Elise Beckman

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At a Lake Forest College Board of Trustees meeting, board member David Gorter ’80 turned to Elise Beckman ’13, then student government president, and asked her career plans. After the economics major shared an interest in healthcare, Gorter connected her with the CEO of UnitedHealthcare, a large healthcare conglomerate. Elise landed an internship and a job offer with the company, where she now works as a financial analyst. “The networking that I did at the College helped me the most,” she said. “Our alumni are connected in a number of fields and willing to help any student who reaches out.” 

Access to faculty also helped direct her career path. As a Richter Scholar the summer after her first year, Elise conducted research with Professor of Economics Robert Lemke on trends and attendance at Major League Baseball games and co-authored an article in the Journal of Sports Economics. “The research mind helps in any corporate finance position, especially knowing where to go for data and then being able to analyze it,” she said. “The research experience helped sharpen my skills in terms of being able to pull a series of numbers, look at how they are correlated, and see the bigger picture.”

While studying abroad in Botswana, Elise drew on her close faculty relationships to collect data for her senior thesis, which examined the value of students as human capital and the economic impact of high HIV rates. Professor of Economics Carolyn Tuttle served as her advisor from overseas while Associate Professor of Psychology Naomi Wentworth sanctioned her research methods. Thanks to these efforts, she was able to complete her senior thesis in one semester and graduate early.

But Elise most appreciated how easily she could talk to faculty. Many served as sounding boards while she mulled over her future plans. “It meant the world to have a faculty member who not only cares about the paper you turned in but about what’s happening in your life,” she said.


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