Alumni Spotlight: Dorian Kandi

Dorian Kandi on the steps of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta building.

Computational Finance and Risk Management alum Dorian Kandi has found success at Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. A member of the Computational Finance and Risk Management MS campus cohort of 2015, he took some time to reflect on his time during and after the MS-CFRM program.

Hometown: Columbus, OH
Undergraduate University: Morehouse College
CFRM Cohort: Autumn 2015
CFRM Graduation: Winter 2017
Current Location: Atlanta, GA
Company: Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta
Title: Quantitative Analyst


Q: How did your time in the CFRM program help you with your career path?
DK: CFRM helped me narrow down what I wanted to do as a career. In undergrad, quant finance seemed very abstract, as there are a lot of different paths to pursue.  CFRM exposed me to a vast number of fields: portfolio optimization, risk management, high frequency trading, options pricing, etc.

The networking and interview prep!!!!! I used to struggle with behavioral interviews, then CFRM brought in an interview coach in the fall and that changed everything. The CFA Society dinners were also a plus.

Q: What was your most memorable event or activity during your time in the program?
DK: Getting an A in Dr. Lorig’s options class.  I had a lot of long nights studying for that class.  It reassured me that I belonged in the program.

Q: What advice would you give incoming CFRM students?
Find the best study schedule that works for you!  If you’re studying at night, don’t go to Ode, it’s very much like trying to study at Woody (the AUC library is dubbed “Club Woody”) during midterms. Lewis Hall is actually the best place to study in my opinion.

For Spelman/Morehouse students specifically, join the Black Student Union (BSU) and NSBE.  UW is a large campus, but it’s not hard to go a day without seeing someone who looks like you.  And when you’re all the way in Seattle, that may make you feel more isolated. BSU definitely created a familial environment that gave me a part of what I had in the AUC.

Q: What was your favorite CFRM course? Why?
The course numbers have changed, but my favorite course is undoubtedly Options & Derivatives [CFRM 504] with Dr. Lorig.  He teaches it like a math class rather than a strictly finance one; which was great for someone with a pure math background.  Despite it being one of the harder classes in the program, it was easily the one I was most prepared for coming from Morehouse.

Q: What are your favorite memories of CFRM/UW Seattle/Seattle?
Rooftop happy hours (seriously, looking at the water is just different); going to Karaoke on the Ave on Thursdays with the AMATH students. Because of my internship with Russell, I didn’t get to partake in a lot of the activities you guys had during the day.

Q: What is the best part of your current job?
The best part of my job is leveraging the math skills I’ve acquired to hedge interest rate and prepayment risk on an MBS portfolio that drives the bank’s income.

Q: What is something you wish you had known when starting your first job?
CFRM prepared me well for work. But working in Seattle is way different than working on the east coast. That’s the only thing.

Q: What made you interested in your current field?
DK: I could go on forever about how Dr. Lorig’s classes got me where I am, but that’s a happy hour conversation.