Thinking of Majoring in Economics

Thinking of becoming an Economics Major at Rutgers?

See what these former students have to say.

Click on any question to expand the students' answer.

Dana Erbfarb
Dana Erbfarb

High School/Hometown:
Teaneck, NJ/The Frisch School

Year of RU Graduation: 2009

Current Position: Health & Welfare Associate, Towers Perrin

What are they doing?

Health & Welfare Associate, Towers Perrin. Towers Perrin offers innovative health care solutions and expertise in designing, funding, pricing, implementing and managing the full array of health and welfare programs.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

no response

Professor each Economics Student should take?

Professor Colin Campbell - Game Theory and Economics. Professor Campbell is a great teacher; he delivers the information in a clear yet challenging way and is very helpful if you have any questions.  This class also improved my quantitative abilities as it dealt with the application of mathematical formulas to complex economics concepts.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

Economics is the liberal arts 'business' major at Rutgers. I did not have to work within the confines of the Business School and therefore had a much more independent academic experience, yet was still able to get hired (both during college and after) in the business sector.


Judy Davidson
Judy Davidson

High School/Hometown:
Morris Hills High School / Rockaway, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2008

Current Position: Sr. Actuarial Associate, Prudential

What are they doing?

Associate Actuary.  I work in the Actuarial Leadership Development Program at Prudential. While continuing to take actuarial exams, I will rotate between different departments and help to analyze different business models and help with pricing and reserve calculations.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Advanced Econometrics.In this course we learned methods on how to analyze a data set, which is very important in doing many different types of research and development.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

Professor Colin CampbellGame Theory. Professor Campbell made concepts seem very straight forward and clear, and he responded well to student questions.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

There are so many different types of courses and professors to choose from that it’s easy to find classes that you really like.


Sheila Ramachandra
Sheila Ramachandra

High School/Hometown:
South Brunswick, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2008

Current Position: Finance Analyst, Goldman Sachs

What are they doing?

Finance Analyst, Goldman Sachs. I work in the New York Fund Treasury group to manage fund accounting and control functions for the Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) Direct Hedge Funds.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Econometrics - A base knowledge of econometrics is very useful in getting the most out of many upper-level economics courses at Rutgers and is absolutely vital for writing a thesis. Econometrics is the key to applying economic theory in the real world, and it translates to a variety of other fields as well.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

Professor Colin CampbellGame Theory and Economics was a pleasure to take with Professor Campbell. He taught tricky concepts very well in an interesting manner and sparked my interest in Game Theory.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

There are so many different types of courses offered and great professors to learn from.


Aaron Margevich
 

High School/Hometown:
Bridgewater / Raritan Regional High School

Year of RU Graduation: 2008

Current Position: Johnson & Johnson

What are they doing?

Finance Leadership Development Program, Johnson & Johnson. The program consists of three 8 month rotations at different subsidiary companies and focuses on different positions within finance.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Introduction to Microeconomics. It has a very broad scope and sets a firm foundation for many of the other courses that follow. I had the opportunity to take the honors section, so the class was somewhat smaller, but overall I felt that the class was extremely useful.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

I would highly recommend several professors, particularly Professor Altshuler. I had Professor Altshuler for Economics of Taxation and the best part about the class was her enthusiasm and the experience that she brought to the table. She has had great experience in the field, even serving on the President's Panel for Tax Reform, and her insights greatly enhanced the classroom learning experience.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

I was originally thinking about entering the Business School when I came to Rutgers, but after a discussion with Professor Sheflin, I was convinced that Economics was the route for me. I wanted to pursue a double major (Economics & Spanish) and if I were to have gone to the Business School I would only have been able to minor in Spanish unless I took a significant amount of extra courses. Overall, it was a great decision. Although I plan on going to Business School in the future, I feel that majoring in Economics as an undergraduate has afforded me so many more opportunities than most other majors could have. There are so many different classes that you can take and more than anything else they teach you how to think. Although I've learned some important theories and concepts that I surely will never forget, I think that many of the classes greatly enhanced my analytical skills. There is also a great faculty and a true emphasis on students.


Gary Oeters
Gary Oeters

High School/Hometown: Sparta High School / Sparta, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2005

Current Position: Research and Development in Portfolio Analytics, Bloomberg, LP

What are they doing?

