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International Political Economy


  • Sean Conley '15
    Sean Conley '15
    Carthage College

Sean Conley ’15

Class Year



International Political Economy

Current home

Whitestown, Ind.

Current position

Hourly Trader at ACES in Carmel, Ind.

After Sean Conley graduated in 2015, he began his career as an hourly market trader at ACES, a nationwide energy management company.

“I monitor and evaluate our members’ and clients’ hourly electricity positions, market conditions, and other real time factors like weather, geological events, etc.,” he explains. “I also buy and sell electricity on their behalf, based on need or sudden changes in the market. Our main goal is to ensure energy reliability for all of our members and clients.”


“There were many times in my college career where, in the pursuit of a project, I would need to be able to juggle several resources and adapt as the situation changed. The same description can be applied to my career today.”

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“I have enjoyed getting to see the ideas and concepts I learned in the classroom translate into real world functions of everyday life. Plus, it feels good to put the skills I’ve developed into action, maintaining a service, energy reliability, used by everyone on a daily basis.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“My participation in the Carthage in Chicago program was extremely helpful. While studying in Chicago, I was given the opportunity to intern with Satori Energy. These experiences were excellent preparation both in focusing my studies on the energy industry and in helping me find practical application for the skills I was going to have to market to potential employers in the very near future.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to thank David Wiers, Satori’s president and founder and Carthage alumnus, and … the Career Services Office for everything they did to help make that experience possible.”

How has your liberal arts education helped you?

“Without going into too much boring detail, my job is mostly one of finance and market monitoring. However, I also have to know a lot of physics and mechanics of any local generation our members and clients own. Understanding these basics — and more importantly, the terminology I otherwise wouldn’t be familiar with — has help me become acclimated with the job and its requirements faster than if I were picking it up for the first time.”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“Don’t wait until graduation to try a variety of jobs, with different goals and objectives. It will certainly help you figure out what you don’t want to do for the rest of your life, and you may discover some highly marketable skills. Also, take at least one class in Microsoft Excel. You may think you know how to use it in the most efficient way, but I guarantee you could be better.”

Favorite Carthage memories:

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my brothers in Phi Kappa Sigma. The older students in this fine organization took me in when I was a directionless freshman and taught me many skills that I still use today. Carthage was also very good at teaching me to be prepared and flexible. There were many times in my college career where, in the pursuit of a project, I would need to be able to juggle several resources and adapt as the situation changed. The same description can be applied to my career today.”

“Carthage was also very good at teaching me to be prepared and flexible. There were many times in my college career where, in the pursuit of a project, I would need to be able to juggle several resources and adapt as the situation changed. The same description can be applied to my career today.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • Carthage’s J-Term offers IPE students opportunities to study business culture in other countries. Recent J-Term study tours have been led by economics, finance, political science, and marketing faculty to such destinations as Sweden, Cuba, Argentina, southern Africa, and Hong Kong.

    • Carthage IPE graduates are working around the globe as computer analysts, financial advisors, investment brokers, international business analysts, mutual fund specialists, and for government and nonprofit organizations. 

    • Popular with IPE students, the student organization Enactus provides students with entrepreneurial experience through community projects. The group’s name borrows from three words: entrepreneurial, action, and us. Enactus has received regional and national recognition.

    • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …