“For me, a career in finance represents a way to help clients achieve their long-term investment goals, ensuring that they will be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that their capital will be preserved and grown,” says MFin student Aaron Kharwar.
Kharwar, who earned a B.S. in economics and M.S. in Finance and Private Equity, came to the Rady School to gain experience applying programming to finance and putting finance theory into practice. Post-graduation, Kharwar wants to pursue a career as a financial or investment analyst. “I am particularly motivated by responsible investing as a way of allocating funds to companies that have sustainable work practices, but also achieve high financial returns,” he says.
We talked to Kharwar, an admissions ambassador, about his experience in the program thus far, including experiential learning opportunities, collaboration with his peers, and the faculty who have been instrumental in his education.
- MFin ’21
- Hometown: London, UK
- B.S. in Economics and Management from King’s College London; M.S. in Finance and Private Equity from The London School of Economics
- Previous internship experience in investor relations, investment analysis and insights
What led you to pursue your MFin at the Rady School of Management?
There were many factors that led me to choose the Master of Finance degree at the Rady School of Management. First, the MFin at Rady was designed to be a modern and innovative finance program, meeting the data-driven needs of the industry by equipping students with coveted skills in quantitative finance and data science. Additionally, the program culminates with a unique Capstone project where students will have an invaluable opportunity to work with leading financial firms on a cutting-edge research project. Attending Rady Preview Day also exposed me to the top-notch facilities on campus (including state-of-the-art Bloomberg terminals) as well as the exceptional faculty, who are motivated to innovate their classes with current research. The Rady School has an esteemed reputation in quantitative finance with Nobel Laureate Harry Markowitz.
What skills did you want to build on in coming to Rady?
I was very keen to learn how to apply finance to programming languages such as Python and I can assuredly say that, after two quarters, I have learned how to do that! The Rady MFin curriculum ensures that students have hands-on experience with Python in their core classes as well as a dedicated Collecting and Analyzing Financial Data class taught by Professor Michael Reher. My second core goal was to bridge the gap between finance theory and practice and representing Rady in the CFA Institute Research Challenge with my brilliant MFin classmates was a great opportunity to replicate the work of an equity research analyst. We wrote a research report on a local San Diego BioTech firm, valued the firm, issued an investment recommendation and presented our findings to a panel of CFA charterholders.
How have faculty made an impact on you so far?
The Rady faculty are at the top of their game in bridging finance theory with practice. In all of my classes, the professors have made a large positive impact by sharing fresh-off-the-press articles from the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal that cogently apply the concepts that we learned in class. We also went through several case studies that enabled us to immediately draw connections with the material and the real world. Professors also emphasize the importance of data-driven methods in Python as this a core skill that the financial industry is seeking. One quote that stayed with me was from Professor Rossen Valkanov in our financial econometrics class: “Liquidity… is like … love. Everybody knows what it is, but it is hard to explain.”
How have you been learning from your peers so far?
A unique offering from the MFin program is that our assignments are predominantly done in teams, which is highly rewarding as teamwork is common practice in the industry. From working with my peers, I have learned that ‘a problem shared is certainly a problem halved’. Through collaboration with my diligent peers, we shared productive ideas that led us to succeed in our assignments.
What are the goals of the finance club? What does your role as president look like?
The Rady Finance Club’s mission is to educate our members and affiliates in current topics in finance, support members in career development, and provide a professional, comfortable, and enjoyable environment to promote growth and support for each other. Upon graduation, we endeavor to inspire and empower members to become ethical and entrepreneurial leaders.
As President, I lead and work with my fellow club officers (across events, marketing and technology) to ensure that we bring the highest-quality events to the Rady School student community. I am particularly excited about our recent partnership with the CFA Society San Diego, that will empower students to succeed in investment management and pursue their CFA charter. My highlight of the Fall quarter was moderating our first virtual MFin Alumni panel and learning from the highly impressive alumni on how to succeed in the industry when we graduate.
What does your involvement as an admissions ambassador look like?
As an admissions ambassador, I enjoy speaking with prospective students and answering any queries that they may have about the MFin program or student life at Rady via email or Zoom call. Once we are back on campus, I also look forward to meeting incoming students in person and helping them make the most of their Rady experience!
What are your goals for after earning your MFin? How is this program preparing you to get there?
My goals after graduating are to break into the industry as a financial or investment analyst. The MFin program, with its deep variety of electives, offers students a fantastic opportunity to take classes from various disciplines (from computational finance methods to valuation in corporate finance). Recent talks at the Brandes Institute/Rady Summit and Rady Innovation in Finance Series have also been excellent to hear from experts in their field on current developments in finance and learn about how their work has been impacted by these developments.
I’m confident that Rady will provide me with an invaluable, diverse skillset that I can put to great use in an entry-level role.