Research and Development in Portfolio Analytics, Bloomberg LP. I work on a team that specializes in creating the next generation of portfolio analytics that our customer base accesses through the Bloomberg Professional Service. We give our customers a wide array of tools to analyze their holdings, including distribution reports, risk exposure, and portfolio attribution and optimization.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Econometrics. It teaches you to approach economics problems in an extremely analytical
way.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

Professor Sheflin for Intro Macro or Money and Banking. A very refreshing approach
to teaching economics.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

There are a large number of very interesting professors and classes available and it offers you an education that is extremely applicable to a vast array of jobs after graduation.


Talleyrand Hsu
Talleyrand Hsu

High School/Hometown: Bridgewater High School / Bridgewater, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2004

Current Position: Johnson & Johnson Customer Business Analyst

What are they doing?

Neutrogena (a Johnson & Johnson company) Sun & Body Care Sales Strategy Analyst for total US Markets. I support the company through building and communicating actionable sales and marketing plans to our field sales & broker teams. In addition, I serve as a central voice and liaison between our internal organization (including R&D, Market Research, Marketing, Finance and Operations) and Sales. Developing a solid foundation in both Supply Chain operations and Field Sales has afforded me this opportunity to work in Sales Strategy. Next logical steps can lead upwards to becoming a Brand Manager or Project Manager.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Econometrics (advanced and regular), by far. Although these courses can be quite dry,
it is truly the most applicable class coming into the corporate world. Knowing how to perform
insightful statistical analysis is highly valued in any major corporation.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

Rubin is a great Professor that has the talent and passion to appropriately mix academia with real world relevance. I highly recommend him.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

As a LibArts college, Rutgers gave me the opportunity to be an Economics major while taking classes ranging from Raku Ceramics Independent Study to Pre-Columbian Andean Ethnology and World of Insects to Environmental Engineering. For me, it kept my studies well-balanced and fun.

Other information or advice?

After living in Minneapolis for a couple years, I realized that success for me consisted of many aspects, all which are important to my development.

1) Working late hours is not always seen as a positive – learning how to *manage time and expectations* is key if you ever want to be great at what you do. Challenging management on workload, focus and scope is fair as long as you have a solid case for current opportunity costs paired with incremental benefits based on your alternative proposal(s).

2) When I can *thoroughly enjoy my time outside of work and set personal goals* (i.e. workout goals, exploring new travel destinations, etc.), that motivation in my personal life naturally energizes me to keeps me focused and driven at work as well.

3) Learn from those around you and be patient with advancement. Challenge yourself in every role that you are given, but don’t let restlessness of feeling you have seen, done and “know-it-all” get the best of you. Depth of knowledge (supported by time in role and working through various business challenges) is tantamount to breadth of knowledge(moving into different roles across departments). Some things can only be learned through time, and for that which has passed, keep an ear out to those Baby Boomers (and others who are senior to you) for their perspective.


Image
Hani Specktor

High School/Hometown:
Rishon Lezion, Israel/Makif H

Year of RU Graduation: 2008

Current Position:
Student MS Statistics, San Diego State University

What are they doing?

Student MS Statistics, San Diego State University

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

There are two. The first is Introduction to Macroeconomics with Professor Sheflin; this course actually got me to choose economics as my major. The course relates economic concepts to current events, what makes it more interesting and get you want to know more about how the economy works and how it affects our every day life. I have learned a great deal from this course. The second course is Market Discipline with Professor Hughes. This course required some work, but was definitely worth it! It concentrated about research done by different economists, how it was done and data analysis. This course taught me how to apply what I have learned in econometrics on real data and gave me the basis for the senior honors thesis.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

Professor Sheflin. You learn a lot from his classes, he is very helpful and give good advice.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

The Professors. Tip: take classes with as many professors as possible, don’t be afraid to take difficult courses- you actually learn a lot form those. Get involved. It will add more flavor to your resume, you will meet new people, and learn a great deal being part of fed challenge (you will learn a lot form Professor Rubin and Professor Stone), ODE- The economics honor society. If you think about graduate school, don’t hesitate to do a senior honors thesis. Good Luck!


