SPUR 2023: Eric Yang, W’26

I think one of the most exciting parts of college is being able to ask big questions and discover new fields. Through Wharton’s Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), I was able to do just that. Under the supervision of Professor Santiago Gallino and with the support of the Baker Retailing Center, I was able to explore the field of retailing. Being a Costco enthusiast, I’ve always been interested in learning more about the industry.

With two other research assistants, our goal was to produce an index that measured the health of the retail sector. During the project, we conducted a literature review on the retailing sector and key performance indicators within the industry. We were able to gain a broad understanding of how retailing works and what role an index would serve. Afterwards, we gathered data from various sources such as the Wharton Research Data Services on key retailing companies to construct an Excel model to produce the index.

One of the most rewarding parts of this experience was learning new skills, which is extremely applicable to any future career. For example, I learned how to conduct industry-based research and form conclusions on business trends. I gained exposure to how the finances of major corporations function. By working with massive amounts of data, I strengthened my data analytics skills. I also had a lot of fun!

Ultimately, I am extremely grateful for this experience, and I believe that I grew both professionally and personally during the summer.