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From Hunter to Federal Reserve Bank

Meryam Bukhari
B.A Economics/Public Policy'11
Thomas Hunter Honors Program
Current job: Markets Analyst at Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Undergraduate major
I was going to pursue psychiatry, and while I immensely enjoyed my psychology classes I became preoccupied with many economics-related questions as the financial crisis of 2007-2009 unfolded. Naturally, I then pursued economics and joined the Public Policy Program at the Roosevelt House, in its inaugural year, because it utilized my economics and elective courses.

Experience at Hunter and with Career Development Services (CDS)
I owe the success that I've found after graduation to my educational experience at Hunter. While Hunter can be a daunting place because of the sheer size of its student body, I truly believe that it is one of Hunter's strengths and can offer ambitious and curious students a plethora of opportunities for creative leadership and learning. I flirted with many majors while at Hunter, but because of Hunter's commitment to a well-rounded liberal arts education I was still rewarded for having multiple interests with a diploma in four years. The CDS office is definitely a resource that students have to tap into; it will help you learn about your needs and qualifications. Students owe it to themselves to connect with the advisers at the CDS office to become more competitive applicants.

Like many students at Hunter, I worked throughout my undergraduate career. While I was not just laboring for love, I did seek opportunities that I could learn to love. I worked in bookkeeping, taxation, financial news reporting, and office management while at Hunter. I kept my last job as a bookkeeper for a local NFP in Queens for about two years and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. While I do not plan on going into accounting, the opportunity gave me technical skills and exposed me to real-world policy work that very directly relates to working at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York now. My advice to students is to seek out the best opportunities that help them fulfill their responsibilities without compromising the invaluable time they have during college to gain exposure. The rest and relaxation that I exchanged for work experience and exposure was well worth it.

Your current job
I was recruited into a rotational program in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Markets Group that lasts approximately three years. In my first rotation, I help monitor foreign and international monetary account Treasury holdings at the FRBNY. I am developing many technical and writing skills in the process and look forward to work every single day because I feel that I'm working towards the public good through intellectually stimulating work.

I feel very fortunate to be at the epicenter of monetary policy and at an institution where I have many formal and informal educational opportunities available to me. I cannot imagine many comparable institutions where I would gain an equivalent degree of insight into financial markets and public policy. I gathered information on it through a FRBNY researcher that I had hosted through the Hunter College Economics Club that I was the president of in my senior year. I pursued the [program] for about six months before I was invited for an interview and offered the position.

Future aspirations
I want to pursue either an MBA or an MPA. I'm studying for the Chartered Financial Analyst exams so that I can continue to learn academic material before enrolling in graduate school. I hope to ultimately pursue public policy later in my career as a consultant or policymaker.

Advice for students thinking about pursuing this career
Take math - do it - it will help you. However, if you don't (and I didn't), but are committed to the field and passionate, pursue it! Almost all of the functions that you will perform while in an analyst's position are learned on-the-job. Don't be discouraged from pursuing opportunities just because you don't fit the mold of a typical applicant. But, seriously, take math if you can; it'll save you time later on.

For more information about Career Development Services, visit or call 212-772-4850.

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