Emily Williams is a research assistant at Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business in the US. She has recently developed a study inspired by the work of Andrew Bernard, professor of international economics at Tuck. Prof Bernard’s research shows that over the last 40 years, total Olympic medals won by each country was influenced by four factors: population, per capita income, past performance and the host status of the games - a method that has proven to be remarkably accurate since its first use for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Ms Williams’ study - titled Jolly Good Show: Who Will Win the 2012 Olympics in London?- predicts the Brits will have their biggest ever haul this year and will finish third in the medals table in terms of number of gold medals won.

Ms Williams has a masters in mathematics from Warwick University in the UK and an MBA from Tuck. In September, she will be starting a PhD in finance at London Business School. She has worked at Goldman Sachs, Dresdner Kleinwort and Root Captial, a social enterprise fund.

In her spare time, Ms Williams enjoys running, reading and sewing.

1. Why did you choose to do an MBA?

I worked during the financial crisis and I felt as though I needed a deeper understanding of business, economics and finance to understand what was happening around me.

2. What is your favourite business book?

Eugene Fama’s The Foundations of Finance. It is an incredible book and very well written. It documents the beginnings of the discipline of modern finance that we study today.

3. Who is your ideal professor?

Eugene Fama, he has been dubbed “the father of modern finance”.

4. What advice would you give to women in business education?

Stick together, women need to support each other. Become aware of the issues that women face in all areas of business and make sure you work towards making it better. Don’t doubt yourself, focus on the things that you can do and not the things that you can’t do.

5. How do you deal with male-dominated environments?

Handling male-dominated environments well is something that I am always trying to improve. I make sure I talk about situations that arise with the people close to me so that I can figure out the best ways to deal with them in the future.

6. Where would be your favourite place to study?

Somewhere very quiet and peaceful, probably at my old house in Hanover. I lived on a street called Faraway Lane, which sounds like something from a fairy tale. The house was in the middle of the woods and the garden backed onto the Connecticut River – it was absolutely beautiful.

7. Have you even been to any workshops/seminars that have helped you in your career?

I went to a 100 Women in Hedge Funds seminar where there was a panel of women who ran very prestigious funds. They were so smart. It is so important for women to have role models and to be able to look at a successful woman and say, I can do this too, these women are just like me in many ways and there is no reason I can’t do this too.

8. If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?

I would take failures less personally and remember that for all of the set-backs you have all you need is one lucky break.

9. What are your future plans?

To be a pioneer. My goal is to uncover new ways to think about things in finance.

10. What is your plan B?

I would become a crab fisher in the Bering Sea – The Deadliest Catch is my favourite TV show.

Compiled by Charlotte Clarke

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