Law Student, University of Chicago
Sam Goldstein (Atlanta, GA) graduated from Auburn with a degree in quantitative economics in May of 2017. He is pursuing a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago and has found his time within the department invaluable.
"I credit many of the skills I acquired in college to my major. I came into school undecided, but decided on economics after taking my first microeconomics course my freshman year. My teacher challenged me to engage in a higher level of critical thinking than most first year courses, taking textbook material one additional step through application to current and past economic events. As I progressed, I found this wasn't an isolated occasion but rather common among courses in the department. Classes were designed to teach you concrete skills while you learned the material. One outstanding example is my econometrics course, which taught me to perform the same kind of literary research I will conduct in the legal field. My professors were not only invested in my learning of the subject at hand, but also in my happiness and future success. Teachers were approachable inside and outside of the classroom to discuss everything from course material to internship opportunists. I gained experience using my skills in a real-world environment through academic research under Dr. Alan Seals, one of many faculty members encouraging students to work with them directly. I even had several professors take the time to learn my name and interests despite never being my class instructor. I can't say that you get that level of commitment to students in every department."
Law Student, Cornell University
David Dowling graduated from Auburn University in December of 2016 with a BS in economics. During his time at Auburn, he served as the Vice President of Auburn University Mock Trial and as the Chief Justice of the SGA Judicial Branch. David worked with Dr. Alan Seals for six semesters assisting with his research experiments, and helped write the appendix for one of Dr. Seals’ papers. David is currently a student at Cornell Law School, and plans to work in corporate law after graduation.
“I knew I wanted to major in economics before I came to Auburn as a freshman, and that decision was cemented when I met Dr. Stern, the department head, at an admitted students day. He encouraged me to pursue economics as a foundation for law school, and it has benefitted me immensely. I’ve always been attracted to the logical framework of economics—it’s rationale for the movements of markets and societies, with the ability to prove the theories mathematically. Dr. Vickers’ class, Law and Economics, showed me some of the ways my two great interests can come together, and how economic reasoning can help agents make the best choices in deciding matters of law. I encourage all future economics students to take a class with Dr. Seals and Dr. Vickers if they have not already retired to their respective private islands by the time you matriculate. The economic research I conducted with Dr. Seals has been the single best thing I did for my academic career at Auburn, and I would advise any student who is serious about learning and improving their future job marketability to get involved with a professor conducting research.”
Federal Trade Commission in the Bureau of CompetitionEleanor Hudson (Nashville, TN) graduated from the Auburn University in May 2015 with a BS in Economics and a BA in Political Science. At Auburn, she was the President of the College of Liberal Arts Student Eminent Society and a member of the Economics Club. Eleanor was also a research assistant for Dr. Alan Seals in the Department of Economics. She moved to Washington DC in August where she works at the Federal Trade Commission in the Bureau of Competition. At the FTC, she works with anti-trust attorneys and economists who investigate mergers for anti-trust and anti-competitive concerns. "I decided to become an Economics major after taking Honors Principles of Micro and Honors Principles of Macro during my sophomore year. Being an Economics major at Auburn taught me how to think analytically and objectively, and how to evaluate the cost of individual and social choices. (The Department of Economics at Auburn is unique in that it's not flooded with brainless business majors or yuppie "do-gooders.") The students in the economics department are driven and focused, and the small class sizes made it possible to discuss complex problems and explore economic issues more deeply. I had the privilege of learning from engaging and dedicated professors who took the study of economics outside of the classroom, and challenged me to think about everyday social problems in economic terms. My education has led me to an interesting and rewarding job in a combination of law and economics practice and research."
