It is with great pleasure that we introduce you to our seniors’ projects, grouped by topic. Throughout the journey of their project, students work with experts in various fields and disciplines, coordinate with and rely on the mentorship of their internal advisor, and maintain personal blogs that document their findings.

In today’s post, we highlight the blogs of students whose projects are related to the field of economics and share insight from two of the BISV Senior Project Advisors who helped guide these students. From analyzing how much and what kind of news influences the stock market, to creating a comprehensive high school curriculum surrounding the supply chain and its management, to analyzing unethical labor sources and limitations on fair trade in order to promote ethical and environmentally fair trade shopping and selling practices in the Bay Area, these students dive into much more than supply and demand. 

On the unique challenges in the field of economics, Senior Project Advisor Mr. Matthew McCorkle, who is also a Subject Expert Teacher in economics and who teaches a Capstone Course in corporate finance and experimental economics, says, “In any field, academic success depends on the publication of compelling research. In economics, industry success depends upon delivering results that impact the bottom line of your firm. The Senior Project allows students to prove they can do both, while sampling the day-to-day work of their field of interest.

Mr. McCorkle worked with BISV seniors Skanthan S. and Rithik G on their projects. “I love being involved in these projects because it allows me to explore my area of interest, and I actually am benefitting from these students’ discoveries. In working on these projects, I would say my biggest takeaways have been that corporate scandals are a great time to invest in companies, and supply chains are the crunchy core of modern industrial production.”

Senior Project Advisor Ms. Visa Thiagarajan, who worked with BISV senior Monica B., provides some insight into the essential experience Senior Projects allow students to cultivate before attending college: “Students work on a real-life problem of interest to them under the guidance of an expert in the industry or academia. They sustain work on this problem for 12 weeks and post their learnings in a blog. They also learn to deal with frustrations as these inevitably occur in projects of this nature. Project advisors train them on organization, project planning, and communication skills. All of this rich experience is critical for success in college and beyond.”

The phenomenon of advisors learning from students is not a new one—we seek for students to make truly new discoveries through their project work and learn that there are still many contributions to be made in every field.  

View the projects from Monica, Skanthan, and Rithik here, and keep reading to check out their project abstracts and to follow along with their blogs! Your comments and views are essential in showing support to our Seniors. Please read, comment, and share!   

Skanthan S. - Understanding the Intricacies of the Unknown: An In-Depth Look at the Supply Chain

Read Skanthan’s project abstract here.

Follow Skanthan’s blog at https://skanthanseniorproject.wordpress.com/.

The Supply Chain is a complex and enigmatic topic of study. Unfortunately, because of this, many are simply unaware that it even exists. Through my senior project I hope to shed more light onto the Supply Chain field. I hope to create a curriculum for high school students delving deeper into the supply chain and the softwares that are compatible. I will be interning at Prana Consulting Inc., a supply chain consulting firm, to get a better idea of what exactly the supply chain is. It is important I do this as this will only bring more talented people into the supply chain field which will create faster delivery times and cheaper shipping costs for the average consumer.

 

Monica B. - Determining the Global Benefits of Fairtrade using Data Analysis

Read Monica’s project abstract here.

Follow Monica’s blog at https://analyzingfairtrade.wordpress.com/.

Global economic networks have reached a point of dependence on unethical labor sources due to multinational corporation reliance on sweatshop labor. An underrepresented solution to this is fair trade, the ethical and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional trade that ensures reasonable prices are being paid to producers. Currently, the market for fair trade products is limited to few items and to selective retailers. My goal with this project is to change this. I'm using use data analysis to compare factors like production methods, quality, and costs of fair trade and conventional trade products in order to find new information which I can use to come up with ideas to make fair trade more sustainable and affordable for both retailers and consumers. I’ll be using fair trade data from Trader Joe's and analyzing with a data analyzing software. I'll also gain a better understanding of the change in consumer proclivity to switch to fair trade given my findings by conducting surveys on Bay Area consumers both before and after analyzing the data. I plan to compile final research pages, including versions for both buyers and retailers, to promote fair trade shopping and selling practices to Bay Area residents. This will allow me to take my first steps in bettering the global economic system.

 

Rithik G. - How much does the News Influence the Stock Market?

Read Rithik’s project abstract here.

Follow Rithik’s blog at https://theroleofnewsinthestockmarket.wordpress.com/

Many adults are forced to work two jobs, overtime, or are unemployed, while struggling to take care of a family. With these struggles, many don't have the time to properly research and analyze which stocks to invest in, leading them to blindly follow the words of analysts. Sometimes, analysts give certain pieces of information that act in their own self-interest, such as telling the public to sell a stock so he or she can short that stock for their own profit. For example, CNN broadcasts daily shows pertaining to the stock market, and provides objective data and subjective opinions about when to buy or sell a stock. The goal of my project is to analyze how much the public is influenced by the media when it comes to investing in stocks. Additionally, I also want to determine what drives people’s investment decisions. By determining the factors that led to certain individual’s decisions to invest, I hope to find areas of the market that offer the most potential in returns.

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