“What I liked a lot about CEU was its international focus – it was the first exposure in my life to such a diverse multinational and multilingual community,” says Vitaly Pruzhansky, who is now a senior competition economist at RBB Economics in Brussels. After completing his MA at CEU, he earned an MPhil and a PhD in just four years at the Free University of Amsterdam. While initially tempted to stay in academia, he could not resist an offer from McKinsey & Company.
“There I was challenged in new ways, but in the same time I felt I wasn’t getting a fair return on my investment in my PhD. Then I chose the niche of economic consulting, because it linked academic-type work with real life policy questions.”
RBB Economics is Europe’s leading consultancy specializing in competition issues. Now Pruzhansky works on merger cases, defends clients in cartel allegations or market dominance inquiries. Providing competition advice to the clients means producing an expert report and defending the results before competition authorities and courts in different countries, including the CIS. His advice to CEU students? “Don’t be afraid of taking new directions. You have to experiment. I never dreamed of becoming a competition economist, but I’m quite happy with my choice.”
Pruzhansky recently came to Budapest to do a recruiting presentation at the Department of Economics. “Our company is always interested in ambitious, highly motivated candidates, who have passion for economics and want to work on complex, intellectually challenging issues. I want to recruit students from CEU because I consider it to be one of the best universities in Eastern Europe.”