In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented global economic downturn resulting in increased unemployment figures. While it continues to be a challenging time to enter the job market, the good news is that current economic predictions are showing signs of recovery and many organizations are hiring.
“Destinations” is an interview series featuring recent CEU graduates who secured jobs during the pandemic. We spoke to Anna Augusztin who graduated with a Masters in Economics from CEU in 2020 and is now working as a macroeconomic analyst at OGResearch in Budapest. Below is an edited version of our August 26 conversation.
What was your path to CEU?
I chose CEU for the great faculty, international community and strong professional program. I was very satisfied with my studies here—a great economics program and interdisciplinary courses in areas including environmental studies and public policy. This really broadened my knowledge, not only for my work but also for my personal development. Being at the university also helped me improve my English skills. I made a lot of talented international friends I would not otherwise have had the chance to meet.
How did you begin working at OGResearch?
As an economist you can, for example, work in the academic sphere or in the public sphere; you can work with governments and international institutions; you can choose micro- or macro-economics; to be with a firm or a specific industry; work in finance; also data-driven methodological work - which I see as a trending path at the moment. I wanted to stay in Hungary to support my country and to focus on macroeconomics, which I like most and find to be valuable for society. To that end, I sought a role in the private sector with an international atmosphere. It turned out to be a perfect match.
I applied early and used my networks to get into the company. My CEU professors provided feedback on my professional application as well as personal guidance, which led to a successful process.
What do you do in this role?
I'm an analyst at OGResearch, a macroeconomic modeling firm focused on developing economies. I'm part of the team that analyzes the countries based on economic models. My job is to very rapidly understand a country's economic and political situation in order to make and validate model results. We are calculating and predicting yield curves for developing countries without significant markets. We also provide teaching assistants to developing countries seeking support from a macroeconomics consultancy.
I think in today's world, the generation of simple and clear projections from experts is very important , while the teaching assistants provide support in helping these countries develop on a macro level. I find the job particularly interesting, and the people working in this company are extremely experienced and talented. It's a place where I think I can learn a lot.
What advice do you have for new graduates seeking their next career step?
The job search is a pivotal part of one’s life. For those in economic studies, we're doing a lot of math and modeling, but we spend less time on speaking and presenting, which are an important part of the job-seeking process and for professional presentation. I think students should use every opportunity to speak and practice communication skills and work with CEU’s Career Services to help create a strong CV. It’s also important to use your network. You can be assertive because you have strong knowledge and a great diploma coming out of CEU.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with CEU’s global community?
CEU has been a strong and important part of the Hungarian higher education system and a very symbolic presence in civil society. It played an important role for me at a personal level and I feel lucky to have studied at CEU in Budapest. I really hope that in the near future the political climate will change in a way that Hungary will not push great institutions out of the country.
CEU’s Career Services Office serves students and recent graduates through resources and assistance to help them make an impact around the world and chart their next steps. Check out the office’s annual Destinations Reports to learn more about the career outcomes of CEU graduates.