2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Christopher J. Walker, Miami University (Farmer)

Christopher J. Walker

Miami University, Farmer School of Business

“Charismatic and personable, while also being the biggest nerd when it comes to history.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have played piano for over 18 years and have played about 7 other instruments.

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

High School: St. Charles Preparatory School

Major: Business Economics, Mathematics & Statistics

Favorite Business Course: My favorite business course has to be an economic growth class, where we learned about the different growth models that exist in the field that are used and to solve and/or interpret them.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: During college, I have been involved in several organizations, and have accomplished several distinctions. I served as Co-President for the Multicultural Business Association as well as co-founded the Miami University Recreational Piano Society. I am also a Student Fellow for the Isaac & Oxley Center for Business Leadership. When it comes to achievements specific to my major, I have been an Undergraduate Associate and a Supplemental Instructor Leader for Principles of Microeconomics. I also participated in the College Federal Reserve Challenge, where I was a National Finalist Team Member in 2020 and a National Semifinalist Team Member in 2021. I also was the winner for the 2021 Andrew Brimmer Essay from the American Economic Association.

Where have you interned during your college career? My internship roles have been at Nationwide Insurance as a Controllership Intern in Columbus, OH during the winter of 2020; at KPMG as an Embark Scholar Intern in Chicago, IL virtually for the summer of 2020; and lastly at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland as an Economic Research Intern in Cleveland, OH during the summer of 2021 virtually.

Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation, I will be joining the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland as a Research Analyst I.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor has to be Dr. Chuck Moul. I have never had a professor who required me to push myself and to think past the previous economic classes I have had. I usually have gone through classes learning information and then moving on, but in his classes I learned topics and concepts that I have still used especially in economic situations such as the Andrew Brimmer essays and the Federal Reserve College Challenge.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?The biggest lesson I have gained from studying business is that you do not have to be in a specific field in order to go into a specific area. It is all about the tools and skills that you learn along the way and how you present it to others that makes your education so valuable.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What has surprised me about majoring in business is the amount of interdisciplinary overlap there is among all of the majors. Economics is much more of a technical field versus the other majors in the business school. However, the economics mindset is so applicable in fields such as entrepreneurship and marketing, fields that are seen as more focused on softer skills. That makes one realize that it is all about how you can use your major to pursue your passion, rather than finding your passion in that said field.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? One thing I would have done differently in the business school is to continue to explore different areas of business. I started out in the business school wanting to do everything, and it was very eye-opening to learn about topics in entrepreneurship accounting and information systems. But as soon as I got into my junior year and senior year, my classes became very economics heavy, which is not to say I did not enjoy them, but I did miss having the interaction with other majors in classes and learning different sides of business.

What business executive do you admire most? Raphael Bostic, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, has been an individual that I have admired. He is someone who has broken barriers, especially within economics. Being the first black president of a Federal Reserve branch, while also publishing the existence of economic inequality within the United States, is very inspiring as I hope to continue that as I begin my professional career.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my advocacy of diversity and inclusion matters along with the other Co-President of the Multicultural Business Association, Milana Yarbrough (along with the rest of the executive team of the organization). We were able to bring the business school together to have conversations and panels about DEI in the business world. We gave those who come from underrepresented backgrounds a platform to share their experiences with students who would otherwise not know about those experiences. What makes me even prouder is that we were able to do this all online due to the pandemic.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire my classmate Lexi Wilson because of the conviction and persistence that she has to persevere through all failures. Although we have had different backgrounds and have pursued different fields, it has been great to have someone who has the same desire and passion to excel in the professional areas that we respectively want to enter, and talk about the setbacks and failures that either one of us have to overcome to achieve our goals.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would want to thank my dad for the success I have had in my life. Being the son of immigrant parents has given me the perspective of what humility is, and it has come to be one of the most significant values that I hold dear to me. My dad has always been one of the humblest people I have ever met, and I want to be as humble as him someday. That desire to be humble alludes to my success overall by not comparing my accomplishments to others and focusing on the path that I set for myself.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?  

The top two items on my professional bucket list are the following:

1) Have some type of work published for the mass audience.

2) Be an executive leader for an organization, either in the public or private sector.

What are your hobbies? My hobbies include hiking, photography, music, reading, and playing basketball

What made Christopher such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“CJ has been a full-spectrum force as a student for all of his four years at Miami. Not only has he sought some of the university’s most challenging coursework by double-majoring in Economics and Mathematics, but he has also given back in the classroom by serving in three courses as an undergraduate teaching assistant. CJ has been engaged in a wide set of extracurricular activities, spanning recreational piano, student leadership in business, and twice a member of the university’s Fed Challenge team, which was a national finalist in 2020. He is writing his departmental honors thesis on economic growth in high-debt contexts, and he won the American Economics Association’s 2021 Andrew Brimmer Prize for his essay on the economic well-being of Black Americans. After graduation, CJ will go to work as a research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.”

Charles C. Moul
Professor of Economics and Interim Department Chair

“CJ is one of the most inspiring students I have ever had the pleasure to know! He’s not afraid to take risks to create meaningful positive change and dialogue. He developed a DEI strategic plan (the first) for his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi. As Co-President of the Multicultural Business Association (MBA), a Farmer School student organization, CJ helped create campus-wide town halls on key issues impacting diverse students and the community. As a business economics and math/stats double major, CJ has a great intellectual curiosity and thinks deeply about how the economy impacts diverse and underserved communities. He is leaving Miami and Farmer in a better place than he found it.”

Michelle Thomas
Director of Student Organizations and Diversity
Farmer School of Business
Miami University




Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.