Alumni Profile Series: Domagoj Babić '16
Name: Domagoj Babić
Class Year: 2016
Current Residence(s): Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany
Current Position: Market Risk Analyst at Wingas
Domagoj Babić ’16 came to Princeton intending to study mechanical and aerospace engineering, but he soon switched to economics. He was enticed by popular research topics like energy economics and the Eurozone crisis.
Having taken German in high school, he tested into the final course of the language sequence at Princeton. He enjoyed the experience and continued taking classes in the department, and he found internship opportunities through the department’s Summer Work Program. He received his certificate in German after writing a paper with Professor Nikolaus Wegmann on Goebbels’s infamous Sportpalast speech.
“The German department has a special place in my heart,” said Babić. “It felt awesome to be able to live in Germany as a rising sophomore, just getting that cultural connection, moving around. It gave me a good flavor of German studies and connected me with the country. When I did my internships, I ended up in Frankfurt and Munich, where I acquired some friends.”
After leaving Princeton, Babić sought to build a career in the US. But after completing a Master’s program at Georgetown University, Babić found it difficult to navigate the country’s increasingly stringent immigration system. He decided to shift his focus toward Europe, and found a position at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The application process was challenging and competitive, and he believes that the qualifications he acquired through the Summer Work Program contributed to his success. Those internships, he says, “definitely added a lot – perhaps a decisive weight – to my CV and skillset."
Babić has enjoyed his time living in Frankfurt. He appreciates the city’s mix of financial high rises and traditional neighborhoods.
“It’s also a great hub for any travel,” Babić added. “Theoretically, if you have enough resources and time and a friend whose couch you could crash on, you could spend a weekend anywhere in Europe if you’re from Frankfurt.”
Babić has worked with the Summer Work Program and helped match a student with the European Central Bank in 2019. Another internship with the bank was set for this year, but it was cancelled because of the pandemic.
Like most firms in the country, Wingas sent its workforce home in mid-March. Babić decided to use this opportunity to move in with his girlfriend, who lives in Brussels and is a trainee at the European Commission. According to Babić, lockdown measures in Belgium were strict, with police patrols at all times.
“It feels impertinent to talk about minor discomforts, such as having to work on a kitchen table or having slow WiFi”, said Babić.
As the situation continued to improve in Germany in May, he was selected for the first cohort to be invited back to the office.