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Student Spotlight: Andrew Camaj-Investment Banking

My name is Andrew Camaj I’m a rising senior and currently a Finance and Business Analytics major studying in the Villanova School of Business. I grew up in Paramus NJ, a suburb on the outskirts of New York City. Soon I hope to have career working inside the “Big Apple” in the banking sector that has made New York the financial capital of the world. I’ve chosen this career path because I want to be a catalyst for economic growth. Proper financing is what allows corporations to continue to prosper. The strong banking sector in the

US is what has allowed US companies to grow so large and in turn has made the US into the superpower it is today.

Education has always been a focal point of my family. Both of my parents and my sister have a bachelor’s degree. I always have been thankful to attend an American University because my father attended school in the former Yugoslavia. That being said I decided to study abroad in the Czech Republic for a semester. I wanted to under- stand Finance from a global perspective. In today’s digital world economies are intertwined. So it is difficult to be competitive without a firm understanding of the Financial sector in other parts of the globe. During the 2nd semes ter of junior year I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime by studying abroad. I wanted a change of pace from the American college lifestyle. I had no idea how much I would learn from studying abroad. I assumed that 4 months would seem like a small vacation, but it felt like a lifetime away from the world I’ve become so accustomed to. I chose to study abroad in Europe, because that is where my family originates from. However, I was well aware of the disparity in the cost of living in Europe. A bag of groceries in Paris France will cost much more than a bag of groceries than in Vilnius Lithuania. I wanted a balance of low cost of living and academic rigor. I settled on Charles University located in Prague, Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic uses the Koruna as a currency. With an exchange rate of 1 US Dollar to 20 Koruna, it is a very affordable city. When going abroad, regardless of the intention, a favorable exchange rate will allow one to do more and spend less.

Education has always been important to me. I am a double major in Finance and Business Analytics pursuing a career in the Financial sector. As the world becomes ever more global I saw studying abroad as an opportunity to be more competitive in the job market. Charles University is one of few universities to offer a study abroad program specifically designed for business students. I took two Finance courses and one Economics courses alongside European students. I realized that New York is really the financial hub of the world. The Czech Re- public, like most other Eastern European countries, has no investment banks. I always knew that the US was the land of opportunity. However, it was put into perspective when I saw students in the Czech Republic examining the US economy more than that of the EU. Most students I spoke to had internships, but they were unpaid, even in banks. They looked at me like I had won the lottery when I told them I lived in close proximity to New York city. Overall, studying abroad really made me realize that the US is in the top position in the global financial sector.

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