Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/07/2017


"Every year, Vault surveys thousands of investment banking professionals, asking them to tell us about life at their firms. We ask about culture, compensation, hours, training, and many more areas, including the hiring process. With respect to the hiring process, we ask professionals which traits an ideal job candidate needs to have to get hired. In the past, and again this year, banking professionals told us that the following traits are highly important (and, in some cases, required): a strong work ethic, team-playing ability, strong communication skills, strong technical skills, superior intellect, excellent problem-solving skills, and the ability to adapt to different situations." -Derek Loosvelt 

Click here to read the rest of the article. 

The Southern Economic Association® Honors Twenty-Eight Distinguished Fellows As the Inaugural Cohort

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016


Check out MacroDigest.com, a new tool created by students from the London School of Economics to follow systemically important conversations and events. Students felt overwhelmed when trying to access the topics, debates, and current events in the global economy due to the thousands of voices in the blogosphere and news continuously posting and updating. Thus, the creation of MacroDigest. Macrodigest clusters information and analysis on everything moving the global economy.  Students will get a lot out of the home page because it provides a simple yet comprehensive look on both breaking and trending systemically important news while showcasing more nuanced debates happening within the economics world.
See "Job Search Resources for Economics Majors" for a more complete list of helpful sources, institutes, and databases.
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 | 10/20/2017


by Samantha McGurgan

Congratulations—you got the offer! This is cause for a celebration! Except…why are you experiencing the sinking feeling of dread? You may feel obligated to accept the offer because you already invested so much time and effort in getting to this point, and starting over takes So. Much. Work. You might be thinking:

Is it ok if I say no?
Who says no in this economy?
How do I even determine if it’s not right for me?

As someone who has said no to few offers over the years, I understand how uncomfortable and scary it is to say no to a perfectly good offer on paper. And I can also attest to the fact that I have never regretted saying no to job that didn’t feel right, and only have regretted saying yes. Here are a few questions to ponder through this decision-making process:

1.) How does your body feel? Stop analyzing, over-thinking, second-guessing, and Googling for the answer. Check in with your body: what is your gut telling you? Listen to it. Unapologetically. It’s never wrong. It’s normal to have a bit of nerves when facing a new challenge or embarking on new territory. But there’s a difference between distress (unhealthy) and eustress (healthy). Get to know how your body reacts to negative and positive stress by reflecting on the last time you experienced something of each type—how did it feel? How do those two experiences compare?

For me, I feel depleted, tired, and unconsciously withdraw when experiencing distress. I clench my teeth. Deep down I know it’s not right, but I run over it repeatedly in my mind trying to find a way to make it work. My husband says: You just got an offer—why aren’t we celebrating?

Conversely, I feel charged up, energetic, and motivated when faced with the possibility of a new and exciting challenge (aka a job I actually want). I feel inspired. I literally jump for joy after getting the call that I’ve been selected as the top candidate. I feel like everything was worth it after all.

Bottom line: If the offer doesn’t make you feel good, this is a warning sign. It’s worth it to wait for the job that won’t make you want to quit after three months.

2.) Are you running toward the finish line or being chased by wolves? Both of these instances involve quick, forward momentum. The difference lies within the motivation. My first question is always: Do you want the job or are you afraid that it’s your only option?

There are currently more job openings in the United States than people who are unemployed. The culture of scarcity that has been drilled into us since the Great Recession doesn’t reflect the reality of the job market. Given that you are qualified for the role you are seeking, wait for the job that will provide a sustainable opportunity for career growth, rather than accept the first one that comes along (if it’s not truly what you want).

Many of my graduating seniors who are in the midst of their first job plan on accepting a position as a safety net with the intent to keep looking for a better option. I ask them to think deeply about what is lacking in the opportunity, decline the offer, and seek one that is a better fit.

This doesn’t mean don’t accept an entry-level position. This means don’t settle for something okay when you could have something even better if you’d only waited another month or two. Or six. And don’t accept an offer with the intention to bail when something better comes up.

Bottom line: You’re going to find a job. Trust in that. And aim high. Do you really want to go through the interview process any time soon anyway? If you’re already planning to quit before a year or two, decline the offer.

3.) What do you want your life to look like?

If you’re like me, you’ve found yourself lying awake at night asking the Internet for a glimmer of hope or a strategy to make a non-ideal offer work with my life.

Ok Google: Is there a way to spend a two-hour commute that won’t make me angry and hateful?

I’m exaggerating, but the answer is no. For me. Because I have a family, and I know the excitement of a new role would quickly wear off after spending 12 hours each day away from home. Other people I’ve spoken to don’t mind their commute at all because they love their job so much. The question to ponder is, how will this job affect the rest of my life and therefore my happiness? How does this position relate to my ultimate goal? There are going to be sacrifices. Let’s make the sacrifices worthwhile.

Bottom line: The more you know yourself and your goals, the better you can discern if the position is right within the context of your life as a whole.

Samantha McGurgan is a career counselor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and college success adjunct at Cuesta College. Her greatest moments of joy involve expanding the career horizons of first generation students and supporting military-connected students in their transition to civilian careers. She holds an M.A. in education, with a specialization in counseling and guidance in student affairs from Cal Poly SLO, and a B.S. in human ecology from The Ohio State University.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.


Feature | 12/01/2021

Daniel Harper Presents at 2021 ESA Conference

Daniel Harper, a fifth year graduate student, presented two of his papers at the Economics Science Association's 2021 North American Meeting in Tucson, AZ.  The first paper, “The efficient market hypothesis in experimental asset markets: Private information, public information, and bubbles,” co-authored with Charles Holt and Margaret Isaacson (UVA Econ BA 2021), finds that markets do not fully disseminate private information over the returns to durable goods. However, increasing the proportion of traders with private information over these returns reduces overpricing. Daniel also presented early results from a working paper, co-authored with Charles Holt., titled “Behavioral influences on investment and production in asset markets: An experimental study,” which develops an experimental asset market where traders endogenously produce and trade durable assets and investigates how liquid cash, market prices, and beliefs over future prices affect decisions to produce assets. Vernon Smith (Economics Nobel Laureate 2002) attended this presentation. 

Feature | 07/24/2019

Emily Cook Presents at IIOC, SOLE

In April 2019, Emily Cook presented “College Choice and Intended Major in the U.S.” at the International Industrial Organization Conference in Boston, MA. This paper studies how differentiation among universities in the number and type of undergraduate majors offered affects college choice.

In May 2019, Emily presented “Missed Exams and Lost Opportunities: Who Could Gain from Expanded College Admission Testing?” at the Society of Labor Economists conference in Arlington, VA. This paper is co-authored with Sarah Turner, University Professor of Economics and Education, Souder Family Professor, at the University of Virginia. The paper considers the potential outcomes of counterfactual college admission testing policies in Virginia.

Both conferences provided valuable presentation experience and feedback, and a chance to interact with researchers in many different areas of Labor Economics and Industrial Organization.

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 | 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

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 03/10/2024

38 Smart Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

Article written by Amy Gallo for Harvard Business Review.

“So, do you have any questions for me?”

When you reach this point in a job interview — where the interviewer is done with their questions and opens up the floor — you don’t want to be caught off guard. It’s important to have a plan for how you’ll respond, and a list of questions specific to that opportunity.

But what types of questions should you actually ask? And are there certain ones to avoid? I turned to two job interview experts for advice: Art Markman, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Bring Your Brain to Work, and John Lees, a UK-based career strategist and author of How to Get a Job You Love. Here are their recommendations for how to approach this part of the interview and sample questions they’ve seen work in practice.

How to Approach This Part of the Interview

Focus on two goals.

You might think of this portion of the interview as your chance to assess the organization and whether you really want to work there, and that’s true. One of your goals is to use these questions to help you determine if this opportunity is right for you, says Markman.

However, the interview isn’t over yet, and you still want to demonstrate that you are the best person for the job, says Lees. So, your other goal is to continue to prove you’re a fit for the specific opportunity. Lees suggests saying something like, “I do have a few questions but before I ask, can I say one thing?” That will give you an opportunity to drive home any key messages about your suitability for the job. In fact, before the interview, you should “decide in advance on two or three messages that you want to get across,” says Lees, and if you haven’t been able to convey those points in response to the questions you’ve been asked so far, you should do so now. Then, you can move on to your questions.

Personalize your questions.

How you phrase your questions is important. Rather than using generic language, you want to ask the questions as if they pertain specifically to you. For example, instead of “What does a typical day look like?” you want to ask “What would a typical day for me in this role look like?” That will allow the hiring manager to begin seeing you in the role. According to Lees, this is a “great psychological trick” because “as soon as they visualize you doing the job, it’s hard to let go of that image.”

Build off of your conversation.

You also want to pick up on what’s happened in the interview so far. Ask questions that build off of what you and the interviewer have discussed. You might want to follow up on a project they mentioned you’d be working on, or a responsibility that you didn’t see in the job description. The key is to make this portion of the interview feel like a continuation of the conversation.

Sample Questions to Ask at the End of a Job Interview

Here are categories of questions you’ll want to consider in an organized list, along with samples of each that you can personalize.

Questions about the specific job

  1. What are your expectations for me in this role?
  2. What’s the most important thing I should accomplish in the first 90 days?
  3. What’s the performance review process like here? How often would I be formally reviewed?
  4. What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?
  5. What are the most immediate projects that I would take on?
  6. How long before I will be… [meeting with clients, have responsibility for my own accounts, interacting with other departments, etc.]?

Questions about the team

  1. What types of skills is the team missing that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
  2. What are the biggest challenges that I might face in this position?
  3. Do you expect my main responsibilities in this position to change in the next six months to a year?
  4. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
  5. Who will I work with most closely? What other departments or units will I interact with?
  6. Can you tell me about my direct reports? What are their strengths and the team’s biggest challenges?

Questions for your potential boss

If the interviewer is your boss, you want to ask questions along these lines as well.

  1. How long have you been at the company?
  2. How long have you been a manager?
  3. What’s your favorite part of working here?

Questions about the company

One important note here: Don’t ask things that you can easily find with a quick Google search (more on this in the “Questions to Avoid” section).

  1. What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting those goals?
  2. What gets you most excited about the company’s future?
  3. How would you describe the company’s values?
  4. How has the company changed over the last few years?
  5. What are the company’s plans for growth and development?

Questions about the culture

Lees warns that you should take answers to questions about the company culture with a grain of salt. It’s highly unlikely that the interviewer is going to come out and tell you that the culture is unwelcoming, or even toxic. That’s why questions like #22 below can be helpful. They get at company culture without explicitly asking about it and can “help you uncover any unexpected elements about your potential new workplace,” Markman says.

  1. How do you typically onboard employees?
    • If the position will be remote, ask specifically about how remote employees are integrated into the company culture, Markman advises.
  2. What do new employees typically find surprising after they start?
  3. Is there anything that I should read before starting that would help me have a shared understanding with my colleagues?
    • Asking this question not only signals your interest in the position but also shows that you’re eager to have “shared cultural references with the people you’ll be working with,” Markman says.
  4. What’s your favorite office tradition?
  5. What do you and the team usually do for lunch?
  6. Do you ever do joint events with other departments or teams?
  7. What’s different about working here than anywhere else you’ve worked?
  8. How has the company changed since you joined?
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 | 11/20/2017


"Over the Shoulder has been helping put smartphone-based qualitative into the toolkit of qualitative researchers and insight seekers for almost nine years now. We’re often asked by clients to list the biggest tips and “watch-outs” that smartphone qual practitioners should bear in mind to make their jobs easier and their deliverables to clients more valuable." - Ross McLean

Click here to read the rest of the article. 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 06/28/2021

Blog: Making the Most of Your Summer Internship/Work Experience

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship/Work Experiences

Whether it is virtual, in-person, or a bit of both, your summer work experience is a chance to build skills, relationships, and possibly parlay the internship into a full-time offer or renewed employment!
Think of the summer as an extended job interview - where you are getting the chance to be a first-pick for full-time work, and you are determining if this is an employer/job function that interests you!

Plan Your Internship!

Design goals for yourself. These may be:

  • skills or concepts you'd like to build (For example MSExcel, Python, data analysis, Tableau, project management, etc.)
  • projects you'd like to design (Design a website, analyze data and produce a written and oral report)
  • relationships you'd like to build (Meet 5 people in the organization through a virtual or in-person meeting)
  • experiences you'd like to have (Attend a staff meeting of senior-level team members; represent your team on a committee)
  • meet with your hiring manager to discuss relevant goals (some may be your personal goals and not for your supervisor's consumption)

Interview! (Yes, you are conducting the interviews!)

  • You want to learn more about this employer, your job function, and the industry. Can you see yourself working with this organization? With this supervisor?
  • ​Spend time in the office (if possible) to learn about Team Culture and Employer Culture (These are not always the same.)
  • You can learn about the firm's virtual culture through their interactions with you and your peers/colleagues
  • Schedule 15 minutes with staff in varying roles and levels, starting with those working full-time in your possible future role
  • Get to know people, both by reaching out and developing a positive reputation. 
  • Stay connected to your recruiter 

Get Involved!

  • Attend events (in-person or virtual) that you are invited to
  • ​Ask questions of your supervisor or recruiter
  • Join clubs or affinity groups, especially if your employer is large and has organized groups for employees/interns ​

Find a Mentor/Employee You Trust

  • Your mentor may be assigned to you through a formal program in which case make the most of the opportunity
  • ​Find a mentor, or someone with whom you feel comfortable and may ask questions. This is not always possible; but, don't be shy about asking other employees to meet with you in person or virtually to discuss their work. You may hit it off and find an informal mentor
  • Mentors can help you navigate through new situations at work
  • Mentors can be future advocates for you with your current employer or a future employer

Document Your Work!

  • Catalog all of your projects in a notebook or spreadsheet
  • List these by responsibilities and results
  • Brainstorm the skills you used and developed and the people with whom you worked to get the work done
  • Add this information to your resume and LinkedIn account
  • Create a website (wix.com or wordpress.com) to showcase your work, if applicable
  • Practice speaking about your summer experiences
  • Record the names and contact information of the people you worked with and connect with them on LinkedIn

Next, read the article from the PennyHoarder Rock Summer Your Internship!

Adapted from the Muse and the ECO's summer internship PowerPoint, How to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship and alum Sabrina Grandhi's recommendations.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/15/2019

5 Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Summer

#1. Start a service-based business.

Unless you’ve got a reliable summer job, there’s probably a whole host of benefits to make your summer money working on your own terms.

There’s no reason any college student can’t make $1-2k/month over summer break with their own side hustle.

Start a babysitting, landscaping, pet sitting, or other service-based business. Become a full-time merchant and flip stuff on sites like Craigslist or LetGo.

Pick something you won’t mind doing for 4-8 hours a day. Then start looking for work.

I discovered the power of a side hustle during summer ’17. In 43 days, I made $4,067 mowing lawns, digging trenches, and moving rocks.

Odd jobs saved me from having to get a real job while my business went through a few lean months.

If you take the initiative to find clients, you can find steady work in as little as 2-3 days.

Tips for would-be entrepreneurs:

  1. Make it incredibly easy for people to hire and pay you. Capitalize on the convenience factor by having Venmo, Paypal, and Square cash all set up. You’d be surprised how many older people don’t write checks anymore.
  2. Sell your story. Make sure your neighbors know you are a college student willing to work hard in exchange for money while you’re studying. Don’t milk it, but make sure they know your situation.
  3. Charge what you’re worth. Some people will try to low-ball you because you’re a student. Don’t accept anything less than $15/hour. If you’re a good worker, it’s absolutely reasonable to ask for $25/hour for your time.
  4. Ask clients to spread the word and/or rehire you. You’d also be surprised how many people need the type of help you’re offering. As you’re leaving a job, just mention to them that you’ll be available for work until August/September.

Be sure to add that the fact that you built a business from scratch (with X number of clients and revenue) to your 2018-appropriate resume (see #5).


#2. Read 10 books.

10 books in one summer? I haven’t read a book for fun ever!“, you say.

Maybe so, but there’s no reason you can’t start now.

Part of the reason you don’t read for pleasure probably has to do with how much reading you already do for your classes. Or maybe you just don’t like reading.

Summer is the perfect time to get back into (or start) reading for enjoyment.

And if you’re so inclined, it’s the best time to choose books that will help you grow as a young professional, too.

Set a goal to read 3, 5, or 10 books over summer. The number doesn’t matter so much as the types of books you choose.

I encourage you to not read books about your favorite subjects during college summer break. Instead, read non-fiction books that teach you how to better work with and understand people.

You’ll be doing that for the next 40 years, after all.

You can see my book selections for 10 Books Every College Student Should Read Before Graduation.

I highly recommend them all, but #1 stands alone. I think it should be mandatory reading for all college students.


#3. Get to know yourself better.

Every year of college is like its own island. You’re going to be pushed differently and change as a person a lot over your 4-year college career.

Young people seldom take the opportunity to get to know themselves better- which is 100% to your advantage to do so.

You will stand out from the people you’ll be competing for jobs with.

Employers will see you as someone with clarity, confidence, and an understanding of your skill sets.

One easy (and free) way to understand yourself better is to take the Myers-Briggs personality test on 16personalities.com.

The test takes less than 10 minutes, and for most, is incredibly eye-opening.

The best part about the 16Personalities test is it breaks your personality up into categories like strengths & weaknessesemotionsromantic relationshipsfriendshipscareer paths, and work habits.

If you take the test and want to learn more about how your personality might affect your career choice, email me.


#4. Travel somewhere relevant to your major.

I’m encouraging you to use your college summer break to smartly differentiate yourself from other college students.

Yes, many other students at your school will travel this summer. Don’t be basic like me and go take selfies at the Eiffel tower (for real though, I almost got robbed twice in Paris).

Use your college summer break to visit places that interest you professionally– and eventually, impress people who matter.

Pick a place that creates talking points with your professors in the fall and future employers.

Consider the history, origin, and current affairs of your subject or major. I don’t know your major, so you’ll need to do a bit of Googling.

For example, as a sports science student, I might go to Athens and visit the original Olympic stadium.

A selfie there is worth a lot more than a candid swing picture in Thailand.

If I could do it again, I’d probably use a college student travel program like Student-Athletes Abroad.

Where could you go? If you’re on a budget, check out all the cheap travel resources I came across backpacking Europe for 2 months on $5,000.


#5. Create a 2018-appropriate resume with technology.

Stop listening to old people give advice about the “right way” to write a resume.

Even many college academic success centers don’t have a clue what resumes should look like these days.

It’s actually scary that academic success center employees get paid full-time salaries to teach college students supposed “crucial”-yet completely antiquated- resume building techniques.

The truth is, your first job is probably going to be offered to you by someone between the ages of 30-45. AKA, there’s a 50% chance the person hiring you is a Millennial.

It’s safe to assume your first boss understands and relates to technology.

Guidelines you should follow when writing a resume include keeping it short (1 page), chronologically organized, and thoroughly edited for grammar/spelling. Other than that, make it your own.

Take time during your summer vacation to write a resume that adequately showcases your understanding of technology in 2018.

Some ideas:

  • Create a “video resume“, then upload it to YouTube with a private link. Add this link to your cover letter. (Bonus: you’ll know how many people have reviewed your resume based on how many views the video gets.)
  • Add links to anything relevant that you’ve built online to your resume. Save your resume as a PDF and you’re good to go.
  • Position yourself as one unique thing. You’re not an “aspiring college graduate with interests in humanities”. Well, maybe you are, but no one gives a crap about hiring you. However you choose to present yourself, be authenticboldquick to the point (the “listicle” world we live in has even infiltrated the job scene), and honest.

Seriously, look at suggestions #1-4. All of them can go on your 2018-appropriate resume.

Use your new 2018-appropriate video resume to show employers that you’re an INFP-vagabonding-bookworm with entrepreneurial tendencies. Bumble profile or resume header? You decide.

“What should college students do over the summer?”

Find ways to stand out.

Position yourself as uniquely qualified for the job you want when you graduate.

Start a businessTravelRead. Push yourself in new ways.

Then write a badass resume that showcases what you’ve been up to.

Feel free to party a bit too, but spend your college summer break doing stuff that will benefit you down the road.

3-4 months of summer vacation is a lot of time. Use it wisely.

Source here.

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. 



Feature | 07/11/2018

Dan Savelle Selected to Present at ZEW Conference

Graduate student Daniel Savelle was selected to present his paper “Discrete Choices with (and without) Ordered Search” at the 16th ZEW Conference on the Economics of Information and Communication Technologies in Mannheim, Germany. Dan presented his theoretical research that relates ordered search with classic discrete choice. Other interesting topics presented at the conference included platform economics, bias in review systems, analysis of social media, and machine learning. This conference blends theoretical, empirical and policy oriented research to provide cutting-edge results pertaining to the digital economy.



Elzinga Flash Seminar

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. InvestopediaStockTrader.com, 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.

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. 

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.


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: https://mobile.twitter.com/ASHE_ASSA/status/1197849863582552069 .

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

Water Scarcity and Growth Prospects

Julia Devlin, a former lecturer in the Economics department at UVA and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, looks at the relationship between water scarcity and economic growth in the Middle East and Africa. Her article can be found at the Brookings Institute.

Feature | 03/27/2019

1st year student Mrithyunjayan Nilayamgode presents at NEUDC and SEA conferences

In fall of 2018, 1st year student Mrithyunjayan Nilayamgode presented a paper at the Northeast Universities Development Consortium (NEUDC) conference on development economics at Cornell University and at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Economic Association (SEA) in Washington, DC. He met and received valuable feedback on his paper from development economists and crime economists from across the world. The NEUDC conference typically accepts around a quarter of the 600-odd submissions it receives, and is one of the premier conferences in development economics in the US. The SEA is one of the oldest economics associations in the US, and was founded by economists affiliated with universities in the southern US, including UVA. Its annual meetings usually involve thousands of papers and participants from dozens of countries across the world.

In his paper titled "Alcohol Ban and Crime: The ABC’s of the Bihar Prohibition", Mrithyunjayan and his co-authors find that alcohol regulation in the Indian state of Bihar has reduced the incidence of violent crimes, but not non-violent crime. These results are concentrated in areas where the ban may have had a larger impact, suggesting that the availability of alcohol had a large role to play. This is in line with the prevalent understanding in economics and psychology that intoxication may impair perception, thereby reducing the barriers of entry into crime. The results are also robust to a number of alternate specifications, including the use of a synthetic control group.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/20/2021

ECO Blog: Preparing for Interviews

ECO Blog: Interviewing

I enjoy interviews! Sounds crazy, right? You may be thinking that I'm referring to being on the giving side of the interview. True! But, I also enjoy being interviewed. Each conversation is an opportunity to speak about my experiences and make the case for why I am a good fit for a job, volunteer opportunity, or leadership opportunity. It's also a great opportunity to learn if the interviewer's organization is a good fit for me. I always learn something. And along the way, I usually meet some interesting people and hear their stories. Did I like interviewing when I was a student at UVA and looking for a job? After the first couple of times - somewhat - I came to understand and appreciate the process. Was I anxious during my first case interview? You bet, but I got through it and so will you. And today, I really enjoy the process. What has led to this general increase in enjoyment? In one word...Practice! 

Most of our majors will enter the labor market as full-time employees at some point in the next 3 years, some as soon as January 2022. Many of you have interviewed for part-time jobs, internships, and even full-time jobs already. Many more will follow suit this fall. For those headed to graduate school, the job interview may be postponed a couple of years, but likely by the quarter-century mark, most of you will have participated in several job interviews. My guess is that each person who has interviewed for more than one job is more confident and comfortable the second time than the first, and even more so after the tenth or twentieth. The biggest takeaway from today's blog posting is to practice for your interviews.

There are many categories of interviews and interview formats and here's a link here for you to review those. Most important for our purposes are the Screening Interview/HireVue formatBehavioral Interview, and the Case Interview. The Screening Interview may be resume-based or behavioral. And all of these interview types likely are virtual these days. The screening interview may be a recorded interview, and this recorded interview often replaces an initial call with a recruiter. Following the interviews or between interviews, candidates may be asked to take assessments for technical abilities and a personality assessment. Some personality assessments are built in-house by employers and others are sourced from third-party firms like Pymetrics.

Below is a list of tips to help you succeed in your interviews, followed by some of my favorite interviewing articles. Will you ever enjoy interviewing the way I do? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, you can be successful in the process through research, preparation, and practice. You've got this econ majors!

  • Research and practice. Find the interview style/format for your market and job function and prepare. You can find the info from recruiters, alumni, people in the jobs currently, employer websites, and websites like glassdoor.com. 
  • Prepare the answers to the essential interview questions before every interview. 
  • Be on time.
  • Look the part - dress professionally and if this is a virtual meeting - have good lighting and be sure the area in your camera's perimeter is neat and clean. 
  • If possible, research your interviewer before the interview. This will allow you to consider the perspective from which they are approaching the interview. For example, if they manage budgets, they may be looking at the employers' fiscal health. Asking budget-related questions would make sense, whereas questions about the firm's HR policies may not be as applicable.
  • Refer to your interviewers by their names in the interview. Using someone's name is memorable.
  • Craft your story and share it genuinely. Think about what led you to apply for the job and weave your narrative to arrive at that point.
  • You are interviewing the employer also. Assure the employer is a good fit for you by asking questions that allow you to determine if the employer fits your needs (your values, work style, compensation, career mobility, cultural fit etc.).
  • Relax and keep things in perspective.
    • You will receive job offers and you will get hired.
    • The interviewer wants you to do well. They want to hire you!


The Muse Interviews
Are you like, saying something without, like knowing, that it's like hurting your career? (I'm not a fan of the photo, but the topic is relevant for students of any gender.)
How to Master Effective Storytelling in Interviews


Behavioral Interview Question Bank from the ECO 
Interview Prep from the UVA Career Center
Consulting Case Interview Prep Materials in Collab
Sample Financial Analyst Interview Questions
Deloitte Federal Case Interview Practice Tips
ECO Prep Sign up Sheet for Case Interviews - Fall 2021



Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/21/2019

Making the Most of Your Summer Internship

Making the Most of Your Internship (from Goodcall https://www.goodcall.com/career/internship-tips/)

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!

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 12/14/2021

ECO Blog: Winter Break Career Planning

We hope your finals have gone well and that you are enjoying the beginning of a rejuvenating winter break. This will be the last edition of the weekly ECO Newsletter until January 4, 2022. When you're ready to turn your attention to career planning, the ECO will be here. We will have open advising hours on January 7, 13, and 14 before the semester begins. Sign up through Handshake to get a headstart on the spring recruiting season/attend the ECO Orientation in January. More info on the January Orientation is forthcoming. Check out our upcoming list of events in the newsletter, which span industry, job function, and sector.

Our advice for the next two weeks? Celebrate your successes from the last few months; you've worked hard. Make a list!  Then take inventory in how you want to spend your break. If you decide to focus on career planning, here are some suggestions below:

Career Planning from A-Z: Check out the ECO's Career Planning Timeline. Use the timeline in conjunction with the Hoos Career Guide. Then visit our Industry Overviews and Professional Development pages. Use Handshake for your list of employers to start and supplement with the Vault Guides in Collab and CareerShift in Handshake. For resume writing and designing your LinkedIn profile, use the AI tool, VMOCK. Please note that the ECO recommends creating your resume in MSWord and then uploading it to VMOCK. Please do not create your resume in VMOCK. (The templates are difficult to modify later.)

Winter Break Project/Micro-Internship/Part-Time Work/Case Competition/Upskilling Experience: Gain work experience and build skills over winter break. Alumni in our very own UVA network have posted projects for our students in the Virginia Alumni Mentor Network's list of projects! Also, check out MicroInternships through ParkerDewey. Take a free online course through Coursera or LInkedIn Learning and upskill during your break! Courses are free using your UVA computing id as your login. Click the links to review courses/scroll down to see some courses the ECO and UVA Career Center have highlighted for their relevance to the labor market.

Prizes and Surveys! Thanks to everyone who filled out evaluations from our ECO programs this semester. We had nine winners! Two more names will be chosen from our ECO appointment evaluations and end-of-semester check-in survey, which will go out this week. On that note...

Keep a lookout for the ECO's end-of-semester survey. By telling us where you are in your graduate school, internship, or job search, you will be entered into a drawing to win gift cards to shops on The Corner, Econ face masks with our Econ logo, and Econ Department stickers! Many students will be selected to receive prizes!

Have a wonderful winter break!


Selected Coursera Courses - Click here for more details.

Business Courses 

  • Foundations of Business Strategy
  • Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management
  • Design Thinking for Innovation
  • Agile Meets Design Thinking
  • Digital Transformation
  • Cybersecurity Roles, Processes, & Operating Systems
  • IT Security
  • Operations Management: Analysis and Improvement Methods
  • Operations Management: Strategy and Quality Management for the Digital Age


  • Excel Skills for Business (4 Course Specialization)
  • Project Management & Other Tools for Career Development (5 Course Specialization)
  • Data Visualization with Tableau (5 Course Specialization)
  • Excel to My SQL: Analytics Techniques for Business (5 Course Specialization)
  • Cybersecurity (5 Course Specialization)
  • Agile Development (5 Course Specialization)

Students: Please login into Handshake for more information about Business Coursera courses.  

Technology Courses 

  • UX Design Fundamentals
  • Blockchain Basics
  • Exploring and Preparing Your Data with BigQuery
  • Google Cloud Platform Big Data and Machine Learning
  • Google Cloud Fundamentals
  • Business Transformation with Google Cloud
  • Al for Everyone


  • Python for Everybody (5 Course Specialization)
  • Data Science (10 Course Specialization)
  • Deep Learning (5 Course Specialization)
  • Agile Development (5 Course Specialization)

Students: Please login into Handshake for more information about Technology Coursera courses.  

Science & Sustainability

  • Introduction to Sustainability
  • Global Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility: Be Sustainable
  • Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)
  • Introduction to Data Science in Python
  • First Steps in Making the Business Case for Sustainability
  • Sustainable Vikings: Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility in Scandinavia
  • Our Earth's Future
  • Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure
  • Strategy and Sustainability
  • Global Health Security, Solidarity, and Sustainability through the International Health Regulations
  • The Science of Success: What Researchers Know that You Should Know


  • GIS, Mapping, and Spatial Analysis (4 Course Specialization)

Students: Please login into Handshake for more information about Science & Sustainability Coursera courses.  

