IN THIS SECTION
Jessica Mitra is a summer 2011 graduate of the Financial Mathematics program (MSFM). She is currently working at IBM as a Senior Managing Consultant for their Financial Services Risk Practice in New York.
Jessica enrolled in the MSFM program in the fall of 2010, shortly after graduating from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business with an MBA in the winter of 2008. Her MBA from Booth helped her secure a job in Financial Planning and Analysis at the First Republic Bank (formerly Merrill Lynch), where she worked on various fixed income models and got interested in understanding the deeper mathematics underlying the financial models. Her time at Booth helped her develop a broad knowledge of the fundamentals of finance, while her time with the MSFM program deepened her understanding of the mathematical models and the risk associated with the financial markets. Jessica believes that having both of these degrees has allowed her to craft a strong resume, making her stand out among hundreds of applicants. The MSFM program, she said, has specialized her skillset, which helped her catch the eye of more recruiters.
When asked why she chose the University of Chicago, Jessica mentioned that the high quality of the teaching, the University’s strong reputation, and a strong Career Development Director in the MSFM program were among the deciding factors. Access to professors during the tutorials and after-class hours for discussions and one-on-one questionnaire sessions motivated her to think outside the box. She praised Edonna Larkins, Director of MSFM Career Development, for her ability to coach students, and her strong connection to program alumni and employers. Location, she said, was another factor, as Chicago has a healthy job market in the financial industry.
She urges students to participate in class, to challenge each other during group assignments to come up with compelling solutions, and to build a strong network amongst themselves and with program alumni. These connections, she stresses, will help students find good job opportunities. Also, she advises that students pay close attention to homework assignments. She has found many opportunities to apply what she has learned from homework assignments to the real world.