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Unmatched Performance: UMD Student Employee is Reaching New Heights

April 14, 2016

Junior Travis Eisenbacher named UMD’s Student Employee of the Year and Minnesota’s Student Employee of the Year. 


Junior Travis Eisenbacher, Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) financial markets major, exceeds student employee expectations both in Duluth and across the state. Not only was Travis named UMD’s Student Employee of the Year but he was also selected Minnesota’s Student Employee of the Year. Nominators’ Monica Haynes, director, Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), and Gina Grensing, BBER editor/writer, said that Travis “displays exemplary competence, diligence, and trustworthiness.”

Travis’s position at the BBER requires him to work hands-on with public and private sector clients while he performs economic modeling and analysis, assists with publications and presentations, and collects data from primary and secondary data sources. Travis started his position at the BBER in May 2015. With about 11 months of involvement under his belt, he describes his time at the BBER as “a learning experience, which is what the job was intended to be.”

“I didn’t know what the job was about right away, and I didn’t know what to expect” said Travis. “I developed critical thinking skills that required me to make new connections and dig through data and research.”

Travis says the hardest part of his job at the BBER is looking at the impact of something abstract and making it quantifiable. His position has prepared him to work in an analytical/research based job, which is exactly what he was looking for.


This summer Travis will be working for an investment bank as an equity research analyst intern. His responsibilities will include analyzing retail stock, general consumer spending, and retail spending.

Travis anticipates similar responsibilities to those at the BBER. In preparation for his internship, he will closely follow the news and current events and stay actively involved in the financial markets.

“Working with Monica and Gina taught me a lot about teamwork and how to interact with people that have a specific skill set” said Travis. “This summer’s internship will require me to work with a team of three people. It’ll be great having this prior experience.”


Haynes and Grensing praise Travis’s successes in professionalism, leadership, and independence. “One trait that truly sets Travis apart from other student employees is his ability to see issues from all angles. He takes critical thinking to a new level and will pick apart a project until he is confident that he has analyzed it properly. He presents challenging but thoughtful questions that forces our team to think more carefully than we may have otherwise” said Haynes and Grensing as part of their student of the year nomination.

One of Travis’s largest projects was a study titled “The Economic Impacts of Fishery Tourism in the Lake Vermilion Region.” Travis’s contribution to the study included the development and deployment of two separate surveys, one of resort owners and the other of visitors to Lake Vermilion. "My job was put numbers to the information I was receiving from the visitors and the owners. Working with the people at Vermilion let me experience the business perspective of the work I was doing" said Travis.

Travis also contributed to a study entitled “The Economic Impact of the University of Minnesota Duluth on Minnesota’s Arrowhead Region and Douglas County, Wisconsin,” an economic assessment of how UMD impacts the regional economy through its operations and student spending. Travis has also conducted an extensive literature review for state and national studies regarding statistical information.

In addition to the previously mentioned project, Travis worked with the Regional Indicators Forum (REIF). Twice a year, the forum features a keynote speaker, along with student researchers from area universities who present their findings on various economic indicators affecting the region. These projects have led Travis to a variety of experiences and opportunities. He was able to present his findings to an audience of nearly 250 local business leaders.

“Travis produces exemplary products and has made the BBER even more of a sought-after agency. Truthfully, we wish we could hire him permanently” said Haynes and Grensing.  

Visit the Labovitz School of Business and Economics website for more information about programs and majors.

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