Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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We spoke to three MFRM students from the Class of 2018, a few months into the program, and again as they returned to Rotman at the end of their Risk Management Project to find out why they chose the program, what they hope to do when they graduate, and how they found the experience of dealing with real risk challenges during their project.

In this blog post we hear from Adam. You can also hear from Joanna and Dildar on our blog.

A few months into the MFRM program…

Why did you choose the MFRM program at Rotman?

The program at Rotman was attractive to me as the professors are very prestigious names in the field. I also was attracted to the fact it is a top business school. I knew they would have the connections to industry to help me land a job after graduating, and that they would be able to give me the polish I needed from the business perspective.

How have you found the program so far? What are your highlights?

I like the materials being taught. It is a lot of hard work, and multiple projects at any given time, but it is rewarding too. I’ve enjoyed the probability modelling course the most. Going into the finance lab, dealing with practical, real-world problems is a lot of fun.

What are you looking forward to and do you have plans about where you would like to work after graduating?

I know that I’d like to work in a quantitative area, however I don’t want to limit myself right now. There are a lot of options to work on the quantitative side so I’m going to be exploring more about those during the rest of the program. I’m really looking forward to my project with the Bank of Canada.

After completing the Risk Management Project…

How did you find the project?

I learned a lot more about risk management as a field and in a more practical sense. Working with real-world data, where everything isn’t as clean as it is in the classroom, where there is a relatively obvious answer, to dealing with ambiguities where you don’t know what the answer is – that was definitely an interesting experience.

What did you do during your project?

Our project was examining how news announcements affected the Canadian FX market. Seeing how the surprise announcements, deviations from what was expected, what impact they caused into the exchange rate – how big they were, and how long they lasted.

A day I came out feeling really good was when we’d finally got a few of the graphs out there, we could start drawing some conclusions. The next day we were able to run some regressions, comparing and contrasting, and realizing ‘Ok, this is a really interesting result, this isn’t what we expected, or this was what we expected’. That day we left feeling good because we knew we could see ourselves finishing soon, we knew that whatever happened we were in a good spot.

It’s interesting when we were first plotting the graphs, and the graphs make no logical sense, and you’re unsure whether it’s the data that wrong, whether it’s your code that’s wrong. We would work through the data together to see if there were obvious issues, speak to others at the bank to see if it coincided with that they have found in their research.

What do you think the future holds for risk management?

If we continue the trend of adding more and more regulation there is going to be more need for risk management, the amount of people needed to handle and calculate and make sure that the new regulation is being followed.

At the same time, there are other things in the industry, such as the increasing interest rate that might effect which direction this goes in the future

What are your current career plans?

This was my first time working in a research position. I definitely enjoyed it. If I have the chance to do some research in the future it would be something I’d serious consider. Working for the Bank of Canada was a great opportunity, it was definitely one of the better places I’ve worked in.

I said before that I like quantitative work, and during the project I did a lot of quantitative work, programming, working with data, I’m more confident I want to pursue a career in that direction.

The Master of Financial Risk Management is a full time program designed to prepare ambitious young professionals for careers in risk management and finance.

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