The School of Business at Stevens Institute of Technology awarded five students prestigious scholarships by UBS that will support them as they pursue a graduate degrees in financial disciplines.
“The pace of technology-driven change is accelerating, and most job interviews spend significant time probing candidates’ technology knowledge and quantitative skills,” said Dr. George Calhoun, director of the Hanlon Financial Systems Center that acts as a hub for finance teaching and research at Stevens. “The tech-intensive nature of the industry means even early-career positions often require the kind of knowledge taught in a master’s program.”
UBS sponsored the five scholarships as part of a strategic partnership with Stevens, in which the Swiss financial services giant has provided funding to support education and research in finance and fintech, as well as related disciplines like artificial intelligence and blockchain.
Seeking a simpler transition
“Technology is moving fast for everyone, and this is just as true in education as within our industry,” said Mike Dargan, chief information officer at UBS. “If we continue to work together and collaborate on the technical challenges we face collectively, the transition will be easier for all of us. This is why we are so proud of our partnership with Stevens and of this year's scholarship winners. Congratulations to you all!”
The scholarship winners are all completing their undergraduate degrees in spring 2020; many have leadership experience with the Stevens Student Managed Investment Fund, a course where undergraduates work as wealth managers for a portion of the university endowment. The students are:
- Asher Mazaika has done three internships — two with NASA and one with Prudential — and has worked as a teaching assistant while serving in the Stevens chapter of Phi Beta Lambda.
- Laura Murphy has been a research assistant and serves on the Stevens Honor Board. She completed internships with Deutsche Bank and Trinity College in Dublin.
- Dean Efrati Saidon is president of the Stevens chapter of PBL and has worked as a research assistant. He’s done three internships, with First Derivatives, ProSight, and JPMorgan.
- Jacob Southren has completed internships with Celgene and JPMorgan. He also plays lacrosse and is part of Delta Tau Delta.
- Nicholas Ventrone completed an internship with MetLife.
Murphy, who plans to complete her master’s in Financial Analytics with support from the UBS scholarship, said she first became interested in the topic after taking some of the required courses in her Quantitative Finance program.
“I am hoping the Financial Analytics program will help expand my knowledge on topics like data visualization and database design,” Murphy said. “I think it is useful to learn about analytics within a financial context because even though analytics can be applied on data within any industry, applying it to financial data gives you practical project experience while still being in school.”
Mazaika, meanwhile, said the support from UBS is helping him to pursue a master’s degree in Financial Engineering, which he expects will allow him to delve deeper into technical topics he’s been introduced to in the QF program.
“In the current job market, a bachelor’s degree is often not enough to differentiate oneself,” he said. “A master’s degree shows that you are passionate about your field and dedicated to continuing your education.”
The technical component of the Financial Engineering program was important to Mazaika, but so is its orientation within the School of Business, which adds a practical, problem-solving element to the curriculum.
“The financial industry requires increasingly technical skills and expertise, and the Financial Engineering program is a great way to hone these skills while exploring diverse topics such as algorithmic trading or financial services analytics,” he said.
A School of Business alumna who played a key role in the formation of the UBS-Stevens partnership said she's excited to see what the future holds for these students.
“As a graduate of Stevens and a part of the chief digital office at UBS, I’m proud of the work we've accomplish together in this partnership,” said Krista Sticco ’12. “The students are getting relevant real-world experience on cutting-edge technology while obtaining their degrees, and that is a relationship that works great for all of us.”