Wednesday, July 19, 2017

MAGR Curriculum Provides Students Ideal Setting to Test Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches Towards Understanding Risk and Uncertainty

This summer, Angelina Magal, a student in the Masters of Arts in Global Risk program, is completing her summer intership at Philips, in The Netherlands, following her academic year at SAIS Europe.  In their second summer term in SAIS’s MAGR program, students complete  a capstone project. Below are Angelina’s reflections on the experience.


Amsterdam, The Netherlands
As part of the Master of Arts in Global Risk program at SAIS, we are required to complete a capstone project with a company.  I was offered the opportunity to complete this project at Philips, where I am interning with the Risk Management, Markets and Business Development support (RMMBDs) team.  RMM&BDs supports and advises Country and Markets on the proactive identification, prioritization and mitigation of risks (strategic, operational, financial, compliance) related to new business-models, solutions, strategic partnerships and entry strategies in high-risk countries. The internship is four months long and based in the Philips headquarters in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Angelina Magal, MAGR 2017
During the academic year at SAIS, we covered qualitative and quantitative approaches towards understanding risk and uncertainty.  My summer internship is an ideal setting to apply these skills in a business context.  One of the most interesting takeaways from this experience is that the MAGR degree ultimately provides you with a holistic, multifaceted understanding of risk. I constantly combine a variety of skills, methodologies, and theories that are sourced from different classes at SAIS.  For example, when analyzing country risks,  I draw upon knowledge from economics and international relations courses for the overall context.  However, in order to tailor my assessment towards Philips in particular, I also simultaneously utilize the ability to incorporate “point of view” in risk assessment, and depend on a thorough understanding of corporate finance. 
The environment in RMMBDs is engaging and supportive, and everyone brings a self-motivated, collaborative and positive attitude to the office.  This atmosphere is pervasive throughout Philips, and I am looking forward to the remainder of the practicum!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer Internship in Bogota Puts Theory into Practice

Following his first year at SAIS Europe, as part of a recurring summer series of articles chronicling our students’ internships, Latin American Studies Concentrator Eli BirgĂ© is spending his summer in Bogota. Below are his first reflections on the experience.

Bogota, Colombia
My summer internship in Bogota has been an elegant capstone to two semesters of study in Bologna, Italy. The experience has led me from Latin Europe to Latin America, from the Apennines to the Andes and from development theory into practice.

The Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) is Latin America's home-grown development bank. The infrastructure team where I work is dedicated to improving Colombia's global competitiveness and domestic inclusivity through improved industrial integration and mobility.
Eli Birgé, 1yr MA student

Now is a particularly exciting time for Colombian infrastructure. Despite being endowed with immense natural resource wealth (second only to Brazil on the continent), Colombia's industrial hubs and ports are disjointed from each other by three Andean cordilleras, jungles, rivers and lousy roads. CAF's concerted effort to break this socio-economic bottleneck could unlock the country's impressive growth potential. 

My role on the infrastructure team has given me the chance to burnish the skills I acquired at SAIS, particularly in project finance, excel modelling and Spanish. Most projects are ad hoc, and my supervisor gives me the latitude to tailor them to my professional objectives. 

SAIS reunion in Bogota, Colombia
Although the workdays are long (about eleven hours) Bogota offers plenty of diversions. On weekends I take my bicycle onto the non-motorized ciclovias, discover a new fruit at the outdoor markets or crash quincinieras at the salsa clubs.  I even recently was able to attend a SAIS reunion here in Bogota. In all, my summer internship following my year at SAIS Europe in Bologna, has been off to a great start!