After my studies in engineering and signal processing, I kind of just rolled into the financial sector. Paul Wilmott's books were instrumental for me to provide the link between mathematics and finance practise. Ever since then, the CQF program has been on my wish list of professional certifications. It took a while before I actually applied to the program but eventually I took the plunge and decided to participate on my personal account.
By the time I took the program, I already had some experience in quant finance and was, to varying degree, familiar with a lot of the topics. What the program did however, was really solidify the fundamentals of my knowledge. It refreshed a lot of the basics that were somewhat rusty and filled in gaps that I sometimes did not even realise were there. After the program I was definitely more confident on the practical application of a lot of theoretical concepts. It also enabled me to better explain quant concepts to others, both inside of my organisation and to external clients.
All in all, the CQF program was the most interesting professional certification I ever did and I would recommend it to anyone in the industry. I genuinely enjoyed attending the courses online and getting into the flow of the program. I appreciated the mix of industry speakers and in-house faculty, with some of them the best I have ever experienced. I loved the depth and rigour with which, especially the first half of the program was treated. If anything I regret that the program was only six months. I would have opted for a 12 or 18 months program where some of the more advanced topics could have gotten the same elaborate treatment.