Oakland University
Thursday, March 19, 2015

Student and professor team up for economic research

As a research assistant for economics professor Jonathan Silberman, Laura Tack has helped compile monthly reports on local, national and international economic trends.
When Laura Tack was considering her goals for college, the opportunity to collaborate with professors was at the top of her list.

Exemplary high school grades earned her an OU Presidential Scholarship, covering full tuition and opening a path to achieving her goals. Over the past several years, the senior accounting major has built up an impressive resume, which includes not only high academic achievement, but also plenty of success outside the classroom. As a research assistant for economics professor Jonathan Silberman, Tack has helped compile monthly reports on local, national and international economic trends.

“It has given me an appreciation for the broader aspects of the economy,” Tack said of the project. “These economic reports look at what is happening in the business environment as a whole.”

The reports are featured in the “Insights” of the School of Business Administration's Data Center, a website currently being developed by Dr. Silberman that reports on a variety of economic and business-related topics. The latest report, published in March, looks at housing trends in Metro Detroit compared to the rest of the nation. Tack and Dr. Silberman examined data showing that Metro Detroit lags the U.S. in apartment construction.

The Data Center is a spinoff of another report that originated in Oakland's business school called “Economy at a Glance.” Tack and Dr. Silberman also collaborated on that report, which analyzed economic indicators in Southeast Michigan.

“For ‘Economy at a Glance,’ we looked at labor market, real estate and other economic indicators and published quarterly reports,” Tack said. “The Data Center will have a wider range of topics and will be updated continuously, so the data is always current.”

Along with her research endeavors, Tack is also an Honors College member, participant in the School of Business Administration's Scholars Program and Global Business Brigades chapter. A summer internship with accounting firm Plante Moran resulted in a full-time job offer. She plans to start working at the firm after she earns a graduate degree from OU.

They'll be lucky to have her,” said Dr. Silberman. “Laura does excellent work. She's extremely reliable, inquisitive, and she enjoys what she's doing. It's rewarding to work alongside high-caliber students like her.”

Tack's work as an OU student isn't finished yet. Later this year, she and other students will take part in their first-ever international Case Competition through the School of Business Administration Scholars program. The students will be tasked with managing a simulated business, making decisions that company executives face on the job. The team that most effectively manages their business will be declared the winner.

Tack is also developing her Honors College thesis, on the subject of business ethics, and co-authoring a case study with OU management professor Mark Simon about her experiences on a business brigade assisting an entrepreneur in rural Paraguay. 

“OU has been wonderful,” Tack said. “I've learned so much here and was fortunate enough to secure a job offer from all the networking I've been able to do. I also wanted the chance to work one-on-one with professors, and that's happening here.”

To learn more about programs and opportunities in the School of Business Administration, visit oakland.edu/business.

OU senior Laura Tack is working with Professor Jonathan Silberman on monthly economic reports for the School of Business Administration's Data Center website.

Created by Eric Reikowski (esreikow@oakland.edu) on Friday, March 13, 2015
Modified by Colleen Campbell (cjcampbell@oakland.edu) on Thursday, March 19, 2015
Article Start Date: Thursday, March 19, 2015