MSQF Cohort Leader Spotlight: Gary Z.

July 30, 2019

Gary Z. was elected by his MSQF classmates to be the Cohort Leader. As Cohort Leader, Gary is responsible for planning social events for his classmates and serving as a liaison between the students and program administrators.

Below, learn more about Gary's background, why he decided to pursue a MS in Quantitative Finance, and his reflections on the program so far.

Q: What was your undergraduate major?
A: I graduated in May from NYU College of Arts & Science (CAS) with a major in Economics and minors in both Math and Computer Science.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue a MS in Quantitative Finance?
A: I decided to pursue the MSQF degree because I have always been interested in investing and wanted to expand my tool set to help me make investment decisions. I believe what I will learn from the program will definitely better my understanding of investing in general, which is turning out to be true based on the knowledge gained in the past two months.

Q: How did you hear about the program and what made you apply?
A: I attended NYU for undergrad and, when I first wanted a MS in finance, naturally started browsing the Stern website and found this program. I am well aware of Stern's good resources in terms of well-developed courses and extremely competent faculty. It is my honor to be part of Stern. The degree really ties my major and minors together. I am actually employing knowledge from all three aspects during every class. Also, I know that I want my future to be based in Shanghai and this program offers the perfect opportunity for achieving that task.

Q: What's your favorite student experience so far in New York this summer?
A: Nasdaq and Coney Island! It was very cool that we saw inside of the Nasdaq at Times Square. We also enjoyed Coney Island very much. We got on almost every single ride, and there are more than twenty rides in total.

Q: How would you describe your Stern experience in a few words?
A: Promising and enlightening.

Q: What is your favorite class so far? Why?
A: Corporate Finance. I received a lot of advice from many people working in the financial services industry, and they all said that knowledge from Corporate Finance is what they use all the time. I totally agree after grinding through half of the course. So far we learned methods of valuations of firms and projects, which is very crucial knowledge.

Q: What class are you most looking forward to taking in the fall semester?
A: I'm most looking forward to Futures and Options, as derivatives are a big part of trading that convey a lot of information regarding the underlying assets.

Q: How would you describe your relationship with your professors?
A: I feel that we have very friendly relationships. It is obvious that the professors genuinely care about students, which makes reaching out to them very easy.

Q: What advice would you give to prospective students who are considering whether or not to apply for the MSQF program?
A: This is a fast paced program that will prepare you not just ability wise, but also mentally for your future position; in other words, your total competence. The program is definitely more challenging than what you typically encounter from undergraduate courses, but not as intense as an actual job, so I would say it is the best in beween amount that will grant you a smoother transition from being a student in the academic space to becoming an employee in the corporate space.

Thanks, Gary!