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 "Competing to Succeed"

Alumnus Scott Anderson, Ph.D., Shares Insights

LSBE Distinguished Speakers Series

Scott Anderson, Ph.D.

Alumnus (’91) Scott Anderson, director and senior economist at Wells Fargo, presents “Competing to Succeed: What It Takes To Be Successful in the 21st Century” on Wed., Oct. 20, from 11 am to noon, in the Weber Music Hall, as part of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics’ (LSBE) Distinguished Speakers Series. The event is free, but due to limited seating, attendee registration is necessary. To register, visit https://lsbe.d.umn.edu/scott_anderson.php. Refreshments will be served prior to the presentation, at 10:30 am in the Weber lobby.

Anderson, a Twin Cities native, credits LSBE with influencing his career path. He came to UMD to study physics but switched to business after taking economics and political science courses. “I found it fascinating how the markets worked,” Anderson said. “I wanted to use my knowledge to make the world a better place.” LSBE professors encouraged him to pursue a Ph.D. They advised him to prepare for graduate school by taking statistics and mathematics courses at UMD, which he did.

As director and senior economist for Wells Fargo, Anderson provides daily analyses of U.S. economic releases and contributes to the Wells Fargo Economics’ macroeconomic forecast. He also travels extensively, speaking to various groups and organizations in order to help people understand what is going on in the banking system and in the economy. “There is a lot of misinformation out there – a lot of fear, a lot of anger, a lot of confusion. I try to give people the full picture, from a nonpolitical, nonpartisan perspective,” Anderson said. “Communication is key.” Anderson is optimistic about the future and points out that America has endured tough economic times before. “The American Dream is still alive,” he said.

Anderson is pleased to be able to return to UMD, to donate his time, and share some of his experiences and observations. His LSBE presentation will draw upon lessons that he learned in school and throughout his career. Anderson encourages students to “learn what you find engaging” but to be flexible. “Be open to different paths,” he suggests.

Anderson was very active while at UMD and, as a freshman, took part in the Leadership UMD program. Its purpose was to build leaders. “It was a wonderful introduction for me into what it means to be a leader,” he said. “I got to know a great core group of students,” he added. The program brought in a number of speakers, and participants were required to do a lot of volunteer work. “I was sometimes a little bit out of my comfort zone,” Anderson admits, “but it gave me the courage to become a leader. You can surprise yourself on what you can do.”

Anderson was involved in UMD’s Economics Club. “It was a great organization,” he said. They took trips to Minneapolis to tour the Federal Reserve and to Chicago to tour the Board of Exchange. Anderson was also active in music and played saxophone in the concert band.

After graduating from UMD, Anderson moved to Washington, D.C. “I had very little money and a dream and a will to succeed,” Anderson stated. Moving to D.C. “turned out to be the best decision,” he stated. While pursuing his Ph.D., Anderson worked as a research assistant in a money management consulting firm which gave him the opportunity to work with a number of clients from around the world and to do a lot of research and writing on a variety of topics.

Anderson then worked as a research assistant at the Pentagon. “I was there during the Bush to Clinton transition,” he said. “I was able to see how government works.” He worked at the International Monetary Fund for about three years. After receiving his Ph.D., Anderson worked at Moody Economy.com. He joined Wells Fargo in 2001 and is based in Minneapolis. Anderson was named one of the top 10 economic forecasters in the U.S. for 2008 by USA Today.

 

Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, kmcquill@d.umn.edu

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