"Planet Money" Writer
Researched and wrote analyses of the financial crisis that explained the structures and relationships in non-technical language.
Authored studies of business situations for use in the MBA curriculum. Interviewed principal players and crafted a narrative that serves as the basis for coursework and classroom discussion.
Reviewed commercialization plans of candidates for National Science Foundation grants.
Advised a social networking site on reaching new audiences and improving retention.
Developed firm’s format for presenting best practices and guidelines for improvement.
Recommended a new client engagement model to a venture capital fund in Central America.
Active Member, General Management Association, Social Enterprise Club, Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization, Private Equity/Venture Capital Club, Hispanic Business Association.
Advanced coursework in Team Leadership, Corporate Finance, International Business.
Selected Peer Advisor, Hermes Society, Cluster Leadership Team.
Club Community Projects
Teaching: Alpine Skiing (8 seasons’ instructional experience), astronomy teaching assistant, English tutor.
Writing: Selected to present original research papers at four academic conferences.
Interests: Jazz trumpet, volunteering outdoors (assistant crew leader, Washington Trails Association).
I wish to work on the evaluation and management of investment opportunities in emerging economies (particularly Latin America and the Middle East).I hope to lead teams to address complex the strategic and financial barriers facing companies seeking to expand their operational and marketing coverage into relatively untested geographies.My ideal position would challenge me to draw upon the frameworks of corporate finance and strategy development that I learned at Columbia to synthesize assessments of local market conditions, qualitative research into the social and political climate and experience with the operational capabilities of the company.
I’ve found that investors tend to use assumptions from American and European business environments to make projections of company and market growth in other countries; as a result, they may overlook local risks, such as potential regulatory and tax changes, that could significantly impact the profitability of their investments.I hope to draw upon my background in international politics to investigate such factors, drawing upon the tools that I acquired reporting for Newsweek in Mexico City and conducting primary research in Central Asia.In my work, managing relationships with forethought and tact enabled me to tap expert insight and reach important players within organizations, and I look forward to drawing upon this attention to detail in my post-MBA work.
I seek a role that requires the versatility, leadership and initiative that I bring to my engagements.Serving in managerial and teaching roles has given me the ability to guide teams through the unanticipated twists and turns that complex management relationships with multiple stakeholders inevitably take.From alpine ski instruction, for example, I learned how to address different learning styles and motivate individuals to confront their fears.Having helped students reach levels of proficiency and confidence that they once believed unattainable, I would look to tap the broad range of experience within a team to address pressing issues while fostering an atmosphere that supports intellectual entrepreneurship.
To provide a solid base for building a career in emerging markets investment, I wish to gain first-hand experience with the evaluation of potential investments, the structuring of deals and the management of committed projects.While I intend to work towards a position that would combine the three areas, at this point, I look to acquire expertise in one of them. I could work for a multinational company seeking to expand its operations, a strategy consulting firm with a focus on such issues or an investment bank that provides financial advising and supplies capital.
Alan Cordova currently writes for National Public Radio’s “Planet Money” program, which explains the intricacies of the financial crisis to ordinary Americans in plain English.He received a BA in Political Science and Astronomy from Williams College in 2006 and a MBA with concentrations in Finance and Management at Columbia Business School in 2008.His publications include policy analysis for a Washington, DC think tank, reporting in Mexico City for Newsweek International, a sociological study of the Muslim community of Granada, Spain and a thesis on democracy promotion programs in Central Asia.He served as president of the community service council and member of the honor society at Williams and as a cluster leader, peer advisor and tutor at Columbia. Since 2006, he has provided strategy consulting to clients ranging from new media entrepreneurs to a frontier market venture capital firm.An avid distance runner, backpacker and trumpeter, he is currently a member of Net Impact, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York.