Getting Outside the Classroom at Millsaps College

A key component of a Millsaps College education is the opportunity to gain hands-on, real world engagement in chosen areas of study. Every year, students studying economics benefit from the opportunity to meet with policy makers, business leaders, and alumni beyond the classroom.

Recognizing that there were few practicing economists in the Jackson metropolitan area, faculty in the economics department at Millsaps sought to find ways for economics majors to meet, question, and learn from economists well beyond campus. With the introductions initially made by Howard McMillan, current executive in residence at the Else School of Management at Millsaps (as well as former dean of the Else School and former interim president of the College), faculty began taking economics majors each year to meet with government and business policy makers. The trips alternate between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, and students have had the opportunity to discuss economic decision-making with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the American Bankers Association. This year marked the 16th year of these trips, as 12 economics majors traveled to Atlanta.

“On this year’s trip to Atlanta, we talked pricing and strategy with executives at The Home Depot, Lyft Bikes and Scooters, Suntrust Bank, and with economists at the Federal Reserve Regional Bank of Atlanta,” said Dr. Susan Taylor, professor of economics. “In addition to making classroom experiences real, students gain important networking skills and can envision themselves in a variety of career settings.”

Taylor cites the support of Millsaps alumni in giving back to current students as one of the most rewarding things about the trips. Alumni Dan Campbell, Jon Neff, Elizabeth Rogers Parvarendah, Michelle Nichols, Kelsey Elbehar, Alex Cummings, and Meaghan Derrick Fine took the time to meet with students on this most recent trip to share their insights and demonstrate how their Millsaps education supports them in their current careers.

The trip is affordable to the students through funding from the Brooking Fund for Economics Beyond the Classroom, an endowment created in honor of Millsaps alum and former economics faculty member Carl Brooking.

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