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Student Spotlight

Eric Gillespie, Economics major, Middle Eastern Studies minor

Graduating December 2016

 Eric

Why did I choose the MES minor?

I knew that I needed to choose a minor that was going to supplement my Economics major and give me the background to succeed in the future. This, coupled with my deep interest in the region's culture, made choosing the MES minor a simple choice. The Middle East routinely tops the lists of growth regions across the globe, largely due to its vast energy market. My dream job after graduation is tied to this energy market, and I strongly believe that the foundation I received in my MES courses will help me land that job.

What did I learn in taking some of the MES courses?

To put it simply, I learned A LOT (trust me, this is bolded for a reason). From having long-held preconceived notions completely turned on their head time and time again, to being afforded the opportunity to visit a mosque right in Clemson's backyard, the MES minor exposes students to more religious and cultural awareness in a few semesters than some will have in a lifetime.

The courses within the minor offer much more than just a simple study of the Middle East. Each course seemed to build on the previous one to create what I believe to be a very well rounded (cultural, religious, and political) understanding of the Middle East.

What have I enjoyed most about the MES courses?

My favorite part of the MES minor was being able to relate what I was learning in class to current events. Having that foundation and background knowledge helps me to form my own opinions on a news headline or article, and know whether or not that article is well written or missing key information that could undermine the point of the article.