Jacki Jensenius, a 2008 graduate of the Mathematical Finance program
What made you decide to pursue the M.S. in Mathematical Finance program?
Being a math major with an actuarial science minor, I knew that I wanted to find a job that bridged mathematics and business. The Mathematical Finance program did just that.
Why did you choose the UNC Charlotte Mathematical Finance program?
Not only did UNC Charlotte offer a variety of financial aid options, but the beautiful campus is located in Charlotte, home to several financial institutions. Coupling the strong educational experience with the professors’ financial expertise, coming to UNC Charlotte was an easy decision.
What would you say makes the UNC Charlotte Mathematical Finance program different from other programs?
I think the unique blend of students is one of the best assets to the program. UNC Charlotte caters its program to accommodating both full and part time students with varying backgrounds. Despite being a full-time student, I was able to gain valuable insight from my working classmates. The program ranges quite a bit in age, so having more experienced classmates really added to my growth, both educationally, as well as professionally.
What made your program experience unique?
There were a couple of factors which made my experience unique. My graduate assistantship increased my exposure to the faculty, which was ultimately beneficial in securing my summer internship with Wachovia. Additionally, as a full-time student, I was able to utilize office hours and further network with professors. Another benefit to this program was my ability to interact with the doctoral candidates and leverage their increased knowledge from their other coursework.
How were UNC Charlotte faculty and staff influential during your time as a student?
From the professors that taught me critical thinking skills that I use in everyday work, to those who gave me a better understanding of the working world, I was influenced by many of the faculty. Even those that I didn’t relate to as much on a personal level, taught me that I was capable of solving highly complex equations, and developing the skills to quickly, yet rationally, come to appropriate solutions to various problems.
What are your professional goals?
My overall professional goal is to maintain a career utilizing the skills I’ve acquired, not only in my academic career, but also in my professional experience. Ideally, I would like to continue my career further into management. Right now, I hold an analytical role while managing one direct report. Ideally, I would like to expand and manage a larger team.
How has the program helped you achieve these goals?
Graduating in 2008, the economy was struggling to put it mildly. The Mathematical Finance program equipped me with the proper tools to become employable in a field which was, at the time, known for its vast layoffs. I use the SAS skills obtained from this degree daily, but more importantly, it’s the critical thinking skills that the program taught me that made me an asset in the workforce.