Ivey is pleased to be welcoming numerous new faculty members to campus this school year! To help you get to know our new colleagues, we asked each of them a list of questions about their academic – and personal – interests.
Get to know: Beata Gafka
Beata Gafka is a new Assistant Professor of Finance who will be teaching core Finance courses in the HBA program. She recently completed a PhD in Finance from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Before starting her doctorate, she obtained an MSc in Finance from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. She then spent two years working in investment banking in London, England, focusing on the provision of client clearing and collateral solutions for derivatives trading. Gafka also has BA degrees in Finance and Economics from the SGH Warsaw School of Economics.
Q&A with Beata Gafka
What is the most important thing business executives can learn from your research/area of expertise?
A lot of business resources are spent trying to forecast the impact various policy changes and shifts in economic circumstances may have on future business opportunities. My research shows that financial markets are quick to incorporate the impact of the above into asset prices. As a result, they can be used to extract investors’ expectations of what implications such changes will have for the business opportunities in various industries and the economy in general.
Where did you grow up and what was it like there?
I grew up in Warsaw, Poland. We lived in a block of flats on the outskirts of the city, so life was very slow and peaceful there. My schools were within a walking distance until I was 16. This most likely explains my preference for smaller cities. I was born right at the beginning of economic and political transformation in Poland. The first free elections did not happen until I was three years old. As one can imagine, this implied lots of changes throughout the years. That said, our neighbourhood still looks almost exactly as it did years ago, and it is quite surreal to be able to jog around the very kindergarten and primary school I attended back in the day, and to buy breakfast groceries from the same lady that sold them to me when I could barely count my change.
Who have been your strongest influences in life?
On the personal side, it would be my parents as they always stood by my side regardless of the decisions I made. On the professional side, I was influenced by my university professors throughout the years, especially the ones who encouraged me to take the leap and apply to PhD programs when I already had a perfectly good job following graduation.
What led you to your career?
Most likely my family and upbringing. Almost everyone in my immediate family was a school or university teacher. Often when they struggled to find someone to look after me, I would go with them to work and sit quietly at the back of the classroom when they were teaching. Sometimes, when I’d get to stay in an empty classroom, I’d pretend to be “teaching” in front of the blackboard. I genuinely loved school and university – a career in academia seemed to be the natural continuation. I did try having a non-academic job for a while after my MSc degree, but the desire to at least give the academic path a shot was too strong to ignore. Thankfully so!
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I like to go outside and do sports. Whether it’s rowing, running, hiking, or cycling – if it’s outside in nature, it is on my list.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I own four full-size rowing oars with my name, as well as my teammates’ names, painted on the blades. They are called trophy blades and one wins them during the collegiate rowing regattas at Oxford. They make for very questionable home décor, are exceptionally hard to move around, and were the most important and carefully wrapped up component of my relocation shipment.
What is the most played song on your playlist as of now?
What Are You Waiting For? by Nickelback.
What book would you recommend to others on the personal side? On the business side?
Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Olympic-winning Strategies for Everyday Success by Ben Hunt-Davis and Harriet Beveridge applies to both categories. It is my ultimate go-to.