Alumni Spotlight

Ben Barchey ’09
Associate Vice President
Griffin Capital Securities

Major: Economics

Activities: Men’s Lacrosse

What first attracted you to Whittier College? I am originally from the East Coast and grew up playing lacrosse, eventually going to the Friends School of Baltimore for high school (a Quaker school). Going to Friends, Whittier was naturally on the college office's list of small liberal arts schools. I ended up going to Denison my freshman year and we played Whittier in a lacrosse game. Long story short, I decided I wanted to go to school in California, continue to play NCAA lacrosse, and attend a small liberal arts school. Whittier was the best fit for me.

Why did you choose to study economics? We use economics in everything we do. I was always intrigued about what economics majors really learn, so I took an intro class at Denison that I really enjoyed and came away thinking it was worth my parents' money and time. I wanted to learn more and majoring in economics seemed the best way to do so. 

Describe your experience at Whittier College. What is your favorite memory? My favorite memory was landing the phone number of my current girlfriend of five years, Whitney Egoian, on a Monday night during my senior year. Don’t ask me why, but one of my best friends and I thought it would be a good idea to go to the library to hit on girls. We created a 10-topic questionnaire, printed a bunch out (the last question being: can I have you number?), and headed to the study rooms pretending we were in a psychology class. Whitney was the only person whose number I saved. In other words, she felt bad for me and gave me her number. I was lucky enough to go on a first date and the rest is history!  

Where was your favorite place to study? I was a big fan of the third floor of the library.  

What was your favorite class? "Public Speaking" was my favorite class. It was such an active and engaging class. My professor was awesome and it really helped me with my public speaking. 

What was your first job after Whittier? What are you currently up to? How has your Whittier education benefited you professionally? My first job was with a wealth management firm in Orange, CA. I now work for a real estate investment company on the capital markets side. The principal of the firm was a Whittier alumnus. We connected my junior year and I kept in contact with him all through college. He gave me a shot. I worked for him for a year, gaining an incredible amount of knowledge and confidence within the industry. My time at his firm, with a lot of different experiences in-between, has led me to where I am now. 

What advice would you give to future economics alumni when they graduate? As an alumnus, I am still learning and growing. I continue to seek experiences and strong relationships that help me gain a better understanding of life. I advise you to chase what you are passionate about and the rest will figure itself out!

Finish this sentence: I am a ‘Poet for Life’ because… I bleed purple and gold.

-Are you a graduate of the Economics Department and want to share your story? Contact the Office of Communications at