Hometown: Vicksburg, MS
BBA in General Business, minors in political science and economics (2021)
BA in Economics, minor in general business (2021)
Jackson Oaks’ first position was with Regional Economic Models (REMI), which sells economic modeling software to government, think tanks, consulting firms, and universities. He is now a Credit Analyst with People’s United Equipment Finance, a subsidiary of Peoples United Bank. He values collateral for various construction and trucking companies and works with underwriters to gauge whether a client can service their debt.
When and why did you decide to study economics at UM?
In the Summer of 2020, I took Intermediate Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. Finishing those courses fulfilled the requirement for a minor in Economics, which was my initial goal. In the fall of 2020, I received an opportunity to intern for Addicus Advisory, LLC in their Multi-Family Office division where I learned fundamentals of financial services through the company’s family office and private client divisions. It resonated with me that a minor in Economics was just not enough, and my internship motivated me to pursue a second degree in Economics. Taking specific courses like Natural Resource Economics, Money and Banking, and Financial Economics gave me a broader understanding of local and global markets, human behavior, goods and services, fiscal and monetary policy, interest rates, unemployment and inflation, and much more!
What were some significant experiences or fond memories of your time at UM?
The education I received at Ole Miss prepared me with qualifications for multiple opportunities in Oxford and University community. Starting the second semester of my sophomore year, I worked as a student assistant to the Chancellor of the University of Mississippi in the Lyceum. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know Chancellor Boyce and other administrators in his office and throughout the Lyceum. I met many influential alumni, and I was there for many important events over the course of my tenure at Ole Miss. Of course, being in Vaught Hemingway to watch the Rebels win the 2020 Egg Bowl was a monumental memory my senior year. Ole Miss taught me to be resilient and I carry that resiliency with me wherever I go in life.
Please describe your educational/career path since graduation from UM.
Currently, I work as a Credit Analyst at Peoples United Equipment Finance a subsidiary of M&T Bank. At People United Equipment Finance, we finance the small and large commercial companies that want to purchase equipment and offer solutions to help small and large business with leases and note and security loans. My duties include evaluating collateral values, accounting for equipment condition, age, type, and market factors; analyzing corporate financial statements to calculate the customer’s ability to repay proposed levels of debt; and preparing loan submission packages evaluating each loan’s level of risk. Also, I travel to conduct site checks and collateral inspections in the event of a capital loan or refinance of current company debt.
Before my current position, I worked as an economics associate for Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), the nation’s leader in dynamic local, state, and national policy modeling. My role served as a business development position where I performed outreach and prospected new leads in government, consulting firms, think-tanks, and universities. The goal of my outreach was to orchestrate meetings between prospective clients and REMI economists to make informational sales presentations on the company’s unceasing process of innovation in economic theory and practice, software development and application, and the use of quantitative economic analysis to guide policy decisions. My degree in economics has enabled me to work for the 11th largest bank in the country and use those skills taught in my everyday curriculum.
What is the value of studying economics in today’s world?
My skill set after I graduated provided the ability to perform key finance, marketing, accounting, economics, and management skills with the basic information of government structure in bureaucracy through my political science courses. A degree in economics gives someone a high level of mathematical and statistical skills that enables them to logically understand complicated data whether it relates to the business, finance, or public sectors. Also, the economics curriculum gives someone the ability to communicate and present ideas or solutions using complex problem-solving and analytical skills. An economics degree will set someone apart from others because that person has a broader sense of human behavior and decisions, government policies, business as a whole, and the overall economy.