Title: Meet October’s MURF of the Month: Ricardo Flores (SFS ‘21)
The Mortara Undergraduate Research Fellows (MURF) program is a four-year research apprenticeship for undergraduate School of Foreign Service (SFS) students with the goal of empowering students as generators, not just consumers, of knowledge. Fellows are selected during their first year at Georgetown and paired with a faculty mentor to gain hands-on experience as a research assistant and learn the necessary skills to carry out their own independent research in their third and fourth years.
Each month, in an effort to share the inspiring stories and impressive accomplishments of these young scholars, the Mortara Center team selects a MURF of the Month to feature.
October’s MURF of the Month is Ricardo Flores. Ricardo is a senior in the School of Foreign Service majoring in International Political Economy with a certificate in International Business Diplomacy. His interests in political economy and business grew out of his sophomore year MURF work researching the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention as well as his internships with JP Morgan’s Capital Markets Division in New York. Over his time as a MURF, he has become particularly interested in the supply chain dynamics between China and Mexico and their implications for the United States.
Read on to learn more about Ricardo and his experiences as a MURF through his answers to our MURF of the Month questions.
What is your favorite part about being a MURF?
I love being a MURF because this program truly cares about my development as a researcher. Unlike other fellowships, the MURF program made a great effort to pair me with a faculty member who cares about my interests and is willing to help uncover my intellectual curiosity throughout my time at Georgetown.
What is one memory or project that stands out from your time as a MURF?
In the second semester of my sophomore year, I researched the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention, which combats tax-deductibility of bribes, false accounting methods, and money laundering in international business transactions from countries all over the world. This project inspired my interest in international business and political economy. From this project, I discovered that international trade is constituted by many unethical and complex challenges that demand awareness and regulation.
What is one particularly helpful piece of advice you’ve received or a skill you’ve learned working with your faculty partner?
Working with Dr. Newman has taught me countless things. As a researcher, I learned that to find the right answers and ask the right questions, you must fearlessly dive and immerse yourself in the subject without expectations. On the technical side, I learned to do literature reviews, format data in excel, and summarize extensive research.
How have your interests and aspirations developed during your time as a MURF?
During my time as a MURF, my interests have dramatically changed. At first, I was interested in the US-Mexico relationship focused on immigration and narcotics. As time progressed, my focus shifted to international trade and business. After Dr. Newman invited me to a conference on China’s economy, hosted by the Roosevelt Institute, my interest in China peaked. An amalgamation of experiences and research over the years has now shifted my focus to the supply-chain dynamic between China and Mexico and what this relationship entails for the United States.
What is one thing other than the MURF program that you’ve been involved with during your time at Georgetown? How has it impacted you or your work as a MURF?
My sophomore summer, I interned for JP Morgan’s Capital Markets Division in New York. As a summer analyst, I got to analyze companies in Latin America’s emerging markets. This internship was a great compliment to my work as a MURF because, as an International Politics major, I had not been exposed to the business aspect of international relations before my internship. Thus, when I returned to MURF the following school year, I narrowed my research to a more technical business focus.
What is one of your hidden talents or unique hobbies?
I consider myself a pretty fantastic Latin music dancer. I also have a clean record in competitive boxing.
What is your most unusual snack?
My most unusual snack is jalapeno peppers with peanut butter. It is the perfect explosion of sweet, salty, and spicy!