My Internship Experience

Abigail Chernila, CYA Fall ’18, speaks about her “exciting, challenging, and very rewarding” research internship at the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE)

IOBE is a private, non-profit, public-benefit research organization that occupies a unique position in Greek society; it is an independent body promoting research on current problems and prospects for the Greek economy while generating reliable information, analysis, and proposals for action that can be of great value to decision makers in the context of economic policy making.

When Abigail began considering her study abroad options, she visited the CYA website to research the various organizations which CYA collaborates with. As an Economics major at Bryn Mawr College, IOBE caught her attention. She immediately contacted the CYA Executive Director of Student Affairs, Nadia Melinioti, who secured her a research internship within this prestigious organization.

Abby describes her research project, which fits within the International Macroeconomic and Finance Units of IOBE, as follows: “The project focuses on measuring the impacts of different Brexit scenarios on bilateral trade relations between Britain and Greece. It seeks to quantify the impact possible scenarios will have on the trade of goods and services, the flow of human capital, and investments”. George Gatopoulos, a senior researcher at IOBE and Abi’s supervisor, explains the challenges of the project: “It is true that there is not a lot of visibility in terms of the policy outcomes of the ongoing discussions, so what we can do on our side is to just consider some scenarios while simultaneously talking with stakeholders, for instance with business people that are somehow active in one or both of these countries, and investigating how they think they could be affected by whatever outcome occurs. At this stage, we will have to wait and see what ultimately emerges before developing more concrete conclusions and findings”.

IOBE Senior Researcher George Gatopoulos with Abigail Chernila

Prior to doing research at IOBE, Abby interned at Bloomberg as an Equity Research Analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, and at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the Office of Compliance Investigations and Examinations. Interning in Greece is different, she told us, as it is more self-driven. “Because IOBE is a smaller organization, I get to help with a wide variety of projects and do impactful work. This makes the research exciting, challenging, and very rewarding.” Abi also explains how this internship has influenced her thoughts about her future career: “Before doing research at IOBE, I was not considering a career in economics, as I wanted to pursue equity research. However, I find the work at IOBE extremely interesting and I now know that I want to continue focusing on European macroeconomics on any career path I choose!

Abigail Chernila at the IOBE offices

Abby has now decided to stay in Greece and at CYA as a full-year student, pending confirmation from her school. She is very happy with the way this internship has fitted so well into her busy schedule: “Having this opportunity while studying abroad has ensured that I organize my time well. Knowing that I have a block of time set aside for research motivates me to do my coursework efficiently. Combined with the custom of doing things later in Greece, this leaves me with plenty of time to have a fun social life and to explore all that Athens has to offer. Additionally, I am still able to travel on the weekends as the internship takes place during the week”.

IOBE General Director Nikos Vettas told us that he is extremely happy with Abby’s work so far, praising her excellent research skills and professionalism. This is one of the many reasons he is keen to extend the partnership between IOBE and CYA in the future.