The Berkeley MFE is coming to India! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet our outstanding alum Shailen Aggarwal in person and to connect with MFE Staff. We’ll answer any questions you have about our program, careers, and admissions. Looking forward to meeting you!
Like many of our MFE alumni, Shailen Aggarwal was looking for a degree program that could help him transition into the finance industry. We strongly believe in preparing our students to be successful in quantitative finance and data science from the beginning to end of their careers, not just for the internship and right after graduation. Read on to learn more about Shailen’s story.
Before your career transition, you were in strategy consulting. Tell us about your journey to the Berkeley MFE. What brought you to our program?
I graduated from the National University of Singapore with a background in Computer Engineering and worked in strategy consulting, focusing on entry strategy, financial analysis, and business planning. I was part of the core team setting up business processes for several emerging insurance companies in India and while rewarding, I wanted to venture into a more quantitative role in the investment industry.
This led me to explore the best ways to make such a transition, and ultimately I set forth on my journey to the Berkeley MFE after attending an information session in India. What appealed to me was that the coursework is designed to strike a balance between traditional core finance modules and innovative topics like machine learning and data science, taught by faculty members with industry experience who emphasize real-world applications of concepts. The internship embedded within the one-year program provides an opportunity to gain practical experience, and through my conversations with Berkeley MFE alumni, I learned more about the various career paths for the skillsets I would further develop in the MFE.
Walk us through your career thus far (post-MFE). How did the Berkeley MFE help prepare you?
Since graduation, I have been working as an Associate Portfolio Manager at Mellon Investments. I work in the multi-asset team and focus on quantitative research and portfolio implementation strategies. The courses on empirical analysis, fixed income, and equities have all been tremendously helpful in providing me the necessary tools to contribute effectively in my role.
What advice do you have for prospective applicants and / or future graduates of the Berkeley MFE?
My best advice for prospective applicants and future students is to review concepts in programming, calculus, statistics, and machine learning before starting the program. It may seem like there is time before the program begins to get back into “school mode”, but it is extremely important to be well-prepared as interviews for internships begin within the first weeks of the program. It is certainly intense and fast-paced, but all the hard work you put in will return dividends for years to come. I have benefitted so much from a network of extremely talented classmates and experienced faculty and look forward connecting with our future Berkeley MFE’s.