Meet Xiaohong Chen- Career Ambassador of the week!

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"Hello, My name is  Xiaohong Chen, a current student in the Masters of Financial Mathematics Program of NCSU. I have been in the United States for over nine months now and I feel this is one of the greatest times in my life!

To me, ‘quant’ was once a mysterious but exciting word, which captured my imagination. I can still remember the first time I learned about the binomial tree option pricing model; I became instantly fascinated with learning more. Since then, becoming a 'quant’ was my dream. Thus, I decided to come to NC State to chase this dream!

During my time here, I have realized that being a quant is challenging. Through the Financial Math’s career development services, I attended a job shadowing program to a local financial institution. Through this learning experience I got the chance to communicate with employees (in risk management and investment departments) to understand their job responsibilities. The job shadowing event was a great opportunity and I realized which career path I did and did not want to pursue. (Tip- it is just as important to know what you do and do not want to do in life) 

After carefully consideration, I have decided to pursue a Ph.D. in math after graduation. I know there is long way to go, and I will never give up my dream. If possible, I wish to be a Quantitative developer one day. I have talents and gifts in programming and I want to make full use of this skill in my future position. For next several years in academia, I plan to build a solid foundation for math and complement my background in computer science in order to make myself qualified for this job. This is a long way off, but it is a laudable dream. And I believe I can make it one day!

Life here is not tedious. I have enjoyed some of the greatest moments of my life and I made best friends in the past year. NC State’s Financial Math program offers several professional events during the year, and I am honored to be a Career Ambassador and actively participate in these activities. These experiences have already helped me improve my social skills and professionalism, which will help me network to land my dream job one day. I appreciate all these opportunities I have within this program and I quite enjoy my life here."

Xiaohong Chen, May 2015 Graduate, Financial Math Intern & Career Ambassador

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