M.S. in Global Commerce 2018
Undergrad: B.B.A. in Finance, The University of Texas at Austin
Current Role: Analyst at an accelerator/venture capital firm, Washington, D.C.
Can you describe your background and what drew you to the M.S. in Global Commerce Program?
I was a Finance major at The University of Texas at Austin and sought study-abroad opportunities and global business topics as much as I could. I heard about the M.S. in Global Commerce Program and was particularly interested in the network that McIntire could provide to help me break into opportunities on the East Coast. I had studied abroad in Hong Kong and Argentina during undergrad, as well as interned in Barcelona, so I already had experience abroad, adapting to new situations, and understanding how global business works.
What was life like during the Program?
Starting at the University of Virginia, I bonded with my cohort and did fun activities like attending football games and visiting New York City with several Chinese classmates over fall break. It was a great experience to break the ice and get more prepared for the upcoming adventures we would embark on as a cohort. I dedicated a lot of time towards recruiting at UVA, since early fall is the peak application season. Beyond recruiting and academics, I also found time to complete a lot of hikes in the Charlottesville area. There are so many great spots!
At Lingnan (University) College, I was able to reconnect with friends I had made in Hong Kong during undergrad, because Guangzhou, where Lingnan is located, is so close to Hong Kong. Outside of class, I traveled around and explored Guangzhou. For Chinese New Year, I visited Tiger Leaping Gorge and Kunming. The learning curve was steep, and so was adjusting to a new time zone, but it was fun problem solving all the small things like ordering food online. In terms of academics, I focused on my global business thesis project and really enjoyed the Marketing course “Consumer Behavior Across the Globe.”
At Esade, I once again reconnected with my Barcelona friends and focused on finalizing our thesis. My thesis team even had the opportunity to hang out with one of my groupmate’s family. Barcelona is such a fun city. Our cohort went to the beach every once in a while and played soccer on the housing complex’s basketball court. After our thesis defense and graduation in June, I stayed in Europe and went to Belgium to continue working on a business idea. Then, I went back to Spain for a month until my visa was close to expiring, before flying to Mexico for an internship at a venture capital fund.
Also, I was able to connect with a local church in every location, which was really cool. It was interesting to engage with the locals and see cultural differences and similarities.
What did you do after the M.S. in Global Commerce Program?
After my VC internship in Mexico, I moved back to Austin, Texas, to work on a few business ideas of my own, then landed an investment analyst position in Washington, D.C. It’s been a wild journey and remarkable how much this Program opened doors and pushed me to improve my skill set.
Speaking of skill sets, can you tell us about some of skills you’ve gained?
Of course! I’m definitely much more comfortable with intercultural experiences, global politics, and networking. With such a diverse cohort, there were so many chances to explore everyone’s differences in both a fun and respectful way. I sharpened my research skills with the global business thesis and all its moving parts. I had four-month projects as an undergrad, but nothing like a yearlong thesis. The analytics courses were also helpful to learn how to best visualize and interpret data.
That’s great! Do you have any final advice for potential future students?
I recommend starting the recruitment journey early and networking sooner rather than later. Approach everything in the Program, like different cultures and perspectives, with an open mind, especially when you’re living with roommates! Utilize the local knowledge in every location, and have fun!