Herself a Russian immigrant, Marina Test ’10 now helps first-generation college students with financial literacy.
Being an immigrant has very much affected the life of Marina Test ’10. The Russian Jewish refugee who grew up in the Bronx is now helping Georgetown University students, especially first-generation college students, with financial literacy skills.
She’s doing so as part of her job as executive assistant to the dean of student financial services at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She helps with student financial matters by implementing the program Common $ense (http://www.gucommonsense.com), a yearlong financial literacy workshop series, and GU Peer Counseling, a peer mentorship program focused on financial aid and financial education.
Test immigrated from Moscow at age four and grew up in the Bronx, New York, fascinated by the Latino culture of her predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. In order to learn more, she majored in Hispanic studies at Macalester and did an internship with the Latin American Youth Center in a predominantly Hispanic area of Washington, D.C.
Her experiences there, coupled with memories of her own family’s struggles to understand the college financial aid system, led her to develop the dual financial literacy programs at Georgetown. “The professional opportunities I’ve sought out were driven by my past experiences and the sense of social responsibility I feel to help those who do not have the support they need,” says Test.
In acquiring her job at Georgetown, she got a hand from fellow Mac alum Erin Miller ’05, an assistant director of admissions at Georgetown, who helped Test forward her resume to department heads at the university. What is Test’s advice to other recent graduates? “Take advantage of the connections offered through the Macalester network, put yourself out there, and fight to create opportunities for yourself.”