Stevens Alumnus Experiences Wall Street from a World Away

1/3/2014

Suresh Gopal had to travel halfway across the world to the fast-paced Wall Street experience he’d always dreamed of, but he finally got it.

Gopal, a native of India with a software engineering background, completed his master’s degree in financial engineering at Stevens in December 2013.

His education and connections from the university helped him snag an exciting internship at Spartan Capital Securities, working on the trading floor with brokers and traders as he conducted research on high growth stocks and learned first-hand how markets run and the financial industry works.

“It was a dream to any financial engineering student,” Gopal said. “It’s a completely different world compared to my past experience as a software engineer. Everything had a tight deadline and everything had to be lightning fast in the beginning.”

Finance always fascinated Gopal, especially after the 2008 financial crisis and recession when terms like investment banking, risk management and market crashes became part of the regular lingo.

“For an undergraduate engineering student in electronics and communication, it was like Greek or Latin,” said Gopal. “I started exploring these new terms and found them to be interesting. The world of finance seemed to be a challenging environment and it is in this sector I wanted to carve out my career.”

So Gopal stepped away from his job as an assistant systems engineer in India and flew to the U.S. and enrolled in Stevens’ one-of-a-kind Financial Engineering master’s program, where he knew he would receive the high-quality, relevant and cutting-edge instruction needed to succeed in such an ever-changing field.

“Stevens is one of the very few universities which offers a quality Financial Engineering program, plus it has the state-of-the-art Hanlon Financial Lab and some of the best financial engineering professors,” Gopal said. “And proximity to New York City, one of the biggest hubs for finance, was a great plus.”

Although he had no previous foundation in finance, Gopal had no trouble finding his footing, thanks to the enthusiastic and personal attention from his highly-experienced professors as well as the welcome of the Stevens international graduate student community, who even celebrated traditional Indian holidays together.

“It seemed like a home away from home,” Gopal said.

He also enjoyed his courses housed in the Hanlon Lab.

“We had access to Bloomberg terminals and any financial data was available at my fingertips,” Gopal said. “It’s equipped with the latest hardware and software technologies.”

“The Financial Engineering Seminar Series is also a great boon for financial engineering students, helping us to understand current industry trends and research,” he added.

Gopal has lofty career goals. He hopes to design structured financial products by incorporating cutting edge methodologies and sophisticated tools to cater to the current and future needs of investment banking domain.

“I want to be part of the movement toward a secure financial recovery resulting in a mature global economy,” he said.

Fresh out of graduate school, he feels he is well on his way.

“I can proudly say deciding to pursue my master’s degree at Stevens to carve out my finance career was one of my best,” Gopal said. “Stevens helped me to build a good foundation in finance and it has one of the best teaching facilities and faculties for financial engineering. I personally felt my tenure as a student here was one of the best phases of my life.”