Category Archives: Trips

Finance Career Trip 2019

by: Patrick Fernandez ’20

Last January 25, IPED students went on a career trip focused on finance in Manhattan, New York.

The students first went to the US Trust, Bank of America, to meet with Joseph Quinlan ’84 , Managing Director and Chief Market Strategist, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Mr. Quinlan talked about how the inter-disciplinary nature of his IPED education helped him in his work with international trade, foreign direct investment, and global economic trends. The students also had a discussion with him regarding impact investment, US-China trade war, and emerging markets. An advice that he gave to students in order for them to become excellent analysts, is that they must be able to recognize how things are interconnected, identify the information missing from current analyses, and learn history.

IPED students together with Mr. Quinlan ’84

The students then went to CFA Society of New York to meet with Mario Carias, CFA, Managing Director of Content and Member Services at CFA. Mr. Carias shared about the details of obtaining a CFA, and his experience on the financial sector. He also shared how different CFAs are on different fields including development.

IPED students with Mr. Carias

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IPED Career Trip in Washington D.C.

by: Patrick Fernandez ’20

Last November 15-16, the 2020 IPED cohort went to Washington DC for meetings with different government agencies and non-profit organizations. The trip started with a meeting with Tracy O’Heir ’06 and Sarah Weber ’05 who are working at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). They shared about the type of work that they do in USAID, as well as the trajectory of their careers so far. They also gave tips to IPED students on what they need to focus on if they want to work for government organizations such as USAID that is involved in international development work. They particularly advised the students to be able to develop critical thinking, and writing skills. They also recommended students to study French which is useful for international development work. They shared how their work in the government helps them to balance their work and personal lives.

Tracy O’Heir ’06 (left) and Sarah Weber ’05 (right) sharing their experiences with first-year IPED students

The students then had lunch at the Department of Agriculture’s cafeteria. They then met with Brian Dutoi ’14, Jane Wilkins ’05, and Matthew Pavone ’07 who are working at the Department of Agriculture. They discussed about the different aspects of work that the department is doing, as well as its impact on the American people. They shared how their work relies heavily on economics but having a background in political science helped them in their work in the government – an advantage that IPED students get in their studies. Many students were also particularly interested in the foreign agricultural service of USDA.


First year IPED students at the Department of Agriculture

After a day of meetings, the students went to Tortilla Coast for an alumni dinner event. Several alumni who are working in Washington DC came to the dinner. The alumni shared conversations with the students especially about their time with IPED, and their professional careers. It was a night filled with overflowing food, fun, and conversations.

The next day, the students went to see Cameron Hinkson ’13 from Chemonics. Chemonics is a private international development company that works in 150 countries for government agencies and nonprofits. Most of their projects are funded by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Mr. Hinkson shared about the impact that they’ve done in developing countries. He also shared how he was able to shift his career to the development sector through Chemonics.

Cameron Hinkson ’13 sharing his experience working for Chemonics

First year IPED students at Chemonics


After a stop at the White House, the students went to the Elephant and Castle Restaurant to have lunch and to meet with Constance Handley ’97 and Patrick O’Connor  ’09 who are working at the Department of Commerce. They shared about the role that they play for the government as well as how it affects American traders. They particularly highlighted how IPED students can utilize both their skills in economics and political science in the government. They also shared how their work is quantitative heavy and the importance of SAS to analyze data. Samantha Kinney ’18 was also there to share her experience working for the government while being a Presidential Management Fellow. She shared her experience, and some tips, for applying to the Presidential Management Fellowship. They shared the different avenues on how students can apply for a government job like applying through the portal. They particularly recommended though, to apply to the Presidential Management Fellowship if the students really want to work for the government.

Constance Handley ’97 (top), Patrick O’Connor ’09 (middle), and Samantha Kinney ’18 (bottom) speaking to IPED students about their work in the government


IPED students having lunch with alumni

The students ended their trip with a tour of the US Capitol courtesy of the office of Senator Chuck Schumer.



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United Nations Trip 2018

by: Patrick Fernandez ’20

Last October 26, first-year IPED students had a full day of meetings and tour at the United Nations complex in Manhattan, New York. The day started with a meeting with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Nature for Development Team with a presentation by Nicole DeSantis, Programme Specialist for the New York Declaration on Forests. She was also joined by the other members of the team: Martin Sommerschuh, Programme Analyst for the Equator Initiative; Maddie Craig, Programme Specialist for the New York Declaration on Forests; and Meghna Ravishankar, Programme Consultant for the New York Declaration on Forests. They talked about the different projects that their team in UNDP is doing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which includes the Equator Prize, UN Biodiversity Lab, and Policy Support for governments among many others. The students had questions on the role of private firms, impact assessment, political limitations, and nature-based solutions for indigenous peoples.

Nicole DeSantis explaining the work they do in UNDP

IPED students during the meeting with UNDP

Discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals

IPED students together with the UNDP Nature for Development Team

The students then headed to UNICEF to have a meeting with Tyler Porth, Statistics Specialist at UNICEF. Mr. Porth presented the importance and impact of data and statistics in their work at UNICEF. He also highlighted their effort on making their programs easy-to-use for the people on the ground so that more informed decisions backed up by data can be made. Mr. Porth also shared his experiences of going into the communities in different countries and actually seeing the impact of the data and statistics they are analyzing. The students asked him for tips on studying statistics tools, his favorite part of the job, and the effects of technology on developing countries.

