I started my career far away from finance. I have always loved engineering and I loved math, so I did a B.Tech at Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) and then began working in process automation for manufacturing as an Instrumentation Manager at Sabah Forest Industry, Malaysia. I liked the work very much, but ten years later, I found that there was no further scope for my professional development. So, I did what everybody does in India and enrolled in an MBA program at SP Jain School of Global Management. To my surprise, during the finance course, I found that this was where I wanted to go. Finance brought together all three things – my love of math, my work in engineering, and my new interest in the markets. Then I discovered the CQF and it changed my life. During this time, I was able to pivot my career from manufacturing into banking and started working as a credit risk analyst in the risk department of Kotak Mahindra Bank.
Then I discovered the CQF and it changed my life. During this time, I was able to pivot my career from manufacturing into banking and started working as a credit risk analyst in the risk department of Kotak Mahindra Bank.
The CQF program was well structured and very convenient; even though I was in India and had to contend with the time zones. You can attend the lectures after your normal working hours and appreciate the dynamics of the program without compromising on your professional obligations at work. It is hard work, but my advice, particularly for those who come from a different domain, is that it provides a wonderful opportunity for change and opens new horizons. The CQF gave me a different perspective and the complete skill set that was required for my new job. I will say that when you are making the kind of career transition that I did, you do take some risk upon yourself. For example, to make the initial move to finance, I had to take a lower salary than I had as an experienced engineer. The CQF was fantastic, but any certification you take can only help you to get a particular interview or work opportunity. After that, it's all up to you, your confidence, and how you present your new skills and what you could bring to their business. So, now after two years, I am Vice President heading ALM in Kotak Mahindra Bank.
The CQF gave me a different perspective and the complete skill set that was required for my new job.
To prospective CQF delegates, I would say, you must have confidence in yourself first. Then to determine if you will enjoy life as a quant finance person, you should be sure that you love maths, from the most basic levels; I think this is the most important factor. You should also have an appetite for the challenge, even when overwhelmed by the work and range of topics covered. I studied hard for the exams and now I often take advantage of the Lifelong Learning offerings. If I have problem at work, I will go back to the relevant module, or watch some of the extra lectures from the collection. So, don't get overwhelmed by the quantity of information Try to absorb it as much as you can, and rest assured that the greatest advantage is that you can return to it again and again.