Pursuit of Knowledge

Helene Purcell ’11 VSB came to Villanova interested in International Business, but unsure about where she wanted to take her degree. While at VSB, she took an International Economics class and an Emerging Markets course. These classes sparked her interest in economics and emerging economies which linked to her original interest in International Business. Thus, she co-majored in Economics and International Business.

Outside of the classroom, she served as the president of VSB’s International Business Society, where she was able to further learn about other countries’ economies and have discussions and engage in case studies with peers with similar interests. She also enjoyed tutoring other students which pushed her toward the academic route that she is now pursuing as an Economics PhD candidate at Fordham University. Her current research focuses on natural disasters and risk preferences. 

She says that one of the best things about attending Villanova is the strong community that remains even after graduation. She has stayed an active part of the alumni network as a board member for the Villanova Club of New York City. She loves that any alum can reach out to other Villanovans for networking and career resources.  

Purcell advises current VSB students to get to know professors through office hours. She has loved maintaining those relationships with her VSB professors and updating them on her career. When she mentioned to a former professor about her economic research, she was invited to present her research at the VSB economics seminar. She is currently using data from Indonesia to research whether natural disasters in a community lead to risk aversion or increased risk-taking. She is an example of how alumni continue to share their gifts with the Villanova community.    

Helene Purcell ’11 VSB

Helene Purcell ’11 VSB

“My VSB professors were attentive, kind and knowledgeable. It was a wonderful experience to be taught by professors who really care about their students.”