Hawk’s Eye View: Emma Hadley ’21


Emma Hadley and classmates on UNCW campus with professor

“Emma chases every opportunity that comes her way,” Adam Jones, associate professor of economics, says of his student, Emma Hadley ’21 (pictured above, bottom right). “She does it all!”

That’s not hyperbole. Inside the classroom, Emma is pursuing a double major in economics and Spanish and a double minor in Russian studies and mathematics. Outside of her courses, she has served as a Cameron School of Business (CSB) peer advisor and a University Learning Center tutor, joined the CSB’s Fed Challenge Competition Team, and completed an honors research project.

In this Hawk's Eye View Emma shares how these varied activities, coupled with guidance from her faculty mentors, reshaped the career path she envisioned before college and created a student experience like no other.

During the Fed Challenge, I felt that switch in me like, “I could do this every day.” I love asking nuanced questions and going back to tangible data for the answers.

— Emma Hadley '21, economics and Spanish double major

Who are one or two UNCW faculty or staff members who’ve made a big impact on you?

Dr. Daniel Soques (assistant professor of economics) sent me an email at the end of my Econ 322 class saying I did a great job over the semester and, if I wasn’t already considering it, to think about an econ major. At the time, I was a double major in Spanish and international business. I decided to jump into economics, and throughout my time here, he’s been a really big influence, talking to me about my options and helping me figure out what I want to do with my interest in language and understanding what it means to be an economist and do research. I also want to mention Dr. Michael Gordon (assistant professor of Spanish) – he’s been my advisor for my Spanish major since I started at UNCW. He’s always helping me take challenges and giving me ideas about how to get the most out of my UNCW experience and postgraduation opportunities.

Tell me how your applied learning experiences, particularly the Fed Challenge, have affected your plans for your future?

I went into (Fed Challenge) last January and, like most of the other students, I walked into it having no clue what it really was. I knew the definition of monetary policy, but by the end of it, I was able to look at a bunch of different metrics about the economy and understand what it’s doing and where it’s going. It showed me how important monetary policy is for us, even in our everyday lives. During the Fed Challenge, I felt that switch in me like, “I could do this every day.” I love asking nuanced questions and going back to tangible data for the answers.

What do you hope to do after you graduate in May?

Our faculty have done a great job of showing us how their research matters and the niches in which they’re working to solve a problem or add to the conversation as an issue. I’ve decided I want a career like that, in research, so I’m hoping to get a job as a research assistant or a similar role that works with data – something that puts things together to advise monetary policymakers or a public or private institution. I’m hoping to join a firm that will use my econometrics skills and knowledge to further the organization’s or client’s goals. I’d like to work for a couple of years, then go to get my Ph.D. in economics.

Why is it important for donors to continue supporting students like you at UNCW through scholarships and applied learning opportunities?

I know UNCW can show the impact it has on students through statistics like graduation and placement rates, but that doesn’t completely illustrate the student experience. As a double major and double minor, I’ve had so many interactions with so many professors and organizations that have changed me. I can confidently say that if a donor chooses to give their money to allow students to have experiences like mine, it’ll be 100 percent worth it, not only to one student, but to many.

Increasing support for scholarships and applied learning opportunities is a top priority of Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW. Learn how you can get involved or make a gift today.

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