Education, Counseling, & Youth Development

  • Leading for Equity Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education
  • TESOL Certificate Part 1: Teach English Now!
  • TESOL Certificate Part 2: Teach English Now!
  • ADHD: Everyday Strategies for Elementary Students
  • The Science of Training Young Athletes
  • Resilience in Children Exposed to Trauma, Disaster, and War: Global Perspectives
  • Voices of Social Change
  • Disability Inclusion in Education: Building Systems of Support
  • Blended Learning: Personalizing Education for Students
  • ICT in Primary Education: Transforming Children's Learning Across the Curriculum
  • Health, Housing, and Educational Services
  • Critical Issues in Urban Education
  • Introduction to Multilingual and Multicultural Education

Students: Please login into Handshake for more information about Education, Counseling, & Youth Development Coursera courses.  

Public Service & Government

  • Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector
  • Global Diplomacy: the United Nations in the World
  • Local Economic Development
  • Intro to Nonprofit Sector, Nonprofit Organizations, Nonprofit Leadership and Governance
  • Planning for Climate Change in African Cities
  • Market Research and Consumer Behavior
  • Healthcare Delivery Providers
  • Data and Health Indicators in Public Health Practice
  • Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century
  • Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part I
  • International Organizations Management
  • Cybersecurity Roles, Processes & Operating System Security
  • Project Management
  • Data Analysis with Python
  • Politics and Economics of International Energy

Students: Please login into Handshake for more information about Public Service & Government Coursera courses.  

Creative Arts, Media, & Design

  • Fundamentals of Graphic Design
  • Journalism, the future, and you!
  • Getting Your Film off the Ground
  • Project: Use Canva to Create Social Media Marketing Designs
  • Guitar for Beginners
  • Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series


  • Graphic Design (5 Course Specialization)
  • UI/UX Design (4 Course Specialization)
  • Creative Writing (5 Course Specialization)
  • Music Production (4 Course Specialization)

Students: Please login into Handshake for more information about Creative Arts, Media, & Design Coursera courses.  

We also offer a Career-Ready Collection (all taught by Darden faculty).  

Career-Ready Collection

Google Collection 

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 | 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: https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/relationship-building-email-template

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: https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/relationship-building-email-template

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 10/18/2021

ECO Article: How to Attend a Virtual Career Fair

By: Victorio Duran III at Firsthand

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 head 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 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 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.


Elzinga Flash Seminar

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. 

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, https://www.freit.org/EIIT/2019/GradComp.php .

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 12/06/2018

7 Jobs with the Best Employment Prospects in 2019

New technologies are popping up daily, and automation is on the rise. The result is a labor market that’s evolving at a dizzying rate, with certain roles becoming redundant and others (some of which didn’t exist a decade ago) becoming increasingly important. It goes without saying that if you want to remain relevant amid all the flux, the answer lies with the latter positions. 

Below, you’ll find the seven occupations that employers will be placing the most value on in 2019 and beyond. If you’re already working in these fields, then you’re in luck—the future looks especially bright for you. And if you’re currently considering a career change, or you’re about to embark on studies, then take note—these are the 2019 jobs that are most worth pursuing. 

1. Data Scientists

Become a data scientist or analyst, and you’ll have companies everywhere begging you to work for them. As industries across the board start to realize the importance of basing business decisions on collected data, they’ll be looking to hire professionals who are adept at using machine learning and other digital tools to conduct statistical analyses and derive meaningful insights from numbers. Those professionals with expertise in AI, data visualization and communication, and big data storage are especially sought after. And as there’s a major skills shortage in this field across the U.S., data science specialists can demand a rather high salary.

2. Web and Software Developers

For obvious reasons, the IT and computer science sectors will continue to see major hiring increases, and two roles that aren’t going anywhere are those of web and software developer. The need for professionals who can research, design, code, and maintain websites and software programs is driven by the growth of the e-commerce market and the rising demand for mobile apps, advanced operating systems, and online games. As the digital world continues to develop at a rapid rate, a growing number of businesses and government entities are relying on the services of developers to keep up with the times.

3. Sales Representatives with Specialized Knowledge

Another one of the 2019 jobs that’s bound to hold a lot of heat for jobseekers is that of sales representative, but particularly within novel, niche fields. With the retail landscape evolving rapidly, and new products and services being developed daily, businesses are finding that they need sales professionals with a unique understanding of their offering in order to sell it to clients and consumers effectively. For instance, as the demand for green technology grows, companies involved in this sector are calling for sales representatives who are familiar with all the intricacies of renewable energy products, like solar panels, so they can spell out the benefits of them to potential customers and business partners.

4. Data Protection and Privacy Officers

New regulations that govern how businesses collect, store, and use consumers’ personal information are encouraging companies to recruit professionals who can help them comply with these requirements. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, might only apply in EU member states, but it’s impacting all businesses that offer services to EU-based citizens. Consequently, even enterprises in the U.S. are recognizing the need to hire someone who can assist with implementing processes that will ensure they remain on the right side of the law. In addition to data protection professionals focused on consumer privacy, companies will also increasingly be looking to hire information security analysts to help them safeguard their own networks and systems against the growing threat of cyberattacks. 

5. Health Practitioners

Needless to say, we’re likely always going to need the services of healthcare providers, but the demand for these professionals is projected to grow quite substantially over the next few years for one key reason: the Baby Boomers are starting to reach the age when health becomes more of a concern, and because the size of this generation is so large, there’s naturally a need for more health practitioners to care for them all. More specifically, it’s predicted that those working as home health aides, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, and physical therapists will be especially sought after in the future—all of these promising 2019 jobs are included on the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of the 20 occupations that are expected to grow the fastest between 2016 and 2026.

6. Regulatory Agents and Compliance Attorneys

As more businesses head into uncharted territory and experiment with products and services that rely on AI and other cutting-edge technologies, they’ll no doubt be looking to bring in professionals who can guide them with regards to legalities and ensure they’re abiding by industry rules. A compliance attorney, for instance, will assist a company by managing risks, developing corporate policies, and anticipating legal issues that may arise down the line. By doing so, they create room for innovation while warding off potential trouble. The hiring increases in this field can also be attributed to the fact that organizations across many sectors are being pushed to adapt to new, ever-evolving government regulations, and they’re battling to do so without the help of expert counsel.

7. Workers in the Renewable Energy Sector

Thanks to the (increasingly loud) call for sustainable sources of power, many of the 2019 jobs that have excellent employment prospects fall within the renewable energy sector. Along with energy engineers, wind turbine technicians and PV solar panel installersshould have no problem finding work in future—in fact, these are two of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., with the first expected to grow by 96 percent between 2016 and 2026 and the latter by an impressive 105 percent (according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook). While these professions initially saw boosts predominantly in California, they’ve grown in popularity throughout the U.S. as more states recognize the importance of adopting green technologies.  


Read more

Feature | 07/07/2018


UVA Professor Federico Ciliberto, UVA PhD Candidate Emily E. Cook, and UVA alumnus and current UNC Professor Jonathan W. Williams recently published “Network Structure and Consolidation in the U.S. Airline Industry, 1990-2015” in the Review of Industrial Organization. The authors study the effect of consolidation on airline network connectivity using three measures of centrality from graph theory: Degree; Closeness; and Betweenness. Degree is the fraction of all possible links that are actually served by at least one airline out of an airport; Closeness is the inverse of the average distance (i.e., number of links) from an airport to every other airport; and Betweenness is the frequency with which an airport is found to be on the shortest path between two other airports.

Changes in these measures from 1990 to 2015 imply: i) the average airport services a greater proportion of possible routes; ii) the average origin airport is fewer stops away from any given destination; and iii) the average hub is less often along the shortest route between two other airports. Yet, the authors find the trend toward greater connectivity in the national network structure is largely unaffected by consolidation—in the form of mergers and codeshare agreements—during this period. Forty years after its deregulation, the airline industry continues to be the focus of research, antitrust cases, and public policy debates. In this paper the authors contribute to the evolving debate by examining how mergers and alliances have shaped the entire industry’s U.S. network.  
The figure above, which captures trends in the network measures from 1990 to 2015, shows the year fixed effects and associated confidence intervals from separate OLS regressions of standardized Degree, Closeness, and Betweenness on a constant along with year, month, and airport fixed effects.



Feature | 11/01/2018


Cailin Slattery presented her job market paper "Bidding for Firms: Subsidy Competition in the U.S." at the Urban Economics Association Meeting at Columbia University in New York City. She received valuable feedback on her paper and discussed her research with Urban Economists from all over the world. She also had the opportunity to attend talks by Ed Glaeser, Raj Chetty, and recent Nobel Laureate Paul Romer.

In her job market paper, Cailin studies how U.S. states use discretionary tax breaks and subsidies to compete for individual firms to locate and create jobs in their jurisdictions. This policy has been well publicized with the recent competition for Amazon's second headquarters, but it is not an Amazon-specific phenomenon --- states spend billions of dollars each year on discretionary subsidies to attract a handful of large firms. However, it is still debated whether subsidy competition is a zero-sum game which only serves to transfer rent from states to firms at no national welfare gain, or if subsidies actually cause firms to locate where they create more value for a state. 

In order to address this debate empirically, Cailin hand-collected a new data set on state level incentive spending and firm-level subsidy deals. She then uses the data to estimate a model of subsidy competition, where states bid for individual firms in an oral ascending auction. This allows her to answer two open questions about subsidy competition: how do states value a given firm, and how important are subsidies to a firms' location decision?  Her estimates provide the first empirical evidence that states use subsidies to help large firms internalize the positive externalities they have in a state. Specifically, she find that states value not only the direct jobs the firm promises to create when determining their subsidy offer, but also the indirect jobs they are expected to create through agglomeration.

Next, she uses the model to estimate the effects of a counterfactual subsidy ban, and evaluate the welfare implications of subsidy competition.  Her counterfactual results confirm that subsidy competition is not a zero-sum game. In fact, competition increases total welfare (the joint payoffs of states and firms) by 20% over the subsidy ban. However, the entirety of this welfare gain is captured by the firms. Although individual states are better off, the aggregate welfare of states decreases relative to the subsidy ban. In short, the states, as a whole, are worse off with competition, because they have competed away much of the value a firm creates in their location.

Feature | 01/30/2024

UVA Grad School Panel

Want to learn about graduate programs you may choose to pursue with your economics degree? Consider attending in the fall, in the future, and full or part-time. You’ll hear from admissions staff and current students, and will have the opportunity to speak with the panelists of your choice. Learn about admissions requirements, the programs’ course curricula, and about various paths graduates tend to pursue.

This year's Graduate Programs represented included:

UVA MS in Commerce: https://www.commerce.virginia.edu/ms-commerce - UVA MS in Data Science: https://datascience.virginia.edu/academics - UVA Frank Batten MPP and Accelerated MPP Program: https://batten.virginia.edu/academics/graduate-programs/master-public-po... UVA Law School JD Program: https://www.law.virginia.edu/academics/jd-curriculum UVA Darden MBA and Future Year Scholars Program: https://www.darden.virginia.edu/mba/future-year-scholars-program - Econ PhD at UVA: https://economics.virginia.edu/phd-program-overview UVA MS in Public Health: https://med.virginia.edu/phs/education-programs-in-public-health-science...

*Panel is open to all majors in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Click here to register.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 07/12/2018

10 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Summer Internship


A summer internship can be a great way to build your future in the adult workforce – or it can be a big disappointment. Are you sitting around with your fellow interns, swapping jokes because you have little do? This temporary gig is supposed to be more than a paycheck. The whole point of it is to further your education.

You have more to say about how your internship goes than you think. If you aren’t gaining the skills and connections you need, talk to your boss about how to make your experience better. Or even if you are busy, and realize you don’t like this occupation, there are lessons to be learned. An internship is too valuable to waste.

You haven’t landed an internship yet? The good news is that companies are still hiring (and check out these last-minute suggestions to increase your job leads). If you have locked down an internship, make the most of it by following these 10 tips:

1. Don’t put up with a do-nothing internship. Horror stories abound about interns sidelined into indolent, clock-watching existences. Or relegated to mindless tasks like fetching coffee or cleaning up the stockroom. Sure, you can’t expect to be plotting corporate strategy as a 20-year-old, two-month temp. But you should politely keep after your boss to make the most of you.

Your manager may not know how quickly or effectively you work, so don’t be alarmed if you’re not given much to do at first. Let your manager know you’re available to do more. Ask for suggestions on how you can learn more about the company and industry. Perhaps there are old company reports you can review. Showing initiative to learn and remain productive will endear you to your boss.

2. Convert your internship into a full-time position. This means doing a great job with the responsibilities given to you right now. Get regular feedback from your manager so you know you’re meeting expectations. If there’s a formal evaluation form, get a copy in advance so you can keep track of what your objectives should be. Ask the human resources department for the official process to be considered for extended employment. You don’t want to miss any steps or deadlines.

3. Get a professional reference (or two). Stay close to your manager so you can get a strong professional reference from him or her. Your internship program may not lead to another job there, but a strong reference can set you up for one elsewhere. Also ask for a reference from others you helped. For example, if you interned in marketing, you may have closely supported the salespeople. Toward the end of your internship, collect their personal contact information, in case they leave the firm by the time you need the references.

4. Identify your valuable strengths. Internships also are voyages of self-discovery. Sometimes skills that come naturally are ones you overlook, and it’s helpful to have others pinpoint them for you. If your internship doesn’t have an official evaluation form, ask for this feedback. This provides you with good talking points when you meet future employers.

5. Identify your weaknesses. Sometimes, managers hesitate to give criticism. Soften the request for a candid critique by asking how to improve for your next role. Not knowing your weak points can hinder you: You won’t know what you need to correct, or whether the job is right for you.

Perhaps you love working in a law firm but aren’t attentive to detail. As an attorney, you will need to be meticulous about the small things, so you need to focus on them in the future. Or your brash personality may not be the right fit for a career in a buttoned-down corporate climate, and nothing will change that. Such self-knowledge will benefit you well going forward.

6. Develop new skills. If your internship offers training workshops or mentor pairings or any other skills-building endeavors, make sure you take advantage of these. Find out the calendar in advance, and give your manager plenty of notice, plus a game plan for how you will make up the work if the extra training interferes with your duties.

7. Broaden your network. Gaining skills isn’t the whole story with an internship. Getting to know people who may help you later is a big goal. Even if no organized networking forums exist, being in the workplace each day means you are meeting new folks constantly. Take your lunch breaks with different co-workers over the summer. Ask your manager for introductions. Attend any company-sponsored events open to you.

This goes for full-time employees and fellow interns alike. Your peers are a great resource because you have a shared experience. Introduce your immediate colleagues to your fellow interns, and ask peers to do the same for you. If you got your internship through a larger organization, keep in touch with its interns outside your company, too.

8. Add new accomplishments to your resume. Note what you’re learning and doing on your resume while it’s fresh in your mind. What technical and computer skills are you using? What types of analysis are you doing? What tangible results have you achieved?

9. Strengthen your online profile. In addition to your resume, update your LinkedIn profile. A word of warning: Be careful about sharing your internship experience on social media. Don’t reveal confidential information – like that research you’re doing for an initiative that is not yet public. Do not share business goals or insights. Furthermore, keep your tone professional and positive. Trashing your boss on the Web, where everyone can read it, including the boss, could come back to harm you.

10. Learn from a bad experience. Not all internships are nirvana. If you don’t like yours, figure out why. This gives you a clearer picture about what you don’t want in your adult career. Is it the day-to-day work? Is it the people? The pace? The growth prospects? The industry or subject matter? Bad experiences are instructive. Remember: You take an internship to learn, about what a job is like and what you are like.

Feature | 01/31/2022

ECO Blog: Virtual Spring Job and Internship Fair Preparation

Hello Econ Majors,

The 2022 Virtual Spring Job and Internship Fair will be held this Thursday all day. There are 50 more employers participating this year than in the spring 2021 virtual fair. Of course as economists you know that means there is likely a stronger labor market, at least in certain industries and for entry-level employees and interns.

Please take some time between now and Thursday to visit the list of employers in Hanshake. You may filter by:

  • Major (although I encourage you to broaden your keyword search to include majors such as business and politics because employers may not be aware that economics is housed within the College.
  • OPT/CPT and visa sponsorship
  • Industry
  • Location
  • Remote work

Check out the ECO's First Destination Report from past years to find employers who have definitively hired our students and cross-reference with the registration list. 

Then check out these video links to help you prepare for the fair. Here is a template to write your pitch to help you prepare for info sessions or 1:1 chats at the fair. Sign up for both! And if your employers-of-choice are booked for 1:1 slots, choose your second-tier. You may be surprised at what you find and who you meet.

Best wishes!

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 Burtonburtonc@darden.virginia.edu

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.


Feature | 05/23/2022

Joaquin Saldain Presents at Midwest Macroeconomics Conference

In May 2022, 6th-year student Joaquin Saldain presented his paper, "A Quantitative Model of High-Cost Consumer Credit,"  at the Midwest Macroeconomics Conference in Logan, Utah. Joaquin summarizes the paper this way: "I study the welfare consequences of regulations on high-cost consumer credit in the US, such as borrowing limits and interest rate caps. I estimate a heterogeneous-agents model with risk-based pricing of loans that features standard exponential discounters and households with self-control and temptation. I use transaction-level payday lending data and the literature's valuations of a no-borrowing incentive to identify different household types. I find that one-third of high-cost borrowers suffer from temptation. Although individually targeted regulation could improve the welfare of these households, I find that noncontingent regulatory borrowing limits and interest-rate caps—like those contained in typical regulations of payday loans—reduce the welfare of all types of households. The reason is that lenders offer borrowers tight individually-targeted loan price schedules that limit households' borrowing capacity so that noncontingent regulatory limits cannot improve welfare over them."


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 | 07/02/2017


"Receiving an invitation for a job interview can be an exciting time – especially after you’ve been job-searching for a while.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to kill off all your chances of getting a job by saying just a few wrong words during your job interview.

To make sure your job interview leads to the next round or a job offer, here’s a list of words which you should aim to avoid."-Steven McConnell

Click here to read the rest of the article

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 | 04/22/2020

Yooseon Hwang Awarded 2020 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) Summer Research Fellowship

Yooseon Hwang has been awarded a 2020 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) Summer Research Fellowship for her research on how traffic congestion and environmental amenities affect home prices. Congratulations!

Feature | 01/03/2022

Meet the Trio of UVA Alumni on the 2022 Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ Lists

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 | 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 | 09/12/2016


Updates from the ECO with Jobs, Events, and Workshops!

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Feature | 08/30/2018

Fox News: Is America's economy crushing it?

Q: What’s So Special about This Article?
A: There are several potential employers included, which were sources of information for the piece. How many can you find?

A sustainable economic recovery is getting harder to dispute. Read the full story here.

Full story

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 | 11/20/2018

Alumni Spotlight: Joy Fan

Alumni Spotlight: JOY FAN, Media Relations & Marketing Associate at the American Enterprise Institute 


Life at UVA and since graduating: 

Joy graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017 with degrees in Economics and Art History. While at UVA, Joy was the president of the Rhapsody Ballet Ensemble while she pursued her personal interests in business and art. Some of her favorite economics courses were Money and Banking and Environmental Economics, although she enjoyed several public policy-focused economics courses.


She currently works at the American Enterprise Institute. She serves as the liaison between the press and over 30 AEI scholars in economic, financial services, tech, and healthcare policy.


What are your job’s responsibilities?

  • 35% is pitching to reporters–sending research to print and broadcast reporters
  • 35% fielding media requests (connecting scholars to media)
  • 30% staffing media crews and events, updating media contact database, tracking press interactions for analysis later


Joy’s tips for students:

  • Reach out to alumni–they always have good insights to share if not more help
  • Don’t forget your resume and cover letter serve as writing samples 
  • Get as much writing experience as possible. Almost every job requires good writing skills, whether it be in the form of a report or memo, or even just as communication between colleagues.
Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 02/04/2024

How to Manage the Emotional Roller Coaster of a Job Search

Article written by Rebecca Zucker for Harvard Business Review

Most of us, at some point in our career, will conduct a job search — if not several of them. While it can be a time of excitement and hope about new opportunities to come, it can also be a time of great uncertainty and anxiety. Not only will you likely feel the full range of possible emotions during the course of your overall job search, but you may also experience these highs and lows in the span of a single day or week. You might be elated one moment to learn that you are a top candidate for a desired position only to be disappointed to find out that the job went to someone else — or perhaps you were unhappy with your performance in a job interview, but were later relieved to learn you’ve still made it to the next round of interviews.

The job-search process is fraught with ups and downs, not to mention the angst that comes with the uncertainty about the future of your career and livelihood. Here are a few strategies to manage the emotional rollercoaster of the job search:

Know what’s coming. The job search is a process that can be as short as several weeks, or more likely, several months. As with any other process, there are peaks and valleys. One week you have networking meetings and interviews scheduled, people are responding to your emails and you feel encouraged and hopeful — then radio silence — making you feel confused, frustrated or even helpless. Knowing from the start that you will experience these swings in activity and emotion can help prepare you to better anticipate and handle them when they do occur. In particular, when you do encounter the downward part of the cycle, you can say to yourself, “I knew there would be days where nothing is happening, and I would feel frustrated, and today is just one of those days.” When you know it’s coming, you will be less surprised or shaken by it, as well as less likely to personalize it, allowing you to rebound and move forward in your search more easily.

Process your emotions. Engaging in activities like mindful meditation or journaling can help you process negative emotions as they arise. In contrast to avoiding, suppressing or ruminating over your emotions — which are shown to be correlated to anxiety and depression — processing your emotions through mindful meditation or journaling involves actually feeling these emotions more fully. It is this ability to experience our emotions, without judging them or trying to change them, that allows us to move through them more quickly and effectively. In a classic study, unemployed engineers journaled about their thoughts and feelings related to being unemployed for just 20 minutes a day for five days. Eight months later, 52% had found new jobs compared to only 18.6% for the combined control groups. In addition, brief mindful meditation creates improved emotional processing and reduced emotional reactivity and has been shown to enhance our emotional processing, even when we’re not meditating.

Get support. Having someone to talk to throughout your job search, such as a career coach, therapist or a job-search work group can provide much-needed emotional support, beyond that of friends and family. An experienced career coach who is an expert in the job-search process can also help normalize what you are experiencing and feeling at any given phase of your search and can be a good sounding board to help guide you when you are feeling unsure of yourself or what to do next. As with a coach, a job-search work group can also help you feel a sense of partnership to help mitigate feelings of loneliness that can often arise in a job search, creating a sense of community as well as providing tangible help to advance your search.

Engage in energizing activities. Make sure your days include activities that energize you, such as exercise, listening to your favorite music or some other activity that revitalizes you. Your mood and overall energy level will show in your interactions with others, whether it’s a coffee meeting with a former colleague, a networking event or a job interview. Exercise, in particular, not only has a positive impact on mood, but also increases self-esteem, sociability, motivation and cognition and can help you be at your best. David, a client of mine, started exercising daily during his job search. He not only lost 15 pounds and three inches from his waist, but also felt mentally and physically stronger, had a greater sense of agency and was more confident going into interviews.

Put things into perspective. It’s easy to feel powerless or discouraged when things don’t progress in the job search the way we would like. Perhaps a contact hasn’t made an important introduction for you yet like she said she would, or a recruiter hasn’t gotten back to you in the timeframe he initially indicated. While you can send a friendly reminder, take a step back to think about their other possible existing priorities. Chances are, your job search isn’t in their top five priorities on any given day. Seeing this perspective can help de-personalize the situation and mitigate the negative emotions surrounding it.

Roberta, another client of mine, was deeply depressed when her job search hit the one-year mark after she lost her Finance job in the last recession. Her depression, while understandable, created an unproductive cycle of negative thoughts and feelings which kept her paralyzed in her search. I asked her what “Roberta 20 years in the future” would say about her year of unemployment. Without hesitation, she said, “Oh, it’s a blip.” This “it’s a blip” perspective allowed Roberta to emerge from her depressed feelings to not only envision a more successful future, but she also was able to move forward much more productively, and ultimately landed another job as a partner at top-performing investment management firm. Feelings are temporary, as are many of the situations that create them (such as a job search). Seeing these challenges as impermanent is a key part of being optimistic, which is associated with higher levels of motivation, achievement, well-being and lower levels of depressive symptoms.

Using the strategies above can help make the inevitable shifts between the highs and lows of the job search more manageable as well as help you to stay motivated and productive for the duration of the ride.

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: https://virginia.joinhandshake.com/edu/events/1348507

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: https://virginia.joinhandshake.com/events/1384796/share_preview

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 | 08/12/2016

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 | 08/17/2019

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.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/13/2023

How to Network When You Can't Meet up with People

How to Network When You Can't Meet up with People

Wall Street Journal 6/14/2020


It is hard to be an effective networker when you can’t shake hands, go to a conference or meet at a restaurant. But we rely on connections to generate business, fuel our professional growth—and, as we are all now reminded, to sustain our own personal well-being.

The good news is that developing and deepening relationships at this moment is still possible. You just need to rethink the way you go about it.

I know because I’ve done it already. Even though I was once a voracious face-to-face networker, both geography and family circumstances have meant that my past decade of networking has taken place almost entirely online. And the relationships I’ve developed this way have been at least as meaningful and valuable as the connections I once made at in-person gatherings.

Here are some of the strategies that have worked for me over the years—and might work for you, too.

Prioritize quality over quantity

Let’s explode one myth: that networking online is about casting a wide net. Resist the illusion that you can make a ton of new contacts with all the time you’re spending online. Think in terms of quality, not quantity.

By “quality” I don’t mean looking at metrics like how many followers an influencer has. I pay attention to people whose work interests or inspires me, whose posts resonate, or whose life and professional experience gives me a fresh perspective. Conversely, I take note of people who follow me online or share my articles; a quick scan through their bio or social-media feed usually gives me a feel for whether we’ll have interests in common, in which case I make a point of following them back, or if I’m going to be in their city, suggest a meeting. (These days, I’d suggest a phone or video call instead.)

When I’m spending time on social networks, I use lists or “see first” features to focus my attention on the small number of people I find most interesting or valuable, so that I can engage with them regularly; it’s easier to form new connections by interacting with 10 people on a regular basis, rather than 100 people very occasionally. I aggressively unsubscribe from email lists so that the emails I get from colleagues and friends don’t get lost. I comment and reply to posts from the same people, over and over, so it feels like we’re actually in one long conversation.

Many of these relationships ultimately pay professional dividends. I’ve found clients, speaking opportunities, new writing outlets and valued employees just through the relationships I sustained entirely out of affection, with no endgame in mind.

Network in a way that feels true to who you are

Are people wowed by your intellect? Think about how to share digestible nuggets of that brilliance in online posts or updates. If your brain power typically comes to light in the discussion after a meaty talk or lecture, look for virtual events focused around a thought leader, where there is plenty of opportunity for peer-to-peer conversation or Q&A.

Do you win people with warmth and charm? Focus on making individual, personal connections before you scale up to large-group interactions. If you’re at your best when you’re one on one, skip online events and groups, and reach out directly to the people you want to meet, asking for a video or phone date so that you can connect on a topic of mutual interest.

Or are you someone who wows with a glamorous, oversize presence? Then you’re among the handful who can’t afford to embrace this new lifestyle of sweatshirts and chaotic kitchen backdrops; Instead, you’ll need to dial up the star power so that it comes through even on your one-to-one video calls.

This principle extends to how you build relationships once you’ve nailed the intro. If you’re the kind of person who usually works your way through a cocktail party or networking lunch by introducing various sets of people, you can pursue that same strategy in the online world. (Just make sure you ask both parties before making that email introduction.)

If you’re famous for being a great listener, remember that you can listen to people without being in the same room: Reach out to people with phone calls, just to find out how they’re doing, or “listen” online by resharing other people’s posts and updates, annotated with your own thoughtful comments so it’s clear that you’re really engaging with what they have to say.

And if you prefer to build relationships through recurring gatherings, like monthly networking lunches, you can look for standing social-media chats that take place at a regularly scheduled date and time, and make a point of participating on a continuing basis. You might begin with the online groups/channels/hashtags that connect with your favorite offline networking groups; that way you’re building on top of existing relationships.

Amplify other people

It is easy for online networking to feel like a bunch of people shouting for attention—which is why you will stand out if you’re amplifying other people’s voices instead of just competing to be heard. Share what other people have said, maybe adding a comment of your own, and make that at least half of what you share. It will make you more appealing to engage with, too.

This approach is also a good way to engage with a famous or influential leader or colleague. One of the things that’s really amazing about social media is that you may actually get to know the people who inspire you. Try resharing an article by a business leader you admire, with some reflections on what their work has meant to you, and why you admire them. Just keep that kind of thing to an occasional indulgence: There is nothing more off-putting than a social-media feed that makes it look like you’re just tagging industry star after industry star.

As you start to follow and engage with people who have a big professional presence, you’ll probably notice that generosity fuels generosity. People who share their knowledge and insights generously tend to build and engage bigger followings. So, along with amplifying others, be prepared to share your own ideas in updates, blog posts, videos and conversations.

Look for ways you can be of service

At a time when so many people are struggling financially, professionally or emotionally, cold calls or sales-y emails may come off as insensitive. You may fare better by reaching out around a community-service project.

That is what I discovered when I started a small Covid support site. I reached out to a collegial email list I’ve belonged to for years, and got several offers of volunteer support. I found a couple of new collaborators in people I’d previously known only as social-media friends. And the software company that generously assigned several staff members to the project saw benefits, too, like getting its software in front of a whole new group of users. None of these efforts were intended as networking plays, but the simple effort of trying to do some good brought us all together and provided tangible professional benefits.

Indeed, that desire to be of service should guide as much of your online networking as possible. Face to face, you can get away with some pretty direct requests for favors, if they’re delivered with tact and charm; online, it’s easy for incoming requests to feel like a siege by inbox.

Rather than thinking in terms of putting favors in the bank, think about how you can be the most helpful; the kind of person others feel grateful to know and eager to connect with. That means looking at your skills, knowledge and relationships, and thinking about where they can be uniquely valuable.

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If you’re a fluent techie, maybe you can put your skills to use for a person or organization who is struggling to move their work online; if you’re known for your contagious calm, perhaps you can lend yourself to a high-stress team and help defuse their anxiety. Even if you normally evaluate your time by the billable hour, this is a time to allocate some pro bono hours to people, causes and organizations you care about—or to offer that help to people and organizations you would like to get to know.

Let go of the line between ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ relationships

Many of us were taught to keep things crisp and professional in the workplace, but online, all that professionalism just comes off as cold and calculating. Instead, let yourself be warmly, casually human; you’ll be a lot more appealing if you seem like an actual person. And letting go of the line between “business contact” and “friend” means you’ll form stronger, more durable relationships.

