Federica Maggi, Economist, World Trade Organization


Servizio alumni

3 Ottobre 2022

In order to help current students and recent graduates to find their way in the working world, many of our alumni shared their career story. Here the story of Federica Maggi, Economist for the World Trade Organization in Geneva (CH). USI Degrees: PhD in Economics, 2020 and Master in Management, 2014.

How did you start your career?

My working experience began with the PhD in Economics. This was an opportunity to learn and deepen the skills acquired during the Master, but also to start doing research. During my PhD, in fact, I conducted academic research for my thesis and I was also involved in external projects. They gave me the possibility to apply my knowledge to investigate the economy of the Ticino canton in which I was living. Thanks to this experience, I understood how to continue my working career.

Why did you choose a career in the World Trade Organization?

I chose to work in the International Organizations (now at WTO and before at OECD) because I enjoy doing research, specifically applied research. In the International Organizations there is the possibility to be involved in many projects requested by the Countries or Committees. I like to use the knowledge I acquired and the skills I developed to solve problems or to investigate the behaviour of the Countries in the international market. Furthermore, I enjoy discovering and deepening new aspects related to the relations among economies, the creation of agreements, and the costs that each Country has to face.

What is your current role/duties?

I am an economic researcher. My duties are consulting the existing literature, identifying the best analysis and econometric models to find an answer to the requests of the Countries or third parties. I like this job because I am constantly involved in new projects, in new requests and I have always the possibility to learn and discover something new.

In your opinion, what are the qualities necessary for a successful career in the International Organizations?

I think that a successful researcher is characterized by the desire of discovering new things and to find new solutions. This is not obvious: it means both to have the perseverance to try different models and specifications to reach the best analysis and to be patient in searching for data. Furthermore, to be successful, I think that it is important to interact with other people: this is a crucial way to identify innovative solutions or ideas, complementary to the ones you already had.

What positive aspects and qualities meant most to you during the study programme you attended?

Beside the high level of education I received, I think that the group works made the difference. They taught me to collaborate with other people, not necessary belonging to my group of friends. This was very useful for my professional career; I understood the relevance of exchanging ideas and collaborating with different colleagues, even from another background. I also appreciated the heavy workload of certain periods, because it was somehow simulating what happens in the work life. Being productive also under stressful conditions is not obvious, and I found useful to have a similar situation also during the university experience.

What is your advice to USI students entering the job market?

I don’t have any specific advice. The only thing I can say is that I am understanding step by step the job I really would like to do. Once I finished the master, I was really confused about my future. Now, after some years, I am very happy about the decisions I took and satisfied with the different working experiences I had the opportunity to undertake.