December 13, 2018
This article was originally published 12/13/18 and updated on 10/26/22
Rupak Gupta grew up in Delhi, India. He received a bachelor's in engineering from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Delhi University and completed a master’s in financial mathematics. We interviewed him about his experience at UChicago.
[Update] What are you doing now professionally?
I work at Northstar Risk Corporation. It is a New York City-based, four-person company that sells a risk management application to hedge funds. Being a small firm, all of us wear multiple hats. At a high level, I am involved in development of the application, data cleaning and risk modeling.
[Update] How did your UChicago education contribute to securing this position?
First of all, the brand name of UChicago has put me through the door and given me the credibility to be interviewed at several firms, including Northstar. I also got the opportunity to work on many real-life projects at UChicago and that really helped me showcase my skills to potential employers.
[Update] How do you apply what you learned at UChicago to your profession?
I learned Python and C++ coding (with a focus on their usage in finance) that I have been using at all my jobs after I graduated. The basics of financial modeling and statistics that are taught in the Financial Mathematics program helped me quickly understand the real-world applications of these techniques. I cannot stress enough on how well-thought-out the curriculum is.
Why did you choose UChicago?
It is one of the most renowned universities of the world, which focuses on diversity, free speech, and freedom of thought. The Department of Mathematics has produced several fine mathematicians who made a big impact in the world of math. And UChicago is one of the few universities which have financial mathematics/engineering housed in their math department.
What noteworthy academic, research, or teaching activities you have pursued while at the UChicago?
Our courses require us to create big, meaningful projects, which are very similar to the work done in the industry. For example, I made a complete trading system (order handling, order matching, etc.) which can handle multiple traders with multiple strategies. This system was first coded in Python and then I repeated the same in C++. That really allowed me to appreciate the advantages of both the languages.
One of our courses had us make trading strategies from scratch. We fetched the data (in the same way many students did during their internship), did a lot of data cleaning (most of the work of a quant), and created strategies that made money! Overall, I can say that all these projects allowed me to perform really well in my internship.
What activities do you participate in outside of the classroom?
Grad Council has several activities which can keep you busy throughout the year! I have been a part of Maroon Insights, a group of students from different departments and schools discuss ongoing problems in the world. I have also been to swing dance events, escape rooms, scavenger hunts, and lot of other activities, which allowed me to make connections outside my department. The Grad Council also organizes a lot of socials, the most notable of which was the Party in the Sky where the whole 99thfloor of the Willis Tower was reserved for UChicago students!
What are your plans post-UChicago?
I plan to work as a quantitative analyst for one of the big names on Wall Street. My areas of interest include Portfolio Management, Trading, or Financial Valuation Modelling.
What support have you received at UChicago?
My program provided me a merit-based scholarship without which I would not have been able to realize my dream of studying at UChicago. The program staff have been very very helpful and are on your side no matter what. In a nutshell, they make your life as easy as they can!
If you were speaking to a prospective student, what would you tell them about UChicago?
It doesn’t live up to the reputation “where fun comes to die.” The world’s brightest students come together here, and they work and play hard.
The curriculum is very well organized, and the faculty is great. You have so many resources at your disposal here that you never really get to know about all of them.
Student safety is a primary concern for the university and they make you feel safe. You will also become part of the wonderful community of Hyde Park, a very peaceful neighborhood.