Gina Occhipinti

Gina Occhipinti, an economics major from Londonderry, New Hampshire, will graduate with a bachelor of science degree from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in May 2018. Her interest in microfinance grew from an elective economics class taught by Michael Swack. She was so intrigued that she developed a research plan, received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Abroad grant, and traveled to the Philippines to immerse herself in the topic at a large microfinance and microdevelopment organization. In the Philippines, Gina learned about the broad and complex nature of microfinance and microdevelopment. She worked mostly independently and dealt with the challenges of a language barrier and getting to know a very different culture, but succeeded in carrying out her research plan while exploring the beautiful landscape and making new friends abroad. Gina says, “This project has widened my perspective on the world and how businesses work, even on the micro level.” After graduation, Gina hopes to work as a policy analyst or data scientist for an ethically minded company and, eventually, start her own company with a strong social and environmental mission.