Jack French ’21 committed to Quinnipiac University with the intention to study economics. And he knew he made the correct decision in his first semester in Hamden.
However, his studies took a leap during the summer between his sophomore and junior year when he accepted an internship with Professor Mark Gius writing a report on the economic impact of the Shubert Theater in New Haven.
“This was my first work experience of any sort in the economics field, and it was great to be doing work similar to things I had done in class but with a greater sense of significance,” French said.
Working alongside Gius opened the door for French to pursue future opportunities outside of class within the economic field. He felt prepared, having completed practical work of what he had been studying for the previous two years.
At the beginning of French’s junior year, he began a two-year opportunity working alongside
Professor Chris Ball as a member of the economic research team. He focused on stock market and macroeconomic research and analysis.
“I think the opportunity was probably one of the most important and impactful things that I did at Quinnipiac in four years,” French said.
French also became a policy fellow at Quinnipiac’s Central European Institute, of which Ball was also involved.
Through Ball, French met a Quinnipiac alumnus Saul Ellison ’17, who works as a senior portfolio associate at Neuberger Berman. Ellison provided French with advice and insight into the industry as French searched for jobs amid the pandemic.
“Jack was always very insightful and enthusiastic about learning and everything,” Ellison said. “When he graduated, he reached out to me. We didn’t have each other’s phone numbers, so he reached out to me via LinkedIn, inquiring about some roles that he was interested in pursuing.”
French now works as a research associate in the client service department at Bridgewater Associates in Westport, Connecticut. He works on strategy and performance reports, data visualization, basic programming and writing.
He knows that working with the university’s research team directly prepared him for his current job and will continue to benefit him in the future.
“Some of the work I’m doing now is pretty directly tied to my QU experience,” French said. “Working on Quinnipiac’s research team provided writing experience which has been useful. I also gained some very light programming experience which I didn’t really have through school and through classes. And so, that was definitely helpful with my current job.”