that stemmed from a true oversight or misunderstanding:

Highlight the resolution

Make sure to spend time discussing how you addressed the problem and outline the concrete steps to took to rectify it. The interviewer will want to know how you handle complications.

Emphasize lessons learned

Demonstrate that the mistake you made was not in vain. The interviewer wants to know that you can learn from your mistakes and take action to make sure they don’t happen again. By concluding the story of your mistake with what you learned, you can frame the incident in a positive light and show that you’re able to grow from your mistakes.

Say something like: “At my previous internship, I underestimated the amount of time I would need to work on a presentation for a team meeting. I was still getting used to the workflow in a busy office so I didn’t realize that I would need an extra few hours to put a deck together. Luckily, I managed to catch the mistake before the presentation was due to take place and asked my manager for help to complete it in time. It was a valuable lesson in time management and I’ve become better at prioritization and mapping out my schedule as a result of that experience.”

While it can be awkward to discuss mistakes you’ve made, your ability to do so is an asset. Interviewers know it’s a difficult question, and that’s why the right response will signal that you’re the right candidate for the job.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Dress for a Job Interview at a Nonprofit and find answers to common interview questions such as What Motivates You?

Feature | 12/01/2021

The Economics Department Welcomes Its 2021-23 Bridge Fellows

The Department of Economics is pleased to welcome the inaugural cohort of Bridge to the Doctorate Fellows, starting in Fall 2021: Abigail Matthew and Fatimah Shaalan. The Bridge to the Doctorate program is a two-year, post-baccalaureate program, designed to prepare students from groups that are underrepresented in economics for doctoral programs. Fellows have the opportunity to take graduate or advanced undergraduate classes and gain research experience under faculty supervision. The application deadline for the Fall 2022 entering cohort is March 1, 2022. No application fee or standardized test scores are required. For further information and to apply, please visit the link:

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 12/13/2022

Class of 2021 First Destinations Report

Click on the link below to access the Class of 2021 First Destination Report.

Class of 2021 First Destination Report

Feature | 05/01/2020

Diego Legal-Canisa Presents JMP at Conferences in the UK and Mexico

Between August and November 2019, Diego Legal-Cañisá travelled widely to present  his JMP, titled "Unemployment Insurance with Consumer Bankruptcy," at conferences in the UK (at the Econometric Society European Summer Meeting at the University of Manchester and the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Money, Macro & Finance Research Group at the London School of Economics) and in Mexico (at the Latin American Meeting of the Econometric Society at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla). In his paper, Diego quantitatively evaluates how unemployment insurance (UI) affects unsecured credit markets and how the welfare implications of UI depend on consumer bankruptcy. Theoretically, higher UI benefits can reduce default risk since they imply higher income during a situation of low-income. However, they can also reduce precautionary savings, encourage borrowing and unemployment, and require more taxes, which would increase default risk. He starts by comparing bankruptcy rates for bordering counties and exploits policy discontinuities at state borders to identify that bankruptcy rates fall with the maximum amount of UI available. He then constructs a general equilibrium model of unsecured consumer credit and unemployment. The model accounts for the cross-state negative relationship, and he uses it to study changes in the UI replacement rate. For low levels of replacement rate, the model predicts that the first effect dominates, and more UI benefits reduce default risk and increase ex ante welfare. As UI increases, default risk increases, and welfare falls. Bankruptcy is a barrier for the UI to increase welfare. Increasing the replacement rate above the current 50% to 55% would increase welfare by 0.5% if bankruptcy is not available (welfare increases even beyond 60%), but with a bankruptcy option, it reduces welfare by 1.7%.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

A Healthier Work Day to Improve Productivity

Read about how one company in Japan is encouraging it's employees to make healthy changes to improve their productivity. (you may need to log into Handshake to access this article). 

Feature | 08/01/2021

Blog: Economics Career Office - What You Can Be Doing Now

August 2, 2021

Hello Economics Majors,

My name is Jennifer Jones and I'm the Director of your Economics Career Office (ECO), which is dedicated to the career planning and preparation of our Economics majors. I'm looking forward to working with you this academic year as we all return to the Grounds. Hundreds of students used the ECO's services over the last year, and we welcome back our new and returning students. If you're just meeting us, please check us out at, then click on "Students" to get to know us better.
It is truly a privilege for me to work in the Department of Economics focusing on career preparation and for you to have your very own career services office in Monroe Hall. The office was founded by your faculty and generous donors, the latter who are recognized on a donor plaque outside of Monroe 120. Check it out sometime!  Many of these alumni are working in jobs and fields that will surely interest you. 

A few items of note as we begin the year together and a couple of action items:

  • Connect with me on LinkedIn and join the Economics Alumni Group on LinkedIn. This will quickly connect you to hundreds of other economics alumni. (You need not have a comprehensive profile to connect with others. The basics are fine.) LI is also the place I post jobs for our graduates - entry-level and experienced.
  • I'm including here a link to our ECO timeline, which recommends a "syllabus/strategy" for your career planning based on your class year/graduation date. 
  • Different industries and sectors recruit at different times. Check out the recruiting timeline in the Hoos Career Guide (page 47) to learn more about who recruits when. Early fall tends to bring in large firms that know their hiring needs in advance.
  • You will receive a newsletter from the ECO most weeks when classes are in session. Currently, newsletters are being sent via Mailchimp, but we may move to Salesforce/Marketing Cloud over the next few weeks. We will keep you posted.
  • Attend the ECO Orientation on August 23! For those of you looking for internships and full-time jobs for this fall and beyond, please join me and alumnus Kenton Kivestu (Econ 2010 and Founder of RocketBlocks) on Monday, August 23 from 11 am-1 pm. Here you will be oriented to:
    • the dozens of resources available to you as Economics majors
    • a Resume Review session with real resumes from your peers in the department
    • Interviewing Techniques for Management and Strategy Consulting
    • a demonstration of the RocketBlocks platform, which the ECO licenses to help you prepare for consulting, product management, and product marketing
  • Update your profile in Handshake. Choose industries that interest you, geographic locations, and consider making your profile viewable to employers. Career Counselors and employers use this information to message you with relevant opportunities.
  • ECO appointments are held on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Check out Handshake for appointments. If our schedules don't align, please write to me at
  • Our online resources include:

Our wonderful ECO student staff this year includes the students listed below. If you receive emails from them, please open them! We send Job Blasts (from alumni and employers), Event Blasts, and Resource Blasts. 

  • Carly Dotson (Economics and English Lanaguage and Literature 2022) Writer
  • Ella Fendley (Media Studies, 2024) Marketing Coordinator
  • Flora Kim (Economics and Commerce, 2023) Senior Event Coordinator
  • Chloe Leo (Psychology, 2022) Senior Event Coordinator
  • Luca Pfeiffer (Media Studies, 2022) Media Designer
  • Maggie Rutherford (Economics and Media Studies, 2024) Event Coordinator
  • Mithra Dhinakaran (Economics and Foreign Affairs, 2023)
  • Robbie Eriksson (Economics and Computer Science, 2022) Salesforce Coordinator

Our Student Advisory Board (ECOSAB) meets bi-weekly to discuss career office programming and to plan the annual Economics Undergraduate Career Forum. You may reach out to the Chairperson with questions or comments in addition to writing to me. The Board Members are:

  • Brian Buck (Economics, 2024) Board member
  • Bryson Webb (Economics, 2022) Board member
  • Jenna Short (Economics and Statistics 2022) Board member
  • Kaitlyn Ockerman (Economics and Statistics, 2022) Chairperson
  • Wendy Tang (Economics and Computer Science, 2022) Board member
  • Zach Garfinkel (Economics, Statistics, Commerce, 2023) Board member

Please remember to join us for the August 23 ECO Orientation and on September 3 for our Major to Major Career Coaching Fair.

Until next week when I'll write with more tips and advice, wishing you a wonderful week.

Best regards,

Jen Jones Director, Economics Career Office

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/10/2021

ECO Article: 4 Ways to Handle Interview Questions You Don't Know How to Answer

by Lily Zhang at The Muse

Preparing for interviews is serious business. But even if you practice, and practice, and practice, you could still get a question you just don’t know how to answer. Whether it’s a technical question on something you’ve never heard of before or just something completely unexpected, a question that stumps you can really throw off the pacing of the conversation and leave you a bit shaken up.

So, what should you do when you get interview questions that you have no idea how to respond to? Try one of these pain-free approaches.

1. Take Your Time

First things first: Acknowledge that the question was asked and that you’re thinking about it. Something as simple as, “Hmm…that’s a great question. Let me think about that,” will suffice as you take some time to work through your first thoughts on how to approach the question.

This is important to remember, especially since it’s so natural to fill up any empty airspace with words to avoid awkward silences. Take a bit of time to gather your thoughts and make sure you don’t blurt out anything that gives away that you’re—well, completely stumped.

2. Think Aloud

Remember that half the time, hiring managers are asking tricky questions not to hear you spurt out the right answer immediately, but to get a better sense of how you think through problems. So, after you’ve taken a minute to gather your thoughts, try explaining succinctly where your thoughts have been and go forward from there.

For example, if you get asked something like, “Tell me about your copyediting process for long form articles,” and you don’t actually have a process (yet), a good approach would be to imagine that you’re editing that article and share the steps out loud. Add transitional adverbs like “first,” “then,” and “lastly” to give your answer some structure. You can also finish off with a qualifying statement that “the process varies depending on the situation,” which shows that you’re flexible even if your answer isn’t what the hiring manager would do.

3. Redirect

If you’re asked a question that you really can’t work through, own up and try redirecting to an area you are familiar with. You may not be able to speak to a certain skill directly, but if you’re able to connect it to similar skills, you’re much better off than just saying you don’t have the skill they’re looking for.

For example, say you applied for a position that requires social media marketing experience and are asked about your experience in this type of marketing. If you simply don’t have it, try redirecting the answer to something you do have experience with.

In this instance, you could move toward your experience in social media community management or print marketing and say, “That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about this position. I have extensive experience in social media community management from blogging in my previous position, as well as experience with print marketing for my professional organization. I think I’m very well equipped to combine these two skills into the necessary social media marketing for your product, especially since your company has been focusing its efforts in building up a community.”

4. Have a Fail-Safe

Of course, you might get a question that no amount of stalling, thinking aloud, or redirecting can help with. Questions that call for definitions or understanding of concepts that you don’t know can’t just be worked through on the spot. For these questions, lean on the research you’ve done about the company and industry the position is in.

Say you’re applying for a mergers and acquisitions position in finance and are asked, “What is working capital?”—and you really just have no idea. Be prepared with a fail-safe answer that focuses on your enthusiasm for the position and knowledge of the industry. Something like, “That’s not a concept I’m really familiar with yet, but finance is something I’m really excited about, and I’ve been actively trying to learn more. I’ve been keeping up with deals and have read about a few that your company has been involved in. I’ve also learned a lot about the industries that you advise. I think the consolidation that’s going on in the auto industry is going to create a lot of interesting opportunities going forward, and it’ll be an opportunity to learn a great deal about the M&A business.”

Above all, learn from all your interview experiences. And remember that regardless of what question you get, consider what the hiring manager is really trying to learn from the question. You may not be able to answer the actual question asked, but if you’re able to figure out what the hiring manager is really trying to learn with the question and assuage whatever concern he or she might have—you’ve already done well.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/17/2023

How to Write a Cover Letter

Article written by Amy Gallo for Harvard Business Review

No one likes job hunting. Scouring through online job listings, spiffing up your résuméprepping for grueling interviews — none of it is fun. For many, the most challenging part of the process is writing an effective cover letter. There’s so much conflicting advice out there, it’s hard to know where to start. Do you even need one, especially if you’re applying through an online system?

What the Experts Say

The answer is almost always yes. Sure, there will be times when you’re submitting an application online and you may not be able to include one, but whenever possible, send one, says Jodi Glickman, a communications expert and author of Great on the Job. “It’s your best chance of getting the attention of the HR person or hiring manager and an important opportunity to distinguish yourself from everyone else.” And in a tight job market, setting yourself apart is critical, says John Lees, a UK-based career strategist and author of Knockout CV. Still, as anyone who’s ever written a cover letter knows, it’s not easy to do well. Here are some tips to help.

Do your research first.

Before you start writing, find out more about the company and the specific job you want. Of course, you should carefully read the job description, but also peruse the company’s website, its executives’ Twitter feeds, and employee profiles on LinkedIn. This research will help you customize your cover letter, since you shouldn’t send a generic one. It’ll also help you decide on the right tone. “Think about the culture of the organization you’re applying to,” advises Glickman. “If it’s a creative agency, like a design shop, you might take more risks, but if it’s a more conservative organization, like a bank, you may hold back.”

If at all possible, reach out to the hiring manager or someone else you know at the company before writing your cover letter, advises Lees. You can send an email or a LinkedIn message “asking a smart question about the job.” That way you can start your letter by referencing the interaction. You might say, “Thanks for the helpful conversation last week” or “I recently spoke to so-and-so at your company.” Of course, it’s not always possible to contact someone — or you may not get a response. That’s OK. It’s still worth a try.

Focus it on the future.

While your résumé is meant to be a look back at your experience and where you’ve been, the cover letter should focus on the future and what you want to do, says Glickman. “It can be helpful to think of it as the bridge between the past and the future that explains what you hope to do next and why.” Because of the pandemic there is less of an expectation that you’ll be applying for a job that you’ve done before. “There are millions of people who are making career changes — voluntarily or involuntarily — and need to pivot and rethink how their skill set relates to a different role or industry,” says Glickman. You can use your cover letter to explain the shift you’re making, perhaps from hospitality to marketing, for example. Think of it as an opportunity to sell your transferrable skills.

Open strong.

“People typically write themselves into the letter with ‘I’m applying for X job that I saw in Y place.’ That’s a waste,” says Lees. Instead, lead with a strong opening sentence. “Start with the punch line — why this job is exciting to you and what you bring to the table,” says Glickman. For example, you might write, “I’m an environmental fundraising professional with more than 15 years of experience looking for an opportunity to apply my skills in new ways, and I’d love to bring my expertise and enthusiasm to your growing development team.” Then you can include a sentence or two about your background and your relevant experience, but don’t rehash your résumé.

Chances are the hiring manager or recruiter is reading a stack of these, so you want to catch their attention. But don’t try to be funny. “Humor can often fall flat or sound self-regarding,” says Lees. Stay away from common platitudes, too. “Say something direct and dynamic, such as ‘Let me draw your attention to two reasons why I’d be a great addition to your team.'”

If you have a personal connection with the company or someone who works there, also mention it in the first sentence or two. And always address your letter to someone directly. “With social media, it’s often possible to find the name of a hiring manager,” says Glickman.

Emphasize your personal value.

Hiring managers are looking for people who can help them solve problems. Drawing on the research you did earlier, show that you know what the company does and some of the challenges it faces. These don’t need to be specific but you might mention how the industry has been affected by the pandemic. For example, you might write, “A lot of health care companies are overwhelmed with the need to provide high-quality care while protecting the health and safety of their staff.” Then talk about how your experience has equipped you to meet those needs; perhaps explain how you solved a similar problem in the past or share a relevant accomplishment. You want to provide evidence of the things that set you apart.

Lees points out that there are two skills that are relevant to almost any job right now: adaptability and the ability to learn quickly. If you have brief examples that demonstrate these skills, include those. For example, if you supported your team in the shift to remote work, describe how you did that and what capabilities you drew on.

Convey enthusiasm.

 “When you don’t get hired, it’s usually not because of a lack of skills,” says Glickman. “It’s because people didn’t believe your story, that you wanted the job, or that you knew what you were getting into.” Hiring managers are going to go with the candidate who has made it seem like this is their dream job. So make it clear why you want the position. “Enthusiasm conveys personality,” Lees adds. He suggests writing something like “I’d love to work for your company. Who wouldn’t? You’re the industry leader, setting standards that others only follow.” Don’t bother applying if you’re not excited about some aspect of the company or role.

Watch the tone.

At the same time, don’t go overboard with the flattery or say anything you don’t mean. Authenticity is crucial. “Even if you’ve been out of work for months, and would take any job at this point, you want to avoid sounding desperate,” says Lees. You don’t want your tone to undermine your message, so be professional and mature. A good rule of thumb is to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager and think about “the kind of language that the hiring manager would use with one of the company’s customers.” Of course, it can be hard to discern your own tone in writing, so you may need to ask someone to review a draft (which is always a good idea anyway — see advice below). Lees says that he often cuts outs “anything that sounds like desperation” when he’s reviewing letters for clients.

Keep it short.

Much of the advice out there says to keep it under a page. But both Glickman and Lees say even shorter is better. “Most cover letters I see are too long,” says Lees. “It should be brief enough that someone can read it at a glance.” You do have to cover a lot of ground — but you should do it succinctly. This is where asking a friend, former colleague, or mentor to review your letter can be helpful. Ask them to read through it and point out places where you can cut.

Get feedback.

In fact, it’s a great idea to share your cover letter with a few people, says Lees. Rather than sending it off and asking, “What do you think?” be specific about the kind of feedback you want. In particular, request two things. First, ask your friend if it’s clear what your main point is. What’s the story you’re telling? Are they able to summarize it? Second, ask them what’s wrong with the letter. “Other people are more attuned to desperation, overselling, over-modesty, and underselling,” says Lees, and they should be able to point out places where the tone is off.

When you can’t submit a cover letter.

Many companies now use online application systems that don’t allow for a cover letter. You may be able to figure out how to include one in the same document as your résumé, but that’s not a guarantee, especially because some systems only allow for data to be entered into specific boxes. In these cases, use the format you’re given to demonstrate your ability to do the job and your enthusiasm for the role. If possible, you may try to find someone to whom you can send a brief follow-up email highlighting a few key points about your application.

Principles to Remember


  • Have a strong opening statement that makes clear why you want the job and what you bring to the table.
  • Be succinct — a hiring manager should be able to read your letter at a glance.
  • Share an accomplishment that shows you can address the challenges the employer is facing.


  • Try to be funny — too often it falls flat.
  • Send a generic cover letter — customize each one for the specific job.
  • Go overboard with flattery — be professional and mature.


Feature | 03/19/2020

School Boards and the Racial Gap in Education Finance

Brett Fischer presented a paper, "No Spending Without Representation: School Boards and the Racial Gap in Education Finance," at the AEFP's 45th Annual Conference Program . To address the question of whether a lack of minority representation on school boards hurts minority students, he used detailed school-level data from a large capital investment program to evaluate whether minority school board members increase spending on minority students. His instrumental variables estimates, which leverage exogenous variation on school board election ballots to deliver causal effects, show that minority school board officials allocate the marginal dollar to schools with high levels of poverty and nonwhite enrollment, and those investments raise student achievement in the medium-term. His analysis suggests that improving minority representation on school boards could help combat persistent racial gaps in education finance and achievement. 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/23/2017


"It’s terrifying to know that the person you’re speaking to is weighing your every word—and could hold the power to change your future. This is why interviews can be so stressful, and why sometimes it can be hard not to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. No matter how long you prep for the interview, it’s actual practice that gets one better at interviewing. And while there are many things you should say in a job interview, it can be harder to focus on the things not to say. We’ve got the seven things to steer clear of mentioning if you really want that job." -Kristina Rudic


Click here to read the rest of the article 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/07/2023

Response to Wall Street Journal's "Does Your Resume Pass the Six-Second Test?"

These are the ECO's comments written by Jen Jones, Director, Edwin T. Burton Economics Career Office

Yes, this is about right. I take about 30 seconds for a first pass at a resume, before screening the finer details. If I'm familiar with an employer and job description, my thorough review (before comments to the student) will be about 2 minutes, and if I'm unfamiliar with the employer/job description my review may take 3-4 minutes as I toggle between the job posting and the employer. I use the analogy of selling a house and staging a home.  The exterior of the house and the property is curb appeal and most recruiters are seeking curb appeal before they get deeper. So, the top 1/3 of the resume needs to draw attention for super competitive industries/employers. The curb appeal definitely consists of key words from the job posting, relevant experience/skills, industry/job function industry language, and demonstrating excellence. (For students the latter includes GPA, test scores, honors awards, and leadership.) Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) make this process trickier because we don't know the algorithms that are used, but keywords remain a best practice.

Forget the Professional Statement

Yes, especially for students. It's unnecessary and squanders the most valuable real estate. I discourage using a profile or objective statement entirely, even in cases when a student is pivoting away from their major in their job search. The college resume is already structured to highlight relevant experience that diverges from one's major using Relevant Coursework as a category for example, and others. I could be persuaded against this, but likely this would be only for a non-traditional student, i.e. for someone who had military service or worked for several years before pursuing their undergraduate degree.

As for replacing the professional statement with a list of skills - not for everyone. For our students, Education should be listed first to be clear that they are seeking entry-level employment. If a student has worked full-time before attending college or has military service experience, this will come in their experience section, or in a skills section immediately after their education. This is where I've seen and encouraged the most significant formatting changes in recent years - including the Skills section before Experience. When a student has very strong, unusual, or relevant technical skills it may be worthwhile including those in the top 1/3 of the resume rather than lower.

Don't Be a Jack of All Trades

I agree on principle, but for students applying for their first internship or micro-internship, a thematic resume may be more difficult to create. Recruiters understand this. But, often, we can find a thread of interest to convey on the resume. By fourth-year students should be more successful in customizing their resumes for a couple of different job functions or industries/conveying their experience with a clear theme that is relevant to the job at hand. If not, that's an important conversation to have with a career advisor.

Use Numbers

Yes, Yes, Yes! I spend a good deal of time quantifying students' accomplishments with them. Think beyond responsibilities and include results and achievements. With finance-related roles or summer internships that led to easily recognizable quantifiable outcomes, this is easy. But this is more challenging for second and third-years especially, who are coming from less professional roles. Simply changing their ice cream shop experience from "served customers ice cream" to "served 75 customers an hour and upsold toppings by ~50% increasing nightly revenue by 30%" reveals a lot of info about the pace, volume, understanding of profit and the market, and likely can lead to great conversation about profitability and running a business.

Make Your LinkedIn Profile the Priority

I disagree with this, but only for students. For more experienced job-seekers this makes sense, and for recently-graduated students. If students are applying for their jobs through LinkedIn, then their profile ought to be solid and descriptive. I also do not like the "Open to Work" tag because I'm not sure that the signal is perceived the same by everyone. We have a wonderful AI tool in Handshake called Aspire, which helps students build a great LinkedIn profile. 

do recommend that every job-seeking/graduate school-seeking student should have a LinkedIn account to conduct research and network. 


Feature | 11/01/2018

Diego Legal-Cañisá at the Becker-Friedman Institute's Macro Financial Modeling Summer Session

The Macro Financial Modeling (MFM) Summer Session, organized by the University of Chicago's Becker-Friedman Institute, is designed for early-career professionals and doctoral students in economics and related fields who are interested in developing enhanced macroeconomic models with linkages to the financial sector. Diego Legal-Cañisá, who participated in the 2018 Session,  reports that it was "an excellent opportunity to receive feedback on my research from a wide range of top scholars with similar research interests. I did a poster presentation which allowed me to practice explaining my research and preliminary results and answering questions clearly and concisely. I received insightful comments and recommendations, such as suggestions of additional exercises I could perform and connections I could make to other related areas. In addition, the MFM was a great opportunity to learn more about frontier research in macro-finance from top scholars and to listen to inspiring keynote talks by Lars Hansen, Christopher Sims, Andrew W. Lo, and Harald Uhlig, to name a few. Last but not least, it was a great opportunity to exchange experiences about academic life with colleagues and gather resources pertaining to conferences and internship opportunities, job market tips, and other useful resources that will help me develop as a researcher."

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/29/2019

Alumni Spotlight: Rachel MacKay

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 10/12/2023

15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer

Article written by Deppak Malhotra for Harvard Business Review.

Job-offer negotiations are rarely easy. Consider three typical scenarios:

You’re in a third-round interview for a job at a company you like, but a firm you admire even more just invited you in. Suddenly the first hiring manager cuts to the chase: “As you know, we’re considering many candidates. We like you, and we hope the feeling is mutual. If we make you a competitive offer, will you accept it?”