We are in an exceptionally emotional and connected moment, and that means that people are unusually open to expressions of affection and sincerity. Yes, you can send a note to the colleague you haven’t spoken to in years, letting him know that he’s on your mind as someone you’re sorry you lost touch with; yes, you can write a fan letter to the star of your favorite TED Talk, telling her how she’s influenced your approach to this crisis. If you can let yourself be informal and vulnerable, rather than businesslike or transactional, you’re much more likely to form a human connection—one that will turn into a sincere, continuing relationship.

I’ve forgotten the business origins of some of my social contacts in a sea of exchanges over our parenting challenges, favorite TV shows or tech gripes. It is this mix of professional and personal interaction that makes contacts and colleagues into friends, and creates a sense of true camaraderie and affection. You might think that all my Facebook posts about child struggles or moments of personal anxiety would count against me in a professional context, but instead, it seems to have made a lot of people feel like they care for me.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

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


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 | 11/14/2017


"Have you ever felt like a fish out of water at a job? 

You don't fit in, you don't feel the vibe, and you know that these aren't your people. Whatever you do, you don't feel welcome, and you can't do anything right. Your co-workers don't understand you. You don't enjoy most of the work itself, and you struggle to figure out how to do things (or who to ask for help). You feel like you're just biding your time until you can get out, and you spend a lot of time planning your escape." -Natalie Fisher

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/28/2022

What’s the Ideal Length for a Cover Letter? —Plus Tips to Get Yours There

What’s the Ideal Length for a Cover Letter? —Plus Tips to Get Yours There

by Regina Borsellino from The Muse

When you have a task to complete, it helps to know what the end product should look like. It's especially true when you’re doing something you might find difficult—like writing a cover letter. How long should it be? What information do you need to include?

Hiring managers and recruiters are busy people, so you don’t want to disqualify yourself by writing a cover letter that’s too long. But you do want to make sure your cover letter is effective. “The cover letter should serve as an introduction to your resume, highlighting why you’re interested in the position, what you’re looking for in your next role, and how you can potentially add value to the position or company,” says Muse career coach Yolanda Owens, who has over 20 years of recruiting experience. 

So how much space do you have to do all that? And how can you make the best use of that space?

How long should a cover letter be?

The ideal cover letter length is:

  • Less than one page
  • Three to five paragraphs
  • Less than 400 words

At least that’s the approximate consensus we came to based on research and input from a few experts who have worked as hiring managers, recruiters, or both.

If this feels short, “Keep in mind that the cover letter is not a tell-all of everything you've done,” says Muse coach Emily Liou, a recruiter and HR professional. “You just want enough to position yourself as a fit and to pique the curiosity of the reader.” You don’t need pages and pages to do that.

In a survey of 205 HR professionals, ResumeLab found that 42% of respondents preferred cover letters between half and one page and 40% preferred cover letters that were less than half a page. Only 18% said they preferred cover letters longer than one page. Muse coach Steven Davis, a technical recruiter, advocates for a cover letter that “can be comfortably read in less than a minute.”

How do you write a cover letter that's just the right length?

Here are a few tips that'll get your cover letter to the ideal length:

1. Pay attention to your structure.

You may remember the five-paragraph essay from school: introduction paragraph, body paragraphs, and conclusion paragraph. Cover letters are structured similarly.

Basically, you should lay out your cover letter like this:

  • Introduction (one paragraph): Your cover letter opening should be original and creative to draw your reader in. It should show your connections to the employer and your interest and excitement for the position, Liou says. You might also use this paragraph to explain that you’re making a career pivot or re-entering the workforce after an employment gap.
  • Body (one to three paragraphs): Your body paragraphs should focus on the ways you can help the organization or team, Owens says. Talk about what skills and experience you bring to the company, and back up what you’re saying with past examples—but keep them concise.
  • Conclusion (one paragraph): Your conclusion should be “a final paragraph thanking the reader for their time and reiterating your interest,” Owens says.

2. Figure out what matters to the employer.

“This is a great time to dissect what is most important to this position,” Liou says, so you can focus your cover letter on what your prospective employer cares about most. Go back to the job description and read it thoroughly. What’s listed first and what’s repeated? From there, Davis says, you should be able to identify the top skills and experiences they’re looking for.

Then, think about what in your background most exemplifies these qualifications—with an emphasis on situations where you’ve made an impact for your past employers, Liou says. These are the experiences you should recount in your cover letter.

3. Use concise examples to pique your readers’ interest.

Davis suggests using the “the STAR format without any details to create curiosity and motivate the interviewer to review the resume.” If you’re unfamiliar, the STAR method is a way of telling stories in an interview where you make sure that you hit on the situation, task, action, and result of the experience you’re recounting. Using a compact version of the STAR method in your cover letter will help show the impact you’ve had in past roles and how without adding too much length. So you might write something like:

“When my last company redesigned their website, I took the lead on layout, and by working as a constant liaison between our product team and our users, I helped produce a website that our users found 50% more intuitive and drew 33% more repeat users.”

4. Go beyond your resume—without regurgitating it.

“The cover letter should be a supplemental piece to your resume, not a summary,” Owens says. So don’t waste space regurgitating other parts of your application. “Use the cover letter to tell the employer what you want them to know about you that’s not on your resume,” or anywhere else, Owens says.

Focus your precious page or less on highlighting your relevant achievements and explicitly connecting your resume to the position. Don’t worry about including all of the context and details about your past jobs. For anything you talk about in a cover letter, your resume can “continue your narrative—filling in the remaining details of the where, when, and what of your work experiences and history,” Owens says.

5. Consider using bullet points.

And we don’t mean repeating your resume bullet points. We mean using a few bullet points to concisely relay a few key pieces of information that aren’t on your resume, but contribute to your qualifications as a candidate, without taking up too much space.

For example, Owens says you might create a “What I bring to the table” section with three to four bullet points (one or two sentences each). In a section like this, you can touch on a few more disparate topics such as your management or leadership style, pain points you can help your next employer with, or work environments you have experience thriving in, Owens says.

6. Use standard formatting.

Did you ever make your font size a bit larger or choose a slightly wider font to hit a page count on an essay for school? What about widening those margins? Did you ever do the opposite to slip in under a page maximum without having to do another editing pass at 3 a.m.? (Guilty!)

These tactics won’t fly for your cover letter (or your resume for that matter). Instead, stick to standard, easy-to-read formatting. Generally this means:

  • Common fonts like Arial, Helvetica, or Times New Roman
  • Font sizes between 10 and 12 point
  • Margin sizes of about one inch on the top, bottom, and sides
  • Lines that are single spaced (1.15 max) with an additional space between paragraphs if you'd like.

Don’t make your cover letter harder to read by cramming as much onto a page as possible. Also keep in mind that your cover letter often passes through the same applicant tracking system (ATS) that your resume does—so any flashy formatting could trip up the software that parses your application materials.

7. Trim the excess.

If your cover letter is still too long, take another look and trim out anything extra that doesn’t need to be there. Some things to cut include:

  • Content about how much you’d enjoy doing the work, Davis says—beyond what you need to express enthusiasm.
  • Mentions of years of experience: While the job description may call for three years of experience with a CRM (customer relationship management) program, you don’t need to use your cover letter to write a word problem where your six months experience from one internship, three months each from two classes, and two years at your last job equals three years.
  • Extra details in your examples, especially those that are found on your resume or don’t contribute to your strength as a candidate
  • Filtering language: This includes phrases like “I think” and “I feel.” You don’t “believe you can help” a company solve a problem, you can help a company solve a problem.
  • Overused or cliché phrases
  • Anything about what the job would do for you: Focus on what you can do for them.

8. Follow any instructions in the job description.

Finally, all of the above are just guidelines. The best indicator of what an employer is looking for in a cover letter—length-wise or otherwise—is the employer itself.

So if a job posting tells you that a cover letter should be a different length than we’ve indicated, default to the job description. If a job posting tells you that a cover letter should include different things than we’ve indicated, default to the job description. If a job posting tells you that you shouldn’t include a cover letter at all, default to the job description.

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 | 08/12/2016

From the ECO: Networking Tips

How to plan your networking strategy.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/13/2023

ECO Fall Career Series

Fall 2023 Career Programs from the Economics Career Office (ECO)


8/21, 9/15

ECO Orientation for All Economics Majors, Forage, and RocketBlocks Demo


Job Search Workshop with Dean Overdkyk (Econ 2014), Amazon


MAJOR TO MAJOR (M2M) Career Coaching Fair (for all A&S Students)*


Economic and Litigation Consulting Night, Moderated by Professor Ken Elzinga


Freddie Mac Workshop & Info Session for Fall Recruiting with Alumnus Ryan Hughes


Behavioral Mock Interview


Altria Resume Marathon and Alumni in Residence with Garrick Sin (Altria)


Alumni in Residence with Peter Lyons, What Do Business Lawyers Actually Do?


“Global Debt” Talk w Alumnus Mark Connors (Head of Research, 3Qi) Sponsored by the Econ Club


Internship Panel (Banking, Consulting, Data Analytics, Finance, Government, Policy, Tech) 


How I Got This Job: Government (GAO) Sponsored by the ECO


Strategies for Navigating Careers in Finance from Emmy Sobieski, Bestselling Author of $100M Careers (Sponsored by SWS, Econ Club, Women’s Business Forum at McIntire)


Opportunities for Women in Economics Across the Nation (Virtual)


Navigating Careers in Finance with Emmy Sobieski


Investment Banking - How to Win Deals/Alumnus Phil Colaco (former CEO Deloitte Corporate Finance & IB)


Women in Economics (Sponsored by the ECO and Econ Club) Panel and Lunch   

January 2024

How I Got Into Grad School: Econ Alumni in MBA, Law, and Ph.D Programs

March 2024

Economics Undergraduate Career Forum with Alumni Leaders across Industries and Job Functions



* This program matches current majors with upper-level students and the list of represented employers is in Handshake.

ECO programs will be open to all majors after priority registration for economics majors closes five days before each event (unless stated otherwise in each event’s listing).


Big Programs All Majors Should Know About

The events below are sponsored by the University and other career offices and are open to all students. The ECO encourages economics majors to become familiar with these events, attend those that are relevant for you, and to prepare for them with ECO and UVA Career Center programs and resources. Regularly check Handshake for any changes and updates.


Consulting and Strategy Conference


Case Mock Interview Day (Virtual)


Tech Night Takeover  


Fall Resume Marathon (Virtual)


Fall Mock Interview Day (Virtual)


Behavioral Interview Night (Virtual)


Commerce Career Day (Virtual and Open to All Majors)


Engineering Career Fair (Virtual and Open to All Majors)


On-Grounds Interviews Begin


Intelligence and Security Networking Day (in-person)


Professional and Grad School Fair (Virtual)


Fall Data Analytics Night


Public Service Week


Fall Job & Internship Fair 2023: Biotech, Science and Healthcare Careers (Virtual)


Fall Job & Internship Fair 2023: Non-Profit, Government, Public Service and Education Careers (Virtual)


Fall Job & Internship Fair 2023: All Career Industries


BioLink/DataLink Interviewing Day (Virtual)




Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/07/2016


Quick Job Search Tips and Just a Few Events!


Feature | 11/27/2018

Megan Miller Presents at 111th Annual National Tax Association Conference in New Orleans

Megan Miller presented her paper “Labor supply responses to in-kind transfers: The case of Medicaid” at the 111th  Annual National Tax Association Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Research presented at the conference covered topics including tax and expenditure policies, public finance, and government budgeting.  Hilary Hoynes and Michael Devereux were the keynote speakers at the conference.  Megan presented her work during the “Social Safety Net Programs and Labor Markets” session.  Her work studies the extent to which people reduce their earnings to qualify for Medicaid coverage, and she then uses that information to estimate the cash-equivalent value of Medicaid to beneficiaries.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

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!


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 03/31/2024

How to Write a Thank You Email After an Interview

Article written by Christopher Littlefield for Harvard Business Review 

You’ve just finished an interview for a job opportunity you’re really excited about. You know you should send a thank you note to your interviewers, but you’re not sure what to write. How much detail should you include? Should you send an email to every person you interviewed with? And what’s really the best way to follow up?

Here’s some advice on what to say — and not to say — in your message, along with sample email templates. I’ll also cover why writing a thank you note is something you should do, even if it feels like a formality. Let’s start with what to write in your note.

How to Write a Thank You Email

Your email should be short, sincere, and sent within 24 hours of your interview.

1. Address the email to the person who interviewed you and make sure you spell their name correctly. If their name is Christopher and they asked you to call them Chris in the interview, address them as such in your follow-up. If you interviewed with multiple people, it’s a good practice to send each person a brief message as well.

2. Thank the person for their time and consideration.

3. Briefly highlight your draw to the organization. David Lancefield, a former partner at PwC and now CEO coach, suggests that candidates “call out an aspect of the conversation that was particularly interesting or share a helpful hook to help them remember what you spoke about.”

4. Express your continued interest in the job opportunity.

5. Offer to answer any questions.

Lourdes Olvera-Marshall, who teaches networking and career management courses at NYU, recommends jotting down quick notes when you’re interviewing. Write down your interviewer’s name, what you discuss, and a few key words to trigger your memory, so you can make your follow-up message more meaningful. As she told me, “The thank you note starts during the interview.”

What to Avoid in Your Thank You Email 

If you don’t want to leave the interviewers with a bad impression, avoid these three common mistakes.

Adding too much detail


Remember that the intention of the message is to say thank you, not to pick up where your interview left off. “Your follow-up is not the place to add all the things you wish you had highlighted in your interview,” Olvera-Marshall warns. When you do, you run the risk of appearing desperate or like you weren’t prepared for the interview.

Making requests

People are busy. Avoid requesting anything that creates additional work. You want to show your interviewer that you’re easy to work with.


And of course, don’t forget to review your email for grammar and spelling before sending. This is an example of your communication.

Sample Thank You Email Templates

Use the samples below to get started, but make sure you customize them to fit your needs.

Sample 1

Subject: Thank you

Hi Genesa,

It was great speaking with you yesterday about being a possible fit for your team. I appreciate the transparency into the project you are working on and what it is like working at [company name]. It seems like an amazing team and an exciting project with huge potential. I am excited about the possibility of working with you. If you have any questions or want to continue our conversation, please reach out at any time.

I look forward to being in touch.

All the best,

Sample 2

Subject: Thank you

Hi Maria,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today and sharing some of the innovative work you and your team are doing to support your clients.

From our conversation, I understand that the pace is fast, the work is top-notch, and as hard as you work, you all have a great time doing it together. People’s passion for their work was tangible and the sense of community was amazing.

I also understand you are looking for a person who can hit the ground running, does not need hand-holding, and is fun to work with. I am confident I am that person.

If you have any questions or want to continue our conversation, please feel free to reach out at any time.

I look forward to being in touch.


Sample 3

Subject: Thank you

Dear Mr. Cassidy,

I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me today to discuss the financial planner position at Cascade Associates. I appreciate you sharing the history behind your family business and that you care for every customer as if they were your own family.

From our conversation, I understand that maintaining the legacy of top-notch service is your priority, and you are looking for planners who want to continue that legacy for years to come. As I shared, I have a young family of my own, and I am looking to put down roots with an organization that I can be proud to work for. I am excited about the possibility of joining your team.

If you have any questions or want to continue our conversation, please feel free to reach out at any time.


Why Is It Important to Send a Thank You Note?

Beyond it being a nice gesture, there are multiple benefits to sending a follow-up message after an interview.

It creates a positive connection with the interviewer(s).

No matter how well your interview went, many hiring managers squeeze multiple interviews into their busy schedules. A thoughtful message helps you leave a lasting positive impression after the interview is over.

It helps you stand out from the crowd.

Investing the time to send a thank you increases your chances of standing out from other applicants. One study found that only one out of four candidates sent thank you messages after their interviews, yet 80% of HR managers said those messages were helpful when reviewing candidates.

It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and people skills.

It’s one thing to tell an interviewer you’re detail-oriented and work well with others — it’s another to show them. A well-crafted and timed thank you message illustrates your follow-up, your ability to capture the meeting’s essence in writing, and that you understand the importance of expressing your appreciation for others.

It confirms your interest in the job. 

Hiring managers understand that candidates may be interviewing for multiple jobs at the same time. Busy themselves, leaders don’t want to invest time in a candidate who is not invested in the role they’re hiring for. A thank you message confirms that you’re both interested and excited about the role and worth following with.

You may send your message and get a response in minutes, or you may never hear back at all. Either way, investing 15 minutes to express your appreciation may be the difference between getting the job or getting lost in the crowd.


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 | 03/17/2024

The Economics Undergraduate Career Forum is This Week!

The ECO is excited to host ten of our amazing alumni this Thursday and Friday for the annual Economics Undergraduate Career Forum! Check out the events happening below (students, register!). We are so excited for our students to connect with these alum!

2024 Economics Undergraduate Career Forum Information:

Day 1: Thursday, March 21, 2024

- Success in the Workplace Keynote Address 5:00-6:00pm https://virginia.joinhandshake.com/edu/events/1493527

- Dinner with Alumni at the Ridley 6:30-8:00pm https://virginia.joinhandshake.com/edu/events/1493518

Day 2: Friday, March 22, 2024

- Panel 1: Finance from 9:30-10:45 am https://virginia.joinhandshake.com/edu/events/1493512

- Office Hours Session 1 (Consulting) 9:30-10:40 am https://virginia.joinhandshake.com/edu/events/1493485

- Panel 2: Consulting, Research, Entrepreneurship 11 am-12:15 pm https://virginia.joinhandshake.com/edu/events/1493498

- Office Hours Session 2 (Finance) 11-12:10 pm https://virginia.joinhandshake.com/edu/events/1493507

- Networking Luncheon from 12:30-2:00 pm https://virginia.joinhandshake.com/edu/events/1493532


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/28/2019

How to Become a Consultant: 9 Steps to Doing it Right

By: Meg Prater
Source: HubSpot

What is a consultant?

A consultant is a person who's an expert in a particular field who gives professional advice to individuals and businesses in their area of expertise.

Here are some of the most common types of consultants:

  • Business consultant
  • Sales consultant
  • Marketing consultant
  • Accounting consultant
  • Technology consultant
  • Legal consultant
  • Public relations consultant

Do you have an area of expertise to advise on? Here are nine steps to become a consultant. Follow them closely and you'll build a strong foundation for future work, repeat clients, and expanding your reach and reputation.

How to Become a Consultant

  1. Identify your area of expertise.
  2. Set goals.
  3. Make a website.
  4. Get certified.
  5. Choose a target market.
  6. Decide where you'll work.
  7. Network with people.
  8. Set your rates
  9. Know when to say "no."

1. Identify your area of expertise.

Be honest about where your strengths and expertise lie -- and consider strengths outside your nine-to-five focus. Maybe you have a landscaping side hustle with enough client demand to take it full time. Or perhaps you're good at closing difficult deals in the medical sales industry -- so good that your colleagues are always asking for help.

Ask yourself three questions to identify your niche:

  1. "Do I have a unique point of view?"
  2. "Do I have the experience necessary to be authoritative in this field?"
  3. "Is there demand for this service?"

Being a consultant requires you to be organized, self-motivated, and good at boundary setting. Before launching your website and accepting your first client, consider your ability to meet these demands. You might identify the perfect niche, but if you can't meet independent deadlines or manage a billing cycle, you might not be ready to become a consultant.

To find your consulting specialty, consider areas you excel in at work, projects you've gotten high marks on in performance reviews, or hobbies you've mastered outside the office. You should also factor in what you enjoy -- if you're doing this full-time, it needs to be an activity you're passionate about.

2. Set goals.

Setting goals helps you know what you're working towards. Do you want this to stay a nights-and-weekends project? Do you hope to turn it into a full-time business? Do you want to hire employees someday? Answer these questions and plan accordingly.

Once you've identified broad goals for your business, narrow your focus to more immediate needs. To do this, make sure your goals are SMART:

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to accomplish
  • Measurable: Identify targets and milestones to track progress
  • Attainable: Keep goals realistic and manageable
  • Relevant: Set goals that fit with your business model
  • Time-Based: Identify deadlines for your goals

Here's an example of SMART goals for a consultant who coaches sales teams to be better at cold outreach:

  • Specific: I will coach SMB sales teams on how to make better calls, send higher quality emails, and follow up in an effective manner. The result will be more qualified opportunities for reps resulting in more closed business and higher revenue for the organization.
  • Measurable: Success will be measured by increased client pipeline and percentage of client deals closed as well as referrals for my business.
  • Attainable: I have three clients already and bring in an average of one new referral every month. I know there is demand for my service, and this cadence is manageable for my workload and operating budget right now.
  • Relevant: This business model fits my skill set and allows me to benefit from my success with sales outreach as identified by myself, my coworkers, and my supervisors.
  • Time-Based:
    • November 15: Website goes live
    • December 1: Review previous month's work and ask for at least one referral
    • December 5: Send client bills for the previous month's work
    • December 15: Have all coaching sessions scheduled before this date in anticipation for holiday schedules

As your consultancy grows, so will your plans. Revisit your SMART goals on a monthly or quarterly basis and adjust them as needed.

Maria Marshall, an associate professor at Purdue University, researches small and family-owned businesses. She recommends including visionary goals for your business as well. Marshall outlines four main areas of focus for visionary goals:

  • Service: How can you improve customer satisfaction and retention?
  • Social: How can you give back to the community through philanthropy or volunteering?
  • Profit: How can you increase profits by X percent?
  • Growth: How can you expand your company (i.e., new employees, more clients, office space)?

3. Make a website.

Think you can get by without a website? Think again. A recent Local Search Association report finds that 63% of consumers use websites to find or engage with businesses, and 30% of those consumers won't consider a business without a website.

Also, if you have a site, Google gives your business more authority in local rankings. Creating a Google My Business profile isn't enough. A website that's optimized with backlinks, domain authority, and views will encourage Google to display your website in relevant searches.

Don't think website creation is in your wheelhouse? Services like WordPressand Squarespace make it easy to build a website, and GoDaddy allows you to lock down a domain name.

And if you want a tool that'll help you do everything from tracking incoming leads to booking meetings and will grow with your business, try HubSpot. Your website is the first impression of your business. Invest time here and see the returns for years to come.

4. Get certified.

Are there certifications that will give you an edge? For example, if you're a consultant for medical sales professionals, consider pursuing accreditation in one of HIDA's Medical Sales programs. If your specialty is coaching teams to be better at outreach, consider getting an Inbound Sales Certification from HubSpot.

Whether software-, skills-, or subject matter-specific certifications, find out what's important in your industry and invest in expanding your knowledge base. As a consultant, it's crucial to remain cutting edge and competitive in your niche, and certifications are a concrete way to demonstrate your drive.

5. Choose a target market.

Once you've identified your niche, be clear about who your target audience is. For example, if you help startup sales teams navigate early-stage scaleup, hone in on your target market by answering these five questions:

  1. "Where is my target audience located?" (Will you serve local clients only? Will you accept national or regional clients? Will you exclude international clients?)
  2. "What are their biggest pain points?" (What has driven them to search for your help? What are their daily roadblocks to suggest? What are their scaling challenges?)
  3. "Who is competing for their business?" (Who are your biggest competitors and how do your services measure up? What sets you apart?)
  4. "Am I targeting startups themselves the individual sales managers?" (Will you reach out to businesses or network to individuals through local meetups or LinkedIn outreach?)
  5. "What motivates my target audience?" (What is your audience's end goal by choosing your services? What do they hope to achieve for their team and for themselves?)

Getting specific about who your customer is and what's important to them allows you to provide superior service and reach clients who are the perfect match.

6. Decide where you'll work.

You probably won't need a designated workplace while getting your consultancy off the ground. But if you're becoming a full-time consultant, it might be helpful to have an office. Before you start booking office tours, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. "Can I afford office space, and if so, how much can I afford?"
  2. "Will a workplace enhance my business or help it grow?"
  3. "Why do I need this space?" (i.e., do I meet with clients? Am I hiring some part-time help?)

Once you've decided that office space will truly benefit your business, consider what kind of space is right for your needs. Coworking spaces like We Work andGalvanize are staples of many urban environments.

They give you access to shared or small workspaces, as well as meeting rooms and amenities, at a lower monthly rate than traditional office spaces. They also give you another way to network and benefit from those around you.

7. Network with people.

Speaking of networking … Referrals are a crucial way to grow your business, but they aren't the only way. Unlike at a large company, you probably don't have a marketing team whose whole job it is to promote your business. Instead, selling the value of your consultancy often falls to you and you alone.

Join LinkedIn and Facebook groups your audience frequents, write and share blog posts highlighting your expertise, and attend meetups or conferences in your area. Be everywhere and talk to everyone who's a good fit for your offering. No one's going to sell you as well as you, so brush off that elevator pitch and get ready to sell yourself anything but short.

8. Set your rates.

Deciding how much you'll charge clients can be the hardest part of starting a consultancy. It's tempting to charge less than you're worth because you haven't proven your results yet.

Research what comparative consultants are charging in your area (sites likeGlassdoor.com are great for this). And decide which of these common types of consultant pricing would most fairly compensate you for the work you're doing.

How much should you charge as a consultant?

  1. Double/triple your current hourly wage
  2. Set a daily rate
  3. Set fees by project
  4. Set fees by performance
  5. Set fees using data from previous client work
  6. Set solution-based fees

Once you've decided what to charge, consider how you'll bill clients and accept payment. There are many free and fee-based platforms -- like Invoicely,Freshbooks, and Due -- that allow you to automate billing cycles, track and manage invoices and payments, and run reports on weekly, quarterly, or yearly earnings.

And don't forget to consult with an accountant during tax season. If you're not having taxes taken out of your payments, you'll need to budget for those when taxes are due. An accountant can offer guidance on how to make this less of a headache.

9. Know when to say "no."

In the beginning, it's easy to say "yes" to every client and every request. Now more than ever, you want your work to be high quality, organized, and manageable. coming in at a manageable rate.

If saying yes to a new client means your current client work will suffer, say, "I'd love to serve your needs, but with my current workload, I don't think I can give you the attention you deserve. I should have more availability next quarter. Can I reach out to you then to see if this is still a need?"

Prospective customers will appreciate your honesty, and you'll be able to maintain high-quality work at a cadence that doesn't threaten your sanity or existing client satisfaction.

It's also difficult to turn down clients that aren't a good fit. Be honest when you can't meet a prospective client's needs, and be proactive about introducing them to someone who can. They'll benefit from a better match, and your business won't lose sight of what it does best.

How to Find Consulting Clients

  1. Identify your ideal customer.
  2. Find out where they hang out online.
  3. Learn what motivates them.
  4. Develop an outreach strategy.
  5. Size up the competition.
  6. Decide what sets you apart.
  7. Be clear in communicating your unique value proposition.

So, how do you find clients that are a good fit? Follow these guidelines.

  1. Identify your ideal customer: What industry are they in? What type of services are they looking for?
  2. Find out where they hang out online: Which websites and social media sites are they active on?
  3. Learn what motivates them: What are the major pain points your potential customers face?
  4. Develop an outreach strategy: What are your primary tools for communicating (e.g., email, phone calls, social media)?
  5. Size up the competition: What are competitors offering and what are the price points?
  6. Decide what sets you apart: What additional value does your work add that other consultancies don't?
  7. Be clear in communicating your unique value proposition: How will you share this value proposition to potential clients?

Becoming a consultant is an exciting way to grow your career. Be honest about your readiness and niche, organized in your approach, and clear in defining, meeting, and addressing your goals. These nine steps are the perfect place to start. Good luck!

Feature | 11/21/2022

Top 6 Skills Employers Are Looking for in Recent Grads in 2022

Article from The Muse

Recent college graduates, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that fewer employers than ever care about entry-level candidates’ GPAs—so all those exam and assignment grades that had you camping out in the library are worth less than you may have thought. 

The good news is that fewer employers than ever care about entry-level candidates’ GPAs—so the actual knowledge and skills you gained from your education and other experiences matter way more than the numbers on your transcript.

According to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 37% of employers intend on screening recent grad applicants by GPA—down from a recent high of 73.3% just a few years ago.

As a recent grad, you’re probably more aware than anybody that grades aren’t necessarily a reflection of how much you learned in school or what you’re capable of in a work environment. This shift “signals a recognition that screening by GPA may weaken efforts to build an inclusive workforce as it can put students who are balancing school with work and other responsibilities at a disadvantage in the job market,” NACE executive director Shawn VanDerziel said in a press release.

So what are employers looking for in recent grads? The skills and abilities that you’ll actually use in the workplace. Here are the attributes that the most employers ranked as very/extremely important for the 2022-2023 recruiting year:

  1. Problem-solving skills (61.4% of employers said this was very or extremely important): Employers want workers who can identify issues and come up with solutions. Regardless of what your major was, you likely had to evaluate different aspects of an issue or question, decide on possible methods for finding an answer or drawing a conclusion, execute on one of these methods, and back up your decisions—all vital components of problem-solving.
  2. Ability to work in a team (61%): Those group projects were good for something. You can also use team sports and other group extracurriculars to demonstrate your ability to work well with others.
  3. Strong work ethic (52.4%): You just finished college, and you may have managed part-time jobs and/or extracurriculars on top of that. So you know how to work hard and get things done. (Read more about how to demonstrate soft skills—like work ethic—in your job search.)
  4. Analytical/quantitative skills (50.4%): These are the skills that help you find, evaluate, and synthesize information to make decisions and/or solve problems. For example, in college you may have had to analyze data for science or business courses, or you may have had to choose the right sources and incorporate them into a research project or paper.
  5. Communication skills (50%): Communication skills encapsulates any way you might share or receive information from others. In college you participated in class discussions, put together presentations, sent emails, and submitted written assignments like papers and lab reports.
  6. Technical skills (50%): Technical skills are the ability to use certain pieces of technology or specific methods or techniques, such as creating formulas in Excel, coding in Javascript, or optimizing conversion rates for a marketing campaign. As a recent college grad you definitely have some already and and can likely pick up more of them quickly.

