Jillian Costello, 2023
Jillian graduated with a BA in Economics and a BBA in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She is starting work at Ann Clark Ltd as their Digital Marketing Analyst. “My experience at PLU, specifically in the Econ Department, has been extremely helpful in navigating my post-grad journey. I think being a part of the Econ mentorship program and receiving an Economics degree really helped me to stand out to employers and helped me find success in the workplace quickly after graduating.”
Sara Christensen, 2017
After graduating from PLU with a BA in Economics, BA in Politics and Government, and a Mathematics minor, Sara will be continuing her studies at the University of Washington where she will be pursing a Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership. Sara hopes to combine her interest in higher education with her background in economics to identify more equitable and efficient ways of funding higher education in the U.S.
Desirae Haselwood, 2017
I graduated from PLU in the Spring of 2017 with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Finance. After graduation I began working for Mercer, a consulting firm that helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth, and performance of their employees. I specifically work as an analyst in the health and benefits department, assisting senior consultants in design, financing, pricing, and administration of client companies’ health and welfare programs. My economics degree helped prepare me for this career in many ways – by developing my problem solving and analytic skills, as well as by exposing me to how different markets and industries work which has been extremely helpful in the ever-changing healthcare industry. The Economics department truly shaped my experience at PLU and I am grateful for all of the faculty that helped me along the way.
Desiree Domini, 2017
Graduating with a BA in Economics and a BS in Mathematics, Desiree is now starting at Amazon as a Financial Operations Analyst.
Matthew Macfarlane, 2017
Matt graduated with a BA in Economics and History. After graduating Matt moved to Boulder, CO, to work at VictorOps Inc., an incident management software company. He is excited to live and work in Boulder, a place where he can grow professionally and pursue his love for running and the outdoors.
Nate Hansen, 2016
Nate Hansen is currently working in an orphanage in Ghana where he is providing operational assistance. When he returns to the states, he will be working with a community credit union in Portland, Oregon.
Lauritz Kittelsen, 2016
Lauritz Kittelsen graduated with a BA in Economics and a minor in Business Administration from PLU Spring 2016. Lauritz is currently taking an internship with Elastictek, a company in Portugal specializing in polyethylene-based products for the hygiene industry, where he will be a part of the purchasing/logistics team. After his stay in Portugal, Lauritz plans to apply for graduate school and jobs, both within the field of finance.
Johanne (Jo) Madsen, 2016
Jo is currently working for State Farm as a claim handler and is excited about learning more about insurance hands-on. She is still working towards going back to school for her masters, but is enjoying learning about economics outside “theory land” as it is a great way for her to find out what topics she wants to dive into when she returns to school.
Elizabeth (Molly) Maloney, 2016
Elizabeth (Molly) Maloney is continuing her studies at University of California, Irvine, where she is pursuing a PhD in Economics.
Jose Bonilla-Bartley, 2016
Upon Graduation, Jose Bonilla-Bartley transferred from his part time job in the benefits department at Interstate Distributor Co, to a full time position as an Accessorial/Pricing Analyst in the Pricing Department. There he applies economic and mathematical principles to the process of determining rates for nationally distributed goods. He intends to continue gaining experience at interstate until he decides to pursue a masters, and eventually PhD, in some Economics field.
Hayden McCartney, 2016
Graduated with BA in Economics and BS in Financial Mathematics, Hayden is now a Yield Management Analyst in the Revenue Management department at Alaska Airlines. His economics degree applies directly to his job with Alaska.
Sonja Schaefer, 2016
After a whirlwind summer climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and researching Chinese investment in Ethiopia and fishing in Alaska, Sonja has settled down in Washington, D.C. interning for Congressman Visclosky from her home state of Indiana. She is looking forward to getting to know the political scene in D.C. and is networking to find a job relating to Economics and Chinese in order to stay in the city a while longer.
Chaney Skadsen, 2016
Chaney is currently attending Illinois State University where she is a Master’s International student pursuing a degree in Applied Economics and Community Development. While on campus she has been a graduate assistant working on implementing a grant (UWE), to get more women involved in the economics department. After one year of school she will join the Peace Corps to fulfill her internship requirement for her degree.
Taylor Brunstad, 2015
Taylor is currently an assistant coach at Olympia Area Rowing where she mainly coaches the novice high school boys team and also coaches an adult learn to row program. In the future she wants to pursue a career in behavioral economics in either the public or private sector after completing a graduate program.
Marguerite Clemens, 2015
This summer Marguerite will be starting her career with Geico as a part of their Management Development Program. Her Economics education and experience was a vital part in receiving this offer.
Emily Everson, 2015
This summer, Emily will be interning with Horizon Airlines in a maintenance operations data analyst position. She is excited to put her math and statistics skills to use, and learn a bit more about the airline industry.
Greg Hibbard, 2015
Next fall Greg Hibbard plans to attend the University of Washington School of Law. He intends on using his undergraduate background in economics and geosciences to pursue a career in environmental law.
Thomas Kim, 2015
The PLU Economics department congratulates Thomas Kim (’15) on his graduation from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and will serve as the commencement speaker. Thomas E. Kim served as Chair of American Bar Association’s Law Student Division, representing the entire 120,000+ law students of America as the chief executive student leader.
While a law student, Thomas started a high school scholarship program for all graduating seniors eligible, regardless of their immigration status or FAFSA eligibility. In order to expand the program, Thomas founded InspireGen, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarship funding, individual mentorship, and network partnership for the success of the next generation.
