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  • Allison Von Borstel

Allison Von Borstel ’15

Class Year



Economics, International Political Economy

Current home

Chicago, Illinois

Current position

Senior Economic Modeler at Nielsen

Graduating from Carthage in 2015 with degrees in economics and international political economy, Allison Von Borstel currently works as a Senior Economic Modeler at Nielsen in Chicago, Illinois. 

After graduating from Carthage, Allison attended the University of Chicago where she studied applying quantitative analysis to public policy.


“At Carthage, I discovered the alluring world of international relations and economics. In between, I had the opportunity to take part in an acting course, dive into the world of Dante, decipher financial securities, and discover the science behind tea. I knew beginning college that I wanted to explore my different interests in an environment that was small enough to truly be called a community. Looking back, Carthage was just that.”


What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“I’ve loved being able to work in different sectors and using the tools I learned at Carthage to solve problems at work.”

Why did you choose Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because of its focus on a liberal arts education. I began Carthage intent on a biology degree, but I discovered the alluring world of international relations and economics. In between, I had the opportunity to take part in an acting course, dive into the world of Dante, decipher financial securities, and discover the science behind tea. I knew beginning college that I wanted to explore my different interests in an environment that was small enough to truly be called a community. Looking back, Carthage was just that.”

What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?

“The interdisciplinary nature of my courses gave me the opportunity to see the world through different lenses, challenge preconceived thoughts, and to articulate my advice. It also gave me the confidence to explore different sectors and follow my interests — which has shown me that a winding road is indeed an interesting and rewarding path.

“Also, because of my experience at Carthage, I was able to pursue many graduate school opportunities. I chose to continue my education at the University of Chicago where I built upon my Carthage experience by applying quantitative analysis to public policy.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“It’s hard to narrow in on an example that helped me the most, so I’ll provide an example that was fun to experience. While at a tea experience in Prague, I was able to follow along during an explanation of the nuanced attributes for each variety of tea (because I had studies tea in a J-Term course at Carthage) and also help translate for some travelers next to me (because of my language classes at Carthage).”

What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?

“I was fortunate to have so many professors that were truly influential in not only my time at Carthage, but my success afterward. My faculty advisors, Professor Arthur Cyr and Professor Edward Montanaro, supported my ambitions not only with their time but also with their recommendations and counsel on opportunities that followed Carthage. Professors outside my major, like Professor Stephanie Mitchell, Professor Jean Quasnock, Professor Dan Choffnes, Professor Julio Rivera, Professor Seemee Ali, Professor Michael McShane, Professor Joseph Wall, and Professor Gregory Woodward, also played an invaluable role in my success and character development. They supported me through my many interests and reminded me that, while I was uncertain about which path to choose beyond Carthage, I had the toolset to succeed.”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“If you’re interested in something, pursue it, even if it’s outside your major. Find a professor, and knock on their door. Listen to their experiences, ask questions. My most influential mentors were not confined to my major but were from all around the college, ranging from professors in physics to political science. The mentors I had, and still talk to today, took time to listen to my questions and offer guidance that helped me for years to come after Carthage.

“Another piece of advice would be to get involved in the campus community. Juggling your time is worth the adventures, excitement, and growth that is possible at Carthage.”

Favorite Carthage memories:

“My junior year, I went on a J-Term study tour of South Africa and Mozambique. This month was one of my first opportunities to see how my studies applied in different countries. While safari exhibitions and breath-taking hikes were unforgettable, meeting with both Zulu tribe leaders and governmental economists were incredible opportunities. This trip only fueled my interest in economics, which I continued to pursue when I was accepted to study at the University of Oxford that following fall. Together, these experiences sparked my interest in comparative economics, government, and public policy.

“My involvement in organizations was a big part of my time at Carthage, and a lot of my fondest memories inevitably are at some event. Be it traveling with the Mock Trial team to represent Carthage, editing a newspaper article, going to a 9 p.m. student government meeting, or even chatting with other fellows at the Writing Center, these organizations taught me about myself and helped shape my personal identity.”

What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?

“In a world where ‘fake news’ has become a household term, Carthage’s values remain more important than ever. They’re reflected in my daily life with me doing my due diligence to repeat only sourced information, and by becoming a mentor to others in hopes of inspiring further service.”

  • 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 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 …