You’ve received an offer for a job you’ll enjoy, but the salary is lower than you think you deserve. You ask your potential boss whether she has any flexibility. “We typically don’t hire people with your background, and we have a different culture here,” she responds. “This job isn’t just about the money. Are you saying you won’t take it unless we increase the pay?”

You’ve been working happily at your company for three years, but a recruiter has been calling, insisting that you could earn much more elsewhere. You don’t want to quit, but you expect to be compensated fairly, so you’d like to ask for a raise. Unfortunately, budgets are tight, and your boss doesn’t react well when people try to leverage outside offers. What do you do?

Each of these situations is difficult in its own way—and emblematic of how complex job negotiations can be. At many companies, compensation increasingly comes in the form of stock, options, and bonuses linked to both personal and group performance. In MBA recruitment, more companies are using “exploding” offers or sliding-scale signing bonuses based on when a candidate accepts the job, complicating attempts to compare offers. With executive mobility on the rise, people vying for similar positions often have vastly different backgrounds, strengths, and salary histories, making it hard for employers to set benchmarks or create standard packages.

In some industries a weak labor market has also left candidates with fewer options and less leverage, and employers better positioned to dictate terms. Those who are unemployed, or whose current job seems shaky, have seen their bargaining power further reduced.

But job market complexity creates opportunities for people who can skillfully negotiate the terms and conditions of employment. After all, negotiation matters most when there is a broad range of possible outcomes.

As a professor who studies and teaches the subject, I frequently advise current and former students on navigating this terrain. For several years I have been offering a presentation on the topic to current students. (To see a video of this talk, go to Every situation is unique, but some strategies, tactics, and principles can help you address many of the issues people face in negotiating with employers. Here are 15 rules to guide you in these discussions.

[  1  ]

Don’t underestimate the importance of likability.

This sounds basic, but it’s crucial: People are going to fight for you only if they like you. Anything you do in a negotiation that makes you less likable reduces the chances that the other side will work to get you a better offer. This is about more than being polite; it’s about managing some inevitable tensions in negotiation, such as asking for what you deserve without seeming greedy, pointing out deficiencies in the offer without seeming petty, and being persistent without being a nuisance. Negotiators can typically avoid these pitfalls by evaluating (for example, in practice interviews with friends) how others are likely to perceive their approach.  [From the ECO: This should not discourage you from negotiating; but rather, suggests you consider that how you negotiate is important.]

[  2  ]

Help them understand why you deserve what you’re requesting.

It’s not enough for them to like you. They also have to believe you’re worth the offer you want. Never let your proposal speak for itself—always tell the story that goes with it. Don’t just state your desire (a 15% higher salary, say, or permission to work from home one day a week); explain precisely why it’s justified (the reasons you deserve more money than others they may have hired, or that your children come home from school early on Fridays). If you have no justification for a demand, it may be unwise to make it. Again, keep in mind the inherent tension between being likable and explaining why you deserve more: Suggesting that you’re especially valuable can make you sound arrogant if you haven’t thought through how best to communicate the message. [ECO and UVA Outcomes Reports can provide you with salary data to help in your negotiations. Also, seek other resources like]

[  3  ]

Make it clear they can get you.

People won’t want to expend political or social capital to get approval for a strong or improved offer if they suspect that at the end of the day, you’re still going to say, “No, thanks.” Who wants to be the stalking horse for another company? If you intend to negotiate for a better package, make it clear that you’re serious about working for this employer. Sometimes you get people to want you by explaining that everybody wants you. But the more strongly you play that hand, the more they may think that they’re not going to get you anyway, so why bother jumping through hoops? If you’re planning to mention all the options you have as leverage, you should balance that by saying why—or under what conditions—you would be happy to forgo those options and accept an offer.

[  4  ]

Understand the person across the table.

Companies don’t negotiate; people do. And before you can influence the person sitting opposite you, you have to understand her. What are her interests and individual concerns? For example, negotiating with a prospective boss is very different from negotiating with an HR representative. You can perhaps afford to pepper the latter with questions regarding details of the offer, but you don’t want to annoy someone who may become your manager with seemingly petty demands. On the flip side, HR may be responsible for hiring 10 people and therefore reluctant to break precedent, whereas the boss, who will benefit more directly from your joining the company, may go to bat for you with a special request.

[  5  ]

Understand their constraints.

They may like you. They may think you deserve everything you want. But they still may not give it to you. Why? Because they may have certain ironclad constraints, such as salary caps, that no amount of negotiation can loosen. Your job is to figure out where they’re flexible and where they’re not. If, for example, you’re talking to a large company that’s hiring 20 similar people at the same time, it probably can’t give you a higher salary than everyone else. But it may be flexible on start dates, vacation time, and signing bonuses. On the other hand, if you’re negotiating with a smaller company that has never hired someone in your role, there may be room to adjust the initial salary offer or job title but not other things. The better you understand the constraints, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to propose options that solve both sides’ problems.

[  6  ]

Be prepared for tough questions.

Many job candidates have been hit with difficult questions they were hoping not to face: Do you have any other offers? If we make you an offer tomorrow, will you say yes? Are we your top choice? If you’re unprepared, you might say something inelegantly evasive or, worse, untrue. My advice is to never lie in a negotiation. It frequently comes back to harm you, but even if it doesn’t, it’s unethical. The other risk is that, faced with a tough question, you may try too hard to please and end up losing leverage. The point is this: You need to prepare for questions and issues that would put you on the defensive, make you feel uncomfortable, or expose your weaknesses. Your goal is to answer honestly without looking like an unattractive candidate—and without giving up too much bargaining power. If you have thought in advance about how to answer difficult questions, you probably won’t forfeit one of those objectives. [The ECO can help you prepare for these various scenarios, and questions about salary that may pop up in early interview stages.]

[  7  ]

Focus on the questioner’s intent, not on the question.

If, despite your preparation, someone comes at you from an angle you didn’t expect, remember this simple rule: It’s not the question that matters but the questioner’s intent. Often the question is challenging but the questioner’s intent is benign. An employer who asks whether you would immediately accept an offer tomorrow may simply be interested in knowing if you are genuinely excited about the job, not trying to box you into a corner. A question about whether you have other offers may be designed not to expose your weak alternatives but simply to learn what type of job search you’re conducting and whether this company has a chance of getting you. If you don’t like the question, don’t assume the worst. Rather, answer in a way that addresses what you think is the intent, or ask for a clarification of the problem the interviewer is trying to solve. If you engage in a genuine conversation about what he’s after, and show a willingness to help him resolve whatever issue he has, both of you will be better off.

[  8  ]

Consider the whole deal.

Sadly, too many people, “negotiating a job offer” and “negotiating a salary” are synonymous. But much of your satisfaction from the job will come from other factors you can negotiate—perhaps even more easily than salary. Don’t get fixated on money. Focus on the value of the entire deal: responsibilities, location, travel, flexibility in work hours, opportunities for growth and promotion, perks, support for continued education, and so forth. Think not just about how you’re willing to be rewarded but also when. You may decide to chart a course that pays less handsomely now but will put you in a stronger position later.

[  9  ]

Negotiate multiple issues simultaneously, not serially.

If someone makes you an offer and you’re legitimately concerned about parts of it, you’re usually better off proposing all your changes at once. Don’t say, “The salary is a bit low. Could you do something about it?” and then, once she’s worked on it, come back with “Thanks. Now here are two other things I’d like…” If you ask for only one thing initially, she may assume that getting it will make you ready to accept the offer (or at least to make a decision). If you keep saying “and one more thing…,” she is unlikely to remain in a generous or understanding mood. Furthermore, if you have more than one request, don’t simply mention all the things you want—A, B, C, and D; also signal the relative importance of each to you. Otherwise, she may pick the two things you value least, because they’re pretty easy to give you, and feel she’s met you halfway. Then you’ll have an offer that’s not much better and a negotiating partner who thinks her job is done.

[  10  ]

Don’t negotiate just to negotiate.

Resist the temptation to prove that you are a great negotiator. MBA students who have just taken a class on negotiation are plagued by this problem: They go bargaining berserk the first chance they get, which is with a prospective employer. My advice: If something is important to you, absolutely negotiate. But don’t haggle over every little thing. Fighting to get just a bit more can rub people the wrong way—and can limit your ability to negotiate with the company later in your career, when it may matter more.

[  11  ]

Think through the timing of offers.

At the beginning of a job hunt, you often want to get at least one offer in order to feel secure. This is especially true for people finishing a degree program, when everyone is interviewing and some are celebrating early victories. Ironically, getting an early offer can be problematic: Once a company has made an offer, it will expect an answer reasonably soon. If you want to consider multiple jobs, it’s useful to have all your offers arrive close together. So don’t be afraid to slow down the process with one potential employer or to speed it up with another, in order to have all your options laid out at one time. This, too, is a balancing act: If you pull back too much—or push too hard—a company may lose interest and hire someone else. But there are subtle ways to solve such problems. For example, if you want to delay an offer, you might ask for a later second- or third-round interview.

[  12  ]

Avoid, ignore, or downplay ultimatums of any kind.

People don’t like being told “Do this or else.” So avoid giving ultimatums. Sometimes we do so inadvertently—we’re just trying to show strength, or we’re frustrated, and it comes off the wrong way. Your counterpart may do the same. My personal approach when at the receiving end of an ultimatum is to simply ignore it, because at some point the person who gave it might realize that it could scuttle the deal and will want to take it back. He can do that much more easily without losing face if it’s never been discussed. If someone tells you, “We’ll never do this,” don’t dwell on it or make her repeat it. Instead you might say, “I can see how that might be difficult, given where we are today. Perhaps we can talk about X, Y, and Z.” Pretend the ultimatum was never given and keep her from becoming wedded to it. If it’s real, she’ll make that clear over time.

[  13  ]

Remember, they’re not out to get you.

Tough salary negotiations or long delays in the confirmation of a formal offer can make it seem that potential employers have it in for you. But if you’re far enough along in the process, these people like you and want to continue liking you. Unwillingness to move on a particular issue may simply reflect constraints that you don’t fully appreciate. A delay in getting an offer letter may just mean that you’re not the only concern the hiring manager has in life. Stay in touch, but be patient. And if you can’t be patient, don’t call up in frustration or anger; better to start by asking for a clarification on timing and whether there’s anything you can do to help move things along.

[  14  ]

Stay at the table.

Remember: What’s not negotiable today may be negotiable tomorrow. Over time, interests and constraints change. When someone says no, what he’s saying is “No—given how I see the world today.” A month later that same person may be able to do something he couldn’t do before, whether it’s extending an offer deadline or increasing your salary. Suppose a potential boss denies your request to work from home on Fridays. Maybe that’s because he has no flexibility on the issue. But it’s also possible that you haven’t yet built up the trust required to make him feel comfortable with that arrangement. Six months in, you’ll probably be in a better position to persuade him that you’ll work conscientiously away from the office. Be willing to continue the conversation and to encourage others to revisit issues that were left unaddressed or unresolved.

[  15  ]

Maintain a sense of perspective.

This is the final and most important point. You can negotiate like a pro and still lose out if the negotiation you’re in is the wrong one. Ultimately, your satisfaction hinges less on getting the negotiation right and more on getting the job right. Experience and research demonstrate that the industry and function in which you choose to work, your career trajectory, and the day-to-day influences on you (such as bosses and coworkers) can be vastly more important to satisfaction than the particulars of an offer. These guidelines should help you negotiate effectively and get the offer you deserve, but they should come into play only after a thoughtful, holistic job hunt designed to ensure that the path you’re choosing will lead you where you want to go.

Feature | 10/06/2020

Winners of Snavely Outstanding Summer Paper Award

The UVA Economics Department is delighted to announce the winners of the Snavely Awards for Outstanding Summer Paper: Moonju Cho, for “Multi-homing Consumers and Bundling of Contents”; Yutong (Harriet) Chen, for “Gender Gaps and Discrimination in the Gig Economy”; and Ben Chenault, for “Land Conservation and the Opportunity Cost of Agricultural Production: Evidence from the Renewable Fuel Standard.”  Each winner receives a cash award and certificate in recognition of their achievement. The pool of submissions this year was outstanding. Congratulations and keep up the excellent work!



Feature | 04/15/2019

Alex Gross Presents at IIO Conference

Alex Gross presented his paper, "Private Labels and Bargaining in the Supply Chain: The Case of Wine," at the International Industrial Organization Conference in Boston, MA, in April 2019. His findings: private label products can increase a retailer's profits on national brand products by about 11% on average. The conference offered a great opportunity to receive feedback on his work and meet prominent researchers in his field. 


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 05/01/2023

End of Semester Message from the ECO Director

Dear Economics Majors,

As we close out the semester and you enter into the exam period, the ECO sends you our best wishes. Here is an article to help you navigate this time, which may be stressful for many of you. For those who are graduating, hearty congratulations on reaching this milestone. We are excited to follow you through your next steps.

We will be here during exams and most of the summer to meet with students, evaluate our career services from this past year, and plan career programming for the next academic year. Appointment times are listed on Handshake through the end of July. All majors, including the Class of 2023, may make appointments this summer. We will send one newsletter each in June and July, and then two in August, resuming our weekly cadence in September.

We are attempting to surpass last year’s response rate to two surveys – First Destination for our graduating students and Summer Plans Survey for all other majors. Please do help us! Respondents are entered into a drawing for econ merchandise.

Join our LinkedIn group or connect with me directly for access to job postings from our alumni that come in this summer.

Best wishes on your exams!

Jen Jones

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/11/2021

Virtual Career Fairs: Best Practices! How to Plan and Attend


by Victorio Duran III | August 05, 2021

It isn’t easy to stand out at in-person job fairs, and leaving a lasting impression with employers at virtual job fairs can be just as challenging. However, if you follow the eight tips below, you’ll have no difficulty making meaningful professional connections and differentiating yourself from other candidates.

1. Update your profile and resume

Your resume and professional profiles, especially your LinkedIn profile, need to be up to date. Ensure that your resume is as comprehensive as possible. Don’t skimp on information—and certainly make sure to include key words and quantifiable achievements. Also, make sure your polished, error-free resume is available in both PDF and Word files, and available on your desktop so you can access it and upload it easily. All of this is important during fairs because employers use the information on your resume and profile to see if you match their requirements.

2. Do your research

For employers you’re interested in, go the extra mile while researching them. Find out about the opportunities they offer and their cultures. This allows you to better determine if they might be good fits for you, and to customize your resume and profile to their requirements. In addition, doing your research shows recruiters at the career fair that you did your homework and are interested in working for them. The more you know about a company’s products, employee culture, social media presence, standing in the market, etc., the more topics you’ll have to talk about—and the more likely you are to make a lasting impression.

3. Prepare to ask questions       

Answering questions is so passé. To stand out from the competition, you need to ask questions—and you have every right to do so. Show off the research you’ve done and prepare a list of questions for recruiters. You might ask about company culture, retention rate, growth plans, how a company is managing in these difficult times, and how a company’s work environment has changed in the wake of Covid-19. Also, with everyone working from home, you might have legitimate concerns about starting a job remotely. So, ask about the communication tools the company uses to facilitate work from home, and whether they prefer Glip, Discord, or another collaboration software app.

4. Plan your day

You don’t want your lack of planning and organization getting in the way of making strong connections at virtual fairs. So, if you have trouble getting organized, there are many online productivity tools that can help. It also helps if you proceed step by step through each virtual fair. So, decide ahead of time which virtual stands you’d like to stop at and decide the questions you’ll be asking at each stop. In addition, familiarize yourself with the platform hosting the fair so you know how to go about it.

It’s extremely important to spend your time efficiently. You want to attend the career clinics and webinars but also make time for meeting with recruiters on a one-to-one basis. You don’t want to have all the information and knowledge on how to land a job but not get enough time to talk to the people actually offering one.

5. Draft an elevator pitch

It’s important to prepare an elevator pitch you can give to recruiters you meet at fairs. Time is of the essence, as there are typically hundreds of other candidates vying for recruiters’ attention. Making an impression with few words isn’t something most people can do on the spot and off the top of their heads. So, ahead of each fair, draft an elevator pitch thoughtfully, considering how you’ll approach each employer and what would you’d like to say.

It’s probable that instead of talking, you’ll have to text your pitch, so have your pitch ready to be copied and pasted. A little knowledge of the principles of copywriting wouldn’t go amiss to make an immediate impression and be able to sell yourself. And think short and sharp—briefly outline your academic and work background, and mention why you’d like to be part of an employer’s team.

6. Be professional

Even when you’re attending a virtual fair, you should dress to impress. Recruiters will be able to see you. Be as sharply dressed as you would for an in-person interview. This shows seriousness and will create a great first impression. Avoid clothing with patterns, and keep your background plain, simple, and clutter-free.  

Of course, don’t be late for the fair. Show up on time so you have a better chance of doing everything you want to do during the fair. If you’ve set prior appointments for personal meetings with recruiters, be there before they are. Doing so will make you come off as eager, well prepared, and someone who respects others’ busy schedules.

In addition, be professional in all your communication. A joke or two can be acceptable during conversations to lighten the mood, but too many jokes can make you seem not very serious and create the wrong impression. While it’s good to have things to talk about, limit your conversation to the company, the job, and the matter at hand.

7. Be real

To come off as your authentic self, especially on a virtual platform, isn’t easy. However, the best advice is to be yourself. Let your personality shine through, and don’t let your nerves get in the way. There’s no need to be nervous or worried that one single job fair will make or break your career—there will be many other fairs. Also, remember that genuine candidates stand out—they’re the ones recruiters will remember.

So, if you’re authentic as possible while also acting confidently and professionally, you’ll create a great first impression. Give honest answers to questions, relating answers to your personal life and struggles to give employers a quick idea of who you are. Of course, be cool-headed at all times, especially in response to tricky interview questions you didn’t anticipate. 

8. Close thoughtfully

If you want to make a truly lasting impression, you need to connect with employers after career fairs. So, make sure you ask for their contact information during the fair, and send them a formal email immediately afterward. You could also send them a LinkedIn request with a personalized message, thanking them for their time and summarizing the conversation you had. Mention the position you’re interested in, and remind them again why you’re a good fit. Keep it short, and ask to be informed of the next steps in the hiring process.

Victorio Duran III US is the Associate SEO Director at RingCentral, a global leader in cloud-based communications and internet phone service provider. He has over 13 years of extensive involvement in web and digital operations, with diverse experience as a web engineer, product manager, and digital marketing strategist.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 02/20/2019

Annual Economics Undergraduate Career Forum

What can you do with an economics major? Almost anything! Join the economics department for a series of career talks and office hours, as well as two career panels moderated by our faculty. You’ll hear from guests with diverse backgrounds and have a chance to ask questions and network with our guests. What do they have in common – an economics major! This program will be of interest to all students who are considering work in the fields of our guests.


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 05/26/2017

ECO Newsletter 5.2.17

One week Business Lab in D.C. for Majors!

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/24/2018


"The majority of applications for many jobs never get seen by a human. If you've ever submitted an application through a company's website, there's a strong chance that your resume was screened—and likely rejected—by an automated system. Here are some tips to help make sure that your resume makes it through in future, so that it can at least get its six seconds with a real live human." - Phil Stott


Click here to read the rest of the article. 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/15/2018

What to Say in Your Cover Letter

What to Say in Your Cover Letter

For someone new to the job market, it can be difficult to determine what to include on both the résumé and cover letter. You may feel that you have no experience to include, and your work experience could be non-existent or very limited.

When composing your cover letter, keep its purpose in mind: The cover letter is written to a specific position, aims to persuade the reader to read the resume, and asks for an interview. Your cover letters will be different each time you send one out. Maintaining the right focus will help you determine what to include in the letter. The type of letter will also help you focus: Are you writing to a recruiter or to a blind job posting? What you know of your audience will also help you focus your letter. Finally, your company research will guide you toward a direction appropriate for that particular opening or desired opening.

Just as you did when writing your résumé, review everything you learned about yourself through your assessments. What are your core values? What is your personality profile? What are your best skills? Why are you drawn to this profession? Put all this information in front of you, and review which aspects from your assessments are best suited to this particular position at this particular company. Also consider which characteristics the reader will likely be looking for. If you are responding to a job post, the post itself can often give some clues. Avoid repeating the desired information word-for-word, but do speak to those requests in the cover letter.

After drafting the letter, if you feel you are repeating the same information that is on the resume, use the same information in the body of your letter, but word it or present it differently. Look for information that you can summarize in one sentence instead of the two or three bulleted points you have on your résumé. Did you work summer jobs in sales? How much did you contribute to the bottom line overall? Were you repeatedly in leadership roles on school projects? Instead of listing each project, combine your experience in one pack-it-with-a-punch sentence. And if all else fails, focus hard on presenting your best accomplishments in a new way, but be wary of overusing your thesaurus.

Also consider how the same information can be presented in a different format. Quantifiable information that is listed as dollar figures on the resume can possible shown as a percentage in the cover letter, particularly if it is a figure that shows growth or some type of (positive) change.

For those who are new to the working world, focus on the educational background, volunteer activities, summer or part-time jobs, and any clubs or memberships that may be applicable. Review your background in all of these areas to see which should be stressed in the letter you are composing. Again, include the information that best meets the needs of the employer, and use that as a guide.

Feature | 11/05/2023

Women in Economics Panel and Luncheon 11.10.23

Women in Economics Career Talk [Sponsored by the ECO and the Econ Club] Bios Follow this Description

When: Friday, November 10, 11am-12pm

Where: Monroe Hall, Room 130

Register Here:

Join us for a unique conversation with UVA alumnae and students who have studied economics. Guests' experiences span industries and job functions and panelists will discuss how they got to be where they are professionally. Take advantage of this informal setting to hear about our guests' career paths and their perspectives on opportunities and challenges for women in the labor market. Expect to be well-informed by candid comments and advice from our guests. All students in the College are invited with priority registration for economics majors until 11/7/23, when registration opens to all students in the College.

Women in Economics Luncheon [Sponsored by the ECO and the Econ Club]

When: Friday, November 10, 12pm-1pm

Where: Monroe Hall Courtyard/Monroe 120

Register Here:

Join us for conversations with UVA economics alumnae working across industries and job functions.

All students in the College are invited with priority registration for economics majors until 11/7/23, when registration opens to all students in the College.


The luncheon will follow the Women in Economics Career Panel.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/30/2021

ECO Blog: Conversations with the CIA and World Bank

Conversations with Employers: CIA and World Bank

While many of you have been attending employer information sessions and meeting up with alumni for informational interviews, I've had some great conversations with employers that want to hire our majors. At the bottom of this blog, I've included some questions I ask when meeting with employers to learn about their internship and full-time opportunities. I've been thinking about how to get the information that I gather to you, and then it struck me that I could reach you all right here on our blog. If we see some traffic to this blog page, I'll use this method again to convey notes to you.  

Below I've included a few notes about both employers and how you may follow up for more information. These notes are specifically based on recruiting economics majors. The CIA is recruiting other majors for other positions, and I encourage you to check out their website for more technical and engineering opportunities.

1 - CIA - they are recruiting for financial analysts and political analysts. They do hire economic analysts but don't have an active posting right now. US citizenship is required. Second languages are useful but not required. There is great opportunity for promotion, advancement, and diversity of opportunity. 
These jobs require a security clearance, which can take some time to receive so connecting with the recruiter about interest early is helpful. I can connect you directly with the UVA recruiter. Send me an email to get started. 

As a Political Analyst at the CIA, you’ll support policymakers by producing and delivering written and oral assessments of the domestic politics, foreign policy, stability, and social issues of foreign governments and entities. Analysts examine actors’ goals and motivations, culture, values, history, society, decision-making processes, and ideologies in the context of how those elements affect U.S. interests and national security.

