When it comes to choosing the right university, one often faces a pivotal choice. For Elijah Bruggeman, a double major in Economics and Business Administration with a Finance emphasis at Chapman University, that crossroads have led to an unforgettable journey of personal and intellectual growth.

Elijah’s journey began with his initial apprehensions about Chapman. However, a conversation with his high school lacrosse coach and mentor, Chris Herrmann, who had attended Chapman, changed everything. The allure of Orange County, the promise of distinguished professors, and the potential to thrive academically and athletically convinced him that Chapman was the place to be.

Bruggeman believes that his decision to attend Chapman was pivotal, allowing him to blend his academic, athletic, and social pursuits seamlessly. Here’s a glimpse into his remarkable journey thus far:

Campus Involvement & Community

Elijah’s campus involvement is a testament to his commitment to exploring new experiences. He’s a dedicated member of the lacrosse team, which recently achieved great success. He also co-heads the Economics team of the Janes Financial Center Residency Program, managing a significant portion of the university’s endowment. Additionally, he participated in the Walk Down Wall Street travel course, offering an eye-opening glimpse into the financial industry. Elijah’s passion extends to the Animal Cares Club, where he collaborates to support local shelters and businesses providing animal care.

Chapman University has offered Elijah the chance to create a community around his passions. He says, ““My experience at Chapman has been unbelievable because every day, I get to build a community around the things that I love to do. Whether it is athletics, research, or clubs, there are so many like-minded people who share my pursuit of knowledge and excellence.”

Beyond the Classroom

During the Summer of 2023, Elijah engaged in groundbreaking economic research with the Economic Science Institute and Dr. Bart Wilson. Their research delved into the intersection of philosophy and economics, redefining traditional theories with a focus on morals and ethics. His work even ventured into reshaping how economics is taught in undergraduate studies. “It was an incredible experience to be a part of conversations, research and thought that are quite literally redefining a field of study, if not creating an entirely new one,” says Bruggeman.

On a technical level, Elijah has honed his abilities in economics, finance, and data science. However, he recognizes the importance of “soft skills” and personal growth. Public speaking, effective communication, leadership, and teamwork have all become integral aspects of his personal and professional development.

Favorite Memories and Long-term Goals

One cherished memory stands out for Elijah – winning the SLC Championship with the Chapman lacrosse team. He says, “It was a culmination of an incredible amount of effort and dedication throughout the fall, winter, and spring and showcased the skills and tenacity that we had developed. Most importantly, though, it was a sign of our team coming together and playing as one unit, complimenting each other’s skills and tendencies, working towards and achieving something greater than any one individual or even our one team.”

Looking ahead, Elijah is driven by the Japanese concept of “ikigai” which roughly translates to “the things that you live for’ or ‘the reason you get up in the morning.”

“This idea was first introduced to me as a senior in high school, and since, through rounds of trial and error, I have bounced from idea to idea about what career path could bring enjoyment and merit,” he says. For him, that career is portfolio management, where his analytical prowess and passion for markets converge.

Elijah’s journey at Chapman is a story of discovering one’s passions, building a community, and unlocking one’s full potential. As he continues to grow and thrive at Chapman, his journey inspires us all to pursue our own paths to excellence.


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