The choice of economics as an orientation for Lenka’ studies was not obvious: her first aspiration was to do something useful for the world; she thought first of becoming a doctor or nurse and then dreams of working in development. When she finished high school, her family moved from a small village in the Slovak mountains to the suburbs of a large city in the United States. She was then confronted with a system totally different from the one she knew. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked as a parcel handler and then as a supervisor at UPS for five years; a rewarding experience, including from a social perspective: she meets people from very different backgrounds who allow her to better understand the American society but also the economic system in which the company integrates.
In 2009, she earned a double degree in economics and international studies at Depaul University in Chicago. Determined to move towards environmental and international economics, but also to return to Europe, she continued her studies two years later in the International Master QEM (Models and Methods of Quantitative Economics) at the University Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne. In parallel and to finance her studies, she holds the position of administrative assistant of the Master. The following year, she chose without hesitation the Master ETE – Theoretical and Empirical Economics (University Paris 1, PSE) recommended to her by former students.
In 2013, she enrolled in a Phd at ENS Cachan and embarked on empirical investigations and analysis of micro-data on the performance of companies that will be the subject of her thesis « Adaptation des firmes hétérogènes aux forces de mondialisation » defended in December 2018 under the supervision of Pr. Farid Toubal (ENS Paris-Saclay). Her work is an opportunity to make a first step towards the OECD: contacted as part of the launch of a project on business productivity, she seizes the opportunity and thus accesses the results of a study that will serve as the basis for one of the work of her thesis. Her experience naturally leads her to move closer to the OECD, Centre pour l’entrepreneuriat, les PME, les régions et les villes (CFE) . In 2016, she became a consultant and then a junior economist.
In the department’s economic analysis section, Lenka is responsible for developing a large-scale pilot project that studies the exceptional growth of some companies, and also coordinates access to OECD members’ micro-data. She also contributes to various projects on the evaluation of the performance of OECD countries – for example, she follows a project on the performance of small companies and the business environment in the Slovak Republic. The OECD brings together brilliant economists with whom she takes great pleasure to exchange. She has finally (not yet) realized her dream of working in development but confirms she is satisfied by the feeling of contributing on her own scale to a better understanding of the world around us!
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Edited by PSE – Lettre PSE n°39 – July 2020.