As a Finance Resource Officer Undergraduate Intern for the CIA, you will work with an accomplished and diverse team, providing a full range of financial support for mission requirements. Finance Resource Officers serve as one of the most trusted and financially accountable officers within the Agency and are responsible for the analysis and processing of financial transactions to ensure the financial integrity of the Agency’s funds. (taken from

Opportunities exist for foreign and domestic travel, language training, and analytic tradecraft and management training. You will have an opportunity to develop deep substantive expertise and participate in broadening assignments with other offices in the Agency and across the U.S. Government. (taken from 

The paid time off sounds very generous. Other perks are continuous training and career development along with federal retirement and insurance.

To speak with their recruiter now, please contact me and I'll connect you.

Visit them:
9/8 on Grounds at the Finance Careers Night
9/22 at Intelligence and Security Networking Night

2 - World Bank

I spoke with economist Collette Wheeler, who works on the biannual Global Economic Prospects report. The World Bank has Short Term Consultant (STC) opportunities for imminent/recent graduates, who are interested in macro-economics. Topics researched and reported on include: Macroeconomics and Economic Growth, International Trade and Economics, Financial Sector Development. 

Taken from the January 2021 report: "The world economy is experiencing a very strong but uneven recovery, with many emerging market and developing economies facing obstacles to vaccination. The global outlook remains uncertain, with major risks around the path of the pandemic and the possibility of financial stress amid large debt loads. Policy makers face a difficult balancing act as they seek to nurture the recovery while safeguarding price stability and fiscal sustainability. A comprehensive set of policies will be required to promote a strong recovery that mitigates inequality and enhances environmental sustainability, ultimately putting economies on a path of green, resilient, and inclusive development. Prominently among the necessary policies are efforts to lower trade costs so that trade can once again become a robust engine of growth. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Global Economic Prospects. The Global Economic Prospects is a World Bank Group Flagship Report that examines global economic developments and prospects, with a special focus on emerging market and developing economies." 

STCs may work for 150 days of the year and contracts may be renewed in subsequent years. These STC roles often lead to full-time employment with the bank either in the analyst track or the economist track. As I understood, the economist track requires stronger writing skills. The work involves data scraping and cleaning information from more than 160 countries in order for the bank to write its biannual reports. STCs will gather data from databases such as Bloomberg and create visualizations of their data using Excel, Matlab, and STATA. Familiarity with any of these tools will be helpful in the recruitment process. Ms. Wheeler works on Chapters 1 and 2 of the report. The research covers more than 200 commodities. The majority of Research Assistants at the WB, began as STCs, which means the STC job opens the door for future career prospects.

The application involves submitting a cover letter and resume. Then you may be contacted for a screening call, an Excel test, and a behavioral interview.  You may be asked macro-based questions in an interview and likely will be interviewed by multiple staff and scholars.

If these topics sound interesting to you, I encourage you to reach out to Collette Wheeler for an introductory call. Please contact me to connect with Ms. Wheeler.


Some Questions I Ask Employers
Often I conduct research before my employer meetings and may have answers to some of the questions below, in which case I either don't ask the question, or I confirm through the conversation.

  • What industry is your organization in and who are its clients?
  • Who are the competitors in this space?
  • What internship and entry-level positions are available now/typically?
  • What skills and knowledge are you seeking?
  • What makes a competitive candidate? (similar to the question above)
  • Are there other backgrounds you are seeking for your hiring needs? 
  • Talk about diversity initiatives you have in place for recruiting and inside the organization.
  • Are there mentorship opportunities for new employees?
  • What are the steps of the interview process?
  • How many students are you hiring?
  • At what other schools do you recruit and where do you see your best applicants and why? (Less important now with virtual recruiting)
  • How have our majors compared in the past to other UVA students/students at other schools?
  • What is the career trajectory?
  • What do employees typically do when they leave/why do they leave?
  • What is the compensation?
  • Who are the UVA alumni you work with at the organization (if any)?
  • How would you like to be involved with the department?
  • What kind of skill-building programs do you have in place to potentially share with our students?
  • How has Covid-19 affected your hiring/the work environment/on-boarding/start-dates?



Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/19/2022

Seven Tips for Preparing for the New Semester

Taken from PwC on August 19th, 2022.

After “no rules” vacations it’s always hard to get back to school, schedules and assignments. We have put together seven tips we think can help you to get back on track.

1. Clean everything

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Clean your computer desktop and downloads folder, delete all those temporary PDF’s, organise everything in folders and be ready for the new semester with everything in place. Think about changing your screen image, with something calm, maybe related to the season … nature is always a good idea!

Now let’s move to your backpack and your desk. Put everything in place, throw away anything that isn’t useful anymore. After this, you’re almost ready to start.

2. Set a schedule

After holidays or exam time, we know it’s hard to get back into the routine. Setting up a schedule will help you get back to it: write down your study time and sleeping hours, and don’t forget to leave some free slots, or fill them with “me” time … everyone needs it.

3. Create your own “reimagine the possible” list

Here you’ll write down not only your new year’s resolution but also small things and topics/ideas you feel you need to work on over time.

You can put down getting back to the gym or finally taking that dry-cleaning to the laundry, as well as what you wish to achieve in one year, for example. This won’t be just one more bucket list, it will include what you want to work on as a person.

4. Back to a good sleep schedule

There’s nothing better than those days without classes or exams coming, where you can watch Netflix or play Minecraft all night long. We know this sounds like heaven, but with the new semester starting, you should start thinking about getting ready for an early alarm.

Use technology in your favour, set a bedtime on your phone and all your notifications will be silent, and this will be one distraction less. Start setting an earlier alarm each morning, so when the class time comes again, you will be ready!

5. Order your books (if they are digital, download them)

Do you know what’s better than realising the semester is starting? It’s being prepared for it! So, let’s have a look at the books you need for the classes, if they are digital, download them and create folders for the signatures.

If you have no information about the material you need for one of the classes, what about talking to that friend of yours who has done the class already?

6. Put together some playlists / podcasts

If you have to travel to get to your school, the right playlist, or an interesting podcast can make commuting much easier. If you have some extra time now, spend some of it putting together playlists full of summer hits and old favourites that will cheer you up, or with relaxing sounds to help you concentrate or relax..

Don’t forget to check some podcasts on topics that interest you, the latest news or just comedy. Laughing is always good exercise, isn’t it?

7. Put yourself first

University tasks, part-time job/internship, parties … it can be overwhelming sometimes, and exhausting. Don’t forget to always put yourself first, stop when you need to, close the book or the computer for a break – even if that means you’ll be away for a whole weekend. Practice meditation, boxing, mindfulness, jogging or any other activity that allows you to think about absolutely NOTHING! This will help you concentrate on what’s important, and you’ll be much more productive.

Do you feel ready to start your semester after our tips? You don’t need to adopt all the tips, we know that what works for some students might not work for others. What’s important, in the end, is that you find your way, and if you have other tips and tricks feel free to let us know.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/30/2018

What to Wear: Dressing for the Job Search

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/09/2021

Rookie Bankers Sour on Wall Street's Pitch of Big Pay and Long Hours

By Kate Kelly and Lananh Nguyen

July 26, 2021

When Vince Iyoriobhe joined Bank of America’s investment banking division as a rookie analyst in 2017, he planned to stick around just long enough to get the experience needed to pursue his dream career in another corner of finance entirely — private equity.

“I knew banking was going to be tough,” Mr. Iyoriobhe, 26, said. But his attitude was: “I’m going to do it for two years and then go on to something else.”

The lure of investment banking is fading for the youngest members of the work force.

For decades, investment banking — the job of advising big companies on their most pressing needs — was one of Wall Street’s most prestigious careers, glorified in 1980s best sellers by writers like Tom Wolfe and Michael Lewis. Thousands of young hopefuls applied every year for a chance to start careers at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Salomon Brothers and other banks as analysts — entry-level positions that taught aspiring financiers how to build financial models and evaluate businesses.

They embraced the long hours and grunt work in exchange for the prestige of jobs that eventually paid millions. In turn, each analyst class provided banks with a reliable pipeline of talent.

But new college graduates are increasingly unwilling to put themselves through the strenuous two-year analyst program, despite starting pay that can reach $160,000. That’s especially so as careers in technology and other parts of the finance world promise better hours and more flexibility. The pandemic, which forced many to reassess their work-life balance, has only underscored that thinking. Others, like Mr. Iyoriobhe — who put in 90-hour weeks at Bank of America, sometimes going home only to shower — are willing to do it for the minimum time necessary to put it on their résumés. He now works at a private equity firm.

“It’s kind of like going through boot camp,” said Ben Chon, a 27-year-old entrepreneur whose YouTube video about leaving his job as a health care banker in JPMorgan Chase’s San Francisco office, posted in February, has garnered more than 100,000 views.

Mr. Chon said he appreciated all that he had learned as an analyst, but added: “You don’t have control of your lifestyle, and you’re working even when you don’t want to.”

The number of applicants to banking analyst programs is hard to track, but business school data, which captures a slightly older cohort of potential financiers, shows a broad decline in interest in investment banking. Last year, the five top-ranked U.S. business schools sent, on average, 7 percent of graduates from their master’s of business administration programs into full-time investment banking roles, down from 9 percent in 2016. The decline was pronounced at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where bankers were 12 percent of the M.B.A. cohort in 2020, compared with more than a fifth of the class a decade earlier. Harvard sent just 3 percent of its 2020 class.

In a recent Instagram survey on the page “Millennial Career Polls,” conducted by a former investment banker who wants to start a platform to help young professionals navigate their careers, 79 percent of the 139 respondents said they thought banking would be a less desired career in the future than when they had joined it. And in February, 13 analysts at Goldman showed their superiors a PowerPoint presentation describing brutally long hours and their declining health.

“The sleep deprivation, the treatment by senior bankers, the mental and physical stress … I’ve been through foster care and this is arguably worse,” one of the unnamed analysts surveyed in the presentation said.

“The industry is not as attractive” as it once was, said Rob Dicks, a consultant at Accenture who specializes in recruiting in financial services. “Employees want a hybrid model, and the banks are saying no,” he said, referring to a combination of in-person and remote work. “The message is: ‘The bank knows best, we have a model for doing this, and you will conform to that model.’”

A Culture of Overwork

Although top executives of the biggest banks have recently talked tough about the need for employees to return to the office, many are paying heed to the complaints of their youngest workers. Goldman’s chief executive, David Solomon, said in an earnings call this month that his firm would pay more competitively and enhance rewards for performance. Goldman is also enforcing its no-work-on-Saturday rule. JPMorgan is rolling out technology to automate some aspects of analysts’ work, and recently hired more than 200 additional junior bankers to ease the pressure in a particularly busy year.

A first-year investment banking analyst in New York can make as much as $160,000 in a year, including a bonus, according to estimates from Wall Street Prep, a company that helps aspiring bankers train for the industry. But several firms, including Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan and Barclays, have raised the salaries of junior bankers. Credit Suisse paid what it described internally as “lifestyle bonuses” of $20,000 to younger bankers.

Jefferies, another investment bank, even offered Peloton bikes, Apple Watches and other perquisites to thank more than 1,100 of its analysts and associates — the next rank up — for working hard during the pandemic. Jefferies employees “have gotten us through the hardest period we have experienced in our careers,” Rich Handler, the bank’s chief executive, and Brian Friedman, its president, wrote in a July 1 letter to staff and clients.

Still, banks tend to hew to a work culture fetishized in the 1980s, when Mr. Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” memorialized Wall Street as the home of “masters of the universe.” Young analysts worked around the clock, picked up coffee and food orders for the team, endured mindless tasks like filing trade tickets, and were subjected to pranks and verbal abuse. In exchange, they gained a foothold in one of the most lucrative careers available, when new products like bonds backed by mortgages and corporate mergers and acquisitions were creating vast profits.

Some of today’s heaviest hitters in banking got their start in that heyday, including John Waldron, the president of Goldman Sachs; Sharon Yeshaya, Morgan Stanley’s new chief financial officer; and Carlos Hernandez, executive chair of investment and corporate banking at JPMorgan.

Banks lost much of their allure after the 2008 financial crisis, just as Silicon Valley was taking off, and private equity firms morphed from small partnerships to asset management behemoths. The newer career options promised potentially quicker and bigger payouts, better hours, lofty corporate missions and perks like taking pets to the office. To young graduates, banking analyst roles appeared too grinding to be worth the effort, at least over the long term.

In recent years, recruiters for giant private equity firms like Carlyle and Blackstone, which manage billions of dollars for clients and also buy up companies, began wooing analysts even before they started their jobs.

Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America, said that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. “They’re very talented kids, especially around the investment banking arena,” he told Bloomberg TV this month. “And there’s a lot of offers from private equity and other things that we’re training them for our clients, and that’s OK, too.”

And there’s the pull of Silicon Valley.

“The technology sector has just completely changed the game,” said Jamie Lee, 37, who worked in banking before starting a venture-capital firm this year. “The opportunity cost is simply too high to be sticking around in a job where you’re not getting the treatment that you want.”

Mr. Lee’s father, the JPMorgan banker Jimmy Lee, was for decades one of the best-known players in his field, advising companies like Facebook and General Motors before he died in 2015. But when the younger Mr. Lee was finishing college in the mid-2000s, his father urged him to avoid the analyst programs.

“He said, ‘Honestly, J, the way that I’ve seen that we work these kids, I’m not sure that I want that for you,’” Mr. Lee recalled.

It’s Not All About the Money

More compensation may not be enough for lots of young workers, for whom the pandemic only highlighted the less palatable aspects of investment banking — even as other careers dangled more appealing work-from-home policies.

Armen Panossian, a rising senior at Rutgers University, is interning in the logistics division of the energy company BP and hoping to land a similar full-time role after college. He said the pandemic was part of his motivation for pursuing a more 9-to-5 job rooted in finance.

“I think a lot of people rediscovered the importance of mental health,” Mr. Panossian, 21, said.

Eden Luvishis, a 20-year-old student of finance, computer science and math at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., wants to work in fintech but would consider becoming an engineer at a major bank — a career that could marry her interest in finance with a more predictable way of working.

“I was never so interested in traditional banking jobs,” she said. “For me it was always more of the quant side,” meaning roles involving quantitative analysis. “I really love math.”

Before graduating from Mount Holyoke College in 2016, Areeba Kamal worked for a summer as a trading intern handling complex bond products at Bank of America’s Midtown Manhattan tower. She arrived around 8:30 a.m. and often stayed until 10:30 p.m., trying to learn the intricacies of her product. She sent money to her family in Pakistan.

“If you’re an international student, early on you realize your two options are finance and tech,” said Ms. Kamal, 29, noting that those fields offer the most pay and help with work visas.

But after that summer in finance, she gravitated toward tech. “I don’t want to work 14 to 15 hours a day on something I don’t care about because it pays a ridiculous amount of money,” Ms. Kamal said. She now works for Apple.

Still, not everyone is down on banking. Herby Dieujuste, 25, who worked one summer for JPMorgan’s private bank and did a stint as a TD Bank teller, is studying for one of the required licenses for starting bankers while interviewing for investment banking positions. A longtime basketball player, he said it was unsurprising that the banking industry would treat its rookies as dismissively as a sports team might — until they proved themselves.

“I want to be somewhere where I know I can be for a decade or two, and I always saw finance as that kind of industry,” he said.


Kate Kelly is a business reporter, covering big banks, trading and key financial-policy players. She is also the co-author of “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh” and the author of “Street Fighters.”  @katekelly

Correction: July 26, 2021

An earlier version of this article misidentified the class of a university student. Armen Panossian is a rising senior at Rutgers University, not a rising junior.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/16/2023

How to Be Happier at Work, According to a Resilience Coach

article written Jason Shen from The Muse 

Modern workplaces can be an endless cycle of frantic stress, impending deadlines, and existential dread. Especially now, given the rise in headline-making layoffs at major companies like TwitterMeta, and Amazon.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. As a resilience coach, I help my clients weather life’s challenges and find greater fulfillment and—dare I say it—happiness at work. My recommendations are grounded in the idea that resilience is not a fixed trait or a limited resource—it’s a set of skills we can all develop to improve how we respond, restore, rebuild, and reflect in the face of change.

Here are five strategies for cultivating resilience that can make us happier at work.

1. Embrace the messiness of work.

First, it’s important to accept that work is often messy and chaotic. This is not a bug—it’s a feature. The most important problems are the ones with no clear solution—everything else has been automated or outsourced away. This means the only work that’s left is the work that changes rapidly. Work that requires resilience.

As a former startup founder, I thought I knew what it meant to be nimble and adaptable. After being hit in a second round of layoffs at Etsy in 2017, I started Headlight, a tech hiring platform, with a former coworker. Eighteen months into the business we did a hard pivot into gaming and e-sports, and eventually landed a small exit by Facebook in 2020.

But only after ramping up as a product manager at Facebook/Meta did I realize just how seriously the term “move fast” applied to internal work culture. Reorgs, new project objectives, and stakeholder alignment became my day-to-day reality. I had to really get comfortable with the messiness and chaos of my work life. We can’t control everything at work, but we can control our attitude, our presence, and our dedication to our craft. Sometimes the moments of messiness can lead to the greatest triumphs—and that can be one of the best feelings in the world.

Put it into practice:

  • Accept that your work is temporary, your projects are impermanent, and your objectives are not final—and look for new possibilities that emerge when change arises.
  • Develop personal habits and routines at work and in your personal life that can ground you in a sense of stability when the work itself cannot. A weekly check-in with a trusted coworker, a morning yoga or meditation practice, or a regular happy hour with friends can reduce the anxiety of a constantly changing swirl of work.

2. Make time for joy and fun.

Finding moments of joy and happiness at work is essential to our well-being. We need to proactively look for the good and the delightful things in our day, even—especially—when things are tough. A five-minute chat with a colleague about weekend plans, a funny meme that gets passed around the office, or a team lunch (virtual or real) can make a big difference.

“It’s a shockingly recent notion that work and play should be mutually exclusive things,” Scott Berkun writes in The Year Without Pants about his time as an engineering manager at Automattic, a remote-first company since 2005. Much of the book talks about the fun times his team spent together at company retreats and all hands. “We learn about ourselves and each other through play, which helps us work together. Not everyone believes this, of course, but I do.”

We know that across the military, professional sports, and the entertainment industry, there’s often a great deal of play mixed into the work. That kind of fun can create deeper relationships, which in turn drive performance.

A big part of my work is to help my clients identify what brings them joy and then make time for it. One of my clients has a dream of leaving his 9-to-5 job to become a freelance consultant so he can take long bike rides during the week. I asked him why he couldn’t start doing that now, but on the weekends. If it’s not a priority now, it probably won’t be a priority later.

Put it into practice:

  • Schedule in time for fun at work. This could be a recurring activity or an ad hoc event with a colleague or team. Some of my favorite remote-friendly team activities include online escape rooms (like a brainteaser or a detective game), drawing games (like Garticphone or Skribble), and guessing games (like Wavelength).
  • Prioritize fun outside of work. How can you have something to look forward to after work is over? Consider enrolling in a craft, cooking, or fitness class—ideally with a friend. Or plan a bigger activity like camping, international travel, or a show further into the future and savor the ongoing anticipation as the event draws near.

3. Connect to your personal values at work.

In an ideal world, we could work in industries, companies, and roles where we feel total alignment between our personal values and our employer’s values.

The reality is that many people face a bit of a mismatch. Our values might be aligned with the mission of our company, but not necessarily with the project we’re working on, the department we’re in, or the people we’re working with.

When we find ourselves in a work situation that isn’t aligned with our values, it can be incredibly disheartening. But while changing your circumstances (read: getting a new gig) would obviously be the most direct approach to addressing the issue, it will inevitably come up again in your new job (see strategy no. 1).

Instead, look for smaller ways to express your values at work. For example:

  • If you value teaching, maybe you can host a brown bag discussion about a popular topic (“last-touch attribution in marketing”) or tool (“no-code automation apps”) that has emerged in your field.
  • If you value design, how can you make sure your next report or presentation is visually appealing, even if it’s only being shown to a few teammates?
  • If you value contribution, can you come up with some ideas for how to improve a product, feature, service, or team process and see if anyone else wants to join you in working on them?

One big benefit of focusing on values over, say, goals is that you can fail to achieve a goal (“ship Project Sirius by May 1”) but you can always act in accordance with a value (“be transparent in communication”). No matter what’s going on at work, we can always do something that brings us closer to our values, which will make us feel less trapped by circumstance and more in control of our experience.

Put it into practice:

  • Articulate your core values and put them in a place where you can easily see them. Here’s the template I often take my clients through to whittle down from a larger list into a smaller group of personalized values.
  • Make some time at the beginning of each week to reflect on the week ahead and look for opportunities to insert your values at work.

4. Find communities where you can let your guard down.

Leaders often talk about supporting “authentic expression” or “bringing your whole self to work.” But when performance is being scrutinized during tough times, we tend to put on the mask of a bland, upbeat corporate persona. It quickly gets exhausting.

It’s really important to have other places where we can let our guards down and just be ourselves—where we can talk about the challenges we’re facing and get feedback on how to address them.

I recently facilitated a six-week resilience-at-work series with about a dozen employees across technical and business functions at a large tech firm. Each person there was seeking resilience in the face of a challenge: returning to work after family leave, being put on a performance improvement plan (PIP), or feeling isolated as a fully remote worker.

While initially guarded, there was a moment halfway through when people opened up. I was going over the third skill in my resilience framework: rebuilding in the face of change, and letting go of old dreams in order to dream new ones.

One by one, participants shared dreams they had lost—a career as a touring theater performer or a project they thought they would get to lead. And then talked about dreams they were holding out hope for—acquiring a rental property to build financial freedom or having a less combative marriage than their parents had. These vulnerable conversations built a sense of community and helped them feel more at ease in the midst of their struggles.

“My circumstances haven’t really changed,” one participant said toward the end of the series. “But I feel better about facing the unknown. I have some skills I can use and a community to turn to when I feel like things are hard.”

Put it into practice:

  • Join an employee resource group (ERG) or other semi-private support group at work where you can find belonging with a smaller number of coworkers who might not be on your direct team. Contribute to the conversation, ask questions, and consider proposing a periodic get-together—either in person or on video call—to support one another.
  • Find community in a professional network outside of your company. I’ve built relationships and found community through cohort-based courses (like Ship 30 and Great Founders Write), peer coaching groups (like Sidebar), and even dedicated Slack channels and Facebook or LinkedIn groups for product managers.

5. Think about the story you’ll tell.

As an amateur climber and outdoor enthusiast, my sister Amy introduced me to the idea of Type 1 and Type 2 fun. First coined by Rainer Newberry, a geology professor at the University of Alaska, the terms reflect the idea that some things are only fun in retrospect.

  • The ambling hike up gentle hills on a sunny day? Pleasant, enjoyable in the moment. Type 1 fun.
  • Crossing a river with your friend in the dark to search for your car keys after you lost them on the trail? Tiring and unpleasant in the moment, but pretty funny in retrospect. Type 2 fun.

Work is rarely Type 1 fun. The occasional brainstorming session, team offsite, or quietly productive afternoon are the exceptions, not the rule. But when things get hard, you might see the moment as Type 2 fun—an experience or accomplishment that’ll you’ll remember and talk about fondly afterward.

When my third startup got into a Amazon-affiliated startup accelerator, I had to relocate from New York City to Seattle. I left behind my new wife just a few months after our wedding to hunker down in a 250-square-foot dorm for several months as my cofounder and I prepared to wow investors on Demo Day. It wasn’t exactly pleasant in the moment, but I cherish the memories from that intense sprint as part of my life as an entrepreneur.

Extensive work by the psychologist James Pennebaker and others has shown that writing about our experiences during and after difficult circumstances—especially if these thoughts and feelings have been kept a secret—can be tremendously healing, even if we never show those words to anyone. Taking multiple perspectives on the situation and trying to piece together a narrative even when things felt out of your control (using words like “realize” and “because”) helped people move forward in a positive direction.

By retelling the story of our lives through a more empowering lens, we can take the edge off difficult events of the past and see the joy and growth they’ve enabled. Through the power of narrative and reflection, we can internalize lessons that will shape who we are today and who we become tomorrow.

