1. What led you to study public policy at CEU?
I actually applied on a whim. I was a guest speaker at a Rotary Club event and someone recommended it to me. I applied the next day. It wasn't until I was accepted (and was given a fellowship) that I did some thorough research on the program. It looked like a great opportunity, so I enrolled, packed up my life, and got on a plane to Budapest. Honestly, it was not a pre-meditated decision, but it definitely led to one of the most formative experiences of my life.
2. What do you remember most about your time at CEU?
I remember class discussions because everyone contributed from different perspectives. For example, when I was in college in the United States, most students could agree on foundational concepts – we took the efficacy of the "free market" or "participatory democracy" as given and moved on from there. At CEU, however, since everyone came from such drastically different socio-economic and political backgrounds, we really needed to explore each concept from the ground up; there was always a personal experience from a student that could negate the model being discussed. It forced us to think globally and consider pre-existing models more dynamically. I also have really vivid memories of the night bus from Blaha Lujza ter to the CEU dorm.
3. What have you been engaged in professionally since graduating from CEU?
After graduating from CEU, I began working at Morgan Stanley. I'm now a credit analyst in the Risk Management Department there, and I locally manage the Budapest team within the US Financial Institutions division. We conduct credit analysis of Morgan Stanley's bank, insurance, and municipal clients. At Morgan Stanley I'm a member of the Women's Business Alliance Steering Committee, the Internationals Club, and the LGBT and Ally Network.
4. How have your policy studies at CEU contributed to your career?
Our portfolio includes all of Morgan Stanley's municipal clients, which range from state and local governments, to universities, to not-for-profit hospitals, etc. In addition to quantitative financial analysis, we are required to analyze any laws or policies that may affect our clients. Some examples of questions where a policy background can be helpful:
- understanding the drought conditions in the state, as well as the related policies that the government has enacted, helps in our analysis of water utility in California
- the impact that healthcare reform will have on not-for-profit hospitals
- how state budget cuts in higher education will affect public universities
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I see myself within the same industry, hopefully at an officer level, with more expertise in the field. I'll probably be back in the United States, but who knows? I only planned on being in Budapest for nine months and I've been here for three years...
6. Do you have any advice for current students?
Show up and participate! You need to grow both academically and socially to advance professionally.
7. What is your favorite thing to do in Budapest?
Eat – the restaurant and bar scene here is really unique. Even on a student budget, there are a lot of great options in the city.