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Maria Guzman, Master of Economic Policy

Maria Guzman

Master of Economic Policy

Maria Guadalupe Sandoval Guzman has combined study, research and industry engagement programs with representing her country in international forums focused on sustainable development.

Her desire to understand the world and to put knowledge into practice has led her to undertake a Master of Economic Policy.

What did you do prior to your study at ANU?

I hold a Bachelor of International Studies from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico -where I am from- with exchanges to the University of Washington in the United States and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, in Germany. 
I have worked as a research and teaching assistant in the fields of economics and North American and Pacific Studies; as the coordinator of an industry-academia program for the private sector and, recently, I have also had the honour to represent my country as Mexican youth delegate to the G20 (Y20 Australia 2014) and Mexican youth delegate to the Earth Charter initiative in Peru, both focused on subjects of sustainable development, economic growth, and opportunities for youth; areas for which I received an award by the World Bank Mexico in 2010.

What are you studying, and why did you decide to undertake this particular degree?

I am currently studying the Master of Economic Policy. My decision was based on an inherent need to understand the world, and then do something with this analysis. Economic policy offers strong theoretical foundations and –a key factor for me– I expect it will foster my abilities in the assessment and creation of initiatives, in good policy-making. This program offers a variety of courses in different subject areas and this gives flexibility to tailor it to your specific interests, which I believe is particularly important for postgraduate students.

Why did you choose to study at ANU?

After being in Australia during its G20 presidency, I fell in love with the country. People are so warm and have such a friendly disposition it felt like home, and I thought it would be a great place to continue with postgraduate studies, especially because I find the Australian economy and policies to be very interesting and unique. The decision to apply to ANU was a natural one for me –if I was coming to Australia for policy, it had to be ANU. It is such a prestigious university and so well-ranked internationally. After being accepted into the program I was also honoured to be selected as an Endeavour scholar by the Australian Department of Education, and that just made it all possible. It has been an incredible opportunity.

What has been your favourite course (or who has been your favourite lecturer) so far, and why?

It is hard to name just one. Looking at their CVs and publications it feels like such a privilege to attend classes with them, but above all, our lecturers and tutors are as passionate as they are knowledgeable, and still very approachable and interested in helping students learn and understand the material. This has been true not only for program lecturers, but also the academics in CBE and different colleges at ANU. If you meet them at a conference or event, it is a delight to talk to them and you end up getting invaluable professional advice.

I have to say, though, there is one course that takes the award for most creative first lecture –I will not give too many details so as not to spoil it for future students, but it involved a colourful tie.

What is it about ANU that you think sets it apart from other universities in Australia?

It is The Australian National University, so from a very fundamental level one already knows it is going to be at the forefront of research, academics, and policy development. Internationally, it tops the rankings for many subjects and, considering how young an institution it is compared to the ones with which it shares those positions, it gave me an accurate idea of the quality of the programs I would be enrolled at. Finally, there is the professional side-advantage of being in Canberra and having access to all of the federal departments, consulting companies, think tanks… right where the action is.

What are your career goals?

I see myself working in Mexican federal agencies or international organisations focused on economic development, especially in the fields of poverty alleviation, the reduction of inequality, and environmental conservation; in the short-run I plan to continue my postgraduate studies with a PhD and undertake research in these areas. I also think it is very important, as a young female professional, to look for leadership opportunities where I can apply my knowledge and interests and hopefully make a valuable contribution in solving even a tiny part of those global issues.

What is your favourite thing about Canberra?

It is the best of both worlds. In a five-minute walk you can go from the city centre to a green area of big trees and fauna. There are many cultural and gastronomic options to choose from, and yet you have a quiet environment to focus on your studies and work. And although Canberra does not have a very large population compared to other cities, everyone is so friendly and you can feel the sense of community. It really is such an idyllic place to live.

Some of my personal favourites: Waking up to the singing of birds, the organic gardens where you can volunteer, and the array of vegan bakeries –oh my!

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about undertaking postgrad studies?

Just do it. Apply. That is the first step. Whether you are coming straight from your undergrad or have been working for a couple of years, if you are thinking about postgraduate studies it means you have identified personal or professional benefits to it. Make sure your profile fits with the program, and the program with your career plans. Then, if you are coming to business or economics: The second after you apply, get super serious about your Math. The ranking of ANU means your courses will be demanding --and fun! Study, study, study. Already on your multi-hour flight to get here? Study some more.

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Updated:   12 April 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Dean, Business & Economics / Page Contact:  College Web Team