What degree are you pursuing and why?
I chose to change careers in 2020 and did a plethora of job hunts only to conclude that the positions I was pursuing were requiring an M.S. at minimum with a STEM degree. I was not aware of the Mathematical Finance program at UNC Charlotte until I had realized that I was going to need a graduate degree to continue my career. After some research and talking to the program director, Dr. Han, I was happy to enroll. I currently do algorithmic trading on US Equities and Cryptocurrency futures, and the math finance program is going to help me do what I love on an institutional level.
Why did you choose the Belk College of Business over others?
This is my alma mater! I graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2011 with an Economics degree and was a small business owner for 10 years. Returning to the Belk College for my master's was an easy decision.
What lessons have you learned in your courses that you were able to apply on the job?
Concepts that I have learned in Algorithms and Data Structures were immediately applicable to my live high-frequency trading. To be specific: I applied a variation of “Big O'' time complexity analysis to ensure that I was not going to query the Binance API too often or with too much weight and get a temporary ban.
What do you hope to accomplish this year in your role as an Ambassador?
I want to encourage greater adoption of quantitative analysis for systematic profit extraction, and I want to help students decide which concentration they would like to pursue within the Mathematical Finance program.
What activities are you involved in when not working/studying?
I love international travel – my wife and I try not to have any stretch of time after a vacation ends in which we do not know where the next planned vacation will be. We try to make use of Scott’s Cheap Flights for impromptu trips and only travel with carry-on bags if possible. The pandemic has not helped this pastime, but if you would like to chat about travel, please ask!
I adore reading Sci-Fi and Fantasy books; soft or hard magic systems, grimdark or futuristic, I’ll give it a try! I am more than happy to talk about books and authors and will gladly tell you my favorite reads. I occasionally sprinkle in nonfiction when there is something compelling that I need to read for my personal growth.
I enjoy pursuing my own health and fitness. I was a business owner in the strength and conditioning field for ten years and I believe I will keep this a part of my lifestyle as long as I am capable. If you are looking for help on where to start on your health and fitness journey, don’t be afraid to give me a shout.
What has been the best part of your academic experience so far?
The best part of my experience has been learning about the M.S. in Math Finance program from my advisors and realizing that I was genuinely interested to learn the subjects in which I was enrolled. I know what I enjoy doing, and I am excited to learn more skills so that I can do what I love and get paid for it.
How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone considering a master’s degree program?
Charlotte is the second biggest financial center in the United States next to New York City. The Belk College capitalizes on its location and surplus of local multinational corporations to set its students up for career advancement and success. There are graduate programs in real estate, accounting, finance, economics, management, business administration, and of course, mathematical finance. I encourage everyone who is interested to check out the curriculums to see if the material seems interesting.
Anything else you want to share that may help readers learn about Belk College graduate programs?
Something that helped me was looking at the required courses for the math finance program and then looking at past syllabi to see how interesting they seemed. Not all classes are uploaded, so your mileage may vary.