Discovering the right fit for your skills and perspective
I knew I liked math, so a quant internship at JPMorgan Chase seemed like the right choice, and I was pleased to receive a job offer. However, during my internship there I realized that market risk didn’t interest me. I decided to look at other areas of banking that might be a better fit for me and discovered that I was much better suited to a front office quant role.
A few weeks later I met Michael Sternberg, the Head of the RBC Quants, at an MFE career fair, and he told me about some openings they had in the newly created Core Quant team in NY. I was very interested in joining, and, after a few interviews, I got an offer from RBC. I started in the Core Quant team and a few months later moved to the SRT quant team.
Two years later, and I’m at RBC where I have the opportunity to be involved in various projects. I work a lot with C++ and Python, developing tools for traders so they can use our pricing models for options. The knowledge I gained at Berkeley Haas in programming and stochastic calculus are invaluable every day on the job.
Strengthening confidence in yourself—and in your network
The mock interviews arranged by the program office were very useful. Sometimes I was uncomfortable speaking in public, so having the opportunity to practice with MFE grads playing the role of hiring managers gave me more confidence in my ability to talk about myself and what I had to offer an employer.
Network building is one of the very great advantages of the Berkeley MFE program. It set me up in my career, and I am sure it will continue to serve me well as my career continues to progress from strength to strength.
Teamwork and bonding add to the experience
I appreciated the way working on teams allowed us to blend together everyone’s individual skills and strengths. The end result was always far better and stronger than the work product we would have created individually.
I shared a flat with other MFE students. This was an excellent opportunity to grow; even at home we continued to ask each other questions and work together on problems.
It was great to discover California in between quarters. My class took a skiing trip to Lake Tahoe, and my friends and I went to Los Angeles. When my parents came for graduation, we explored Monterey. All of these are fond memories.