Kristina Koutrakos

Why Econ?
Because I didn’t know what the stock market was and wanted to challenge myself to learn. I took Prof. Elzinga's 2010 Micro class and loved the material. I then took Prof. Burton’s class, Introduction to Financial Markets, and I was totally hooked. Ed’s a storyteller and his stories about his career path helped me figure out my own.

My career path:
I accepted a job offer from my internship between 3rd and 4th year at Western Asset Management. I loved my team, I am still in contact with them today! My first job was as a risk analyst, and I enjoyed every minute of it. After 5 years I decided to take a position in NYC at Blackrock. Fast-forward to working as the management director and investment strategist for a multi-family office which managed assets for large families.  I have always been passionate about supporting women in finance and finding avenues for women in the industry to become more successful. There was a great deal of appetite for women-run firms, but not enough research done on those firms, so I decided to conduct it myself. Female-run asset management firms have a much more difficult time getting hired compared to an equally capable male-run asset management firm.   

What I look for as the director of an investment firm:
Diverse perspectives. I find that diverse teams with diverse perspectives are the most powerful assets a company holds. I look for confidence as well. Not confident? Why not? Understand that the hiring process takes a lot of time on the applicant’s end. Don’t take things so personally. Understand that you are UVA students and incredibly talented, skilled, and motivated. Big interview tip: Take 2 minutes before an interview to think about yourself from the perspective of the person who loves you most.

Advice for current students:
Work hard and follow your passion. Don’t follow the money, follow the passion. I’ve seen so many people make life-altering decisions for money. They traded meaning for wealth. The people I know who have been challenged and decided to follow their passions, those people somehow always end up being the most successful.