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International Political Economy

Alumni

  • Amanda Imes '09

Amanda Imes ’09

Class Year

’09

Major(s)

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.”

  • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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 …

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