Put it into practice:

  • Reflect on past challenges you’ve faced. What did you learn from those experiences? How have they shaped who you are today? Write it out. Or publish your reflections to an audience: If a fully public platform feels like too much exposure, consider just emailing a group of friends or posting in a private social network.
  • Think and freewrite about how you might want to tell the story of your current situation at work in the future. What actions will you want to say you took? How will you wish you’d handled it? What ending would you want the story to have?

Happiness is not possible at every moment, but by acting with resilience, we can create more consistent happiness in our lives—inside and outside of work.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 07/12/2018

6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship

Vincent Tsui for HBR

Around 75% of college students, at some point, work in an internship. These experiences can be tremendously valuable, providing young workers the opportunity to build skills for their resumes and meet people who are working in their preferred industry. Increasingly, they are the likeliest route to full-time employment and are even offered year-round rather than only during summer months. But they can also be difficult adjustments for young people who have little to no experience in professional offices. It can be hard for someone to stand out and make the right impression during a three-month stint spent adapting to such a new environment.

How can interns learn what they need to know, impress those they work for, and secure a job recommendation or full-time offer in such a brief period of time? I consulted 20 professionals who have worked with or supervised interns in higher education, business, law, and nonprofits, and compiled the most valuable advice for interns from their stories, my own observations, and management literature. This advice won’t cover everything, but it does offer a starting point for interns.

Start with relentless punctuality. Show up on time (or early) in the morning, arrive for meetings before they begin, and complete tasks by their deadlines. When I asked professional contacts for their advice to interns, they consistently listed punctuality as a critical success factor. Ryan, an executive in a municipal government, says, “Always be on time. Summer internships are for a short, defined period of time, so give it 100%. Be willing to get to the office early and stay late.” As an intern, you are both a guest in a new environment and a colleague on whom others must rely — make sure that you respect those colleagues by being on time.

Complete each task with excellence. Whether an assignment is mundane or exotic, pursue it with relentless drive and a determination to exceed. If you’re asked to make coffee, make the best coffee your colleagues have ever had. If you’re asked to make an Excel model, over-invest your time and effort in assuring it’s right, aesthetically appealing, and thorough. Amy, a food and beverage executive puts it this way, “Finish the assignment or project with excellence — anything else you do is bonus, but please start with the assignment given.” Even if the project seems small or unimportant, do not give in to the temptation to complete it with anything less than your best, and don’t decline a project just because it doesn’t interest you. Katie, a tech industry executive cautions to “[never] say no to small opportunities because [they don’t] fit your idea of work.” Repeated, enthusiastic, and excellent delivery of assigned tasks is the building block upon which everything else in your internship will rest.

Take on more work — without being asked. Use excess time to take on new and important work, assignments others don’t want, or projects that are needed but not yet clearly defined. A nonprofit healthcare executive counsels, “When you see something you can do, do it.” I still remember the names of interns I’ve worked with who never let themselves sit idle and took on new projects with little or no guidance. Gary, a finance executive, told me, “Sitting at the desk checking your most recent Twitter feed while you wait for someone to give you something to do is one of the best ways to not get an invite back.” Deliver what no one is expecting — or what no one else is willing to do — and you’ll not only be appreciated, but remembered.

Be resourceful. Research a topic thoroughly before asking a full-time colleague or manager for help, and take the time to reflect and come up with your own insight or solution before consulting others when you uncover a problem. Amy, the food and beverage executive above, recommends, “Look for the resources you need on the internal websites or ask other interns before [asking] your coach.” She notes that it’s a mistake to “ask too many questions that show you didn’t even try to look for the answer yourself.” It’s critical that your colleagues view you as someone who is resourceful and independent enough to bring something new to the table instead of just stopping every time there is a bump in the road.

Ask questions — good ones. The hallmark of an intellectually curious, diligent colleague is the quality of his or her questions. Renowned management thinker Clay Christensen recommends spending time formulating the right questions. Ben, a management consultant, agrees: “Think — in advance — of questions to ask. If you are meeting with a peer or superior, think of thoughtful questions you can ask to demonstrate you’ve prepared for the meeting and respect her time.” If you’re in a meeting with senior colleagues, think less about your answers to their questions and more about what you see missing — the questions no one else is asking. When you hear someone ask a great, conversation-altering question, write it down and reflect on what made it so special. And, as a rule of thumb, make sure you ask one or more authentic questions in every meeting you attend. Following this advice will hone your ability to ask questions that lead to real insight and will ingrain in you the essential habit of intellectual curiosity.

Build professional relationships. Internships usually last only a few months, and in that context, it’s easy to either focus solely on your work or to make connections only with the other interns working around you. But forming broad, deep relationships within your team and throughout the organization can help you manage your current responsibilities while also boosting personal development. You’ll also make yourself more memorable to those around you and create a network of contacts to reach out to when you’re ready to find your next job. Invite colleagues to lunch. Ask them questions in informational interviews. Offer to help where you can. Observe the great relationship-builders in your firm and learn from them.

Internships are hard work. And doing only what’s expected of you isn’t enough to be noticed. You need to go above and beyond, from arriving on time to doing exemplary work, and make the most of your time in the organization.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/18/2021


Taken from the National Association of Colleges and Employers 

NACE Journal, August 2020

There are only faint predictions as to what the post COVID-19 job market is going to be like. The economy has some of the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression coupled with huge decreases in GDP. It is a sure bet that workplaces will be more distributed and virtual, at least for the foreseeable future. College campuses will likely be predominantly virtual as well, closed to in-person classes, with nearly all coursework online, and an increased number of both high school graduates and college students taking a gap-year to figure out their educational plans. Career centers, often already feeling understaffed, will likely be faced with resource cutbacks at a time when seniors especially (but the majority of students) will be even more desperate to find jobs. Traditional recruiting strategies with employers, such as on-campus career fairs and information sessions, will be essentially nonexistent.

The results from our survey conducted early this year—January through February 2020, prior to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States—offer some possible pivot points, some of which have probably already been implemented by foresighted career center professionals. For the record, here are some highlights of what we found in our nationwide online survey of 541 college seniors and recent graduates. (Note: Fifty-nine percent of respondents were men, and 22 percent were first-generation college students. Thirteen percent were attending or had attended a community college.) In this study, we focused on how students actually obtained internships. Our findings have clear implications for career center professionals moving forward.


Internships make college students more competitive in the job market because they give students a chance to gain knowledge, skills, and experience valued by potential employers. From a career development perspective, even more importantly, they provide an opportunity for students to see if the particular career field is the right one for them. Getting their feet wet, so to speak, affords them perspective about whether they could see themselves working full time (or even the rest of their lives) in this field. Even in the worst case, when students realize this is not the work they would want to do, they can still come away from the internships with their eyes opened to issues of organizational culture, politics, and leadership, and with lessons learned about the ropes to know and the hoops to jump through. Mentors may often be found during internships, providing invaluable advice in the job-search process, both internal to the internship employer and external. Finally, there are the real financial benefits associated with internships beyond summer employment. NACE surveys show that students who had internships were 20 percent more likely to receive full-time job offers than those without an internship. Having an internship also resulted in receiving significantly higher starting salaries.1

These facts are evident in these common refrains from corporate recruiters: “As a recruiter, I value students who have gotten great internship experiences over those [who] have not.” “A student who has an internship upon graduation will be more highly desired by employers than someone who did not venture into the ‘work world’ at all during college.” “Internships are imperative.”2

Nearly all of the employers responding to NACE’s 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Survey Report indicated that internships provide them with an important opportunity to identify talent early.3


Cold networking involves contacting someone without having any established or preexisting relationship versus warm networking, which involves making use of one’s network, e.g., family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and so forth, to make a connection between the applicant and the potential employer. While traditional wisdom has asserted that “who you know matters” and would seem to favor warm networking, our survey found just the opposite.

Somewhat initially surprising was the finding that students who engaged in cold networking were twice as likely to earn an internship as students who only engaged in warm networking. Moreover, those who found their internship through warm networking were less likely to report that the internship turned into a job offer. For those who reported that their internship resulted in a job offer, 70 percent found the internship through cold networking, while only 40 percent found the internship through warm networking. This finding suggests a possible intangible benefit of cold networking is that the internship may be perceived as earned on one’s merits rather than on riding the coattails of some personal relationship.

These trends continued to be evident for first-generation college students. First-generation student who engaged in cold networking were 38 percent more likely to earn an internship than first-generation students who did not similarly reach out. Moreover, first-generation students who did cold networking were four times more likely to have their internships turn into jobs than first-generation students who did not report doing cold networking.

Most students struggle with doubts about the significance of their accomplishments and have some sense of being exposed as a “fraud” or “imposter” related to reaching out and networking with business professionals.4 For first-generation students, imposter syndrome and insecurities are even more prevalent.5 Most students think to themselves, “No professional will want to meet with me” or “I might do something wrong and jeopardize future opportunities—it’s not worth it,” or “I’m not a good enough student to be worthy of a professional’s time,” and the like.

Networking makes a difference. In our study, more than nine out of 10 students who had an internship during college engaged in networking with business professionals via informational interviews. Students with two or more internships were eight times more likely to have conducted an informational interview. As Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor reflected on her own career: “Sometimes people are put off by the whole business of networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage. But virtue in obscurity is awarded only in heaven. To succeed in the world, you have to be known by people.”6

An additional benefit from networking, as students reported in our survey, is that it increased their self-confidence. In support of the notion that “practice makes perfect,” we found that the more informational interviews students reported conducting, the higher the levels of confidence they reported in themselves, as reflected not only in obtaining an internship, but in their feelings of career readiness and skillfulness in networking. Low confidence levels in their networking skills were reported by 42 percent of those students who did not have an internship during college.


A constricted job market due to COVID-19 issues has many profound implications for students as well as college career professionals and corporate recruiters. While our survey was conducted before “the world/economy turned upside down,” the lessons are still applicable to helping students earn internships and jobs upon graduation/completion. Their chances increase when they can a) conduct informational interviews and b) use cold networking avenues. The imperative lesson is that, if students want to obtain internships and jobs, they need to conduct informational interviews, and the key to obtaining them is achieved through cold networking.

Career professionals need to engage with students to help them understand that “who you know” does not matter so much until “you know someone”! Moreover, the payoff from an internship appears to be greater (in terms of leading to a job offer) if it is obtained through cold networking rather than warm networking. This entails shifting from working with students to develop relationships with employers per se to teaching students how to network and conduct informational interviews, in the same sense as the proverb: “Give people a fish and you feed them for a day, but teach people how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.”

Historically, four out of five jobs are not advertised7 and this hidden job market is likely to be even greater these days. Career professionals can make a concerted effort to teach students how to access those opportunities through cold networking. Doing so will improve the chances of students of not only gaining internships, but of securing full-time employment.

We can help students improve their confidence and ability to cold network by teaching strategies on how to most effectively conduct informational interviews. For example, in our study, we found that students who conducted informational interviews were considerably more likely to land an internship than those who relied on online job boards, career fairs, or information sessions. The massive switch to online classes has boosted students’ experience with digital connecting at the same time that employers have pivoted to virtual workplaces; this means that both parties should be increasingly confident in this medium for informational interviews.

Teaching students how to network creates a virtuous cycle. Each connection increases the likelihood of securing an internship (and finding employment). Most career centers were never meant to be in the job placement business and, during these very turbulent times both on and off campus, we must empower students to be proactive and even more accountable for their careers. The students generally have the will, and we need to make certain we are providing them with the skills and techniques to find their way.


1 National Association of Colleges and Employers (March 2016). “Paid interns/co-ops see greater offer rates and salary offers than their unpaid classmates.”

2 Ibid.

3 National Association of Colleges and Employers (December 2019). 2019 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey Report.

4 Kolligan, J., & Sternberg, R. J. (1991). “Perceived fraudulence in young adults: Is there an ‘imposter syndrome’? Journal of Personality Assessment, 55(1), 308-326.

5 Canning, E. A., LaCrosse, J., & Kroeper, K. M. (2019). “Feeling like an imposter: The effect of perceived classroom competition on the daily psychological experiences of first-generation college students.” Social Psychological and Personality Science, 11(5), 647-657.

6 Sotomayor, S. (2014). My beloved world. New York: Vintage Books.

7 Burnett, B., & Evans, D. (2018). Designing your life: How to build a well-lived, joyful life. New York: Borzoi Book.

Sean O'Keefe

Sean O’Keefe is an award-winning professor at Santa Clara University where he teaches in the Leavey School of Business and in campuswide programming for first-generation students. In 2018, he launched a social enterprise ( that helps colleges scale the skillset of launching a job or internship search with encouragement and financial support from his university. His book Launch Your Career will be published spring 2021. He can be reached at

Barry Z. Posner

Barry Z. Posner holds the Michael J. Accolti, S.J. Chair in Leadership at Santa Clara University (SCU), where he is professor of leadership in the Leavey School of Business. While at SCU, he has received numerous teaching awards and has served as associate dean for graduate education, associate dean for executive education, and dean. He is the co-author of The Leadership Challenge and more than 100 academic and practitioner-oriented publications. He can be reached at

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 07/18/2019

Any Questions? What to Ask in an Interview

Any Questions? What to Ask in an Interview
Taken from The Muse:

A good interview is more than just artful answers to any question a prospective employer throws your way. Remember, you’ll need to be just as prepared once the tables turn.

When an interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?” she’s not just being polite. She’s trying to gauge whether you’re informed, interested, and engaged. Explains recruiter Angela Smith, “if an applicant doesn't have any questions for me, that's a red flag. I'm thinking that they either don't care or can't be bothered to do research about my company.”

This question is also an important opportunity to help you decide if the job and company is the right fit for you. Here’s our guide on what to ask (and avoid!) when you’re interviewing the interviewer.

Step 1: Clarify Your Uncertainties

Your first step should be to ask anything about the position that hasn’t been covered in the interview (though not questions you’d know the answers to by looking at the job description or company website). “You want the questions to be well thought-out and meaningful to the position and industry,” says Smith. Sample questions could include:

  • What does a typical day look like?
  • What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
  • How will I be trained? How will my performance be reviewed?
  • What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
  • What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed?

Step 2: Remove Their Doubts

Next, ask questions that will allow you to talk about any strengths or accomplishments you didn’t cover in the interview, or to make sure that you are sharing with the interviewer the same types of qualities they are looking for. “I ask what kind of person they see ideally fitting the job,” says Brittany Mazin, a young professional. “It’s good to be clear on exactly what they are looking for and whether you are a good match for the job.” Once they answer, you can clarify or reiterate why you’ll be a good match. Some ways to phrase this:

  • What are the skills and experiences you’re looking for in an ideal candidate?
  • What attributes does someone need to have in order to be really successful in this position?
  • What types of skills is the team missing that you're looking to fill with a new hire?
  • Is there anything that concerns you about my background being a fit for this role?

Step 3: Uncover Red Flags

This can be tricky to do tactfully, but asking questions about turnover, culture, and growth opportunities during the interview process can prevent unpleasant surprises down the road. Questions you could ask include:

  • What is the company culture like?
  • Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
  • Where is the last person who held this job moving on to?
  • Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to?
  • What are the career paths in this department/company?

Step 4: Get a View of the Future

Asking questions about the growth of the company and its employees is a good idea for two reasons. “I always ask what a company's goals are for the next five to ten years. It gives a good perspective on what their values are and how I may or may not fit with a company,” says Diane Kulseth, another young professional. Plus, asking about the future of the company and opportunities for your own growth shows that you’re committed and eager to learn. You can ask:

  • Where do you see this company in the next few years?
  • What can you tell me about your new product or plans for growth?
  • What training programs are available to your employees?
  • Are there opportunities for advancement or professional development?

Step 5: Build a Relationship

When in doubt, ask the interviewer about himself or herself. “I ask interviewers about their journey in their career, such as what field they were in before and how it led to where they are now,” says Sasha Rice, a recent graduate. “People love talking about themselves…Plus, if you have similarities, it creates a bond between you and them.” But “be careful,” suggests Smith “to not get too personal, and pay attention to how the interviewer reacts.” Try questions like:

  • How long have you been with the company?
  • What did you do before?
  • Why did you come to this company?
  • What’s your favorite part about working here?

Step 6: Wrap Up

At the end of the interview, don’t forget to ask about next steps. First, reiterate that you’re interested in the position (assuming you still are, of course!), and ask the following non-presumptuous questions about what’s next in the hiring process:

  • What are the next steps in the interview process?
  • Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?

Questions to Avoid

Sure, there are a million more questions you’d like to ask (um, where’s the best place around here for happy hour?), but there are some key topics to avoid, too. Most importantly: “never ask any question you should already know the answer to. You must do your homework and research before going to the interview,” says Amy Stake-Michalenko, Career Services Manager at Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

Salary is another taboo. “Never ask about benefits, pay, what they will do for you—particularly in a first or even second round interview.  This will be negotiated once they make you an offer and prior to you accepting,” Stake-Michalenko adds.

Finally, don’t bombard the interviewer with a laundry list of questions. If she seems engaged in the conversation and encourages you to keep asking, great, but if you see her looking at her watch, time to wrap it up! It’s best to pick a handful of questions that are most important to you and leave on a positive note.



Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/25/2018

The Secret to Standing out in Interviews Is Almost Too Obvious

Impressing a stranger, standing out from the competition, earning an offer—these are all challenges, even for an experienced professional who should be a perfect fit.


Because the higher up you climb on the ladder, the more you’re competing against candidates with similar impressive experiences and qualifications.

As a CEO and interviewer for many years, I’ve met so many great people I ended up passing on.

So, your next question is probably, “Well, then how do I stand out?”

Here’s the big secret that has nothing to do with your resume bullet points: Your strongest selling point, your best competitive edge, is yourself. Truly—no one can copy that.

How do you show who you are over the course of a job interview? Try the following approaches:


1. Knock “Tell Me About Yourself” Out of the Park

I ask this question at the beginning of every interview (and so do many, many other people in charge of hiring). Luckily for you, the typical response is generic and long—meaning you have the opportunity here to make yourself memorable.

Consider and practice your response before entering the room. Think of it like a book’s back-cover synopsis: You’re trying to excite and encourage the interviewer. You want her to want to learn more about you—aim to make him or her curious. (Bonus: Include something that isn’t on your resume because the element of surprise can spark additional curiosity.)

If you’re not specifically asked “Tell me about yourself” during the interview, be proactive and find a way to share your answer during the conversation.


Continue here:


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/26/2017

ECO Newsletter 1.26.17

Return from Winter Break Edition




Feature | 09/23/2019

Alumna Turns Negative Wall Street Experience Into Booming Business

Feature | 09/26/2019

New Graduate Economics Club Committee Members

Please welcome the 2019 Graduate Economics Club Committee members, from left to right: Danielle Parks (1st year), Suchi Akmanchi (2nd year), Dan Harper (3rd year), Joe Anderson (1st year), Fiorella Pizzolon (President, 4th year), and Pooja Khosla (4th year).



Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 02/14/2017


"I am often engaged to speak about innovation and strategy… not in an academic sort of way, people want to know how I took an idea and turned it into reality. One thing (unfortunately) that we do know is that most start-up businesses never reach the heights that match the dreams of the founders…yet others are a run-away successes. I’m not yet putting my enterprises in the category of ‘runaway’ successes – but we are managing to serve many customers, grow, and have a good time while we are doing it. So, we are getting something right."-Naomi Simson


Click here to read the rest of the article

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/01/2017


Click here to read the rest of the article. 

Feature | 03/20/2020

Hundanol Kebede presents at PACDEV

Hundanol Kebede presented his paper, titled “The gains from market integration: The welfare effects of new rural roads in Ethiopia,” at the Pacific Conference for Development Economics (PacDev), held at UC-Berkeley. In the paper, he estimates the welfare gains from a massive rural road expansion project that doubled the total road length in the country between 2011 and 2015.  He uses tools from international trade theory and detailed household level data to quantify household-level welfare gains from the road expansion and how much of those gains can be attributed to trade mechanisms. He shows that the road expansion increased market integration and village specialization in comparative advantage crops. One of the paper’s novel contributions is that it shows how increased road connectivity would cause household production decisions to be dictated by market prices rather than consumption preferences – commonly known as separability. That is, road connectivity decreases the correlation between household land allocation across different crops and budget allocation across crops. This leads to significant efficiency gains because land will be reallocated to crops that have higher market value. 

Feature | 02/20/2023

Expert: Changing Demographics Force Changes to Social Security

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 12/12/2018

A One Stop Shop For All Things Diversity Recruiting - The Most Exhaustive List On WSO

Diversity Investment Bank Programs

The opportunities are separated into two buckets: introductory programs and internship opportunities.

Introductory programs are 1-3 day programs where candidates are invited to the firm (transportation and lodging expenses covered by the firm) for presentations, workshops, and networking events.Introductory programs are designed to get you in front of professionals and human resources, and, if done properly, they will get you in the pipeline for internship opportunities the following year (in my experience, accelerated interviews have been the result of this). The key here is to dress sharp and make a concerted effort to leave a good impression. Ask questions when the opportunity arises, brush up on the firm / recent news for speaking points, ask for business cards of the people you speak with, and FOLLOW UP (cannot emphasis this part enough). These programs are an opportunity for you to make connections with people that will resources during the recruiting process, so it is imperative that send thank you emails after the events and keep in touch with these people from time-to-time.

The second bucket is internship opportunities. These opportunities are in the format of either:

  • An introduction with a superday attached (e.g. JP Morgan Launching Leaders)
  • a diversity-specific internship application drop and process

Keep in mind, with these programs you can also submit a general summer application as well, so I highly encourage you to double down and submit a diversity program application and a general application where applicable (e.g. Goldman Sachs Insights Day + Goldman Sachs general internship application for sophomores, Credit Suisse America CEO Awards Program + Credit Suisse general application for juniors).

IBank Diversity Scholarship Opportunities

Additionally, some firms offer scholarships as a component of their diversity recruiting efforts, not all scholarships include an interview for internships as part of the process (e.g. Morgan Stanley Richard B. Fisher, Goldman Sachs Scholarship for Excellence), so make sure to submit an internship application in addition to the scholarship application to cover your bases.

Boutique Banks Diversity Programs

Most of these programs are hosted by BB firms, but boutiques are starting to organize similar events. Perella Weinberg has hosted a program for a few recruiting cycles. 2016 is the inaugural year for Lazard's and Evercore's sophomore women's programs. I aim to update this as I come across more programs.

Diversity Recruiting Talent Organizations

Lastly, I included two partner organizations: Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) and Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT). These are two organizations that firms partner with to secure diverse candidates. SEO gets a lot of crap on these forums, but, as with all recruiting, you get very strong candidates and some not so strong ones--you should aim to be a strong one. With SEO you can go through their process and interview with firms, or you can independently secure your own offer and join their program to receive access to their comprehensive training materials / program.

