Brian Zielinski

Class Year

’11

Hometown

Lake Villa, Ill.

Major(s)

Economics, Marketing

When Brian Zielinski first came to Carthage, he planned to major in general business. Two courses changed his mind: ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics with Professor Brent McClintock, and ECON 102: Principles of Macroeconomics with Professor Edward Montanaro.

“I realized how much I really enjoyed economics,” Brian says. “The Economics Department, in my mind, has really stepped up lately and has encouraged and fostered undergraduate research efforts for me and other students of economics. Every faculty member I have talked to within the department has been encouraging and supportive. This really speaks to the approachability and availability of the economics faculty. … They are all really smart people and you can tell they all want to share their knowledge.”

While at Carthage, Brian has taken advantage of the variety of courses, taking classes that interested him most. He’s also had many research opportunities. “I am currently seeking funding for a summer research project, and I have established positive relationships with professors in the economics department,” he says. “I have not yet been on a J-Term trip but would love to go my senior year. I have heard only good things about the Economics Department’s trips.”

“All my economics courses have been my favorites. I really enjoy the one I am in now — Economics of Poverty. I enjoy my research project for that class, which surrounds the exploitative nature of unconventional banking.”

Brian Zielinski, ’11

Career goal

“I currently plan to go to law school, and I hope to eventually work in government as a policy-maker.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“I don’t pick favorites. I have had Profs. McClintock, Montanaro and Cronovich, and have spoken with Prof. Schlack on several occasions. They are all equally my favorites for different reasons.”

Favorite class

“All my economics courses have been my favorites. I really enjoy the one I am in now — Economics of Poverty. I enjoy my research project for that class, which surrounds the exploitative nature of unconventional banking. It’s really interesting, fun stuff — for me, not for the people using these services.”

Toughest class

“Financial Management with Dave Brunn was my hardest course overall. The hardest Econ course I took was Intro to Microeconomics with Brent (McClintock) my freshman year. I was just learning to think about economics, and really, that was the first time I had ever really understood what economics was. It was also probably the most rewarding class for me. I learned a lot that semester and went from not knowing anything about economics to contemplating the topic as my major.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

His advice to other students: Remember, economics isn’t all math. “I feel like some prospective students of economics are discouraged from the study because they’re ‘afraid’ of math,” he explains. “What I have found is all you really need is good logic skills. Many topics in economics — including most of theory I have been introduced to — is not math-intensive. That being said, the Econ program at Carthage is competitive with other Colleges in its math requirements for Econ majors.”