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International Political Economy


  • Amanda Imes '09

Amanda Imes ’09

Class Year



International Political Economy and Economics

Current home

Duluth, Minnesota

Current position

Economist at Minnesota Management and Budget, Co-owner of Boreal Bliss Yoga Retreats

Amanda Imes ’09 is currently an economist for the state of Minnesota and is responsible for the revenue forecast for Minnesota’s corporate tax, coordinating the state’s economic outlook, and measuring forecast accuracy. She is also co-owner of Boreal Bliss Yoga Retreats, an inclusive space for yoga and outdoor enthusiasts to retreat in the wilderness of northern Minnesota.

In 2009, Ms. Imes was recognized as an Outstanding Senior for the International Political Economy Program and as an Outstanding Senior for the Economics Department.

She believes the liberal arts education she received at Carthage helped her tackle complex technological projects she undertakes in her career.

“I learned that it is possible to take on difficult projects if we rely on the expertise of others, solve one problem at a time, and get creative in our approach to solutions.”

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“I love it when I become so focused on my work that the rest of the world falls away. This often happens for me when working on data analysis and econometrics. My role requires complex problem solving on a daily basis. There is nothing I love more than working through a vast dataset by creating code with the support of colleagues.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“Carthage required students to write, write, and write some more! Each course often required me to write multiple papers. Writing has been one of the most useful skills in my toolbelt. I have deep gratitude for the professors who took the time and care to read, edit, and support me as I found my voice. While the bulk of my mathematics training took place after Carthage, it was in Professor Dominic Klyve’s classrooms that I learned I was capable of pursuing advanced mathematics.”

Why did you choose Carthage?

“When I first visited campus, I just knew I wanted to go to Carthage — I knew in the same way people often speak of falling in love. Some of the people I met on my first visit have become lifelong friends. I loved the views of the lake, the sprawling grounds and gardens, and the many cozy places to study in the Hedberg Library.”

What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?

“I studied in New Zealand, Germany, and the United Kingdom for J-Term. I also had the opportunity to travel to Europe and California with the Carthage Choir. Singing in the choir is something I am proud of, and I wish I could sing with my old choir mates again!” 

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“We are living through rapid technological change. In my career, I helped shepherd many large projects from start to finish. I have not feared this type of work — work that requires complex problem solving, multiple software systems, critical thinking, and the cooperation of many stakeholders. I think part of my confidence in tackling projects like this comes from my experiences at Carthage. I learned that it is possible to take on difficult projects if we rely on the expertise of others, solve one problem at a time, and get creative in our approach to solutions.”

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

Professor Brent McClintock introduced me to economics, and I was so intrigued that I decided to pursue economics as a major. Professor Jerald Mast’s classes were among my favorite, always thought provoking and full of debate. Professor Jeffrey Roberg demanded the best of us and pushed me to become a better writer. Prof. Klyve helped me realize that I could do math and that, in fact, I was quite good at it! Professor Eduardo Garcia-Novelli and Professor Peter Dennee were my choir directors, and I loved every afternoon I spent rehearsing. Professor Art Cyr supported me all four years of undergrad, including throughout the thesis process.”

Were you an award recipient? If so, tell us about the awards you received and what they meant to you.

“I graduated Summa Cum Laude and was elected by my peers to be one of our Commencement speakers, which was a highlight of my college experience. In addition, I received the Ruud Scholarship and was awarded the John R. Commons Award. In 2009, I was recognized as an Outstanding Senior for the International Political Economy Program and as an Outstanding Senior for the Economics Department. I am deeply humbled to have had the privilege of attending Carthage and the many gifts that experience has given me.”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“Soak in every experience because it will fly by. Learn as much as you can, say yes to new experiences, be kind to your peers, and build meaningful relationships. The people you meet and grow alongside in college will continue to support and uplift you throughout your life.”

Favorite Carthage memories:

“Freshman year, several of my friends and I had a “microwave Thanksgiving” in Pat Tarble Residence Hall. We each brought a delicacy made in the microwave. We still laugh about it today. The Christmas Festival was also a highlight of every year. I felt so proud seeing my parents in the audience.”

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

“Our careers are not defined by any external measures of success, like title or salary, but rather by our choices, skills, and strengths. At Carthage, I fell in love with the idea of public service. I love that every night I go to bed knowing I did the best I could for Minnesotans. I have found my vocation working as an economist for the state of Minnesota.”

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

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    • 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 …