Bonus tips for showing off your skills as a recent grad

So how do you show companies that you have these skills and qualities? Here are a few pointers for your resumecover letter, interview, and overall job hunt:

  1. Figure out what a specific company wants by closely reading the job description they’ve posted. Then, tailor your resume and other application materials to emphasize the skills you have that matter most for this job.
  2. Leverage internships and part-time jobsThese experiences show that you have the professional skills necessary to thrive in a full-time role. In fact, the NACE report found that relevant internship experience is the top deciding factor when there are two equally qualified recent grads competing for a position.
  3. Don’t restrict experience to paid work. Volunteer experienceextracurricular activitiesprojects, and coursework are all ways you could have acquired and used the skills employers are looking for. So mention that fundraising event you organized for a local hospital or the project that sent you out into the field to observe wildlife behavior.
  4. Don’t skip the cover letterCover letters can be hard to write, but even when they’re optional, they’re almost always worth it. You can use your cover letter to give specific examples of when you’ve used the skills an employer is looking for and connect your education and past experience to the entry-level role you want.
  5. Prepare for your interview. Be ready to answer common interview questions and prep a few stories that show how you’ve used skills and demonstrated qualities employers are looking for.
Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/01/2016


Opportunities off the Beaten Path

Recruiting Timeline

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/20/2017


"My bet is anyone born during the 1970s likely does it at least 10 times a day. Anyone born during the 1980s likely does it at least 20 times a day. And anyone born after 1990 probably has no clue that they do it close to 100 times a day. What I'm referring to is using the word "like," and using it incorrectly at that. And, like, it is not such a good thing. In fact, it is likely, like, hurting you in, like, interviews, meetings, and, like, pretty much any other work-related setting where you have to speak. Here's why: When you use the word "like" as a filler word or improperly, you typically come across as unengaged in what you're speaking about, unintelligent, nervous, indecisive, and as someone who's lacking a mastery of the English language."-Derek Loosvelt

Click here to read the rest of the article

Feature | 11/27/2023

Argentina Is a Textbook Case of ‘Fiscal Dominance’

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 | 11/13/2023

Nobel Winner Claudia Goldin Predicted Flexible Work Could Ease The Pay Gap. New Data Supports Her Theory

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 | 09/23/2021

12 Questions You Should Be Ready to Answer in a Financial Analyst Interview (Plus Examples!)

by Kate Ashford at The Muse

Are you applying for a position as a financial analyst? Interviewing for a job can be stressful, but being prepared for the experience can go a long way toward making you feel confident and on top of your game. That means being ready to answer common interview questions and those that are likely to come up specifically for a financial analyst role.

Financial analysts evaluate their company’s and other organizations’ past and present financial data and might give guidance to people and companies as they make decisions about stocks, bonds, and other kinds of investments. Typical job responsibilities might include assessing financial data, preparing written reports and giving presentations, studying business trends, appraising a business’s financial statements, and potentially meeting with company management to determine how the firm is doing and to evaluate their leadership team. A financial analyst might work at a bank, an insurance company, a pension fund, or another type of business in any industry.

What Are Recruiters Looking for in Financial Analysts?

Recruiters are typically looking for candidates with business acumen, planning skills, and the ability to deal with financial models and handle the complex numbers involved. Here are some of the qualities interviewers will be searching for:

  • Analytical skills: A candidate must be able to think logically and critically about a variety of financial information, from a company’s financial statements to industry news.
  • Communication skills: It will be essential that you’re able to communicate effectively with top brass at the company and with your coworkers, both to collaborate on projects and to explain your analyses upon request.
  • Problem-solving skills: In this role, you may have to help close a gap, solve a debt issue, or make a part of the company more profitable. So you need to be able to approach your analysis with a larger goal in mind. Plus, interviewers will want to see that you can be resourceful and try to solve problems on your own before turning to your boss every time you get stuck (but also that you know when to ask for help or escalate a problem).
  • Attention to detail: Financial analysis is extremely precise, so attention to detail is a crucial attribute for any financial analyst candidate. In fact, some job descriptions for this role describe it as “microscopic attention to detail.”
  • Technical skills: There are a variety of tools—from software to programming languages—you may need to use to accomplish day-to-day tasks, such as Microsoft Excel, SQL, QuickBooks, and SAP. You may also have to learn new software in the course of your job—so interviewers aren’t just looking to hear about what you already know, they want to see that you can pick up new tools if needed.

Beyond the skills necessary for the position, firms will also be looking for a candidate who’ll be a good addition to their organization and culture. “There’s a person/job fit and a person/organization fit, some of which has nothing to do with the skills and abilities of the person,” says Cabot Jaffee, president and CEO of hiring and recruiting systems firm AlignMark, who’s helped many companies hire for financial analyst roles. “Do their work history and work ethic match up with what we expect as a company? There are different interview questions that would get at that.”

Although the questions in finance analyst interviews may vary, these 11 questions are a representative sample of the kinds of questions you might get:

  1. Why Do You Want to Be a Financial Analyst?
  2. Why Do You Want to Work for Our Company?
  3. Have You Considered or Are You Already Pursuing Licenses, Credentials, and Certifications? How Do They Help You in a Professional Context?
  4. Do You Prefer to Work Alone or in a Team Environment?
  5. Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Present Financial Data.
  6. Give Me an Example of an Analysis Gone Wrong. What Could You Have Done Differently to Avoid the Problem, and What Did You Learn?
  7. What Processes Do You Use to Create Financial Analysis Reports?
  8. If You Could Only Pick One Financial Statement to Make a Decision on a Company, What Would You Pick?
  9. What Do You Think Is the Single Best Evaluation Metric for Analyzing a Company's Stock?
  10. Which Profitability Model Would You Use to Determine if a Project Will Be Profitable?
  11. What is EBITDA?
  12. How Are the Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement Related?

1. Why Do You Want to Be a Financial Analyst?

Expect to get this question for any entry-level financial analyst role. The interviewer wants to know what your passions are from a professional standpoint, why you’re interested in the role, what led you to finance, what you’re hoping to gain from the experience, and where you see your financial career going.

How to Answer

Talk about what led you to finance as a major, minor, or interest as well as what you’re interested in doing in your first job and what career path you’re hoping to follow in the long term. “I’d encourage anyone at any level to talk about how their background and experience and strengths align with the requirements of the role,” says Steve Saah, executive director for Robert Half Finance & Accounting. What about your background and experience led you to consider a financial path? What things have you done and what skills do you have that lead you to believe that financial analysis will be a good place for you—and that you will be a good analyst?

One answer to this question might be:

“I decided to major in finance because I have long had an interest in understanding how businesses are structured—how they make money and how they’re profitable. Even in high school, I was always reading biographies and memoirs of entrepreneurs and business leaders to glean how their businesses started and continued making money and how they navigated moments of crisis or transformation. I’ve enjoyed the analysis I’ve been able to do in my classes and internships—I love digging into the numbers and details—and I’d like to continue that work and further my experience with this position.”

2. Why Do You Want to Work for Our Company?

The company wants to know why you want to work for them specifically—in this industry, for this type of organization, and at this particular company. There’s a broad range of roles for financial analysts, who hold positions at banks, pension funds, mutual funds, security firms, insurance companies, nonprofits with large endowments, and corporations, and your interviewer wants to know why you’re excited about this opportunity over all the other options.

How to Answer

You should be able to make the case for why you want to be a financial analyst in the industry and type of company you’re pursuing as well as why you’re excited about this particular organization. Why do you want to work for a nonprofit versus a bank? What drew you to a tech startup versus working within the financial industry? And why this particular nonprofit or tech startup? Research the organization and make sure you can talk about what makes it unique and why those qualities appeal to you. That said, don’t be tempted to criticize other companies or your current employer—it’s not a good look.

One answer to this question might be:

“When I think of a bank, I think of an institution that provides capital to entrepreneurs or large institutions, which basically fuels economic growth. I like the idea of being a part of the national and global economy and being able to contribute in that kind of way. I’m also very interested in working with entertainment and media companies, and I know this firm has a strong practice in media and telecom.”

3. Have You Considered or Are You Already Pursuing Licenses, Credentials, and Certifications? How Do They Help You in a Professional Context?

As a financial analyst, there are a variety of certifications and designations you can earn, including Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Fund Specialist (CFS), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC).

While a recruiter can look at your resume or LinkedIn profile to see what certifications you have, this kind of question is meant to help them understand what compelled you to get additional training and how you’re utilizing it on a day-to-day basis. Organizations are trying to see how dedicated you are to furthering your education and skills, what you’ve gotten from your education, and how you apply it. Getting your CFA, for instance, shows a company that you have the discipline to go through the rigorous work required to understand the business, says Charles Sachs, a CFA and Certified Financial Planner with Kaufman Rossman Wealth in Miami.

If you’re an entry-level candidate, don’t panic if you don’t already have these. In this case, the interviewer probably wants to hear that you’ve given this career path long-term consideration. So if you’re planning to pursue a certification or have already begun to take steps toward one, talk about why you decided to do so and how you plan to achieve this goal 

How to Answer

Don’t just list your certifications. Give context around your thought process in getting each certification, how much time and effort you’ve put into studying for your exams (if you’re still in progress), how you’ve utilized the credential, and how it’s made you a better analyst.

An answer to this question might look like this:

“I’m currently pursuing my Chartered Financial Analyst certification from the CFA Institute in order to further my knowledge of financial analysis beyond what I learned in school. It’s a deep dive into financial instruments, valuations, regulatory concepts and accounting, which I think will be valuable to me in my next position.”

4. Do You Prefer to Work Alone or in a Team Environment?

There are many financial analyst positions in which collaboration is integral to the job. For instance, you might be building sales models for a company, while another employee builds vendor models, and the two of you regularly must combine data to create an overall business model for the chief financial officer of the company.

So this is a question that speaks to fit, both with the company and with the position. If the company is super collaborative and you prefer to be a lone wolf, you may not be the best candidate for the position—and vice versa. “They could be the best financial analyst in the world, and it’ll still be a bad hire,” Jaffee says.

How to Answer

Answer the initial question and give some examples of times in which you’ve worked alone or with a partner or team. But don’t try to second guess what the interviewer is looking for to get a job. “There are no right or wrong answers—some companies value independence and some value working in teams,” Jaffee says. The key is to find the one that matches with your own preferences.

An answer to this question might look like this:

“I prefer working in teams. In my previous job, I worked closely with a colleague to put together a business model for a client. They asked us to build a predictive financial model to outline where their business could be three years down the road. I got to do half of it, and my partner got to do half of it based on our expertise, and we were able to put it together and make a presentation to the client. I really enjoyed working with someone else to create the financial model and present it as a team and also learned so much from my partner that I was able to take with me to other analyses I did independently and with other colleagues down the line.”

5. Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Present Financial Data.

This question helps an interviewer assess whether you have experience and skills making presentations. Some financial analysts are regularly tasked with presenting data to company leadership or other parties, so hearing how you’ve done in the past will help them predict how you’d do in the role you’re applying for. Your answer will offer a glimpse into how you prepare for a presentation, the kind of data you’ve presented (including whether you were presenting your own data or someone else’s), and how comfortable you are speaking in front of people at different seniority levels.

They might also want to know whether you considered the presentation to be successful, what you learned from it, and what you would have done differently if you had a chance to do it over again.

How to Answer

This is a great opportunity to use the STAR method to tackle your answer: Situation, Task, Action, Result. This involves setting the scene, describing what your responsibility was in that specific situation, explaining what steps you took, and talking about the outcome or results of those steps.

Think about your answer before launching into it, and tell as detailed a story of your past experience as possible. “Don’t leave out any facts,” Jaffee says. “Include enough information that will allow the interviewer to get a good understanding of everything that was involved.” And be prepared to answer follow-up questions about the story you’ve told.

An answer to this question might look like this:

“As a company, we were considering acquiring another competitor and needed to identify what the combined financials of the companies would look like. I had to identify synergies related to head count, technology, payroll, redundant internal services, and ultimately forecast the financials to show the combined companies. I started by making sure I knew exactly what numbers the decision-makers in my company were focused on and why and then dived into the modeling component, sharing with colleagues for verification and input along the way. Once the bulk of that work was done I put together a slide deck that included a model output and highlighted the most important conclusions I’d come to. I presented my findings with specific recommendations to my team as well as a group of executives. They had several follow-up questions, as was expected, many of which I was able to answer on the spot but a few required me to go back to the model and incorporate some of their feedback. In the end, the majority of my recommendations were adopted but I learned the most from the few that had to be altered. The next time I had to put together a similar presentation, I tried to anticipate these kinds of questions and my recommendations were sharper for it (and got adopted with barely a tweak).”

6. Give Me an Example of an Analysis Gone Wrong. What Could You Have Done Differently to Avoid the Problem, and What Did You Learn?

Did you build a model that initially missed three assumptions and this wasn’t discovered until you presented it to someone? Or did you create a model that simply didn’t work the way it was meant to and six months down the road it didn’t produce the expected results?

Everyone gets things wrong sometimes and companies like to hear that you’re able to learn from your mistakes. Your time on the job isn’t as valuable if you haven’t learned and grown from your experiences. “Development is not just a function of time,” Jaffee says. “Development is a function of self-awareness.” (This is also why companies might ask about your greatest weakness.)

How to Answer

There are a few types of stories you should always have on hand in an interview, and one of them should be about a time you made a mistake or something didn’t go as you expected it to. Describe the mistake as directly and openly as you can—that’s part of what the interviewer will be looking for—and then move on and talk about how you’ve learned from it and what you’ve done since to ensure you don’t repeat the same mistake.

An example of an answer to this question might look like this:

“My team was tasked with building a model for how many salespeople we should hire, looking at the cost of hiring and training versus potential revenue. Six months later, we realized the model didn’t work as planned—we predicted three new salespeople would translate to new revenues of $1 million, but we only had revenues of $500,000. In order to understand what went wrong, I reviewed every step of the analysis and spoke to all the stakeholders individually about what, from their perspective, had caused the mismatch between our projection and reality. I learned in that process that we had made some flawed assumptions about ramp-up time and how many customers freshly onboarded salespeople could close per sales cycle. In future models, we made sure to loop in those stakeholders earlier and to dig into even more granular detail to test our assumptions from every direction and make sure we weren’t missing anything.”

7. What Processes Do You Use to Create Financial Analysis Reports?

Reporting is generally a big part of a financial analyst’s job, and the reporting required will depend on the role. If you’re interviewing for a sales organization, for instance, you might be creating monthly, quarterly, or annual sales reports. In your answer, they’ll be looking for technical skills as well as collaboration skills, communication, organization, follow-through, and time management.

How to Answer

Answering this question is about giving examples of what you’ve done in your current or former positions, including not only the specific software and methodologies you use, but how you engage with people at the organization to really understand the requirements they’re seeking. Articulate the thought process you would go through to understand those requirements and then explain how you would execute the task and follow through on your responsibilities. For best results, take a deep dive on one example and go into as much detail as possible—interviewers might follow up for more examples, but your first example should take them through the entire process.

8. If You Could Only Pick One Financial Statement to Make a Decision on a Company, What Would You Pick?

A recruiter might want to see that you have an understanding of the major financial statements a company has. They might ask you to walk them through an income statement, a balance sheet, a statement of shareholders’ equity, and/or a cash flow statement. Or they may ask you a question like this so you can show that you not only know the statements but understand when and how to use them.

How to Answer

The best response here is not just to choose the financial statement you prefer, but also to discuss why you think it’s the most useful source of information for a certain kind of situation and address why the other financial statements might not be appropriate choices.

An answer to this question might look like this:

“I prefer to use the cash flow statement to make a decision on a company, especially if I’m trying to glean how a company is doing in a moment of trouble or crisis. It’s going to show you actual liquidity, how the company is using cash, and how it’s generating cash. A balance sheet will only show you the assets and debt of the company at a point in time, and shareholder’s equity just shows you what’s been paid into the company and what exists net of assets and liabilities. The income statement has a lot of information—revenue, cost of goods and services, and other expenses—but I find the cash flow statement most useful for evaluating a company’s overall health in the short term.”

9. What Do You Think Is the Single Best Evaluation Metric for Analyzing a Company's Stock?

The recruiter is looking for your thought process as you compare and contrast different valuation methods. This helps an interviewer see that you’re familiar with multiple financial concepts when it comes to stock valuation and that you understand the pros and cons of different types of methodologies.

This question is more likely to come up if you’re interviewing to work for an investment bank or research firm. But you should be prepared to walk interviewers through how you come to an answer on any type of process question you receive.

How to Answer

Walk the recruiter through your thought process in choosing the metric you prefer and talk about what it can tell you about the stock and how that would help you evaluate a company. You can also mention other metrics in your answer to help you explain why the one you chose is better or what secondary metrics you’d pick if you could add others to support your primary choice.

An answer to this question might look like this:

“Of the three most commonly used valuation methodologies, discounted cash flow, comparable company analysis, and precedent transactions, I think that comparable company analysis is the most beneficial across all different types of companies and industries. Specifically, I like to look at the P/E ratio [price-earnings ratio] since it provides a yardstick for determining whether a stock is undervalued or overvalued as compared to its comp set. A low P/E ratio—when compared to similar companies and stocks—might be a sign that the price of that current stock is inexpensive relative to the company’s earnings, while a high P/E ratio might indicate that the stock’s valuation has become too high especially if it’s higher than others in its comp set. It’s important to note that one methodology or ratio generally does not tell a complete story by itself and others should be utilized for a more holistic approach, but I think P/E ratio comp analysis provides the least room for variability.

10. Which Profitability Model Would You Use to Determine if a Project Will Be Profitable?

This is another question in which a recruiter wants to understand how you do things. They’ll be looking for the steps you take to get from point A to point B, such as looking at revenue streams and looking at the costs associated to come up with that profitability model. They want to see if you understand how to calculate a net present value and discount cash flows.

How to Answer

You may have to do some math, particularly if a company gives you a specific problem to solve. Be prepared to walk the interviewer through your thought process. “I had a question like this when I was interviewing,” says Nathan Atkins, an investment banking analyst at M&T Bank. “They asked, ‘We want to invest in a higher quality leather for our seats in a car; it’s going to cost X amount of dollars to do it, and we need it to return Y, so is this a good investment?’”

For instance, an answer might look like this:

“Net present value is a good model for forecasting, since it finds the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows over a period of time. If a company was investing in a project, you’d want the required return, the number of periods, and the cash flow coming in over that time. You’d take cash flow, divide it by one plus your hurdle rate to the power of the time period, subtract your initial investment and that would give you your net present value. What this should tell you is the value today of this future stream of payments. As long as it’s positive, that means the project is worth doing.”

11. What is EBITDA?

There’s technical knowledge associated with a job as a financial analyst, and you’ll be expected to know and understand it. Luckily, this isn’t the part of the interview that most financial analyst candidates find stressful. “The assumption is that most people applying for a financial analyst job would understand the basics of finances, so those are questions that most candidates are going to get right,” Jaffee says.

In short, be prepared to prove that you understand the financial concepts that make up your job. You might be asked to analyze a spreadsheet, read a financial statement, discuss how you’d solve a problem in Microsoft Excel, or explain a financial term (like positive cash flow), among other things.

How to Answer

In this case, you should explain the concept of EBITDA—starting by spelling out what the acronym refers to—and make sure you also say why it’s an important metric in evaluating a company’s financial health.

For instance, your answer might be:

“EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization, and fundamentally, it’s a measure of net income with interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization added back to the total. It’s a useful metric for analyzing and comparing financial health across firms since it removes financing and accounting decisions from the equation. But I’d also add that there are drawbacks and EBITDA can be misleading on its own, as it doesn’t take factors such as capital investments into account.”

12. How Are the Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement Related?

This is another question that gets at technical knowledge that interviewers assume you have walking into an interview for a financial analyst position. They ask it to make sure that you have a baseline financial knowledge, but it’s also a good barometer for how seriously you’re taking the interview process and how prepared you are by how easily, accurately, and clearly you respond.

How to Answer

Make sure you practice your responses to this and other technical knowledge questions out loud and in front of the mirror prior to your interview so that you have a fairly concise and accurate answer at your fingertips (without sounding too rehearsed!).

For instance, your answer might be:

"The first line of the income statement is the revenue line or “top line,” and after subtracting various expenses you arrive at net income or “bottom line” for the company. Net income comes into the cash flow statement as the first line, which is then adjusted for all non-cash expenses to get to a change in cash over a specific period. This change in cash will correspond directly to the cash line item in the balance sheet, providing a more detailed look at why that specific balance changes. The balance sheet is unique in that it is a snapshot of the balances of accounts at a specific time vs. a period of time (i.e. the previous quarter). Net income also connects to the balance sheet as a change in retained earnings."


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

The Reality of Student Debt is Different from the Cliches

Matt Chingos and Beth Akers from The Brookings Institution, who participated in an Econmics Career Office panel in 2013, have published their piece about student debt.  You may find the piece in its entirety here.

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 | 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

Feature | 11/27/2023

Argentina Is a Textbook Case of ‘Fiscal Dominance’

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.

Hamilton Angevine

Feature | 12/11/2018

Ben Hamilton Finds Conference Presentations Excellent Preparation for the Job Market

On October 6, at the 74th Midwest International Trade Conference at Vanderbilt University,  I presented my job market paper, “Learning, Externalities, and Export Dynamics,” in a 25-minute talk to an audience of economists studying international trade. In November, I presented my job market paper twice at different venues in Washington D.C.  First, at the 88th Southern Economic Association annual meeting, where I received constructive feedback on a condensed 15-minute version of my talk from students and professors of varied concentrations. Next, at the second Mid-Atlantic International Trade Workshop, hosted by the Federal Reserve Board, I presented a longer, 40-minute version of my talk and benefited from helpful comments and discussion with other trade economists.  Having the opportunity to present my talk in a variety of formats, receive questions from audiences unfamiliar with me and my work, and network with many people in my field was a valuable experience, particularly as I prepare to go on the job market during the next few months.  

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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?

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Feature | 08/12/2016

What Percent of Interns Receive Full-Time Offers?

Vault recently released its Top Internship Rankings for 2016. These included a prestige ranking, an overall best internship ranking, a best internship for quality of life ranking, and several rankings by industy. The rankings were created from the results from our annual internship survey, which asked nearly 6,000 current and former interns to rate their internships, as well as their dream internship employers, in various categories.

In addition, the survey asked interns to tell us if they received or expected to receive a full-time offer at the end of their internship from their internship employer and, if so, if they were going to accept that offer (note: the survey was administered at the end of this past summer, when some interns were still interning).

(You may need to login into HandShake to access this article).

Feature | 05/16/2024

She Was Going To Be a Lawyer. Then Ken Elzinga Intervened

Feature | 09/04/2020

Hoo-Rizons: Former Cavalier Baseball Star Crushes Yankees, Then His Final Exams

Feature | 11/05/2023

Investment Banking - How to Win Deals

Investment Banking - How to Win Deals 

Event: Investment Banking - How to Win Deals

Date: Thursday, November 9th

Time: 12:00pm-1:30pm

Location: Commonwealth Room at Newcomb Hall

Register for the event using this link.

“Since 2022 was one of the most dynamic and volatile years in the history of M&A globally, Deloitte is extremely proud to have closed more deals than any other M&A advisor in the world,” says Phil Colaco, Deloitte Global Corporate Finance leader and CEO of Deloitte Corporate Finance LLC. “Our results are a testament to the perseverance, resilience and quality of Deloitte’s clients, professionals and industry ecosystem members.”

Phil recently retired from the role of CEO of Deloitte Corporate Finance LLC (DCF) in the U.S and served as the Global Leader of Deloitte Corporate Finance. Here he managed the IB business, which in 2022 completed more transactions than any other firm in this space. Prior to joining DCF, he served as a Managing Director and co-founding Partner at McColl Partners, a middle market IB fIrm. Phil is a proud Wahoo and serves on a Regional Board of Trustees for the College of Arts and Sciences and has held leadership positions on the board of Make-a-Wish foundation. Phil holds a BA in Economics from UVA and an MBA focused on Finance and Accounting from University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.

Meet Phil; learn about his career in finance; and receive tips about building your career!



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Feature | 09/20/2016


"University of Virginia graduate Dato' Chevy Beh envisions his startup, BookDoc, transforming health care in Asia just as tech behemoth Amazon has transformed retail around the world.

BookDoc, which Beh founded in Malaysia in 2015, offers a free mobile app and online platform to help patients quickly identify, and get an appointment with, nearby health care providers. The concept was inspired by a good friend who called Beh for help after contracting dengue fever in Malaysia and struggling to find a doctor who could treat him quickly" -Caroline Newman


Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Feature | 02/16/2017


Meet Alumni Next Week!

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Feature | 09/19/2016


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

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Feature | 08/28/2019

How to Solve Business Problems Using Creativity

By: Lynda Shaw
Source: Forbes



What comes into your mind when you think of creativity? An artist painting beautiful works of art? A designer with imagination and skills for contemporary architecture? An original thinker of the type lauded as a genius? Of course, creativity is all of these, but creative people also think of valuable and practical ways of doing things. They solve problems on a regular basis by employing creative thought.  That is the kind of creativity that is exceedingly helpful in business and an incredible transferable skill for anyone who can master it.

Social psychologist and cofounder of the London School of Economics, Graham Wallas developed a theory of a creative process that I think you may find useful. With observations some years earlier from Poincaré, a French mathematician, Wallas came up with a logical and practical template to harness the seemingly illogical unconscious thinking that can nevertheless be so illuminating and turn into the perfect solution to problems.

There are four steps to this model:

Step 1 – Preparation: Recognize the problem and find out as much about it as you can.  Consciously try to come up with an answer.

Step 2 – Incubation: Do something unrelated to the problem, think of something else and allow your mind to unconsciously work on the problem.

Step 3 – Illumination: It is during the incubation period that an unrelated event could give an answer, a sort of realization, an illumination.

Step 4 – Verification: At this point you check the solution you have come up with to see if it will work.

The "incubation" period is the interesting part and this has stimulated much debate over the years. It could be that the information you consider in the preparation phase has itself already undergone some unconscious processing. Some believe that unconscious thinking is faster than conscious thought, so is therefore more efficient in the incubation phase. Psychologists more recently suggest that unconscious processing is more effective than conscious processing because it has no constraints associated with normal concepts, so frees the mind to come up with novel answers.

As is often the case in psychology, there are researchers (such as Weisberg) who disagree and the incubation period model is under contention. Many believe that problem solving isn’t in the least bit mysterious and is a combination of relevant knowledge, factual information and problem solving strategies. In this context, these strategies can include analogical problem solving whereby we use our experiences of similar situations and apply this previously acquired knowledge to find solutions. Be careful however, as there will be different variables to consider, so stay open minded.

But here’s a thought. A recent study by Saggar and colleagues found a link between creative problem solving and activity in the cerebellum part of the brain, which is normally associated with regulating motor movements such as balance, co-ordination and speech. They found that when people engaged the executive-control center, engaging higher order functions such as planning and organizing, it actually impaired creative problem solving. In this instance, thinking logically didn’t help with the task.

So what strategies for creative problem solving do you favor? Are you in the logical camp or do you prefer the four-step model? Perhaps you have other ways in which you work out those sticky challenges.  Whichever you prefer, perhaps it’s a good idea to shake up old ways of doing things and consciously try something different and measure its success or otherwise. At least that way you will know what best suits you.

Feature | 05/02/2024

Economics Grads students and Faculty

Faculty and graduate students from the Economics Department at the University of Virginia enjoying a lunch break in the courtyard during the 11th annual Economic Research Colloquium.

The colloquium, self-organized by the students, features presentations by graduate students and is attended by faculty members.

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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 | 05/23/2022

Joaquin Saldain Presents at Midwest Macroeconomics Conference

In May 2022, 6th-year student Joaquin Saldain presented his paper, "A Quantitative Model of High-Cost Consumer Credit,"  at the Midwest Macroeconomics Conference in Logan, Utah. Joaquin summarizes the paper this way: "I study the welfare consequences of regulations on high-cost consumer credit in the US, such as borrowing limits and interest rate caps. I estimate a heterogeneous-agents model with risk-based pricing of loans that features standard exponential discounters and households with self-control and temptation. I use transaction-level payday lending data and the literature's valuations of a no-borrowing incentive to identify different household types. I find that one-third of high-cost borrowers suffer from temptation. Although individually targeted regulation could improve the welfare of these households, I find that noncontingent regulatory borrowing limits and interest-rate caps—like those contained in typical regulations of payday loans—reduce the welfare of all types of households. The reason is that lenders offer borrowers tight individually-targeted loan price schedules that limit households' borrowing capacity so that noncontingent regulatory limits cannot improve welfare over them."

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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

Feature | 04/22/2020

Haruka Takayama Hasegawa Wins an All-University Graduate Teaching Award

Haruka Takayama Hasegawa, winner of an All-University Graduate Teaching Award for her dedication to undergraduate teaching and outstanding achievement in that area, is recognized in UVA Today's article, "There's Something That Makes These Graduate Instructor's Special."

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Feature | 07/31/2021

Blog: Consulting Blog #1

This message was shared with the ECO from the UVA Career Center for students interested in management consulting careers. This is message 1 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.

Step 1: Define Consulting 

We strongly suggest learning more about the role of a consultant before deciding to pursue internships and full-time positions. Here are a few resources to help get started with learning more: 

In addition to traditional management consulting, there are several areas of specialized consulting that may be of interest depending on your background. Look at the links below to see where your background may be best served or what is of most interest to you to work towards. 

If you are curious to learn more about which firms sit within each practice area, the Career Insider by Vault has a breakdown chart. From the top Data Analytics Consulting practices to Healthcare Consulting, this list serves as a valuable tool.

Last summer, we had the opportunity to hear from alumni from a variety of backgrounds talk about their path in consulting. Hear more about their story and advice in the videos and blog posts listed below:

Making the decision to pursue any career path is a big decision and it is important to make it an informed choice. In addition to the resources above, the Career Center offers an extensive library of resources are major and career exploration. 

  • PathwayU is a platform with assessments to help you identify education and career pathways that fit you and make the most sense for your unique interests and values.  

  • Candid Career is the premier provider of thousands of informational video interviews featuring industry professionals through an easy to use website. Their site provides the inside scoop on careers as well as advice that will give you an edge in your job search. Here are some links to videos with consultants to learn more about their day to day: 

  • Management Consultant, Boston Consulting Group 

  • Founder and Consultant, CompArchive LLC  

Step 2: Identify Target Firms 

Once you have decided consulting is an area you would like to explore further; we advise that you identify which firms you want to learn more about. Below are tips for accomplishing this: 

  • Regularly check the Events tab on Handshake to identify information sessions, coffee chats and networking events to attend. RSVP and add to your calendar! 

  • Visit each firm’s website, LinkedIn page, and social media accounts to learn more. You want to learn as much as you can about, the types of projects the firm typically works on and the overall environment to help assess fit.

For now, ask yourself some of these questions about the firm to assess fit:  

  • What does the organizational structure look like? 

