Djordje Calic and Bryan Djerroud (MFRM '19) are Student Ambassadors for Rotman's Master of Financial Risk Management program. They recount their experiences in the program in this blog post:
Hard Work & Great Pride
The month of November represents a transition period. Just as we settled into a common routine, meeting the demands of our program, and expanding our acumen, we were thrust into a new challenge and opportunity that has us changing our habits once again. The nine-week industry project officially commenced on November 26th.
Finishing up the first semester has offered us an early chance to look back and reflect upon the valuable lessons learned and all the knowledge we have accrued to be successful for the project and in our preparation for full-time job opportunities post-graduation, which is only a short few months away.
Djordje Calic (MFRM '19)
Now on the other side we know full well we have come out stronger as a result of this unique experience.
As the semester wound to a close, it became apparent how much was learned over such a short period of time and how quickly the semester passed by. This serves as a valuable reminder to get involved early on in the exciting opportunities available, whether it be case competitions, clubs, academic governance, or networking with professionals in the field, with the caveat that it cannot all be done while striving for success in the program as well.
The habit of intense study and perpetual focus is hard to shake off at the outset of wrapping up and it can be easy to dismiss all that effort put in and immediately desire to get right into a new set of work, but it is healthy and necessary to reward yourself through grabbing dinner with your friends and toasting each other to the realized accomplishment.
There was an immense amount of hard work put in the first semester, most notably characterized by late nights, early mornings, feelings of exhaustion, but ultimately great triumph and pride. Now on the other side we know full well we have come out stronger as a result of this unique experience.
Bryan Djerroud (MFRM '19)
Most of all we have a sense of community, one that supports each other in all facets of our lives and empathizes with one another for the sacrifices made during the semester to meet the obligations of the program. We emerge with the self-confidence and efficacy to excel whilst working at some of the largest providers of financial services in Canada.
November saw us wrap up our courses by submitting final projects and presenting our research findings to our classmates, clearly showing how students’ communication skills have improved throughout the semester. Projects in our Regulation and Operational Risk courses ranged from new developments in financial regulation to the use of blockchain and machine learning by financial institutions to the rise of Initial Coin Offerings (“ICO’s”), amongst many other highly-relevant topics facing the financial services industry. Other notable projects included the submission of an annual report for our semester-long banking simulation and an algorithmic market-making competition for our Probabilistic Modeling course.
Most of all we have a sense of community, one that supports each other in all facets of our lives and empathizes with one another for the sacrifices made during the semester to meet the obligations of the program.
In the last week of November we started our industry projects, with some of us moving to Montreal to work at National Bank of Canada, Ottawa to work at the Bank of Canada, and others remaining in the heart of Toronto’s financial district working at the largest financial institutions including Scotiabank and RBC, pension plans including OTPP and CPPIB, and insurance providers including ManuLife. The projects are all varied and give students an incredible opportunity to apply what they learned during the first semester and interact with professionals across their organizations to learn from and build relationships with. For example, the group at the Bank of Canada had the opportunity to meet the Governor and Managing Directors of the various departments while students at Scotiabank had the chance to meet top members of the Treasury and Risk departments.
Students work with their team on initiatives such as a comprehensive research study assessing the impact of cash holdings on Canadian equity mutual fund performance, building a model to predict traders’ profits from interest rate movements, and developing a stress testing framework through interacting with colleagues in London, New York and Singapore. These three projects represent only a small subset of the many interesting and contemporary topics students are engaging in.
The Master of Financial Risk Management is a full time program designed to prepare ambitious young professionals for careers in risk management and finance.