Roman Magar—Professional Accountant, Auditor, and Financial Reporting Manager

Roman Magar—Professional Accountant, Auditor, and Financial Reporting Manager

September 13, 2021 • ISSUE 589

Roman Magar

Professional Accountant, Auditor, and Financial Reporting Manager

MIU alumnus Roman Magar studied business at Tribhuvan University of Nepal. Early on in his studies he set his sights on becoming a chartered accountant (the equivalent of a CPA in the US) and joining the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a global organization of accountants.

To achieve his goal, he studied three years in the UK. He began his career as an auditor at a chartered accounting firm in Nepal in 2009 and in three years he worked with over 50 companies, gaining significant experience in auditing, accounting, and financial reporting.

He heard about MIU from a close friend and in 2012 joined the MBA in Accounting Program. He enjoyed learning new and interesting things in a stress-free environment and making friends from all over the world.

With MIU friends (from left to right Roman Magar, Amir Shrestha, Chhewang Lama, Nand Joshi, and Arun Thapa)

“It was the best period of my life,” he said. “There was no pressure and you didn’t have to worry about working to survive; all you had to do was focus on your studies. Practicing the TM technique before and after class also helped a lot with focusing my energy on my projects.”

Due to his extensive professional experience, Roman graduated within a year without having to complete a two-year internship. He immediately found a position with Fairfield’s Cambridge Investment Research, where he worked in corporate risk management and financial reporting for four years. During his time at Cambridge, he also obtained several securities licenses.

With colleagues at Cambridge Investment Research

In 2017 he decided to relocate to the East Coast and found a job at the Community Bank of the Chesapeake in Waldorf, Maryland. He has been promoted twice and now is assistant vice president and financial reporting manager of accounting.

Roman fondly remembers his time at MIU and Fairfield, and he appreciates the help international students received not only with their academic pursuits but also with the start of their US professional careers in the form of networking, job search, and resume writing skills.

With his wife Dr. Asha Rai and daughter Ariana Magar

Mathias Abdissa — Merging Traditional Finance with Cryptocurrency

Mathias Abdissa — Merging Traditional Finance with Cryptocurrency

September 8, 2021 • ISSUE 588

Mathias Abdissa

Merging Traditional Finance with Cryptocurrency

MIU alumnus Mathias Abdissa is the creator of a new online financial platform called Santym, which allows people in Africa to open an FDIC-insured US bank account and participate in the global economy they previously couldn’t access.

Mathias came to MIU in 2011 from Ethiopia to study in the MS in Computer Science Program. After graduating, he worked as a software engineer for various companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Over the years, he has helped his friends in Africa pay their bills online. Many of them don’t have access to traditional financial services, such as bank wires and debit cards, and can’t even purchase digital services like Netflix. Nine months ago he decided to solve the problem by creating a startup company.

Mathias has also incorporated cryptocurrencies in his services, which add more flexibility for users to withdraw money where there is no traditional currency exchange.

At his MIU graduation ceremony with commencement speaker Jim Carrey

When he first heard about cryptocurrencies, he was skeptical. But in 2016 he began studying them, along with blockchain technologies, and became a believer. He has also worked in the field of cryptocurrencies for the last four years.

Mathias considers cryptocurrency not only an investment vehicle, but a new system of finance that connects consumers directly with producers, artists, and service providers.

He has built a community of 700 Ethiopian crypto enthusiasts and has been a passionate advocate of blockchain technologies. “I like the transparency and the community aspect of cryptocurrencies,” he said. “I see a change from institution-based finance to community-based finance and it will open up opportunities for a lot of younger people.”

Mathias has been working on his project full-time and uses the Transcendental Meditation® technique to stay balanced. “Practicing TM helps me calm down,” he said. “When you work 80-100 hours a week, you need a break from the endlessly overactive mind.”

Mathias is now working on his marketing strategy and will be launching Santym within the next 30 days.