  • What are the responsibilities of entry level consultants? 

  • What is the pattern for growth? Where do people go after their first role within the organization?

As you are identifying your firms to research, some will have specific portions of their websites dedicated to recruiting at UVA, check out these examples below: 

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Feature | 02/25/2024

Use Spring Break to Your Advantage by Networking and Traveling

Article written by Kara Thompson for Daily Emerald


Spring break is quickly approaching, and it can be an exciting time, hinting at the impending summer.  It’s easy to get caught in elaborate plans with friends and before you know it, your flight back to school is a day away and your week of freedom has come to an end.

For those of us on the search for a job, it might be beneficial to exchange music festivals for informational interviews this break. Networking is a crucial part of being a college student because it can present opportunities you may not have otherwise had. The much-needed week off is also the perfect time to consider where you might want to live post-graduation.

Networking has huge benefits and traveling for informational interviews is a perk. Get a sense of what your life would be like if you chose to live and work in a particular city. After all, the most important thing is your happiness and location can play a big role in it.

Here are some ways you can make your spring break productive while still having fun.

  1. Travel to your potential “home”

There are so many beautiful and exciting places where you might think you would want to live, there’s a lot more to consider than just aesthetics. Take climate, available transportation, expenses and distance from loved ones into account. It’s easy to feel like you know exactly what you’re doing when you’re 22 years old, but you want to be sure this destination will bring you happiness in the long run.

If you’re applying for jobs all around the U.S., pick one or two of these locations and spend some time exploring the area. Could you see yourself starting a family there? Is it affordable? What are the people like?

It’s good to branch out of your comfort zone and live somewhere new while you’re young, but make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

  1. Schedule informational interviews

If talking to professionals in your field of potential work doesn’t excite you, then you probably chose the wrong career path. Informational interviews give you the chance to learn more about the career you’re getting into while also allowing you to network with professionals in the industry. This can give you a good feel for what your life will look like.

Schedule as many interviews as you can and make sure you go prepared with plenty of questions. Research the people you are planning on meeting and cater your questions to them specifically. People love to talk about themselves, and they will be flattered if you show up knowledgeable of their work history.

  1. Apartment hunt

Touring apartments might be a productive way to spend some of your time. Many apartments that are listed online have photos that don’t accurately depict what the space looks like. For this reason, it’s a good idea to check out the property in person. The environment you live in is an important part of your decision making when it comes to looking for a job. In order to make sure this is the right place for you, it’s helpful to check out what type of housing you’ll have to choose from.

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Feature | 10/10/2016


Resources Galore! Upcoming Events!

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Feature | 11/21/2023

2023 ECO Highlights

As 2023 draws to a close we wish to share with you some highlights!

Women in Economics:

In March, we became founding members of Women in Economics across the Nation, a consortium of universities brought together by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’s 2023 February women’s symposium. As founding members, we are shaping programs both at UVA and in local communities to expose girls and women to career opportunities aligned with an economics degree and to demonstrate the flexibility of the degree in the labor market. Our next program was held in October when we co-hosted a virtual panel of 30 alumni from universities across the nation. In November we continued the conversation here on Grounds with six professionals who spoke on their career trajectories and challenges and opportunities for women in the labor market  While we received great feedback, one comment in particular stood out…

I really liked the luncheon opportunity to speak directly with the panelists. One unexpected aspect that I enjoyed was the presence of Econ grad student attendees and undergrads younger than me. My conversations ultimately felt more like intergenerational women in economics sharing as I gave a few second years advice on classes, the grad students counseled me on grad school, and the panelist spoke with the grad students about industry—all at the same table. This was a super cool experience...” 

Economics Undergraduate Economics Career Forum:

Our ECO Student Advisory Board planned and welcomed 8 UVA alumni back to Grounds for 36 hours of engaging and informative career programming reaching more than 100 student participants and 10 faculty partners. 


Economics Resume and Cover Letter Guide:

We completed the publication of this guide to assist students in conceiving of and designing their professional materials for fields and job functions our majors pursue, with real resumes and cover letters of students and alumni who landed jobs in these fields.

Major to Major Career Coaching Fair:

We paired up fourth-years returning from summer internships with lower-level students to share opportunities and take advantage of our students’ very recent internship experiences. Strategies and advice were shared among more than 300 participants!


We provided individual advising for more than 300 students and served 700 students through our workshops and other programs.

Outcomes Reports

We completed our analysis of the Class of 2022 and where they launched after graduation. We use this data in our advising, workshops, and to share with students as they consider declaring the major.


More than 50 alumni donated their time and expertise to our students through professional development programs, like conducting resume reviews, sitting on panels, and hosting information sessions representing their employers.

We listened to students in Econ 3010, who are on the way to declaring the major and established drop-in career advising opportunities for prospective majors.

Co-curricular Career Programming

The ECO continues our partnership with Econ 3010 whereby all students in Intermediate Micro economics, the gateway class to declare the major. participate in several professional development activities including writing and practicing their elevator pitch, building a LinkedIn profile, designing a personal strategic career plan, and attending career-related programming.


We sent 30 weekly newsletters and more than 50 job and event announcements to students reaching more than 75% of our students as demonstrated by click-through rates.

The ECO builds community, provides career education, and encourages new networks for our students, alumni, faculty, and friends.

Click here to make a gift to the ECO. Every gift of all sizes makes a difference in our work. Thank you for your support.



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).

Feature | 09/19/2022

Career Advice from Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling Can Make You Laugh, But She Also Has Career Advice for You

By: Stav Ziv article from The Muse

Never have I ever admitted, until now, how eager I am to binge the new season of a teen dramedy (I am…not a teen). But Never Have I Ever—brainchild of Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher—is too good and refreshingly weird not to be excited about, no matter how old you are. (Weird because, for example, notoriously confrontational tennis pro John McEnroe narrates the high school trials and tribulations of an Indian American teenager in California, what of it?) It’s one of the best teen shows I can remember watching—where most of the characters, minus Paxton, actually look like teens—and I’m not surprised Kaling had something to do with it.

An alum of Dartmouth who got her foot in the door on The Office, Kaling has spent her career painstakingly carving a path for herself in a very white, very male industry where she was, as she often talks about, a “diversity hire” who came up through NBC’s diversity program. “For a long time I was really embarrassed about that,” she told The Guardian. “It took me a while to realize that I was just getting the access other people had because of who they knew.”

She’s had to work just as hard to get onscreen as more than a forgettable sidekick as she has to get in the writers’ room. “My career has only become what it has out of sheer need, not because I wanted it that way. I knew if I wanted to perform I was going to have to write it myself,” she told Entertainment Weekly for a 2013 cover story. In a 2017 cover story of her own, Reese Witherspoon recounted a conversation she’d had with Kaling. “Don’t you ever get exhausted by always having to create your own roles?” Witherspoon had asked. Kaling replied: “Reese, I’ve never had anything that I didn’t create for myself.”

Well, create she did. After The Office—where she played Kelly Kapoor and wrote more episodes than anyone else—Kaling created and starred in six seasons of The Mindy Project. More recently, she wrote, produced, and played a leading role in the 2019 movie Late Night, loosely based on her own story as the lone woman and sole person of color in a writers’ room.

Never Have I Ever, which draws on Kaling’s formative experiences as the daughter of immigrants, takes representation to the next level. Not only did Kaling create roles for a diverse cast—and hire a previously unknown Tamil Canadian actress, the excellent Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, to take the helm as Devi through an open call—but she also filled the writers’ room with young Indian women. Together they shaped characters and storylines for a show that’s have inspired some mixed feelings, but also been hailed as a “win” and a “watershed moment.”

If you, too, want to know more about Kaling as you watch this new season, here’s a collection of inspiring quotes and real talk on diversity, hard work, success, mentorship, motherhood, and more—all in one place.

  • On the “right” order: “Don’t be scared if you don’t do things in the right order, or if you don’t do some things at all… If you have a checklist, good for you. Structured ambition can sometimes be motivating. But also, feel free to let it go. Yes, my culminating advice from my speech is a song from the Disney animated movie, Frozen.” —Dartmouth University commencement speech 2018
  • On dreaming of success: “I don’t remember lying up at night thinking, the dream I have is something where no one who looks like me has ever succeeded. I just thought that I would somehow find a way to succeed.” —The New York Times Magazine
  • On possible paths forward: “Don’t trust any one story of how to become successful.” —Dartmouth University commencement speech 2018
  • On writing your own part: “Write your own part. It is the only way I’ve gotten anywhere. It is much harder work, but sometimes you have to take destiny into your own hands. It forces you to think about what your strengths really are, and once you find them, you can showcase them, and no one can stop you.” ―Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
  • On not letting people stop you: “People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you’re succeeding. People do not get scared when you’re failing. It calms them. But when you’re winning, it makes them feel like they’re losing or, worse yet, that maybe they should've tried to do something too, but now it’s too late. And since they didn’t, they want to stop you. You can’t let them.” —Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • On the stigma of being a “diversity hire”: “It used to really embarrass me because I thought I had the scarlet letter on me. ‘Diversity hire’ inherently meant, ‘less talented but fulfilling that quota.’... [I used to think that] if you’re funny, it’s funny and you’ll get noticed. But that isn’t true. If you don’t know the right people to get into the rooms, you will just never be seen. I love talking about it in the movie because it’s really real, and the stigma’s really real, and it truly is a helpful thing. It helped me personally… I really admire NBC for doing that program. I think if more people like me who are successful after coming through something like that talk about how the experience helped them, then there will be less of a stigma to it.” —Deadline
  • On the fear of being replaced: “It terrified me that they were interviewing another person of color or another woman because I’d be like, ‘Okay I’m going to get fired’ because you only needed one. I had a lot of growing up to do in terms of not operating from a fear of getting replaced.” —Time Magazine
  • On hard work: “Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn’t always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.” —Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • On confidence: “People talk about confidence without ever bringing up hard work. That’s a mistake. I know I sound like some dour older spinster on Downton Abbey who has never felt a man’s touch and whose heart has turned to stone, but I don’t understand how you could have self-confidence if you don’t do the work… Because confidence is like respect; you have to earn it.” —Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • On imposter syndrome: “I don’t feel imposter syndrome and the reason I don’t is that I work so hard. I feel imposter syndrome happens when people feel unqualified for their jobs. Before I got my own show, I put in eight years at The Office. I wrote 24 episodes of TV. I was an executive producer at the end of it and I’d been a staff writer at the beginning. Then I did my show for six years, did 117 episodes. I feel like I’m a real A-student. I feel like I really prepare for my work. Again, it’s not all successes. A lot of times I failed, but I do feel qualified when I move up the ranks, like, ‘OK, I put in my time. I put in my, whatever it is, 10,000 hours. I feel qualified to do this next thing.’” —E!
  • On the myth of being “bad with names”: “I don’t think it should be socially acceptable for people to say they are ’bad with names.’ No one is bad with names. That is not a real thing. Not knowing people’s names isn’t a neurological condition; it’s a choice. You choose not to make learning people’s names a priority. It’s like saying, ‘Hey, a disclaimer about me: I’m rude.’” ―Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
  • On not hiding the effort: “It’s really refreshing to work with women who don’t have to conceal how hard they work. I think the process, the work, used to be seen as something you hide, because everyone puts a premium on being so effortless… I think that’s one of the nicest changes in the last five years: Women don’t have to be these alluring, mysterious cats who get things done and you don’t know how hard they work, how hard they work out, what they’re eating. We now celebrate the fact that women can say, ‘Yeah, I sacrificed this, I have to do this….’ It isn’t effortless.” —Glamour
  • On losing your temper: “It took me a long time to realize that when you’re 24 and are losing your temper, it’s sort of adorable because you have to give up. You don’t have any power. But if you’re the boss and lose your temper, you’re just a tyrant. I still can have a short fuse, but I deal with it in a different way.” —The New York Times Magazine
  • On being kind: “The best advice I ever got is probably from [The Office creator] Greg Daniels. One piece of advice he gave me, which seems very simple but is very hard to follow all the time, is ‘Be kind.’ If you’re in a room with, a bunch of sardonic, East Coast-educated impatient writers, it’s very hard to show kindness. And I think that especially graduating from comedy writer to running a show where, like, I’m a manager, I can be sued for, like, human resources issues—that’s not something that I came into this doing—so like being kind to people, and listening to people tell you about their families, and their lives.” —AOL talk
  • On her evolution: “I think in my twenties I was only focused on, OK, I don’t want to get fired. I want to be successful, and I was only thinking about myself. In no way was I thinking about things that are the most important to me now, which is my health, holding the door open behind me for other people.” —Marie Claire
  • On being successful: “Part of being successful is that you start to spend your career with people who are way more successful than you. It’s a blessing, because I get to learn from them.” —Glamour
  • On mentorship: “When you’re a woman and a woman of color who is also an employer, you can’t just be someone who employs people. You also have to be a mentor. It’s sort of your responsibility because there are so few of us.” —The New York Times Magazine
  • On opening doors for others: “Especially during these new shows, I realized that the only way that people will have these kinds of opportunities—there’s literally been so little change for women of color—is if people like me make a difference. So it’s just the fact of the matter. We have to be the ones to open the doors for other people.” —Deadline
  • On deciding to become a mother: “I think that it’s hard when you have a career that you really love to find the exact right time to have a baby. I think if you wanna be a mother, that’s a great decision. If you don’t, that’s also a great decision. For me, it was a wonderful thing to have done before I turn 40. I recommend it to people who also love their careers.” —The View
  • On reprioritizing: “Having a daughter made me realize that, as much as I love my career and I really value and take pride in my work ethic and I’m constantly talking about it, I had to reprioritize the way that I worked and honestly start sacrificing things professionally so that I could be a good mom, which is something I was not used to at all.” —E!
  • On self-care: “It’s funny, that’s a term that maybe three to five years ago—I don’t know if this is because I’m Asian or because I’ve worked since I was 15-years-old—used to have pejorative connotations for me. Like, ‘who has time for self-care? I’m trying to build an empire and be a single mom.’ I think it was during the pandemic, when I was working from home and my children were at home, I decided that was an outdated way of thinking.” —Forbes
  • On running: “I’m always so self-conscious talking about how much I love running because I don’t look like someone who’s athletic or anything. But it has really helped me...It just focuses me and makes me a better writer. I think I’m a friendlier person, a more patient mom.” —Marie Claire
  • On hubris: “I think luxuriating and thinking that you feel successful feels like a little bit of hubris. And in comedy, the minute a character starts thinking they’re celebrated is the minute when something terrible happens to them.” —Deadline
  • On what she wants her legacy to be: “I’ve always felt that I represent the underdog. At this time and this place, as an Indian woman and a single mom, I’ve felt like the kind of person who often does not get to be the lead of a story. I want the stories that I tell, the characters I play and create, to resonate with people who do not see themselves onscreen. When I’m gone and people look at my body of work, they can see it in the context of where I came from and where my family came from and say, ‘Wow, that was the beginning of a ripple effect.’ That people are inspired because they felt that I, in some way, helped move the door open a couple more inches. That would be really incredible to me.” —Glamour
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 | 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.

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 | 08/21/2016

ECO Newsletter 8.21.16

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

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 | 08/30/2018

What to Wear: Dressing for the Job Search

Feature | 05/12/2020

Class of 2020: Homegrown Squash Player Shines in Growing Program

Feature | 05/05/2022

Econ Grad Club Hike

Econ Grads enjoyed a study break with fresh air, open vistas, exercise, and comradery on a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains organized by the Graduate Economics Club

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 01/11/2024

End of Year Communication to Alumni from Economics Chair, Professor Federico Ciliberto

Sent 12/15/23

Dear Alumni and Friends,

In May of 2024, the Edwin T. Burton Economics Career Office (ECO) will have participated in the career planning and education of 10 graduating classes! What began as a pilot project a decade ago has now flourished into a full-service career services office providing direct advising, professional development workshops, networking, and electronic resources for economics majors. Jennifer Jones was hired in 2013 to spearhead this effort after funding was provided by many enthusiastic and committed donors through the leadership of Professors Ken Elzinga and Charlie Holt.  

Jennifer Jones continues to masterfully direct the activities of the ECO to equip majors with tools and resources to successfully reach the next steps in their career planning. Jennifer partners with faculty, alumni, students, employers, and other career offices on the Grounds toward this goal.  

To help Jennifer with the daunting task of working with hundreds of Econ majors, the ECO hires several student staff each year, who are instrumental in delivering our programs. The ECO offers real work experience and network-building for student staff. In addition, our elected student board provides a feedback loop to our majors and prospective majors and manages the planning and implementation of the annual Economics Undergraduate Career Forum. This year we welcomed 8 new members. Click here to meet the board. 

The ECO offers work experience for undergraduates in roles such as data analyst, market researcher, marketing coordinator, and event coordinator. More than 40 students have worked for the ECO and developed technical and transferable skills to launch them into the labor market. In reflecting on their ECO experiences some students expressed that work supporting other students' career development was their most meaningful experience at UVA. To hear about the impact of the ECO from alumni and students, click here to watch the video.  

As 2023 draws to a close, we wish to share with you our accomplishments and initiatives over the last 12 months and hope you will consider supporting the ECO for the next year We thank you for your contributions to make our programs successful.

First, the ECO continues to organize the annual Undergraduate Economics Career Forum, (2023 alumni pictured above) which our ECO Student Advisory Board planned and welcomed 9 UVA alumni back to Grounds for 36 hours of programming! We hosted 7 events with more than 100 student participants and 10 faculty participants. Relatedly, we continue to organize the Major to Major Career Coaching Fair, through which we pair upper-level students returning from summer internships with lower-level students to share opportunities and take advantage of our students’ very recent internship experiences. Strategies and advice were shared among more than 300 participants! Finally, we organized How I Got This Job and How I Got into Graduate School Programs, with recent graduates providing tactical career advice to students exposing them to various industries, job functions, and graduate programs. All these activities prepare students for the job market and help them develop networks that will support them well beyond their time on the Grounds. 

Second, in March 2023, we became founding members of Women in Economics across the Nation, a consortium of universities brought together by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’s annual women’s symposium attendees. As founding members, we are shaping programs both at UVA and in local communities to expose girls and women to career opportunities aligned with an economics degree and to demonstrate the flexibility and compensation possibilities the degree may yield. In October we co-hosted a virtual panel of 30 alumni from universities across the nation. In November we continued the conversation here on Grounds with six professionals who spoke on their career trajectories and challenges and opportunities for women in the labor market.  

Third, the ECO provided individual advising for more than 200 students and served more than 700 students through our workshops and other programs. We listened to students in Econ 3010, the gateway class before declaring the major, and established Friday drop-in career advising opportunities for prospective majors. More than 50 alumni donated their time and expertise to our students through professional development programs like conducting resume reviews, sitting on panels, hosting information sessions representing their employers, and providing their resumes and cover letters as samples. 

To finish with the words of our beloved Professor Ken Elzinga: “If you have contributed to the Economics Career Office in the past, thank you. It’s been a game-changer for our department. If you are thinking about contributing to the Economics Career Office, I’m not sure where there’s a bigger rate of return on a gift to the Econ department than a gift to the Economics Career Office.”  

Warm regards and best wishes this holiday season, 

Professor Federico Ciliberto, Chair 

Department of Economics 


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."

Elzinga Flash Seminar

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.

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 vanessa.fuhrmans@wsj.com 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 | 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...



Feature | 11/13/2023

Nobel Winner Claudia Goldin Predicted Flexible Work Could Ease The Pay Gap. New Data Supports Her Theory

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 05/13/2019

Tips for Making the Most of Your Summer Internship

Tips for Making the Most of Your Summer Internship/Job

Compiled by Sabrina Grandhi (Econ 2019, Consultant Cornerstone Research

  • Ask to Meet with your Supervisor-First Team Meetings:

    • Meet with your boss/manager to go over your projects.

      • Want to outline expectations and understand what deliverables & deadlines you might have

      • Make sure to communicate about your strengths and weaknesses

      • Help your manager understand the best ways you learn and how they can help you learn

      • Be clear about when you might need/ask for help

      • Understand what checkpoints you will have and what is expected of you at each check-in

  • Finding the right fit:

    • Be true to your interests and what gets you excited about work—problem solving, combing through data, presenting to your team, etc.

    • Try new things but don’t be afraid to be honest about what you like and don’t like, there are so many jobs out there.

    • Be humble throughout the entire process—recruiting, working, every part

    • Try new things!!

Read this: How to Make the Most of Your Summer Internship (Recommended by the Economics Career Office)

Elzinga Flash Seminar

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.



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 | 09/27/2016


"We all know the question is coming: So tell me a little about yourself.

Here’s the funny thing: even though we’re expecting it, most of us don’t feel fully prepared to respond. How can this question seem like a no-brainer, but then end up being so tricky? Well, for one, it’s easy to get mired down by all the possibilities of just how to answer it. The key is to approach the question strategically, making sure it has a clear story and distinct purpose. Here are 4 ways to help you prepare to ace the prompt: “Tell me about yourself.'"-Caroline Grey


Click here to read the rest of the article

Feature | 10/12/2023


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 02/20/2019

2019 Economics Undergraduate Career Forum Schedule

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 | 03/15/2019

Alumni Spotlight: Mike Shebat


Feature | 02/09/2018

Econ Alum Alex Turowski Plays with Data for a Living! And He Wants You to Too!

2010 economics alumnus Alex Turowski is the new Partner Success Lead at New Engen in Seattle, Washington. What does this mean? Alex plays with data for a living at New Engen, a digital marketing optimization and design firm.

After building a successful career in Search Engine Optimization with Merkle (formerly RKG) here in Charlottesville, Alex was lured to New Engen in Seattle to lead their Partner Success team. 

The firm boasts solid, fast growth and has become an industry leader with clients such as TUMI, Volt Athletics, and Man Crates and partners such as Shopify.

Alex is hiring an entry level analyst and the posting is on Handshake. If you'd like to reach Alex directly, please write to him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-turowski-3b500647/

New Engen is a performance-driven marketing technology company accelerating customer growth through digital marketing optimization. By integrating proprietary software with teams of experienced marketers and data scientists, New Engen helps clients solve some of their most complex digital marketing challenges. The company’s powerful technology solution ignites growth at companies across industries, geographies and maturity. New Engen is headquartered in Seattle with offices in Dallas, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 02/10/2023

57 Smart Questions to Ask in a Job Interview in 2023

Article from The Muse 

You’re sitting under the fluorescent lights of an unfamiliar conference room across from the person who may decide the fate of your job search, trying desperately to remember that perfect story you prepared and wondering if the AC is always set to ‘arctic blast.’ Or maybe you’re at home in front of the most professional wall in your apartment, looking at your interviewer on a computer screen and hoping your camera won’t shift and reveal the stack of empty La Croix cans you forgot to move before the Zoom call started. 

Then, the hiring manager asks the interview question you know is a signal that things are about to wrap up: “Do you have any questions for me?”

You probably already know that whether you’re stressed or relaxed, whether you think you’ve fumbled the conversation badly or you’ve got this job in the bag, the worst thing you could say is, “Nope, I’m good.”

An interview isn’t just a chance for the hiring manager to grill you—it’s your opportunity to sniff out whether a position would be as great for you as you would be for the position. So it’s vital to ask some questions of your own. What do you want to know about the role? The company? The department? The team? The person interviewing you who may be your future boss, coworker, or mid-afternoon coffee buddy?

To get you thinking, we’ve put together a list of key questions to ask in an interview. We definitely don’t suggest asking all of them rapid-fire—some of this stuff will be covered during the course of your discussion, and you can always ask questions throughout the conversation. Plus, you will sound like you’re reading the questions off some sort of internet list and not truly listening to their answers. You should also customize these questions to the specific opportunity or ask tailored questions that show you’re invested in the position and you’ve been paying attention throughout the interview process.

So this list isn’t the be-all and end-all—it’s your jumping off point.

Best questions to ask about the job

Make sure you have a handle on exactly what the day-to-day responsibilities of the job will be—both now and in the future. This will help you make an informed decision if and when that job offer comes and avoid Shift Shock.

  • What does a typical day or week look like in this role? (Or one of these alternatives.)
  • What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed?
  • Can you show me examples of projects I’d be working on?
  • 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?
  • What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
  • What sort of budget would I be working with?
  • Is this a new role or will I be taking over for an employee who’s leaving?
  • How does this position contribute to the company overall?
  • Do you expect the main responsibilities for this position to change in the next six months to a year?

Top questions to ask about training and professional development

Think of each new opportunity not just as a job, but as the next step on your path to career success. Will this position help you get there?

  • What does your onboarding process look like?

  • What learning and professional development opportunities are available to your employees?
  • Will there be opportunities for stretch assignments where I can learn and use new skills?
  • Are there opportunities for advancement within the company?
  • Would I be able to represent the company at industry conferences?
  • Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to?

Common questions to ask about how your success will be evaluated

Understanding how your potential new manager will measure your success is key to understanding their managerial style as well as company or team priorities.

  • What are the most important things you’d like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?

  • What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
  • What is the performance review process like here? How often would I be formally reviewed?
  • What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?

Smart questions to ask about the interviewer

Asking these questions shows that you’re interested in your interviewer as a person—and that’s a great way to build rapport with a future colleague.

  • How long have you been with the company?

  • Has your role changed since you’ve been here?
  • What did you do before this?
  • Why did you come to this company?
  • What’s your favorite part about working here?
  • What’s one challenge you occasionally or regularly face in your job?
  • What part of your job are you most excited about over the next few months?
  • Are there any upcoming initiatives or projects you’re especially interested in?

Best questions to ask about the company

Why not learn a little bit about where you might work? A job isn’t just about your day-to-day to-do list. You’ll likely be happier with an employer that shares similar values to yours and is headed in a direction you’re on board with.

  • I’ve read about the company’s founding, but can you tell me more about [another significant company development] ?

  • What direction do you see this company heading in over the next few years?
  • What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?
  • What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting those goals?
  • What gets you most excited about the company’s future?
  • What are the company’s most important values? (Note: Make sure this isn’t easily Google-able!)
  • How does the company ensure it’s upholding its values?

Smart questions to ask about the team

The people you work with day in and day out can really make or break your work life. Ask some questions to uncover whether it’s the right team for you.

  • Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
  • Who will I work with most closely?
  • Who will I report to directly?
  • Can you tell me about my direct reports?
  • What are the team’s biggest strengths and challenges?
  • Do you expect to hire more people in this department in the next six months?
  • Which other departments work most closely with this one and how?

Creative questions to ask about the culture

You don’t want to end up at a workplace where all socialization happens at happy hour if you don’t drink or you need to get home to your kids, or where everyone is focused solely on their own work if you thrive in a collaborative environment, for example. So make sure you ask about what’s important to you when it comes to company culture.

  • How would you describe the work environment here—is the work typically more collaborative or more independent?

  • How does the team form and maintain strong bonds?
  • Can you tell me about the last company event you did together?
  • What’s your favorite office tradition?
  • What do you and the team usually do for lunch?
  • Does anyone at the company or on this team hang out outside the office?
  • Do you ever do joint events with other companies or departments?
  • What’s different about working here than anywhere else you’ve worked?
  • How has the company changed since you joined?
  • How has the organization overcome challenges with remote work?
  • How does the company make sure that remote and hybrid employees are given the same opportunities and standards as in-office employees?


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.  


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 | 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 | 05/06/2024

Your Career Doesn’t Need to Have a Purpose

Article written by Stephen Friedman for Harvard Business Review 

As an organizational studies professor at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, Canada, I get the opportunity to help my students with various aspects of their career development. In the process, I’ve noticed two common threads. First, most of my students are not only eager to enter the world of work, but also to be excellent at what they do. Second, they want their post-graduation job to be loaded with purpose.

Unfortunately, as they begin to look for and apply to roles, the latter proves hard to achieve. Many are quick to reject work that fails to align with their defined purpose. The longer their search ensues, however, the more anxious they become. They reach out to me concerned that they will never find the purpose they seek, a fear exacerbated by the belief that other people already have.

If you’re a recent grad just entering the workforce, you may feel similarly — that your calling is within reach, and that if you find it, everything will fall into place. Though this may be true for some, in my experience, it’s an unrealistic expectation that often leads to more harm than good.

Take the example of one of my former students. Shortly after graduating, she landed a job she was certain would fill her with purpose. She had been passionate about fitness since her teens and was hired at a company that manufactures energy drinks to nourish and energize athletes. As an extravert, she wanted a role that involved face time with clients, and opportunities to motivate and lead others. But the connection to fitness, she decided, was her true purpose.

Once she was in the job, she found the work narrow and generic. As an entry-level employee at a large organization, she began to feel like a cog in the wheel, and soon realized it would take several years before she was given a chance to be involved in the people-facing work she loved.

Maybe declaring her purpose was not effective. Or maybe, what she thought was her purpose, was not. Regardless, there was nothing about the job that she liked, that she enjoyed, or that allowed her to show what she was good at. The whole experience damaged her self-esteem, distorted her self-image, and left her dreading the future.

As my student learned, the roles you take on early in your career are typically not grandiose or imbued with deep, worldly significance — and there’s nothing wrong with that. The trick is to make work meaningful by making it a part of your exploration, as opposed to expecting a job to fulfill your entire reason for being. That is a tall order.

As you prepare to step into the workforce, my advice is to take some pressure off yourself. Don’t declare a lofty, idealized purpose now (or maybe ever). Here’s why I believe you should let the idea of “purpose” go, and what you can focus on instead.

How the Pressure to Craft a Purpose Affects Us

In the 1950s, psychologist Leon Festinger argued that we humans have a built-in need to judge ourselves. We often do this by comparing ourselves to others. I see this with my students, many of whom tell me the weight of “finding and pursuing their purpose” is driven by the expectations of their peers and families, as well as examples of others doing the same on social media.

The emphasis on having a purposeful career is supported by businesses, too. In recent years, the idea of the purpose-driven organization has skyrocketed. We can see it reflected in the zeal of new leaders, who, in an effort to motivate their employees, aim to define their purpose and get people aligned with it.

The problem is, when purpose is framed as “the ultimate reason for our existence” it is easy to see how a particular career path might be viewed as a pivotal, once-in-a-lifetime decision. Perhaps this is why a large portion of my students see a “calling or passion-driven” career as the only way to approach finding a good job. As a result, they often suffer serious anxiety during the job search and end up sticking with their initial, declared choice — even when it fails to serve them.

In your own journey, a rigid pursuit of purpose can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health, resulting in depleted motivation and other comparison-based health problems, such as substance abuse, self-esteem reduction, and disappointment.

