2019 Best & Brightest: Izabela Litwin, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Izabela Litwin

Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University

“A dedicated data science and finance enthusiast.”

Fun fact about yourself: A few years ago, I went on a 3-week road trip from Florida to Alaska and made it to the Arctic Circle.

Hometown: Ostrow Wielkopolski, Poland

High School: Jan Kompalla and Wojciech Lipski High School in Ostrow Wielkopolski

Major: Double Major in Business Administration (Finance, Business Technology) and Statistics

Minor: Russian Studies

Favorite Business Course: FinTech

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

School Awards/Honors:

  • Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar – 2018
  • Beta Gamma Sigma – 2018
  • Phi Sigma Iota – 2018
  • Phi Kappa Phi – 2018
  • Undergraduate Business School Leadership Conference Representative – 2016
  • Dean’s List – All semesters

Extracurricular Activities/Community Work/Leadership Roles:

  • Chief Executive Officer at Smart Woman Securities – 2018/2019
  • Business Computing Teaching Assistant – 2018
  • Vice President at Smart Woman Securities – 2017/2018
  • Chief Investment Officer at Smart Woman Securities – 2016/2017
  • Co-founder and President at Polish and Central European Society – 2016-2019

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Goldman Sachs – Salt Lake City, UT – Liquidity Risk Summer Analyst (Summer 2018)
  • Ernst & Young – Warsaw, Poland – Transaction Advisory Services Intern (Summer 2017)
  • Lubawa Group – Ostrow Wielkopolski, Poland – Finance Intern (Summer 2016)

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working at Goldman Sachs as a Liquidity Risk Analyst.

What company do you admire most? Berkshire Hathaway. Under Warren Buffett’s management, the company was pulled from the brink of collapse and became a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate. Thanks to Smart Woman Securities, I was very fortunate to tour some Berkshire Hathaway owned companies in Omaha, NE and even meet Mr. Buffett.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Duane Seppi from my Derivative Securities class. He made some of the most difficult financial concepts interesting and easy to understand. Apart from that, he was always very kind and committed to improving the well-being of students.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? Tepper’s collaborative and diverse community, and access to cutting edge quantitative courses. At Tepper, I’ve been able to make friends, understand academic concepts from multiple perspectives, and learn a lot about business analytics.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business is an extensive area of study and knowing various business concepts will allow you to go into a wide array of industries. Therefore, leverage the opportunity to learn the most and keep exploring.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I thought that most of my learning was going to happen in the classroom. I was surprised to see that the majority of my learning came from friendships and club activities outside of class.

If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Computer Science. It would be great to combine that knowledge with my background in Statistics to get better at solving more complex problems.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My parents. As successful entrepreneurs, they have always been setting a great example for me. They taught me the basic business concepts and even encouraged me to open my first brokerage account when I was still in middle school. I’ve always wanted to be like them, so when the time came and I had to choose a major, I had no doubt that business is something I want to pursue.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of developing CMU’s first Ethereum decentralized application, a blockchain solution for room reservations called Chóros. Created as a part of a group project in the FinTech course, this browser-based application uses blockchain to record and store data, therefore increases booking efficiency, and has the potential to be adopted by other communities as well. Designing, developing, testing and deploying the app prototype was a new and wonderful learning experience for me which validated the fact that hard work pays off.

Which classmate do you most admire? This is a tough question since one of the best parts about Carnegie Mellon is that I am surrounded by a lot of bright, driven and talented friends. For example, my friend Nina Yoo is a Business and Decision Science major, who is excelling at consulting. I admire Nina for her upbeat attitude, ability to strike a conversation with anyone and the ease with which she takes a step back to see the big picture.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my parents for their support and encouragement in my education. They have always been able to provide help and advice, especially when I was transitioning from a Polish high school to a college in the United States. I would not be where I am if it weren’t for them.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Visiting New Zealand
  • Getting a PhD in Statistics/Machine Learning

What are your hobbies? Traveling, reading, skiing

What made Izabela such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Since her arrival at CMU from her home in Ostrów Wielkopolski, Poland, Izabela has stood out from her peers as she balanced her rigorous academic pursuits in two academic programs and her leadership in Smart Woman Securities. As SWS president this year, she oversaw a significant increase in new members, creating opportunities for co-curricular learning for her peers and establishing a new standard for recruitment among the student clubs, just to name a few of her accomplishments. We look forward to seeing what she does next.”

Burton Hollifield
PNC Professor of Finance, Professor of Financial Economics, Head of Undergraduate Business Administration Program
Tepper School of Business:




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