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Alumna Spotlight: Maithilee Pagay Accepted into the London School of Economics and Political Science

By Keith Morelli

Maithilee Pagay

TAMPA (June 12, 2018) -- Maithilee Pagay has a passion for business and is eager to get into the investment banking business. But the finance major who graduated in May will put that off for a while. She just got word she has been accepted into the graduate program at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science. There, she plans to study for a master's degree in finance and accounting.

Pagay is a native of India who graduated high school in Singapore, through an all-expense-paid educational scholarship provided by Singapore's Ministry of Education. Traveling for her education is nothing new and she thrives on the experiences.

"I have always wanted to travel the world," she said. "I have realized that you learn more about a place when you actually live there and that is why I wanted to go to Europe as it will introduce me to a new environment, a new culture and, of course, new people. Going to the London School of Economics was something I wanted to do for a long time now. It is a very good school that promises numerous opportunities after graduation. I look forward to going there in September.

"Another good thing is that it is only a nine-month course," she said. "And even as an international student, I can work anywhere in London, which will help me manage my expenses there." In the United States, there are restrictions on international students working. "Once I move there, I will have lived on three continents in the last seven or eight years. In Europe, I plan to visit as many countries as possible."

The London School of Economics and Political Science is highly regarded and students from 133 countries are enrolled there. According to the school's website, an international flavor has blossomed there, as more than 100 different languages can be heard around the campus. Eighteen Nobel Prize winners have either taught or studied there.

"My experience in Singapore gave me the confidence and passion to pursue finance," she said. "From Singapore, I came to USF for my undergrad as a finance major."

Pagay has some experience in the world of finance. She has been a Corporate & Executive Services intern for the Equity Capital Markets division of Raymond James and was enrolled in a program designed to prepare finance students for the real world. The Student Managed Investment Fund, in which Pagay and others pitched stocks to a panel of professional investors and brokers, uses real money to make real investments. The course was taught by Leo Chen.

"Ms. Pagay has scored the biggest one so far for our Student Managed Investment Fund program in terms of graduate school," Chen said. "Most of our graduates join the finance industry post-graduation. This year we proved that our students are qualified for both industry and academic careers.

"LSE is one of the best universities in the world," he said. "Many top academic researchers and government officials come from LSE. You may think of it as the Harvard in Europe."

She was a student in the USF Honor's College and a peer advisor leader for New Student Connections. She also is a 25 Under 25 honoree, which recognizes high-achieving students in the Muma College of Business. Pagay graduated with an overall GPA of 3.94 and was a regular on the dean's list.

She has been the recipient of the CFA Program University Student Scholarship and the Lee and Dorothy Stokes Memorial Scholarship for Academic Excellence. She is a recipient of the USF Presidential Green and Gold Award for Academic Excellence. She is fluent in English, Hindi and Marathi.

"My experience here has been really enriching, really exciting and, of course, one of a kind," she said. "It has made me independent, strong-willed and ambitious and this helped me get into LSE and I look forward to seizing more opportunities in the future."