Economics at Work (Economics 108) has been taught on a regular basis since 2013. Do not let the course number for Economics at Work fool you, this one-credit course showcases a diverse group of UM alumni whose insights and professional experiences will benefit students, whether they are freshmen or seniors.  Gerson explains, “the goal is to help students learn what they can do with an ECON major and whether the major is a good fit for their interests and goals. They are able to explore many career paths, network with their peers and alumni, learn valuable tips and insights, and strengthen the pride they have for the major.”

The alumni speakers for the remainder of the semester include Ryan Ermanni on Feb. 19 (ESPN Detroit, FOX 2 News), Stephanie McNees on March 11 (Barclays Investment Bank), Sam Braunstein on March 18 (Higher One Holdings, Inc.), Swapnil Patel on April 1 (McKinney) and Pooja Mottl on April 8 (Author and Chef). Economics at Work meets at 1PM in Askwith Auditorium (140 Lorch Hall). There is a reception immediately following each speaker allowing students ample time to network and talk with the featured alumni. You do not need to be registered for the class to attend! All those interested are welcome!

Last year,the UM Department of Economics and the Michigan Institute for Teaching and Research in Economics (MITRE) hosted the Undergraduate Research Seminar Symposium, which also focused on bringing alumni back to the university. The featured speakers were alumni of the ECON 495 Undergraduate Research Seminar course. Alumni pursuing academic careers presented their research in a series of morning sessions. In the afternoon, an alumni panel of symposium participants pursuing careers outside of academia shared their professional experiences and insights during an Economics at Work class (Economics 108).

The symposium also recognized the faculty that served as their champions throughout the years, particularly Professor Emeritus Stephen Salant and Senior Lecturer Janet Gerson. “We gathered to celebrate the careers of two people at Michigan, Stephen Salant and Jan Gerson. Stephen was an amazing mentor to both graduate and undergraduate students, especially undergraduate students interested in going into economics and economics related fields. Jan Gerson is a fantastic educator and a wonderful person who has guided thousands of students, including myself, through the program,” explains UM alumni (B.S. ‘08), seminar participant, and current UM Assistant Professor of Economics Dominick Bartelme.

A list of the symposium participants and their bios can be found here!

Since its inception decades ago, at least three sections of Economics 495 have been taught every academic year. Each seminar is small (typically fewer than 15 students) and affords qualified juniors and seniors the opportunity to try their hand at doing original economics research under the guidance of an experienced faculty member. Applications for sections of the Econ 495 fall term can be downloaded from (deadline is March 14, 2016).