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International Political Economy

Student Voices

  • Michael Arient '21

Michael Arient ’21


Schaumburg, Illinois


International Political Economy, Accounting


Political Science

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is definitely the shoreline. There isn’t a more relaxing spot on campus than the rocks next to the waves. When staring out at the lake, you can’t help but feel good.”

Career goal

“I would like to eventually work with international trade in an economics or business role.”

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

Professor Arthur Cyr was my advisor and has been very encouraging, especially when I first arrived on campus. He was one of the first to welcome me and helped me discover new clubs and classes. He made me feel like Carthage was not only interested, but also engaged in my future success.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage is Western Heritage II. It was all due to Professor Paul Ulrich’s questions, which really brought the text to life. The philosophical questions he asked were relevant to our lives and resulted in some impactful life lessons. Overall, it was the best discussion class I’ve ever taken.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class was Philosophical Foundations of Political Economy. I took this class with Prof. Cyr, and it was the first time I experienced real college-level reading and writing. Reading volumes and volumes of political philosophy was a brand new challenge in time management. Thankfully, Prof. Cyr was helpful, my enjoyment in the readings grew, and the semester went well.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“This upcoming school year, I have a fellowship with NextGen America. I will be motivating other students to register to vote.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Besides the traveling, I think one of the best opportunities I’ve had has been being able to meet and work with professors one-on-one. At a small school, you really get to know your professors well, which is a great help when you need career advice or essay help.”

Campus involvement

“I belong to the Carthage Accounting Association, VITA, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Model UN. All of these clubs led me to meet amazing new individuals who are all very motivated and intelligent. In Model UN, I made countless friends and had amazing opportunities to represent Carthage and make memories of a lifetime.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite memory at Carthage was a Model UN conference in Toronto. While the United States and Canada aren’t terribly different culturally, between two political science students, there were endless things to discuss. I made tons of friends and spent the weekend doing what I love. This was my first conference of many, all of which I know will be memories of a lifetime.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I think the biggest surprise so far is how many new friends I’ve made. I really can’t believe how many lifelong friends I made in such a short period of time. I made friends from all different walks of life. In everything I did at Carthage, people were always friendly.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would be very pleased to hear that I am studying something with an international side. When I was in grade school I used to check a different atlas out of the library every week. I would be ecstatic to know all those hours spent staring at maps weren’t in vain.”

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

“I definitely recommend International Political Economy to any student who is interested in a variety of topics. IPE covers many different topics, and Prof. Cyr encourages students to explore their interests.

“I find accounting and IPE to be a very satisfying combination. On one hand IPE is a very wide major, while on the other accounting is a very deep one. This provides a very strong understanding of business and how it affects economics and in turn politics and international relations.”


Madeline Paakkonen ’21
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • 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.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 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. More than 90% 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. 

    • 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.

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing 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 more than 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 students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. 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,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. 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 Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, 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 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. 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.

    • 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 in the Top 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 …