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A Future Career in Emerging Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa

photo of gloria

Gloria Kebirungi
MA '19
International Political Economy

Q: What encouraged you to apply to Johns Hopkins SAIS?

A: Outside of the school being one of the leading graduate programs in international affairs, I chose to apply because of its rigor in quantitative skills. I was confident that the curriculum would equip me with the analytical skills and expertise necessary to critically analyze fundamental development issues and systematically devise practical solutions. I was also really impressed with the diverse qualifications within the workplace that many of the professors had outside the classroom. Having that applicable perspective within the classroom was very important to me.

Q: What were you doing before attending the school?

A: Prior to enrolling, I was working at a boutique financial and corporate advisory firm in Nairobi, Kenya that provides advisory services to public and private organizations in matters pertaining to capital structure, restructuring, and resource optimization. My work involved identifying mergers and acquisitions targets, capital allocation programs, ongoing monitoring and management of strategic investments, and corporate turnaround programs where required. 

Q: What are some activities you participated in outside the classroom?

A: I was involved in the SAIS Africa Association, Consulting Club, and also had the opportunity to take part in the Israel trek with a bunch of fellow students over the winter break where we had the privilege to engage with the Israeli culture, tour different historical sites, speak with various policy makers, as well as entrepreneurs and even some Israeli students who joined us throughout the trip.

Q: What has been one of your top experiences at the school?

A: There have been quite a number of speakers from the speaker series that I have really enjoyed. In no particular order: Madeleine Albright, Gloria Estefan, Bill Gates, Wolf Blitzer. They’ve also been a number of speakers for different departments especially the Energy, Resources and Environment and African Studies departments that I have learned a lot from through their on the ground work and research experiences. 

Q: What do you hope to do with your degree after you graduate?

A: As an International Political Economy (IPE) concentrator with a minor in African studies, my interests lay in understanding and bridging the gap between the needs of the state and its citizens as well as merging that with private sector interests and understanding the role they play. IPE acknowledges a variety of local and international actors in enhancing economic activity while enhancing state interests. I hope to apply these IPE interdisciplinary tools and concepts within emerging markets with a geographical focus on Sub Saharan Africa.

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