My Plans to Get a Science Degree in Finance

Published: 2021-09-15 07:30:09
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Category: Higher Education, Goals

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For as long as I can remember, I have known what I wanted to do with my life. Finance has always been a passion of mine, and asset management, in particular, has captivated me for a long time. It all started in 2008 during the financial crisis when our family, like many others, lost a significant portion of their savings in the market crash. I wanted to understand what caused the economic collapse, besides whatever I read in the papers. My parents blamed it all on greedy investment advisors who exploited their naivety and lack of financial knowledge. But could it be as simple as greedy bankers, or could it stretch into a complex web intertwining ethics, regulation, irrational behavior, and other factors? This curiosity and interest in the finance industry led me to take my first steps with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance.
In addition to sating my inquisitiveness through regular university coursework, I strived to be dynamic with extra-curricular activities. I was an active member of select clubs on campus (Finance Executives Club, Math Club), and was elected as the Treasurer of the Indian Cultural Club (2015-16). In my final year, I also helped co-found a private investment club with my classmates that pooled money into a trading account. However, I wanted to gain professional experience in addition to the theoretical knowledge that I was acquiring. To gain further exposure, I set off in gaining valuable experience by working as an intern in the industries and companies I was interested in, such as J.P Morgan.My experience working with investment advisors to manage clients’ portfolios through strategic asset allocation techniques in the Private Banking division at Standard Chartered Bank further stoked the fire within me for finance. During this time, I happened to notice that some of the migrant blue-collar workers in the building were unable to effectively express themselves in English and that this factor had taken a toll on their self-confidence. To help tackle this impediment, I spearheaded an initiative to help them develop and enhance their command of the English language by providing free-of-cost English classes, which also touched upon basic financial literacy topics. From a group of 12 people, the program eventually expanded to support about 30 people, and the positive feedback that I received from them was extremely heartwarming.
While I have been an immigrant in the Middle East most of my life, the experience has enhanced my personality in ways that will be professionally and culturally valuable in the long run. Having experienced the derogation of ethnic discrimination, I have learned to be sensitive towards other people and cultures. I have also taken some elementary classes in French and Japanese that is now enabling me to grasp the basics of these languages. The process of learning different languages has transformed the way I think and approach situations and has been my gateway to appreciating different cultures.
I also consider myself as a self-studied programmer, being able to write and execute snippets of code in VBA, Python, and HTML. Most days after work, I sign on to my subscribed program at Udemy, “Python for Finance”, and work on upskilling myself as I believe it is vital to constantly bolster my technical aptitude in this field. This is in line with my aspirations to work and gain experience in sales and trading at a major asset management firm.
Pursuing my education in Madrid is also an opportunity that I believe would provide me with the global perspective and experience that I am looking for. I also feel that I would have much to contribute to IE Business School’s community. My background in the banking industry, along with my passion for coding has given me a unique perspective and will be quite valuable in classroom discussions and team projects.

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