Meet Xun Ma- Career Ambassador of the Week

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"My name is  Xun Ma (May 2015 Graduate), and come from a small city in the southeast of China, Guiyang. As a first year student in Financial Mathematics program at North Carolina State University, I got an awesome opportunity to be an Ambassador of the program.

Before I came to the Financial Mathematics program, I was majored in Econometrics. As a Chinese student, I found that I learned a lot through the work experience as an Ambassador. The Ambassador is a role not only about leadership, but also a role about professionalism. This is a good way to experience professional environment in the United States. Within few months in the role, I had the opportunity to have close communication with professionals in financial industry and help advisors to prepare board meetings and career fairs. All of these professional events fulfill the rest of my time out of academic study.

My personal interest is to apply mathematical skills in model construction in order to solve practical problems. In the short run, I plan to be a risk modeler. So far, I enjoy learning related numerical skills and programming skills based on solid theoretical knowledge in quantitative finance. I have implemented my quantitative skills in several projects that are mainly focus on explaining the relationship between interest rate spread and sovereign debt crisis.

More importantly, my Ambassador role provides extra resources to help me improve my communication skills and opportunities to introduce myself to a large range of working professionals from different companies. All of these experiences give me passion and confidence to pursue my career goal."- Xun Ma

Financial Math Job Shadowing Program- first event!

"In efforts to add more career development programs for Master of Financial Math (MFM) students, I developed a job shadowing program for selected students to assist with their career planning and goals.  Job shadowing experiences allow students to learn more about a particular career field of work and observe first-hand how professionals spend their day. Through informational interviewing, students are able to ask specific questions about career paths and jobs that they may (or may not) picture themselves working in the future. The job shadowing experiences also provides students the opportunity to network and develop important connections."- Leslie Bowman, Director of Career Services

Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU)- First Financial Math Job Shadowing Employer

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(Left to Right- Xiaohong Chen, Jing Lan, Changyi He, Lei Mao - all May 2015 Graduate) In the Lobby at Local Government Federal Credit Union, Raleigh, North Carolina

In continuation of efforts to give students greater exposure to the real world, a visit to Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU) was arranged by the Director of Career Services, Mrs. Bowman, with the help of Mr. Sander Casino, Vice President of Finance at LGFCU and Board Member of the Financial Mathematics program at NC State.

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Entering Local Government Federal Credit Union- Lobby

Four students  plus two Financial Math interns including myself (Priya), were eager to learn more about the banking industry; specifically, how credit union works. On our visit to LGFCU, we got the opportunity to have round table discussions with the Vice President of Investment and Vice President of Risk Management, along with Mr. Casino.

Mrs. Renee White, Vice President of Investments, started the presentation with an elaborate discussion on the credit unions’ investments. Her dedication to her job was evident and she inspired intelligent questions from the students. Answering each of the questions, she also gave an insight into what the future of the bond markets looked like.

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Mrs. Renee White's presenting the credit union's investments.

This was followed by a presentation on risk management by Mr. Gary Schuette, Vice President of Risk Management and Strategy. His passion for implementing the most optimum risk management techniques kindled an urge amongst the students to know more. Mr. Schuette graciously submitted to the student’s requests and explained his work and the field of risk management in further details.

Mr. Casino was present through the meeting to answer any further queries from the group. It was through his encouragement that the visit was made possible and he made sure that it was a success. Among the various topics he discussed, was the difference between commercial banking and credit unions. The spirit of community that credit unions inspire and the resulting model of sustainable banking through community involvement gave an insight into how fulfilling working at LGFCU must be.

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Mr. Gary Schuette's presentation on risk management. Mr. Sander Casino, MFM Board Member on the right.

As the meeting came to an end, we could not help but wish for further information and time with these seasoned professionals, who despite their busy schedules had been kind to allot time for the job shadowing visit. Thus, representing the very spirit in which LGFCU works.

In conclusion, the visit to LGFCU was insightful and helped all of us with our career plans. It was a valuable in-person learning experience. A few students in the group who envision working at LGFCU or a similar environment plan to keep in touch with Mr. Schuette, Mrs. White and Mr. Casino.

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Great visit with Local Government Federal Credit Union- thank you!

We are grateful to Mrs. Bowman, Director of Career Services,  Dr. Scroggs, Director of the Financial Math program and Mr. Casino and LGFCU for providing us this opportunity.

Written by- Priya Padher, May 2015 Graduate, Financial Math Intern

 

The festivities of Spring Festival- Chinese New Years 2014

February 6th is the seventh day of the lunar New Year, when the Spring Festival nearly ends. People in China gradually leave their home and get back to work. Although our Chinese students did not have the holiday off for a week in the United States, they still were to celebrate the spring festival in their own way. For example, several students had a good time in Xun Ma’s (May 2015 graduate) home on Chinese New Year’s Eve and enjoyed  hot pot. (Pictured above).

Hot pot, less commonly known as steamboat, refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf, vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, and seafood. Vegetables, fish and meat should be fresh. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter.

