Experiential learning gives econ student boundless career choices
Meredith Ellis has proactively positioned herself for success during her first two years at Clemson University.
And in the process, the Charlotte, N.C., honors student is making certain doors remain open for whatever career path she chooses.
An economics major and mathematics and French minor, Meredith not only excels in the classroom but has exposed herself to an array of knowledge beyond classroom learning – from leadership roles and programs to internships.
“In some ways, the extra-curricular activities are more important than classroom learning because they have taught me life skills that you don’t get in the classroom,” Meredith said. “So much of what I’ve learned in areas of communicating, building relationships and management have come from leadership experiences in my first two years at Clemson.”
Two of those experiences are business school programs, iLead! and the Thomas F. Chapman Leadership Scholars Program. Both are well-established business initiatives aimed at developing leadership qualities in students who exhibit potential.
“Chapman and iLead! have given me an opportunity to learn from proven leaders and I’ve been able to apply some of those lessons in a finance leadership role with my sorority, Kappa Delta,” Meredith said. “Experiential opportunities are supplementing my education in ways that will be beneficial after I leave Clemson.”
Meredith has also pursued summer internships while at Clemson, having worked at an Atlanta area wealth management firm following her freshman year and this summer she will be employed at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Charlotte. She will serve as a bank examiner, traveling the Southeast with an examination team auditing banks, headed by FDIC field supervisor, Jeff Burgess ’91.
Meredith’s bandwidth also includes a creative side. She is a writing tutor at the university’s Academic Success Center. There, she assists fellow students with a myriad of writing projects, including dissertations, essays, and her favorite, resumes and cover letters.
She recently enrolled in a class to become a Tillman Hall carillonneur, who play the tunes that follow the chimes every 15 minutes. “When you hear a tune resonating from the Tillman tower, it’s a student playing the chimes. If you can read music, learning to play the bells is easier,” said Meredith, who has played piano since age 4.
Though she sees herself pursuing an MBA after being in the workforce for a couple of years, Meredith hasn’t determined her career direction. But she sees her wide-ranging interests as a plus in getting her to a rewarding occupation.
“I think the choices I’ve made to this point will give me flexibility to choose a direction. I don’t want to close any doors, so through the internships and extra-curricular involvement I’m giving myself a range of skills and experience,” she said. “A lot of opportunities have been presented to me here, so I should be in a good position when the time comes to decide on a direction.”
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