Student Perspectives: Quinn Haberman (BPE '13)

Quinn Haberman
When Quinn Haberman describes discovering Stern’s BPE program, it can sound a bit like finding love at first sight—through a personal ad. “I was reading some literature from NYU,” she explains, “and I saw a snippet about this new program combining business, economic development, international politics, and study abroad. It was called Business and Political Economy, it was pretty much everything I loved, and it was unlike anything I’d seen anywhere else.”

Not long after, Quinn enrolled at Stern and in the BPE program, making history as part of its first entering class. Now a junior, she continues to find the unique combination of ideas that the program spans to be fascinating. “It’s not just the perspective of a company and how it makes money,” she says. “It’s a broader view. It’s business. And how business effects politics—and vice versa. It’s economic structures and economic development, all with an international perspective.”

For Quinn, this international perspective has meant two excellent and very different study abroad experiences, one in London, the other in Shanghai. While in Shanghai, she began studies in Mandarin Chinese and completed an internship with a major food and beverage consulting firm, working in the PR area. She also took a course that included a trip to Hong Kong, with experiences that get to the heart of what BPE is all about.

“We learned about how China and Hong Kong interact, economically and politically, and met some very important people, including the first chief executive of Hong Kong, the man who would essentially be the president if Hong Kong were independent. The official policy is that Hong Kong and China are one country with two economic systems, but I left thinking the opposite might be true. It feels like a single economy with two, very different political systems.”

Quinn had an equally interesting experience in London. “It’s such a dynamic city and one of the most diverse in the world,” she says. “The fact that it’s connected to Europe yet has a separate perspective, sitting off as part of an island nation, makes it fascinating.”

These varied experiences have definitely broadened her perspective. “For one thing,” she says, “when I first came to New York City from my hometown in California, I was thrilled, but a little scared. I still find it thrilling, but now that I’ve been to China and London, it doesn’t seem quite as big or far away.”