Knowledge is Power: November Alumni Panel

By Erica Isabella

This November the Masters of Financial Mathematics program introduced something held an Alumni Panel where five amazing practitioners and alumni came in with the aim of discussing their path to finding the right job and what they have learned since then. Our fantastic hostess and Financial Mathematics program Career Coach, Marla Emery, asked the panelists questions ranging from “What soft skills are most important?” to “What knowledge did you leverage from your education?” All five panelists had some amazing insights to offer and as one student said,

“This event was phenomenal. Not only did it offer several tried and proven techniques to obtain relevant internships and jobs, but it also validated the relevance of our entire degree program and what we're being taught.” - Marshall Titch

Three of the panelists, Chris Brand, Dr. Jonathan Wang, and Sonam Raj currently hold positions at BB&T. They were able to impart a great deal of advice, but what stuck out was that when asked about important soft skills, teamwork and collaboration were key. When asked how to discern if interviewees possessed this skill, Chris responded that based on their experiences and interactions during the interview it is normally clear if this is a skill that they possess.

Joining these three was Shinese Purnell, currently a project analyst at First Citizens Bank and Lei Mao a Risk Modeler at Genworth. Both had received full time offers after excelling at summer internships with their respective companies. When asked about knowledge that they leveraged from their education, Shinese emphasised the importance of learning to program using SAS and Lei emphasized his statistics knowledge.

After the panel was a short reception, where it was obvious that students were enjoying their conversations with the panelists. Students were able to glean a great deal from these wonderful alumni. We all know that “Knowledge is Power” and the program was very lucky that these five fantastic people were willing to spend some time sharing their knowledge.

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