International Political Economy
Jennifer Weiss isn’t looking for an easy degree. She came to Carthage to be challenged, opting to major in international political economy and minor in Japanese. IPE will give her a solid foundation in business, economics, and leadership, and her Japanese minor means she can go global with these skills. “I think it will be one of the languages needed when working in global business,” Jennifer says.
Jennifer knew that Carthage had the resources necessary for her to succeed in IPE.
“When I got into Carthage, I was told that if I wanted to have a career in the international arena, this was the road to go. I love the fact that this major teaches you a little bit of everything you need to start a career in anything; you can really craft your own path.”
Looking forward, she hopes to utilize her IPE background in a career that assists clients and businesses appealing to a global market. “Going international can be a challenge, so I want to be able to assist in their endeavors and tell them everything they need to know, whether the country they wish to enter is economically developed or less developed,” she says. “I have always enjoyed helping others, so with this career, I can combine my love for helping people with my love for business.”
“I love the fact that this major teaches you a little bit of everything you need to start a career in anything international.”
“I would love to be a business consultant and help clients looking to begin or expand their business internationally or domestically. Going international can be a challenge, so I want to be able to assist in their endeavors and tell them everything they need to know, whether the country they wish to enter is economically developed or less developed. I have always enjoyed helping others, so with this career I can combine my love for helping people with my love for business.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“Definitely Brent McClintock. I have tried to have most of my classes with him. He is very tough on you and pushes you to do your best. He is also extremely helpful if you are struggling with the course material. He is very patient and will talk the issues out with you until you understand them.”
“My favorite class was International Political Economy. We learned a lot about how countries become economically developed, what hinders their development, and how already economically developed countries continue to stay that way. We also got to do independent research and analysis on a developing country of our choice. I actually really enjoyed writing that paper.”
“I have been a part of Omicron Delta Epsilon, an economics honor society, and Alpha Mu Gamma, a foreign language honor society, for most of my time at Carthage. I have now had the opportunity to become the vice president of both of these honor societies. Groups like these allow students who share common interests to meet and share ideas, create projects, and have leadership positions.”
“Intermediate Macroeconomics. For me, this class was like the boot camp of the IPE degree. We examined monetary policy, fiscal policy, Keynesian economic theory, and classic economic theory, as well as other theorists. You also get to study and draw many graphs that go along with macroeconomics. There were a few graphs that looked like an art project, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. No class has the same agenda every semester, but our class was also required to write a 20-page paper on the U.S. economy. The first half of the paper was mostly graphical analysis of the last 10 years, and the second half was being able to explain the monetary and fiscal responses to the financial crisis. It was really tough, but I learned so much through the experience.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“Carthage has provided me with many opportunities. I was able to become a tutor of Japanese and English, and have been for about three years now. Within this timeframe, I have been able to meet and assist many students and TLEs. I’ve also made a few new friends through tutoring. There are also many student organizations and honorary societies to belong to.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“I’ve had so many, it’s hard to choose. I’ve just really enjoyed meeting all of the great people here over the years.”
Favorite spot on campus
“My favorite place on campus? Anywhere with a lake view. I also like the downstairs area of the library along the windows. It provides you with the quiet you need to study, along with some peaceful scenery.”
Biggest surprise so far
“Just how closely knit Carthage is. I don’t think I’ve ever gone somewhere on campus where I didn’t find somebody I knew. Plus, the class sizes are small and you get a lot of one-on-one help from the professors when needed, whether in class or during office hours.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“My 8-year-old self would probably say, ‘Sounds like you need to think a lot. You sure you’d not be happier playing outside?’”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“You will never need to worry about finding a job with this major. It’s so dynamic, you can do almost anything. In order to be successful in IPE, you need to work hard in all areas. You must stay up to task in your first-year classes in order to create a good foundation for your upper-level classes. The professors are tough and you will be challenged, even if economics comes naturally to you. You will learn to think about things more broadly and on a whole new level. I couldn’t ask for more in an undergraduate program.”