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Student Snapshot: Ana-Elena Karlova ’21

Ana-Elena Karlova

Ana-Elena Karlova ’21 (economics, art history) hopes to improve lives through the power of socially conscious economic policy. To that end, she served a high-impact internship at the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria, and she’s researching the effect of microcredit on domestic violence in Ghana.


Sofia, Bulgaria.


Economics and art history.

Clubs and organizations:

Consulting Club, Center for Global Study & Engagement (global ambassador), Trout Gallery (museum interpretation assistant and advisory committee member), Mock Trial and Her Campus.  


John Montgomery Scholarship, Alpha Lambda Delta, Syracuse University Florence Internship Award and Dean’s List.

Favorite book:

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

On choosing Dickinson:

When I was in high school, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to study in college. I was very attracted to the idea of a liberal-arts education, where you can explore multiple fields before committing to a discipline. I was also drawn to Dickinson’s small class size because of the opportunity for leadership and teamwork activities.

Favorite place on campus:

East Asian Studies Room in Waidner-Spahr Library.

Favorite class:

During fall 2020, I took International Development with Assistant Professor of International Studies Shamma Alam, which quickly became one of my favorite classes at Dickinson. We examined an array of issues in developing countries, such as poverty, malaria and undernutrition. I chose economics as one of my majors because I strongly believe in the importance of economic policies, especially in improving social conditions. I also really enjoyed taking this class because we had the freedom to explore a topic of interest for the final research project. I researched the effect of microcredit on domestic violence in Ghana.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Butternut squash ravioli with ginger cream sauce and cream of broccoli soup.

On studying abroad:

I studied abroad, through Syracuse University, in Florence, Italy, during the fall semester of my junior year. My study abroad semester in Italy was one of the highlights of my Dickinson experience. I lived with a host family, so I was able to fully immerse myself in Italian culture. My host family taught me how to make Italian pizza, and we also spoke Italian as much as possible. I travelled a lot in Italy, but one of my favorite travel experiences was when my Michelangelo class went to Rome. We visited the Sistine Chapel, which is usually extremely crowded, but our class had an after-hours private visit. It was an unforgettable experience!  

As I kid, I wanted to be …

… a fashion designer.

About my internship:

I completed several internships in different fields. I interned at Ernst & Young last spring. In addition, I completed an internship in digital marketing and advertising. And during my semester abroad in Italy, I interned at a local feminist library and association, where I curated an art exhibition. I was also an intern at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute and at the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to intern at such great places and learn more about myself through these experiences. I would encourage students to take advantage of internship opportunities, not only because you develop valuable skills, but also because you can apply what you learn in the classroom to the real world.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

The most important thing I’ve learned so far is to live in the present, although it might sound cliché. I used to focus on the future so much that I would forget to enjoy the present. It is important to think about your goals and what you want to accomplish but things in life are extremely unpredictable, and the only certain thing is the present, so enjoy it!

Read more Student Snapshots.


Published March 26, 2021