Faculty Spotlight: Heather Grob
Grace Gillespie, Staff Writer
Heather Grob Ph.D. has graced Saint Martin’s University with her wisdom and joyful personality. If you are a business major, then you have likely had the opportunity to have Grob as your professor. Grob has spent 14 years working at Saint Martin’s as an associate professor of business and economics and serves on the Advancement Committee, and as Chair of the Business and Economics Department. Even if you are not a business major, you still take part in stimulating the economy one way or another.
Before arriving at Saint Martin’s to spread her knowledge with students, Grob worked in Washington, D.C. and coordinated a group of labor and industry economists to study the construction sector under a grant from the Centers for Disease Control. Grob considered the project a fun challenge, as there had not been recent studies on the subject of the construction sector when she took up the project. In the end, Grob and her team made a huge impact with their research. Later, she moved back to Washington to work for the Department of Labor and Industries and as a Senior Researcher on workers’ compensation, and developed studies to find ways to help injured workers get the care they needed to get back to work faster. Grob knew she would end up teaching because she loved educating young researchers.
Grob is highly educated in her work. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame. She continues to support her alma mater and recently flew to Indiana to attend one of Notre Dame’s football games. She expressed that she had a great time and it was a lot of fun.
When asking Grob why she chose this career she simply said, “I always joke that I couldn’t decide between art and music, so I chose economics. Economics just made sense to me, so I figured that was a good area for me to specialize.”
Grob enjoys spending time with her 16-year-old daughter and pursuing their shared interests of the arts, music, and theatre. One of Grob’s personal interests is playing the cello. She has been involved with playing in the Olympia Symphony Orchestra for 19 years. Before she declared her major in economics, she was a music major, and has kept this passion close to her
Grob believes that thinking critically is exceptionally crucial for a career in economics, and similar to business too. Networking, as well, is a necessity while in school. She encourages students to put themselves out there to get what they want. Being a part of study abroad trips and going to conferences are great ways to meet new people and create professional relationships.
Grob stated in an interview, “Economics is a great major because it applies to so many different aspects of life. It teaches you to think abstractly, to understand models of human behavior and to interpret reality. I think many professions in Business are similar. Like engineering, many employers are looking for graduates in economics because they usually can think critically about solving problems, write well, and crunch numbers.”