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MSF Program Alumni Profile and Spotlight: Ari Alushaj

Global Education - Global Career

Image of Ari Alushaj, MSF '10

Ari Alushaj, MSF '10
Tirana, Albania

Master of Science in Finance 2010

Current employment: Bank of New York Mellon, Corporate Action Global Custody Senior Specialist

Previous work experience: Investors Bank and Trust

As a Global Custody Senior Specialist at Bank of New York Mellon, Ari Alushaj, MSF ’10 is responsible for managing and controlling high levels of risk and liability for the bank’s clients in over 65 markets around the world. Every day, she helps oversee cash and security transactions worth millions of dollars in foreign currency. 

“It’s a challenging job, but two years ago I decided I wanted to give my career a boost, so I started to look into graduate school,” she says. “I wanted a program that was globally focused, had a rigorous curriculum, and would enable me to go to school but still work full-time.”

The Master of Science in Finance degree at Brandeis International Business School (IBS) was an ideal match. Alushaj admits that balancing graduate studies with her grueling work schedule wasn’t always easy. “But it was well worth it,” she says. “I always looked forward to class–spending time with my fellow students and hearing lectures from amazing Brandeis professors. It was such a stimulating environment.”

For Alushaj, who was born in Albania and moved to the U.S. as a teenager, the highlight of the program was the diverse and international student body. “We’d dissect a case and there was always someone in the class who had done the kind of work we were discussing who could give the rest of the class a first-hand account of how things happen in reality,” she says. “One day in a class on corporate governance, we talked about the financial fraud case at Parmalat, the Italian food and dairy company. There were students in the class from Italy who had grown up with the company. They understood why it collapsed-they lived it-and they helped give the rest of us context. It made business and finance come alive.”

The program’s emphasis on teamwork has also served her well. “A lot of your professional success is determined by how well you work with others,” she says. “At Brandeis IBS, we did many group projects where we had to learn how to merge different work styles to get the job done. We had to learn to work as a team, and take advantage of the fact that we all bring different strengths and perspectives to the table. That’s exactly the way it is in the real world.”

She is confident the network she created at Brandeis IBS will be of great benefit to her career. “The contacts I made at Brandeis IBS–both students and professors–have been so supportive in helping me plot my next big career move,” she says. “Since I graduated, a number of exciting professional opportunities have cropped up. My plan is to stay with my current company for a while longer, but eventually I’d like to work abroad at a global financial services or legal company.”