Economic Students Learn Real Life Applications Of Unit Thanks To Guest Speaker
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Economic Students Learn Real Life Applications Of Unit Thanks To Guest Speaker

Students in IB Economics HL and SL Year Two classes have been covering International Economics since the beginning of the school year. 

Friday, November 30, Mr. Ruchard Clarke, vice president for Cargill Cotton, was a guest speaker in classes. He discussed his experiences working in international economics, how current U.S. trade policy affects his work and company and current issues with economic integration (such as Brexit).

Clarke asked the students to prepare for the discussion by looking in their closets to find the different countries where their clothes were manufactured. He also asked them to read current news articles, particularly on UK parliament/Brexit issue and the upcoming G-20 meeting of Xi and Trump, as these are two major economic issues currently.

Clarke was educated with a double major from Mississippi State University in Agricultural Economics and Banking & Finance and MBA from Memphis State University. He has worked for Cargill since 1980 in the Cotton Business Unit. His primary responsibilities have included merchandising (buying & selling cotton) of U.S. cotton to markets around the world. As part of his merchandising responsibilities, he has traveled to over 25 different countries.

"If it is on the label on your shirt, I probably have been there," Clarke said. "Merchandising cotton is primarily working as a ‘middle man’ between the farmer and the spinning/textile mill. Much of what we do is managing the risk and delivering the right quality for our customers."

For the students, it was a chance to take see what they are learning in the classroom in action. 

"Making these real-world connections between economic theory/concepts and current events is incredibly important and interesting for these students," teacher Dr. Heather Price said.