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An MFin alum on the importance of continuous learning, finding a fit in finance

Richard WongThe financial crisis of 2008 was a wake-up call for Richard Wong (MFin ’12).

“At the time, there was a lot of uncertainty in the industry,” explains Wong, who was a manager with TD Securities at the time. “I realized that I needed to be proactive in my career planning.”

To weather the financial crisis and future storms in the industry, Wong knew that he needed to strengthen the breadth and depth of his knowledge in key finance topics, especially around equity and fixed income investments. Pursuing a Master of Finance degree at the Rotman School of Management, located just 20-minutes from his Bay Street office, was a logical choice. And the rigorous program and guidance from renowned faculty would give him the skills to take his career to the next level.


“One of the important lessons I took away from the MFin experience was how much there is to know. There are new tools, techniques and concepts constantly being developed.”

-Richard Wong (MFin ’12), VP, Asset Securitization Group, TD Securities


Today, years after completing the program, Wong is a VP with the Asset Securitization Group at TD Securities. And he knows that maintaining a career in a fast-paced industry like finance requires passion and staying current with emerging trends.

“The learning never stops. Your skills are never up-to-date or complete for very long.”

Continuous learning

For Wong, a typical day at the office can involve analyzing large amounts of data for proposed securitization transactions, negotiating with lawyers, dealing with rating agencies and pitching products to clients. Though he’s putting his varied knowledge and skills to good use every day, he knows that he has, and will always have, much to learn.

“One of the important lessons that I took away from the MFin experience was how much there is to know. There are new tools, techniques and concepts constantly being developed,” he says. “As a finance professional, my learning journey is never really over.”

Wong credits the program with helping him develop a broad understanding of how capital markets operate. And the program has also instilled a deep appreciation for the formulas that are often used in financial modeling and projections.

“That level of depth has helped in explaining products to customers. And knowing the formulas and the purposes they serve is crucial if you are trying to structure a new product.”

Since graduating from the program, he’s started learning programming languages so that he can develop more complex algorithms. In addition to keeping in touch with former professors, Wong also stays current with advancements in machine learning and AI, and considers their potential impact in finance.

Advice for new grads: figure out where you fit in finance

Though Wong still has a long career ahead of him, he does have a few pieces of advice for new grads eager to break into Finance.


“The industry is big and there are so many different skills and personality types needed. It’s a matter of appreciating and finding the right fit.”

-Richard Wong (MFin ’12), VP, Asset Securitization Group, TD Securities


“Find opportunities along the way, whether it’s an MBA or an MFin degree, that will allow you to stay at the forefront of the industry. You will naturally progress.”

Most importantly, he advises young professionals to think about the various types of roles in finance — including sales and trading, investment banking, risk management, buy side asset management, among other positions — that would suit their skill sets the best.

“The industry is big and there are so many different skills and personality types needed. It’s a matter of appreciating and finding the right fit,” he says.

“It’s easy to burn out from the long hours and high demands, but if you’ve found the right role, the enthusiasm for the job will sustain you.”


Written by Rebecca Cheung | More Student Stories »

About Richard WongMFin 2012

Hometown

Hometown

Toronto, Ontario

Class

Class year

MFin ’12

Industry

Industry

Finance

Job Title

Current Position

VP, Asset Securitization Group, TD Securities

Previous Work Experience

Previous Employment

Manager, Asset Securitization Group, TD Securities

Previous Education

Previous Education

Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Toronto Scarborough




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