Welcome to Economics@Work!

We are glad you’re here! Feel free to browse this website as you familiarize yourself with what Economics@Work is and how you might engage with the course.

What is Economics@Work?

Economics@Work (Econ 208) is a class offered by the Department of Economics at the University of Michigan. In this course, undergraduates are offered a regular opportunity to interact with alumni from the Department of Economics. The goals of the course are four-fold. First, we desire to create excitement around the economics major. Second, and in part to achieve the prior goal, we desire to demonstrate to our first and second-year students the broad opportunities that await them, should they pursue economics as their major. Third, we desire to provide a place for juniors and seniors to meet, connect and network with our alumni. And fourth, we desire to promote a sense of community for our majors.

Created, and initially led, by Lecturer Emerita Janet Gerson in the winter semester of 2013, Economics@Work continues to be offered each regular semester (fall and winter). Students gather approximately eight times a semester. Each session of the class focuses on one alumna or alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Economics.

While each presentation is unique, alumni typically start by talking about their time at the University of Michigan. Highlights often include why they chose economics as a major, favorite classes, extracurricular activities, internships, etc. Then the focus shifts to life after college. Alumni talk about their career path, further education, and other factors that led them to be where they are today. Finally, alumni discuss their current job, often highlighting where economics plays an active role in their work. Each session ends with a question and answer time, followed by a brief reception.

How can I get involved?

I’m glad you asked!!

If you’re a student, there are several ways to participate in Economics@Work. The easiest is to come to a session. Check out the Current Schedule of alumni speakers. All sessions meet in Askwith Auditorium in Lorch Hall at 1pm, and are open to the public. The next option is consider joining the course next semester. Enrolling in the class requires that you attend majority of the sessions and submit a reflective paper to earn credit. Lastly, if you want to really take full advantage of Economics@Work, then enroll in the course, and apply for the Leadership Team when the time comes. The Leadership Team gets to assist the alumni speakers in preparation for their visit, as well as meet the alumni speakers for lunch in advance of the sessions.

If you’re an alumna or alumnus of our undergraduate program, then our students would love to meet you! If you’re interested in being one of our featured speakers for Economics@Work, then please fill out the Alumni Interest Form. We’ll be sure to reach out to you as soon as possible.

For those alumni who are responding to an invitation to speak, please see the Registration page, using the password provided in your invitation to register for a date. We’re excited to have you join our slate of speakers for the coming semester!

Economics@Work is not the only means for alumni to connect with the department or our undergraduates. The Department of Economics is always excited to hear from its alumni and help them connect with our undergraduates. In particular, the Economics Alumni Relationship Network (EARN) links undergraduate majors in Economics with alumni from our department. Learn more about EARN.