Katie Kwiatkowski spent a year abroad at the London School of Economics and returned to UR with renewed inspiration and interest in global economics. 

Richmond to London: RSB student’s journey of self-discovery

April 8, 2024

Written by Sofiia Mikadze, '24

Katie Kwiatkowski had an early interest in economics. She explored advanced courses in micro and macroeconomics during high school, which fueled her enthusiasm for the subject and led her to University of Richmond.

Determined to utilize resources available to students at UR, Kwiatkowski decided to spend a year abroad at the London School of Economics (LSE), driven by the fact that she could experience international education in her native language and take world-renowned economics courses. Immersed in the vibrant tapestry of London's multicultural landscape, she savored every moment of cultural exchange and exploration. From leisurely walks in Hyde Park to reveling in the city's pulsating nightlife, Kwiatkowski embraced curiosity and discovery. It was in the huge lecture halls of LSE that she found contrast to Richmond's intimate learning environment, yet the experience enriched her understanding of global dynamics and gave inspiration to chart a path of impact and innovation.

In the summer before senior year, Kwiatkowski's journey took a decisive turn when she began a remote internship with diiVe, a company that provides an opportunity to get consulting and data science professional experience and collaborate on a global scale. Tasked with expanding a hat brand's reach into South Africa, she conducted market research, logistics management, and cross-cultural communication. Working alongside peers from other prestigious institutions, she leveraged the resources of the Richmond Guarantee to gain experience in navigating the intricacies of international business, laying the groundwork for future endeavors.

Returning to Richmond, Kwiatkowski found herself armed with a newfound sense of purpose and direction. Under the mentorship of her economics professor Saif Mehkari, she improved her coding skills, finding a passion that would be beneficial in future careers. “Having a mentor, someone to help you along the way, can really make a big difference in school, work, and life,” she said.

Today, as Kwiatkowski is preparing to begin a position with KCIC, a litigation consulting firm in D.C., she looks back on how Richmond helped her grow. She has simple advice for younger students: "Get involved." Joining clubs, honor societies, and trying out different interests early on can help find passion and purpose.