April 18, 2023Print | PDF
On Thursday, March 23, 2023, students, alumni, and faculty celebrated the Laurier Economic Club's (LEC) 15th anniversary at the Paul Martin Centre. The club is among nearly 30 student groups in the Lazaridis Student’s Society (LazSoc) meant to enhance the student experience at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, and is the only club dedicated to supporting and connecting Economics students specifically.
Cleo Nguyen, the current president and a fourth-year Economics & Financial Management student, said the club’s primary mission is to provide academic support. This includes research support, mentorship opportunities, and mock midterms to help students prepare for exams.
The Laurier Economics Club also hosts events throughout the academic year to help students explore professional development and career opportunities, network with other students and alumni, and create social events to bring their community together.
“We want to help students see where their economics degree can take them,” Nguyen said.
Natalia Tivirikin and Harpinder Gill, both second-year Business Administration students, are the incoming co-presidents for the Laurier Economics Club. Tivirikin said the celebration was a chance to showcase the club's impact over the last 15 years.
“It was an event for all of us to come together to see the club’s events through the years,” Tivirikin said.
In addition to current and past club members, the event was open to alumni and future club members. The club created a video retrospective to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Gill said it was another way for students, alums, and professors to see the club's evolution and its impact on economics students.
“When everyone was watching the video together, there were photos and videos from years ago that many people had forgotten, and even some they've never seen before. It was an amazing way to reminisce and look forward to the future,” Gill said.
Logan McLeod, associate professor and department chair for the Department of Economics, has actively supported the club since starting at the school in 2012. McLeod said the club helps expand upon the classroom opportunities that economics students have to bring more real-life and immersive experiences to their time at the Lazaridis School.
“They run a career night which provides some glimpses into the types of pathways that an economics degree will lead you into in the working world. The club also brings alumni who've been successful in graduate programs to showcase potential paths within economics, whether it's at Laurier or elsewhere,” McLeod said.
McLeod added that Nguyen and the club’s leadership team were instrumental in helping students transition back from online to on-campus life this academic year. Nguyen’s leadership was recognized in April when she was named Club President of the Year on March 31, 2023.
“Cleo and the team did such a fantastic job this year. They opened up spaces for students who were coming back to campus to build a sense of community within the economics programs and economics courses. She did an excellent job leading the club this year,” he said.
Whether it is post-COVID recovery planning or navigating a potential recession, economics graduates continue to be in demand across the public and private sectors. Nguyen said the club allows students to see how an economics degree can open doors.
“There are so many avenues that you can go down with an economics degree. Whether you want to work in a corporate setting or in government, there are amazing opportunities out there,” Nguyen said.
Mark O'Grady (BA ‘21) is a club alumnus and served as Vice President of Events during his third year and Co-President during his fourth year. O’Grady, a staff accountant at Deloitte, said the club’s academic supports were critical to his success while studying at the Lazaridis School.
“I definitely made use of the resources the club had at the time, including the academic sessions and mock midterms. Then being able to work on a club that has you thinking economics the whole time, whether it's planning events or talking to alumni who are working in the field, helps improves your knowledge,” O’Grady said.
In his professional life, O’Grady said the club’s networking opportunities helped him create long-lasting connections that he uses today.
“You make a lot of friends and they often go on to different career paths. Now you have a variety of people learning different things, from tax to finance. Having friends in different business fields allows you to benefit from their knowledge and experience,” O’Grady added.
Tivirikin and Gill are already looking forward to planning the start of the club’s next 15 years when the spring semester starts on May 8, 2023. Tivirikin said they will continue to run the club’s flagship events, including the Great Economic Debate.
“It will be the third edition of the debate, and it’s quickly become one of the most talked about events in our club. We also want to grow our social activities. This year, we introduced our Sports and Economics event, and it had a big turnout. We want to incorporate more recreational events that are still relevant to economics,” Tivirikin said.
Gill added that the club will continue to build a community for Lazaridis students, whether they’re pursuing economics or another degree program.
“We want to shed some positive light on economics and make it more accessible because it can be a scary topic to some students,” Gill said. “We also are looking at supporting charities in the community too.”
Visit lauriereconomicsclub.com to learn more about the club and its events.