The Carolina Economics Club (CEC) at the University of North Carolina works to create a venue for students to explore economics outside their traditional coursework and also to network with their peers, alumni, prospective employers and professors. This is accomplished through lecture events, panel discussions, case and investment competitions, information sessions, and workshops. The past year has been a successful one for the CEC.
Our lecture series continue to draw an impressive list of speakers to campus. In November 2014, the club welcomed Dr. John Komlos, who was instrumental in the development of the field of anthropometric history. Dr. Komlos gave an exciting lecture entitled “Contemporary Ideas in Economics.” During the spring 2015 semester, the Club was fortunate to host a lecture by Dr. Dan Ariely, Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. Dr. Ariely kept the crowd engaged with his stories and by teaching all of us more about the field of behavioral economics. More recently, North Carolina Budget Director Mr. Lee Roberts, discussed his responsibilities as the N.C. budget director as well as his experiences leading up to that position.
As has been tradition, the club hosted a panel discussion on a policy issue of interest to club members. This year’s discussion was entitled “Should the Federal Minimum Wage be Raised?” The Panelists were Dr. Stephen Lich and Dr. Michelle Sheran-Andrews from the UNC Department of Economics and Dr. Georg Vanberg from Duke University. The event created a thought-provoking discussion amongst professors and students and was well-attended.
We also had a series of events that were not only enjoyed by students, but beneficial for them as well. In the spring, we hosted an Economics Alumni Career Panel in which we brought back recent alumni who work in fields ranging from consulting to sales. This was a great opportunity for students to not only learn more about the search process for these types of jobs but also about the transition from school to work. During the Annual Career Workshop, Dr. Jeremy Petranka, former UNC Lecturer in the Department of Economics and current Associate Professor of the Practice at Duke University, offered special insight into building a strong résumé and acing an interview.
We also hosted a series of competitions for our members. The “Investment Challenge Competition” gave participants the opportunity to put together a portfolio and compete to see who earned the highest returns. The competition was run by using Wall Street Survivor, an online virtual stock market game. For the first time, we conducted a case competition and due to its success, we are running it again this academic year. Finally, we culminated the academic year again with the “End-of-the-Year Student-Professor Social” in April. As the Carolina Economics Club continues to grow, it does so with the help of professors and alumni. This has been beneficial in bringing students, alumni and professors closer together while helping economics majors and club members prepare for the real world. The Carolina Economics Club looks forward to continuing interaction with great professors and alumni, and we thank our faculty advisor, Dr. Geetha Vaidyanathan, and everyone who has made our events possible.
–Co-Presidents Kara Mitchell and Eric Dehus