Stumberger, who is originally from Slovenia, is a research associate for two of the Cato Institute’s departments in Washington, D.C. Within Cato, she works for the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity and the Center for Trade Policy Studies. This is a job that she may never have heard of if not for TFAS.When Tanja Stumberger (AIPES 04, IBGA 05, CSF 05) attended her first TFAS institute in Prague in 2004, she never thought it would have played such a strong role in her life nearly four years later.
After attending the AIPES program in Prague during the summer of 2004, Stumberger made the decision to come back to TFAS, this time during the U.S. Programs held at Georgetown in the summer of 2005.
Stumberger was accepted to the Institute on Business and Government Affairs (IBGA) and was placed as an intern for Eastman Kodak. She enjoyed her time so much, that she also interned at Kodak when she returned to Washington for our Capital Semester program in the fall of 2005.
“My time with Kodak was phenomenal,” she said. “The staff in the office was so welcoming and kind. Moreover, they mentored and encouraged me to pursue my professional dreams. Without a doubt in my mind, the time with Kodak laid one of the foundations for my career. I am eternally grateful to each and every person in their office.”
Stumberger credits this internship with helping to guide her on the right career path. It was during this time that she was able to interact with various groups in Washington. The interaction helped her realize that she would ultimately enjoy working in a think tank, which eventually led her to Cato.
In addition to her internship, Stumberger credits TFAS classes and professors as cornerstones of her beliefs. “My Capital Semester classes with Professor Pilon, Professor Rustici and Professor Hayward really helped me realize how important freedom is to me and that I want to fight for more of it in lives of the people across the globe,” said Stumberger.
Stumberger has been a part of the TFAS mentor program, has recruited multiple students for Fund institutes and has hosted students as interns at the Cato Institute. She is also an active member of the Free Society Institute, a think tank in Slovenia and has studied in Slovenia, Belgium, and United States. She has worked for the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP in their half-year program in Poland, and UEFA during EURO 2004 in Portugal.
“I genuinely believe that TFAS programs are an amazing and unique opportunity to shift your life to a higher gear and to open countless doors for your future,” Stumberger concluded. “The experience itself is life-rewarding — in terms of people you meet, ideas you are exposed to, and places you see.”