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Reflections and career advice from a globe-spanning economics graduate

| Alex Jansen

Despite having graduated nearly a decade ago, Alexi Tseffos hasn’t forgotten the value of her education at UW-Eau Claire. She graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics, and currently works in the London office of Berlin-based travel tech-startup GetYourGuide, the world’s largest online platform for booking tours, attractions and activities.

As she prepares to take on a new role in the company, Tseffos reflected on her current position, what her economics education has meant to her and what she finds important now that she is in the role of interviewing potential team members.

How does Tseffos currently use her economics degree? Her current role is area manager, which sees her coming up with a local business strategy, hiring a team and driving revenue growth. This requires managing scarce resources and analyzing opportunity cost.

In her position, she is always looking for the biggest growth opportunity that will use the least amount of scarce resources. Therefore, she is constantly analyzing which project would drive the most revenue growth over another, which requires frequent data analysis, coming up with a hypothesis and launching a small test to prove it. If proven, she creates and presents a business case to get the resources awarded to make the project a reality.

She thinks the wonderful thing about an economics degree is that both the theory and practical skills you gain in the courses will absolutely be applicable in the future, and believes that “almost every private sector job out there will include economics on the list of relevant degrees for the position.”

In thinking of UWEC in particular, she points out that the required courses for an economics degree at the university are so diverse, it lends itself well to carving your own unique path to discovering your specialized talents and interests.

Professor and economics department chair Dr. Thomas Kemp remembers her as she was carving her unique path. Even today, as he recalls, “she embraced all that her education had to offer, took advantage of every opportunity and was always ready to take on the next big thing.”

“The economics program at UWEC truly prepares you for a wide breadth of career opportunities,” said Tseffos. “This is especially valuable considering its very normal to not know what you want to do with the rest of your life at such a young age.”

For Tseffos: “I was always more interested in the theoretical side of economics. Those economics principles help me a great deal in my career today in areas such as developing business strategy, price negotiations and margin setting.”

Her advice to current students is to choose a degree, like economics, that will challenge you and allow you to learn as much as possible over a wide array of subjects and push you to learn more every single day.

Then, she says, “apply this exact way of thinking to the career you choose for yourself.”

“I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates from all over the world for positions ranging from data analyst to sales executives to social media managers,” she says. “My fellow managers and I agree, we would always take a candidate with very little experience who has a strong desire to learn and be challenged over one with years of experience who doesn’t challenge themselves.”