I work for MSCI as an associate with a focus on analytics quality assurance. My responsibility is making sure our risk analytics product generates correct results. To do so, my daily work includes testing the code and helping the developers (most of them have computer science backgrounds and limited knowledge of financial derivatives) understand technical notes from research. From time to time, I need to research on aggregation conversion rules between currencies for different financial measures and models.
The MFM helped me prepare for the job I am doing now. Since I work on developing risk analysis tools, it is quite important to have basic ideas of financial derivatives and financial measures. Although we face much more complex models than simple options and do calculations far more complex than VaR or Standard Deviations, the things I learned in the MFM have actually provided me with the correct way to understand a new model and the intuition about these complexities. In addition, quantitative finance terminology is clearly introduced in the MFM. The practitioners' course is the one I liked most in the MFM program. It is unique because financial industry practitioners teach it. There are four modules, which are essentially independent mini-courses that exposed us to various aspects of quantitative financial practice. It makes UMN’s MFM different from similar programs in other schools.