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Club Spotlight: UMass Lowell Economic Society

(Photo courtesy of iStock) “the UMass Lowell Economic Society have fun discussing the various aspects of the economy at their meetings”

Nicholas Ewing
Connector Staff

The classic board game of Monopoly has entertained countless children over the decades. Players compete against each other to acquire property that will enable them to monopolize their real estate empire and bankrupt their opponents. In a fun way, players were taught about property ownership, real estate investments and risk management. Another fun and low-risk game was The Stock Market Game where users traded stocks in real-time using a fictional budget. Users get the chance to learn investing in stocks, diversification, risk and investment strategies. What do Monopoly and The Stock Market Game have in common? They teach people about economics. 

Economics is on the mind of graduating seniors entering a job market this May. Voters are also considering the health of the economy as they cast their ballots in the upcoming presidential election. Many events happened in the last few years that caused the economy to rise and fall dramatically. The pandemic, the US-China trade war and the Ukraine and Gaza conflicts had all impacted the job market, inflation, debt and economic stimulus packages during both administrations. UMass Lowell students may not be interested in politics, but certainly, it is important to understand how the economy impacts them on a local and personal level. What do students think about the current state of the economy? How can students better their lives with a more informed knowledge of the workings of the economy? 

The UMass Lowell Economic Society wants to engage students and “teach people about what economics is and have conversations about it”, said President of the Economic Society Valeria Santos Rocca. Students do not need to stress when they walk into their first meeting. “We have conversations about [economics] without the intensity found in the classroom”. Students are encouraged to have fun and talk about whatever economic topic they want to have. Santos Rocca explains to potential new members, “People come in and have the conversations they want to have”. Economic Society discusses a wide range of economic topics from behavioral and quantitative to mathematical and financial. 

Many of these topics are not boring but are intended to interest and engage students in the world of economics. The “basic goal [for the club] is for people to learn about economics. People usually think about economics as another business major; in reality, there are so many aspects to economics. The goal is to bring awareness about how economics affects everyone’s lives”, said Santos Rocca. However, there is one problem. The economy is extremely complicated. Can interested students succeed in this club learning about economics if they do not initially understand it? 

Reassuringly, Santos Rocca explains “We try to make the meetings open to everyone even if you do not know much about economics”. Economics Society had once hosted trivia night that sneakily asked behavioral economics questions. Those questions were unassuming, but later students discovered they were economics questions all along. There are other fun games and guest speakers who have come to their general body meetings to inform, educate, and inspire students at UMass Lowell about economics. 

Additional benefits of joining the Economics Society are the networking opportunities and the chance to learn about potential careers in the economic fields. Guest speakers and professors can connect students with career professionals and companies for internship and job opportunities. Last semester, Amazon executives had presented at a general body meeting to share how Amazon was dealing with challenges in their industry and the career opportunities in the economic field with Amazon. 

Valeria Santos Rocca is a fun and intelligent leader of the Economics Society and has led the club to several successful club meetings since last September. The impact of being the president has taught her leadership, communication, professionalism, organization, time management, and asking for help. It is worth joining and contributing to the club for the personal growth that awaits new members. Students can connect with her at the next general body meeting on Wednesday, March 20 at 7:00 PM in UCC 242 or their Instagram @uml_economicsociety.  

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