Hot pot is a kind of way to communicate more than just to eat. When cooking and eating hot pot, friends or family get together for hours to chat and drink. You will get warmer while eating as well as your relationship with your friends.

Pictured above, Samuel(December 2013 Graduate)  and Ilya (May 2015  Graduate) were also invited to a hot pot party. It was the first time for both of them to try hot pot.

Recent days are the coldest time in Raleigh, North Carolina with snow. Would you like hot pot to warm your stomach and heart?

 

 

 

Learn about the FRM Certification- Financial Risk Manager

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“There are several certifications in financial services such as CFA (Certified Financial Analyst), FRM (Financial Risk Manager) and ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). Each of these certifications may become our advantage when pursuing jobs and will definitely help us to learn a field of knowledge systematically. Among certifications above, people outside of the field may rarely hear about FRM, and seldom do they know that it covers a lot of knowledge in common with the financial math program. So today we will briefly introduce FRM to you.”- Yi Chao, May 2015 Graduate, Financial Math Intern

Overview

With seismic changes continuing to occur in the financial services industry worldwide, professionals who manage risk, money and investments are recognizing the need to objectively demonstrate a globally standardized level of up-to-date industry knowledge.

Requiring the successful completion of a rigorous two-part, practice-oriented examination, the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designation provides a bedrock foundation in a profession and industry that is rapidly evolving. Since the FRM Program's inception in 1997, Certified FRMs have achieved positions such as Chief Risk Officer, Senior Risk Analyst, Head of Operational Risk, and Director of Investment Risk Management, to name a few.

The global FRM community is growing dramatically, with Certified FRMs represented at nearly every major banking institution, government regulator, consulting firm and financial services institution around the world.

Career Benefits

The FRM certification, as the globally recognized professional designation for financial risk managers, clearly differentiates you from your peers, providing you with a competitive advantage with colleagues, clients and prospective employers. Whether you manage risk, money, or investments, achieving the FRM certification is a career enhancer.

1. STAND OUT TO EMPLOYERS

Employers around the world realize that the FRM Program prepares candidates with the specialized knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the dynamic financial services industry. The FRM designation is by far the best known and most respected designation for financial risk, with all of the top 25 global banks having a significant presence of Certified FRMs.

2. DEVELOP YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE

Mastering the concepts underlying risk management in today's dynamic market environment will give you a holistic view of risk management. By preparing for the FRM Exam, you will gain state-of-the-art knowledge that is useful on the job every day, because the Exam is designed and updated twice a year by some of the world's leading risk professionals to reflect current marketplace issues. 90% of those who sat for the May 2013 FRM Exam would recommend that their colleagues also sit for the FRM Exam.

3. JOIN AN ELITE GROUP

The FRM certification provides you with a lifelong platform to network with some of the world's most prominent financial risk management professionals, expanding your professional opportunities within the world of finance. More than 27,000 individuals from 110 countries and territories across the globe have passed the FRM Exam, so you will become part of an elite group.

4. DEMONSTRATE YOUR LEADERSHIP

Mastering the content of the FRM Exam and completing the many hours of self-study represents a significant commitment to the risk management profession, positioning you as a leader in the field and signifying your commitment to professional excellence. 

5. CONFIRM YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS

Real-world experience is an essential component of attaining FRM certification. No other financial risk designation requires candidates to demonstrate related professional experience -- so becoming a Certified FRM means considerably more than passing an exam.

6. ENHANCE YOUR REPUTATION

All Certified FRMs are expected to adhere to principles that promote the highest levels of ethical conduct and disclosure beyond following the letter of applicable rules and regulations. Employers know that Certified FRMs will help safeguard their firms' reputations.

Career Opportunities

The FRM designation creates opportunities for a diverse set of candidates to accelerate their careers, no matter what their backgrounds.

PROFESSIONALS

Professionals who manage risk, money, or investments and want to broaden their knowledge of the different types of financial risk enter the FRM Program in order to enhance their current skill set. Those who are earlier in their careers benefit from the breadth of the curriculum, which exposes candidates to the major strategic aspects of risk management, while more established practitioners often choose to become FRM certified in order to ensure that they are apprised of the latest trends in risk management, or they want to challenge themselves by testing their knowledge against an elite pool of risk managers.

CAREER CHANGERS

Career changers, such as those previously working in non-risk roles, become candidates for the FRM designation in order to broaden their opportunities by gaining specialized, practical knowledge in an area of financial services that is continuing to grow rapidly across the globe.

STUDENTS

Students with an interest in finance may elect to sit for the FRM Exam during or immediately after completing their studies as a complement to their coursework. Students realize that achieving the FRM designation demonstrates to future employers that they are able to master complex real-world challenges, since the FRM Exam is practitioner-driven. It also proves their commitment to pursuing a career in managing risk, money or investments.

Learn more from www.garp.org 
Source: http://www.garp.org/frm/frm-program.aspx