There are Better Ways to Craft a Meaningful Career

Consider how the characteristics of our romantic relationships, as well as our relationships with friends and family, evolve as we enter adulthood. As we grow older, our needs and goals begin to change — and they keep changing, almost unpredictably, throughout our lives. For instance, the kind of partner we like at 18 is likely quite different from the kind we look for when we’re 25. We evolve, gain experiences and wisdom, get to know the world better, and get to know ourselves better. Similarly, what we’re looking for from our jobs and careers changes in the same way. It’s possible our previously determined purpose (if we even have one) will change or have little to do with our career.

Outside of popular anecdotes and social media stories, there is little evidence that a single, defined “purpose” is necessary for a rewarding career. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. It’s surprisingly common to go after what we think is our “purpose” only to discover that we hate it. The evidence connects career satisfaction (or career happiness) to less lofty things like doing “what you like, prefer, enjoy” and “what you are good at.” Growth from exploration, curiosity, and lifelong learning has also been linked to career satisfaction.

So, if you feel like you don’t have a career purpose, don’t worry. Research has shown that doing what you are good at and using your developing strengths at work is associated with greater meaningfulness. Feeling happy and fulfilled at work ultimately relies on working toward a meaningful career. While the concept of purpose focuses on identifying a life goal, meaning is more about knowing the nature of your work matters to you or others in some way.

Below are a few reflections questions to help you shift your focus from “purpose” to “meaning.” Let them guide you as you pick your first (or second) job, and aim to find happiness at work.

What do I like, prefer, or enjoy doing?

Let go of yearning for a career purpose. Dial it back and consider what you liked (not loved) about any of your previous jobs, school projects or other ways you spend your time.

For example, perhaps you liked helping your peers organize their work or enjoyed researching sources for group projects. Maybe you liked working in groups more than working alone because it made you feel appreciated by others. In this case, look for a role that requires you to work regularly with a team. That’s a great starting point.

Although it may not seem like your ultimate career, doing what you currently enjoy, like, and are good at, brings energy and recognition. I encourage you to use these starting points as opportunities to build a habit of lifelong learning, known to cause bouts of deep personal happiness.

What am I good at?

Early on in your career, you will have many bourgeoning skills. These are skills that you are good at now and can get even better at with more practice. Think about stuff you are progressively getting better at.

For example, let’s say you used to hate math, but in business school, you were better at accounting than you imagined you would be. What’s more, you enjoyed it. Or maybe you realized that you’re good at coming up with ideas and executing them. You may want to look for a role that asks for skills like “financial planning/reporting” or roles looking for “an entrepreneurial mindset.” Getting to use and improve skills that you’re already good will energize you, and provide you with a feeling of recognition and usefulness.

Would this role provide growth and learning that I can use later?

Imagine that you’re graduating from business school. Although it was not a part of your course work, you had to learn to use a design tool like Figma or Adobe Illustrator. Maybe you did a final strategy presentation with a large group of stakeholders, and you discovered how to use Trello or JIRA for project management and really enjoyed it.

Many starting roles ask for applicants who have had experience with tools like these. And yes, this experience “counts” as skills! They are often desired versus required skills and having them could give you an upper hand in landing a role. Who knows, you could end up getting great at using them and really enjoy that. This experience could help you have even more choices in your next role.

Choices help you identify opportunities you may not have seen and can encourage you to act on them. Then, you can reap the rewards of doing so, which includes getting better at what you are doing – or what scholars call “ability development.” Research — as well as our previous life experiences — shows that ability development brings with it greater happiness, satisfaction, and meaning. Who doesn’t want to get better at stuff? Opportunities to learn and grow helps to create meaning in many contexts, including work. This occurs even if the improvement involves a task we may not have considered in the past.

. . .

As your start out, know that not every job will be filled with meaning or happiness all the time. Also know that your day job doesn’t have to fulfill your purpose. Both things are okay. There is much to be said for looking at alternative avenues to do deep, purposeful work — a side gig (small business, blog, newsletter), volunteering, or sitting on the board for your local community organization. It might even be something creative that you love, but likely won’t end up getting paid to do.

Sure, it seems nice to have a career purpose all decided and laid out. But realistically, I find it overrated. Committing to a career purpose is likely too static for the realities of a volatile work world. Go for some meaning instead, and you may just find the joy at work you’re looking for.

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 | 02/07/2017


Another Career Fair Approaches! New Job Postings! Economics Career Forum!

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 06/05/2018

How to Include Volunteer Experience on Your Resume

When it comes to writing or updating your resume, you know you should include your relevant work history, education, and technical skills.

But what about your volunteer experience? Will hiring managers even care about the time you spent building homes in Central America or organizing that charity walk? 

I’ll make this one easy for you: yes!

You should absolutely include volunteer experience on your resume. It’ll help you 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/05/2016


Awesome events and job postings for econ majors! This week's prep programs for Career Fairs!

Feature | 09/12/2022

Network, Network, Network!

Network, Network, Network!

By: Rebecca King-Newman

This article was taken from Firsthand

You know the old saying it’s not what you know, it’s who you know? One of the many things your law school does for you is set up networking events to allow students to interact with active lawyers. So, why should you network when you have already been in class all day and you have three papers to write? You should go because you want those attorneys to know you.

School Yourself

Your school sets up formal or informal events to connect the community and alumni with current students. They know that these events help create opportunity for both the attorney and the student. You may think it’s just another stuffy event to make the school look good, but it’s the perfect way to make in-person connections you wouldn’t otherwise make.

These events are also great practice for those on-campus interviews. Since they are usually informal, even if a suit and tie are required, they are not rigorous interviews that you need days to prepare for. Rather, they are a chance to meet people already practicing. Maybe there will be someone attending that is in the specialized field you think you want to target. Maybe there is someone present that works for that firm you covet a position with. No matter what, there will be someone at the event that will make attending worthwhile.

Another simple way to network is to join a student organization or two in law school. Most organizations will have a faculty advisor you can get to know outside of the classroom. Your fellow classmates can also surprise you. You will meet a diverse group of people, likely from all different parts of the country and world, who you may not normally socialize with. Those classmates can open doors to other interests and people that you might not have thought about. And that professor you feared and/or dreaded being in class with? He may be really funny or down to earth outside the classroom, and you can connect in a different way.

Speaking of professors and faculty, don’t overlook getting to know them, too! Many schools have professors with a wide swath of knowledge outside their current position. Most law school professors did not jump right into teaching. They had careers in the law before coming to teach, which means they have friends and associates from that practice life that can be beneficial to your future career. Hit up their office hours or invite them to lunch. Professors got into teaching because they want to help students, and this is your opportunity to reach out on a one-on-one level and get their help. You may find that one professor is more helpful than another, but give it a try and see who you connect with and who provides you with guidance.

Don’t forget to look at more fun, informal events. Many law schools will host casual meetups at local bars and restaurants, or golf outings with alumni and friends. Even though you have not graduated yet, these events are another opportunity to mingle with those already in the workforce. You may realize a person you admired is very approachable when they are in a restaurant as opposed to the corporate office. Seeing people you may be working for and with outside of the office is a good way to read how you interact with them—and how they interact with you and other students.

Don’t stop at events only put on by the law school. There are other non-traditional events and outside school events that can benefit your future career. Most law schools are attached to an undergrad university or college. Go to Homecoming events and start talking! You’ll be amazed who you meet and what industry they are in. And if a person is loyal enough to the school to come back for Homecoming—they’re loyal to fellow students and alumni. That can bode well for future career connections.

Go Off Campus

Many local and state bar associations also welcome law students to come to their meetings and events. This is especially useful when you want to practice in the same location as your law school. Attorneys love to promote themselves and their work, so start up a conversation with someone at a bar event, and you will likely come away knowing a lot about that person, the practice and the firm.

Think about attending continuing legal education (CLE) events. You don’t need to start racking up CLE credit yet, but many events will allow law students to attend for little or no cost. CLE sessions will teach you more about the real practice of law in the area you may have an interest in. Let’s face it, law school teaches you the mechanics of law, but at a CLE, you are learning about real life issues that come out of the actual practice. Usually they include case law updates, which are invaluable in your practice area. These events also address common issues in the area of law and how local attorneys are addressing them. Again, there is always someone to meet and learn about by attending.

Get Social

Social media is also an important way to network. Many schools have alumni pages and groups on Facebook where events are posted, and questions are asked. Twitter and Facebook often are informal and are a good way to learn about people and their careers. LinkedIn is also a way to connect in a more professional setting. LinkedIn also is a valuable tool to read company profiles, find out who works at a firm from your school, and see the job opportunities that are available. Make sure your social media presence is fit for the job, too. Check your settings on who can view your profiles, and clean up any older, less flattering posts. Many firms have people who will look at your online social media presence to make sure there are no red flags. Law school is a transitional phase of your life, where you are trying to form your future legal career. Remember the old lawyer joke that you should post like someone will read it later in court!

Making connections doesn’t have to be restricted to law-related events and organizations. If you like a certain charity or organization, volunteer and get involved. If politics is your thing, join the local party organization and attend their events and lunches. Recreational groups are also an excellent way to get out and meet people. Running clubs, biking groups, and cooking classes are all ways to meet people in the community and enlarge your circle. While it may not be traditional networking, from a law student perspective, you may be surprised at how adept you become at meeting new people and striking up conversations naturally, which will pay off for that more formal networking event or interview.

Know Before You Go

So now that you have decided to check out some of these events, despite your busy school schedule, what things do you need to do to prepare? First of all, know the audience. Is this an event put on by the school? If so, see if you can find out who may be in attendance. Do some homework on those attorneys and organizations before you go, but not with the aim of turning this into a full-fledged interview. Rather, you want to at least know a little about the person and firm before striking up a conversation.

Another thing to find out is if the event is formal or informal. Is a suit going to be required, or is business casual more appropriate? If it is an informal event, make sure you wear something appropriate and not your favorite sweatpants. Will there be food and drink provided? If so, make sure to curtail your drinking so you are presenting yourself in a responsible manner.

Don’t forget to brush up and practice your elevator speech. It may seem silly to practice out loud, but reciting the speech in your voice—and even to yourself into a mirror—helps you hone the message and make sure you come off as genuine. Make the speech how you normally would speak, and not like you were writing it out for submission. This is your chance to make an impression on someone who will be back to school for that on-campus interview, or someone who makes important hiring decisions at a firm.

Keep an open mind when you attend these events. You may go into it thinking you really want to meet a certain partner because she works at the firm where you want to work. After meeting this partner, you may realize she is not a fit with what you initially thought about the firm. Then you may turn around and meet someone else at the event you did not think you would want to meet, and find out that firm or that person does exactly what you want to do. Law school is as much about finding out what you like as what you do not like. If you go into the event with an open mind, you may surprise yourself on what you discover. Don’t forget to ask for a business card or contact information.

Networking can be fun and the most interesting part of law school. It can teach you a lot about people, firms, and yourself. If you make it a priority to network almost as much as you study, the rewards will be tenfold. It will help you be prepared for that on-campus interview. It will open your world to people and places you want to work, and maybe some that you want to avoid. Networking will round out that law school experience and get you outside the classroom. So, get that elevator speech ready, wear your best attire for the event, and have fun!


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/02/2017


"You feel nervous about your career stories, and the fact that you have to tell stories in interviews drives you bananas. You're not sure whether your stories are even any good. You don't know if what you did was even that special." -Natalie Fisher 

Click here to read the rest of the article

Feature | 11/02/2020

Sabrina Peng, Winner of the Annual International Atlantic Economic Society Undergraduate Paper Competition

Feature | 10/17/2023

Women in Economics Across the Nation

UVA's Department of Economics has joined a consortium of universities across the country and the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank to host a virtual networking program with more than 30 women working in industry, government, think tanks, academia, and attending graduate school. We want you to use this opportunity to learn about diverse career fields and take advantage of this network that extends beyond UVA. The program will include two 20-minute breakout rooms with alumni from participating universities. Below is the flyer with the list of participants. Register here: https://virginia.joinhandshake.com/edu/events/1403781

There will be two, 20-minute breakout sessions with alumni who will share what they do, how they got there, and advice for undergraduate students. Current speakers work at Cornerstone Research, Deloitte, Federal Reserve, Federal Trade Commission, International Monetary Fund, Mars, Micronomics, and more!  Scroll past the flyer for the complete list of guests.


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 | 05/09/2024

5 Ways to Acquire New Skills Without Going Back to School

Article written by Marlo Lyons for Harvard Business Review.

Recent layoffs aren’t just the result of an uncertain economy. They’re also the result of jobs changing more quickly than employees can upskill to meet business needs. With rapid changes in technology, including digitization and automation, the World Economic Forum projects that 50% of all jobs will require a change in skillsets by 2027. Therefore, it’s critical to own your upskilling to ensure you’ll be able to adapt to dynamic business needs. Without continuously growing your skills, you could become obsolete quicker than you realize.

There are plenty of ways to educate yourself and upskill without going back for a traditional undergraduate or graduate degree. Here are five ways to upskill without going back to school:


Many careers offer certifications to prove you have both a baseline understanding of what’s required in a job or a mastery of best practices in a certain field. For example, the Project Management Institute is globally recognized for its courses and PMP certification for project managers. Product School offers product management courses and certifications. SHRM and HRCI offer courses and exams to earn HR certifications. There are dozens of certifications for other jobs as well, such as business analyticsbusiness processesinbound marketing, and leadership.

Certifications show you have knowledge and capabilities in a certain field, which make them especially important if you’re transitioning careers and don’t have a lot of work experience in the new field. For example, when I was transitioning to my first human resources job, I had some transferrable skills that could be considered HR experience, but I had never worked in a traditional HR function. To prove I had the knowledge and understood the language of HR, I studied and passed the SPHR and GPRH certification exams. Having those certifications as part of my credentials helped me break through any hiring manager and recruiter assumptions that I had no HR skills and capabilities.

Online Learning Courses

There’s a wealth of learning platforms out there. LinkedIn Learning is one of the most recognized, but there are many others with courses that can take your functional and leadership skills to the next level. Coursera, edX, Open Culture, and Khan Academy are just a few online resources that offer free courses. You’ll also find free courses from some of the top schools in the United States, including MITHarvardYale, and Stanford.

While taking individual classes may not seem comparable to a four-year degree, showing you’re continuously learning and growing your skills is an attractive quality in an employee. The best way to showcase your relevant coursework is to add a “Continuous Learning” or “Continuous Education” section to your resume after your formal education.

Internships, Rotations, and Volunteering

Most internships, even paid ones, require that you be attending school. To qualify for many internships, you can register for a class at a local community college that would provide valuable knowledge in your field or the one you want to move into.

If you already have a full-time job, consider whether your boss would allow for a rotation in another area of the organization. When one of my employees was in night MBA school, she found her passion: data science. She was frustrated that she couldn’t intern like her classmates because was working in her current job to support her family. While I gave her as many analytics projects as I could muster, it still wasn’t true data-science experience. So, I offered that if she could secure an internship in our company’s data science department, I would cover her work for six weeks. She received an internship offer and on the day she went upstairs, I told her, “Don’t come back. There are four openings in that department, and I expect you to prove you deserve one of them.” She not only interned for that department, she landed a full-time job there immediately at the end of her internship.

This type of arrangement isn’t going to be feasible for every boss or company. Therefore, you may have to seek training on your own time. For example, if you want to move into accounting, consider joining a school board or nonprofit board, volunteering at your child’s school as treasurer, or setting up your own small company and taking on clients separate from your day job. Another way to gain experience is to find a small business or family friend who can provide you an opportunity to help with one of their work projects, which will allow you to gain practical skills in areas such as analytics, customer acquisition, social media, or marketing. Being paid is not a barometer for gaining new or higher-level skills when those skills allow you to contribute more toward advancing a company’s goals.

Stretch Assignments

If you have the bandwidth, ask for work from another department at your organization. You’ll not only bring value to the company, you’ll also enhance your visibility. Stretch assignments teach you new or higher-level skills while also challenging you to demonstrate those skills to the people who gave you the opportunity. So even if the project itself isn’t highly visible, at least one person will know what you can achieve.

Importantly, this type of stretch assignment cannot interfere with your day job. And while you may be raising your eyebrow at doing extra work on the side, remember that the goal is to continue to uplevel your skills so you can be considered for the next opportunity — or be so valuable that the company can’t imagine functioning without you.


Mentors can provide so much more than a listening ear. The right mentor outside of your direct leadership or function will provide new perspectives on your work and how to uplevel your skills and challenge you to think differently.

When we’re heads down in our work, we don’t always realize the larger objective of assignments. If you find a mentor who is a senior leader in your organization, they’ll have deeper knowledge of the company’s growth trajectory and what capabilities will be needed as the company grows or shifts strategy. Even if your mentor isn’t sure of what hard skills are needed, mastering “soft” skills like cross-functional communication, complex problem-solving, stakeholder alignment, and inclusive leadership is what advances employees to higher levels. Having different perspectives on issues improves your thought leadership, which is critical in all jobs and will make you a viable candidate for future opportunities.

. . .

Whether you want to change jobs or prepare for the next-level role, the most important thing to know about upskilling is that every employee needs to be doing it all the time. Jobs are changing as business demands change, and employees are expected to prove their value with increasingly higher expectations. Don’t be caught behind when you can uplevel your skills to move ahead.

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.) 





Machine Learning

Feature | 01/18/2019

December Workshop on Introduction to Machine Learning Taught by Visiting Faculty from BITS India

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 | 01/11/2022

New Year Career Planning and ECO's Response to the Fall Check-in Survey

Hello Majors,
I hope you've had a chance to relax over the winter break. It's a new year with opportunities and possibilities ahead of you. Below I've curated some resources to help you launch your semester's activities, many of which were requested by our majors through our end-of-semester check-in survey. To that end, the winners of the survey drawing will be contacted this week! Thank you for sharing your experiences and ideas.

Research and Self Assessment Tools (What May I Like to Do?)
What Can I Do with this Major?
PathwayU (Specific job titles are given along with your personality assessment, work culture preferences, and values)
ECO Self-Assessment  and More (Scroll to Self-Discovery)
Candid Career Videos (Short Videos with Alum Interviews)
ECO YouTube Channel (Career Videos of Alumni Panels)
ECO Alum Spotlights
What Do Econ Majors Do after Graduation? (Outcomes)
Virginia Alumni Mentor Network Database for Informational Interviewing

Job Search Guides:
Hoos Career Guide
Picture Your Career 
How to Use Handshake Effectively 
How to Maximize Your Use of Handshake( (There's a lot in there!)
     Tip: Update Your Handshake Profile at the Start of Each Semester and Update Your Resume
CareerShift (Inside Handshake "Resources)
Vault Career Guides (For Exploration, inside Econ Career Office Collab)
Job Boards for Econ Majors
ECO's Job Board 

Undergraduate Research Resources

Part-Time Work 
UVA Part-time Jobs Fair
Handshake - search by part-time filter and on campus
Charlottesville part-time listings
Center for Non Profit Excellence in Charlottesville

Gaining Experience/Internships/Micro-Internships 
Catalyst (New from the College of A&S! 
The Catalyst program will help you apply the power of your UVA education to your job, your life, and your community. It will teach you how to utilize and describe the capabilities you’ve developed at UVA – including clear analysis, astute synthesis, effective communication, ethical judgment, complex problem-solving and more. You’ll also develop your capacities for leadership and collaboration, as well as in-demand skills tailored to your particular career interests.
Internship Placement Program
Parker Dewey (Micro-Internships)
Case Competitions with MindSumo (Win money and build a network.)
iLab at UVA (Entrepreneur skills-training and experience)
LinkedIn Learning (A LInkedIn account is required for access.)
Forge - Career Accelerator with Skills-Based Learning and Embedded Internships
Propel - Project-Based Learning at UVA
Virginia Alumni Mentor Bridges Projects (Micro-Internships)

Pre-doctoral Preparation Resources
ECO Collab Pre-Doc Programs
Applying for Pre-Doc Programs
Applying for Research Assistant Programs
Pursuing a Grad Degree in Economics

Other Grad Programs for Econ Majors (Scroll to Graduate School)



Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

A Great Cover Letter can Lead to an Interview

Tips on how to write a cover letter that could attract potential employers.

Note: Consider the source, the hiring norms of the industry and organization you are looking to enter, and also double check with a career advisor if you have any doubt in your mind about advice.


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.


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 08/12/2016

Corporate Economists Are Hot Again

Corporate Economists are Hot Again

From The Wall Street Journal
By Bob Tita
Updated Feb. 27, 2014 6:01 p.m. ET

The number of private-sector economists has surged 57% as U.S. firms look for help digesting data.

(Photo disabled)

Pictured, economist Ryan Reed has revamped forecasting at Parker Hannifin. Photo by Michael F. McElroy for The Wall Street Journal

CLEVELAND—Flooded with data, Parker Hannifin Corp. PH +0.46% hired a young economist in 2008 to figure out what the information meant to the industrial conglomerate's far-flung operations.
What Ryan Reed told executives in one of his first presentations didn't go over well. Looking at capacity utilization rates—the percentage of available production capacity that is actually in use—Mr. Reed told executives that sales in the company's automation business would be substantially lower in October. "The guys said: 'That can't be right. October is normally a really good month for us.' "
But Mr. Reed's forecast was indeed correct. October wasn't a good month for automation, or for any of the Cleveland company's business units. The U.S. economy was on the verge of what would become the worst economic convulsion since the Great Depression. "We've lurched from crisis to crisis since then," said Mr. Reed, now 32 years old.

With more data available than ever before and markets increasingly unpredictable, U.S. companies—from manufacturers to banks and pharmaceutical companies—are expanding their corporate economist staffs. The number of private-sector economists surged 57% to 8,680 in 2012 from 5,510 in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2012, Wells Fargo WFC +0.77% & Co. had one economist in its corporate economics department. Now, it has six.
Sheryl Kirtley tests a hose at the Parker Hannifin manufacturing plant in Ravenna, Ohio. Michael F. McElroy for The Wall Street Journal
"A lot of companies have programmers who are able to process big data," said Tom Beers, executive director of the National Association for Business Economics in Washington, a professional organization with about 2,400 members. "But to find a causality between two things and draw a conclusion really takes somebody with an economics background."

Many companies had corporate economists on staff in the volatile 1970s and '80s, but dropped them when the U.S. economy was steady and strong. Information from government agencies, such as industrial output from the Federal Reserve, was plentiful, along with research from private consultants, including Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in St. Louis and IHS Global Insight of Englewood, Colo.
"The reaction in the corporate world was: 'I can get my average GDP forecasts from anybody. Why do I need an economist in my shop?' " said Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, chief economist for Ford Motor Co.
The key to the revival of in-house economists, companies and economists say, is the need to digest huge amounts of data—from production volumes in overseas markets to laptop usage in urban areas—to
determine opportunities and risks for companies' business units, not just in the U.S. but around the world.

Paul Thomas, chief economist for chip maker Intel Corp. INTC -0.49% , said he and his staff look at how and where consumers are using personal computers, laptops and hand-held devices to pinpoint what geographic markets are underserved and which ones are saturated. "It's something we're learning to do that's going to be useful," he said.
The glut of available data is forcing economists to serve as gatekeepers to ensure that disparate units within companies are using the same data sets and information inputs in their forecasting.
Richard DeKaser, a vice president and corporate economist at Wells Fargo, leads a team of eight people, including six economists, who standardize the models and data used to measure risk in different business units, such as mortgage lending and credit cards.
Previously, one unit might base unemployment figures on payroll data, while another would use household surveys. Doing so undermined the accuracy of tests to measure risks for losses and contributed to mistakes in business planning.
"The great recession laid bare a lot of fundamental mistakes that an economist can be useful in preventing," said Mr. DeKaser, who was previously chief economist for National City Bank.

Some corporate economists are also taking higher public profiles to communicate their companies' messages and forecasts. Mark Finley, general manager of global energy markets and U.S. economics for energy company BP BP -0.94% PLC, spends about 30% of his time on the road talking with customers, business groups, trade associations and reporters to build consensus for its outlooks on energy demand and pricing. "The economists are supposed to be out there presenting their views," he said.
James Meil, chief economist at diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp. ETN +0.68% , and his staff of four, made 78 formal presentations last year, including one to the Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution. Distributors and suppliers, especially smaller ones, often rely on economists from their bigger customers to help decide whether they should add production capacity.
"There's not readily available market data or trends data available for the hose markets," said Joseph Thompson, executive vice president of the association, which represents manufacturers and distributors of industrial hoses, fittings and fluid-transferring equipment.
Veteran economists like Mr. Meil, who has been with Eaton for 29 years, are consulted on big acquisitions. When Eaton bought Cooper Industries PLC in 2012 for about $11.8 billion, he provided market research for key business segments and forecasts for the combined company's end markets.

Air Products and Chemicals Inc. uses its economist to devise hedges in a more volatile global economic climate. The Pennsylvania-based supplier of industrial gases enters into 10- to 20-year contracts with drug companies, steelmakers and refineries and needs price-escalator clauses to reflect higher production costs, such as energy.
"We set up formulas to where we're just trying to capture the inflationary pressure on the underlying contract," said economist Joseph Cardinale, who recently left Air Products for an economist's job at Illinois-basedpharmaceutical maker Abbott Laboratories.
Like all forecasters, corporate economists can miss the mark. In 2012 many company economists expected about 6.5% growth in manufacturing output in Asia. But it ended up being 3.5% due to a sluggish economy in China. "Forecasts by definition are going to be wrong," said Mr. Cardinale.

Retired economist Frank Schott, 87 years old, said new veins of data don't guarantee accuracy in forecasts. "The data are just as recalcitrant as ever to give you answers and the multiplicity of it invites further confusion," he said. "Everybody, including corporate bosses, thinks they're their own best economist."

Before Parker hired Mr. Reed, group presidents provided forecasts. "They weren't very accurate," said Jeff Cullman, president of Parker's hydraulic business. He said Mr. Reed has been able to forecast when hydraulic demand was about to fall, allowing the company to get a head start on scaling back production. "The market turns relatively quickly, but it takes us about three months to get on the brakes,' he said.
Forecasting can be tougher in developing countries where market demand can be difficult to quantify and data is spotty. Mr. Reed recently constructed a model for Parker's new president of Latin America to
indicate where the company should focus sales efforts. "His gut was telling him we're doing pretty well in Brazil; maybe we should look more at Argentina," he said.
By parceling out Parker's sales in specific industrial markets in Argentina and Brazil and comparing them with the two countries' total output in those markets, Mr. Reed demonstrated that Parker's sales potential in Brazil was far greater than in Argentina and to remain focused there. "Hopefully we avoided putting a lot of resources into Argentina where there's just not much to capture," he said.
Write to Bob Tita at robert.tita@wsj.com

Feature | 03/22/2024

How to Prepare for an Interview (Steps and Tips)

Article from Handshake Blog 

Get ready to ace your next job interview with these essential tips! Learn how to research the company, practice your answers, and more.

Preparing for an interview can be nerve-wracking, but with the right mindset and a few key strategies, you can set yourself up for success. Whether you're applying for your dream job or just looking to improve your interview skills, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you're fully prepared and confident on the big day.

1. Research the Company

Before you walk into an interview, it's important to have a good understanding of the company and the role you're applying for. Spend some time researching the company's mission, values, and culture, as well as any recent news or developments that might be relevant to your interview. This information can help you tailor your answers and demonstrate your interest in the company.

2. Review the Job Description

Make sure you thoroughly review the job description and understand the responsibilities and qualifications required for the position. This will help you prepare thoughtful answers that align with the company's expectations and demonstrate your fit for the role. It's also a good idea to think about any relevant experiences or skills you can highlight during the interview.

3. Practice Your Answers

One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to practice your answers to common interview questions. This can help you feel more comfortable and confident during the actual interview. You can find lists of common interview questions online and practice answering them aloud or with a friend. Be sure to focus on answering the question directly and succinctly, while also demonstrating your skills and experience.

4. Dress Appropriately

Make sure you dress appropriately for the interview, taking into account the company's culture and dress code. It's always better to err on the side of dressing too professionally, rather than too casually. Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free, and that your hair and makeup (if applicable) are neat and tidy.

5. Arrive Early

Plan to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early for your interview. This will give you time to check in with the receptionist, use the restroom, and calm your nerves before the interview. If you're unsure of the location or parking situation, do a test run ahead of time to avoid any last-minute surprises.

6. Bring a Copy of Your Resume

Make sure you bring a copy of your resume, along with any other relevant documents or certifications. This shows that you're organized and prepared, and can also help refresh your memory if you need to reference any past experiences or accomplishments during the interview.

7. Follow Up

After the interview, send a thank-you note or email to the interviewer. This shows that you're interested in the position and appreciate the opportunity to interview. You can also use this as an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the company and emphasize any relevant skills or experiences that you may have overlooked during the interview.

Interview Prep Tips

Listen Carefully

Listen carefully to the interviewer's questions and make sure you understand them before answering. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and give a clear, concise response. If you're unsure of the question, ask for clarification.

Be Authentic

Be yourself during the interview and let your personality shine through. Authenticity can make you stand out from other candidates and help the interviewer get a sense of your fit with the company culture.

Show Enthusiasm

Show enthusiasm and passion for the position and the company. This demonstrates your commitment and can make a positive impression on the interviewer.

Follow Professional Etiquette

Follow professional etiquette during the interview, such as greeting the interviewer with a firm handshake, maintaining appropriate eye contact, and avoiding interrupting or talking over the interviewer.

Practice Good Posture

Maintain good posture during the interview to convey confidence and professionalism. Sit up straight with your shoulders back and your feet firmly on the ground. Avoid fidgeting or slouching, which can convey nervousness or lack of confidence.

Showcase Your Accomplishments

Don't be shy about highlighting your accomplishments and successes during the interview. Use specific examples to illustrate your skills and experience, and explain how they would be beneficial to the company.

Research the Interviewer

If possible, research the interviewer ahead of time to gain insight into their background and interests. This can help you build rapport and establish common ground during the interview.

Be Prepared for Behavioral Questions

Be prepared to answer behavioral questions that ask you to provide specific examples of how you've handled certain situations in the past. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answers.

Be Prepared to Address Weaknesses

Be prepared to address any weaknesses or gaps in your experience or skills. Provide honest, constructive feedback on how you're working to improve, and demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow.

Show Gratitude

Show gratitude throughout the interview process, from thanking the receptionist to expressing your appreciation to the interviewer. This demonstrates your professionalism and leaves a positive impression. After the interview, follow up with a thank-you note or email to reiterate your appreciation.

