Ana Paula Saravia is graduating from St. Mary’s University in May 2021.
She left her family in Peru to pursue a career in economics. Paula said It was a difficult transition for her and was very nervous because she was young and in a new country.
“The culture was very different than what I was used to. I was also very scared about English because that’s my second language,” Paula said.
Paula chose economics because she said it will help her do something about the inequality and poverty issues she saw in her country growing up.
“I think I want to have like an impactful role. I always plan to go back to Peru if possible and I think that studying here in the U.S. is a good opportunity to learn a lot of new things and be able to go back and give back,” Paula said.
Paula was recruited by St. Mary’s in 2016 as part of a program designed to recruit outstanding students from Peru.
Rosalind Alderman, vice provost for enrollment management, said they saw that Paula was a very unassuming leader.
“You would think of her first a little bit shy, but once you really start to talk to her, you realize the depth of everything that she’s known.”
During her last year, Paula did research about retirement savings and credit associations in Peru. With help from her professor, she wrote a piece that will be published by the Oxford University Press.
Now, she will be moving again.
“I was accepted at John Hopkins University for their PHD program in economics, so that’s what I’m gonna be doing the next five years.”
Paula will be heading to Maryland with a full scholarship.
“I’m very happy with everything I’ve done. I want to say that I wouldn’t regret anything and I’m happy things happened the way they did,” Paula said.
Assistant Professor of Economics Belinda Román believes Paula will probably end up being President of Peru, a minister or someone high up in the government, helping shape policy.