My PhD Visit at the NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Science
Doctoral Programme / 21 June 2018
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Doctoral Student Class of 2019
Lorenzo Schoenleber started his Ph.D. at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in September 2015. His research interests are within the area of option-implied information in asset pricing and portfolio management.

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I fell in love with New York City after interning for a Real Estate Funds in 2014. I knew from my time in NYC as an intern that I had to go back to additionally benefit from the extensive research facilities and the possibilities NYC offers.

How did I get in contact with NYU?

On the latest yearly visit to NYC to see friends I decided to send out some emails to professors within my research area. During these appointments we talked about my PhD Program here in Frankfurt and my research projects that I had already started working on. Talks with several of professors went well and that’s how I obtained an official invitation that allowed me to apply for the Visa and various scholarships financially sponsoring my PhD visit abroad.

About the NYU Courant Institute

The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences is divided into several departments and research areas ranging from classical mathematical subjects such as Algebraic Geometry, Probability Theory, and Partial Differential Equations to more modern fields such as Mathematical Finance, Computational and Mathematical Biology, and Scientific Computing. Therefore, at networking events within the institute, it was often a broad exchange across different subjects. For example, a friend of mine uses similar stochastic differential equations to mathematically describe the movement of cell cancers within our body. NYU offers a few different seminar series spread over the whole week. I regularly attended the Math Finance Seminar at NYU Courant and the Finance Seminars at the NYU Stern Business School. To get feedback for my ongoing projects I set up a lot of appointments with relevant researchers in my field. I also met several people that have been working at Wall Street for many years – it is interesting to get a firsthand view, and many questions about the applicability about the own research from practitioners.

The life in the US

During my time at NYU, I also presented my projects at various conferences all over the US (Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City). Aside from my work-related travels I also had a chance to visit Utah over thanksgiving and New Orleans for Mardi Gras. My shared apartment was located in Williamsburg, a neighborhood in Brooklyn. The vibe in Brooklyn is amazing and definitely different than in Manhattan. The commute from Williamsburg to the NYU Campus it takes around 20-30min door to door – depending on how much luck one has catching the right train instantaneously.

How to finance your PhD Visit

I sent applications to the SDW, DAAD, Fulbright and the IFSID. One should definitely not underestimate the time, effort and money for organizing the visit: Besides the official invitation, one needs to fill out several forms and documents to get the J1 Visa. Not to mention the time invested for the application of the scholarships mentioned above. To live comfortably in New York a need for around $3000 per month is necessary (including insurance and visa costs).

Want to go abroad too?

Maybe you want to ‘pick my brain’ about the scholarships, visa procedures, or housing situations and want some ideas? I’m happy to help, so feel free to contact me at