Introductory (Fly-In) Programs:

The Blackstone Group - BX Diverse Leaders Program

  • Description: 2-day program in NYC
  • Eligibility: URM, Sophomore/Junior
  • Deadline: February 15, 2016 (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: March 10-11, 2016

The Blackstone Group - Future Women Leaders Program

  • Description: 2-day program in NYC
  • Eligibility: Sophomore Women
  • Deadline: March 1, 2016 (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: April 14-15, 2016

BAML - Elevate Diversity Forum

  • Description: 2-day program in NYC
  • Eligibility: URM, Freshmen/Sophomores
  • Deadline: Sunday, March 27th, 2016 at 11:59pm (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: Week of May 9, 2016

BAML - Emerging Women's Program

  • Description: 2-day program in NYC
  • Eligibility: Freshman/Sophomore Women (Every Spring)
  • Deadline: Sunday, March 27th, 2016 at 11:59pm
  • Program Dates: Week of May 9, 2016

BAML - Ignite With STEM

  • Description: 2-day program in NYC
  • Eligibility: Freshman/Sophomore STEM majors
  • Deadline: Sunday, March 27th, 2016 at 11:59pm (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: Week of May 9, 2016

Barclays - Freshman Foundation

  • Description: 1-day program in NYC
  • Eligibility: URM/Female/LGBT/Veteran/Disability
  • Deadline: Spring 2017 (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: March 4, 2016

Barclays - Sophomore Springboard

  • Description: 1-day program in NYC (includes mentorship program for junior year recruiting)
  • Eligibility: URM/Female
  • Deadline: March 6, 2016 (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: April 15, 2016 (females), April 16, 2016 (ethnically diverse)

Credit Suisse - BA Explorer Program

  • Description: 2-day program in NYC
  • Eligibility: URM, Freshmen/Sophomores
  • Deadline: April 15, 2016 (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: May 19-20, 2016

Credit Suisse - Top Talent Women's Mentor Programs

  • Description: Multi-day programs in NYC, specific programs for IBD, S&T, AM, and Technology
  • Eligibility: Female, Sophomores
  • Deadline: March 1, 2016 (Every Spring)

Evercore - Women's Sophomore Symposium

  • Description: 1 day program
  • Eligibility: Sophomore Women
  • Deadline: March 13 (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: April 8 (Every Spring)

Goldman Sachs - Undergraduate Camp

  • Description: Multi-day programs in NYC
  • Eligibility: URM, Female, freshman
  • Deadline: Every Spring
  • Program Dates: Every Spring

Goldman Sachs - Pride Summit

  • Description: 2 day program in NYC
  • Eligibility: LGBTQ, freshman/sophomore/junior
  • Deadline: October 25 (Every Fall)
  • Program Dates: November 23-24 (Early Fall)

JP Morgan - BA Early Advantage Program

  • Description: 2-day programs in NYC, Dallas, Chicago
  • Eligibility: URM/Female/LGBT/Veteran/Disability, Freshmen/Sophomores
  • Deadline: March 6, 2016 (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: Varies by location; NYC is late May 2016

Lazard - Sophomore Women's Event

  • Description: 1 day program
  • Eligibility: Sophomore Women
  • Deadline: March 27 (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: April 8 (Every Spring)

Morgan Stanley - Early Insights Program

  • Description: Various 1-day firm-wide programs in NYC
  • Eligibility: URM/Female/LGBT/Veteran, Freshmen/Sophomores/Juniors (varies by program)
  • Deadline: Varies by program (Winter/Spring)
  • Program Dates: Varies by program

Perella Weinburg Partners - Women's Advisory Prep Program

  • Description: 2-day program in NYC (pipeline for accelerated junior SA position)
  • Eligibility: Sophomore Women
  • Deadline: March 13, 2016 at 11:50pm (Every Spring)
  • Program Dates: April 7-8, 2016

Wells Fargo - (Various Programs)

  • Description: Multi-day programs in NYC/Charlotte
  • Eligibility: URM/Female/LGBT/Veteran/Disability, Freshmen/Sophomores/Juniors
  • Deadline: Varies

Summer Internships - High School Senior

J.P Morgan - 2015 CIB Summer High School Program

  • Description: 3-week summer rotational internship program in NYC
  • Divisions: Sales and Trading and Investment Banking rotations
  • Eligibility: URM, must attend a New York Metro area high school or have a permanent residence in New York Metro area
  • Deadline: spring 2015

J.P Morgan - Smart Starts Scholarship Program

  • Description: 4 year full-tuition scholarship and 4 years of internships (full-time during summers; part-time during school year)
  • Divisions: Sales and Trading, Investment Banking
  • Eligibility: URM, must attend a New York Metro area high school student, attend a participating college
  • Deadline: Every Winter

Summer Internships - Freshman

Morgan Stanley - Freshman Enhancement Program

  • Description: 10-week freshman summer analyst program in NYC
  • Divisions: Sales and Trading, Investment Banking, Global Capital Markets
  • Eligibility: URM
  • Deadline: varies (fall / winter / early spring)

Summer Internships - Sophomore

BAML - GBAM Sophomore Summer Program

  • Description: sophomore summer analyst program
  • Divisions: Investment Banking and Global Capital Markets
  • Eligibility: URM, Women
  • Deadline: Every Fall

BAML - GBAM Sophomore Summer Rotational Program

  • Description: sophomore summer analyst program
  • Divisions: Sales and Trading
  • Eligibility: URM, Women
  • Deadline: Every Fall

BAML - Global Banking & Markets Scholarship Of Distinction

  • Description: scholarship of $5,000 for sophomores
  • Divisions: GBAM
  • Eligibility: URM/Women/LGBTQ/Veterans sophomores/juniors
  • Deadline: Every Fall

Barclays - Sophomore Skills

  • Description: 2 day program with interviews for sophomore summer analyst program in NYC
  • Divisions: Sales and Trading, Investment Banking
  • Eligibility: URM, Women, LGBTQ
  • Deadline: November 22, 2015 (Every Fall)
  • Program Date: January 7-8, 2016

Citigroup Diversity - Sophomore Leadership Program

  • Description: sophomore summer analyst rotational program
  • Divisions: Sales and Trading, Investment Banking
  • Eligibility: URM
  • Deadline: Every Fall

Credit Suisse - Steps To Success / Doug Paul Program

  • Description: sophomore summer analyst program in NYC, scholarship of $5,000
  • Divisions: Investment Banking, Sales and Trading, Asset Management, Equity Research
  • Eligibility: URM, Sophomores
  • Deadline: November 2015 (Every Fall)

Deutsche Bank - DB Achieve Program

  • Description: sophomore summer analyst program in NYC (SF as well for IB)
  • Divisions: Investment Banking, Markets, Asset & Wealth Management
  • Eligibility: URM, Women, Sophomores
  • Deadline: November 2015 (Every Fall)

Goldman Sachs - Insights Day, Securities Insight Day, Diverse Abilities Insight Day, LGBTQ Insight Day

  • Description: 2 day program with interview for sophomore/junior SA programs
  • Divisions: IBD, IMD, S&T
  • Eligibility: URM/LBBTQ/Women/Diverse Abilities, sophomore/juniors
  • Deadline: August/September
  • Program Dates: Varies, Early Fall

Goldman Sachs - Summer Analyst Program

  • Description: general summer analyst program
  • Divisions: IBD, S&T
  • Eligibility: URM, women, sophomores
  • Deadline: Every Fall

J.P. Morgan - CIB Launching Leaders Program

  • Description: 2 day program with interview for 10-week sophomore summer analyst program in NYC; $5,00 scholarship (additional $7,500 if you return for junior year, $2,500 if you return full-time)
  • Divisions: IBD, Investor Services, Public Finance, Research, S&T, Treasury Services, Risk
  • Eligibility: URM, sophomore/juniors
  • Deadline: September 30, 2015 (Every Fall)
  • Program Dates: October 29-30, 2015 (Every Fall)

J.P. Morgan - Asset Management BA Launching Leaders

  • Description: 2 day program with interview for 10-week sophomore summer analyst program in NYC, $5,00 scholarship (additional $7,500 if you return for junior year, $2,500 if you return full-time)
  • Divisions: Global Wealth Management, Global Investment Management
  • Eligibility: URM, sophomore/juniors
  • Deadline: October 11, 2015 (Every Fall)
  • Program Dates: November 13, 2015 (Every Fall)

Morgan Stanley - Sophomore Summer Analyst Programs

  • Description: 10-week sophomore summer analyst programs in NYC
  • Divisions: Sales and Trading, Investment Banking, Global Capital Markets, Investment Mgmt.
  • Eligibility: URM, sophomores
  • Deadline: varies (Every Fall)

Morgan Stanley - Richard B. Fisher Scholarship Program

  • Description: Scholarship of up to $15,000; to be considered candidates must fill out summer analyst application in addition to RBF scholarship application)
  • Eligibility: URM
  • Deadline: varies (Every Fall)

UBS - Sophomore Women's Program (CCS)

  • Description: 8-week sophomore summer analyst programs in NYC
  • Divisions: Coverage and Advisory (IBD) and Capital Markets Solution
  • Eligibility: Sophomore Women
  • Deadline: January 3, 2016

Wells Fargo - Sophomore Conferences (Various)

  • Description: conferences in NR that include interviews for summer programs
  • Divisions: various
  • Eligibility: URM, Women, LGBTQ
  • Deadline: Every Fall
  • Program Every Spring

Summer Internships - Junior

BAML - Global Banking & Markets Scholarship Of Distinction

  • Description: scholarship of $10,000 for juniors, must complete formal internship application in addition to scholarship application
  • Divisions: GBAM
  • Eligibility: URM/Women/LGBTQ/Veterans, sophomores/juniors
  • Deadline: Every Fall

Barclays - Junior Success Program

  • Description: 2 day program with interview for summer analyst program; opportunity to be considered for $10,000 Inspiring Excellence Scholarship
  • Divisions: Investment Banking, Research, Markets
  • Eligibility: URM/Female/LGBTQ
  • Deadline: Early Fall 2016
  • Program Dates: November 5-6 (Banking), November 3-4 (Markets and Research)

Credit Suisse - Americas CEO Awards Scholarship

  • Description: Summer analyst program, scholarship of up to $10,000
  • Divisions: Asset Management, Equities, Fixed Income, Investment Banking
  • Eligibility: URM, Juniors
  • Deadline: Fall 2016

Goldman Sachs - Insights Day, Securities Insight Day, Diverse Abilities Insight Day, LGBTQ Insight Day

  • Description: Summer analyst program, scholarship of up to $10,000
  • Divisions: Asset Management, Equities, Fixed Income, Investment Banking
  • Eligibility: URM, Juniors
  • Deadline: Fall 2016

J.P. Morgan - CIB Launching Leaders Program

  • Description: 2 day program with interview for 10-week sophomore summer analyst program in NYC; $15,000 scholarship
  • Divisions: IBD, Investor Services, Public Finance, Research, S&T, Treasury Services, Risk
  • Eligibility: URM, sophomore/juniors
  • Deadline: September 30, 2015 (Every Fall)
  • Program Dates: October 29-30, 2015 (Every Fall)

J.P. Morgan - Asset Management BA Launching Leaders

  • Description: 2 day program with interview for 10-week sophomore summer analyst program in NYC, $15,000
  • Divisions: Global Wealth Management, Global Investment Management
  • Eligibility: URM, sophomore/juniors
  • Deadline: October 11, 2015 (Every Fall)
  • Program Dates: November 13, 2015 (Every Fall)

J.P. Morgan - Winning Women Scholarship Program

  • Description: 2 day program with interview for 10-week sophomore summer analyst program in NYCand SF, $15,000
  • Divisions: ALL
  • Eligibility: Junior Women
  • Deadline: September 20, 2015 (Every Fall)
  • Program Dates: November 13, 2015 - SF, November 5-6, 2015 - NYC IBD / Treasury Services, November 19-20, 2015 - NYC Risk / Research / S&T / Public Finance / Investor Services (Every Fall)

Morgan Stanley - Richard B. Fisher Scholarship Program

  • Description: scholarship of up to $15,000, must complete a formal summer analyst application in addition to RBF application
  • Eligibility: URM/LGBT, Sophomores/Juniors
  • Deadline: Fall 2016

Partner Organizations

Sponsors For Educational Opportunity (SEO)

SEO is the premier organization firms partner with in order to order to get diverse candidates into their summer analyst programs. In addition to getting students in front of BB partners, the program providing students with mentorship, technical training, and interview prep. Great resource for students interested in front office roles, but attend a school not heavily represented on the Street. The earlier you join the SEO the more value you gain (e.g. freshman have opportunity to secure sophomore internships through SEO pipeline).

Learn more about SEO on their website.

Management Leadership For Tomorrow (MLT)

MLT is another great organization for underrepresented minorities. Unlike SEO, MLT is Corporate America focused and includes opportunities beyond financial services. I would also recommend joining MLT as early as possible.

Learn more about MLT and apply on their website.

Check Out This Other Relevant List of Diversity Recruiting Programs:
Teller's Comprehensive Guide to Diversity Recruiting


Read More  

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 03/07/2018


"Networking. Just seeing the word is enough to make your palms sweaty and your mouth dry. When someone brings up the idea, you begin looking for a way to escape. But networking is essential to advancing in your career." - Karyn Mullins

Click here to read the rest of the article. 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 06/28/2021

Article: Rock Your Summer Internship!

17 Tips to Get the Most out of Your Virtual Internship

Summer internships are an important part of a lot of students’ college educations. Unfortunately, they’re not exempt from the confusion the coronavirus pandemic has wrought on every aspect of our lives.

The good news: Most employers are keeping internships going this summer. Only 22% of employers planned to revoke some internship offers as of May 1, according to a poll by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Instead of cancelling them, NACE reports, “In general, employers are adapting their summer 2020 internship programs by moving as much programming to a virtual space as possible.”

At least 83% of companies in the poll intend to adapt their internship programs to respond to social distancing and stay-at-home orders this summer.

That could mean your internship offer is still on the table — but that table might be in your kitchen.

Don’t let the switch ruin your summer internship experience. Here’s how to get the most educational, professional and networking opportunities out of a virtual internship.

How to Make the Most of an Internship From Home

An internship is a rich opportunity to learn and even to land a full-time job. Turning it virtual doesn’t have to take away those opportunities.

Follow these tips to get as much education and opportunity out of your virtual internship as you could get in person:

1. Surface the Right Strengths

Some fields are more adaptable to remote work than others. If you had planned to spend your summer doing anything but working at a computer, you might have to find new muscles to flex.

Like, if you booked a political internship focused on knocking on doors or talking to people on the street, you’ll probably have to shift gears to social media marketing. If you were going to work with kids in child care or educational programs, you’ll have to get comfortable engaging them on-screen.

Draw on all your classes to put peripheral strengths to use in a virtual internship, even if the work isn’t what you expected.

Things like writing and blogging, graphic design, communications, coding, digital marketing and social media, and data analysis translate well to remote work. Be prepared to take them on this summer — and learn job skills you didn’t think you would!

2. Set a Schedule

You have to show up for work from home just as much as you would in an office. Keeping a daily schedule will help you be fully present during work hours and also disconnect when you’re not on the clock.

Don’t roll over in bed and log into email on your laptop at 9 a.m. Develop a healthy morning routine, so you show up to your work fresh and ready to focus. Get dressed. Don’t let housework, pets or Netflix creep into your work hours just because they’re right there.

3. Set Boundaries With Family and Roommates

The people you live with might mistake your being at home with being available for chores or socializing. Set boundaries early, so they know this isn’t the case.

Let everyone in your house know your work schedule before you start, so they understand why you don’t have time for them during the day.

More important: Enforce the boundaries. When they stop by to chat you up, let them know you have to get back to work. When they ask you to help fold laundry, turn them down, and let them know you can do it after 5 o’clock.

4. Set up a Dedicated Work Space

Designating a work space will complement your schedule — and boundary-setting efforts.

Settling into the same place to work each day signals to your brain that it’s time to work. And creating a space your house mates recognize as a work space helps remind them when you’re at work.

It doesn’t have to be a home office or anything major if you don’t have access to that kind of space. Just choose a place you can work comfortably and with limited distraction. A porch with a little shade could be a perfect summer office!

I recommend avoiding your bed, because it’s too easy to become sleepy. And I recommend avoiding the kitchen table if you live with a lot of people, because kitchens are busy spots. But do what works for you.

5. Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

Working from home eliminates some natural opportunities a workplace usually offers for physical activity and socializing. You’ll need that kind of self-care to stay creative, productive and focused during your internship.

Remote work can be tough on your mental health under any circumstances. A pandemic only compounds it.

Take care of your mental health during a virtual internship by:

  • Talking to a therapist online or through teletherapy apps like BetterHelp and Talkspace.
  • Meditating with YouTube tutorials or apps like Headspace and Calm.
  • Going outside for fresh air and sunshine.
  • Decompressing at the end of the day through exercise, journaling, social media, reading or something else relaxing.

Getting exercise and moving around is also helpful for your mental health, just as much as it is for your physical health. (My advice: Start now. Your hips will thank you when you’re older.)

Check out these products to stay active and healthy while working from home.

6. Become Familiar With the Tech

Companies often expect students to be tech wizards — but being a digital native doesn’t mean you know how to use every tool out there. 

If an internship is your first foray into corporate work, you might have never used remote work technology before.

Familiarize yourself with the company’s tools right away. Take time on your first day to log into your accounts, explore the settings and address issues before they become an annoyance in the course of your work.

Some tips:

  • Start a practice call on a video conferencing app, and download whatever software it prompts you to. Set your video, mic and audio preferences.
  • Log into chat apps, like Slack or Skype, and fill out your profile with a name, photo and title.
  • Sign into your company email to make sure your password works.
  • Download video and chat apps to your phone, sign into your accounts and adjust your notification preferences.

7. Ask Questions

I’ve spent a lot of my career being the dumbest person in the room — and that’s a good thing. My biggest asset has been my willingness to ask questions.

Your coworkers expect curiosity from you as an intern. You’re there to learn! Don’t waste the opportunity trying to prove to professionals that you’re already an expert. You’re not.

A virtual internship might present less-obvious opportunities to ask questions — sitting in on meetings, running into coworkers in the break room or sharing a desk cluster with your team.

So you have to be assertive.


Speak up in virtual meetings or follow up via chat afterward. Ask “why” a lot, even when you think you know the answer. Respond to your manager’s requests to clarify tasks they want you to complete.

Lots of experts and employees say asking questions is vital to turning an internship into a job offer, so don’t shy away from your curiosity.

8. Ask About Company Culture

An on-site internship might present opportunities to dive into company culture, like lunch-and-learns or wacky dress-up days. But companies might not make that effort with a remote workforce, especially if they’re not accustomed to being separated.

Be proactive to show them you’re interested in participating in the culture, not just the job. Join virtual activities.

If no one is coordinating them, suggest some ideas to your team — a wacky-dress day can be just as fun over Zoom as in the office!

9. Keep an Internship Journal

You might have to log your hours and write a paper about your experience to earn college credit for your internship. But even if you don’t, I recommend jotting a few notes in a journal at the end of each day to reflect on your experience.

This is a useful way to decompress, take in the experience and understand what you’re learning. If you end up with internship coordinators who aren’t super engaged remotely, this self-reflection could come in extra handy.

10. Stay Open to Opportunities

Flipping the switch to a virtual internship might present you with unexpected opportunities. You’ll showcase strengths you didn’t expect to use, and the company will likely have needs it didn’t expect to have.

Stay open, and say yes to opportunities. Don’t turn tasks or projects down because they’re not traditional to your field or they’re not what you expected this role to be.

An internship is a place to learn, and staying nimble to possibilities — especially during a time that’s stressful for everyone you’re working with — is vital to your education and development.

11. Make Yourself Critical to the Company’s Success

In any internship, you could easily come in, complete your work and disappear at the end of the summer. Working remotely makes it even easier for you to totally fade from everyone’s memory when your internship ends.

Get ahead of that by doing the job so well the company doesn’t want to live without you.

Note that doing critical work could be a legal problem for an unpaid internship, so know your rights if a company actually can’t function without the work you do.

Instead, focus on being a star by being curious, taking on challenges and fitting into company culture, so the company can see how much of an asset you’d be as a full-time employee in any role.

How to Build Your Network Through a Virtual Internship

A major benefit of internships is building a network of mentors, professionals and other students in your field. Working from home could make that seem impossible.

Follow these tips to build your network virtually:

1. Do Your Homework

Ideally, you researched the company before applying, so you knew what you were getting into; or before your interview, so you could make a good impression.

But if you haven’t yet, bone up on the company’s history, mission, structure, operations and leadership. It’ll help you carry on conversations with your coworkers — and it’ll give you a great education in your field, too!

2. Find Everyone on Social Media

No matter how hard we try, virtual teams don’t seem to socialize as much as those working in a shared space. To make up for the lack of office chit chat, connect with employees and other interns through social media.

LinkedIn is an obvious place to start. You can connect with anyone from the company there to stay in tune with professional chatter. But polish your profile before sending the connection requests!

Twitter offers a similar opportunity to connect with people, even if you don’t know them well. If professionals in your field are active on Twitter, it might be a more useful platform than LinkedIn to follow and engage with influencers in the company, because Twitter users tend to get on the platform more regularly.

Facebook and Instagram might be appropriate platforms to connect with other interns and employees you work closely with. People are more active and personal on those, so they could help you forge connections that last beyond your internship.

3. Organize Virtual Events

Kudos to your company if it organizes virtual networking and social events for employees and interns. If it doesn’t — and that’s more likely — take the initiative to set them up yourself.

Reach out to human resources reps, a social committee or your supervisor, and suggest some ideas for virtual social gatherings to keep employees connected. If appropriate (i.e. if it’s not already someone else’s job), offer to coordinate it.


You can organize networking events with just fellow interns. Bonding with them will improve your experience and lay the bedrock for your professional network that’ll be valuable for years to come.

Consider these virtual social events via video conference:

  • Happy hours
  • Pub trivia
  • Game night
  • Yoga classes
  • Workouts or fitness classes
  • Sewing or knitting circles
  • Book club
  • Movie night (check out Netflix Party for Chrome to stay in sync)
  • Roundtable chats on fun or educational topics
  • Talent shows

The possibilities are broad; just get creative!

4. Dress to Impress (Including Pants)

Working from home is no excuse to look sloppy. You don’t have to force yourself into Spanx to smooth a pencil skirt over your thighs, but you shouldn’t show up to Zoom meetings in bottomless pajamas, either.

You’ll make an impression in virtual meetings just like you would in person, so dress accordingly. Brush your hair, and wash it occasionally. Wear a clean, comfortable shirt, and change it every day.

Getting dressed for the work day might feel silly, especially if you’re only on camera for a meeting or two.

But studies have shown what you wear impacts your creativity, confidence and attention to detail, Scientific American reports

5. Get on the Phone

I might be an old millennial, but I definitely don’t prefer a phone call if any other option is available. Still, I know they’re important.

You can forge a connection with someone over the phone — or a video chat — that you can’t via text or email.

If you find yourself in a complicated conversation over text, email or chat with someone on your team, suggest hopping on a phone or video call. It’ll help you find clarity and also provide an opportunity for small talk you’d probably skip over text.

You can also suggest purely social calls — reach out to coworkers, and ask to set up a call to chat and get to know them better. It might feel awkward compared to just bumping into them over lunch, but use the unusual circumstances as an excuse to be more assertive.

6. Take Advantage of Your Signature

Most of your communication with people at the company will probably be via email or chat. Use your signature or status on those platforms to showcase your personality and achievements, and show coworkers where to connect with you outside of work.

Some things you could include in your email signature and Slack (or other app) status or profile:

  • Your location
  • Emojis that represent how you’re feeling each day
  • An inspiring, positive or funny quote
  • Links to your website and social media profiles
  • Your career aspirations, like “Future human rights lawyer”
  • Your areas of focus, like “writing, design and social media”
  • A call to action to support your favorite charity
  • Your personality profile from Meyers-Briggs, Enneagram, StrengthsFinders or other tests

Rock Your Summer Internship — From Anywhere

You don’t have to go into an office to have a valuable internship experience. Be nimble, stay positive and make the most of the opportunity you have.

Completing a virtual internship will give you a valuable skill set that might be in increasingly high demand in the future: knowing how to work from home.

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) has been writing and editing since 2011, covering personal finance, careers and digital media.

Feature | 11/26/2019

UVA Alum Jose Fernandez Elected President of the American Society of Hispanic Economists

The announcement, made on Twitter, can be found here: .

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/27/2018

How A.I. May Affect Your Internship and Job Search

This article covers how AI may affect your internship and job search, and how you may be able to influence this by managing your electronic footprint and social media presence.

Secondly, the companies listed are potential employers for our students. Tip: Consider organizations that you read about, especially those that are doing work that interests you, as employment possibilities.

Wanted: The ‘perfect babysitter.’ Must pass AI scan for respect and attitude.

By Drew Harwell

When Jessie Battaglia started looking for a new babysitter for her 1-year-old son, she wanted more information than she could get from a criminal-background check, parent comments and a face-to-face interview.

So she turned to Predictim, an online service that uses “advanced artificial intelligence” to assess a babysitter’s personality, and aimed its scanners at one candidate’s thousands of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts.

