Why NYU Tandon? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unique career?
My undergraduate degree is in computer science engineering in India at University of Kerala, and I wanted to bring that background to bear in the field of finance. I researched schools and discovered that NYU Tandon had an impressive program in finance and risk engineering that would allow me to focus on computational finance.
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Was it hard adjusting once you arrived?
Actually, it was not because I jumped right into all the activities in the FRE (finance and risk engineering) department, not only for my studies but also in connection with my responsibilities as a teaching assistant. I also worked in the Human Resources office. I made a lot of friends right away among the students, staff, and faculty.
What has your career been like?
Right after graduation I joined the Quantitative Analysis Group at the Treasury Department of International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is the second largest arm of the World Bank Group. I’m based in Washington DC. The IFC is committed to projects in developing countries that reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity. We finance private sector investments in emerging markets, mobilize capital in the international financial markets, and help improve social and environmental sustainability. I sit on the trading floor in Treasury and provide hands-on analytical support with measuring market and credit exposures and key performance factors, and modeling risk for complex derivatives transactions. My group develops models for pricing derivatives, measuring risk and provides analytical tools to the trading operations in IFC Treasury.
Iam currently a financial engineer at Fannie Mae and responsible for development and maintenance of credit models that perform loss forecasting, valuation and pricing for $253 billion multi family mortgage portfolio.
How did your Tandon education prepare you for success?
When I got to Tandon I aspired to work with hedge funds and had not given a lot of thought to entering the field of development finance. Professor Charles Tapiero, who was then heading the department, opened my eyes to its importance and the chance to really make a positive impact on the world. I got to serve as a teaching assistant to Bennett W. Golub, the co-founder of Blackrock, when the department launched the Financial Leadership course. I also worked as a teaching assistant for several other courses. I found that one of the best ways to learn is to share knowledge and teach, so that was a very valuable experience. I now teach the course Quantitative Trading Strategies at Tandon and am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the FRE department.