Photo of Gary Finkelstein

Gary Finkelstein

MFE 20

DV Trading, LLC

The drive behind the Berkeley Haas MFE program is to make sure everyone gets a job.

Exploring to find the right career path

I came to the Berkeley Haas MFE program with a completely open mind as to career paths. The program gives you broad exposure to so many aspects of finance, including the tech space.

My internship at OpenDoor helped me understand the skills needed to succeed as a data scientist—and to realize that the role, at least early in one’s career, would be a bit too isolating for me, in that you often work as an individual on projects before bringing them to a team effort.

I found that trading calls on my technical skills, my people skills, my ability to work under pressure without losing focus. It allows me to put my character on trial every day. I love that.

Connecting with the best companies

I was amazed at the number and caliber of the firms that come to Berkeley Haas to recruit. Every week brought a new group of companies to campus.

It seemed like I was applying for internships or jobs all the time; at least 10 a week. I took test after employer test.

The program’s reputation and industry connections mean that even East Coast finance firms recruit here. That is an achievement.

Competing and maturing as a professional

Participating in the Rotman International Trading competition and attending various conferences in Chicago and London were as much about learning to be a professional as about the technical skills needed to win.

I remember being told off by a teammate when I made a juvenile mistake. That sounds harsh, but it was correct.

The team experience culminated in me being more mature and ready for the workplace.

Learning alongside leaders

I expected to find capable, expert professors at Berkeley Haas. I didn’t quite expect the value my classmates added to the experience. As one of the younger members of the class, they were generous guides and sounding boards for me.

Finance is a global business. Having classmates from around the world gives that global perspective.

The Berkeley Haas MFE program educates people who push boundaries. You are studying alongside people who will be the next leaders in finance.

Browse All Student Perspectives


Data Scientist,
Open Door,
San Francisco

Previous Degree

BBusSc, Actuarial Science,
University of Cape Town,
South Africa


Your academic credentials are a big part of being admitted to the MFE program, but so is your potential for leadership. Don’t neglect that aspect while you’re a student.

Start Your Journey at Haas

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