Following our last post, this week we want to introduce you to two other members of the inaugural Rotman Master of Financial Risk Management (MFRM) class. Their stories and insights make us excited about meeting all students who will be starting classes this September!
Prior Education: Bachelor of International Business, Global Financial Management, Carleton University
Prior Education: Bachelor of Commerce, Finance & Mathematics, McGill University
Hello Gillian and Jabir! Congratulations on your admissions to the MFRM program. Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Gillian: I’m originally from China, and I did my undergrad at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Aside from having a strong interest in finance, I’m an avid traveller. In fact, throughout my undergrad I had the opportunity to participate in various international internships, working for banks in China and Canada.
Jabir: I was born in Vancouver, and I’ve been in Ottawa for the past twelve years. During my undergrad I also had a chance to gain some interesting work experience, including a term at the Canada Revenue Agency, experience as a page in the House of Commons, and an internship at HSBC in Santiago, Chile. Aside from that, I also enjoy working in the community and have volunteered with NGOs focused on poverty alleviation and homelessness.
What peaked your interest in risk management?
Jabir: My interest in risk management developed during my internship with HSBC, where I was working in the credit and risk team. I first-handily observed the effects of regulatory changes and increased market volatility on the bank’s strategy and performance. Learning that risk management is the main area with the potential to cause a financial institution to fail or succeed is what motivated me to enter this field.
Gillian: In my case, I developed a strong interest in risk management during the last year of my undergrad when I took a course on financial institutions and capital markets. This course was a general introduction on how financial systems work here in North America, but it also included a review of what happened in the financial crisis of 2008. The whole concept was fascinating to me, so I decided that I wanted to pursue this further in school.
Why did you choose the MFRM program at Rotman?
Gillian: During my undergrad, I spoke to one of my professors and expressed interest in the field. He, then, mentioned to me that there was a new program at Rotman called the Master of Financial Risk Management and that I should probably consider it. At the time, I was thinking of applying to programs in financial engineering, but, after looking at the MFRM program curriculum, I realized that it was just what I was looking for. I also took a look at the professors teaching these courses and noticed that they were very well known. The thought of attending their classes is exciting!
Jabir: I chose the MFRM program for similar reasons. Like Gillian, I realized that as a top business school, Rotman has world-renowned faculty that will teach us cutting-edge knowledge. Given the current state of the global financial sector, I realized that there is a high demand for professionals that understand financial risk management; and, considering that the MFRM is one of the only programs of its kind in Canada, I felt that completing this program would give me an advantage in the job market.
What are you most excited about when you start the program in September?
Gillian: Lots of things! I’m excited about the courses, meeting students who share my interests, and being part of the inaugural class of the MFRM program. Given that it is a new program, I’m sure that there are many things to explore. I’m practically new to Toronto, so I definitely want to explore the food scene in the city and many of its natural parks.
Jabir: I feel the same way! I’m excited about developing friendships with new classmates and the opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in Canada. I’ll be new to Toronto, so I’m also very excited about exploring the cultural life of Canada’s largest city. I really enjoy watching and playing basketball; so one of the first things I’ll do is get tickets to a Raptors game!
What are your career goals?
Jabir: My immediate career goal would be to work in investment. I hope to develop a strong network through the MFRM program that will help me achieve this goal. In the long-term, given my interest in public policy, my long-term goal is to use the knowledge and expertise that I would’ve gained to help shape and contribute to fiscal or monetary policy in Canada.
Gillian: In the short term, I hope to get a job in risk management as an analyst—ideally, specializing in market or credit risk. Similar to Jabir, however, in the long-term I would also like to get involved in research and policy-making. I see myself becoming a consultant in risk management and hopefully gaining international experience.