We see our professors in the academic setting and sometimes forget about the stories that brought them here. Thursday afternoon I was able to sit down with Professor of Economics Dr. Patrik Hultberg to learn more about his experiences.
Like many students, Dr. Hultberg’s plans changed; he didn’t have it all figured out at the beginning. However, by learning from his experiences and following his interests he was able to continue pursuing what he enjoys.
Dr. Hultberg, who is originally from Sweden, came to the U.S. as a high school exchange student. He found himself in Shoshoni, Wyoming, a small town of under 700 residents. Dr. Hutlberg spent a year there and soon returned to the U.S. for his undergraduate at the University of Ohio Wesleyan, where he planned to study Chemical Engineering. His plans quickly changed when he took an Economics 101 course and decided to pursue economics instead.
While studying abroad in Strasbourg, France, Dr. Hultberg took time to travel Europe, which he said was a powerful experience.
“You face all of these unscripted problems that you have to solve on the spot, and there is no parent or teacher to help you,” he said. “You just have to figure it out, and that is when you learn the most.” Dr. Hultberg tries to incorporate this mentality into the classroom and he also continues to travel. He mixes business with pleasure while spending summers teaching in South Korea and attending conferences around the U.S.
Dr. Hultberg’s personal interests focus on international economics, human behavior, and concepts around teaching. Even when reading in his free time, he tends towards these subjects.
“I am lucky enough to like what I am doing enough to learn about it even when I am not working,” he said. Dr. Hultberg appreciates the emphasis on teaching, the type of students, and the international aspect of Kalamazoo College, and said he enjoys his position. “We have our priorities straight here,” he said.