Valuation Associate, Commercial Real Estate AgencyI graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Economics and am currently working as a Valuation Associate for CBRE in Richmond, Virginia. As an economics student at Auburn I developed strong skills in problem solving and critical thinking. I focused my econometric study on the impact hydraulic fracing has on nearby property values. My fascination with my econometric report along with a prior internship as a Multifamily Analyst at a commercial real estate practice in Washington, D.C. led me to my position as a Valuation Associate at CBRE. As a Valuation Associate, I assist in the preparation of detailed written commercial real estate appraisal reports. Each report involves an in depth study of the market and submarket area, a detailed analysis of recent comparable sales to derive value, and an analysis of operating history to forecast future performance. When necessary, I am able to utilize the Argus software to prepare detailed a cash flow analysis. I am also constantly in contact with investment sales brokers, mortgage brokers, commercial property managers, and other real estate representatives to continually understand a constantly changing market. My undergraduate economics studies at Auburn were not only crucial during the job-hiring process, but have continued to be applicable and valuable as I have transitioned into the real world. My studies, however, did not end at my undergraduate graduation in May of 2015 as I am now working towards my General Appraisal licensure via the Appraisal Institute. As of March 2016, I have successfully completed the Basic Principles, Basic Procedures, Income Capitalization I, and Income Capitalization II courses as the first four of the ten classes required for licensure. All in all, I am pleased with my current position as a young professional and owe much of my success to my time at Auburn University.
Law Student, Stanford University
Larry Liu graduated from Auburn in May 2015 with degrees in chemical engineering and economics (quantitative track). He worked as an engineer for ExxonMobil Chemical Company in Baytown, TX, as a run engineer for the polypropylene pilot plant, where he guided day-to-day operations and identified long-term improvements for the pilot plant. His economics education has been invaluable. His work often required the use of regression in modelling and statistics to understand experimental data, such as the development of models to understand the response of product properties to varying process conditions. More generally, an economics education has helped give Larry insights about the business and has informed his more particular understanding about oil and gas markets. As a student, Larry also found that the study of economics improved his quantitative skills in engineering, and vice versa, e.g. in identifying common themes in the study of the dynamics of macroeconomic phenomena and the study of process control in engineering.
2L J.D. Candidate, Pennsylvania State University School of Law
"Currently, I am a 2L J.D. Candidate at the Pennsylvania State University School of Law. This summer I will be working in Washington, D.C. for the American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging. My time with the ABA will consist of legal research geared toward legislative policy issues and possible publication in their annual journal. Upon graduation, I hope to work for a government agency or practice law in the private sector of Washington, D.C. The Auburn experience, especially studying in the Economics Department, was crucial in my preparation for the rigors of law school. The Auburn's Economics department challenges their students to excel in the classroom environment and is comprised of a tight-knit community which easily provides students the valuable opportunity to the seek help and guidance from willing professors. Whether it's receiving one-on-one help with a particular subject from a professor on a weekday afternoon, or enjoying pizza and discussing summer internships or career advice from your favorite teacher during our Economics Club meetings at Little Italy Pizzeria, the facility is accessible and always there to elevate their students to the next level. War Eagle."
Derivatives Trader, Akuna CapitalNicholas Romero graduated from Auburn University in May 2013 with dual degrees in Economics and Mathematics. After graduating from Auburn, he spent the next two years in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania where he completed a Master's degree in Economics. He now works in Chicago as a Derivatives Trader for Akuna Capital where he trades options on the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 Indices. "The Auburn economics program is unique in that it prepares students exceptionally well for all career paths following graduation. I've seen my colleagues go on to be successful in all fields, including law school, PhD programs, and the financial industry like myself. This exceptional preparation derives from two qualities of the department - the dedication to pushing students to succeed and the department's focus on a well-rounded curriculum. Throughout my time at Auburn, multiple professors encouraged me to get the most of out of my education through undergraduate research, graduate level classes, and economic theory discussions. This not only helped me develop my economic intuition, but also allowed me to master the mathematical tools necessary to survive in today's job market. I would highly recommend the Economics Department to any incoming student that wants to get the most out of his or her Auburn education."
Performance and Strategy Manager, ExponentialI was born and raised in Pelham, Alabama and attended Auburn from 2008-2012. My sophomore year, I decided to pursue a bachelor's degree in economics. My decision to do so was two-fold: a degree in economics provided me with valuable quantitative and qualitative skills applicable to the widest range of industries, and it also introduced to me a new way of perceiving the world we live in and the incentives that explain why people behave the way they do. I was an active member in the Auburn Economics Club as well as university intramurals and the Jewish Student Organization. Upon graduating from Auburn, I was accepted to and enrolled in the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill's PhD program in Economics. It was there that I continued learning more about the theory and practice of economics, conducted research on criminal behavior, worked as a graduate teaching assistant, participated in intramurals, and even found time to host weekly trivia at a local student bar. Over the course of my first two years at UNC, my focus shifted away from academia and more toward real world applications of the skills I had acquired. I left in 2014 with a MS in economics and moved to Baltimore to take a job for a digital advertising company called Exponential. As a Performance and Strategy Manager, I oversee and manage digital advertising campaigns, perform analytics for ongoing campaigns, and consult with advertisers to help them achieve their campaign goals.
