Fulbright interview with Martina Castren

Fulbright interview with Martina Castren

I came to the U.S. to pursue a Master of Laws Degree at Harvard Law School as an ASLA-Fulbright Scholar. I hold a Master of Law Degree from the University of Helsinki and a Master of Science Degree (Economics and Business Administration) from Hanken School of Economics as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Economics for Competition Law from King’s College London.

I came to the U.S. to pursue a Master of Laws Degree at Harvard Law School as an ASLA-Fulbright Scholar. I hold a Master of Law Degree from the University of Helsinki and a Master of Science Degree (Economics and Business Administration) from Hanken School of Economics as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Economics for Competition Law from King’s College London.

Prior coming to Harvard, I worked for the Finnish Competition Authority as a Senior Researcher. At the Authority, I was the leading case handler in a variety of antitrust and merger investigations. I was also a member of a Working Group reforming the Finnish Competition Act. 

I am a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Helsinki where my research focuses on comparative antitrust law. I am especially interested in exploring the differences and similarities of the U.S. and the EU antitrust regimes. I want to learn more about the U.S. legal system brought Martina to the U.S.

Being at Harvard has allowed me to delve deeply into the U.S. legal system in general and antitrust law in particular. I have enjoyed being taught by eminent professors and getting to know talented students from around the world. One of the highlights of my year in Cambridge was being a Member of the Board of the Harvard European Law Association, a student organization which arranged several academic events. As universities in Boston attract many Fulbright scholars, I have been able to create a wide Fulbright network. After graduation, I participated in Harvard Law School’s Summer Fellowship Program. Conducting research at Harvard has enabled me to learn from and share my own insights with an international community of scholars.

One of the highlights of my year in Cambridge was being a Member of the Board of the Harvard European Law Association, a student organization which arranged several academic events.

During my time in the U.S., I have been sad to witness the country taking action to limit civil and human rights. Living in the U.S. has made me realize that even when it comes to basic rights and freedoms, countries can move backward. I was delighted that on Commencement Day, Angela Merkel encouraged Harvard graduates to fight against ignorance and narrow-mindedness. “Our individual liberties are not givens. Democracy is not something we can take for granted. Neither is peace, and neither is prosperity,” said Merkel. 

Moreover, on a lighter note, I started to gain an understanding of both baseball and American football. It turns out that it is not possible to live in Boston without being exposed to the Red Sox and the Patriots. 

One thing I admire about Americans is their ability to be both unapologetically ambitious and incredibly supportive towards others at the same time. They understand that one’s success does not require other’s failure. An atmosphere that encourages competition, debate and excellence without putting others down leads to success in workplaces and at universities.

For an individual, an academic exchange is primarily about gaining knowledge and building connections, not about diplomacy. However, people with an understanding of other countries and cultures are a necessity for successful diplomatic relationships.

 


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