Marta Defenbach

April 5, 2019

Marta came to EWU as an international undergraduate transfer student from the University of Belgrade in Serbia. She earned a degree in finance. After gaining some real-world work experience in corporate finance in banking, Marta felt ready to tackle a graduate degree and returned to Eastern for her MBA. Little did she know she would embrace a major career shift in the midst of her graduate studies. She is now a Risk Analyst at Avista. “I like to go with my gut feeling. I am not afraid of change,” Marta states. Learning new skills at work at the same time she was taking grad classes was a challenge. “But I enjoy going to school while I work, you look at learning in a different way. You see immediately how you can apply the knowledge.”

There are some interesting differences between study at EWU and the University of Belgrade. One major difference is the availability of the professors. “We attended large lectures in Serbia and the professors were not always available outside of class. Also, the examination process is very different,” Marta explains. Final exams were mostly oral and usually consisted of four questions, depending on the subject. Marta confides that it could be stressful especially if she picked a question she was a bit shaky on.

Marta appreciates the smaller classes here at EWU and the availability of her professors. She also appreciates the acceptance she has always felt with her EWU community and in the larger business world of Spokane. She always felt she was given equal and fair opportunity. Happily, Marta’s self-motivation and thirst for new challenges allow her to excel in these opportunities.