In conclusion, preparing for an interview requires a bit of research and planning, but it's well worth the effort. By following these tips, you can demonstrate your skills and experience, showcase your interest in the company, and ultimately land your dream job. Good luck!

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/13/2023

ECO's Thanksgiving Message

ECO Thanksgiving Message

Hello Economics Majors!
I hope your Thanksgiving week is off to a great start.

This week, our theme is gratitude. We have an enthusiastic network of alumni to be thankful for. Each year dozens of economics alumni meet directly with our majors through ECO programming and 800 more have listed themselves on our Alumni and Friends coaching sheet in Collab. In the last 12 weeks, more than 25 alumni and 30 upper level majors participated in ECO programs through our Fall Career Series. You can see the full list of this semester’s alumni participants here by using your UVA email address to access the spreadsheet. All guests are accepting outreach from our majors. Let us know who you’d like to connect with!

While you decompress from the semester and enjoy time with friends and family, think about dedicating some time over break to networking activities, which can be a part of any internship, job, or graduate school search. Use our resource list below as a jumping off point for a networking plan:

1.    Brainstorm other contacts with friends and family, who may be good resources for you. See this article for ideas.

2.    Read 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.

3.    How to Make the Most of Your Alumni Network Paragraph 6 through the end of the article seem most relevant for our students, post-Covid.

4.    Online networking tips from the Wall Street Journal are shared here.

5.    Not sure what to say in your email? Check out these great networking email templates!

6.    Then prepare for your calls/meetings with these sample informational interview questions.

7.     In addition to ECO tools, use the Virginia Alumni Mentor network to find alumni whose interests are similar to yours or work for employers in which you’re interested.

8.    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. You may connect with me here on LinkedIn, which will give you access to job posts once you’ve graduated.

9.    Visit the ECO website for other 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 and safe travels,


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Jennifer Jones
Edwin T. Burton Economics Career Office 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/23/2016

Networking for Economics majors- Part 2 of 2

Part 2 of two articles for Economics majors, written by Professor Bill Conerly.

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.”


Feature | 08/06/2021

Blog: 8.9.2021 The Power of Weak Ties

Hello Majors!

Networking, building relationships! This blog is about this daunting, exciting, intimidating, and rewarding process of building connections.

I recently connected with 1990 econ alum Brian Ramsay, President of private equity firm, Littlejohn & Co. I met Brian through Professor Elzinga. Brian had written to Professor Elzinga because he had been interviewed on a podcast (link below) where he discussed the power of weak ties, something those of you who took Econ 2010 with Professor Elzinga may remember from lectures. Through this email, Professor Elzinga connected Brian and me at the ECO and now I'm sharing Brian's remarks about networking with you. And, it is my hope that in the coming year, Brian will spend time with our majors in the department in-person or virtually. This story demonstrates perfectly the power of networking and building relationships. (During the podcast, you'll also learn about private equity from Brian and the importance of financial analysis skills and . To reach Brian's networking remarks, skip to the 10:00 minute mark.) So much of the work that the ECO undertakes is to set the table for you to join the conversation with our economics alumni and employers.  And while we all have independent networks, which are forged from the building blocks of our own families, friends, and experiences outside of UVA, our goal in the ECO is to share the cultural wealth of our UVA community. We will talk much more about this together in ECO programs and individual advising, but for now, take a listen to Brian Ramsay's interview with "Top of the Pile."


Then, take action and reach out to one professional to practice your informational interviewing. This could be a relative, family friend, friend's family member, your family physician...you get the picture. Use these links to draft your email/phone call script to secure the meeting and then this link to prepare for the call. Send me a message to let me know how it goes!  We will include your comments in an upcoming newsletter.

And, please believe me that asking for help now from alumni and other professionals is completely appropriate and expected. The day will come when you will pay it forward by helping upcoming majors who will be in the shoes you once filled.

Link to ECO website and professional development

Link to How to Write a Networking Email That Gets Results

Feature | 09/23/2019

Alumna Turns Negative Wall Street Experience Into Booming Business

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. 

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: https://www.aera.net/Newsroom/Missed-Exams-and-Lost-Opportunities-Who-Could-Gain-from-Expanded-College-Admission-Testing

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.

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.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 09/17/2018

4 Common Interview Questions - Including the Tough Ones!

Interview invitations should really come with a warning: Strong feelings of excitement changing suddenly into dread are imminent upon receiving this invitation. 

Career counselors (and yes, I’m guilty of this, too) will frequently say, “Oh, it’s a two-way street. You’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.” And while that is partially true—you should definitely use the interview as a way to gauge whether or not you want to work for a company—there is still a power imbalance. Ultimately, the hiring manager will get to decide first whether you’ll get an offer. So, it’s understandable to be nervous. 

But fear not! With a little preparation, you’ll know exactly what to say to impress. To get you started, here are four tricky, but common, interview questions and how to tackle them....Click here for more: https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-common-interview-questions-and-4-perfec...


Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 10/02/2021

Perks and Benefits 101: Explanations and Questions to Ask Before You Take the Job

by Erica Sweeney at The Muse

Once you’ve found a job and company that you’re really excited about, salary might top your list of priorities. But while salary is important, it’s only part of the overall offer. To get the full scope of what you’ll really earn at a job, you need to factor in the perks and benefits that a company offers, too.

“Look at it as more of a package than just a job with a paycheck,” says Leslie Slay, senior vice president of employee benefits services at Woodruff Sawyer, an insurance brokerage and consulting firm.

Compensation traditionally includes non-salary benefits like health insurance and retirement plans. And many companies also offer perks—including flexible schedules, educational opportunities, and wellness programs—to support employees in other ways. “More and more, perks and benefits are becoming integrated together” to support employees in a more holistic way, says Bobbi Kloss, director of human capital management services at Benefit Advisors Network.

On average, a benefits package makes up about 30% of an employee’s total compensation in the U.S. So it’s definitely worth paying attention to the perks and benefits a company offers as you’re looking for a job in addition to the salary.

Employee benefits and perks can be confusing, though. In fact, about a third of all workers and 54% of millennials said they don’t understand the employee benefits they signed up for, according to a 2020 survey by Voya Financial. So as a job seeker it’s often up to you to ask a prospective employer plenty of questions to make sure the benefits they’re offering meet your needs.

Better understanding the benefits and perks you’re offered will help you make the best choice about which job offer to accept. To help guide you, here’s an overview of 15 common employee perks and benefits you might come across as you look for your next job:

1. Health Insurance

Health insurance pays (or helps pay) for your medical expenses as they come up in exchange for a premium, or money paid—by you and/or your employer—to the insurance provider each month. Health insurance plans typically cover doctor visits, prescription drugs, emergency care, and certain medical procedures.

Health insurance plans vary from company to company and you’ll likely have a few to choose from. Some companies pay the full premium on their employee’s behalf, but usually you have to contribute to the cost with a certain amount that comes out of your paycheck before taxes. You may have some other out-of-pocket expenses, too, such as copays when you visit your doctor. Many insurance plans also have a deductible, which is an amount of money you’re responsible for paying before your health coverage kicks in. Make sure you’re aware of these costs before you choose a plan to enroll in.

And to ensure a company plan meets your needs, Kloss suggests checking that it covers treatments for any medical conditions you have or prescription medications you take, and that your preferred doctors are in the plan’s network.

If you have dependents (most commonly children or a partner you support financially) or plan to soon, you should also check that the plan will cover everyone and how much it will cost you. For example, a company may pay 100% of your health insurance premium but you may be stuck paying the full premium for everyone else in your family (which can add up fast). Read more about what all those health insurance terms mean here.

Find jobs at companies that offer health insurance

2. Dental and Vision Insurance

Dental and vision insurance cover your dental and eye-care needs. Dental insurance typically covers routine exams, cleanings, x-rays, and some portion of procedures like root canals and fillings. Vision insurance generally covers eye exams and prescription lenses.

Many employers offer dental and vision insurance, either as part of health insurance or as separate benefits. But whereas some employers cover a portion or all of the costs of health insurance, most companies require you to pay in full for dental and vision insurance, Slay says.

Just as you would with health insurance, check if the plans will let you keep your dentist and eye doctor (if you’d rather not switch) and cover any pre-existing conditions or treatments that you need.

Find jobs at companies that offer dental insurancevision insurance, or both

3. Flexible Spending Account

A flexible spending account (FSA) allows you to put pre-tax money aside to pay for the year’s out-of-pocket healthcare costs, like over-the-counter medications, copays for doctor visits, medical devices like crutches or blood sugar tests, or vision and dental care needs like glasses or contacts. Your employer may also contribute up to $500 to your FSA without you contributing anything (they can match you dollar for dollar on top of the $500), so be sure to check if a company will pay into your account before determining your own contributions. Total FSA contributions are capped at a certain amount each year (for example, they were capped at $2,750 for 2021).

Find jobs at companies that offer FSA accounts

4. Life Insurance

Life insurance is an insurance policy that pays a set amount of money to your chosen beneficiary (or beneficiaries) when you die. If you’re just starting your career and don’t have any children or others who depend on you financially, life insurance may not seem necessary. But it’s still something you should consider, Slay says—especially if your company covers your full premium.

You decide who you want to leave the money to, such as your parents or another family member, to help cover funeral costs, for example. You could even name your favorite charity as the beneficiary.

Find jobs at companies that offer life insurance

5. Disability Insurance

Disability insurance offers compensation or income replacement when you’re unable to work because of an injury or illness that’s not job-related. “I can’t tell you how critical disability insurance is; it protects your paycheck,” Slay says. Disability insurance is usually optional, but worth looking into, she says—just find out what your employer offers and what it will cost you. Some policies are fully paid by an employer and others require you to pay some of the costs in the form of a paycheck deduction, Slay says.

There are two types of disability insurance: short term and long term. Short-term disability insurance varies according to your plan, but typically covers you if you’re out of work for less than six months and on average pays about 60% of your regular salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most long-term disability insurance lasts for 10 years or less (but some policies last until you reach retirement age) and covers about 60% of your annual earnings.

Find jobs at companies that offer short-term disability insurancelong-term disability insurance, or both

6. 401(k)s

401(k) is a retirement-savings plan that’s commonly sponsored by your employer. Plans can vary, but generally you contribute to the fund as a pre-tax paycheck deduction and pay taxes on the money when you withdraw it during retirement. Many companies match employees’ 401(k) contributions, either dollar for dollar, where they put in what you put in, or with a partial match—for example, adding 50 cents for every dollar you contribute, up to a certain percentage of your salary. Yearly employee 401(k) contributions are capped (the limit is $19,500 for 2021), but the employer match doesn’t count toward the limit.

Retirement may seem like a long time away. But Slay urges early career employees to contribute as much as they can to their 401(k), especially if there’s an employer match. The match can help you grow your savings faster and if you’re not taking advantage of it, you’re essentially leaving money on the table that your employer is offering to give you. Plus, in an emergency you may be able to pull money out of your 401(k) before retirement (and without paying a tax penalty) for certain expenses, like buying a home or paying medical bills.

Some companies have taken a new approach to employee retirement benefits recently to meet their workers’ current needs, Slay says. For example, some help employees pay down student loan debt by making direct payments to their lender, while others make a larger 401(k) contribution to employees currently paying off student debt.

Find jobs at companies that offer 401(k)s or 401(k)s with company match

7. Paid Time Off

Paid time off (PTO) can include paid holidays, sick leave, federal and state holidays, personal days, and vacation days.

Typically, the amount of PTO offered by your company is based on how long you’ve worked for them, and you accrue more PTO over time (for example, if you get 15 days of PTO per year, that means you accrue about 0.058 hours of PTO for every hour you work, or roughly 10.5 hours of PTO per month). If, say, you’re looking to start a new job right before a holiday or planned trip, you might want to ask the company if it has a policy about using PTO before you’ve technically accrued it.

How a company offers PTO varies, too. For example, some designate a separate number of personal, sick, or vacation days, which is sometimes required by state law. But, Slay says, more employers are lumping all PTO in together to make taking off easier for employees. Some companies even offer unlimited PTO.

Time off is an important factor in your overall compensation, so make sure to ask about how many PTO days you get. Often, you can negotiate your PTO, Slay says, particularly since the pandemic has shown more companies the benefits of giving their workers more time off. “PTO is one of those areas where you can ask for things that are a little different and you might get them.” Also, be sure to check if you can carry over unused PTO into a new year and whether you’ll be paid for any unused days when you leave the company.

Find jobs at companies that offer paid holidayspaid vacationpersonal and sick days, or unlimited vacation

8. Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a U.S. law that enables employees to take unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. Employees can take up to 12 weeks off for the birth or adoption of a child, a family member with a medical condition who needs care, their own health condition that prevents them from performing job functions, and other reasons.

Under this law, your job is protected and your health insurance continues during this leave. Companies with more than 50 employees are required to comply with the law and you’re eligible if you’ve worked for the company for at least 12 months and meet other requirements. If you’re considering going to work for a smaller company, be sure to find out their policies for family and medical leave.

Find jobs at companies with more than 50 employees

9. Parental Leave

Parental leave enables employees to take off following the birth of a child, an adoption, or the arrival of a newly placed foster child, or for a child otherwise needing parental care, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Though the FMLA requires some employers to offer unpaid leave in these instances, there’s no broad guarantee of parental leave in the U.S.—which means it comes down to the employer.

More than half of U.S. employers offer paid new child leave to women, and 45% offer paid new child leave to men, according to a 2020 study by the Society for Human Resource Management and Oxford Economics. However, specific policies vary for the companies that do offer parental leave, so find out about a prospective employer’s rules if you plan to start a family soon, Slay says. Ask whether the leave is paid or unpaid, whether your job will be there waiting for you when you return, and how much time off you’re allowed.

Find jobs at companies that offer maternity leavepaternity leave, or both

10. Remote Work Options

Remote work gives employees the freedom to work from home or anywhere else outside of a traditional office setting, either full time or part time in a hybrid schedule. The COVID-19 pandemic made remote work a necessity, and it was such a hit with workers that many have said they’ll quit their jobs rather than go back to the office. Employers realize that remote work has benefits for them, too, such as opening up a much broader, more diverse talent pool to hire from, so many organizations plan to allow remote work in some fashion post-pandemic.

While more employers will be offering fully or partially remote positions after the pandemic off the bat, the ability to work from home is something you can likely negotiate, Kloss says. “I think employers are recognizing after COVID that they can be more flexible in those areas than they ever thought possible.” So find out whether you’ll be able to work remotely some or all of the time and what the company’s policies are for remote work schedules, virtual meetings, and communication. Also ask whether they provide equipment or stipends for internet, phone, or other expenses for remote workers.

Find jobs at companies that offer remote work opportunities

11. Flexible Schedules

A flexible schedule is when your employer allows you to work hours and days outside of the traditional nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday schedule. For instance, you might work 10 hours a day, four days a week or set core hours when you’re available, such as 9 AM to 1 PM, and have flexibility the rest of the day to complete your work whenever you’d like. Like with remote work, the pandemic led more companies to offer flexible schedules to accommodate different work styles and time zones as well as employees who have children or other caretaking responsibilities. 

Flexible schedules are another perk that you can likely negotiate—just make sure you and your employer both come away with a clear idea of which days and times you’ll work.

Find jobs at companies that offer flexible work hours

12. Wellness Programs

Workplace wellness programs aim to improve an employee’s mental and physical health and offer more resources beyond health insurance. Wellness programs have traditionally included health screenings and tools to help people lose weight or stop smoking, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

But organizations have taken a broader, more holistic approach to their wellness programs in recent years by offering individualized supports that take into account an employee’s emotional, social, physical, and financial needs, Kloss says. Wellness-based perks—such as fitness subsidies, meals, and access to mental wellness apps and counseling—are becoming more common.

Even more so than with other perks and benefits, wellness program offerings vary widely, so find out the specifics of what a company offers and consider how it meets your needs.

Find jobs at companies that offer wellness programsfitness subsidieson-site gymand meals

13. Education Benefits

Most companies offer some type of education benefit, including access to online courses, on-the-job training, tuition reimbursement for continuing education, and learning and development stipends to cover educational expenses.

If you’re just starting your career, these programs can help you succeed long term by keeping your skills fresh, which could increase your chances for promotions or raises, Slay says. Education benefits and perks also signal that a company values and invests in its employees and their growth. So be sure to ask what a company you’re planning to work for offers if education is important to you.

Find jobs at companies that offer access to online coursestuition reimbursement, or learning and development stipends

14. Mentor Programs

Mentor programs pair you with someone at your company who’s more experienced and can answer questions and offer guidance to help you advance in your career. “Mentorship is huge,” Slay says. Mentors can serve as advocates to help you navigate the technical and political parts of a job as well as you build and expand your network.

Mentorship programs help employees feel valued, create a culture of learning and increase job satisfaction and productivity, Slay says. So find out whether a company provides formal or informal mentoring and what their programs entail.

Find jobs at companies that offer mentor programs

15. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs and initiatives encourage the representation and participation of different and often underrepresented groups, such as women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. The programs may include mentorship opportunities, targeted recruitment efforts, and employee resource groups (ERGs).

As with many employee benefits and perks, some DEI programs are more robust than others. So it’s a good idea to find out the specifics of what a company offers and how it aligns with your values and needs, rather than just noting that they’ve ticked the box in offering a DEI program.

Find jobs at companies that offer diversity and inclusion programs

Before you accept a job offer, make sure you have a good grasp of the company’s benefits and perks and how they fit into your overall compensation structure. Ask plenty of questions to get all the details of how each benefit and perk aligns with your needs and negotiate to get what you want. Keep in mind, too, that when you’re searching for open jobs on The Muse, you can set filters so you’ll only see open positions at companies that offer the benefits and perks that matter most to you.



Elzinga Flash Seminar

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.




Hamilton Angevine

Feature | 12/11/2018

Ben Hamilton Finds Conference Presentations Good Preparation for Job Market

On October 6, at the 74th Midwest International Trade Conference at Vanderbilt University,  I presented my job market paper, “Learning, Externalities, and Export Dynamics,” in a 25-minute talk to an audience of economists studying international trade. In November, I presented my job market paper twice at different venues in Washington D.C.  First, at the 88th Southern Economic Association annual meeting, where I received constructive feedback on a condensed 15-minute version of my talk from students and professors of varied concentrations. Next, at the second Mid-Atlantic International Trade Workshop, hosted by the Federal Reserve Board, I gave a longer, 40-minute version of my talk and benefited from helpful comments and discussion with other trade economists.  Having the opportunity to present my talk in a variety of formats, receive questions from audiences unfamiliar with me and my work, and network with many people in my field was a valuable experience, particularly as I prepare to go on the job market during the next few months.  

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 

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/11/2022

Finding a Mentor Remotely

Below is a WSJ article about finding a professional mentor virtually, on the job or off. Many resources are recommended. As UVA students you also have access the the Econ Alumni and Friends List in Collab, the Virginia Alumni Mentor Network (VAM), and WahooConnect.  Take a read below and then map your plan to connect with potential mentors now, or in the future.

Yes, You Can Find a Mentor While Working Remotely

Young professionals slide into the DMs of their professional idols in the hopes of becoming their mentees

By Ray A. Smith

Jan. 27, 2022 9:14 am ET


Note to young professionals looking for a mentor as the pandemic drags on: Shoot your shot online.

Remote and hybrid work has upended many traditional mentorship arrangements, leaving up-and-comers in search of more seasoned professionals to learn from and help their career climb.

In the absence of in-person mentoring opportunities, people in their 20s and 30s are going online to pitch themselves as remote mentees, sometimes engaging in behavior once considered gauche, such as sending cold-call emails and sliding into the social-media direct messages, known as DMs, of stars in their field.

They risk not hearing back. Some prominent professionals might be wary of online messages from people they have neither met nor heard of. A number of mentees who have sought mentorship this way say they have caught the attention of people they admire because, well, everyone is online now.

Priya Jaisinghani said she spent months trying to connect with colleagues and potential mentors when she moved to Manhattan for an endocrinology fellowship in the summer of 2020. The fellowship would be her last big step before going into independent practice and she wanted mentors through this stage of her career, so she said she turned to Twitter, Instagram and Clubhouse, joining group accounts, some of which focused on women in medicine or her specialty.

Last year, the 30-year-old came across the Twitter account of Vineet Arora, dean for medical education at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Priya Jaisinghani turned to Twitter and Instagram to reach out to other women in medicine or her specialty.

“I have a strong liking for quality improvement and patient safety, and Dr. Arora is, like, legendary in that field,” Dr. Jaisinghani said.

She decided to reach out on Twitter with a direct message and hoped Dr. Arora, whose account has more than 43,000 followers, would reply.

“I’m just like, ‘Hi, I’m a first-year fellow. I really want to look at this public health crisis that we’re seeing about the dissemination of the Covid-19 vaccine through a quality improvement lens,’ ” she said. She cited Dr. Arora’s expertise in her note and, to her surprise, she quickly responded.

“She seemed so open and warm,” Dr. Arora said. “I usually don’t agree to mentor anyone from a distance.”

Dr. Arora said she was wary of entering a virtual mentoring relationship because less time with a person—and more distance—meant there were more ways it could go wrong. The two ended up working on a monthslong research project together.

“She was so enthusiastic about it, it was a breath of fresh air,” Dr. Arora said.

They said they have stayed in touch by phone, video calls and social media. They still haven’t met in person, yet Dr. Jaisinghani calls the experience invaluable at a crucial career moment.

Adam Galinsky, a professor of leadership and ethics at Columbia Business School, advises his students and young professionals to mimic the in-person experience as best they can by asking to help a would-be mentor on a project that can be collaborated on online, like a prototype rendering.

‘When I reached out to this guy, it was very targeted. It was a very different game.’

— Dunte Hector, a 32-year-old engineer who found a mentor on LinkedIn

Early and midcareer professionals can check whether their employer’s mentorship programs have remote options, as some companies have taken them virtual. Mentor, a nonprofit that provides resources for corporations and community organizations, connects mentors and mentees through a new app and moved its workplace mentoring initiative completely online during the pandemic, said Charline Alexandre-Joseph, Mentor’s director of workforce development.

Virtual mentoring existed before Covid-19 with e-mentoring platforms, but “they became more relevant for folks because of the crisis we all found ourselves in,” she said.

Large numbers of people are using LinkedIn to find potential mentors during the Covid-19 era, said Meg Garlinghouse, LinkedIn’s vice president of social impact.

LinkedIn tends to see an upswing in activity in January as people think about their career goals in the new year. The wider reshuffling in the labor market and the long stretch of remote work have people looking for career advisers. Searches for mentees and mentors on LinkedIn doubled during the first half of January 2022 compared with the same period a year ago, the company said. In the fall, more than half of 2,000 working adults in the U.S. surveyed said they have never had a mentor, while 18% said they currently had one, according to research done on behalf of LinkedIn.

Marissa King, a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, advises against cold emails asking someone to be a mentor. Instead, start by demonstrating interest in their work, by citing in correspondence to them their accomplishments, talks or research. Such actions prove you have done your homework, she said.

Dunte Hector sought career advice from a mentor, including over the summer when he was weighing a job change.

Dunte Hector, a 32-year-old engineer who lives near Denver, found a mentor on LinkedIn after starting a new associate product manager job last January. He had been googling for help to improve some of his skills and found a series of articles published several years ago. He decided to track down the author online. Mr. Hector didn’t identify his mentor.

“I sent him an email that basically says, ‘Hey, I found your article from 2017,’ and I put a link to it. I said, ‘This is the part that I loved. Do you have any recommendations for more information on this topic?’ ” Mr. Hector said.

Turns out, he did. Four days later Mr. Hector got a note recommending a whole book on the subject.

From there, the two began corresponding through LinkedIn, email and phone calls, Mr. Hector said. As the mentor-mentee relationship progressed, Mr. Hector said he sought career advice, including over the summer when he was weighing a job change. His mentor talked him through how to conduct his search since his current title isn’t a common one in his field, he said.

Before Covid-19, Mr. Hector said he would have gone fishing for mentors at networking events or in professional groups, where people showed up to in-person gatherings with the hope of finding someone wise to connect with.

“When I reached out to this guy, it was very targeted,” Mr. Hector said. “It was a very different game.”

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/30/2024

Internship Placement Program is Now Open!

The IPP Summer 2024 application was reopened yesterday for the second (and last) round of recruitment. During the second round, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until internships are filled or they reach their final deadline on Wednesday, May 29th at 11:59pm.


Program Basics:

  • Applicant Population: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year undergraduates
  • Program Dates: Monday, June 3rd – Friday, July 26th
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • Internship Hours: 20 per week 
  • Course Requirement: UNST 3910: Self & Organizations OR UNST 3920: Teams, Leadership, and Organizations (in Fall 2024)


Want to apply?

  •  Search available internships in Handshake under IPP: in Jobs or using the 2nd Round – IPP Summer 2024 Internship List
  • Apply via Handshake at UVA Internship Placement Program (IPP): Summer 2024 Application - Select “Register” and complete application questions
  • Schedule a follow-up virtual interview with an IPP team member via Handshake  
  • If internship placement notification is received, conduct an interview with the organization  
  • Confirm placement decision with IPP team by deadline (varies based on when placement notification is received)   


To read more, go here: IPP Summer 2024 Application

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/16/2023

A College Student's Guide to Connecting with Someone on LinkedIn

This article was written by Rikin Shah for LinkedIn
(Note from the ECO: The ECO endorses the content of this article, but found typos and grammatical errors in the original piece. We have attempted to correct many of them in our copy below.)

Let's say you've found your dream company and identified someone you think you would like to connect with; now for the approach. How can you be heard when you reach out to someone at your dream company? The goal here is not to directly ask for an internship but rather to build a genuine and useful relationship with the company.

I have fallen prey to this many times. I have the business card or email address of someone, but somehow never knew what to say. I wanted to find a formula that was bulletproof, something that would lead to an internship instead of in their unread box. I hated the idea of reaching out to someone without really having much to give. But if you are a young professional or student, what you can give someone with an established career is the opportunity to give back to someone younger. If you are looking to land an internship, you're better off framing the email as an opportunity for them to give you advice rather than asking for a job. Every single email you send and conversation you have with a potential advocate, you need to reframe the context so it's about them. It’s not about you, it’s about the other person.

Cold Approaches

Let’s face it, emails are essential to connecting with anyone today. But we all know that it’s hard to send an email that stands out.

The key to sending an email that elicits a response is to make a reasonable and personable ask. Imagine a stranger walking up to you on the street and asking you for a job. You would be reluctant. But let’s say they asked you for advice on getting a job, you’d be much more willing to provide the latter.

Consider two cold emails you can send to someone:

Hi! My name is Rikin and I am a sophomore marketing student at the University of Texas at Austin. I am interested in working in the outdoor gear industry. I am planning on being a product designer and building camping gear. Are you looking for any interns? If so, I would love to work with the team. It’s always been my dream to work for an outdoor gear company. I think my experience being an honor roll student and being involved in my business fraternity would qualify me to be on your team.


Hey Bartos,

I saw that you are involved in the outdoor gear industry in Austin. I think it’s incredible that you made the switch from working in banking to living the dream of designing camping gear.

As an adventurer at heart, I have been interested in ending up in the outdoor industry after I graduate from UT Austin. I was wondering if you might be willing to take 20 minutes to hop on a call and maybe advise someone who’s in the same shoes you were in 5 years ago?

The differences are subtle, but together they make a difference.

Asking for Advice:

People love to give advice. Instead of asking questions ask for advice. People love to give advice, just ask your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving dinner. The goal is to turn this relationship from a unilateral connection where you are asking for help to a more bilateral mentorship relationship. Get them invested in you.

Be sure to have pointed questions to ask. Don’t ask for general advice, ask for advice on something specific such as finding your first internship, etc.

Be Humble:

College students often hide behind their qualifications. They use their GPA, school, or leadership experience to build credibility. Unless your credentials include singlehandedly saving the world’s whale population, your credentials don’t entitle you to someone else’s time. All that matters is your ability to work hard and offer value, everything else is a proxy. If the first paragraph does not talk about why your email relates to your recipient, you’ve already lost the game.


Throughout your school career, you’ve been taught to hide your vulnerabilities. But if you step back, your dream company is going to be fine without you, but the company you work for will have much more impact on you. It’s okay to be vulnerable and admit it. It’s okay to ask if this career is going to be the right fit for you.

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. 

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%.

Feature | 05/23/2022

MJ Nilayamgode and Tyler Wake 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 | 08/12/2016

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!

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 | 03/27/2019

5 Tips for Nailing a Phone Screen

I’m a millennial, and I hate talking on the phone. In other news, the sky is blue. It’s not that I’m afraid of talking on the phone—I do it. I just don’t like it. And I don’t like it because I find there’s a disconnect. In an email, you’ve got pretty much all the time in the world to get your point across, use the right words, and strike the right tone. And in person, you can read a person’s expressions and body language to get a sense of how the conversation is going, which is ideal in an interview scenario. A phone call has none of that—both you and your conversation partner are just disembodied voices.

The phone screen or phone interview is often the first hurdle that you need to clear in getting a job but, because you can’t really see how a person is responding to your conversation, it adds another layer of removal from the situation and thus another level of anxiety. Here, I’ll get into some ways you can set yourself up for success during a phone screen.

1. Housekeeping

No, don’t clean your house. (Although, in a Skype interview, you’ll probably want to do that—or at least the space directly behind you.) I just mean make sure you take care of all the nuts and bolts. Find a quiet space to take the call (i.e., kick your roommates or your kids out of the room), charge your phone, and make sure you’ve taken it off “Do Not Disturb” mode from the movies last night. I know this sounds like really simple advice that no one could possibly need reminding of—but have you ever forgotten to pack your deodorant for vacation? Exactly. So just double check—nothing could be more embarrassing than your phone going dead right as you’re saying that your personal motto is “Be prepared.”

2. Don’t Chew Gum. Do Take Names.

Listen up, hiring manager: I’m here to kick butt, take names, and chew bubblegum. And I’m all out of bubblegum.

I’m sorry, I had to fit that in here somewhere. For real, though—you better be all out of bubblegum during a phone (or any) interview. No gum, no food, and ideally no drinks, but I won’t make a hard-and-fast rule about it. The person you’re talking to can absolutely hear you masticating on the other end of the line, regardless of how sneaky you think you’re being.

And, to fully justify my reference, be sure to get the name and contact info of your interviewer. One, it makes it that much easier to follow up after the interview. And two, when you go in for an in-person interview, it’ll be nice to have that person’s name at your disposal rather than waiting anxiously for them to reintroduce themselves.