Real Estate Manager, DistributionNOWAlexandra decided to major in economics after taking one of Dr. Ault's classes, International Economics. Dr. Ault convinced her to change her major with the promise that she would get a first class education. In addition to getting a first class education, she made lasting friendships, and had influential professors that she continues to quote today. She frequently quotes Dr. Ault's infamous saying, "Being informed just raises your blood pressure." Her favorite classes were Dr. Ault's Public Choice, Dr. Beard's Industrial Organization, and Dr. Seal's Econometrics. All of these professors encouraged thought, hard work, and gave continuous support. She especially enjoyed being involved in the Economics Club and has fond memories of the meetings at Little Italy. Being an economics major was worth every hour she spent where all hope goes to die, the Haley Center basement. She is grateful for Dr. Ault taking the time to explain the value of a major in economics. Alexandra is currently the real estate manager for a distribution company in Houston, Texas, managing approximately 350 properties globally.
Economics PhD student, Columbia UniversityDanna Thomas graduated from Auburn in May 2012 with a B.S. Mathematics and a B.S. Economics. She currently is a fourth year Economics PhD student at Columbia University. Her primary interests are in Public Finance and Industrial Organization. Her current research focuses on recreational marijuana markets though she wishes to clarify that this does not field research as some may assume. "Auburn Economics is a great program for those with graduate and professional school aspirations. First, the undergraduate program is flexible, enabling students to take classes in other academic areas that are helpful in MA/PhD programs. I was able to get a degree in mathematics concurrent to my degree in economics. Secondly, the professors are knowledgeable and are willing to take the time to mentor undergraduates. Their encouragement was an important factor in my decision to apply to more selective graduate programs. Most importantly, the professors emphasize building economic intuition and logical thinking, not just technical proficiency, which makes AU Econ uniquely positioned to educate not only fledgling economists but also students that wish to study law, public policy, business, etc. This emphasis on "thinking like an economist" is what I feel prepared me most for graduate school."
Matrix L.L.C.Greg Gilbert came to Auburn University in 2008 from his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. After his first two years at Auburn, Greg declared his major in economics, becoming fascinated with the curriculum following his completion of the intermediate micro coursework. Finding the challenge of the major compelling, he became engrossed in the experience, spending the final two years of college completing his studies and becoming involved in the department through the Economics Club where he build lasting friendships and connections. After completing his bachelors degree in economics in 2012, Greg was hired by Matrix L.L.C., an established management consulting firm with offices in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Atlanta. Matrix specializes in developing strategic research and enhancing decision-making for their clients in both the private and public sector throughout the southeast. As an associate consultant, Greg brought the critical-thinking and analysis skills developed from his economics curriculum to the team at Matrix, becoming a valued part of their problem solving team. After one year in the private sector, Greg left Matrix to return to Auburn to pursue his Masters degree in economics. During his graduate curriculum, Greg was a graduate teaching assistant for Professor Alex Richter, instructing a supplementary instruction course for Dr. Richter's intermediate macro course. After completing his coursework in the summer of 2015, Greg was invited to be a graduate instructor, teaching two sections of the principles of macro course during his last summer semester. Greg received his masters degree in August, 2015. He now resides in Birmingham, Alabama, where he has returned to Matrix and is currently leading the development of new and effective research methods, incorporating experimental design to study consumer behavior and revealed preferences. "My time in the economics program at Auburn has been invaluable in helping me become the man I am today. The biggest asset of the department is the passion the faculty have for their students. You can feel that they want to do everything they can to help you succeed and grow as a student." "They teach you the most important thing you could learn in college: they teach you how to THINK! The most important skill anyone can get from college is the ability to see through the fog and approach any problem with confidence and drive. This is what I learned from my time in the econ program at Auburn."
