Engagement Manager, Wealth and Asset Management at Oliver Wyman, Dubai
MSc in International Finance, Class of 2011. Previously at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
I found the quality of the courses extremely impressive
- Why did you choose HEC?
I chose HEC for three reasons. First: I wanted to attend a school which was reputed for its quantitative finance program and HEC was a perfect fit. I found the quality of the courses and the intellectual prowess of the faculty extremely impressive. The focus on developing modelling and statistical skills has helped me a great deal already. The excellent placement record of the Finance class in Trading and Structuring desks is also a key asset of the program.
Second: I was looking for a shift in my career path from Engineering to Finance. HEC’s Finance curriculum is designed in a way which makes it easy for someone with no prior knowledge in Finance to easily comprehend and assimilate this new body of knowledge. Of course, it helped that I had studied calculus and statistics in Engineering school; nevertheless there are very few top ranked schools which accept engineering students into the masters programs in Finance.
And finally, third: I wanted to spend some time in this beautiful country, experience a non-anglican culture and learn a new language. Ergo, HEC.
- What have you gained from the HEC Master of Science (from a personal or professional perspective)?
At a personal level, I met students from several different nationalities – French, German, Dutch, Moroccan, Russians, Lebanese, Brazilian and many more. The HEC campus is nice and cosmopolitan, and compared to schools in the UK or in the US, I think you get to meet a more diverse student body here at HEC. Professionally, I have benefited from HEC’s world class faculty, got a chance to meet with senior professionals who work in Investment Banking, Private Equity and Hedge Funds and I also had the freedom to choose a very interesting topic for my thesis. The diverse research interests of the faculty and the superb alumni network gives me the confidence to explore new and more exotic career moves a few years down the line.
- Courses, conferences, meetings, outings… What are the most significant memories of your year at HEC?
Let me share a couple of experiences. I especially enjoyed my course on “Quantitative Methods for Asset Management”. During this course, we were provided with a challenging set of assignments that helped strengthen my skills at statistical analysis and optimisation methods. This was very interesting since I had already used these tools in Engineering analysis, but it was great to know how financial theories like CAPM and Factor models use a very similar kind of math to analyse securities and portfolios. During this course, we had guest lectures by the Head of Risk Management at a Hedge Fund and by the Head of Asset Management of BNP Paribas. I deeply appreciated the fact that courses were often taught jointly by professors and practitioners. This helps one develop a very balanced perspective about how markets work.
In terms of outings and social events, I don’t think there’s another school in Europe which has as vibrant a social life on campus as does HEC. There are weekend outings to explore the museums, to the French countryside, trips to Disneyland, to Brussels and so on. And if you enjoy partying, then ones organised on campus are the perfect way to unwind after a week’s worth of regressing, back testing, data fitting, forecasting, simulating and modeling!
- What advice would you give to students who aspire to subscribe to HEC MSc?
15 years from now, when you are invited to speak at a conference on Investment Management, you will perhaps be asked the question “What is the smartest investment you have ever made” ? For me, the answer would be simple – enrolling in the HEC’s Finance Master! It is by far the best investment of my time and money. You will study at the best business school in Europe, have access to the best jobs, make friends with the smartest people across the globe and to top it all, you will enjoy every moment of your life here. So the only advice I can give is that you choose your program wisely – there is such a wide selection of promotions to choose from. Speak to current students and to alumni. Visit the school on open day and check out the infrastructure. Alternately, “Stop whatever it is that you are doing and apply right away. »