Please tell us about yourself

FINCAD, the leading provider of sophisticated analytics for multi-asset derivatives and fixed income portfolios, today announced Shagoon Malhotra as the recipient of their annual Women in Finance Scholarship award. Shagoon will use the award of $10,000 to pursue her master’s degree in financial engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

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FINCAD’s annual scholarship program is designed to encourage and support exceptional women in Finance, particularly in the areas of derivatives and financial risk management. This year, the number of applications FINCAD received increased by 200%. To this end, Bob Park, FINCAD CEO and President, commented, “It is very encouraging that financial engineering and financial risk management are attracting a growing number of accomplished women—and a good sign for the direction of the industry. Making the final decision was quite difficult because of the very high caliber of the applicants.” Ultimately, Shagoon’s exceptional qualifications set her apart as the 2017 winner.

What did you study?

Shagoon studied Economics, earning her undergraduate degree from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi. As an undergraduate, she joined the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), taking exams towards becoming a certified actuary. Shagoon has also participated in preparation classes for her coursework at UCLA and financial engineering courses through Columbia University. She plans to take the CFA in 2018. Thus far, her career experience has included working as an analyst on the Equity Advisory team of the Investment Banking Division for Nomura, a global investment bank in Mumbai.

How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and uncommon career?

It was clear through Shagoon’s application essay that she had a higher purpose for her work in Finance. “Two factors that have defined my long-term career goals are, first, my desire to help people break the shackles of poverty and second, my passion for the capital markets,” Shagoon stated. “Having been exposed to the financial industry for some time now, I find it fascinating just how much it has the ability to influence growth. Consequently, my two seemingly dissimilar interests have unified into one vision for life: use the power of finance to bring about long-lasting social change by making impact-investments, especially in the micro-finance sector.”

What are your future plans?

Shagoon plans to launch her career at a traditional investment firm in order to acquire the foundation and experience she requires in the industry. Later on, she envisions herself working for a firm like BlueOrchard that makes impact investments in organizations and funds aimed at nurturing positive social or environmental change, while simultaneously turning a profit.

When interviewed, Shagoon also expressed that the scholarship will measurably reduce the financial stress of being a full-time graduate student. “I couldn’t be more pleased and relieved that I have been given this amazing opportunity. The award is going to lighten my financial burden and allow me to stay completely focused on my studies,” said Shagoon.  “In addition to the financial support, I feel honored that, of all the accomplished applicants, FINCAD selected me. This vote of confidence in my abilities only gives me more motivation to work hard and achieve my goals.”

What is the FINCAD scholarship?

“This is a tremendous opportunity that FINCAD is giving women who have traditionally not pursued careers in Finance at nearly the same rate as men,” Shagoon added. “It is my belief that programs like these will go a long way towards encouraging women to attain their goals, and close up that gender gap we still see today in traditionally male-dominated fields like the Capital Markets.”

Are you, or is someone you know, interested in applying for this scholarship? Be sure to check back with our FINCAD Women in Finance Scholarship web page in 2018 for more details on applying next year. Please note that the scholarship opportunity is open to women of any age and citizenship who are studying Finance in an accredited graduate-level or PhD program.