Image
Benjamin Schwab

High School/Hometown:
Haddonfield, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2004

Current Position: Ph.D. Student, Dept. of Agricultural &
Applied Economics at University of Wisconsin

What are they doing?

First job after RU - Research Assistant, American Enterprise Institute
in Washington, DC. Worked on a variety of projects, including improving American foreign aid
for malaria, and water markets across the globe.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

The Honors Thesis. Writing my thesis was a great way to apply the knowledge I
gained in all those economics courses, and become acquainted both with the current literature on
a topic that interested me, and the research process. The process also allowed me to work closely
with my superb advisor, Professor Seneca, and thesis director Professor Hughes. My thesis
experience played a major role in my decision to pursue graduate work in economics.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

If I had to choose just one, it would be Professor Klein, who teaches his challenging
(but worthwhile) Advanced Econometrics course with great patience and dilligence. But I would
be remiss if I did not mention Professor Gang, who is both extremely knowledgeable and attentive to his students.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

The professors.


Image
Mark Klee

High School/Hometown:
Lenape Regional High School
Mount Laurel, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2005

Current Position: Graduate Student in Economics, Yale University

What are they doing?

Graduate Student in economics at Yale University. Graduate study in economics
entails two years of quantitatively intensive classes, followed by several years of teaching as a
T.A. and researching, culminating in a dissertation.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Econometrics. It introduces students to a more concrete way of analyzing the
mathematical relationship between variables. This type of rigorous analysis is useful in any
career. It also teaches students to conduct and examine the validity of statistical studies, which is
useful in both professional and informal contexts.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

Professor Michael Bordo. He teaches interesting courses which are extremely
informative and not overly demanding. I also found his teaching style to be thorough, so that I
still remember much of the material several years after having him as a professor.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

The professors have a genuine desire to help students expressing an interest in economics.
All of the professors whom I approached offered advice which was extremely useful in helping
me through courses, in planning a path at Rutgers, and in beginning a career path after
graduation.


Image
Clara Vega

High School/Hometown:
West Windsor-Plainsboro High School,
Plainsboro, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 1995

Current Position: Economist, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, International Finance
Division, Financial Markets, 2005 to present
also Assistant Professor William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration University of Rochester, 2002 to present

What are they doing?

Economist, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, International Finance Division,
Financial Markets, 2005 to present.
Assistant Professor, William E. Simon Graduate School of Business
Administration, University of Rochester, 2002 to present. (on-leave from 2005 to 2007)

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Advanced Econometrics, with Professor Hiroki Tsurumi

Professor each Economics Student should take?

Professor Tsurumi Hiroki's class inspired me to write a Thesis while in Rutgers. In my
senior year at Rutgers, I was not 100% sure I wanted to go to graduate school, but Prof. Hiroki
convinced me to work for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York right after graduation to
experience in person what Econ Ph.D.'s do. After the New York Fed experience, I was sure I
wanted to go to graduate school.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

no response


Image
Mike Zarrella

High School/Hometown:
Raritan High School
Hazlet, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2005

Current Position:
Associate, Hedge Fund Strategies Group
Goldman Sachs & Co.

What are they doing?

Advanced Econometrics with Louise Russell. 1) Professor Russell is brilliant. 2)
This class gives students a chance to apply the theory they’ve been studying and the chance to
discover some very interesting relationships.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Advanced Econometrics with Louise Russell. 1) Professor Russell is brilliant. 2)
This class gives students a chance to apply the theory they’ve been studying and the chance to
discover some very interesting relationships.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

It’s very hard to choose just one (So I will briefly mention two). A trip through the
economics program without a Neil Sheflin class just does not seem right. He’s a fast talker, but if
you listen closely, you’ll learn a whole lot.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

Flexibility. Most undergrads are not sure about what type of career they will pursue
after graduation. The economics major exposes students to a wide range of topics and allows
them to develop a diverse skill set. Having this background best prepares you for a job market
where the landscape is always changing.


Saud Kasim
 

High School/Hometown: South Brunswick High School
South Brunswick, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2008

Current Position:
Research Analyst, Dow Jones

What are they doing?

