By Darya Yanitskaya
For 2004 graduate Artan Ajazaj, from Kosovo, AUBG’s economics program became a molding experience that led him to a successful international career. Artan currently serves as Investment Officer at the Treasury of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and is one of the people responsible for managing all the World Bank money disbursed to countries for loans or for various projects.
Assessing market risk and sorting through tons of data are part and parcel of Artan’s job, but so is being a good psychologist and dealing with many different groups and interests. “I have to be very careful about what goes to the clients and counter-parties that rely on our team for information, so it’s a mixture of market and reputational risk,” he says.
His education prepared him well to handle such diverse challenges. “AUBG gives you a well-rounded experience and a good set of skills. The economics program, in particular, gives you very strong fundamentals, helps you understand society, and opens doors to a whole new world.”
At AUBG, Artan completed two demanding majors, in Economics and Business Administration, and also minored in Fine Arts. The rigorous academic training he got prepared him to successfully meet the demands of the graduate program in finance at George Washington University (GWU), where Artan enrolled after spending some time working in his native Kosovo. The communication skills he acquired as an undergraduate also helped him to excel at interviews and land his first job at auditing giant Deloitte after graduation from AUBG.
“Working at Deloitte, I found the Corporate Finance and Money and Banking classes, among others, to be very beneficial,” he says, adding that the practical focus of his studies has been very helpful throughout his career.
But it wasn’t only the formal education he received at AUBG that has helped him along the way. The AUBG alumni network and the friends one makes at the University are an invaluable resource one can tap into to get advice about graduate schools, living arrangements, or employment opportunities.
“I applied to GWU because a good friend of mine from AUBG had been admitted there a year earlier,” Artan says. He also admits that the University’s academic reputation and the excellent education it provides helped him get the scholarship that allowed him to complete his graduate studies at GWU.
Artan’s employment with the World Bank also began with a recommendation by a trusted fellow AUBG-er. “An AUBG colleague and friend who was already working there recommended me. This is how I got to the first interview and the rest is history,” he says.