Uganda-born alumna’s investment in Master’s of Finance program pays off


As soon as Theresa Marimwa, MS Finance ’23, enrolled at the Donald G. Costello College of Business at George Mason University, she began getting noticed by recruiters. Furthermore, the coursework and faculty gave her the confidence to chase her dreams. 

Theresa Marimwa
Theresa Marimwa

Before moving to the United States to live with her husband, Theresa Marimwa had an extensive career in Uganda working as an accountant in various international organizations, including her role as the chief financial officer of a bank. Just before she moved to the United States, she worked at a financial institution, and it was there that she realized she wanted to make the move to finance. Aware of the different specializations required within the larger U.S. economy and the need for high-level training, she applied for the master of science in finance at the Costello College of Business.  

However, before Marimwa applied to school in her new country, she seized upon a golden opportunity to work at HIAS, a non-profit organization aiding refugees. They critically needed someone reconciling funds from a major donor, in which the employee had to leave for a family emergency. In she stepped, doing the job so proficiently that her work assignment kept extending until she had been there seven years. The position at HIAS had been listed online and she had pounced on the time-sensitive opening. But now she wanted to stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of employers.  

During her time at HIAS, she chose Mason to specialize her skills and advance her career. The skills she learned in the master’s in finance program proved to be a gamechanger, earning her a major promotion from specialist to assistant director while at HIAS. She appreciated how the faculty taught their courses in different ways. “I always looked forward to coming to class, and, to be honest, I miss class already,” she says. Even just the reputation of being a Mason student had its perks. “As soon as I enrolled for this program and updated my resume to indicate that I'm a student of George Mason University, I started getting communications from recruiters,” she says. “That made me so happy. It confirmed that I had made the right decision.” It got the attention of Corus International, where she is now working in financial reporting and analysis as a senior manager. With all the knowledge she soaked up at Mason and HIAS, she felt it was time to move on. “I wanted to explore other working environments in the U.S.,” she says.  

Working at Corus International is bringing her another step closer to her larger goals. “It’s giving me an overview of the entire organization, regarding the strategic plans, and the financial performance,” she says. “And It gives me an opportunity to get to meet with various colleagues from other departments in the process of doing my work.” Feeling prepared by her Mason education, she’s working toward a position with a major financial institution. “I strongly attribute my success in finding good jobs to the fact that I enrolled for this particular program at Mason,” she says.