Dario Martinez, MIA ’15, reflects on 2014 and his time at SIPA

Dario Martinez (SIPA ’15) poses with his family in Honduras. From left to right: Cinthia Martinez- Rivera, Dario Martinez,  Jeffrey Berger (SIPA ‘11), Tania Martinez (SIPA ‘11) and his two nephews Sebastian and Fernando Rivera (potential recruits for 2030 and 2032).

Dario Martinez (SIPA ’15) poses with his family in Honduras. From left to right: Cinthia Martinez-Rivera, Dario Martinez, Jeffrey Berger (SIPA ‘11), Tania Martinez (SIPA ‘11) and his two nephews Sebastian and Fernando Rivera (potential recruits for 2030 and 2032).

The New Year is almost here, and we can hardly wait to see where it’ll take us and our amazing applicants! Before the countdown in this part of the world begins, we thought we’d share a note from Dario Martinez, MIA ’15, who reflects on 2014 and his first days while at SIPA:

After being away a full year, I am back to my hometown in Tegucigalpa, Honduras for the holidays. It is nice to go back home and to spend quality time with my family and my lifelong friends. Like in previous years, our family gatherings are lots of fun and we have delicious food, Latin music and great stories! During our conversations, we discuss local politics, entrepreneurship and economics, and we also reminisce about the last year. This year was especially important for our family because my sister and her long-time boyfriend, both SIPA alumni, got married and decided to spend the holidays with us.

In conversations with them, I shared my experiences while at SIPA and exploring NYC. I briefed them on the challenges I faced in my courses, like Economic Analysis I and II, and the joys of the great friendships I developed while attending Columbia University. It is humbling to think that two years ago, I was just an applicant reviewing my essays, submitting my application and anxiously awaiting an admissions decision.  I was ecstatic when I received my acceptance letters, and more so when I was admitted to my first-choice: SIPA! I originally learned about the program through personal research and conversations with alumni like my sister. Like my classmates, I ultimately chose SIPA over other high-caliber programs because I felt its rigorous academic offerings, its strategic location in NYC and its strong international alumni network were closely align to my professional and personal goals. Thus, I happily embarked in a new adventure!

I remember being excited to start classes in one of the best programs in the world and meeting my new classmates. During orientation, SIPA Dean Merit Janow welcomed us and quoted prior students saying “I didn’t missed one class” and “I made life friends and impactful connections.” Fast forwarding to the present, I am about to start my last semester at SIPA, and these quotes are more meaningful to me now than ever. I definitely look forward to going back to campus this spring, taking challenging classes, like “Cost-Benefit Analysis,” and catching up with my SIPA family and friends.

In a couple of months, I will be graduating from SIPA, and I will be embarking in a new adventure as I return to the job market. Whatever the future has in store for me, I know I can tackle the challenges I face using the skills I honed at SIPA and its strong international alumni network!

I hope your 2014 has been as special as mine. I wish you luck in the New Year, and hope that you’ll be able to experience your own SIPA adventures in 2015.

Happy 2015,
Dario

Keep in mind, there’s still time for you to make your New Year special. Applications for fellowship consideration are due Monday, January 5, 2015. So kick off the New Year in SIPA style and submit your application today!

P.S. Just a reminder that in observance of the New Year’s Eve holiday, SIPA will be closed January 1-2, 2015. See you in the New Year!

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