Alumni Spotlight: Cheryl Fang

Alum Cheryl Fang was a student in the Computational Finance and Risk Management Master of Science campus cohort of 2012, and has since established herself in New York City. She recently took the time to reflect on her experience in the CFRM program.

CFRM alum Cheryl Fang.

Hometown: Yichang, China
Undergraduate University: Huazhong University of Science & Technology
CFRM Cohort: 2012
CFRM Graduation: 2014
Current Location: New York, NY
Company: Credit Suisse
Title: Vice President

Q: How did your time in the CFRM program help you with your career path?
CF: Courses taught by academic and industry professors gave me a theoretical foundation and practical insight. CFRM’s extracurricular activities, including CFA/FRM/CAIA events, the R in Finance conference and company tours, created numerous networking opportunities. The program also had great career advising resources.

Q: What was your most memorable event or activity during your time in the program?
CF: It was the R in Finance conference, where I met dozens of industry practitioners and had interviews with several companies in just 1-2 days.

Q: What was your favorite CFRM course? Why?
Portfolio Optimization [CFRM 503] taught by Professor Doug Martin. I learned both advanced mathematical models and systematic implementation.

Q: What are your favorite memories of CFRM/UW Seattle/Seattle?
My favorite memories were the days and nights when I studied and worked hard for my dream. Those days let me know how much potential I could have.

Q: What is something you wish you had known when starting graduate school?
I wish I knew networking is secondary to studying. No matter how many interviews people get via networking, they won’t get a good job if they don’t have a deep understanding of the knowledge they learned.

Q: What is the best part of your current job/position?
The best part is its quantitative nature. It involves both mathematical modeling and programming (Python, C++, R) on a daily basis.

Q: What advice would you give incoming CFRM students?
Even though CFRM provides lots of resources, what is more important is your personal effort. My experiences to secure a good job were:
1. Learn all courses well;
2. Be proactive (but not aggressive) in networking;
3. Be well prepared and try to catch every interview opportunity.