3. Use a Crib Sheet

It’s not cheating, it’s using your resources. This is one instance in which a phone screen is actually awesome—you can take as many notes as you want beforehand and, as long as you’re not rustling pages, you can reference them all you like. I do this constantly—I jot down the company’s important clients and business partners, the names of people in my potential department, and a little blurb about me for the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question. For one, writing it all down makes me feel more prepared beforehand. But it also makes for easy referencing if my mind goes totally blank in the interview. Just make sure that if you do write out answers to questions, you’re not just reading off your notes. Think of them like index cards for a speech: They’re there to remind you of your main points, but you shouldn’t be entirely dependent on them.

4. Be Comfortable—Even If “Comfortable” Is a Little Weird

It’s probably for the best that I don’t make too many phone calls—I’d wear a meandering path in the floor of my apartment. It’s not even an anxiety thing, exactly. I just wander. If you’re a phone pacer, that’s fine—pace! Use wild hand gestures! Do what you gotta do to burn off nerves. I know it’s a little nerve-racking not being able to see your interviewer’s face, but they also can’t see you—take advantage of that.

That said, don’t get too comfortable. Even though your interviewer can’t see you, you should definitely get up, get dressed in something semi-professional, do your hair, and all that before taking the call. It’ll help you get into the mindset of making an impression.

5. Take Notes

Pencils ready, y’all. Remember what I was saying about taking down your interviewer’s contact info? You should also be writing down the main points of what they say. As the first step in the interviewing process, phone screens are often quite informative—this is your chance to get a good feel for the company, for the qualities needed in the position, for the personality of at least this potential member of your team, things like that. This is important info, and while you shouldn’t be hyper-focused on writing everything down, make sure you jot down the most important points. It’ll help you when you go in for the in-person interview—you’ll be able to demonstrate that you were listening, and you’ll know the notes to hit on the second round.


Read more here.

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Feature | 04/03/2023

Advice From A CEO: How To Create A Career You Love

Article written by Caroline Castrillon from Forbes.

Chances are you’ve come across books or articles describing the process of “finding” yourself. But a more accurate description is that we as humans “create” ourselves—including our careers. A career you love isn’t waiting to be discovered under a rock or deep in a wooded forest. The process is much more intentional. It requires courage, self-knowledge, and a willingness to disassociate yourself from the outcome. These are just a few insights that emerged following my conversation with Sharon Price John, President and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop and author of Stories & Heart.

One thing is certain; John doesn't run from adversity. She embraces it. But that’s not all that makes her an exceptional leader. In Stories & Heart, John uses her gift of storytelling to share personal experiences that provide a roadmap for anyone who wants to create a life and career they love. Here are just a few of the biggest takeaways.

Clarify your goals

Life is a journey; to create a career you love, you need to know where you’re going. That means identifying your goals. Once you’ve pinpointed them, John suggests writing them down and visualizing them as if they are already a part of your life. There is something powerful about writing down your goals, and there is research to back it up. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, conducted a study on goal setting and found that participants were 42% more likely to achieve their goals just by writing them down. Finally, you must have the "gumption" to stick with your goals. Gumption, according to John, "is a mix of drive, passion, and creativity—not just sheer will.”

Define your values

Ultimately, people are happier when their value system aligns with their job or career. So to create a career you love, think about what is most important to you. These values could range from flexibility to a corporate environment that embraces teamwork and transparency. John adds, “by clarifying who you are deep down and the type of person you aspire to become, you will more easily recognize what really matters to you—so future decisions can be made more quickly with greater clarity, less stress, more conviction, and little regret.”

Take action

In the book, John explains why people don't take action. They either don't really believe achieving their goal is possible, or they are afraid of failure. One approach is to ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Another tactic is to relabel the fear as something more positive, like excitement. Relabeling the feeling makes it much easier to manage. At that point, you can work on breaking your bigger goal down into smaller, more manageable steps.

Embrace planned serendipity

While learning to set and achieve goals is part of creating a career you love, it’s not usually a straight path. In fact, a few unexpected turns may be just what you need to reach your destination—a concept called planned serendipity. Planned serendipity is the idea of putting yourself in unfamiliar situations to be exposed to previously unknown people and experiences. It could be as simple as breaking your routine by taking a new route to work or sitting at a different table in the cafeteria. By altering your surroundings, you are opening yourself up to new ways of thinking. John points out, “I have found in my life that if I opened my mind to possibilities and then put myself in unfamiliar environments, it is a mechanism for awakening yourself to ideas.”

Redefine failure

Failure isn't a deterrent to success; it is part of being successful. It is much more empowering to think of failure as a stepping stone rather than an undesirable event. By labeling it as a learning experience, you turn failure into something positive. “The key to overcoming failure is to entirely redefine the concept, writes John. “When you can do this, you can also redefine your life.”

Trust your instincts

Albert Einstein once said, “the intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” When creating a career you love, you’ll want to gather as much data as possible and then balance that data with intuition. Just remember that intuition doesn’t usually present itself as a sudden “aha” moment in the form of a thunderbolt. As John points out, “instincts often do not yell and scream. They whisper. If your world, your mind, your life is too loud, they will be drowned out. You have to learn to be quiet and listen to them first.”

In the end, John reminds us that the whole point of creating a career you love is to find fulfillment. “Humans are meant to do something with their lives, she says. “That something is meant to create value, and that value is meant to help fulfill you. That's the great circle of it all."

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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.

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.

Feature | 05/23/2022

Yooseon Hwang presents at European UEA Conference

In April 2022, fifth-year student Yooseon Hwang presented her paper,"The Welfare Effects of Congestion Pricing," at the European Urban Economics Association Conference in London. The paper estimates the effects of congestion pricing on welfare by developing a quantitative spatial model with endogenous commuting costs.

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 (Q.ai. 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.

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Feature | 10/24/2022

Coffee Chat Advice for Networking (Investment Banking Focused)

Investment Banking Coffee Chat Questions

Taken from: Peak Frameworks: https://www.peakframeworks.com/post/investment-banking-coffee-chat-quest... 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.

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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. 

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Feature | 11/02/2021

ECO Article: Explosive Tech Firm Growth in NYC - Younger Firms Driving Office Leasing

Younger firms are driving office leasing in the city


Taken from Crain's New York, October 11, 2021

The ECO recommends this article to get a sense of the NYC economy, what's going on in commercial real estate, and because the info signals the possibility of jobs and internships for our majors. For more Crain's New York info, click here.


The share of young firms leasing office space in the city has skyrocketed, driving down the average age of businesses that are signing deals to 27 years old, down from 29 years in 2019, according to data from Newmark.

Demand for space from tenants that have been in business for less than 10 years grew by 514% during the pandemic, compared with 226% in 2019, with some of them leasing 10 times more space than they occupied in 2019, the report said.

“I kept coming across companies I’ve never heard of going from 20,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet,” said David Falk, president of Newmark’s New York tristate region. “It wasn’t just the Googles and Facebooks of the world.” 


Those deals were driven by tech companies such as Alloy, Freshly and DailyPay,  which have all grown by more than 1,000%, and Remarkable Foods, Fubo TV, Affirm and Cashapp, which quadrupled their offices. Noom signed a sublease for 113,000 square feet at Brookfield’s 5 Manhattan West in the fall of 2020.

The expansions are thanks to rapid growth and hiring among these businesses, which have resisted much of the pandemic’s damage to the city’s economy. 

“Their business has done quite well over the last year,” Falk said. “They started at an opportune time to look at real estate and move to a better building or get better terms or flexibility.”

They’re responsible for pushing the office market out of 15 months of negative absorption, when more space was given up than was leased. In Midtown South, where most of these companies are, that figure turned positive during the third quarter, with net absorption of nearly 433,000 square feet.

The overall number of tenants in the technology, advertising, marketing and information space looking for new offices grew from 107 in 2019 to 132 as of last month. 

Companies including Remarkable Foods, Cashapp, Splice and Twitch have grown out of coworking space and expanded into their own offices. TikTok was previously operating out of a WeWork at 1460 Broadway but relocated to a 232,000-square-foot, seven-floor office at the Durst Organization’s 151 W. 42nd St. during the spring.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 31% of emerging tenants’ leases, however, were subleases, compared with 24% of deals signed by emerging tech firms. They were able to scoop up office space in newer Class A buildings for a discounted price.

“These tenants can now get better buildings at reasonable prices with flexible terms,” Falk said. “Aesthetics are becoming more important to them.”





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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!









Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 10/31/2018

Alumni Spotlight: Emily Steinhilber

University of Virginia, Department of Economics

Alumni Spotlight: Emily Steinhilber, Research Associate Professor at Old Dominion University


Life at UVA and since graduating:

Emily graduated from the University of Virginia in 2007 with degrees in Economics and History. After UVA, Emily received her doctorate in Law and Masters in Environmental Law and Policy at the Vermont Law School, where she graduated magna cum laude. She has worked in legal clinics and in environmental policy for over a decade.


She now works at Old Dominion University as a Research Assistant Professor. She coordinates the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resilience and works with faculty members to ensure their work is useful for policy makers and the public. She works with entrepreneurs and innovators to support new ideas for adapting to flooding.


In your own words, what is sustainability?

Effectively using resources to ensure a better result.


Emily’s advice for students:

  • Read up on as much literature as you can on the topics that interest you professionally and personally
  • Don’t write anything important on your phone–take pride in your written work
  • Do your research effectively and thoroughly–click on references in papers
  • Ask people to have coffee!
Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 11/09/2021

ECO Blog: What Do Econ Majors Do after Graduation?

Hello Econ Majors,

As you consider your internship, externship, or job search, it can be helpful to know graduates, who have passed through Monroe Hall before you, are doing now and what they did immediately after graduating. 

The ECO recommends the following resources to help you review where recent graduates work and attend graduate school. Additionally, I've shared below resources, which more broadly, convey industry opportunities that Econ majors often pursue. With any questions, please feel free to schedule an appointment with me.

ECO First Destination Reports: Data gathered from graduate surveys and scraping data from the web.
UVA Career Outcomes Reports: Data gathered from graduate surveys and scraping data from the web (all majors).
ECO Alumni and Friends List: This list includes more than 500 economics majors, sorted by employer, who have offered to provide career advice to majors.
LinkedIn Group for Economics Majors: All majors are welcome to join this group.
LinkedIn Results of Economics Majors Query: These are the results of filtering our UVA alumni by reported major on LinkedIn. The results will populate in order of number of employees. More than 15,000 UVA LinkedIn members are affiliated with an economics major. Filter by recent graduation dates and internship information will be more accessible. Consider these employers for your own internships.
What Can I Do with an Economics Major: Lists employers by sector, industry, and job function. Includes dozens of majors to review.

Then, consider using these tools above to help you network with people in industries/job functions that interest you. Complement this research with your PathwayU results to even further refine your search. PathwayU is an online interest assessment endorsed by UVA career offices, which matches your reported interests with industries and job functions. The assessment takes about 30-45 minutes to complete and you may review the results independently or with a career advisor. 

Wishing you a fantastic week!

Jen Jones

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/19/2024

Leverage Your Summer Internship for Fall Recruiting!

How can you make the most of your summer internship? Your summer internship may be in an industry other than what you had expected when you launched your search. You may be working in a job function or role that hadn't been your first choice. Give it a chance, learn all you can, and build relationships with your colleagues and peers. Then leverage this experience as you approach full-time recruiting in other fields. This blog post focuses on parlaying any summer internship into management consulting recruiting. Here are some steps you can take to highlight the transferable skills and experiences on your resume. Let's use a real estate development internship as an example.

Understand transferable skills: Identify the skills and experiences gained during your real estate internship that are relevant to management consulting. Examples may include project management, data analysis, financial modeling, market research, and client relationship management.

Seek cross-functional projects: Look for opportunities within your real estate internship to work on projects that involve aspects of strategy, operations, or business development. This will allow you to gain exposure to broader business functions and showcase your ability to think strategically.

Network strategically: Connect with professionals in the management consulting industry through networking events, online platforms, and informational interviews. Seek advice and insights on how to position your real estate experience in a way that highlights your transferable skills and demonstrates your interest in consulting.

Leverage your education: Highlight any relevant coursework or academic projects that align with management consulting skills, such as problem-solving, data analysis, strategic planning, or organizational behavior. Emphasize how your educational background complements your real estate internship experience.

Develop additional skills: Take proactive steps to acquire skills that are highly valued in management consulting. This may include improving your proficiency in data analytics, financial analysis, critical thinking, or presentation skills. Ask for these kinds of opportunities in your internship in addition to the work your employer gives you. Consider enrolling in relevant online courses, attending workshops, or pursuing certifications.

Quantify the results of projects or initiatives you worked on. For instance, if you assisted in developing a marketing campaign for a real estate property, mention the increase in leads generated or the percentage increase in property inquiries as a result of the campaign.

  • Financial impact: Highlight any financial contributions you made or cost savings achieved. For example, if you assisted in analyzing a real estate investment opportunity, mention the projected return on investment (ROI) or the cost savings identified through your analysis.
  • Data analysis: If you conducted data analysis as part of your internship, quantify the size of the dataset you worked with, the number of variables analyzed, or the insights gained from your analysis.
  • Client or stakeholder satisfaction: If you had direct interactions with clients or stakeholders, quantify their satisfaction levels or feedback. For example, mention that you consistently received positive feedback from clients on your responsiveness or ability to address their needs.
  • Process improvements: If you implemented process improvements or efficiency measures, quantify the time or cost savings achieved. For instance, if you streamlined the property listing process, mention the percentage reduction in listing time or the increase in the number of listings processed per day.
  • Team achievements: If you worked collaboratively with a team, quantify the team's accomplishments. For example, mention that your team successfully closed a certain number of real estate deals or achieved a specific sales target during your internship.

Remember to focus on quantifiable achievements that demonstrate your impact and add value to the organization. By providing specific numbers and measurable outcomes, you can make your achievements more tangible and impressive to potential employers in the management consulting field.

Then over the summer, tailor your resume and cover letter: Customize your application materials to emphasize the transferable skills and experiences gained during your real estate internship that are relevant to management consulting. Use specific examples and quantify your achievements whenever possible.

Be prepared for interviews: Research the management consulting industry thoroughly and familiarize yourself with common consulting frameworks, methodologies, and case interview techniques. Practice answering behavioral and case-based interview questions to showcase your problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills.

Emphasize your adaptability: Highlight your ability to quickly learn and adapt to new industries and projects. Emphasize your flexibility, analytical mindset, and willingness to take on new challenges, which are all highly valued in consulting.


Feature | 05/12/2020

Moogdho Mahzab Selected for 7th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences

PhD candidate Moogdho Mahzab was one of 373 young economists from around the world invited to attend the 7th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences. The event, which will be postponed until August 2021, due to Covid-19, honors the memory of Alfred Nobel by bringing together young economists and Laureates of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences. The invitation is quite an honor. Congratulations, Moogdho!

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: https://www.aera.net/Newsroom/Missed-Exams-and-Lost-Opportunities-Who-Could-Gain-from-Expanded-College-Admission-Testing

Elzinga Flash Seminar

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.


Feature | 10/17/2023

Editorial: Claudia Goldin’s Nobel is a win for women and men


Editorial: Claudia Goldin’s Nobel is a win for women and men

  • Lauren Owens Lambert/AFP

Women have immense potential to make the entire world more prosperous — yet despite decades of progress, that potential is yet to be fully realized. Harvard Professor Claudia Goldin has spent her career illuminating not only the obstacles that women face but also how to overcome them. For these efforts, she is the richly deserving winner of the 2023 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.

Goldin is a trailblazer on multiple levels. Of the 93 economic laureates since the prize’s inception in 1969, she’s only the third woman (and the first to be recognized solo, without co-recipients). She was the first tenured female professor in the Harvard economics department. And at a time when leading academics focused on building elegant but often deeply flawed mathematical models of the economy, she stuck to the painstaking work of collecting and analyzing empirical data to establish the truth.

After studying the mechanisms of slavery and the cost of the American Civil War, she turned to the topic that would define her career: women and work. By parsing data going as far back as the late 18th century, she discovered (among other things) that female labor-force participation doesn’t necessarily increase with economic growth, and that education alone won’t eliminate the gender pay gap. Thus, other policies are needed to help women and the economy reach their full potential. Depending on a country’s situation, these might involve women’s expectations, access to contraception, parenting roles or the flexibility of work arrangements.

Goldin’s insights have helped guide policymakers’ efforts to promote gender equality — which, if achieved, could add more than 50% to the economic output of some countries by expanding the labor force and better allocating human capital, according to one estimate. It could also boost incomes for both women and men. Yet adoption of even plainly beneficial measures, such as child-care subsidies, remains uneven — notably in the U.S., which last month allowed emergency pandemic-era child-care funding to expire, potentially leaving millions in the lurch.

Aside from her research, Goldin has sought to address a stark disparity in her own field: Women comprise the majority of undergraduate students, but only one in four economics majors. True to form, Goldin’s initiative — which entails, for example, targeted information sessions and mentoring — is structured as a controlled experiment, to establish what actually works. Although the results have so far been mixed, it has boosted women’s enrollment in economics in some colleges and provided others with valuable information on how best to proceed.

While Goldin often emphasizes how far women have come, her research also quantifies the struggles that remain. Women still earn less than men for the same work — particularly in high-paying professions such as law and finance, which require long hours and a lot of face time. By responsibly measuring the problem, she helps make further progress possible.

It will take more time for women to achieve true equity in the workplace. But when that happens, they and all who benefit from their contributions will to a crucial extent have Claudia Goldin to thank.

Feature | 04/15/2018


In April 2018, 4th year student Devaki Ghose, presented a paper at a workshop--cohosted by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMG), the World Bank (WB), and the Center for Economic Policy (CEP)--held at the WTO’s Geneva headquarters, titled Trade Policy, Inclusiveness and the Rise of the Service Economy. The workshop’s goal: to dig deeper into the question of how and to what extent services trade can benefit from removing barriers to trade and how these benefits can translate into positive societal outcomes. From a field of established presenters and authors, including many professors from prestigious universities, such as the London School of Economics and the University of Nottingham, as well as policy practitioners from international organizations such as the WTO, IMF, WB and the OECD, Devaki was one of 10 selected to offer a full 45-minute presentation. In her paper, “Did the Rise of Service Off-shoring and IT-Boom Change India’s Economic Landscape?”, she quantifies how the rise in the India’s IT industry, fueled by off-shoring demand from abroad, changed India’s growth story by looking at changes in educational outcomes, employment and wages; she also studies how this IT boom was fostered by the growth of engineering education in India. Devaki, who has previously presented at conferences and seminars at Dartmouth college, University of Nottingham, the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting and the Eastern Economic Association Conference, described the workshop as “a unique opportunity to present my work to both academicians and policy makers. I believe feedback from this audience will enrich my research and help me develop future collaborations with co-authors in my field.”

Elzinga Flash Seminar

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 lindsay.ellis@wsj.com


Feature | 12/04/2023

New Research from Diego Briones: Learning from the PSLF Waiver

Diego Briones, a PhD candidate, published a brief on the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) as part of Third Way's ACADEMIX Upshot series. In it, Briones highlights lessons learned from the Department of Education's year-long waiver that allowed borrowers to receive credit for past student loan repayments that normally would not qualify for PSLF, and provides a number of policy recommendations. This work drew on Briones' previous research with fellow graduate student Sasha Ruby and Professor Sarah Turner. The full report can be found on Third Way's website.


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 | 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 | 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 | 08/12/2016

Negotiating Your Salary

Factors to consider when negotiating your salary.

Elzinga Flash Seminar

Feature | 04/19/2022

Summer Intern Candidates Facing Bidding Wars

In-demand college students seeking summer internships are reneging on offers as companies swoop in to offer better deals. Host J.R. Whalen is joined by Georgia Tech senior Najaah Chambliss, who walked away from an internship, and WSJ reporter Lindsay Ellis, who discusses the trend and how companies are responding.

If you are considering reneging on an internship or job offer, please connect with Jen Jones at jlh7b@virginia.edu.

Listen to the recording here with a WSJ subscription.

This transcript was prepared by a transcription service. This version may not be in its final form and may be updated.

J.R. Whalen: Here's Your Money Briefing for Friday, March 4th. I'm J.R. Whalen for The Wall Street Journal. We've told you how the pandemic helped create a job seekers market with millions of workers leaving their jobs for better pay and companies struggling to fill open slots. But that's also happening among students who are trying to land summer internships. Competition for interns has gotten so fierce that some who've gotten and accepted offers are reneging on them to take a better deal elsewhere.

Lindsay Ellis: Just like a lot of job seekers, there is demand for people to come in the door. Companies look at their summer internship programs and they're not just thinking about that summer. They're thinking, "Who can we identify among this cohort of interns that a year from now we're going to want to bring back or we want to hire full-time after the program."

J.R. Whalen: On today's show, we'll discuss the growing leverage students have in the competitive world of summer internships with our reporter, Lindsay Ellis. Plus we'll hear from one student who reneged at an intern ship offer and see how it turned out. That's after the break. For college students, an offer for a summer internship can mean getting their foot in the door and launching a career track. But amid the tight labor market, more students are walking away from offers they've already accepted to take an even better one. In a moment, we'll hear from WSJ reporter Lindsay Ellis about this growing trend and the competition for entry level talent. But first let's bring in one of those in-demand interns for a firsthand account. I'm joined now by (Naja Shambliss). She's 21 and a senior at Georgia Tech University majoring in computer science. Last fall, she began applying for internships for this coming summer. Hey Naja, thanks for being here.

Naja Shambliss: I'm glad to be here.

J.R. Whalen: So Naja, back in October you landed a summer internship. Tell us about how that went.

Naja Shambliss: Yeah, so I was applying for internships and I had found this opportunity on, I believe LinkedIn. It was either LinkedIn or Handshake I believe. And so, yeah, I went ahead and applied and I figured I had a pretty good chance of getting this internship because I had previously interned with a defense company and so I thought getting this internship from this other defense company would be not too bad. And I also wanted to intern somewhere else other than this previous company, which is why I was applying for other companies. And so, yeah, I applied and it took a little while to get back to me, but I ended up interviewing with them once and then I heard back from them about a month later, I believe, saying that I received an offer.

J.R. Whalen: All right. But then earlier of this year, your plans changed. What happened there?

Naja Shambliss: Yeah. So at the end of November, my recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn also asking me to apply for a Microsoft internship and I had already accepted the defense internship, but I was like, it's Microsoft, I've applied for them before. I haven't been accepted previously, so this would just be an extra step for practice for when I apply again for the next recruiting season. So I filled out the application she sent me and then I went through the first round of interviews, which wasn't too bad, thank God. And then I got pushed to the final round and I received an offer after that.

J.R. Whalen: Oh, so what did Microsoft offer you?

Naja Shambliss: I'm not able to disclose the numbers, but let's say it was definitely double what the defense industry was offering me. And then they were also giving me a relocation, stipend and a stipend to help with my moving expenses and stuff like that. So it was a pretty great deal.

J.R. Whalen: So you eventually had to go tell the defense company that you had accepted a new opportunity. How'd that conversation go?

Naja Shambliss: So it's actually pretty funny. I sent out an email to, I believe she was my onboarding HR person and stating that I do apologize for having to do this to you guys so late in the game, but unfortunately I have to renege my offer, and I actually did not get a response for them. I had sent them an email and I never received an email back, but I did look at my portal and it had said that I was no longer being considered for the position. So I don't think they received that information in the best way, but yes, that's what happened.

J.R. Whalen: So when you first got the word from the recruiter that there was a Microsoft internship out there to try to go after, how did you feel about that process at that stage? I imagine you had firmed up the defense company internship and had signed some papers, right?

Naja Shambliss: Yeah. I thought this opportunity was different maybe because I had never had a recruiter directly from a company DM me, or specifically for Microsoft, I have never had a Microsoft recruiter DM me on LinkedIn asking me to apply for position. So I kind of had a good feeling about this process and that's kind of what made me be like, "Okay, even though I've already accepted this offer, this might turn out differently, so let's try it."

J.R. Whalen: All right. That's Naja Shambliss, a senior at Georgia Tech University with us. Naja, thank you so much for taking the time to chat.

Naja Shambliss: Thank you for having me. This is my first podcast experience, so I'm very grateful. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

J.R. Whalen: Oh, we really appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

Naja Shambliss: No problem.

J.R. Whalen: So what's driving this cutthroat competition for interns and what are companies doing to keep potential interns interested? For more on that, I'm joined by WSJ reporter, Lindsay Ellis. She's been looking into it. Lindsay, thanks so much for being here.

Lindsay Ellis: Thank you so much for having me.

J.R. Whalen: So Lindsay, these bidding wars for interns like we just heard with Naja, is that something new?

Lindsay Ellis: So interns, especially in demand fields like computer science, engineering and the like, they've always had some competitive offers, but the level of competition that I heard from interns seemed just really striking. Campuses and companies are saying that they're seeing competition over interns in a way that feels different than prior years, especially the last two years, the first with the pandemic really sinking in and last year with everything in a much different hiring market than we are right now.

J.R. Whalen: So why do interns suddenly have this kind of leverage in the job market?

Lindsay Ellis: Just like a lot of job seekers, there is demand for people to come in the door. And I think that for interns emerges in a couple of ways, the first is, companies really want applicants and they want qualified applicants. And that inherently gives the people who are applying, who have strong resumes, who have the skills that they're looking for an edge. I think the other reason is companies look at their summer internship programs and they're not just thinking about that summer. They're thinking, "Who can we identify among this cohort of interns that a year from now we're going to want to bring back or we want to hire full time after the program." And so this is sort of a key pool for companies to look at their entry level workforce. And so there is more demand in hiring the right people when this could be my pipeline six months from now, a year from now.

J.R. Whalen: Is there ever any kind of a penalty if a student backs out of an internship that they've already accepted?

Lindsay Ellis: It can vary from campus to campus, but yes. Cornell's business school, if you're an MBA student and you accept an offer for the summer and then you go out and interview and accept a different one and back out of that first one, they say that they reserve the right to fine you up to $2,500.

J.R. Whalen: Wow. I mean, for a college student, that's a lot of money.

Lindsay Ellis: It is, yes. And for those two, those were specifically for business school students, so perhaps a little later in their career. But these are people that don't necessarily have income coming in every month and yet still might be on the hook. There are other penalties that are also significant. At the University of California Berkeley's business school, one of the possible sanctions is a 16 hour service project. So that can be a significant amount of money certainly and time if you're caught backing out from this.

J.R. Whalen: But a student might consider switching to a different internship that could better jumpstart their career, right? But is there a danger of them burning their bridges behind them?

Lindsay Ellis: Colleges say that there is. I mean, they are quick to remind students that it's a small world and a small job market in a lot of ways. Recruiters move from company to company. Someone who you interact with when you're 22, you might encounter in a totally different field a few years down the line. They also sort of put in place their own regulations that could hamper a student's trajectory as they continue through their education. Some schools at the undergraduate level will restrict the use of a platform called Handshake where a lot of jobs are listed for students who are caught backing out. I think students who I talked to who have considered this or who have done this look at the name on the resume, they look at the salary that they could be bringing in and importantly, they look at the experience that they think that they're going to get at these preferred internship programs. And in a lot of cases, that's a very strong counterweight to a more nebulous idea of possible ramifications. There's another side to that coin as well, which is the relationship between the college and the company, and many campus career offices are really cognizant of that relationship and don't want to do anything to stress it or damage it. Their fear is that if a number of students back out from opportunities that they've already accepted, might that influence whether a company wants to come back next semester or next year and knock on their door and recruit future classes. And so one aspect of could this be hurtful, is thinking about what is the next student who comes around, what's going to be their experience, and colleges really have that front of mind.

J.R. Whalen: Now, there's usually several months between the time somebody lands an internship and when they actually start. So what are companies doing to prevent people from backing out?

Lindsay Ellis: There usually are several months between these dates and one thing that really surprised me in reporting this is that in some cases there are many more months than I had anticipated. People were telling me that they were interviewing for these summer internships while they were doing a different summer internship. So companies need to keep students warm is what they say, make sure that they're front of mind for these candidates that they've worked hard to recruit. Liberty Mutual told me about their keep in touch campaign, including interns in get togethers that are held virtually, some coffee chats and the like to keep them engaged with what's going on. One logistics company that I talked to mentioned sending holiday e-cards to the students who had accepted. So there are different tactics, some with video engagement and when possible in-person engagement, but others just really leaning into the messaging.

J.R. Whalen: And so how are the companies responding to this trend of interns backing out of offers and how are they thinking about their internship programs more broadly to keep people interested?

Lindsay Ellis: So some of them are looking at pay benchmarks and making sure that this very basic aspect of it, this critical aspect of it is competitive of with other organizations and external benchmarks. Some of them begrudge the trend and you kind of throw your hands up in the air and it's a little bit of a "kids these days" reaction. But the thing that I think most stood out to me on this was a real focus on what can we do as an organization to prepare for the summer, just kind of accepting that this might take place. So a few companies, including General Mills told me and have mentioned that they plan to overhire, basically extending a few more offers than they typical would and hoping that a few more candidates than they want to accept accept, expecting that a few of them are maybe going to back out between now and the summer. And I think they're also thinking about how they recruit and how they build relationships with students. One common refrain I heard from recruiters was, "In this virtual environment maybe students feel less of a strong connection with us as a company and with the recruiters and the team overall. How can we build that up and keep them feeling close?" And so that sort of speaks to some of the strategies, the keeping in touch efforts and the like.

J.R. Whalen: All right. That's Wall Street Journal reporter, Lindsay Ellis with us. Lindsay, thanks so much for being with us.

Lindsay Ellis: Thank you for having me.

J.R. Whalen: And that's Your Money Briefing. I'm J.R. Whalen for The Wall Street Journal.

Feature | 05/23/2022

Yooseon Hwang presents at European UEA Conference

In April 2022, fifth-year student Yooseon Hwang presented her paper,"The Welfare Effects of Congestion Pricing," at the European Urban Economics Association Conference in London. The paper estimates the effects of congestion pricing on welfare by developing a quantitative spatial model with endogenous commuting costs.

Feature | 02/18/2024

Omna Berhanu, UVA Economics student, participates on a panel about "Careers in Economics" at the SACE conference!

Omna Berhanu, UVA Economics student, participates on a panel about "Careers in Economics" at the SACE conference! Moderated ny Quentin Johnson, University of Chicago. 


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 | 01/29/2019

Alumni Spotlight: Rachel MacKay

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.

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 editors@barrons.com

Elzinga Flash Seminar

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