How I chose my major: Economics

a student takes notes at a table with an open laptop and calculator nearby

In the “How I chose my major” series, we showcase the academic paths CSU students have taken, and students tell their stories in their own words.

Read on to meet Reilly, a CSU Economics major, and learn how she decided it was the perfect path for her college career and far beyond.

How I discovered economics

I was one of those kids who switched what I wanted to do later in life every year or so. I remember initially wanting to be a marine biologist. Then my “true passion” was engineering, and on it went … until I discovered economics. In high school, I took an AP Statistics course and absolutely loved it, but I knew that it didn’t involve enough critical thinking, problem solving, and human interaction to keep me occupied for a lifetime. When I started researching degrees that involved statistics, I came upon economics, and it was the perfect fit. For me, economics provides a world of opportunities; I can go into almost any field with my economics degree and be constantly engaged and challenged.

Creative problem solving and endless opportunity

What appealed to me most is how much problem solving is involved in econ. While the professors teach valuable skills that are necessary to successfully practice in the field, the most-important thing they teach us is how to think critically. Economics requires logic and creativity, and pushes you to think outside the box as you learn. It’s also one of the most-versatile degrees I explored. At first, I thought that I wanted to take my econ degree into the medical field, assessing the economic viability of certain medicines and procedures. Now, however, I want to focus on environmental economics, and work with big businesses to improve their resource management.

Economics and human relationships

Some people might think economics is a boring practice, but it really is not one person sitting in a room with a computer analyzing data. While analyzing and interpreting data is a major part of econ, it is a highly collaborative field of study. An economist must work with others to collect data, analyze data, and effectively implement the results of the data. Economists work with businesses and governments to perform a service that will benefit the employing entity. This is yet another reason why I enjoy economics. While one person can have a good thought or idea, I have learned through my time studying at CSU that a group of unique individuals can transform that good idea into a great idea.

My goals

Next year, I hope to get an internship practicing economics with an environmentally friendly company. Ultimately, I plan to attend graduate school in either economics or natural resource economics. As I said above, I would love to work with large companies to implement environmentally friendly policies into their business design. Economics is everywhere in the world around us — almost every decision, plan, or goal involves economics in some way, and it takes economists to decipher the signals that the economy is giving us. My CSU Economics degree has put me on a wonderful path to the future, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

reilley blakeslee headshot

Reilly is  a double major in Economics and Statistics with a minor in Math. She is a member of the Economics Student Leadership Council, and is a student in the University Honors Program. Reilly works as a manager for intramural sports on campus. In her free time, Reilly loves to play spikeball, any intramural sport that is available, camp, and read the occasional book.