Talal Alam-Eddine, MFin '22
- Job title: Senior Project Manager, Market Risk function, BMO Capital Markets
- Previous education: Bachelor of Commerce, Concordia University
- Other designations: FRM
What is your current job and what role does it play within the finance industry?
As a Senior Project Manager within the Market Risk function at BMO Capital Markets, I am responsible for implementing requirements under a key component of the Basel III framework. The initiative essentially revamps the way banks calculate their market risk capital. As one might expect for a project of this scope, I work closely with partners within risk management, the front office, and technology to ensure that the bank’s objectives are delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner. In addition to managing internal relationships, I also manage BMO’s external engagement and regulatory advocacy efforts within various ISDA and CBA forums, which allow industry participants to channel their feedback to our national regulator (i.e. OSFI) as well as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS).
Why did you decide to study the MFin program?
I decided to pursue the MFin program to deepen my knowledge of finance. Upon conducting my research, I found the structure of the program to be well-rounded and comprehensive.
"In addition to covering traditional subjects such as corporate valuation and portfolio management, I liked that the program has been updated to address some of the latest innovations in the industry –particularly those related to FinTech."
What is your top reason for choosing Rotman?
Choosing Rotman was an easy decision. Besides being a highly regarded business school overall, Rotman is Canada’s uncontested leader in the field of finance and is a very strong brand name on one’s resume. Another reason I chose Rotman was to expand my professional circle by tapping into the school’s network, which is particularly strong within the financial industry.
Any goals coming into the program that have already accomplished? Have you been able to hone in on new skills and apply them to your workplace?
A year into the program, I think that I have ‘leveled-up’ my knowledge of finance. I have deepened my understanding of fixed income instruments, derivatives, commodities, and market microstructure. Next year, I am looking forward to enhancing my technical skills including Python and machine learning, as well as taking Professor John Hull’s Innovations in Finance course.
How are you finding Rotman’s community?
Rotman’s vibrant extracurricular scene has provided a much-needed outlet to socialize with other students as well as industry professionals. Through participation in various seminars and case competitions, I was able to complement my MFin studies by honing some important skills in areas such as negotiations, entrepreneurship, and business design.
I was also privileged to have been selected to participate in Rotman’s LEADS program, where I was paired with a fantastic mentor who provided me with some 1-on-1 guidance as well as organizing a couple of financial industry gatherings for this year’s cohort of students.
What has been a highlight of your Rotman experience?
My participation in several case competitions has certainly been a highlight. My first competition was the TD Credit Risk Challenge, which was organized by the Rotman Risk Management Association (RRMA), where my team was given 2 days to decide whether to increase the limit on a credit facility for a large retailer. Upon presenting our findings to a panel of TD executives, we managed to snag 2nd place. My second competition was the Rotman Negotiation Challenge, which was organized by the Rotman Negotiation Club (RNC). This competition consisted of 5 rounds of hard-fought negotiations spanning everything from NBA player contracts to oil exploration deals, culminating in a tie for 1st place.
Finally, I also participated in The Problem Hunt, which was organized by the Rotman Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Association (REVCA). For this competition, my team competed with 70+ students from 3 universities and pitched the idea of a financial education app to a panel of VC executives. We ended-up winning 1st place in a closely contested final round.
Has the Rotman and the MFin program met your expectations?
The MFin has lived up to its reputation as a demanding, high caliber program – which is consistent with the feedback that I received from MFin alumni with whom I spoke to prior to making my decision to enroll. Rotman has also lived-up to my expectations as a top-notch business school. I was particularly impressed with Rotman staff who have been very helpful and highly accommodating throughout.
What has been your experience studying this year online?
The move to online learning has had its pros and cons. Convenience is a major advantage. The switch to virtual has also made it possible to participate in several events and workshops that would have otherwise been difficult, or outright impossible, to attend.
On the other hand, it has been tougher to develop personal connections with classmates and professors than would be the case if the program were held in-person. Networking has also been a challenge. Having said that, Rotman has tried to provide ample opportunities for members of the community to connect in formal and informal settings.
My plan is to remain in the financial industry. I would like to explore the FinTech space further as it aligns with my background and interests. I am hoping to leverage my upgraded skills acquired through the MFin program, along with Rotman’s connections to access new opportunities that would not otherwise be available.
What would you say to someone considering choosing the MFin?
The MFin program is an exceptionally good fit for financial industry professionals who are already working in finance and who might be looking for a career boost. I would encourage prospective candidates to connect with the admissions team for a preliminary assessment. I would also recommend reaching out to MFin students or alumni for a chat to discuss their first-hand experience with the program – most would be happy to oblige.
This post was written while Talal was a student in the program.
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