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SLU-Madrid Alum Elena Miller Launches Career in Morningstar

by Katie Gortz on 08/13/2019

As solutions analyst at Morningstar, Elena Miller (Class of '18) is part of the implementation team and assists in tailoring Morningstar product solutions to best suit the needs of current and potential clients. Whether helping solve a client's needs with a data feed, API or web component, Miller uses her skills in finance and technology as well as her language and interpersonal skills. An American financial services firm with offices across the world, Morningstar offers Miller a work environment not unlike that which she found at SLU-Madrid: one with a dynamic, international mix of people.

In her current role, Miller works directly with clients to understand their requirements and designs effective solutions for them. She also assists in discovery sessions when explaining the company’s business model, needs and challenges, and she offers comprehensive demonstrations of Morningstar capabilities to potential clients.

Elena Miller, Class of 2018
Miller attending the Morningstar Investment Conference, held at Madrid's stock exchange, La Bolsa de Madrid, where the top funds in Spain received awards.

When Miller graduated from SLU-Madrid with a triple major in international business, international studies, and Spanish, her job search was already well underway. Over the course of her SLU-Madrid education, especially senior year, Miller worked frequently with Career Services Coordinator, Patrice Burns, who helped her draft and refine her resume, create a profile on LinkedIn, find appropriate jobs to apply for and more. In fact, it was Burns who sent the Morningstar job advertisement to Miller. In the description of Morningstar’s business model and practices, Miller recognized a series of business processes that she had discussed in her management class with Professor Gonzalo Moreno, Ph.D., which piqued her interest in the position. The combination of an international environment and business practices that jibed with her field of study suggested to Miller that Morningstar would be a great professional fit for her.

Originally from Provo, Utah, Miller grew up in a Spanish-American family. She always loved visiting relatives in Madrid and found herself looking for reasons to stay. When the time came to look at universities, she considered attending a Spanish university but was looking for a more holistic approach to education, like that offered by many American liberal arts colleges. She found just that in SLU-Madrid: an American university located in Spain.

Within a year in the working world, Miller concludes that her broader American education has served her well. She notes that many professionals who were educated in the Spanish system are highly specialized but feels that her American education has prepared her to be a well-rounded professional who can discuss more than just business.

When asked if she had advice for current students, she said she urges them to take advantage of all of the resources they have at their disposal while in college. From seeking out internships and volunteering to drafting a resume and attending interview workshops, Miller said these resources at SLU-Madrid proved invaluable for her in preparing for the working world. She also recommends taking advantage of SLU-Madrid's diverse course offerings, noting that she took a handful of courses simply because of her genuine interest in the subject, despite knowing that they were challenging courses that would not necessarily boost her GPA.

“The SLU-Madrid experience, both inside and outside the classroom, has allowed me to become someone who works well with and alongside people from other parts of the world, but also someone who enjoys forming professional and social ties with people from different backgrounds. In the future, I hope to continue to work in an international and dynamic environment,” Miller said.