A Focus on International Economics

Romina Ferreira Peña
Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance ’18

Prior to attending Johns Hopkins SAIS, Romina worked as a finance analyst and a macro researcher. Convinced that her next career step would involve a rigorous quantitative skill set, she applied to the school’s Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance (MIEF) program. The program’s general econometrics, panel data and time-series training provided her with the flexibility to tailor her studies toward finance and macroeconomics. Additionally, Romina has lived in four countries in Latin America and Asia. The global focus of the school was a key factor in her decision to enroll in the program.

One of Romina’s favorite experiences as a student was the New York career trek. There she had the opportunity to visit banks including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citibank. This was an enriching opportunity as she was able to learn more about the career paths that the school’s alumni have taken and she was able to receive great advice from alumni with firsthand experience working in the roles that interest her.

Romina also had the opportunity to improve her leadership skills by chairing the 2018 SAIS Global Women in Leadership conference. Equal opportunities for both genders is something that she cares deeply about, and it was encouraging to find a group of people with similar thoughts at the school. Around 250 students and practitioners attended the conference and they were honored to be supported by more than 30 speakers.

Another defining experience was the opportunity to lunch with Johns Hopkins SAIS Professor John Lipsky, who is a board member of HSBC and the former First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF where she worked before attending the school. Romina also enjoyed participating in the World Bank and IMF annual meetings, where she saw a Fintech panel moderated by Christine Lagarde herself.

In her future career, Romina hopes to apply her quantitative and leadership skills to reduce the financing and knowledge gap between emerging countries and developed ones. Having lived in emerging economies almost her entire life, she is very aware of the potential of the human capital and the lack of access to financing in those economies.