Smith takes students to NABE conference
Reprinted from the National Association for Business Economics newsletter. Read the original article at http://www.nabe.com/publib/news/11/11/09.html
NABE NEWS: Foundation Scholarships Draw Enthused New Members
When Rebecca Smith found out there were scholarships available to attend NABE's 53rd Annual Meeting, she applied and was one of 13 individuals selected by the NABE Foundation as a 2011 recipient. She also found financial support to bring four undergraduates from Mississippi State University with her to Dallas.
A successful fund-raising campaign at the Dallas meeting ensures that the Foundation will be able to offer scholarships for future meetings and conferences. In Dallas, the goal was to raise $8,000 and the final tally was about $8,500.
MSU Students Find Sessions, Networking Valuable
With the help of enthused students in her intermediate economics class at MSU, Smith spread the word about the annual meeting and was able to secure sponsorship from Entergy and BankPlus that paid for four undergraduates to also attend the meeting. The day before the meeting began Smith and her four students made the nine-hour trip in her family's van from the campus in Starkville, in northeast Mississippi.
"The trip has been the highlight of my semester," Smith said in an October interview. "I was very impressed with the way the program was purposefully organized to provide a balanced treatment of the topics; it seemed like people were really after a true understanding of the issues and were willing to use open minds to think."
The experience of attending the annual meeting "was really valuable for both myself and the students and I would like to be able to bring that opportunity to more students in Mississippi," she said. "Being at the annual meeting was big deal for our students. We have many hardworking, bright students who have never had the benefit of networking with the caliber of people NABE brings together," she said. "The students were also able to see how important all the work they are doing in their classes actually is!"
"Additionally, I would like to see more people in Mississippi's business community become members of NABE so that we increase our state's 'economic intelligence,'" Smith said.
MSU Student Chapter Likely Next Step
The next step for the MSU students will be to establish a NABE student chapter and Smith hopes to be the faculty advisor. A senior majoring in economics, Cynthia Walker said she found the opportunity to meet prominent economists and hear presentations by fiscal and monetary policy experts to be a very effective supplement to her classroom work. She would like to participate in starting a NABE student chapter at MSU.
After graduation, Walker said she plans to either to earn an MBA or enroll in an economics graduate program. "Attending the NABE meeting showed me that there are several jobs available for majors of my liking. I would love to become an economist, but whether for the private sector of government is still undecided," she said.
MSU senior Nathan Chaney was also enthused about attending the Dallas meeting, finding "the most value in the opportunity to network and have casual conversations with members of NABE."
Although he will leave MSU in December, when he graduates, Chaney hopes there will eventually be a NABE chapter on campus "because the organization left such a positive impression on me." In his thinking, "the opportunity for students to meet people in the professional world and be allowed to attend a conference with people in the economics field was a wonderful experience for me and I think it would raise interest in the economics field on our campus."