Taught by social science teacher Brian Held ’93, the Advanced Placement (AP) Macroeconomics class presented research on the financial markets and their relationship to the macroeconomy to a panel of alumni who work in the finance and economics fields. The presentations were held in Seiter Library in Ruppert Hall during the week of May 16.
Held said he was inspired from Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations Bill Thomason and the Loyola Alumni Mentorship Program (LAMP) to invite the alumni who have pursued an economics career.
“I wanted the students to be able to network with Loyola alum, and I wanted to provide an experience for the Loyola alum to come back and do something in the field that they enjoy,” Held said.
According to Held many of these alumni are experts in finance and economics. Senior Austin Reynolds said, “The criticism was honest, and the alumni knew what we were presenting, and we had taken these presentations seriously.”
The alumni judging panel was comprised of Geoff Bland ’00, Michael McCracken ’86, Mark McLaughlin ’00, Brian Miller ’02, Grady Miller ’06, Nick Timiraos ’02. Other members of the judging panel included former Senior Director for Advancement, Major Gifts and Endowments Dr. Don Morgan and mentor Allen Wisniewski.
Each class was divided into teams of six or seven students. “They had to use official date of the financial markets, the macroeconomy as a whole and find a relationship between them, and how the macroeconomy has impacted financial markets in this quarter,” said Held.
In their presentation students discussed the macroeconomy, the oil industry, the housing market and the foreign exchange markets, and they provided recommendations to policy makers.
Senior Kelly Blake said, “It was definitely a little intimidating to present in front of alumni, but they were very smart, and it made us want to have a better presentation than if we had presented in a classroom in front of our friends.”
This year marks the first intrascholastic competition held at Loyola with an alumni panel. In previous years Held would select his top team to present at the Los Angeles Capital Market Competition held at the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Los Angeles. The contest ceased running this year, yet Held wanted to continue to contest at Loyola.
Following the presentations Held said he was pleased with the hard work and effort the students put into their presentations. “It was a nice events, and the students did a nice job of Loyola-type effort and work, which is high quality.”