Victor Hinardi, MPP Class of 2023, writes about his experience taking Principles of Microeconomics with Professor Thomas Coleman.

Coming to a top-tier research institute like the University of Chicago, I didn’t expect faculty would be so approachable. However, my perceptions immediately changed during my first quarter when I took Principles of Microeconomics with Professor Thomas Coleman. In addition to clearly explaining the applicability of theories we discussed in class to current real-world economic affairs, Professor Coleman provided individual support and developed rapport with his students. 

Professor Coleman's teaching style is very interactive, which I definitely appreciated. In some ways, classes felt more like conversations than lectures. For example, he would frequently ask students for questions or thoughts regarding the materials and would answer each question in detail. He would also tie the subject matter to personal experiences, which made the conversation relatable for students. For example, when he talked about supply and demand concepts, he used the example of Plein Air which is a coffee shop in Hyde Park. He asked how Plein Air might respond to a low demand for coffee during the pandemic, and asked students to share their thoughts on what the response would be.

Professor Coleman also was an invaluable resource outside of class. Through conversations with him I learned he has extensive connections to people from the finance industry, so I reached out to him when planning an event for the Harris Finance Group. Through his connections, we managed to secure speakers for our first kick-off event at the beginning of the Fall quarter which is called Impact Investing Speaker Series, which introduced impact investing and how companies can navigate the Corporate Social Responsibility landscape today. The speakers included the Director of ESG Investing at Ariel Investments John Oxtoby, Director of Sustainability Strategy at Morning Star Gabriel Preisler, and many more.

At Harris, I was prepared to learn from faculty members at the top of their field. That those faculty members—like Professor Coleman—are also so approachable is an unexpected bonus that has made my Harris experience exceptional.

Interested in experiencing Professor Coleman's teaching style? Join him for a Masterclass February 16, 2022. In this Masterclass, "Monetary Theory and Chicago Economics: How Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz saved the world in 2008," Coleman will share what differentiates UChicago economics from other institutions. Register here!

Professor Coleman is also the faculty lead for the Monetary Policy & International Finance Credential Program, which is a seven-week virtual live course for undergraduate students, graduate students, and young professionals interested in monetary and international finance policy areas, and leading-industry applied work. Read more and apply.