37th Annual Econ Day brings students to Chicago to network with alumni

Econ Day presents a unique opportunity each year for students in the economics and business department to expand their professional networks.

Economics majors board the bus and head to Chicago to meet alumni and hear advice on their career paths, the job market, and life after Beloit. This year’s event was in mid-February.

Thomas Shanabruch’00, vice president of investment at CRG, a privately held real estate investment and development firm, welcomed students and faculty to the firm’s offices in downtown Chicago. Tom, along with two colleagues, shared information about the real estate industry and insights into various roles, from research analyst positions to architectural design opportunities. The group then headed towards the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center for two alumni panels.

“The Future of Higher Education”’ – the first discussion panel moderated by the college’s Executive in Residence Tim Leslie’89 – featured DeVon Wilson’90, Harold Wilde, and Ruth Vater’05. The panelists expressed their perspectives on the purpose and the future of higher education, emphasizing the value of liberal arts in particular. They agreed that Beloit’s Integrated Learning Outcomes (ILOs) – being an effective communicator, a productive collaborator, a creative problem-solver, and being professionally and intellectually agile – represent the key skills necessary to be successful in the 21st century.

The second panel, “Finding Your Path,” featured seven alumni sharing their experiences in their area of expertise and providing practical career advice. Professor Laura Grube’08 moderated the panel. Ryan Sughroue’18, senior property underwriter at American International Group, Inc. (AIG), encouraged students to use all of the available resources both inside and outside of Beloit College to develop their career.

“In your job search, use a mixed strategy of applying to positions on Handshake, LinkedIn, and other places,” said Sughroue, “as well as using your networks to find opportunities and utilize referrals.”

Following the second panel, students had the chance to get one-on-one advice from well-placed alumni. Over 50 alumni joined the networking session. Matthew O’Leary’23, a senior economics major from Clarendon Hills, Ill., showed his gratitude for the event:

Econ Day is one of the best practices that you can have as a young professional going to start a career,” he says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know people who have been in your shoes, and to think about what the next steps in your own path might be.”

The event concluded with a memorable speech by the department’s chair, Professor Bob Elder. Besides welcoming two new professors in the department, he expressed appreciation for all of the faculty members and alumni who contributed to the day’s success, making the day alive and rewarding to all students.

By: My Le'25
March 01, 2023

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