Re-examined: Aric Nesbitt

26 February 2016 14:58

(updated: 19 July 2016 15:08)

Re-examined: Aric Nesbitt

He grew up at a six-generation dairy in Michigan, and ended up studying international business at NHH. In this month’s re-examined we have talked with Aric Nesbitt about his camping trip to the top of Ulriken, the friends he made at Kramboden, and how he ended up as the Republican Majority Floor Leader in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Why did you decide to study at NHH?

Since an early age I have wanted to study in Europe to explore and learn more about our world. After graduating with my Bachelors in Economics, I began looking at business schools all over Europe. Having visited Norway before and having several friends from Norway, it was at the top of my list. NHH had a good reputation among European business schools, provided a beautiful setting, and was a great opportunity to study and learn with students from around the world.

What was your major, and who was your favorite professor?

I earned an MSc in Economics and Business Administration with a specialization in International Business. I really enjoyed taking the International Management Course with Paul Gooderham. He challenged us to think outside our comfort zone. Also, Tor Aase Johannessen was always available and helpful with projects.

What kind of student were you?

I always found the right balance of being involved academically and socially, while also finding time to travel and explore Norway. I enjoyed studying with other international students in the library; however, I would typically end up reading the latest Economist Magazine and Wall Street Journal, or reading a biography that interested me.

What was the best thing about studying at NHH and in Norway?

Studying in Norway provided me the opportunity to investigate problems and issues I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to research. Bergen was a beautiful town that provided the amenities of a modern urban area, while giving me opportunities to explore the mountains and fjords that surround it. The Norwegian School of Economics was challenging, the professors where involved, and the students were knowledgeable and friendly.

What is your most vivid NHH memory?

From staying at the student council cabin in the mountains, making friends from around the world, skiing in Voss, and nights spent with friends downtown, I have many great memories of my time at NHH.

However, I would say that the most vivid memory would be camping at the top of Ulriken with a group of friends from Scotland, Germany, Canada, France, and the United States. It was the end of May/June, and one of those early summer, perfect weekends. We hiked up to the top of Ulriken, made a campsite, saw the sun set into the ocean, and stayed up most of the night telling stories around the campfire, and woke up just in time to watch the sunrise as we made breakfast over the fire.


  • Name: Aric Nesbitt
  • Age: 36
  • Lives in: Lawton, MI
  • Job title: Majority Floor Leader, Michigan House of Representatives
  • Year started at NHH: 2003

Tell us about your career.

I grew up on a six-generation family dairy and grape farm in Southwest Michigan. After attending NHH and working for a time in Congress, Washington DC I moved back home to run for the Michigan House of Representatives. I’m currently serving my third, two-year term, and was elected by my colleagues to serve as the Majority Floor Leader (when bills come out of committee I decide when they get scheduled for floor action) and appointed by the Speaker of the House as the Chair of the Energy Committee. I have become known for my work on energy, tax, and telecommunication issues.

What is the largest obstacle you are facing in your job today?

Working with colleagues to ensure Michigan is internationally competitive in taxes, regulation, and career training to make Michigan the best place to invest, work, and raise a family.

What are you reading, listening to, and watching?

I regularly read The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. Two books I am reading are Daniel Yergin’s The Quest: Energy Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World and Paul Oreffice’s autobiography Only in America: From Immigrant to CEO. I enjoy watching the television series Madam Secretary on CBS and looking forward to the fourth season of House of Cards. Also, Family Guy and The Simpsons are regularly on my watch list.

What kind of career would you choose if you could choose again?

I would not change my career choice. I truly enjoy public service and look forward to continuing to work on behalf of my constituents to improve Michigan and the USA.