Before coming to Frankfurt, and obviously since I’ve been here, I’ve been asked the question “But why do you want to switch from Physics to Finance?” The answer seems obvious to me because I was always fascinated by the financial world. Models everywhere to price products, implied rationality and realized over-reaction and herd behavior. Financial markets tend to emulate people’s behavior from one extreme to the other, and how could they not since people are the ones making all the decisions, at least until now. All these, combined with the benefits and costs they incur to society, attracted my attention and motivated me to pursue a career in this field.
Even though it seems like a zero sum game, I haven’t lost my interest in physics. My inner need in pursuing my Bachelor was to develop an understanding of how the world works. This passion will always keep me in touch with the progress and findings in physics. I suppose I wanted to be a scientist, thinking about how elementary particles interact with each other or more broadly, how studying the interactions in nature helps us to understand reality. The need to find the truth and explanation is a very powerful driving force for a scientist, and it was always appealing to me.
How could my background help me in this new exciting venture? First of all, Physics studies nature, but nature speaks mathematics! Therefore, while studying physics I developed essential quantitative and analytical skills, which can be used in any field of study. I believe that this will help me quickly understand the models used in Finance. But that was only the easy answer. I am certain that the open-mindedness which comes from the readiness to accept the best possible solutions and not keep on following your misconceptions, biases and beliefs is an important skill that goes hand in hand with any scientist. This qualitative side is also essential in Finance, since in that way we can be modest about our models and be aware of their shortcomings. Studying Physics strengthened my curiosity to learn and discover, to keep an open mind and be creative; be able to make an intellectual leap in order to adapt to the problem at hand. The core of this mentality will be essential for me in pursuing a career in the financial sector.
Why Frankfurt School?
For my Master’s Degree I wanted a well-structured curriculum that would enable me to acquire a foundational knowledge before diving into more specific topics and applications. In addition, Frankfurt is the financial hub of Europe and that means a lot of job opportunities. It is also expected that the importance of the city will be increased after Brexit, as many financial firms are moving parts of their business from London to Frankfurt. Finally, living in Germany is a great opportunity for me to interact with the German culture and to improve my German!