Meet Nick Simmons
Social animal? That's Nick's shorthand for someone with a degree in behavioral economics from the University of Chicago. He describes this discipline as social psychology seen through an economic lens - a perfect match for a guy who likes to think of the world as a series of equations while living his life as part of a big, friendly social gathering.
Even at Wildwood, Nick balanced economics with community. When he organized the first student store, he did it not only so his fellow students could buy food on campus, but also to provide a place for his classmates to congregate.
The student store wasn't a lark. Nick wrote a business plan, got a loan from the school to buy a refrigerator and cabinets, installed electricity and shelving, and opened for business. Within the first year, Nick repaid the school's loan and turned a profit. Yet, he never really saw himself as an entrepreneur. "For me, it was more of a community service than a moneymaking endeavor," he says.
Studying community is a huge part of how Nick spends his time. "I'm interested in information cascades and information transmission within a community," explains Nick. And his interest extends beyond an academic or business pursuit. "It's how I live my life. It shows in the friends I make and the activities I participate in. It's part of who I am." And it is part of his doctoral research.