MFE to Facebook: An alumnus leverages his degree for a position in data science


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Juan received his Bachelor of Electronics Engineering and Economics from Andes University and then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Economics. For Juan, the Berkeley MFE was the perfect program to help jumpstart his career in the industry and form the necessary skills and connections to thrive.

“Having professors who have developed the underlying theories of the field and shaped the industry into what it is today has given me incredible insight into the workings of the market. In addition, the seminars from top industry practitioners have shown me that the demand for data scientists is increasing steadily.”

The program has greatly improved Juan’s general problem solving skills. Its challenging curriculum forced him to reshape his approach to problems. After completing coursework, he felt more confident facing a wide array of challenges, while also remembering that there is always room for improvement, especially within such a rapidly changing environment.

The most important skills Juan says he learned during the program was how to approach practical issues on the application of asset pricing concepts to practical strategies, as taught by Professor Eric Reiner.

Juan is proud of the projects he completed, with input from industry practitioners and program faculty. He applied machine learning and Bayesian econometrics to design portfolio allocation tools.

Before coming to the MFE, Juan spent time working for the Central Bank of Colombia monitoring financial markets and conducting quantitative research to help the Board of Governors make policy decisions. Currently, he is working as a data scientist at Facebook. He is also contemplating launching a FinTech related start-up in Colombia in the future.

“The program requires a high degree of innovation. You have to make things happen and be creative in your approaches. Each time I had an idea about a new project, or career opportunity, or opportunity for growth, I instantly had support from the program; the program established a very strong foundation for me.” -- Juan Rassa, MFE 2017

Learn more about the Berkeley MFE Program and how we can help you launch your career by going to our website or by joining an information session.

About The Author

As Assistant Dean and Executive Director of the Berkeley MFE Program, my role-among other things-is to develop and maintain contacts with firms to find opportunities for the students and place them in outstanding internships and full-time positions.