Thomas is also widely recognized for his legal pro bono work for the indigent community members. Accordingly, in just three years Thomas spent more than 1,300 hours providing legal pro bono work to countless community members, including representing clients in habeas corpus proceedings in the District Court, United States Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
As a passionate advocate for all immigrants, Thomas passionately advocated that bar admission should not be denied based solely on immigration status and urged Congress to amend 8 U.S.C. § 1621(d). Thomas drafted, lobbied, and passed Resolution 108 that would allow undocumented law school graduates in all 50 states plus territories, who otherwise qualify for the bar, to be able to get licensed to practice law. Thomas’ effective advocacy work was recognized throughout the country, as Thomas was featured in numerous news media, including CNN, PBS, Arizona Republic, The Oregonian, ABA Journal, The National Jurist, Law.com, Legal Talk Network, and even Russia Today and Breitbart.
Sean Larkin, 2015
After graduation, Sean is going to the University of Maine to pursue a MA in Economics. He received a research and teaching assistantship so his tuition is paid for and he will be receiving a living stipend. He will also be conducting research under Dr. Jonathan Rubin over the summer.
Nellie Moran, 2015
Nellie Moran ’15 is currently Colorado Senate Majority Leader’s Policy and Communications Advisor. Moran, a double major in Economics and French, began her initial research in 2013 with a paper she wrote in one of her classes. This blossomed into Moran’s final Capstone, PLU’s senior research project, which looks at how candidates’ expenditures affect the outcome of their campaign.
Chris Privette, 2015
Upon graduation, Chris is going to continue running his financial planning practice with Northwestern Mutual. He started working with NM during his Sophomore year at PLU and after 2.5 years has decided to make a career out of it. Alongside his financial planning career he will serve in the Army National Guard on Ft. Lewis one weekend a month for the next 8 years. The ROTC program at PLU has prepared him for a life in and outside of the military and he will take full advantage of the lessons learned.
Igor Strupinskiy, 2014
I graduated from PLU in the Spring of 2014 with a double major in Economics and Finance. Immediately after, I began working for Russell Investments, an institutional investment management firm headquartered in Seattle. I initially joined the company in a position supporting multi-asset portfolio managers on the trade desk, and eventually moved into a role developing financial software where I work today. I was pleased to learn that many well-respected associates at my firm whom I most admire also happen to be PLU economics graduates themselves, and attribute a large part of their success to the education they received.
It did not take me long to realize how valuable the skills that I learned in the economics program were, as I found myself equipped with research and problem solving skills that my fellow trading analysts who only had finance backgrounds lacked. I soon became the go-to person for anything research and writing related on my team, thanks largely to the experience I had writing my economics capstone paper on the Affordable Care Act. I am deeply grateful for the education I received in the economics program, and know it was a key contributor to my career success.
Paige Griffith, 2013
I graduated from PLU in 2013 with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science. I first started my undergraduate education thinking I would only major in Political Science. However, I found that I needed to add in my interest in mathematics. I took Economics 101 with Professor Karen Travis and was instantly hooked. Two years later I completed an econometrics capstone project, which was incredibly challenging, but also extremely rewarding. Ultimately, my degree gave me the analytical background and writing skills necessary for examining tough legal subjects and helped me better transition into legal writing. I recently graduated from the University of Montana School of Law in May 2016, and am now a law clerk to the Honorable Dana L. Christensen, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Montana.
Brianne Vincent, 2013
I live in Seattle and work for Point B, a management consulting firm that specializes in project leadership. I recently helped implement insurance authorization changes in the Revenue Cycle Department at a local healthcare organization as a result of the Affordable Care Act. My economics background has helped me to understand the competitive pressures affecting both healthcare organizations and insurance companies, both of which are trying to reduce cost and optimize the delivery of healthcare and healthcare benefits. I credit my mentors at Point B and PLU for helping bridge the gap between academia and the business world in a way that is both relevant and meaningful.
I double majored in Financial Mathematics and Economics choosing the latter to help round out a technical degree. I love math, because there is always only one logical answer (or most of the time); however, I also understand that without qualitative context one number cannot solve a problem. To me, economics is really about the ability to understand and anticipate the forces in an economic environment to provide the context for meaningful data analytics.
Anna Reiman, 2013
I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in May 2013 with a major in Economics – and I’m so thankful that I did. I was born and raised in Puyallup, Washington, and knew that I wanted to stay local for college. Math was always my favorite subject in school. I enjoyed problem-solving, and the logic of the subject. Thus, I started my undergraduate studies at Pacific Lutheran University with mathematics as my intended major. It wasn’t until I took an introductory microeconomics course to fulfill a social science requirement that I became captivated by this applied field of math. That spring, I decided to switch to an economics major with mathematics and statistics minors.
My economics degree has instilled in me critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills. These skills allow me to make meaningful contributions to my current job as a Financial Analyst II at MultiCare Health System in Tacoma, WA where I work with patient-level and hospital cost data. I am grateful for my undergraduate training in economics at PLU, and truly believe that I wouldn’t be working at my dream job had it not been for the skills and training provided by the PLU Economics department.
Kristopher Deming, 2011
I graduated from PLU in 2011 with a BA in economics. I am currently an economics PhD student at the University of Connecticut. My research interests include labor, education, and family structural changes. I majored in economics because studying it introduced me to a new way thinking about the world around me. I realized that economics was involved in every part of my life from the price of the coffee I drink to the hiring decisions companies make. Knowing a little about economics made me want to know more, so I majored in economics and continued in graduate school. My degree gave me the background and skills necessary to get my PhD.