Meet an Economics Major

stephen edwards

Stephen Edwards ’13

Extra-curricular activities: 

  • Student Government 
  • Faculty Research Assistant
 

Why did you choose your major? 

I chose to double major in economics and management, because I have many interests in the realms of business strategy, competitive intelligence, consumer insights and consumer/buying behavior. Economics provides me with analytical problem-solving skills and emphasizes deep analysis in price theory, macro trends and game theory. I chose to combine that with management, because management allows me to understand human behavior and business strategy.

What has been your favorite class? 

My favorite economics class was Industrial Organization, which was an independent study with Dr. Gwendolyn Tedeschi. Industrial Organization is a field of economics that studies the firm. Many topics you cover in this course involve price discrimination, pricing strategies, imperfect competition, strategic firm interaction and game theory. This class was very beneficial to my summer internship with New York Life’s Competitive Intelligence group because they were faced with many of the topics I learned in this class.

Have you done any internships?

I do research with Dr. Poonam Arora where we design behavioral game theoretic and social psychology experiments to examine the role of social context on otherwise economic decisions. Experiments are conducted at both Manhattan College and with the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED), Columbia University. Having the opportunity to conduct research has not only enhanced my analytical and problem-solving skills, but has also strengthened my ability to see a new side of economics where the outcomes aren’t necessary just black or white.

I also presented a poster at Judgment and Decision Making’s (JDM) annual meeting. This poster explored how ownership affects the way you treat an asset, which is not consistent with economic theory.

What are your plans after graduation?

I hope to work as an analyst in a consulting firm or work as an analyst in a corporate company researching business strategy, competitive intelligence, consumer insights or consumer/buying behavior.

What are the faculty like?

Many of the professors in the Economics department are approachable, care about their students, and are really helpful. I established a bond with Dr. Tedeschi, due to our independent study and the Intermediate Microeconomics course I took with her. She has served as a great mentor in my economics major because I am able to talk with her about any subject within the field and she is more than happy to explain.

What’s your favorite thing about this major?

My favorite thing about my major has to be the fact that the classes in the Economics department are small, especially when you get to the higher-level courses. Many of my classes have had about 10-15 students in them. I am in a course now that has five, which is wonderful because you get to make the course and spend time on topics that interest the class.

What’s the most difficult thing about this major?

The most difficult thing about economics is that, at times, it does get very math-intensive, so that can be frustrating. But remember that your professors are always there to help and will help you.

What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?

My suggestion would be to think about what your interests are and what required courses you enjoyed. Secondly, I would suggest to find a mentor early on who you can bounce ideas off of, and talk with them further about your interests because there may be something that you aren’t realizing is an option.