Career Panel Series

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Tech Career Panel: (top) Nat Sahlstrom, Adley Bowden, (bottom) Cary Oshima

Thanks to a combined effort from the Department’s Mentorship program, Women in Economics, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, the Department of Economics was able to hold four career panels this year. These panels spanned many topics and were widely attended by undergraduate students. The virtual nature of these events allowed for even more participation from panelists, as they were not required to come to campus to present.

The first panel was put on by the Women in Economics group in mid-February. This panel featured alumnae early in their careers at employers like Tableau, Ernst & Young, Point B, and Accenture. Panelists discussed their transitions from college to career, navigating the job market, and how they settled on their desired field. Thank you to our panelists; Nadya Ekhteraee, Clalissa Li, Caitlin McIlwain, Hannah Piatok, and Kiana Rahni.

The second panel, put on in late February, featured alumni from our undergraduate program, all of whom went on to receive an additional degree. Panelists Jeff Roe, CEO and President of Premera Blue Cross, represented the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree, and spoke on his experience at the Foster School of Business. Bill Severson, owner of his own law firm, William C. Severson PLLC, represented the Law degree, and speaking on his experience at UW Law, where he received his Juris Doctorate degree. Christina Tapia, Economist at Northwest Economics LLC, Adjunct Professor at Seattle U, and Visiting Lecturer here in our department, gave us a view of the life of a PhD in Economics, especially in our department, where she earned her degree. This panel was to highlight various areas of graduate study and the resulting careers paths they can offer, and was particularly aimed at students who are considering graduate school. Thank you to Jeff, Bill, and Christina for sharing your views!

The Tech panel took place in April and highlighted various positions within the field of technology, and the growing role economists are playing in that field. This panel proved to be particularly popular, tech being a newer and exciting area of job growth for economists. Our panel featured three undergraduate alumni from our department; Adley Bowden, Vice President of Data & Research at Pitchbook, Cary Oshima, Vice President of Digital Health at Cognizant, and Nat Sahlstrom, Director of Amazon Energy at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Thank you for Adley, Cary, and Nat for sharing your experiences!

The last panel of the year was in partnership with the Department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and was called, “You Look Like an Economist: Changing the Face of Economics.” This late May event featured three alumni panelists, Theresa Henry, current PhD student in economics, Lt. Stephen Martir, Supply Corps of United States Navy, and Dimitri Perera, Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Wizards of the Coast. Our panelists spoke on the challenges they have faced in their careers, both as students and professionals. They discussed how economics has helped to shape their transitions from college to career, as well as how economics has affected their ways of thinking in today’s socioeconomic and sociocultural climate for marginalized and underrepresented communities. Thank you to Dimitri, Stephen, and Theresa for sharing your perspectives!

Plans are being discussed for more career panels in the fall; a panel focusing on banking and investment management, and a panel featuring three female PhDs in Economics, a predominantly male dominated field. Please look for information about these panels this summer.

Thank you to all our panelists who participated in these panels! Thank you also to the organizing groups who worked together to put on these events, Economics Mentorship Program, Women in Economics, and Economics Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.