In July of 2017, the Department of Economics recognized education as an extremely dynamic concept, reliant on not only experiences in the classroom, but also those beyond. At the time, a centralized program from the College of LSA offering connections between current students and alumni was still unrealized, so Economics set out to fill an important gap in the undergraduate student experience: Mentorship.
Taking initiative, our department began the Economics Alumni Relationship Network (EARN), aiming to not only enhance student leadership, creative thinking, interpersonal, and networking skills, but also encourage alumni to stay connected to current students in Economics at U-M. Through this program, we developed a network of alumni willing to support and advise current students on career goals and potential fields or areas of work, as well as developing professional networking skills.
Though EARN ultimately connected over 1000 participants, it was limited to Economics undergraduates and alumni, excluding LSA students in other programs and alumni in related fields and outcomes. We knew there were more students who deserved a program like this, and many more alumni with relevant experience to share with our students.
Today, we are happy to announce it is finally time to integrate EARN with the LSA Opportunity Hub’s online mentoring and networking platform LSA Connect. We know that our majors go on to many different fields, and scholars from other disciplines find their way to Economics, and are excited for the many new opportunities this long-awaited program will offer everyone!
We want to thank everyone who participated in EARN over the last 3 years. You have been a part of an enriching student and alumni experience that has fostered growth, introspection, and genuine connection. We hope you will help continue EARN’s mission with LSA Connect after its retirement on March 31, 2021.