On 18 September, Eurasia Group will host “Politics in Focus,”
the premier political risk conference for students, at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the top trends shaping today's geopolitics and careers in political risk from Eurasia Group analysts. Latin America expert Ana Abad
provides some initial thoughts below.
Why did you decide to go into this field?
Latin America is a region humming with political developments and unexpected twists and turns. Growing up there, I found myself consumed by the news and always engaged in discussions about policy issues, as well as elections and their impact. This was also the case throughout my college experience, putting me on a path toward the political risk industry. The type of work Eurasia Group does is precisely what inspired me to join this field, engaging with my co-workers in their different areas of expertise and geopolitics in general.
How did your academic background prepare you for this?
I completed a bachelor's degree in international affairs and economics from George Washington University, as well as shorter programs of study at the Colegio de Mexico and Sciences Po. These studies helped me build a strong foundation in Latin American history, politics, and economics. They also helped me acquire an understanding of the theory of international relations as well as the quantitative skills that allow critical thinking on the issues shaping my region.
Did you have internship in the industry? How did you get it?
I was able to get experience interning in the government, NGO, and think tank spheres. Going to school in DC allowed me to attend public events where I was able to connect with professionals in the field. My biggest advice would be to network and create strong relationships—each one has the potential to unlock new opportunities.
What will you be discussing at the conference? Why did you decide to participate as a panelist?
I jumped at the offer to participate on the panel, as it offered me the opportunity to do what I enjoy most: debate with my colleagues about the events unfolding around us. I will provide a regional perspective on how political risk has evolved over the years and how it is different today. I will be talking about the new wave of Latin American populism and this year's busy electoral cycle. With Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's recent win in Mexico, the upcoming Brazilian election, and Argentina gearing up for its own vote next year, I think my presentation will provide some interesting insights.