10 Aug Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2001 Scholar Travis “TC” Ritz
Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Angelique Diaz.
Scholar Year: 2001
College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Colorado State University, BA, double major in philosophy and economics, 2005; Colorado State University, BS, mathematics, 2006; London School of Economics, MSc, finance and economics, 2007
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?
I am currently Head of Northern and Eastern Europe Energy Origination at Morgan Stanley, based out of London — which means I help large corporate clients manage their exposure to energy prices. I’ve been in this role at Morgan Stanley and previously Barclays for the past eight years, before which I worked in investment banking at Barclays in Frankfurt, Germany.
The best thing about my job is working with people of diverse, multi-cultural backgrounds. I spend a significant amount of time traveling across Europe to meet with clients. Cultural differences and diverse ways of seeing the world is not only really exciting, it’s what makes the world beautiful in my opinion.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
It gave me the confidence to aim for anything — and the financial springboard to take the most daring option which presented itself. A good example was when I graduated from CSU in 2005 and had a great job opportunity at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. Instead, I took an option which scared (but excited) me much more — a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany, which has turned out to be one of the most important life choices I’ve made.
Another important role the Boettcher has played in my life is as a link back to our great state of Colorado, along with a strong sense of wanting to give back.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.
Through volunteer work here in London, I’ve become a strategic advisor to NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), the UK’s largest children’s charity, with whom we have partnered to build the UK’s first Child’s House — a hugely important social effort to help kids who have suffered sexual abuse. Working with the NSPCC also led me to take part in the London Marathon this year (my first) — another hugely enriching experience.
I have also recently accepted a position with the AgIndustry Leadership Council at CSU under Dean Ajay Menon, where I hope to marry three passions of mine — agriculture, technology, and finance.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field?
Make sure you love and are motivated by what you do. That’s first. If you can, try to match that (or at least elements of that) with something you’re good at and what’s valued in the marketplace. I’ve found that being valued and recognized for something you do helps keep your fire burning. If you can do what you want, where you want, with the people you want — you’ve hit the sweet spot of modern life, and even just two of those is fantastic. And the great thing is that it’s out there.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
Given current events on this side of the Atlantic, I’d have to say Winston Churchill. I’d love to understand his views on the UK and the European Union and what he would make of recent political developments around the world. It seems to me the world will continue to change at an ever-increasing pace, with its natural ups and downs, and the real challenge will be to continue working together. The ‘how’ and ‘to what extent’ will be the interesting questions.