"The water that bears the boat is the same that swallows it up." It is the Chinese metaphor that suggests if something is used correctly, it will be of benefit. If used incorrectly, it will do harm. Over the past few decades, the emergence of financial innovations has become an important role in financial markets for better risk management. However, the increasing numbers of structured products such as CDO created in recent years often appear difficult and ambiguous to be understood. Mismanagement of such tools could result in a disaster to the user herself as if a short gun misfired. Realizing the importance and the necessity to master the edge of financial techniques and to develop effective hedging strategies, I found a graduate education in mathematical finance and computation would be vital for my knowledge and career development.
Having begun my career as a management trainee at corporate banking division in XXX Bank in 2008, I had a chance to sail with the bank to overcome the unprecedented financial tsunami. During the time at the bank, I was not only responsible for structuring credit facilities to mitigate the counterparty risks but also helping corporate clients hedge their financial risks with plain vanilla financial instruments: interest rate swap and currency forward contracts. However, financial analysis is becoming increasingly technical while the range of alternative financial instruments is expanding and is becoming crucial for effective hedging. Therefore, rather than limiting myself in the fixed income segment, I moved forward to be a trading analyst with XXX Security Ltd, responsible for financial analysis on stocks and derivatives recommendation. At the security firm, as well as hedging, derivatives such as index futures and options are used to engage in arbitrage in reaction to market mispricing. I was impressed by one of the firm's directors that demonstrated how mathematics finance combining technology derived conclusions that can be otherwise difficult to find or not immediately obvious from intuition in practice. My motivation to study advanced level of financial mathematics and computation was further developed.
The rationale of hedging strategies was backed by the theories of mathematical finance. It is a field of applying advanced mathematical methods with computer technology to price financial tools and to suggest strategies for investment. In my undergraduate study, both of my majors had a close relationship with mathematical finance. From financial econometrics courses, I learned to generate models based on historical data for trend projection. From the finance courses, I learned the reputed financial models such as Hull White models and Black Scholes models to price the derivatives. Both majors provided me a good preparation for the study of financial mathematics. Yet, in order to fully comprehend the master's degree program, I would like to study Mathematics Pre-Master Diploma Program towards the postgraduate degree progressively.
In the recent years, the renewed focuses on risk management, new products for complex regulatory environments and ever-increasing augmentation of machines into the investment process such as high frequency trading and algorithmic trading have opened up tremendous prospect for the field of financial mathematics. The Master of Science in Financial Mathematics and Computation at University of XXX stands out for me because of its practical and highly quantitative contents. The programme offers core courses dedicated to mathematical tools commonly used in finance - C++ Programming. Together with elective courses such as "Advanced Methods of Derivative Pricing" workshops, the curriculum of the programme will equip me with quantitative techniques and practical knowledge that are essential to achieving my career goals. I believe that my past working experience would add value to class discussions by bringing in real-life examples in the banking industry and stock markets.