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Economics Senior Spotlight - Henry Millson, HC '13

Although Henry Millson’s ’13 father went to Yale University, he dreamed of his son attending Haverford College because of the honor code and its Quaker roots. While attending The Taft School (a boarding school in Watertown, CT), Henry was approached by Colin Bathory, Haverford’s lacrosse coach. He decided to do an overnight visit on campus with the lacrosse team. Valuing Taft’s intimate academic style, Henry found Haverford’s small classroom setting with the opportunity to develop close relationships with professors a compelling argument to apply early decision.

Henry has played for Haverford’s lacrosse team as a midfielder for four years. He also serves as the lacrosse team’s Community Service representative, organizing volunteer projects that include maintaining campus grounds. The team also volunteers their time in Springfield, PA at the Don Guanella School, a residential facility for young men and boys up to the age of twenty-one with developmental impairments. Henry and his teammates play basketball with and run lacrosse clinics for the residents. While playing sports with the residents is rewarding, Henry finds that “just hanging out with them is most humbling”.

Expanding on giving back to the community, during the summer before his Junior year, Henry taught literature and English composition to 4th and 5th grade students at a summer youth development program at Harlem RBI, a Charter school in Harlem. He also coached a girls’ softball team in the afternoons. It was such a rewarding experience that Henry has aspirations of immersing himself in a not-for-profit organization further along in his career.

As a rising sophomore Henry traveled to Bangalore, India and lived with his sister while employed by Grameen Financial Services. Grameen specializes in providing financial services to the rurally poor and low income households, particularly women. During his month there Henry was able to go into the field to appraise microfinance enterprises.

Bridging what he has learned in the classroom and in internships, Henry’s thesis examines how commercialization affects Microfinance Institution (MFI) sustainability and outreach.  Using cross-country data on MFIs from 2008-2011, he hopes to determine whether the source of funds affects how well an MFI performs and who receives loans.  The tension arises from the 'double bottom line' where MFI management has both a financial and social objective. The topic arose from an extension of papers he wrote in courses he took with Professors Jilani and Mudd.  Economics Professor Mudd, the Microfinance Coordinator, is Henry’s thesis advisor.

As a college freshman Henry thought he might major in Religion but his path changed when he enrolled in Introduction to Economics with Prof. Ghosh where he learned about the theory and the history of economics. Professor Ghosh peaked Henry’s interest in economics and, to date, that introductory course remains a highlight of all his college courses. This led him to take Professor Banerjee’s Economics of Transition and Euro Adoption in Central and Eastern Europe and Professor Jilani’s Economic Development and Transformation: China versus India. These courses cemented his decision to major in Economics.

This past summer Henry lived in New York City working for JP Morgan Asset Management on a team covering the Media and Entertainment sector. The position proved exciting and challenging and he has accepted a two-year analyst position with the company. After a few years of work experience, Henry plans to go to business school to earn an MBA.

Although raised in Bronxville, NY, Henry’s father is from Cape Town, South Africa. He and his family typically spend winter breaks visiting family in South Africa.

Founders Green on a warm spring day.

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