At 5:10, or earlier if I am too eager to wait for the alarm clock to sound, my day begins. In the one and a half hour commute that takes me to Frankfurt, I review the contents of the previous quantitative fundamentals lecture and sharpen my coding skills by solving exercises from the Algorithm and Data Structure Class. At around 7:20 I see the first rays of sun reflected in the glass of the Frankfurt Skyline, welcoming me to a demanding but equally rewarding journey.
My first stop at Frankfurt School is the gym. Working out not only energizes me but also let me discharge the tension I gathered the day before while working as a trader at the Frankfurt Exchange. The flapping noise of the prices revolving in the black boards, the prominent chart of the DAX piercing through it records high for the year, all that fades away.
At 9:15, in the classroom, I pour hot water into my mate, a traditional South American crafted pumpkin, and sip the caffeine-rich tee through a silver straw. The intensive day of lectures can now begin. The schedule for today is the study of machine learning techniques as well as methods for storing and managing Big Data.
Lunch time is at 12:30. During the breaks, I take advantage to bond with my classmates, a diverse group of highly driven individuals from all corners of the world. Having exposure to such community is by far the most enriching experience at Frankfurt School.
Short before the lectures resume I can’t help but check the markets. As an exchange specialist, market maker, I provide liquidity to the market, filling orders that are routed to the exchange and often taking the risk of holding a position by selling when others don’t want to sell and buying when others don’t want to buy.
So much uncertainty surrounds me. Did I sell too early? Should I have kept that position open in light of an upcoming trade deal between the US and China? Is the ECB going to lower the interest rate further in their next meeting? Is there going to be a Hard Brexit? Is Argentina going to repay its debt if a change in the government takes place after the upcoming elections? What is the probability of any of these events happening? What is the market pricing? A slight mistake can cost my employer substantial money, and can cost me my job and even perhaps my career.
I don’t want luck to be my strategy. I want data to be the compass to guide me through hard and important decisions. It makes therefore sense that I enrolled in the Master in Applied Data Science program at Frankfurt School. And so far, it has exceeded my expectations.
It is now 17:30 and I am on my way back home. I use the journey again to either review what I learned or to relax. After all, the most demanding part of the day begins as soon as I arrive home, when a young girl and boy, my kids, greet me with an overwhelming hug and drag me to play with them. And so I spend the last hours of the day, playing hide and seek, building parkours around the house, teaching them to count and a few words in Spanish. And if they fall asleep before I do, then I may get to spend some time alone with my wife.