"The main financial engineering courses were taught by leading professionals"
At Mälardalen University, David Brown studied the Master's in Applied Mathematics, the Financial Engineering program. Today, he is a Risk Specialist working in the Investor risk department at Swedbank Robur in Stockholm.
— I have a very satisfying job with a good salary and plenty of advancement potential. I look forward to learning and growing in my current position for a few years and then taking my knowledge and experience to better positions and salaries wherever they present themselves.
Before entering the program he had no previously experience with finance.
— Without my education at MDU I would not only be wholly unfit to work at my current position, but I would be absolutely unemployable in the finance industry in general.
David's daily routines are to monitor Robur's mutual funds as well as external funds managed by Robur, to ensure the funds follow the investment and risk guidelines in accordance with the contracts and expectations of the unit fund holders.
— My non-routine functions entail researching the risks and regulations for proposed investment instruments, coordinating with external vendors with regard to risk management tools and techniques, and using my knowledge and experience as a company wide resource to help promote a strong risk culture.
What is the best about your job?
— The part I find most exciting about my job is the diversity in knowledge that I need in order to excel at my tasks. As a member of the Investor Risk team I am involved with almost all other departments in the asset management company to some degree. By providing me with the opportunity to use many different areas of my education I am in no danger of feeling like my knowledge or talents are pigeonholed into one narrow field of the asset management business.
What was the best of the education?
— The best part of the education provided at MDH was definitely that the main financial engineering courses (Portfolio Theory I and II and Analytical Finance I and II) were taught by leading professionals currently working in the asset management industry. Not only was our education current with the industry but the practical advice given throughout the course of the program was relevant. The added benefit of also having professional contacts in the field upon graduation was an extra bonus that was instrumental to my follow-on success.
"Do not be afraid of the math"
David have several tips for current and future students, including reading the material before lectures and cultivate relationships with people in the industry.
— And do not be afraid of the math, but rather learn to love it, he says, and continues:
— If you need to refresh on some math from years ago, buy a refresher book and study. A firm understanding of the underlying mathematics of finance is fundamental to being successful in the finance industry as an analyst or engineer. Do the practice problems more than once. When you finally manage to get the problems solved correctly solve them again and again and again to drill the mathematical tools into your memory. Having access to Google on the job can help you with facts but it cannot help you think.