Yuliya Ivanova ’07

Yuliya-Ivanovass with buildings behind her.

Wesleyan was the start of it all

Yuliya Ivanova, Ph.D. ’07, works as a quantitative associate for the Washington, D.C., office of Promontory Financial Group, an IBM Company and leading financial services consulting firm with eighteen offices across the U.S., Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Her duties include model validation, advising financial institutions on risk management and regulatory compliance, and performing quantitative economic analyses including risk quantification. She also develops statistical models for her clients to use to comply with stress test regulations of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires the Federal Reserve to conduct annual stress tests on certain financial companies including national banks and federal savings associations. 

“Wesleyan was the start of it all,” says this economics and business administration double major with minors in finance and mathematics. “My interest in finance and investments started in the business department at Wesleyan through the courses and internship experience I had with Dr. Phil Taylor (retired 2018). The training in business, economics, and mathematics I received was a great basis for both my M.B.A. and Ph.D. coursework.” 

Coming to Wesleyan from Botevgrad, Bulgaria, Yuliya earned an international student full-tuition merit scholarship all four years. “Wesleyan provided a great combination of excellent academics, direct instruction from professors (vs. TAs), a diverse international student body, and a safe environment for an eighteen-year-old moving thousands of miles from home.”

Yuliya says the presentations she made for honor courses as part of the dissertation series at Wesleyan were crucial to building the communication skills that are key in her job today. “The business department at Wesleyan was like family. It provided both a nurturing and a challenging learning environment and was key in building my confidence as a young professional. The liberal arts education provided the opportunity to be creative, take art classes, and participate in theater plays, even for one majoring in the exact sciences. The creativity and resourcefulness that one builds through this process also helps to develop a more balanced and well-rounded character.”

Yuliya earned her master’s degree in finance and investments and her Ph.D. in finance from the University of Iowa’s Henry B. Tippie College of Business. In May 2016 she married Joe Matar who serves as marketing director for a technology company in the D.C. area. 

This article ran in WESmag Spring 2019 issue.

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