Mere chance brought Rupert Munro from London to Charleston. He discovered the College while on a two-day road trip that turned into a week’s stay. “I may have arrived by chance,” he says, “but everything I’ve done here since has been by design.” That definitely includes his choice to major in economics.
Rupert initially had loose plans of getting a degree and working in finance. Studying business appealed to him, but he had already gained management experience while working at his father’s companies. What he wanted, he says, was to “learn not only business, but the stuff behind it. The theory, the concepts and the context.” And that’s where economics comes in.
He quickly immersed himself in the program, taking the required courses and participating in complementary activities such as interning with the Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process. He also gained firsthand experience working in the College’s Call Center and joined the economics book colloquium.
“I can’t say enough about the Initiative for Public Choice. It has given me a very broad perspective. And the speakers we’ve had are provocative and knowledgeable. I was invited to dinner with John Stossel of Fox Business News when he was here. We’ve also had really productive debates. I debated another student on the topic of sweatshops – are they good or bad for third world economies. All together, the program offers some very valuable experience.”
Rupert has also taken a range of courses in this major. One special topics course – The Economics of Gambling – offered him a novel perspective on applied economics. “Through this class, we discovered that economics involves so much more than a formula. We looked at the moral beliefs involved as well as the underpinnings of state-sanctioned gambling. I’ve also taken such courses as Environmental Economics, Urban Economics and The Economics of Transportation.”
For his senior seminar, Rupert considered focusing on the economics of gambling. “That topic won’t figure prominently in my career, but it’s an opportunity to go into depth on a topic with a professor who is recognized as among the top in that area. To me, that’s very valuable. The skills that I learn and apply in that effort will translate to all the professional work I do.”
Our program in economics can prepare you to work in numerous areas. Banking? Absolutely. Manufacturing? Of course. Transportation, insurance, retail and real estate? Definitely. All of these industries rely on economists, and our faculty includes specialists in a number of diverse areas within the field. Our department is also home to the Office of Economic Analysis and the Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process.
- Ten full-time faculty whose areas of expertise range from gambling to international trade to economic development.
- Recent graduates have found jobs at employers like the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Benefitfocus, MIT, the Congressional Research Service, Merril Lynch, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Abercrombie & Fitch.
- We use innovative teaching methods. Some professors use Aplia (a hands-on, applications- based economics site), others use simulation games to reinforce the material conveyed in class.
- Economics faculty regularly serve as mentors to Honors students writing bachelor’s essays.
- Economics faculty use undergraduate students as research assistants.
- Omicron Delta Epsilon (the international economics honor society) offers opportunities for networking with faculty members and professionals in economics-related fields.