One of our favorite things about the Global Commerce major is that it attracts students with a wide range of interests. And the structure of the major leaves room to explore a minor or a double major when students want to dive more deeply into a particular subject.

Some of our 2021 graduates chose double-majors ranging from German to History to Economics to Data Analytics.

How have their choices made their learning experiences at Denison even better? We’ll let them tell you in their own words.

Alex Hughes

Alex Hughes ’21

Global Commerce & German double major
Ann Arbor, Michigan

I’m from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I chose German as my second major because I fell in love with the language after taking two semesters of it. It also paired very nicely with the Global Commerce curriculum and where I wanted to study abroad (Heidelberg Germany). Throughout my German courses, I have learned a lot about German culture and history which has certainly played a role in my GC European focus. It has taught me to think broadly and draw connections between the cultures of Germany and the United States. Global commerce has taught me how to better understand these connections and create relationships with people from different cultures and backgrounds.

My double-major combination has certainly made me want to live and work in Germany in the future. This year I accepted a job that will allow me to use both what I have learned in German and Global Commerce. I know that I want to continue to build and nurture connections internationally be it through business or simply my personal travels!

Madison Hopkins

Madison Hopkins ’21

Global Commerce & History double major
Chico, California

I’m from Chico, California, and I chose History as my second major because I simply enjoy it, and because the past helps us to learn for the future. History has shaped how I think about GC because I have background knowledge on the history of different cultures and their political, economic, and cultural identities developed over time. History gives me the tools to do in-depth research about different regions and how they interact with other nations. Global commerce has helped my history major because GC students study a variety of different fields which provides us with a global perspective. As a GC major, I took an ethnography class my freshman year and I have used my knowledge from that class in every single one of my history courses here at Denison.

Being a double major has shaped my priorities by making me a multi-disciplinary thinker. Rather than having a background in only one field, I have knowledge about economics, anthropology, history, ethnography, business practices, international studies and more. My double majors have encouraged me to think on multiple levels and I know as I go into the professional working field, I want to work in an environment that is holistic.

Olivia Cowley

Olivia Cowley ’21

Global Commerce & Economics double major
Toledo, Ohio

I am from Toledo, Ohio, and I chose Economics as my major before discovering Global Commerce because I had originally thought it was the major closest to business and everything else I was interested in at Denison. Then I found Global Commerce!

I think Economics has enhanced my Global Commerce education by showing me how to look at situations from a micro and macro perspective. In return, Global Commerce has enhanced my Economics major by showing me what I could do with the knowledge I have gained from Economics. Being a double major gives me a sense of confidence that I can take on the challenges of life after Denison. I feel more well-rounded not just because of my two majors, but the Liberal Arts experience as a whole.

Michael O’Hara

Michael O’Hara ’21

Global Commerce & History double major
Atascadero, California

I’m from Atascadero, California (tucked away on the Central Coast). I took Dr. Young’s history course on British Imperialism in my first semester and absolutely loved it. Initially I was resistant (having set my eyes on international studies and economics) but my mom eventually persuaded me to follow my lifelong love for history as a major. The overlapping attributes of history and global commerce made it really easy for me to not look back.

Our society—its processes and problems—does not exist in a vacuum, but rather, it is situated in a rich historical legacy that has continually shaped our world around us. One cannot take stock of today’s global events without some understanding of the broader forces that have shaped them. I view the world as messy and complicated. In many but not all cases, I believe the world’s current challenges are a product of our limited understanding of history—our inability to take inventory of the past results in a continuation of erroneous mistakes. Another key insight I bring to bear on my worldview is that to conduct commerce on a global scale, languages and cultures need to be exchanged and understood. Historical books and journals provide great tools for broadening our worldview and understanding other societies while challenging our preconceptions. Lastly, history is about arguments and incomplete knowledge. As much as we think we know, there is always more to learn!

After four years at Denison it has become increasingly clear to me that cultivation of the intellect is a lifelong journey. Furthermore, education is a powerful tool for transcending differences. It is a privilege to see the world through critical observation and I wish to share that experience and opportunity for growth with others in some shape or another. At times I have struggled to translate my intellectual curiosity into concrete job titles that will allow me to see the world beyond the classroom. But as of late I have been invigorated by the thought of pursuing educational or sustainability consulting across the globe (then I can adventure and feel a strong sense of purpose). I am confident that I have plenty of insight and empathy to give back to others who may be in need of them.

Max Curtin

Max Curtin ’21

Global Commerce & Economics double major
Manchester, New Hampshire

I’m from Manchester, New Hampshire. I came into Denison undeclared, but I had Global Commerce and Econ on my radar from the beginning. I found myself really enjoying GC 101 in my first semester at Denison, so I made sure to enroll in ECON 101 for the following semester, given that it’s a requirement for the GC major. I had Dr. Burczak for both GC and ECON 101 my freshman year, and we both decided that I could do really well in both majors and that it made sense to commit to the double major.

I really appreciate the technical skills I have gained from Economics — I definitely feel like they have given me a leg up in several different GC classes. Whether it be Excel or understanding the time value of money, both majors have naturally complemented each other extremely well during my four years here. Because of my interest in investments, I ended up interning at the Denison Investment Office during the summer after my sophomore year — the experience I gained from that really helped to tie together a lot of the skills I had already begun to develop from both majors!

I consider myself to be someone who has always been relatively independent. A major piece to that is being organized and keeping my priorities straight. The skills I have gained across both majors initially pushed me toward pursuing both management consulting and investment research for post-graduation career paths. Ultimately, I decided on investment research and I am very excited to get started down that path this summer with Morningstar. I think it all comes down to being able to communicate ideas clearly and effectively, no matter what the subject is. This is definitely a piece of knowledge I picked up from GC that has translated to everything else I do.

Jacob Allen Primack

Jacob Allen Primack ’21

Global Commerce & Data Analytics double major
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I decided to choose data analytics as my second major because I was interested in learning how to glean meaningful insights from data and strengthening my quantitative analysis skills. Seeing the important role that data plays in fields such as finance, retail, and professional sports also inspired me to pursue the major.

An example of how my data analytics major has shaped the way I think about global commerce is the importance of communicating technical findings from data analytics to a variety of audiences, many being non-technical. My data analytics courses have taught me how to deliver effective presentations to non-technical audiences, and through my global commerce experiences, I’ve also learned the importance of effective business communication with stakeholders from different backgrounds. My data analytics skills developed through the major allow me to incorporate quantitative findings in solving business problems, and I’ve realized the importance of insights data in stakeholders’ decision-making.

At the same time, my global commerce major has shaped the way I think about data analytics by emphasizing the importance of combining qualitative and quantitative insights. Whenever I am working on a data analytics project, I try to incorporate qualitative research in some way. For example, interviewing professionals whose work relates to the project, or reading scholarly articles on the topic of interest. Global commerce has taught me the importance of taking different perspectives into account and not relying solely on the numbers in solving problems.

Lastly, learning about corporate social responsibility in global commerce has made me consider taking ethical considerations into account when working with data, and being responsible with it. Some of the data I’ve worked with is confidential, and global commerce has taught me the importance of acting responsibly and ethically, allowing me to be extremely careful when working with private data. The same goes for data collection, as it is vital to have data that is a representative and diverse sample to base conclusions on.

My double-major has made me realize that I want to do work involving both qualitative and quantitative analytics. I will never reach a conclusion or an important decision without considering both qualitative and quantitative findings, and consulting with others. I want to continue to seek out opportunities to learn from people who have different backgrounds or skill sets than me, and to be a life-long learner.

May 25, 2021