2004: BS, Economics, minor in Mathematics
Currently: Portfolio Manager, HBK Capital Management — New York, NY
How has being an Economics graduate from Duke helped shape your professional success?
"I don't know if it's the Econ program or not - it's really the classes you take and your approach to them. I chose the B.S. path - it seemed more interesting at the time, plus math was easy for me. In retrospect, it was a rigorous set of classes that forced be to learn the underlying mechanics of how econ works (better understand statistics, probability theory, how financial derivative formulas actually function). Through the luck of the draw those skills became very important in making the most of my first job, as well as realizing it was time to find another firm to work at (where I have now been for twelve years) two years later."
What advice would you give students in Economics?
"The most important thing you learn in college is how to question information and learn independently. Focus on classes (and sets of classes) that will give you a good overview of many sides of the figurative coin. If you are like learning about broad macroeconomic ideas, take some narrow focused micro class and a few statistics/econometrics classes. If you are going down the empirical economics path, take some classes at Sanford in Public Policy to appreciate the dirtiness of the information you have to work with. Don't take more than a few investment/finance classes (especially if you want to go into finance) - you'll learn it all on the job. If you want to take a bunch of finance, focus on the most rigorous math based classes (probably in the Math department) - most people won't bother teaching that on the job unless you are a finance quant."