Department of Economics

Putting Your Thesis to Work

I've always been impressed by the many ways our students find to link their studies with their larger goals and ambitions in life! Below, I'll be highlighting the stories of a number of students who have done just that, by using their senior thesis project as a springboard to their life and career after Union!

To get us started, we have Chad Salazar, Class of '22, who parlayed his thesis project into two opportunities beyond Union! Click on his name to read more about his experience.

If you would like to share the story of using your thesis to jumpstart your career, please send me a short account of your experience! I hope to make this an ongoing part of the Department's webpage, and highlight the amazing research our students are doing and the creative ways they are putting that experience to work!


Lewis Davis

  • Chad Salazar '22, "Culture and Energy Efficient Adoption: Analysis of European Households." Faculty Advisor Fuat Sener

    What drives people to buy energy efficient products? What causes a neighbor to put solar panels on their roof? During my two terms of thesis research, I got the chance to dive into these questions using data and literature on renewable energy and consumer behavior for these “green” goods.

    During the second term of my thesis, I had the amazing opportunity to work for the Alliance for Clean Energy in New York (ACE NY). During the internship I exceled at market research and legislative ideas, drawing parallel ideas to the work I had conducted on the European renewable energy marketplace in my thesis project. I began to expand my knowledge about energy efficient products around the world, in addition to learning the everyday assembly matters in my own state.

    The conclusion of my thesis resulted in some interesting findings and an expectedly high monetary value above all else, but what I had also found was a passion for renewable energy research. I believe that Union College and Professor Mehmet Sener gave me the freedom to explore exactly what I was impassioned by, and along the road this led to some great job opportunities.

    During my last term at Union, I was offered a fellowship by Novitium Energy as a solar researcher. Finding the best locations to create governmental and commercial solar fields will help bring the future of renewable energy to fruition. I am proud to say I will use many of the research and data techniques I have learned During my time working with Professor Sener.

    Chad Salazar '22