Econ Undergrad Pairs Passion with Preparation
"Economics was one of the reasons I came to Minnesota," says Aravind Boddupalli, a senior economics and political science major, who will graduate from the University of Minnesota this spring. He attests to the school's reputation for being one of the best places in the world to study economics and has his own take on what defines Minnesota economics: "Prestigious. Comprehensive. Diverse."
"Economics felt relevant to me. That's why I chose it as a major," recalls Boddupalli, who took a liking to economics as a high school student in India, where he was born and raised. Upon arriving at the University of Minnesota, he immersed himself in classes, extracurriculars and leadership positions. As a result, as he prepares to graduate, Boddupalli has an impressive resume that includes experiences such as conducting research with the Minnesota Population Center and UROP, working as a community advisor in Housing and Residential Life, being elected to Student Senate for the College of Liberal Arts, and serving as a representative for the Minnesota Student Association.
Boddupalli' commitment to academics and the University community led to him receiving the Doug and Jane Gorence Endowed Scholarship in Economics as well as the Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity Award from the Office of Equity and Diversity. Of the accomplishments Boddupalli says, "I was incredibly grateful for the support and also humbled to have my work and presence at the University recognized."
Boddupalli finds the economics program at the University of Minnesota valuable not only for the economics courses, but also for the all-encompassing education that comes with the College of Liberal Arts. "Liberal arts classes push students to explore topics they have never dealt with before college, and they increase our understanding and awareness of local and global communities and institutions" says Aravind. "I believe that taking classes across different disciplines has given me a comparative advantage in the field of public policy."
After graduation, Boddupalli's immediate goal is to work in research for public policy and social change, whether it be at universities or other institutions. "I want to be informed about public policy and advocate for marginalized communities. I never want to let go of that passion, whatever I pursue,"says Boddupalli. "My goal in life is to work towards social justice and economic empowerment of groups like immigrants and people of color. I want to increase our collective understanding of why some communities have less, and are seen as less than others. Additionally, I want to know how politics and economic institutions can both perpetuate and alleviate inequalities, and how I can contribute to the advancement and well being of marginalized communities, both socially and economically."
Wherever Boddupalli's bright future takes him, he intends to stay connected with the University of Minnesota. "I absolutely anticipate staying involved after I graduate, and hope I can make meaningful contributions to the success of the university and its students," says Boddupalli. "The University of Minnesota and the Department of Economics has played a significant role in who I am today."