Ramona Rupeika-Apoga is a Professor of Finance at the University of Latvia and the Head of the Department of Finance and Accounting. She holds the positions of Visiting Professor at the University of Lodz in Poland and Affiliate Professor at the University of Malta. The professor has over 20 years of pedagogical experience in Latvian and European higher education institutions, with specialised knowledge in risk management, international finance, FinTech, and corporate digital transformation. She has led and participated in a number of international and local studies and research projects.

“Participation in the Buffalo program helped Ramona fulfill her dream of studying abroad while also showcasing to the world how outstanding Latvian students are. Read her reflection of the experience:

I started studying finance at the University of Latvia in 1993, during Latvia’s difficult transition period, when the planned economy system had collapsed and the market economy had yet to be established. At the time, I was fortunate to participate in a rare international student exchange program at Umeå University in Sweden. And I fell in love with the scientific world, which is filled with an international vibe. This, I believe, predetermined my future career path, as I continued my studies at the University of Latvia while working at the bank.

I’ve established a broad international scientific network through teaching all over the world, and I’m also a visiting professor at the University of Lodz and an affiliate professor at the University of Malta. But I kept dreaming of being an international student again: young, daring, and open. Be open to new experiences, new learning, and new opportunities. My dream has come true thanks to the Buffalo program. Using the R, Python, and JavaScript programming languages, I improved my ability to apply quantitative and qualitative research methods. I’ve learned how to use technology to make the study process more engaging and, as a result, more effective. I’ve learned about the most recent trends in financial innovations and much, much more.

We surprised American professors by taking five Master’s or PhD-level courses instead of the usual three or four because the course workload in the United States is extremely intense. You start your day early in the morning and realize at midnight that it is time for bed, and you haven’t noticed how quickly the day has passed. We definitely shocked our professors with our outstanding performance. I received the highest marks in all subjects, proving that Latvia’s education system is on par with that of any other advanced economy.

I want to encourage everyone to keep dreaming because dreams do come true!”

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