Did you miss the What’s Next? Economics panel on October 9th? If so, Indra Kar (CAS, 2015) was there to recap. Take a few minutes below to relive the event, and also don’t forget to come out to our What’s Next? Entrepreneurship Event, this Wednesday evening at 5:30pm!
As a junior majoring in Economics, I was interested to see what the panelists had to offer. It was a very informative program that was organized by Wasserman, and I was happy to see a large turnout amongst my peers. There were three key takeaways from the seminar:
Hard Skills are Valuable:
Economics majors at NYU develop a large set of “hard skills” which are essentially knowledge that you learn in the classroom. These include the quantitative skills that students develop in classes such as Statistics, Math for Economics, and Econometrics. Kasia Janczura, the Director of Academic Policy with the NYC Department of Education, specifically referred to these classes and stated how they enhance your analytical abilities. And analytical skills are of very high value.
In addition, both Paul Kontonis, a Partner at Centridium Media, and Mario Malave, an Analyst at Morgan Stanley, emphasized the fact that Economics majors develop an understanding of behavior. This knowledge can be applied in the real world to interpret how certain markets respond and understand data that elucidates consumer behavior. Mario specifically stated how his classes helped him think about the interactions between “big and small”—essentially, seeing things from a broader perspective.
Develop Skills through Internships:
An important thing to remember as an Economics major is that you aren’t necessarily going to learn about particular industries from your classes. Compared to students in Stern, Economics students in CAS don’t gain the same breadth of knowledge in financial markets, equity research, investment banking, and the like. However, Paul stressed that CAS students can still apply what they’ve learned in Economics classes to a particular industry. You won’t necessarily know specifics about the industry at first, but you have the skills that you can apply to it.
So to help bridge the gap between the classroom and the real word, the panelists emphasized finding internships. In particular, Mario stressed the importance of a summer internship for those who want to break into the banking industry. The reason is that an internship can lend you experience within an industry that you didn’t necessarily learn about in class. In other words, it can make up for missing hard skills. Not only that, but internships can also help students build “soft skills” such as communication skills and time management which aren’t necessarily taught in school. Vinny Parra, who works at Deloitte Consulting, stated that soft skills are also a very important part of what makes a strong job applicant.
To find the right internships, students can use Wasserman’s Mentor Network to talk to people who have been working in different aspects of business. Also, CareerNet has listings of internships for the fall, spring, and summer. Learning does not have to be limited to the classroom or even to New York City. Why not take a look as to what’s out there?
Networking is Critical:
Knowing the right people can really help someone land a job, especially that first one right after college. Again, students can use the Wasserman’s Mentor Network to connect with people who work in certain industries. All of the panelists talked about the importance of getting to know the right people.
Kasia, who is a Teach for America alumna, mentioned how networking with someone helped her land her first job in the education industry. Paul offered a humorous anecdote about how he received a job offer in the past. He didn’t research the company he was applying to and was generally unprepared for the interview. However, before he left the building after his interview was over, he chatted with the receptionist. They were both Greek, so they were able to relate to each other based on their ethnic backgrounds. Paul later received a job offer—despite the fact that he struggled through the job interview. But the little bit of networking that he did with the receptionist was enough to convince the hiring department that he would be a good fit.
Whether you are at a recruiting event, information session, or employer presentation, it is in your best interest to talk to people, even if it’s very casual. Connecting with the right people can make you appear to be a good match for the company. According to Mario, that’s really what a company is looking for: the right fit. In addition to showcasing hard and soft skills and industry knowledge, Economics majors can demonstrate their fit via networking opportunities, especially those at Wasserman.