Growing up in Kyrgyzstan during the fall of the Soviet Union, I developed a strong interest in the economic issues of countries striving to lift themselves out of poverty. I decided to major in Economics and Political Science and to take advantage of the excellent classes on development and transition economies offered at my university, Wellesley College, MA, USA and while on my junior year abroad at the University of Oxford, UK. Over the course of my studies, I explored policies aimed at stimulating growth of businesses and wrote my undergraduate thesis on determinants of enterprise performance in Russia and other transition economies. At the University of Cambridge, I intend to continue my research on the role of public policy in enterprise development. Ultimately, I hope to become a professional economist and contribute to the improvement of business performance and market competitiveness in transition economies.