College Internship Opportunities for Economics Majors
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by two economics majors, Anjali Bryan from CUNY City College and Baron Cao from the University of Chicago, in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
In this article, we look at the internships held by two current economics majors. We explore their responsibilities and the advice that they have for prospective economics majors.
When we got sent home for the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew that I’d have extra time on my hands without having to commute. So, I applied for as many internships as I could.
I got a global supply chain internship, and we are dealing with personal protective equipment and the way that it’s moving around the world. We’re working with many manufacturers in Southeast Asia and trying to work with our clients based in the United States. We work on getting them the materials that they need so their hospitals are well-equipped to fight the pandemic.
I’ll admit that at first, I was nervous about stepping into this role. I had only recently transferred into the economics department at my school, and I didn’t think that I was up to the task. But one of the best things about being an economics major is the ability to utilize transferable skills. In my internship, I was able to use the skills that I had developed not only in my economics course load but also while I was in STEM.
As long as you’re a dedicated student, open to learning things, and receptive to advice from mentors and others—like people with seniority in your office or your internship—you’ll be able to succeed.
As far as future plans go, I’ll be going into financial services for my next internship, as I’ll be working with JP Morgan this upcoming summer. This just shows the versatility within the econ major. I’m doing supply chain work now and seeing how I like it, but I’m also able to step into financial services. As an econ major, you should keep an open mind and try to dip your toe into everything that you can while you’re young and still in college.
There’s absolutely versatility within the economics major. To add to this point, let me share my experience. I wanted to do research when I began college, and it was my primary focus during my freshman year. I did that for a year or so, and then I realized that there were other skills and opportunities that I wanted to pursue.
I ended up in a lower-middle market private equity fund, and that was something that really interested me. The most important thing to note here is that I knew nothing about private equity. I didn’t know how to do Excel models, I didn’t know what an LBO was, and I didn’t know how to do anything when I stepped in on the first day. But obviously, these are skills that no one is really expected to know.
My team was composed of a mechanical engineering major, a creative writing major, and myself, so none of us knew what we were doing, but we got our wheels greased fast.
I think that’s what happens in most financial services. People come from specific and different fields. You have physics majors, math majors, history majors, etc. going into financial services and thriving because they can think on their feet, adapt quickly to the demands of the industry, and bring critical-thinking skills to the table. Transferable skills are a huge reason that economics majors can work in almost any industry.
My internship this summer is going to be at a slightly bigger middle-market private equity firm in Chicago. This is the path that I want to go down, and I have more experience now. But to speak from my former perspective as a freshman with no experience in finance, it’s easy to adapt and transfer those skills you’ve learned from the economics major to an actual internship, no matter what it specifically entails.
A diverse pool of internships is available to economics majors. Anjali held an internship in the supply chain domain and ended up moving into financial services. Baron had an internship in the domain of private equity. These are only a few of the many options open to economics majors.
There are internship opportunities in consulting, marketing, corporate finance, policy analysis, and even environmental economics! Like Anjali suggested, keep an open mind, and try your hand at different facets of economics to see what truly piques your interest. You may discover a specific career path that you’ll want to pursue.
Also, remember that you’ll learn many skills as an economics student that can be directly applied to an internship. While this may sound obvious, it’s not always the case with other majors. Economics is a field in which you can utilize all your knowledge and skills in real-world settings.