Research Analyst with Dow Jones: I work in the Indexe s division in Princeton, NJ. My
responsibilities include re-balancing various types of financial indexes, calculating component
weights in indexes, and reviewing the financial viability of U.S. and international companies for
on-going index maintenance; among other things.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Advanced Econometrics - teaches you the most widely used and applied economic
methods in any kind of research and design tasks.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

Professor Roger Klein - You learn the most about common econometric tools and the
principles/theories to construct and develop them in his classes.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

You get to learn from highly professional professors who care about helping their student’s
progress in the future.


Puneet Sondhi
 

High School/Hometown: South Brunswick High School
Kendall Park, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2006

Current Position:
Analyst, JP Morgan Chase

What are they doing?

Analyst, JP Morgan Chase - Securitized Products

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Money and Banking. A great overview of the US monetary system that is interesting
and every student can apply to understand the economic concepts applied in government policy
and business around them.

Professor each Economics Student should take?


Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

Courses are comprehensive and interesting, and the department offers
concentrations within the major. ODE and Fed Challenge provide students an opportunity
to see the practical application of what they learn in the classroom. Fed Challenge allows
for understanding the Federal Reserve, economic forecasting, and markets. ODE provides
the important knowledge of careers in economics to help students find an internship or
full-time position of their choice. With the combination of classes and organizations
students have an opportunity to learn a tremendous amount and propel their careers forward.


Faisal Chowdhry
 

High School/Hometown:
The Lawrenceville School
Lahore American School

Year of RU Graduation: 2005

Current Position:
Associate, Goldman Sachs International (London)

What are they doing?


Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?


Professor each Economics Student should take?


Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?


Mihir Bhanot
 

High School/Hometown:
B.V.B.V.M. Public Schhol
Baroda, India

Year of RU Graduation: 2004

Current Position: Analyst, Goldman Sachs & Co.

What are they doing?

Analyst, Goldman Sachs & Co.

Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Intro to Microeconomics with Professor Sheflin (or any Sheflin course). This course is
a great introduction to fundamentals and broad concepts
in Economics. Prof. Sheflin is a fantastic and engaging professor and makes sure that students:
a) take an interest in economics
b) learn the basics
c) have an opportunity to go into a lot more depth if they want
d) are able to relate to current events and news
e) start appreciating applied economic policy and thought

Professor each Economics Student should take?

Intro to Microeconomics with Professor Sheflin (or any Sheflin course). This course is
a great introduction to fundamentals and broad concepts
in Economics. Prof. Sheflin is a fantastic and engaging professor and makes sure that students:
a) take an interest in economics
b) learn the basics
c) have an opportunity to go into a lot more depth if they want
d) are able to relate to current events and news
e) start appreciating applied economic policy and thought

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

Snippets of advice for current Econ majors (some of it was given to me by others and was
useful; some I now wish had been given to me):
Take a wide variety of courses.
Get involved on campus in something meaningful.
Work hard on your class grades, but also remember that your grades will
only get you in the door for an interview. After that, it's what you
really know and how "well rounded" you are that makes a difference.
The harder a higher-level class seems to be via word-of-mouth, the more
useful it will probably be; however, this doesn't preclude classes that
are "easy" from having a big impact if you choose to go underneath the
surface and delve into the material.
Keep an open mind when looking for jobs. You never know what
opportunities you are missing just because something doesn't look
interesting from its description.


Niti Rathod
 

High School/Hometown:
Emerson High School
Union City, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2001

Current Position: Program Analyst,
Office of Management and Budget,
NJ Dept of Treasury

What are they doing?


Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?


Professor each Economics Student should take?


Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?


Nora Paxton
 

High School/Hometown:
Vernon Township High School
Highland Lakes, NJ

Year of RU Graduation: 2000

Current Position: Senior Programmer Analyst Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

What are they doing?


Most Useful Economics Course at Rutgers?

Henry Rutgers Thesis Program. It isn't a class, per se, but the experience of working
with data on a large research project prepared me the most of working at a research company.

Professor each Economics Student should take?

It’s hard to pick just one. Professor Rubin is tough, but you will learn a lot. Professor
Klein is so kind and generous with his time. He will work with you on a problem until you get it.

Best Thing about being an Economics Major at Rutgers?

I love that the Economics department is housed within the liberal arts school. You get to
take a wide array of classes that allow you to explore many different topics within economics. If
you are interested in business you can find classes that you like. But, if you are more interested
in policy you have a many classes to choose from as well.