The system offered an automated “risk rating” of the 24-year-old woman, saying she was at a “very low risk” of being a drug abuser. But it gave a slightly higher risk assessment — a 2 out of 5 — for bullying, harassment, being “disrespectful” and having a “bad attitude.”

The system didn’t explain why it had made that decision. But Battaglia, who had believed the sitter was trustworthy, suddenly felt pangs of doubt.

“Social media shows a person’s character,” said Battaglia, 29, who lives outside Los Angeles. “So why did she come in at a 2 and not a 1?”

Predictim is offering parents the same playbook that dozens of other tech firms are selling to employers around the world: artificial-intelligence systems that analyze a person’s speech, facial expressions and online history with promises of revealing the hidden aspects of their private lives.

The technology is reshaping how some companies approach recruiting, hiring and reviewing workers, offering employers an unrivaled look at job candidates through a new wave of invasive psychological assessment and surveillance.

The tech firm Fama says it uses AI to police workers' social media for “toxic behavior” and alert their bosses. And the recruitment-technology firm HireVue, which works with companies such as Geico, Hilton and Unilever, offers a system that automatically analyzes applicants' tone, word choice and facial movements during video interviews to predict their skill and demeanor on the job. (Candidates are encouraged to smile for best results.)

Read more

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 10/26/2017


"In a recent Exchanges at Goldman Sachs podcast, Goldman president and co-COO David Solomon offers some rather helpful advice for college students. Solomon, who in addition to his Goldman duties spins music in Miami and the Bahamas under the stage name D.J. D-Sol, went to Hamilton College, a small liberal arts college in Clinton, N.Y., about a four-hour drive from New York City. D-Sol culled much of the following advice from his fond four years at Hamilton, as well as from his three decades in investment banking (and perhaps a bit from his late nights on the decks)." -Derek Loosvelt 


Click here to read the rest of the article

Devaki Ghose

Feature | 09/12/2018

Devaki Ghose, Invited to International Econ Program at Dartmouth

In 2017, the Department of Economics at Dartmouth College began a Visiting Ph.D. Program in International Economics.  According to the program website “The program will provide funding to current Ph.D. students with high potential who have completed their coursework to visit Dartmouth College. There are no teaching or RA obligations associated with the position: visiting students are simply expected to be active members of the vibrant Dartmouth international economics community. “ Students from universities around the world apply and, each academic term, one is admitted to the program. Devaki was selected during the 2018 winter term and describe it as “one of the most rewarding experiences I had in recent years. My supervisor at Dartmouth, Treb Allen, not only provided invaluable academic input, but also encouraged me to dream bigger and push my ideas further. The vibrant academic community there, comprised of established professors and enterprising post-doctoral students, provided me with constructive criticism and fresh ideas that infused my project with new energy. I think what makes Dartmouth a very special place is that it is a top school with no graduate program in economics. Being the only graduate student for the term, all the professors had lots of time to talk about my research and interact with me. I will recommend every student in international economics to consider applying for this program in future.”


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/23/2018

Careers in Marketing Forum

Taking place next Thursday (9/27) and Friday (9/28), the Careers in Marketing forum is a unique opportunity for students to learn from a diverse group of Marketing alum representing many different areas within the industry. We have an impressive line-up this year with 16 alums committed to participate and a keynote with incredible experience, James Quarles, CEO of Strava, formerly of Instagram & Facebook who will be discussing: Marketing at the Intersection of Business and Consumer Needs.


For details and to RSVP:

Thursday Kickoff:

Friday’s Forum:

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/20/2023

4 Ways to Finish the Semester Strong

Article written by Joel Minden for Psychology Today.

Overwhelmed by a stressful semester and too much work? Wondering how you’re going to make it through the last few weeks before finals? Here are four ways to finish the semester strong:

1) Give yourself a good reason. I’m not going to suggest to you that it’s time to get pumped up about all the work you have ahead of you. Let’s be real. But if you’re an expert at telling yourself why you shouldn’t do your work, maybe now’s a good time to change the script. Start by paying attention to what goes through your mind when you consider doing schoolwork. Some examples:

  • I’d rather do something else.
  • It’s so boring.
  • I don’t know where to start.
  • I don’t understand the material.

Some ideas for more useful self-talk messages:

  • If I get some studying done now, I won’t worry about it when I do something fun later.
  • Boring work isn’t going to get more interesting later, so I should get started and take short breaks when it’s hard to focus.
  • If I open the textbook, look through my notes, and read the assignment guidelines, at least it’s a step in the right direction. Once I get going, it’ll get easier.
  • I’ll understand the material better if I search for main ideas first and focus on the details later.

Catch the negative thoughts when they occur and replace them with new beliefs. With practice, you'll have more useful beliefs without having to implement them intentionally.

2) Show anxiety who’s boss. If you’re avoiding schoolwork, worrying about it, and feeling tense because of it, staying calm and productive will be tough. Instead of doing things that escalate anxiety, do the opposite.

  • To address avoidance, do at least a little bit of work consistently. Schedule 30 minutes if you think that’s all you can handle. You might surprise yourself and do much more. Or, if you choose to stop and do another 30 minutes later, you’re less likely to criticize yourself for doing less.
  • Being productive early and often beats last-minute cramming for worrying less. If worrying continues, write down your concerns and the steps you need to take to address them. This will give your mind a break so you can focus on your work instead of the ideas that make you anxious. You can always go back to your notes later to review your worries and their solutions.
  • If you’re struggling with physical tension, take a break for deep breathing, yoga, cardio, meditation, a massage, or a warm bath.

3) Get a study buddy. Corny word choice aside, working with a classmate or a friend has many benefits. Scheduling time to study with another person works because

  • You’re less likely to skip out on work if it means breaking a commitment to a friend.
  • Discussing course concepts with someone else can enhance your retention of the material.
  • Having someone to chat with during breaks makes the work seem less tedious.
  • Working with a partner is a good opportunity to get out of the house and away from distractions that might pull you away from studying.
  • Even if you’re working on different things, having company might boost your intrinsic motivation to get things done.

4) Use problem-focused coping strategies. When things get stressful, activities that give you a short-term break might seem like the answer. Emotion-focused coping strategies can make you feel better for a few hours, which is why it’s so easy to turn to things like exercise, napping, watching TV, creative work, visiting friends, eating junk food, or drinking beer (of course, some of these are better choices than others). But when you have papers and projects to complete and final exams looming, the work needs to get done at some point. Don't forget to use problem-focused coping strategies to stay on track:

  • Look at your syllabus.
  • Figure out what needs to get done and how long it will take.
  • Schedule time to work and put it in your smartphone or other electronic calendar. Set email or pop-up reminders.
  • Do you have important or challenging things to do that you're likely to avoid? Can you work on those things first?
  • Identify obstacles. What might get in the way of achieving your goals? What can you do about it?
  • Reach out to your instructors. Let them know you’d like to finish strong and that you’d appreciate their advice. Take advantage of office hours to get their help.
Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/04/2022

Job Hunters Take A Stand: We’re Not Writing Cover Letters

As employers struggle to fill millions of openings, applicants are using their leverage to forgo what, until recently, was a must for landing a decent job

By Lindsay Ellis
March 26, 2022 12:00 am ET

To Whom It May Concern: Job applicants are putting a hard stop to those dreaded cover letters.

Many hiring managers say a sharp cover letter remains one of the best ways to make the case for why you are the right person for the job. Yet many job seekers say the self-promoting exercise is too torturous and time-consuming to be worth the effort for a less-than-dream role. It’s also just plain insulting, they argue, since it’s often an algorithm, not a human, that screens and sorts the applications.

Now, as employers struggle to fill millions of openings, job seekers are using their leverage to say no to what, until recently, was a must for landing a decent position.

“People are fundamentally fed up with having to do so much to get a job,” said Gianni LaTange, a 27-year-old in New York who works in tech. Ms. LaTange calls cover letters an antiquated hiring practice and no longer applies to jobs that require them.

To get her current role, she instead contacted employees at companies she wanted to work at over LinkedIn. One employee, after a brief conversation, connected her with a recruiter, and she ultimately got an offer without writing a letter, she said.

Some job seekers say writing cover letters is a job itself, and one that yields little reward for the effort. Before Devin Miller’s most recent job, he wrote about 10 cover letters to companies he wanted to work for. Each was different, and he wanted to signal that he knew what the work would entail, he said. He heard back from none. To get his current role, he responded to a recruiter who had reached out to him and asked just for a résumé, the 33-year-old Mr. Miller said.

Mr. Miller briefly looked for a new information-technology job in November because he was moving to Boston. This time, though, he said he applied only for openings that didn’t require a cover letter—and got several interviews and an offer.

“It just doesn’t align with my or my peers’ current interests in how they want to proceed with their career,” said Mr. Miller, who, in the end, opted to stay with his existing team and work remotely.

Behind all of the cover-letter hate lurks a major disconnect between job seekers and the employers trying to hire them. A recent ResumeLab survey of 200 hiring managers and recruiters found 83% said cover letters were important to deciding whom to hire, especially when it came to understanding why the applicant wanted the job or explaining a career switch or break. Nearly three-quarters said they expected a cover letter even if it wasn’t explicitly asked for.

“If you don’t take the time to explain yourself, they’re not going to consider you,” said Jill Tipograph, co-founder of Early Stage Careers, a career-coaching company for college students and 20-somethings. Early-career applicants especially need cover letters to differentiate themselves, she said. It’s about “laying out the facts and the foundation of what you’re bringing to the table,” she said.

Yet only 38% of candidates attach cover letters to their applications even when it is requested, according to ResumeLab, which provides advice and online templates for building résumés and cover letters.

Kevin Grossman, president of the Talent Board, a nonprofit hiring and recruiting research group, said that many of the employers his organization works with no longer look at cover letters, in part because of automated application-screening tools. The exception, he said, is when hiring volume is smaller and recruiters have the time.

Another reason cover letters often fail to impress: “Most of them are extremely generic,” said Keith Wolf, managing director of recruiting firm Murray Resources, who advises job seekers to tailor them to the specific job opening.

Spending even a few minutes dashing off an enthusiastic message can reveal a person’s strengths and motivation in ways a résumé often can’t, said Sherrod DeGrippo, a vice president at a security-software company whose division hires about 10 employees each quarter.

“Don’t agonize over it—it’s not a make-or-break,” she said. “It’s a help, it’s a bonus.”

Hadassah Williams, 30, who works in administration, has used a similar strategy. She started writing more casual notes instead of formal letters when a job listing indicates cover letters—which she hates writing—are optional. They take about 40 minutes to write and can be customized to the role she is applying for, she said.

She said she has sometimes included these blurbs in the cover-letter field of applications or sent them directly to recruiters on LinkedIn.

Julie Fugett’s views on cover letters have evolved over her career. As a chief information security officer in higher education, she used them to evaluate candidates’ attention to detail and communication skills.

But when she recently applied for a vice president role at a cybersecurity firm, Ms. Fugett decided not to submit one. She had seen tech-industry pushback to the practice on social media, and she didn’t want to appear out of touch.

She got the job—and was delighted she could skip the cover letter. She has since wondered whether cover letters can invite bias against talented candidates who, say, speak English as a second language.

“I have yet to meet a single person, including myself, that enjoys writing a cover letter,” Ms. Fugett said. “I’ve still written plenty of them, but it’s always a little painful.”

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/25/2022

How to Make a Good Impression In an Interview or Networking

The Best Way to Brag About Your Accomplishments: Don’t Take All the Credit

If you want your accomplishments to really sing, give someone else’s hard work a shout-out, a study finds

Want to make the best possible impression on someone to boost your career prospects? Share the credit for your accomplishments.

That’s the conclusion a team of professors reached in research they wrote up for a paper currently under review for publication. It turns out that when it’s important to impress someone—say, in an interview for a new job or a promotion—simply bragging about your successes isn’t as effective as talking about both yourself and your team, the professors say.

“We don’t want people to shy away from an opportunity to highlight their accomplishments, but bragging can seem so off-putting and cringy,” says one of the researchers, Eric VanEpps, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. “You can instead brag about your strengths and accomplishments while also saying something positive about the skills and talents of other people involved, too. Playing nice and sharing credit works quite well.”

When trying to decide whether to give credit to somebody, people often feel they have a trade-off between making themselves seem competent and coming across as likable. Researchers have referred to the trade-off as the “self-promotion dilemma.”

But Dr. VanEpps and his colleagues—Einav Hart of the George Mason University School of Business and Maurice Schweitzer of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania—wanted to see if the solution is what they call dual promotion. In one study they conducted, they asked a group of hiring professionals to evaluate two hypothetical co-workers who had completed a joint project and then written self evaluations that would be used to consider them for a role. One of the self evaluations described only the work of the individual; the other took some credit while also acknowledging the contribution of the colleague.

“The wording was something like: ‘This project was successful because of our teamwork. I took care of all the financial analysis, and back-end design. Alex really impressed me with how he handled our client communications,’ ” says Dr. VanEpps. The hiring managers gave the dual promoter nearly 1.5 more points on a scale of 1 to 7 when it came to warmth, and ranked the dual promoter more than a point higher on overall impression.

“By self-promoting, you look cold, not ideal to work with,” Dr. VanEpps says, adding that earlier research by many others has consistently shown this to be true.

Another study looked at dual promotion versus self promotion in a political context. Nearly 200 participants, roughly half registered Republicans and half registered Democrats, read about two hypothetical members of Congress on a transportation and infrastructure committee. They were then shown two statements about the committee’s recent work, based on material drawn from the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, with the wording manipulated to make each statement clearly self promoting or dual promoting. The study participants were asked how likely they would be to vote for each politician.

“People were far more likely to vote for the dual promoter, who seemed more warm and more competent to participants,” says Dr. VanEpps. “By giving credit to others, you come across as self-assured, which means you must really know what you’re doing.” He points to two earlier studies by his team that showed that laypeople typically use self promotion, while politicians often use dual promotion, “because they are trained to think about how they are perceived out there by others,” he says.

Ms. Mitchell is a writer in Chicago. She can be reached at

Taken from The Wall Street Journal, 9/15/2022

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/02/2021

7 Essential Career Readiness Tips for Students

Taken from Vault

Deciding what to do after school and how to prepare for life after college can be stressful and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be. If you follow the below seven stress-free tips, you’ll be well prepared for the next step in your life.

1. Actively build your network

If you want to advance professionally, you need to begin networking as soon as possible—and that means starting in college. You should always try to meet as many people as possible. And don’t be too hesitant to go to social gatherings. You can use social events hosted by your college as fantastic opportunities to engage with key individuals. When you do go to gatherings, don’t wait for others to approach you. Be prepared to take the lead and be the conversation starter.

2. Learn how to budget

Money management might be your last priority when you're in school. However, college is an excellent time to establish sustainable lifestyle decisions such as budgeting. While we all understand the importance of living within our means, it’s easy to forget to sit down and devote some time to developing and managing a budget.

Usually, creating a budget isn’t an issue for college students. But adhering to it is. Budgeting is based on the premise that you should never spend more money than you earn. Otherwise, you risk becoming engulfed in debt that will be hard to recover from. To begin to create a budget, determine how much money you have and which school expenses are unavoidable. These are figures that should remain relatively constant for the school year.

3. Refine and build your social media presence

It's critical to ensure that your social media profiles portray you favorably. Prospective employers will likely conduct an online search of you, and if they find something on your social media that they dislike or find offensive, it may cost you a job opportunity.

It’s also a good idea to start to use your social media to build your network. You can now use various social networking sites to interact with prominent people online. So, participate in online exchanges on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, to name a few. Contact employers, industry experts, recruiting agencies, passionate individuals, and so forth. Create connections that could help you later.

4. Work on your interviewing skills

One of the main things you'll need to do to prepare for life after college is master your interviewing skills. The best way to prepare is to practice your answers well in advance of interviews, so you can be ready to interview on a moment’s notice. It will be far less stressful later if you start preparing as early as possible while in college. Note that it’s an art to learn how to talk to employers and recruiters, and it takes time to master. You shouldn’t only begin to prepare for an interview the night before. Start now!

5. Find internships and mentorships

Any student who has searched for an internship will tell you that finding the perfect one can be challenging. They’ll also tell you it’s well worth the effort. There’s no disputing that an internship can give you many advantages, including essential experience that will help you develop a solid professional foundation as you begin your career path. This can lead to greater job prospects once you graduate, as well as a higher salary.

Also, a mentor can assist you in understanding professional environments by giving you viewpoints that can help you grow your career in its early stages. A mentor might be a professor with industry ties, a previous supervisor, or even a family member. Your choice of mentor will likely be influenced by your area of interest and intended career.

6. Think about student loan repayment

Consider your repayment strategy if you used student loans to help fund your education. There are likely several repayment choices available for federal student loans, including standard, graduated, and income-based repayment. Most likely, you'll have various terms to consider if you took out private student loans.

Also, if you plan to begin your post-grad career in a big city like Los Angeles or New York, you’ll need to be smart with your money and check what the best neighborhoods for renters are. For example, if you target affordable places for renters in NYC, you’ll be able to significantly cut your costs and use the extra money towards repaying your debt.

7. Follow your passions and know your worth

Career paths are full of twists and turns, as well as unexpected stops and starts. Consider your career as a three- or four-decade timeline. It isn't just one job. So, make sure to plant, nurture, and pursue your passions, since they’ll provide you with the most fulfillment and opportunities for success. College will help you find your strengths and realize your worth—claim them. Remember, there’s no one else like you—and that's your biggest strength.

Melissa Fisher is a full-time blogger with a focus on career counseling and job hunting. Her passions include reading true crime novels and playing with her two dogs.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 02/09/2022

Using Game Theory in Salary Bargaining


What Does Game Theory Say about Negotiating a Pay Raise?

William Spaniel at the University of Pittsburgh discusses salary negotiation in this short piece below. The ECO has included this here to encourage our students to undertake the exercise of considering negotiating their job offer, as applicable. You may speak with the ECO/other career offices about this process. We can help!


A common question I get is what game theory tells us about negotiating a pay raise. Because I just published a book on bargaining, this is something I have been thinking about a lot recently. Fortunately, I can narrow the fundamentals to three simple points:

1) Virtually all of the work is done before you sit down at the table.
When you ask the average person how they negotiated their previous raise, you will commonly hear anecdotes about how that individual said some (allegedly) cunning things, (allegedly) outwitted his or her boss, and received a hefty pay hike. Drawing inferences from this is problematic for a number of reasons:

  1. Anecdotal “evidence” isn’t evidence.
  2. The reason for the raise might have been orthogonal to what was said.
  3. Worse, the raise might have been despite what was said.
  4. It assumes that the boss is more concerned about dazzling words than money, his own job performance, and institutional constraints.

The fourth point is especially concerning. Think about the people who control your salaries. They did not get their job because they are easily persuaded by rehearsed speeches. No, they are there because they are good at making smart hiring decisions and keeping salaries low. Moreover, because this is their job, they engage in this sort of bargaining frequently. It would thus be very strange for someone like that to make such a rookie mistake.

So if you think you can just be clever at the bargaining table, you are going to have a bad time. Indeed, the bargaining table is not a game of chess. It should simply be a declaration of checkmate. The real work is building your bargaining leverage ahead of time.

2) Do not be afraid to reject offers and make counteroffers.
Imagine a world where only one negotiator had the ability to make an offer, while the other could only accept or reject that proposal. Accepting implements the deal; rejecting means that neither party enjoys the benefits of mutual cooperation. What portion of the economic benefits will the proposer take? And how much of the benefits will go to the receiver?

You might guess that the proposer has the advantage here. And you’d be right. What surprises most people, however, is the extent of the advantage: the proposer reaps virtually all of the benefits of the relationship, while the receiver is barely any better off than had the parties not struck a deal.

How do we know this? Game theory allows us to study this exact scenario rigorously. Indeed, the setup has a specific name: the ultimatum game. It shows that a party with the exclusive right to make proposals has all of the bargaining power.

That might seem like a big problem if you are the one receiving the offers. Fortunately, the problem is easy to solve in practice. Few real life bargaining situations expressly prohibit parties from making counteroffers. (As I discuss in the book, return of security deposits is one such exception, and we all know that turns out poorly for the renter—i.e., the receiver of the offer.) Even the ability to make a single counteroffer drastically increases an individual’s bargaining power. And if the parties could potentially bargain back and forth without end—called Rubinstein bargaining, perhaps the most realistic of proposal structures—bargaining equitably divides the benefits.

As the section header says, the lesson here is that you should not be afraid to reject low offers and propose a more favorable division. Yet people often fail to do this. This is especially common at the time of hire. After culling through all of the applications, a hiring manager might propose a wage. The new employee, deathly afraid of losing the position, meekly accepts.

Of course, the new employee is not fully appreciating the company’s incentives. By making the proposal, the company has signaled that the individual is the best available candidate. This inevitably gives him a little bit of wiggle room with his wage. He should exercise this leverage and push for a little more—especially because starting wage is often the point of departure for all future raise negotiations.

3) Increase your value to other companies.
Your company does not pay you a lot of money to be nice to you. It pays you because it has no other choice. Although many things can force a company’s hand in this manner, competing offers is particularly important.

Imagine that your company values your work at $50 per hour. If you can only work for them, due the back-and-forth logic from above, we might imagine that your wage will land in the neighborhood of $40 per hour. However, suppose that a second company exists that is willing to pay you up to $25 per hour. Now how much will you make?

The answer is no less than $40 per hour. Why? Well, suppose not. If your current company is only paying you, say, $30 per hour, you could go to the other company and ask for a little bit more. They would be obliged to pay you that since they value you up to $40 per hour. But, of course, your original company values you up to $50 per hour. So they have incentive to ultimately outbid the other company and keep you under their roof.

(This same mechanism means that Park Place is worthless in McDonald’s monopoly.)

Game theorists call such alternatives “outside options”; the better your outside options are, the more attractive the offers your bargaining partner has to make to keep you around. Consequently, being attractive to other companies can get you a raise with your current company even if you have no serious intention to leave. Rather, you can diplomatically point out to your boss that a person with your particular skill set typically makes $X per year and that your wage should be commensurate with that amount. Your boss will see this as a thinly veiled threat that you might leave the company. Still, if the company values your work, she will have no choice but to bump you to that level. And if she doesn’t…well, you are valuable to other companies, so you can go make that amount of money elsewhere.

Bargaining can be a scary process. Unfortunately, this fear blinds us to some of the critical facets of the process. Negotiations are strategic; only thinking about your worries and concerns means you are ignoring your employer’s worries and concerns. Yet you can use those opposing worries and concerns to coerce a better deal for yourself. Employers do not hold all of the power. Once you realize this, you can take advantage of the opposing weakness at the bargaining table.

I talk about all of these issues in greater length in my book, Game Theory 101: Bargaining. I also cover a bunch of real world applications to these and a whole bunch of other theories. If this stuff seems interesting to you, you should check it out!





Feature | 11/27/2023

Argentina Is a Textbook Case of ‘Fiscal Dominance’

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/26/2017


"You put together a solid resume and cover letter, and you’ve just been called in for an interview. If you’re like most job seekers, you may be thinking you’ll just throw on a decent outfit that morning, show up on time, and wing it. That’s fine, if your goal is to be like most job seekers. If you’d prefer to stand out from the crowd, read on."

Click here to read the rest of the article. 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/05/2022

The Best Outfits for Job Interviews

Articles from The Balance Careers, written by Alison Doyle updated on February 13, 2020 and November 11, 2021.


What's the best outfit to wear to a job interview? The answer will vary depending on the type of job and company you're interviewing with. You always want to dress to make the best impression, but the outfit you choose depends on whether you're interviewing at a company with a formal dress code, at a casual startup, or for an informal summer job or internship.

If you wear a suit to an interview for a camp counselor, or a T-shirt to an interview at a bank, it'll send the message that you don't truly understand what's involved in the role. 

Find out what to wear (and what not to wear) for interviews at every type of company

Professional / Business Interview Attire

Generally, a job interview calls for you to wear professional, or business, attire.

For men, this might mean a suit jacket and slacks with a shirt and tie or a sweater and button-down. For women, a blouse and dress pants or a statement dress is appropriate. For gender neutral attire, click here. 

