Clark Is All Business – and Economics
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Anthony Clark, Ph.D., knows what it takes to succeed in business. A recognized expert in the field of economics, he has more than 30 years of experience working in the industry and sharing his knowledge through teaching and research.
For Clark, the decision to pursue a career in economics came naturally. After graduating from Jefferson College with an associate degree in business, he transferred to the University of Missouri to complete his bachelor’s degree.
“I always knew I wanted to study business, but as a young person I wasn’t sure which area in business interested me most,” he said. “I was three classes shy of completing a B.S. in accounting when I changed my major. By that point, I’d had four economics courses and I’d fallen in love with the subject. What I really liked about economics was that it could be applied to any area of life. It’s a way of thinking that suits me well. I still enjoy reading about new ideas in the field of economics and in the field of business in general.”
After completing his bachelor’s degree, Clark continued his studies, earning both a master’s degree in economics and a doctorate in natural resources and environmental economics. He worked as an economist prior to pursuing a career in academia. He joined STLCC in 2010, teaching at Florissant Valley before transferring to Wildwood to serve as professor and the program coordinator for business and economics.
Over the years, his research has been published in “Advances in Environmental Research; Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management”; “The George Wright Society Journal of Parks, Protected Areas & Cultural Sites; Landscape and Urban Planning”; and “The Confluence.” One of his books, “Economics and How It Shapes Our Lives” (Zephyros Press), appeared in the top 30 books in Amazon’s Economics category.
Throughout his career, he’s remained steadfast in his belief that students can take concrete steps to set themselves up for success. According to Clark, one way students can do this is by taking as many quantitative courses as possible. These are courses in accounting, finance, economics, analytics and statistics.
“It’s no secret that employers want to hire people who have strong analytical skills,” he said. “In order to develop these skills, you need to take courses that will challenge your thinking. While these aren’t always the easiest, they are the ones that will help differentiate you from the rest of the pack.”
Another suggestion is that students focus on becoming fluent in Excel.
“Perhaps aside from Word, Excel is the most widely used tool in the business world,” Clark said. “The more programs you learn to use, the more valuable you’ll be upon graduation. So, in addition to completing the required courses in your degree program, invest time in building your technical capabilities. This will help ensure that you are prepared to add value to your organization from day one.”
Lastly, and not surprisingly, Clark said students should start building their professional networks now.
“You should attend as many business functions as possible because it’s a great way to meet people and grow your network,” he said. “Another way to gain experience is by completing an internship. This will allow you to sample a particular industry to see if you like it, as well as make connections that could possibly lead to employment opportunities down the road.”
When asked what he enjoys most about teaching, he said: “As a first-generation college student who started at a community college, I have a deep respect for community college students. I’m passionate about economics and business education, and I love nothing more than to see my students excel in their college and career goals.”
Outside of work, Clark likes to read, listen to podcasts, lift weights, hike, play guitar, travel and spend time with family and friends.