Neeley MBA Data Analysis Expert Making an Impact at The International Monetary Fund

Annie Agarwal and Christine Lagarde (Managing Director IMF)

At the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the bar for prospective employees is set very high. That’s a primary reason why Annie Agarwal (MBA, '15) chose to apply for a position within this prestigious organization.

Annie's international work experience, superb presentation skills demonstrating her analytical capabilities, confidence in answering questions, and personal and professional accomplishments on her résumé left a powerful impression on her interviewers at the IMF and landed her a dream job at this noteworthy institution.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C. the IMF consists of 189 member countries working together to drive growth and sustain economic development around the world. With its primary mission being to ensure the stability of the international monetary system, it should come as no surprise that the IMF job selection process is highly competitive.

As a Research Assistant at the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Office, a division of the organization’s Human Resource Department, Annie reports on how many IMF staff represent these member nations in relation to established benchmarks, helping to maintain the institution's vital diversity.

Annie is able to exercise her expertise in data analysis by delving into the various factors that affect diversity, such as generational workforce planning, gender equality and employment lifecycle (i.e., hiring, promotions, and exits). This work requires her to create predictive models that can anticipate vacancy opportunities due to upcoming retirements and answer questions about how the IMF's future workforce is likely to shift. Additionally, Annie trains co-workers on how to lead analyses and collaborates with other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) like the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank on promoting best practices for analytics to help HR colleagues make more informed decisions related to employee recruitment and retention.

One of the highlights of Annie's time at the IMF has been her contribution to the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) certification.  EDGE Certification is the leading global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality. Annie's hard work on this project has given her an opportunity to meet face-to-face with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, an experience Annie equates to “winning a trophy.”

Annie is also proud to have performed the data analysis for the IMF's "Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report (2016 & 2017)," which was published last November.

Annie recently led her team to victory at the regional (D.C., VA, MD) Hackathon Challenge hosted by the IMF. During the competition, and under Annie’s leadership, her team processed important information regarding International Financial Statistics and created a new set of Global Economic Indicators based on their analyses. Annie also volunteers with United Nations’ “Data Innovation Team” and recently developed a Gender Inequality Index monitor that shows global indicators on gender inequality and monitors the progress of Countries and regions. Her ongoing work in this area helps supplements the economists’ work at Fund, World Bank on gender related issues and SDG 5 (Sustainable Development Goals) set by United Nations.

In Annie’s words, none of this would have been possible if not for her experience as an MBA candidate at TCU’s Neeley School of Business. During her time as a full-time graduate student at Neeley, Annie completed two internships, did consulting project work and served as the leader of the TCU chapter of Net Impact. Toward the end of her tenure, she also started working at her first job. And it was at TCU that Annie got out to a head start in the field of analytics. She first received hands-on training with business intelligence software through her regular coursework. She still uses these same tools in her day-to-day analytics work at the IMF.

Annie feels Neeley helped her “achieve a lot more than just an MBA” and that her degree is “made of iron and steel. It’s solid in terms of both education and experience.”

She credits the program with providing her with the strong foundation needed to succeed in business. One major takeaway from the program has been Neeley’s famous FROG model, which she uses often when solving new problems at work.

Asked how she would advise incoming TCU MBAs, Annie notes that “it’s always what you make of your MBA and not entirely what an MBA will make of you.”

She believes Neeley has much to offer and would hope new students “start the program with a fresh and clean mind and are ready to soak it all in." Above all, she counsels, "don’t focus too much on your grades or staying at the top of the class, worry about whether you are really learning. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Neeley is your safe space to collaborate, incubate, innovate, generate ideas and tap the collective intelligence of your classmates and your professors.”

Graduates of TCU’s Neeley School of Business MBA program earn much more than a degree. They acquire knowledge, practical skills and real-world experiences that enable them to be forward-thinkers and leaders capable of rising to whatever challenges they encounter in their careers.

Learn more about TCU’s MBA program and how it has contributed to student success stories like Annie’s by visiting the Neeley School of Business website.

“The views expressed in this blog are the author's alone. They should not be attributed to the IMF staff, its management or Executive Board.”

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