After obtaining her master’s degree in mathematics from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Charu Arora, MFE class of 2014, began working at a large bank with their equity derivatives desk. Over time, she realized that although she had a strong quantitative background, her knowledge of quantitative finance and various asset classes was limited. She determined a further degree in quantitative finance would help drive her career in the right direction, and so she applied to the Berkeley MFE program.
“The MFE program at Berkeley is strenuous, but it is also an exhilarating experience. Each day brought new challenges and prepared me to solve practical problems faced by the industry,” said Charu. “The faculty’s focus on questioning the status quo was an integral part of my experience. It not only refined the way I have approached problems, but has had an everlasting impact on my work ethic.”
Charu said that the MFE program provided her with a comprehensive knowledge of finance. The various asset classes and financial theories prepared her to succeed in the workforce and adapt to any finance role she would have accepted in the industry.
Charu’s proudest moment in the program was representing the university at the International Association for Quantitative Finance (IAQF) competition and winning. She worked in a team of six students and presented their analysis on the cause of AIG’s failure in 2008. She found that this was a great opportunity to not only test her application of financial understanding but also form strong bonds with her fellow classmates.
Currently Charu is working as a strategist with the Securities Product Group - Commercial Real Estate Lending Team at Morgan Stanley in New York. She works closely with asset managers and traders on the pricing methodologies and hedging strategies.
“It's been more than two years since I completed the Berkeley MFE program, but through the tight-knit alumni network, my tie to the program has kept on strengthening. I am proud to be a part of the reputed Berkeley community.”