When I started the MFM back in 2012 right after college, I didn't really know what I wanted to do in the future. I spent two extremely rewarding and significant years of change and growth in the MFM. From the coursework, I started to get a flavor of a very wide range of quantitative finance topics, from derivative pricing to risk management. From our seminars and other research opportunities I participated in, such as International Association of Quantitative Finance Academic Competition and the Modeling Workshop, I explored my interests more and learned from the experts. The many high-quality career fairs and networking opportunities were also very helpful for me to further understand my interests and my career goal.
Finally, I decided to pursue a PhD in Finance at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. I now work as an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Connecticut.
My main takeaway from the MFM, and what has informed my career ever since, is that academic finance research and the finance industry are closely connected. In particular there is nice interaction between practitioners in quantitative finance and academia. I remain in contact with MFM professors who are also industry quants, and many MFM alumni with whom I still stay in touch to this day. I know that I can always tap into the strong MFM industry network if I want to talk or collaborate with practitioners.
I see the MFM as a platform full of freedom and opportunities where one can explore the "ocean" of quantitative finance. What I miss most now that I am in Connecticut is the people - my MFM professors and the program directors who are my friends and colleagues. But I am only an email away and have regularly gotten involved in MFM activities and the MCFAM Seminar. I will continue to do so in the future.