Consultant, CapTech ConsultingThe Auburn Department of Economics prepared me with the necessary skills to be successful in the workforce. The curriculum taught me how to solve problems and be resourceful, as well as effectively communicate both orally and written. The analytical and soft skills learned can be applied to many different industries which allowed me great flexibility when searching for a career path. The courses I took were challenging and fun, and the professor's passion and enthusiasm was contagious. I am very grateful for everything that the department provided me.
Blair Druhan Bullock
Judicial Law Clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth CircuitBlair Druhan Bullock graduated with a B.S. in Economics from Auburn University in May 2009. While at Auburn, Blair was inspired by the way her economics professors explained and analyzed problems. Following graduation, Blair entered Vanderbilt's Ph.D. in Law and Economics program. Vanderbilt's joint degree program allowed Blair to follow in her professors' footsteps, while also pursuing her childhood dream of attending law school. Blair was the Executive Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review, and her student publication was recognized nationally with a Burton Award. Blair graduated with her J.D. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in May 2015. Her dissertation explores the role of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in enforcing employment discrimination laws by empirically analyzing a dataset of all discrimination charges filed with the agency. Blair is currently a judicial law clerk for Judge Stephen A. Higginson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Professor of Economics, George Mason UniversityDon Boudreaux earned his PhD in Economics from Auburn in 1986. He is currently Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair at George Mason's Mercatus Center. He blogs with Russell Roberts at www.cafehayek.com and his passion is teaching economics to undergraduates. He is the author of Globalization (2008), Hypocrites & Half-Wits (2012), and The Essence of Hayek (2014).
Research Associate, Federal Reserve Bank of St. LouisI grew up in a small community north of Florence, Alabama, and graduated high school without a clue about my future. I jumped from major to major during my freshman and sophomore years at Auburn before meeting Dr. Alan Seals. He proved to me that the only path fitting to both my skills and my interests was the economics quantitative track. Through the required math classes, the macro and micro sequences, and econometrics, I developed a toolkit for success in the field of economics. I am now working as a research associate for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. My duties include assisting economists in conducting research and in analyzing current economic trends. I also work with other bank employees to author and coauthor bank publications that range in topic from regional agriculture trends to global saving activity. In completing these tasks, I put to use the statistical software knowledge, econometric techniques, and theoretical concepts taught to me by the Auburn economics faculty. Looking forward, my time spent with the Auburn economics professors has motivated me to eventually become an economist. While my résumé continues to grow, my economics degree serves as the foundation of an application that I believe will be intriguing to some of the best economics PhD programs in the world.
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Oil and Natural Gas, U.S. Department of EnergyDr. Paula Gant is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas in the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy. As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Gant administers domestic and international oil and gas programs, including policy analysis, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) import and export authorization. Dr. Gant's work at DOE is focused on realizing the promise presented by America's abundant natural gas and oil resources which hinges on prudent production, environmental stewardship and efficient use. The Department of Energy's research efforts seek to deploy the best available science, analysis and technologies to ensure a more secure energy future by leveraging our domestic natural gas and oil resources and protecting our air, land, and communities. Dr. Gant previously worked for the American Gas Association and Duke Energy. She has also served on the faculties of Louisiana State University and the University of Louisville. Paula is a native of Louisiana. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from McNeese State University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Auburn University. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her family.
Senior Fellow, Mises InstituteMark Thornton is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute. He serves as the Book Review Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. His publications include The Economics of Prohibition (1991), Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War (2004), The Quotable Mises (2005), The Bastiat Collection (2007), An Essay on Economic Theory (2010), and The Bastiat Reader (2014). Dr. Thornton served as the editor of the Austrian Economics Newsletter and was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Libertarian Studies and several other academic journals. He has served as a member of the graduate faculties of Auburn University and Columbus State University. He has also taught economics at Auburn University at Montgomery and Trinity University in Texas. Mark served as Assistant Superintendent of Banking and economic adviser to Governor Fob James of Alabama (1997-1999), and he was awarded the University Research Award at Columbus State University in 2002. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and received his PhD in economics from Auburn University. In 2014, he debated in opposition to the "War on Drugs" at Oxford Union. "The Auburn University Economics Department has a tradition of excellence that dates back for more than a century. Like the University's mission, the Department has always had a strong commitment to understanding the world in practical and honest terms. It commitment to teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels has resulted in a steady stream of graduates who are important contributors to state and national--governmental, educational, legal and business institutions. Its faculty and graduates have long been known for their practical research, known as "applied microeconomics." The Department is widely known throughout the world due to the accomplishments of its faculty and students and its association with the Mises Institute, as well as its association with the Colleges of Agriculture and Forestry."
