Spotlight on Social Sciences Alumni: Alex Man
UR Major: Economics
Other UR Majors/Minors: Minor – Chemistry (Pre-med)
Current City, State of Residence: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Job Title: Consultant
Employer: Simon-Kucher & Partners
Community activities: while at Rochester, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Meliora Capital Management
How did you choose your major(s)?
Freshman year, I took my first economics class with Professor Landsburg, “Principles of Economics.” I was hooked. It was so fascinating to me. I love how economics has the ability to describe not only issues within the field itself, but also extend to general human decision-making behavior, elegantly meshing quantitative and mathematical approaches with observation-based theory.
What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?
My main affiliation was with my fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. Believe it or not, being in a fraternity may have been one of my most valuable career building experiences. You quickly learn how to engage, lead, motivate, encourage, and persuade all sorts of different people, and honestly perhaps most importantly, you learn to shoot the s*!@, and you learn to do it well.
What are some specific skills students should develop during an internship?
Students should enter internships with one goal: to learn as much as they possibly can during their time there. There are many important skills you can develop over the course of an internship, but I believe these are commonly overlooked: learn when to ask for help, learn how to take critical advice, and be open to uncomfortable, new situations.
What early career advice can you give to current UR students studying economics?
Work very hard, work smart, and try new things. Today’s job market for college graduates, as you well know, isn’t what it used to be. You need to really want it. Find something you’re really passionate about. I don’t know who said this originally, but it’s something I’ll always remember, “Irrational commitment leads to irrational success.”
What do you do now and why did you choose this career? Where would you like to be in five years?
I am a Consultant at Simon-Kucher & Partners, in their San Francisco office, working in the Life Sciences division. I chose this career because I love its fast, intense, project-based nature, which gives even entry-level employees immense amounts of responsibility right from the get-go. In five years, I hope to continue to grow with the firm, with much more success to come.