Reneta Kugele graduated in 2009 and is a Vice President, Investment Services, Bank of New York Mellon in Frankfurt, Germany.
After receiving my B.A. in International Political Studies and Public Relations from a small liberal arts college in Missouri, Drury University, I moved to DC to work for a public relations & crisis communications firm – Levick Strategic Communications. I wanted to acquire practical experience before proceeding with my master’s degree. Following two years at Levick, I wanted to build upon my bachelor’s degree in International Political Studies and was looking for programs focused specifically on diplomacy and political economy. While I seriously considered several strong programs across the East Coast, MAGES stood out because of its manageable size and authenticity. At the Admitted Students Open House, I saw first-hand the personal attention given to students by both the faculty and staff, and experienced the program’s close-knit “family feel” where students’ unique interests are embraced and encouraged to thrive. As an international student from Bulgaria, the MAGES program’s scholarship opportunities also played an important role in my decision.
While in the MAGES program, I was able to take a diverse array of courses from the Walsh School of Foreign Service Government Department, the McDonough School of Business, and the Communication, Culture and Technology program in addition to MAGES core classes. I appreciated this flexibility in designing my concentration as well as in tailoring the structure of my M.A. thesis project. In addition, the MAGES alumni network and broad range of extracurricular activities – speaker events, career fairs, networking sessions, etc. enriched not only my academic experience, but further equipped me with diverse competencies which I am now able to apply in my professional career. In combination with the incredible internship opportunities that I took advantage of nearly every semester, I credit my time in the MAGES program with putting me on track for my current career.
Now at the Bank of New York Mellon in Frankfurt, I work with a diverse and ever-expanding portfolio of market players in ten countries in Central and Eastern Europe to deliver new business opportunities to the firm as well as to assist clients in executing strategic projects. The strong research and writing skills that I honed as a MAGES student, in addition to specialized knowledge in politics, economics, international development, business, and communications that I gained through my classes, have been instrumental to my professional success. My favorite parts of my job are the benefits that come from working for a global company – frequent traveling, the diversity of projects, and interacting with people from all over the world on a daily basis. I further enjoy working in a field that is directly relevant to the global economy and having an opportunity to work on projects and initiatives that are closely related to the financial market infrastructure at its core.