George S. Ford
Chief Economist, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Public Policy StudiesDr. George S. Ford is the Chief Economist of the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Public Policy Studies, an internationally-respected Washington-based non-profit public policy think-tank. Since leaving Auburn University he has worked in both the public and private sectors, including positions at the Federal Communications Commission and multiple private communications providers. Dr. Ford has conducted numerous technical business and economic studies – an effort which has resulted in over sixty academically published academic journal articles, many more unpublished works, and many internal business reports, some of which drove significant investments in telecommunications infrastructure. Dr. Ford has authored over one hundred reports released by the Phoenix Center, and ranks among the top 1% of authors on the Social Science Research Network. In addition to his publication record, Dr. Ford regularly testifies on economic matters in forums such as the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Copyright Royalty Judges, the Canadian Royalty Board, and numerous state regulatory agencies. Over the years, he has advised governments, both domestic and foreign, consulted to large companies, and delivered academic papers and public addresses at conferences around the world. Dr. Ford is a respected expert in the areas of government regulation, the technology industry, intellectual property, and economic development, advising governments and private parties on issues involving economics, econometrics and business and regulatory strategy.
Law Student, University of VirginiaWhen I came to Auburn as a freshman I was an engineering major. However, after taking my first course in the economics department, Dr. Michael Stern's Principles of Macroeconomics, I transferred into the economics department. I wanted a program with scientific rigor that focused on issues that interested me. Through the economics curriculum, I was able to study policy issues that interested me and learn mathematical tools to evaluate and critique different policies. Unlike many other majors which focus on rote memorization, the economics curriculum focuses on teaching analytical tools and problem solving. At the end of my last year at Auburn, I had offers from a number of law schools and graduate programs in economics. I ultimately chose to go to law school at the University of Virginia. I have found that my undergraduate experience has been particularly valuable to my success in law school. Economics touches every class from contracts to torts to criminal law. In my papers and on my exams, I am able to rely on my economics background and explain legal rules using economic tools such as cost benefit analysis.
Investment Portfolio Analyst, Regions Financial CorporationNicholas has worked as a Fixed Income Analyst in the Investment Portfolio Group at Regions Financial for over a year. The group manages ~$24 billion in securities on the bank's balance sheet. Nicholas's focus is on the credit sector, conducting research and surveillance in the CMBS and Corporate Bond space, in addition to providing financial reporting for the Treasury department. Nicholas has worked at Regions for over two years, beginning his career in a rotational program geared towards providing diversified exposure across the different segments of Corporate Finance. Nicholas graduated from Auburn University, Summa Cum Laude, with a B.S. in Economics. At Auburn, Nicholas served as both President of the Economics Club and Vice President of the College of Business. Nicholas was also inducted in Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and several other Honor Societies. "A degree in Economics from Auburn University provides a different kind of education. While various majors are geared towards specific vocations, Economics enables you with a multitude of choices. Whether you choose to pursue graduate school or a career in the public or private sector, the most powerful skill set gained from this degree is the ability to think critically. One aspect of my job requires following and understanding the financial markets. In order to fully begin how to comprehend everything happening in the world, you must first understand cause and effect with respect to market forces at play. The principles and foundations you learn in both your micro and macro classes are, in my opinion, the most applicable concepts one can choose to exercise in the real world. Technical skills can easily be learned on the job if one has been taught the ability to think critically. Learning should never simply be constrained to any single curriculum. Instead, at Auburn, the Economics department places the emphasis on the development of the students, and the relationships formed transcend the concrete limitations of a single classroom. As an "econ" major, and equipped with a dedicated faculty that serve as an invaluable resource at your disposal, remember to ask questions, think outside the box, and most importantly, use your brain!"
Last Updated: August 15, 2016