Annika Clunk

Annika Clunk BA '20



Degree and Class Year

BA ’20

Current City

Frankfurt, Germany


Economics, German Studies (double)


Women’s Golf, Volleyball Club, Campus Tour Guide, Society of Economists, Star Wars Club, Ping Pong Club

Overseas study

Year of Study Munich


Working Student Transfer Pricing, NERA Economic Consulting

Continuing Studies

MSc in International Economics and Economic Policy, Goethe University Frankfurt

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Opportunity, Community, Leadership

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I grew up in Arizona surrounded by dirt and cacti and never experienced a real fall. I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and the greenery on campus. I also knew I wanted to be in a bigger city, where I could explore and have fun going out. Portland is awesome—so many great restaurants, activities, and, of course, coffee and donuts. Separate from the location, I loved the idea of small class sizes and the opportunities to build relationships with professors. All three things (and golf) made the decision easy.

What have you been doing since graduation?

I graduated in May 2020 and, at the time, was very sad to be sent back home Annika Clunk BA '20 in Frankfurt where she is earning her master's degree in international econom... Annika Clunk BA ’20 in Frankfurt where she is earning her master's degree in international economics and economic policy at Goethe University.because Arizona was the last place I wanted to go back to. I ended up finding a great internship in economic development shortly after graduation, but it was during the fall of 2020 when I realized a part of me was still in Germany. I started applying for master’s programs all over the country and got into my first choice school, which also happened to be the most competitive. I moved to Frankfurt in September 2021, so I have just hit the one-year mark. Frankfurt is a great city and I can’t wait to explore even more this next year! I am happily busy this school year because I am also interning at NERA Economic Consulting in their transfer pricing division.

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for graduate school and your internship?

The opportunity to spend an entire year in Munich was the best thing from my time at L&C. I grew so much as an individual from the immersion, both professionally and personally. It was because of Munich that I fell in love with Germany at a level far deeper than I could have ever imagined. After that experience I was confident, eager, and ready to tackle any challenge that came my way. This held true when COVID flipped my future upside down, in the internship afterwards, with finding the courage to live in Germany alone, and with my current position at one of the world’s top economic consulting firms.

What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

I learned to never shy away from voicing my perspective—because your perspective matters even if 99 percent of the people in the room would disagree with you.

Why did you major in German studies?

Coming to L&C, I knew I would be an economics major because I am fascinated by trying to explain how the world works. What I did not expect was to add German studies to the list. I studied Spanish in high school and could have easily tested out of the language requirement, but when the opportunity came to learn German, I took it. I didn’t think that after the minimum requirement I would keep going, but I was encouraged by Associate Professor Katharina Altpeter-Jones to stick with it. I am grateful for that push because without it I wouldn’t have lived up the street from Oktoberfest nor gotten to study German Renaissance paintings in person.

How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

I love looking at updates on Instagram.

Have you been to Alumni Weekend or other programming, like Homecoming, etc.? What did you enjoy about the event(s)?

Annika Clunk BA '20 with her parents at Homecoming and Family Weekend. Annika Clunk BA ’20 with her parents at Homecoming and Family Weekend.As an alumna living abroad I have not yet had the chance to go back to campus. As a student I always enjoyed Homecoming and Family Weekend. I loved showing my parents around campus, especially the Manor House where I also worked as a tour guide. We always had fun grabbing ice cream at Salt n’ Straw after the football game.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

If you view college as merely a means to an end, the liberal arts isn’t for you. The liberal arts challenges you to embrace the uncomfortable. Where else can you take a biology or acting class as an economics major? The liberal arts encourages a holistic way of thinking that is relevant in and outside the classroom.

What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?

My first semester I took Philosophy Ethics with Associate Professor Joel Martinez. I was expecting to answer the popular dilemma: intentionally kill one person or do nothing and kill five. Funny enough, this scenario did come up but the class was so much more than that. We discussed a range of topics from Aristotle’s views on happiness to the morality of abortion. After this class I felt more open-minded and more confused, but the latter was definitely the intention.

Who was your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

(Former) Assistant Professor Brian Dombeck. Sophomore year I was fortunate to be in his first-ever Macroeconomics class at L&C and the minute he said that we had the opportunity to contest point deductions on exams during his office hours, I knew I would be seeing him often. Most times I’d go to office hours we would chat about disproving conventional economic theory or asking the question “why” for six steps in a row. Professor Dombeck encouraged me to question the norm and be a leader. He helped me bring back the Society of Economists Club as president, and he was vital in guiding my thesis on inflation divergence in the EU. It is professors like him who you will always be grateful for.

Economics German Studies Munich Overseas Program