You can also incorporate some modern style trends into your outfit. All interviewees should consider color when selecting an interview outfit and avoid wearing anything too bright or flashy that will distract the hiring manager.

Interview Outfits for Women

The more important thing to consider when you're dressing for a job interview is that you should look professional and polished regardless of the type of position you're seeking.

Even though your interview attire depends on the role you're applying for, no matter what the position, you should go to the interview looking neat, tidy, and well-dressed. Here's how to make the best impression at every interview you go on.

Interview Outfits for Men

It can be challenging to put a professional interview outfit together. Here are some basic tips for men on how to dress for an interview, including what colors to wear, whether to wear a tie (and what kind), and more.

Gender Neutral Attire

If your day-to-day attire doesn’t conform to a traditional gender norm, your interview clothing doesn’t have to either.  

Non-Professional / Business Casual Interview Attire

If you have a job interview in a more informal work environment, you might wear a business casual outfit. Business casual outfits are less formal than a suit, but they are also more professional and polished than, say, a T-shirt and shorts or a sundress and sandals.

Of course, make sure you know the dress code before you assume that business casual is acceptable. If you aren’t sure, call the office and ask the administrative coordinator, or contact the person who scheduled the interview and ask them for advice.

Always dress a bit more professionally than the average employee at the company. If everyone is wearing shorts and T-shirts, for example, you might wear khakis and a Polo shirt or button-down.

Casual Interview Attire

If you have an interview at a startup company, nix the head-to-toe formal business attire. You want to look appropriate and professional, but not too formal.

Rather than showing up in a black suit and dress shoes, opt for something that is relaxed but still presentable: relaxed-fit khakis, dark-wash jeans, and a nice top, for example.

College Job Interview Attire

Make sure to dress professionally when interviewing for a professional job or internship as a college student. It'll show that you'll know how to behave in a professional manner if you're hired. 

Less formal attire is acceptable when interviewing for campus jobs and more informal workplace jobs. However, you still want to dress professionally for most positions, even if they are entry-level. Review these tips for college women and college men on what to wear to an interview, as well as what to wear for an interview for an internship. Gender-neutral attire tips may be found here.

Internship Interview Attire

Internships are an important part of career development, and as with any job, acing your interview is one part of getting the position you want. Making a great first impression–coming across as polished, professional, and attentive–is important when it comes to your internship search.

Here's what to wear for an internship interview based on whether the company environment is formal, casual, or somewhere in between.

Summer Job Interview Attire

Are you interviewing for a summer job? Typically, these jobs are more casual and do not require professional attire. You can skip the suit. However, you still want to look polished and professional.

Here are tips on what to wear to make the best impression, including interview attire for male and female applicants, what to bring with you, and how to dress for a casual interview.

Warm Weather Interview Attire

Do you have an interview in the hot summer months? There are a few things you can do to look professional but still feel cool in a job interview.

Review tips on what to wear for a warm-weather interview depending on the work environment and type of job.

How to Choose Interview Accessories

When wearing accessories to an interview, less is more. Choose accessories that will enhance your interview attire, not overwhelm it. 

Best Job Interview Hairstyles

There are lots of ways to style your hair for a job interview. While some options are trendy and others are more traditional, remember that your hairstyle should not distract the employer. You will want your hair to be professional and polished, like your entire outfit.

Here are the best job interview hairstyles for short, medium-length, and long hair. 

How to Do Your Makeup for a Job Interview

Like your hair, your makeup should not distract the interviewer. This is not the time for bold lipstick or a glittery eye shadow. Instead, keep makeup subtle and unobtrusive. 

Check out these interview makeup do's and don'ts before you get ready to interview.

What Not to Wear on an Interview

An unprofessional outfit can distract an interviewer from seeing your great qualities.

Here's what not to wear when you are interviewing for a new job.

W&P Design

Feature | 01/18/2018

ECO Winter Break Trek to NYC 1.12.18

The ECO and nine students trekked to the NYC area over Winter Break to visit two power-house firms run by economics majors. First we visited private equity firm Kelso in Manhattan followed by a visit to W&P Design in Greenpoint, NYC an urban-industrial hot spot in Brooklyn. Details of our visit follow, but one important take away from both visits was the power of the UVA network. Our alumni discussed this directly and indirectly as benefiting them personally and in their professional work.

At Kelso, we met UVA economics alumnus CEO Frank Loverro and Managing Director, UVA History alumnus Frank Bynum in their plush offices on Park Ave. Firm V.P. Bill Frayer. (Colgate University) walked us through the recruiting process for PE and several deals that the firm has worked on. Kelso invests primarily in middle market companies in Energy, Healthcare, Financial Services, Consumer Goods, Industrial, and Media. We learned about the deal process from idea sourcing through valuation, purchasing, management, and selling. We also heard how both Frank and Frank acquired their jobs at Kelso and what their work is like at the senior level. We met UVA McIntire School alumnus Forrest Compton, who discussed his background at Credit Suisse before moving to Kelso and Dan Slutsky's (Brown) experiences with Kelso as an Associate after moving from M&A at Bank of America. The attending students made some great connections for future opportunities. Kelso looks forward to staying connected to the department. 

Our next stop was W&P Design, "a unique full-stack product design company. The firm sees ideas through from design, to manufacturing and delivery. Economics alumnus Josh Williams gave us a tour of their open, contemporary multi-use space in an industrial section of Brooklyn overlooking the Hudson River. It offered a different office culture than Kelso and our UVA students had a chance to observe these very different work environments. The space houses a design team, sales team, operations and logistics, marketing, and production team. Manufacturing and most distribution are off-site. In just five years the company has grown from a staff of 2 (Josh and fellow UVA alumnus and long-time friend Eric Prum) to 80 employees in the states and 100 employees including their overseas staff. Their first round of major funding was for a particular product "the mason shaker" and was crowd-sourced through Kickstarter.  It was one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns at the time seeking a goal of $5,000 and reaching $75,000. The company's products are in catalogs all over the world and in stores like Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Williams-Sonoma. But even with that national and international reach, they keep much business close to home in NYC and in Central Virginia. Their primary distribution center is close to Lynchburg.

A new major project for Josh and Eric is the launch of their consumer goods incubator, Assembly. It is an innovative model where ideas are conceived through the company leadership and then teams are hired to build the products and launch the newly founded company. They are hiring summer interns in sales and design, and full time staff in sales, design and project management. They are also seeking Co-Founders of their newest brands. 

Both Josh and Eric had other jobs before launching W&P, Josh with Lehman Brothers/Barclays and Eric working for a paintball manufacturing company. They got their first taste of owning their own business running a catering company in Charlottesville while they were students.

After leaving Barclay's, Josh attended Culinary School in New Orleans and soon after Eric and Josh launched W&PDesign, they brought on a former intern and friend, UVA alumna Elizabeth Tilton, to build out and run their marketing department. You can read more about all three UVA alumni and W&P Design here.

This first ECO trip was a huge success and we thank our alumni for making it so.



Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 12/22/2016


"Hiring managers rarely have the time or resources to look at each résumé closely, and they typically spend about six seconds on their initial fit/no fit decision. If you want to pass that test, you need to have some solid qualifications — and the perfect resume to highlight them."-Tayyiba Iram

Click here to read the rest of the article

Feature | 01/02/2023

UVA ECONOMIST RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS ROSS PRIZE: From left to right: Vish Viswanathan (Duke University), John Geanakoplos (Yale University), Ana Fostel, and Adriano Rampini (Duke University)

From left to right: Vish Viswanathan (Duke University), John Geanakoplos (Yale University), Ana Fostel, and Adriano Rampini (Duke University)

Feature | 10/07/2022

Do You Have a Career Fair Pitch


Article written by Career Fair Plus.

Do you have an elevator pitch ready for your next career fair? An elevator pitch is a quick and memorable summary of your background and career interests. The name is a throwback to a time when prospective employees (or salespeople) waited in building lobbies to jump in an elevator with an executive. If the pitch went well, they chat all the way to the executive suite. If not, they would get off on the next floor, return to the lobby, and try again.

What is your goal?

Career fairs are designed to give you multiple opportunities to meet recruiters from organizations looking for college hires like you. Instead of lurking among lobby foliage hoping for a receptive audience, you'll walk up to a table where recruiters will welcome you. Still, your goal is to sell yourself quickly by making a good first impression in 30 to 60 seconds.

What should you say?

Start with your basic information: name, year in school, and major. Follow this with at least one accomplishment or skill relevant to your job search. This is the perfect time to briefly describe an internship or research applicable to your career field. If you don't have any real-world experience yet, you can talk about a paper or project from one of your classes. Wrap-up your pitch by sharing your career interests and goals, then offer the recruiter a copy of your resume. Carnegie-Mellon University has an excellent guide to preparing your elevator pitch with examples.

Be prepared to succeed

If your introduction goes well, you may spend the next several minutes talking to the recruiter. Keep the conversation moving by preparing a list of questions that you can ask. See our article on 8 Questions to Ask Employers for ideas. Also be ready to describe your strongest skills and abilities. Making a list of your strengths is also a good way to boost your confidence before you go to the career fair. Include details and specific examples.

Customize to each employer

Customizing your introduction to each recruiter gives you the opportunity to show that you are a serious job candidate. Take a few minutes to research employers on Career Fair Plus or the company's website so that you know what job openings the recruiters are trying to fill. It will only take a few minutes to formulate a couple questions for each company, but even that short amount of time will make you stand out from other candidates. Review your question list between each recruiter so that you remember the details accurately.

Follow-up Quickly

Send each recruiter a thank-you email right after you leave the career fair to build on the success of your introductory meeting. Thank the recruiter by name, restate your elevator pitch, and attach your resume. If something went wrong during your first meeting, this is the time to recover. Your elevator pitch is important, but it isn't the end of the world if you stumble on your words or another student interrupts you. Instead, this gives you the opportunity to show that you have the professional skills to pick up and try again.


A good elevator pitch is useful beyond the career fair floor. A succinct pitch sets a professional tone to your LinkedIn and other social media accounts. After practicing, your elevator pitch will become a natural part of the way you meet new people whether you are networking professionally or just meeting friends of friends at a dinner party. Take time to perfect your introduction and keep it update to date as you build your life beyond college. Preparation is the key to successfully navigating a career fair. If this is your first career fair, see some of our other blog articles like 5 Things to Know Before You Attend a Career Fair.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 03/26/2020

Week of March 26th Newsletter

7 Essential Tips for Working from Home during the Coronavirus Pandemic
ECO Appointments are Available - Pre-Req Workshop is Waived

The world has been turned upside down, and the ECO is open for business, ready to serve you. During these uncertain times thinking about your next steps can be daunting, but I encourage you to reach out to me at the ECO when you’re ready. You may make an appointment Tuesdays-Thursdays on Handshake. Appointment topics can cover general career research, skill-building, resume and cover letter writing, networking, writing a LinkedIn Profile, and salary negotiation, just to name a few topics. And remember to spend time on your mental and physical well-being in the coming weeks. You may want to take this time to teach yourself something new through free online classes sponsored by UVA and LinkedIn Learning. These new skills/new knowledge may be useful as you consider your next steps, or simply be therapeutic and satisfy your curiosity. Regarding employers, several info sessions and events have switched over to virtual platforms, so make sure to check Handshake for changes. Attending these virtual info sessions is a great way to get information, if you’re simply curious about an organization or concertedly committed.

2nd years and 3rd years: Scroll to bottom of this newsletter for information on banking internships and consulting opportunities coming up soon.

4th years: Check out the jobs curated by the ECO.

Worried about securing a job or landing an internship? Wonder how those Econ upper-level students secured all those full-time offers? Meet the Econ department's career advisor and find your path now.

Two Big Programs

Intro to Consulting

Intro to Consulting Night for 2nd and 3rd years. If you are considering consulting for an internship or full-time position, come to this workshop to learn about the consulting industry, day-to-day work, the recruitment process, and what it is like to work with clients. Employers Participating: EY LLP, Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, Accenture, Mastercard, & IBM. Sign up for the virtual event here.

How to Get a Job in Management Consulting

If you are interested in consulting as a career after graduation, please join our upcoming talk with Grant Tobben, a current 4th year studying Economics heading to Bain & Company as an Associate Consultant after graduation. Grant interned at Bain this past summer and will be presenting a talk on how to get a job in consulting and tips for excelling in a consulting job function. Sign up for the virtual event here.

Jobs & Internships for Econ Majors

Jobs on Handshake

4/3: Marketing Associate, Vital Strategies (NYC)
4/3: Development Associate at University go Chicago (Chicago, IL)
4/3: Economic Policy Research Intern, Hudson Institute (Washington, DC)
4/5: Finance Intern, Worldbank (Washington, DC)
4/30: Student Intern, Chief Financial Office, Department of Homeland Security (Arlington, VA)
4/30: Finance & Donation Associate for International Non-Profit (Washington, DC)
6/2: Finance Internship, MPOWER Financing (Washington, DC) 
7/15: Junior Pricing Analyst, Circle Logistics (Orlando, FL)

Jobs Selected from External Boards

4/1: Summer Analyst (Internship), Goldman Sachs (multiple locations)
4/10: Revenue Operations Analyst, LiveIntent, Inc. (NYC)

Opportunities found on WayUpLinkedIn, and company sites.

Upcoming Events

Rock Your Digital Interview - #iamPru Webinar Series
Thu, Mar 26 5:00 pm EDT - 6:00 pm EDT
Sign Up Here

VIRTUAL: How to Get a Job in Consulting Presented by 4th Year Econ Major Grant Tobben (Sponsored by the ECO)
Fri, Mar 27 12:00 pm EDT - 1:00 pm EDT
Sign Up Here

Virtual State Farm Career Fair March 31st
Tue, Mar 31 7:00 am CDT - 2:00 pm CDT
Sign Up Here

Helpful ECO Links:

Resumes, Cover Letters, Interview Help
Career Industry and Employer Overviews
Career Advising Appointment
Econ Alumni Contacts
The Three Parts of an Interview (and How to Nail Each)
and More!

Attention 2nd Years

Banking internships will be recruiting heavily now and into the summer for internships for the following summer. Banks will hold these info sessions to network with current second years to recruit for internships during their third years. These events will be good opportunities for you to practice your pitch and networking skills, which you can always brush up on here.


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/21/2019

Making the Most of Your Summer Internship

Making the Most of Your Internship (from Goodcall

So – you landed an internship! Congratulations. But the work doesn’t end here. In fact, the real work is just beginning.

Internships are short – most last just a few months. That’s not very long to make an impact on the people around you – not to mention navigate a new industry, develop your skills and build a whole new base of knowledge. That’s why we’ve rounded up our top tips for making the most of your internship in a short period of time.

Be great, not just good

To make the largest impact on a company (and increase your chances of getting a job offer down the line, if that’s your ultimate goal), you need to go above and beyond just average performance. Krehmeyer shares some specific tips for figuring out what separates good from great: “Good interns understand the job. Great intern understand the company. Good interns are always on time. Great interns are the first in and last out. Good interns do exactly what is asked. Great interns anticipate the next step and ask for more. Good interns have strong technical skills. Great interns exhibit strong technial and soft skills. Good interns network well with leadership. Great interns are fully engaged with both peers and managers.”

Be active, not passive

It’s going to take more than just sitting back, keeping your head down and completing your assignments to really make the most of your internship. Take an active role when it comes to communicating with your manager and peers, asking for assignments and stepping outside the box. Palmer advises students, “From your interview to your exit, actively listen and summarize what you hear, be inquisitive and ask questions for clarification, keep your supervisor informed about your progress and activities, seek feedback and receive it in a gracious, professional manner.” He adds, “Don’t wait for assignments during a lull. See what needs attention and offer to help.”

Dowd agrees, suggesting that students take this opportunity as a chance to go outside their comfort zone. “Once you accept an internship,” he says, “it is time to focus on making the experience meaningful.  The more you go outside of your comfort zone on your internship, the more you will get out of it.”

Ask questions

One way to go outside your comfort zone? Talk to people at all levels of the company. Ask people in different departments, at different levels of seniority, to grab coffee or lunch or just to chat for a few minutes. Your new coworkers are the best resources you have to learn about the company and the industry, so just ask. Milliken says, “An internship is a wonderful opportunity for students to ask questions or request informational interviews with those in leadership positions at a company, because most professionals are eager and willing to share insight and advice with current students.”

Marzluff concurs, adding, “Ask someone in a role that you’re interested in to be your mentor. Maybe even suggest weekly or monthly meetings to check in, ask questions, and shadow.”

Reflect on your experience – both during and after

To really make the most of your internship, you need to think about the effect it’s having on your professional development – both after the fact and while you’re there. Palmer tells students, “Take the time to think about what you’re learning – not just about the organization, industry, or projects, but about yourself.”

Another great way to reflect on your progress is to ask for feedback often, from your manager and from others you work closely with. And don’t just take in the good. Marzluff encourages students, “Be open to receiving both negative and positive feedback. This is your time to fail fast.”

Stay in touch

The final thing you can do to make the most of your internship? Make sure you make a good impression right up until you leave, and then stay in touch with your contacts there. That means thanking your employer for the opportunity, saying goodbye to your manager and teammates and giving them the opportunity to connect with you in the future.

Palmer says that reaching out with thanks before you leave may make your employer more likely to write you a generous letter of recommendation down the line: “Appreciate the opportunities and support that you receive throughout your internship and always send a farewell message to your colleagues, not just your supervisor, extending your gratitude for the experience. In turn, your supervisor may show thanks to you by offering a letter of recommendation for you to share with future employers. Burrows suggests doing the same, as well as asking coworkers to connect on LinkedIn for future networking. “As they leave the internship,” she recommends, “students should thank anyone they have worked with and ask to connect on LinkedIn. Then, use the connection to stay in touch for future opportunities.”

Read more here!

Feature | 01/03/2022

Meet the Trio of UVA Alumni on the 2022 Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ Lists

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 10/24/2022

Coffee Chat Advice for Networking (Investment Banking Focused)

Investment Banking Coffee Chat Questions

Taken from: Peak Frameworks: written by Matt Ting

Even if you have the perfect resume, you’ll probably still want to invest a good amount of time into diligent coffee chats, because networking is what turns a perfect resume into a perfect candidate.

For better or for worse, investment banking and finance as a whole rely a ton on word of mouth. Although there are formal gatekeepers for the most coveted jobs, there is so much attrition and new firms pop up so frequently that you can often grease your way to a great investment banking offer with pure will.

The thing to note is that networking can be a double-edged sword. People are willing to take a chance on a misunderstood kid with potential, but they won’t hesitate to blacklist annoying kids who get their name wrong.


coffee cup


The Goals of a Coffee Chat

So when you’re networking and doing coffee chats, you should have the following goals in mind:

  1. Impress the person you’re speaking to by being charming, and respectful, knowing their work experience (if you know ahead of time who you're meeting), and asking thoughtful questions.

  2. Learn about any potential opportunities, the status of recruiting processes, or any advice to succeed in the interview.

  3. Be introduced to other helpful contacts (HR manager, person running point on recruiting, person with a similar background to you).

But you shouldn’t even bother thinking about #2 and #3 unless you feel like you’ve nailed #1.

I’ve done my share of informational interviews and I can tell you – the difference between a good informational interview and an OK one is extremely noticeable. The difference between an OK call and a bad call is even more noticeable. Super smart kids will get on the phone and then be so obviously unpolished or disrespectful that it makes me wish they never even reached out.

The most important thing is that you need to have very thoughtful questions. By thoughtful, I mean questions that won’t just be simply “yes” or “no”, but instead show that you’ve done some element of research. Thoughtful questions mean you’ve researched the nuances of a person’s job and doesn’t make the call feel like a waste.

How to Ask Thoughtful Questions

Asking thoughtful questions means:

  • Trying not to answer yes or no questions without giving more room to elaborate.

  • Not asking anything that you can Google.

  • Asking things that are specific to that person’s career or job (i.e. things they are uniquely positioned to answer).

  • Not asking anything too intrusive or antagonistic unless you feel like the call is going really well (e.g. why did you decide to go to Western instead of Harvard)?

In an effort to really help you out, here’s the list of networking questions I used when networking with people for investment banking jobs.

If the chat was over the phone, I would have this document open in front of me. If it was a sit -down, in-person chat, I would memorize a couple of key questions and try to structure the conversation flow around them.

List of Coffee Chat Questions


Their Experience and Perspective:

  1. Could you help me understand your specific responsibilities on a typical day?

  2. What tasks or responsibilities of your job do you consider to be your favorite?

  3. What would you say is the biggest surprise on the job from when you joined the firm?

  4. Has your experience matched your expectations in terms of responsibility, learning opportunity and pace?

  5. What were the main reasons you selected this firm vs. other opportunities? (this becomes perfect ammunition for your “Why this firm?” question)

  6. Could you tell me about an interesting deal or project you’ve had the chance to work on?

  7. What particular aspects drew you to your specific [industry group or function]?

  8. It may be a little early, but have you thought about the next steps in your career? Are there any career paths that appeal to you?

Their Firm and the Firm’s Business Model:

  1. What stands out to you about your firm relative to its competitors?

  2. I’ve seen that your firm has grown a lot in [this geography or function]. What have been some of the key drivers behind that growth?

  3. What is the organizational structure of the firm? How big is the team you work with?

  4. What is the level of interactivity between different groups / offices at your firm? Does there tend to be a lot of shared resources?

  5. I’ve heard from friends and read online that your firm specializes in [this function]. Would you say this is true? How does your firm differentiate itself in this aspect?

  6. How would you guys describe your approach to win deals and new clients?

  7. I’ve noticed that your group has announced a number of [buy-side / sell-side] transactions. What do you think enables you guys to win deals like that?

  8. I noticed that your firm hired [this senior banker]. How has that impacted your role and what do you think it does for the firm’s strategic direction?

Lifestyle (only if call is progressing well):

  1. How would you contrast your lifestyle vs. your previous roles?

  2. Can you give me a picture of what a typical work week is like?

  3. What level of autonomy have you generally seen at your firm?

  4. How would you describe the overall culture of the firm and your group?

  5. What activities do you do outside of the firm together?

Recruiting (only if call is progressing well):

  1. What is the current recruiting process or system at your firm?

  2. What sort of preparation would you recommend for someone interested in your position?

  3. Are there any specific materials you would recommend?

  4. Who are the key people involved in the process / would you recommend me to speak with anyone else?

  5. How would you recommend to best position myself to pursue an interview with your firm?


  1. Knowing what you know about me and my situation, do you have any general advice for navigating the recruiting process?

  2. [Regurgitate 1 or 2 things they said and comment on how it’s a very interesting insight]

  3. “I just wanted to thank you very much for the chance to speak with you. I've been looking forward to talking to you for quite some time and appreciate you taking the time for me. Would it be alright with you if I sent any follow ups if they arise?”

Pick and choose your favorite 10-15 questions from the first few categories and organize them into your own document to prepare for the call.

Don’t expect to get through all your questions (some people in finance talk for hours), but it’s always better to be over-prepared with questions as opposed to the call ending awkwardly. And make sure that at the 30 minute mark, you do a check for time.

Remember, your goal is to make a positive impression and to get high-quality information. You do that by being polite and asking high-quality questions.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 02/16/2017


Meet Alumni Next Week!

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/08/2021

ECO Article: How to Write a Spot-on Networking Email That Gets Results!

Taken from Hubspot; To read the full article, click here:

The way we network is changing rapidly. As many professionals embrace a hybrid remote work environment and the future of in-person events remains in flux, the ability to network remotely is an essential skill.

However, that does not mean you should take the liberty to invite yourself into someone's inbox or DM's and demand advice. In fact, that's a quick way to get ignored.

Email is still the top communication channel for many professionals, and In a hybrid work environment, sending an effective introductory email is a critical skill for career growth.

Relationship-Building Email: What Not to Do

Need an introduction

Hi John,

My name is Jane Smith, and I run Acme Organic Pet Food, a new company that produces and distributes right here in Cleveland. I see on LinkedIn you’re connected to several “big players” in the local pet product business community — in particular, Jim White over at Acme Pet SuperStore

Would you be willing to introduce me to Jim over email? I’d really appreciate it

Thanks in advance,


The email is polite, sure. But it has flaws.

