This fall I attended the 61st Annual National Association for Business Economics (NABE) Meeting in Denver, Colorado along with members of the FSU Chapter of NABE. NABE contains a large network of economists working in both the private and public sector. The Annual Meeting holds the purpose of hosting various professionals to speak on contemporary issues in economics, creating a network for individuals to connect with others in the industry, and allows for students to gain some insight into the professional aspects of their degree. This conference held talks by renowned economists from all over the country, such as Jerome Powell and Arthur Laffer.
The organization also allows individuals to obtain various certifications to help them compete in the job market. As the president of one of the few student chapters in the country, this experience has immensely shaped my professional network and attitudes towards a future career in economics.
One of the most enjoyable experiences of my trip was a dinner I attended with seven other conference attendees. It was organized by NABE and centered on the implications of the US China trade war that has been occurring for a number of years. This discussion gave me a much more insightful look on the matter from the perspective of professionals of various backgrounds. A discussion like this could not occur in classrooms at the university or online news sites. This event illustrated the great value of attending a conference like this, in which students who have little to no experience in the field can discuss both contemporary economic issues and can receive advice on how to advance their professional careers.
Another insightful experience was the talk given by keynote speaker, Jerome Powell. For an undergraduate economic student to be able to hear the Chairman speak about the state of the economy and monetary policy in person, is truly remarkable. This was just one example of the great discussions and lectures given throughout the conference.
The annual NABE conference changed my perception about the field of economics and my approach to advancing my career immensely. I was able to speak with various experts on both the topics I learned about in the classroom and ways in which I can utilize my education in the professional world. The new information received has persuaded me to pursue a graduate degree in economics and continue working within the field. I believe conferences like these are important for students to attend as they inform them of what exactly they can do with their degree and the vast opportunities available. I am deeply grateful to the college for its contributions to make my attendance possible.
Umar Zaidi is a senior pursuing an economics degree from Tallahassee, Florida.