Brandeis International Business School

Cecilia Maya, MA’00, PhD’04: From Colombia to Boston—and back

Cecilia Maya MA '00, PhD '04
Why did you decide to study in the U.S.?

I grew up in Colombia and attended college there, but I always dreamed of going to graduate school overseas. I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to live in a place with a different culture and surround myself with people from other countries. I had worked as a commercial banker, first at Banco de Bogotá and later at Banco Real. My career in finance flourished, and having a PhD was important to me.

Why did you choose Brandeis?

Brandeis offered a combined program in finance and economics. The program prepares students for careers in global business, trade and policy: which is exactly what I wanted to study. Also, I love the city of Boston, and Brandeis is an easy half-hour bus-ride away.

What are your fondest memories of Brandeis?

My fellow students were from all around the globe. The international environment at Brandeis left a big impression on me. It gave me new perspectives and different ways of seeing global issues. It was like traveling the world every day.

My professor Blake LeBaron is an expert in high-technology finance. He made very difficult things simple and interesting. He taught us how to really do research, starting with the thinking process and ending with mastering the analysis. I also remember going to hear lectures by important managers, politicians and academics that came to the school. I learned so much from these experiences.

Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance
Class of 2000, Fulbright Scholar

PhD in International Economics and Finance
Class of 2004

Chief Operating Officer, Markets, XM

Previous experience
Universidad EAFIT, Banco de Bogotá, Banco Real, XM Filial de ISA 

Home Country

Vina Nguyen
Vina Nguyen


Lara Loewenstein
Lara Loewenstein

MA’12, PhD’16

Raffi Garcia
Raffi Garcia