Nate Gray '12
Nate Gray wasn't going to be an Economist, so why is he?
"That is a funny question with a funny answer," he says. "I came to Keene State to do Secondary Education and Social Studies. And I was really interested in Political Science." But he took Econ 101.
"And I was really good at it," Gray says. "And at the end of the course, my teacher Marie Duggan came up to me and said, 'I was wondering if you wanted to be a TA for me next semester because you seem like you really get this.'" He had already planned to study abroad in England the following semester, but thanked her for the kind words. "That week I went and registered as a second major in Economics," Gray says with a laugh. "Just because she told me I was good at it."
It was also an interesting time to learn about Economics. It was around 2008 with the financial collapse fresh and election season in full swing.
"It was a nice paired major: Political Science and Economics and I felt like I could learn political science through economics," Gray says. "I really paired the financial collapse to a political failure in our country. And we had McCain and Palin on one side and Obama-Biden and two very passionate bases on both sides.
"And then, the economy collapsed and I just thought to myself, if I'm going to want to learn about our political institutions and our politicians and what they're saying and why they're saying it and the economic collapse can impact this election so much then I should probably learn about the economy in order to address that side of politics."
Gray graduated in May 2012. And though the economy is on the mend and the 2008 election has moved from front pages to history books, economics has continued to hold Gray's interest.
"The initial interest wasn't really there," he says. "But over the four years, macroeconomics spoke to me in a deeper way than microeconomics just because there was more of a social science than it was just a cold calculation of human events. So I grew to love it more. And really what sold me was the history of economic thought, so it was really more about the ideas than the numbers."
While at Keene State, he had the chance to present his paper comparing David Hume's macroeconomic model and Adam Smith's microeconomic model at KSC's Academic Excellence Conference as well as conferences in Boston and Richmond, Va.
"I'm a kind of a shy guy," Gray says. "So going through that process of presenting in front of people who really knew what they were talking about and being able to get feedback …pulled me out of my shell in a way that really helped me in the business world."
Gray currently works as a Demand Planner for C&S Wholesale Grocers.