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.”