IPED students at UNICEF

Meeting with Mr. Tyler Porth from UNICEF

IPED students together with Mr. Tyler Porth

The group then had lunch at the UN Delegates Dining Room together with some second year IPED students and Mr. Bruno Brant, IPED alumnus ’01.

Lunch at the UN Delegates Dining Room

Dr. Schwalbenberg together with IPED alumnus, Bruno Brant ’01

In the afternoon, the group proceeded to the US Mission for a meeting with Millie Meyers, Director of Special projects, Jason Lawrence, Adviser for Economic and Social Affairs (Foreign Service Officer), and James Duke (IPED ’19), who currently interns at the US mission. James shared his experience of working for the US mission and the process he had to undergo. They also shared about the different paths available in foreign service. Mr. Lawrence also shared about the difficulty of balancing professional and personal life because of the demands of the job. He noted, though, that it is manageable and the administration has been improving over the years.

IPED students and the representatives from the US Mission

The day ended with a tour of the United Nations Headquarters. The guide took us to the different chambers and halls of the headquarters. There were a lot of informative history about the UN that the guide highlighted while we make the tour.

One of the many artwork at the UN Headquarters depicting man’s struggle and journey for peace

IPED students at the UN Security Council Hall

A mural at the UN Headquarters depicting the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl

IPED Students at the UN General Assembly Hall

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South Africa Emerging Markets Study 2018

By: Mohammed Masudur Rahman ‘19

Every year, select IPED students from Fordham University participate in an exchange program with University of Pretoria, South Africa. The Advanced Certificate in Emerging Markets & Country Risk Analysis includes three courses on Finance, Political Risk Analysis, and Emerging Markets. As a part of this endeavor, a group of five students from IPED and Economics department went to South Africa in August of 2018 to participate in the Emerging Markets: South Africa course module.

The students were hosted in University of Pretoria campus in Pretoria where they took part in rigorous coursework, gave presentations, and made visits to various important financial and industry institutions, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Public Investment Corporation (PIC). Students were also immersed in local culture through excursions to local communities, heritage sites and tourist attractions.

Fordham Students in South Africa sharing a meal with fellow South African students

Fordham Students at University of Pretoria campus

The students learned about various emerging markets including a focus on South Africa. The Emerging Markets course equipped them with knowledge of current market dynamics, ability to collect, analyze and read micro indicator data and use them to assess market potential of emerging economies. The course ended with the students writing investment reports on various emerging markets.

The Emerging Markets cohort was joined by students from South Africa in their visits to various top level institutes. The visits included some of South Africa’s top institutions: Industrial Development Corporation, Public Investment Corporation, South Africa Reserve Bank, Standard Bank, BRICS, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, US Chamber of Commerce, National Economic Development and Labor Council, and the National Union of Metalworkers in South Africa.

Group of Students at Industrial Development Corporation, South Africa

Group of Students at National Economic Development and Labor Council, South Africa

The trip was also full of excursions where the students got to visit iconic tourist and heritage sites around Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto. Some of the most memorable visits included Robben Island, Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, the home of Winnie Mandela on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, and the Cradle of Humankind. The final week of the trip was spent exploring game reserves and safari in Krueger National Park.

Group of Students at the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town

Group of Students in front of the Table Mountain, one of the natural wonders

Visiting Heritage Sites including the Mandela Statue

One of the Big Five Animals students saw during the Krueger National Park visit

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2018 Summer Internship Series: Kyle Bawot in Brazil

By: Kyle Bawot ’19

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend the month of July studying Portuguese in the Brazilian port city of Santos. This opportunity was made possible thanks to IPED’s Summer Stipend, which provided the means to arrange my travel, accommodation, and Portuguese classes. Additionally, my company gave me permission to spend the month working remotely (as I work full time and study part time). Overall, this language immersion program was an excellent experience and, ultimately, will be crucial in helping me achieve my professional goals.

With my Portuguese teacher in front of Casa Branca language school in Santos, Brazil.

I work in the coffee industry and one of my major career goals is to create change along the coffee supply chain to improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers. My IPED coursework is helping me strengthen certain skills that will help me achieve this goal, but one required skill is best learned out of the classroom: the ability to speak Spanish and Portuguese (the coffee industry’s key languages). To create impact in the coffee industry, knowing Spanish and Portuguese is a great advantage for it allows one to engage directly with coffee farmers, cooperatives, brokers, and exporters throughout Latin America.

With four colleagues in front of the Coffee Museum in Santos, Brazil

I speak Spanish from having served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, but my Portuguese was limited. For that reason, I applied to study Portuguese in Brazil and, specifically, in the city of Santos, the major coffee-exporting port in Brazil. During my month long stay, I took Portuguese lessons at a local language institute during the evenings and weekends. Then, during the day, I worked remotely from my company’s Brazil office, which provided the additional benefit of conversing in Portuguese with my Brazilian colleagues throughout the day. Thanks to this experience, my Portuguese improved markedly and I am now better equipped to work towards my professional goals in the coffee industry.

With IPED classmate Donovan Hotz in front of São Paulo See Metropolitan Cathedral in São Paulo, Brazil

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