Problem 1: Jane assumes John and Jim are friendly.

What if John and Jim don’t know each other very well? And now Jane has asked for a favor that’s either awkward for John to complete or not possible.

Problem 2: Jane gives John a homework assignment.

John’s first encounter with Jane is an unpleasant one — he now has to find time to help a stranger and expend his own relationship capital in the process. What a hassle.

So what's the solution to Jane’s misguided email approach?

“Important” people like John and other business execs will often stop in their tracks and respond to an email if the subject line contains a powerful three-word phrase, "I need your advice."

The “ask for advice” strategy is non-threatening and a breath of fresh air. You don’t want people to do work on your behalf; you prefer to absorb their wisdom. We spend our lives amassing knowledge but rarely have an open invitation to share it with someone else. What a luxury to be asked!

When you sit quietly, listen to the person's advice, and come back with smart follow-up questions, you also build a relationship. Each new conversation strengthens your network, which in turn helps your business.

The Ultimate Networking Email Template

Here’s the outline of the email Jane should have written to John:

[Greeting of choice],

[Statement that provides the context in which you met or what you’re asking for.]

[Request to meet with the person to listen and learn.]

[Closing of choice]

Here's what the email template looks like in practice:

Local pet food distributor who needs your advice

Hi John,

My name is Jane Smith, and I run Acme Organic Pet Food, a new company that produces and distributes right here in Cleveland. I am relatively new to the pet product business and still learning my way as I grow Acme Organic

I know you have a lot of experience in the space, and it would be great to sit with you and learn about the industry as well as the “do’s” and “don’ts” as I get started

Please let me know if you’re free over the next couple of weeks for coffee. I’d appreciate the chance to ask questions

Thanks again,


Success 1: Jane asks for advice

Note how Jane asks for advice to build trust with John and, over time, make him part of her network. As she grows her pet food business, she will need mentors and allies. Most people want to help each other. Jane knows that and is using it to create a genuine connection with John.

Advice is also an easier close than asking for a connection. Make your initial request one that's easy and even flattering for the recipient to respond to.

Success 2: Jane builds trust

And it’s possible that, after the coffee chat, John will agree to connect her to Jim White — the owner of Acme Pet SuperStore that she so wants to meet. But that’s because she’s created a level of trust and built a relationship the right way.

It would be tough for most of us to introduce a connection to someone we've never met. By building trust first, Jane increases her chances of success and gives a better first impression.

Networking Email Subject Lines

Here are more subject lines for this type of email that you can use or adapt for your unique situation:

General networking subject lines

  • "Friend of [mutual acquaintance] who needs your advice"
  • "Fellow [your industry] professional who needs your advice"
  • "Could you help?"
  • "I'm a little lost"
  • "[Mutual acquaintance] recommended we speak"

College alumni subject lines

  • "Fellow [your college] grad who needs your advice"
  • "[Mascot name] in need of advice"
  • "Time for a fellow [college name] grad?"
  • "Did you see last weekend's [school name] game?"
  • "Fellow [alumni name] out in the wilderness."

Industry leader subject lines

  • "Big fan of your work who needs your advice"
  • "Inspired fan needs your advice"
  • "Advice for a hustler like you?"
  • "5 minutes of your time could make my career."
  • "Buy you a coffee?"

Interoffice subject lines

  • "New employee who needs your advice"
  • "I'm new here ... and a little lost"
  • "Question from the new hire"
  • "[Name] recommended I connect with you"
  • "Nice to meet you"

How to Write a Networking Email

  1. Tell them something about their work you admire.
  2. Call out your similarities.
  3. Tell them how you can help.
  4. Ask them for help or advice.
  5. Always start with an easy ask.

How to Write a Networking Email to a Stranger

If you're writing a networking email to a stranger, try to work at least a few of the following five points into your message:

1. Tell them something about their work you admire.

Whether you liked a recent article they wrote or admired a comment they left on a hot-button LinkedIn post, pointing out something you love about their work will get you far. Just make sure it's genuine, well-researched, and professional.

Your good intentions will be worth nothing if you lead with a generic, "I saw your article last week in the Atlantic." Instead, get specific about what you liked. A better approach would be, "I read your Atlantic article about the rise of homemade dog food last week. I especially liked your point about how homemade meals can sometimes be lacking in the vitamins and minerals pets need in their food."

2. Call out your similarities.

The classic example of this is, "Hey, I see you went to X College. So did I! Don't you miss sunny afternoons on Library Lawn?" But you're not limited to college talk. If they have similar professional interests, tweet about a hobby you share, or are members of similar LinkedIn groups, use that as a jumping-off point in your email.

3. Tell them how you can help.

If you're writing a networking email to a stranger, they have no real reason to help you. Consider how you might be able to assist them in return. Can you write a blog post for their website? Is there someone you could connect them with in return? Make this a mutually beneficial exchange.

4. Ask them for help or advice.

As we've done in the examples above, ask your recipient for help. A recent Harvard Business Review article says, "The key to a successful request for help is to shift the focus to these benefits. You want people to feel that they would be helping because they want to, not because they must, and that they're in control of the decision.

The article continues to explain that means avoiding language like, "May I ask you a favor," which tends to make people feel trapped into helping. It also advises avoiding apologizing with phrases like, "I feel terrible for asking this." Instead, work language like, "Can we work together to figure this out?" which is scientifically proven to promote the exchange of information.

5. Always start with an easy ask.

Never ask for the connection, favor, or meeting first. This can come across as too pushy or forward. Test the waters with a request for advice, information, or other knowledge sharing. This builds trust and relationships, and it increases your chances of success when you do ask them to introduce you to that connection you've been eyeing.

Here's an easy template you can use putting these tips into practice:

Your valued expertise

Hi Sage,

My name is Quincy Davis, and I manage partnerships at Mix Furniture Co. I read your feature in the LA Times last week and appreciated your valuable insight on future design trends.

I'm building our partnerships list for the upcoming year and would love to discuss paid opportunities for you to share your expertise with our audience.

Would you have time to hop on a call in the coming weeks and talk about your upcoming plans and future collaborations?

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you,


How to Write a Networking Email to Someone You Know

If you're writing a networking email to someone you already know, the hardest part is done. Instead, shift your tone and content to making sure they feel appreciated and collaborated instead of used and discarded. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Ask about them ...

... and mean it. Don't just start your email with a generic, "How have you been?" Dig deep and ask about their kids by name or how that obscure hobby they're interested in is going. These kinds of questions are also more enticing for your reader to answer. "How are you doing?" is easy to ignore and lazy.

And if you've just met at a conference or networking event, it's always good to remind them who you are and ask how the rest of their conference or event was.

2. Provide a personal update.

Make your email even more personable by offering a sentence on how you're doing. Something like, "I'm doing well. Just got back into the office after a family trip to Disneyland, so I'm getting caught up and enjoying not having to stand in line for 45 minutes to use the copy machine!" This is personal, conversational, and a little funny. It's the perfect way to put your reader at ease as if they're talking to a friend — even if you've only met once or twice.

3. Respectfully present your ask.

Once you've politely opened your message, get to the point. There's less reason to sugarcoat your ask since you have a relationship with this person already. A simple, "The reason I'm reaching out today is ..." will do the trick.

Here's what these elements look like in an email:

Checking in after INBOUND

Hi Sam,

My name is Nova, and we met briefly at INBOUND last week. I was really impressed with your session, and I hope you enjoyed the rest of the event.

In my role at XYZ Studios, I'm looking to bring in experts who can lead upcoming sessions for our employee development group. I immediately thought of your presentation at INBOUND and wanted to gauge your interest in participating in this paid opportunity.

Do you have time to hop on a call this week and discuss more details?

Thank you,


Good luck with your next outreach email and remember: The best way to build a relationship is to listen, learn, and ask questions.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.







To read the full article, click here:

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 12/18/2019

Newsletter Week of December 16

As finals draw to a close, we here at the ECO are thinking about what information would be most helpful to share for your use over winter break. So, we’ve compiled a list of odds and ends, some of which are job postings and others that are resources related to the job search, like this article about practicing your virtual interviewing skills. We are sharing these resources with you as one long Holiday List at the bottom of the newsletter - our holiday gift to you. It’s your last chance to sign up for our Economic Policy Trek to D.C. (Jan 9th-10th) when we will visit think tanks/research centers such as Brookings, AEI, and the Center for Global Development. Scholarships are available based on need. Click here for more information. Registration closes Wednesday, 12/18 at 12:00pm. Finally, the winner of the $25 Starbucks gift card for responding to our surveys is Francesca LeFrancois.

Jobs & Internships for Econ Majors

Jobs on Handshake

12/27: Research Associate at Economists Incorporated (San Francisco, Washington DC)
12/31: Consultant, Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy (Washington DC)
1/31: Finance Analyst, E*TRADE (Arlington, VA)
1/31: Finance Summer Intern, E*TRADE Financial (Arlington, VA)
1/31: Treasury Analyst, Nodal Exchange (Washington DC)

Jobs Selected from External Boards

1/17: Royster Lawton Fellowship for Entrepreneurship and Social Impact
1/20: Strategy and Innovation Summer Associate, The Capital Group Companies Inc (L.A., CA)
1/31: 2020 Summer Leadership Academy, Accounting and Consulting Group LLC (Atlanta, GA)

Summer Internships and Jobs found at WayUp, such as Deutsche Bank 2020 Summer Analyst in Corporate Finance. See below.

Deutsche Bank 2020 Summer Internship Corporate Finance


Deutsche Bank is Germany's leading bank with strong market positions in Europe and significant presence in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region. We’re driving growth through our strong client franchise, investing heavily in digital technologies, prioritising long term success over short-term gains, and serving society with ambition and integrity. We serve our clients’ real economic needs in commercial and investment banking, retail banking and transaction banking, and provide ground-breaking products and services in asset and wealth management. That means a career packed with opportunities to grow and the chance to shape the future of our clients.

About your Internship

An internship at Deutsche Bank is your stepping stone to success and your first look into what life is like on our Graduate Programme. You’ll become part of a collaborative and inclusive workplace as you build on your technical and interpersonal skills, take on real responsibilities, hear from senior leadership through our speaker series, work on live projects, grow your network and learn first-hand how we deliver for our clients. If you want the opportunity to shape your own career as well as the future of the financial industry, then we will give you the platform and foundation to do so. Successful interns will be invited to join the Deutsche Bank Graduate Programme.

About Corporate Finance

Our Corporate Finance business provides the full range of advisory and financing products and services of a leading global investment bank. Our clients include large-cap and mid-cap corporates, financial institutions, governments, government agencies and financial sponsors. We recognise that selecting the right investment banking partner can be the key to a company’s success. Our relationships are enhanced by industry sector, country and regional expertise, closely aligned to high-quality client solutions. We offer both buyside and sellside advisory services for mergers and acquisitions, restructuring advisory, debt and equity capital raising services and structured equity transactions. We are able to advise on innovative cross-border and regional transactions in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific.

The Role

Our interns are given the opportunity to learn about our business from different viewpoints, giving you a career advantage. Working on our day-to-day business as well as on special projects, you will contribute to the innovation of new ideas to help our customers achieve their financial goals. You will gain experience in different areas of our business and discover our market-leading solutions first hand. Tasks may include evaluating companies, developing models for M&A transactions, preparing industry analyses for pitches, or getting involved in the execution of live deals.

The internship is an ideal way of finding out whether a career in Corporate Finance meets your needs and aspirations.

Intern Experience at Deutsche Bank


We are looking for bright minds with excellent academic records and some practical work experience to create a positive impact for our customers. We hire for attitude and skillset and are open to applications from a variety of backgrounds and degrees.

  • Are you passionate about finance and have an affinity for numbers?
  • Do you have an interest in business, economics, financial mathematics or engineering, either as part of your degree or extra-curricular activities?
  • Do you have strong communication skills and are you fluent in English?
  • Can you work well in a team and inspire others with your ideas?
  • Would you describe yourself as a conscientious, dedicated individual with excellent analytical skills?

Then we look forward to meeting you!

Our values define the working environment we strive to create – diverse, supportive and welcoming of different views. We embrace a culture reflecting a variety of perspectives, insights and backgrounds to drive innovation. We build talented and diverse teams to drive business results and encourage our people to develop to their full potential. Talk to us about flexible work arrangements and other initiatives we offer.

We promote good working relationships and encourage high standards of conduct and work performance. We welcome applications from talented people from all cultures, countries, races, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, beliefs and generations and are committed to providing a working environment free from harassment, discrimination and retaliation.


ECO Holiday List

-Articles/Resources about Networking
-Articles/Resources about Resume Writing
-Articles/Resources about Cover Letters
-Articles/Resources about Interviewing
-Articles/Resources about Using LinkedIn and Twitter for your Job Search

Awesome Resources in Handshake you may not be aware of:

-CareerInsider by Vault – Includes descriptions and detailed career guides by industry.
                     For example: Read all about Marketing in the Careers in Marketing guide. Includes a job board. 
-CareerShift – Find employers and contacts (including emails) by industry, location, company size, and more. Also includes links to organizations’ jobs boards!
-GloinGlobal – For Your International internship or job search
-Assessing Your Interests (ECO webpage)
-What Can You Do with an Economics Major (UTennessee’s page)
-Econ Alumni Contacts

Helpful ECO Links:

Resumes, Cover Letters, Interview Help
Career Industry and Employer Overviews
Career Advising Appointment
Econ Alumni Contacts
The Three Parts of an Interview (and How to Nail Each)
and More!

Joy Fan, Econ '17, Media Relations and Marketing Associate at AEI
Paid Undergraduate Teaching Fellowships in the Econ Dept
The Do's and Don't's of the Virtual Interview by EY

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/05/2016


Awesome events and job postings for econ majors! This week's prep programs for Career Fairs!

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/01/2021

Article: Careers & Leadership: Hybrid Work's Uneven Playing Field

The Hybrid Playing Field

Illustration: James Steinberg

Uneven odds: Working from home these many months has come with a lot of ups and downs. But for many remote professionals, one thing held constant: Nearly all of their colleagues were also remote, and few had a choice. If you're someone who thrives under remote conditions, you didn't have to make excuses for it.

Now that playing field is getting shaken up all over again. Some colleagues are returning to the office five days a week. Others are testing a hybrid schedule, or opting not to go back at all.

If you’re the one leaning into flexibility, how do you make sure you’re not unintentionally leaning out of your career? And what happens if certain subsets of the workforce, like mothers, are less likely to return to the office?

Some employers say they are watching closely as to whether hybrid work creates two classes of employees—those who are there for lots of office facetime with bosses and others plugging away, often unnoticed, at home. Surveys show many bosses assume off-site employees are doing less.

Some working parents of both genders say they're aware of the career risks of staying remote. “I know the remote part isn’t going to help me, but I’m willing to sacrifice it right now,” says Jessamyn Edwards, a product designer who moved from the Bay Area to a house in rural Spring Grove, Va., and is still breastfeeding her youngest daughter.

Employers, too, face risks with how they approach remote work. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banks have taken a hard-line approach with office-reopenings, beefing up in-person staff five days a week in New York even though it might mean losing talent. Rivals including Citigroup see an opening,  betting a more flexible approach will help them recruit top traders and deal makers.

As one remote-work consultant advising the banks says: “The great experiment starts…when some go back to the office full time and some don’t.”

— Vanessa Fuhrmans, deputy careers bureau chief, WSJ

Reach me at or on Twitter @vjfuhrmans.

Career Starters

From childhood puzzles to Roblox: Who hasn't fantasized about parlaying a playtime activity from youth into a livelihood as a grownup? Andrea Fletcher, a full-stack software engineer at online game platform Roblox who has also worked at Google and Apple, says her career really began with a childhood love of logic puzzles that involved math and patterns. She walked us through how she turned that into a dream career.

'Financially hobbled for life': Elite universities in recent years have awarded thousands of master’s degrees that don’t provide graduates enough early career earnings to begin paying down their federal student loans, according to a WSJ analysis. One example: Recent Columbia film program graduates who took out loans had a median debt of $181,000, yet half of the borrowers were making less than $30,000 a year.



Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 05/17/2016


"Managers and employees don’t always see eye to eye. Fast Companyuncovered a wide gap in the way each group thinks about business cultureand their radically different ideas about work-life balance."-Lydia Dishman

Click here to read the rest of the article

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/24/2018

Opportunity to Attend Davos and the World Economic Forum!

The Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) Academy Challenge is underway and we didn’t want your candidates to miss out on an outstanding prize:

This year's winner will get the incredible opportunity to take part in the Credit Suisse Event at the 2019 edition of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where you can engage in discussions on the most pressing global issues with the world's top leaders.


The CSRI Academy Challenge is set over 2 stages and open to all university students and recent grads interested in shaping the global agenda.
See all the available prizes here. Enter stage 1  of the Challenge until September 30!

Feature | 12/03/2021

Daniel Harper Presents 2 Papers at 2021 SEA Conference

Daniel Harper, a fifth-year graduate student, presented two of his papers at the Southern Economics Association conference. The first, “Behavioral Influences on Investment and Production in Asset Markets: An Experimental Study,” co-authored with Charles Holt, investigates individual’s future price expectations and behavioral biases towards holding cash effect investment decisions. The second, “In-Person versus Online Instruction: Evidence from Principles of Economics,” co-authored with Kenneth Elzinga, uses the switch to online learning resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to conduct a natural experiment to measure student performance in entirely online and entirely in-person courses.  It finds no statistically significant difference in performance between the two teaching methods.


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/28/2023

Career Advice for Economics Majors

Article written for Forbes by Bill Conerly

As an economist who is well known in my town, I get calls from economics majors (or their parents) asking for help finding jobs. Here’s a summary of my advice for soon-to-graduate or recently graduated econ majors, on the off chance that your parents don’t know me, or you’re too shy to pick up the phone and call. If you are thinking of graduate school, scroll down to my final note on graduate school in economics.

What kind of jobs are there for economics majors?

Most of the jobs that economics majors get do not have “economist” in the job title. Here are a couple of actual jobs that I see people doing which would fit an econ major perfectly.

At the corporate headquarters of a fast food company, an analyst tracks sales, costs and profits at their stores. If sales have increased, she drills down to determine whether more people are eating at their stores, or if the average sale is higher, or some combination of the two. That will impact marketing decisions. She’ll track costs. If food costs are up, is the price of food going up, or is spoilage increasing? She does this regionally, as well as compares her chain’s numbers with national economic data.

At a young Internet company, a guy estimates the value of a user. Some percentage of free users upgrade to the paid premium service, and there’s an average “life” of a premium customer. This generates a present value of a user. He compares the value of a user to the cost of acquiring users, through refer-a-friend promotions and advertising. He continually drills down. Do new users acquired through Google ads convert to premium users as often as people who come from Facebook ads? The explorations are endless.

Jobs like this are hard to find because they usually are not tagged “economics.” They may actually be filled by business majors, accountants, or former receptionists who proved their chops on the job. The trick is to find these jobs.

Many hiring managers think that “economics” is about forecasting GDP and recommending monetary policy to the Federal Reserve. For that reason, the label economist isn’t helpful to the average BA. The economics major must go out and identify the jobs.

(However, there are some jobs open to B.A.s as economists, economic analysts, or economic research assistants at economics consulting firms, the government, and some corporations, especially utilities.)

Skills and tasks to emphasize

The economics major has a strength in finding work: everyone knows that you have to be smart to be an economics major. (If you’re an econ major, you know this isn’t true. But don’t tell anyone, because most of the world finds economics mysterious and figures that we are really smart. It’s a useful myth.)

Here are the actual skills that will prove useful in getting a job, and succeeding in it. Look for jobs that require these skills:

  • Manipulating data, statistics, drilling down, finding relationships. It’s amazing to me how many people are mystified by the “drill down.” That example from fast food, of whether sales are up because of more customers or higher sales per customer, is a drill down. It comes naturally to economics majors, but its magic to many people.
  • Understand relationships. This is the theory part of the first bullet. An econ major knows what factors could lead to higher sales or higher costs. Many people have trouble thinking conceptually rather than in specifics. The econ major is better at thinking about relationships to explore.
  • Learning about new products, industries, regions, business models. Many people experienced in business know their own area, but they are not good at shifting to other areas. A good econ major can learn about new fields. Look for a job where this ability is important, such as a fast-growing industry or one subject to major change.
  • Communicating. If you can explain complicated things clearly, both orally and in writing, then you are going places. If not, then this should be your first remedial education project. It’s not an inborn skill, but it can be learned, and it can improve with practice.

Industries for economics majors

People with economics major work in all industries, but there are opportunities in a couple of industries right now (2015). The Internet sector is using lots of analytics, and the companies are used to paying people well. Health care is a large and growing industry with miserable understanding of their costs, and thus a huge need for analysts.

Before talking to someone in a particular industry, read a little about it, and especially about its use of analytics. For Internet businesses, The Lean Startup has a good chapter on assessing a company’s user data.

In all areas of job search, I find that people overemphasize the big name companies. Here in Portland, people think Nike and Intel right away, along with major banks and utilities. However, mid-sized companies actually employ more people than do large companies. (Small business employs even more, but most small companies are not hiring any econ graduates. The exceptions include many consulting firms.)

How to search for a job

Networking is the single best method of finding a job. That said, every other method can work. I’ve gotten a job by just walking in and applying; by responding to a job ad; through a headhunter; and through networking. So everything works. But networking works best of all. It’s the scariest approach, which may be why it works best: your competition would rather sit at a computer responding to job postings than actually calling people.

Networking is especially easy for college students and recent grads. You call and ask for information, and people are happy to help.

Here’s a true story. When my nephew graduated with a degree in finance, he didn’t know what type of finance job he wanted. I offered to give him names of my contacts in various parts of finance (corporate planning, investment management, banking, etc.). I told him to call each contact and say that he is Bill Conerly’s nephew, a recent finance graduate,  and he would like to learn more about the kind of work that the person does. Everyone he called was happy to talk to my nephew and set up an appointment. After a half dozen calls, my nephew was so in the rhythm of asking for advice that he forgot to mention he was my nephew. He landed a meeting with the most prominent person in a particular field, who asked, “How did you come to call me?” It turns out that the person was willing to meet with any earnest young person, whether my nephew or not.

Once you have a meeting with a knowledgeable executive, ask questions. You can talk about yourself when asked, but keep the focus on learning about the kind of work that the person does. Here are some questions that will get the conversation flowing:

  • How did you get into this job?
  • What kind of people succeed in it?
  • Have you hired people who didn’t work out, and why not?
  • Is the work mostly social or solitary?
  • Is it detail-oriented or big-picture?
  • Is it deadline-focused or steady?
  • How much do people learn on the job?
  • What are career paths after entry-level work?

These questions serve two purposes: they help you learn, and they show the executive that you’re a smart person. People are judged more by the questions they ask than by the answers they give.

(Read that last sentence again.)

Finish the interview by asking for suggestions about who else you should talk to. If you’re interested in the kind of work the person describes, ask about other people, such as competitors, who might have further insights. If the work sounds like it’s not for you, ask about other people in other fields who might be worth talking to.

Bring a resume, but don’t pitch yourself. You called to ask for advice; stick to asking for advice. The person knows you’re looking for work and will talk about any openings that would be right for you. (The exception is if you are interested in sales; in that case, don’t hesitate to ask for a job.)

Back home, write a thank-you note. (Hand written, sent by snail mail.)

Each meeting will lead to more meetings, in an exponential fashion. You’ll find a job before the number of meetings reaches infinity, trust me.

Update: I've written a follow up article explaining how to get started: Networking For Economics Majors: Getting Contacts For Job Search.

Grad school for economics majors

There’s only one good reason for going to grad school: if you have such a hunger to learn more economics that if you don’t, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. For everyone else, the opportunity cost is too high. There are lots of good jobs available without a graduate degree, so taking years away from productive work doesn’t make sense. Especially don’t go to graduate school if your primary reason is that you don’t know what else to do.

Feature |