Eye on Alumni: Borbála Szathmáry, Competition and Market Regulation '11


Borbála Szathmáry (Competition and Market Regulation '11) is Director of Economics at the UK Competition and Markets Authority. She finds the profile of Master's graduates is highly sought after by both regulators and consultancies, offering very interesting job opportunities.

After studying a Master’s degree in Economics, can you explain why you enrolled in the Master’s degree in Competition and Market Regulation at the BSE?

After my Master's degree in Hungary, I started to work for the Hungarian Competition Authority and decided I wanted to keep working in this area. The Master's in Competition and Market Regulation is clearly more specialised than a Master's in Economics, and I thought it would equip me with analytical tools I would need in my job, which it did to a great extent. I also chose BSE due to its faculty, mixing top-level academics and practitioners, and because of the scholarships available.

What career path did you follow to reach your current position?

I first spent five months at the Chief Economist Team at DG Competition at the European Commission. It was a very interesting stage (internship) and I got to work with very talented people on a variety of high-profile cases. Since then I have been working in London, starting at the Office of Fair Trading as an Economic Advisor, moving to the Competition and Markets Authority when it was formed, working as an Assistant Director and now as a Director of Economics. I have been lucky to work with very driven and smart colleagues, on a very diverse range of competition cases, including mergers, market studies, antitrust cases, economic research and ex post evaluations - across many industries. With the years, I have taken on more responsibilities, both in a given case (in terms of leading the economic analysis) and on management more broadly.

Which skills did you acquire in the Master’s Degree in Competition and Market Regulation?

The curriculum was broad enough to give an overview of a wide range of competition and regulatory matters but also very practical - I still go back to my notes time to time when working on new issues! The quantitative course was particularly helpful in that it covered techniques that are routinely used in competition cases. The courses that had practitioners present on actual cases were also very insightful, I thought.

What advice would you give to students who are considering applying to the BSE?

It's a very good and well-regarded program which has been building a strong alumni network that one can connect to. I think people completing this program are highly sought after by both regulators and consultancies, offering very interesting job opportunities. The knowledge acquired is very relevant for everyday competition work so it is worth investing in getting the most out of the courses; it definitely pays off later. I would also encourage students to make the most of the Career Services opportunities (e.g. attending career events etc.).

Which is the best part of studying at the BSE?

I would highlight, again, the strong faculty and the relevance of the material covered in the courses, as well as the excellent support network and good facilities.

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