Economics department awards ‘Best Capstone’

Andrew Harper ’22, Mike Walsh ’22, Jack Shea ’23 and Corbin Skaff ’23 G’23 received the 2022 “Best Capstone in Economic Consulting” honor.

The team of Andrew Harper ’22 (economic consulting), Mike Walsh ’22 (finance), Jack Shea ’23 (economics) and Corbin Skaff ’23 G’23 (economic consulting + MSBA) won “Best Capstone in Economic Consulting” from the Department of Economics in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business.

headshots of Andrew Harper, Mike Walsh, Jack Shea and Corbin Skaff
Andrew Harper ’22, Mike Walsh ’22, Jack Shea ’23, and Corbin Skaff ’23 G’23 win “Best Capstone in Economic Consulting.”

As part of the ECO 4400: Economic Consulting course, students complete a project to simulate situations they would encounter as entry-level economic consultants. In teams, students create professional business memos and reports advising a client and conduct a presentation summarizing their story with visual analytics.

This year’s project, “Prepared effective capture team materials for a hypothetical future proposal,” asked students to prepare for an upcoming proposal from the U.S Small Business Administration (the “client”). The students were asked to:

  • identify a relevant economic question for women-owned small businesses today,
  • choose a question that would best meet the client’s criteria, and
  • develop a research strategy to offer convincing answers to that question that the client could share with policy-makers, academics, and small-business owners.

“In proposal capture efforts like these, it is easy for an entry-level economist to lose focus on your project manager’s big question and subsequently choose the wrong data for the task,” said Assistant Professor of Economics Brooks Depro, who teaches the course. “The winners of this year’s ‘best capstone’ did not lose sight of the big questions and paid close attention to the pros and cons of their data set choice.”