Hometown: Kölln-Reisiek, Germany
Current Position: Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO)
Previous University: Northeastern University
Undergraduate Degree: Business Administration
Q: As an international student, what made you choose Northeastern University?
A: I initially chose Northeastern University for my bachelor’s degree primarily for its co-op program. I thought the practical experience you can gain here sounded exciting and differentiated Northeastern from German and European universities. Northeastern’s large international student body, as well as being surrounded by so many people who had studied abroad, was appealing to me because I knew I’d be around many open-minded people who had experiences both similar to, and different from, my own as a European coming to the U.S. Being able to begin earning my graduate degree during my senior year just further solidified I had made the right decision.
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the PlusOne MS in Finance program?
A: In Europe, particularly Germany, a master’s degree is very important for career progression. Because I wasn’t positive where I wanted to end up in terms of a career location, I thought it was important to make myself as widely marketable as possible. With the PlusOne program, I could combine undergraduate credit with graduate credit and continue studying at Northeastern. I like the city of Boston, and Northeastern has excellent professors from a wide range of backgrounds who are always willing to share their knowledge and talk to you. That is a huge departure from the German system, where one professor stands in the front of the classroom and lectures hundreds of students. I didn’t want anything like that, so Northeastern felt like the right fit for me. I also appreciated the diversity of the student body and being able to hear all of their different points of view.
Q: You participated in the 360 Huntington Fund. How did that experience affect you?
A: I was a regular analyst in the 360 Huntington Fund and thought that managing money at a university as a graduate student was incredible from the beginning. I discovered that I enjoy analyzing stocks. While I don’t currently manage stocks professionally, I found I had a passion for it. I also like the presentation and discussion model the 360 Huntington Fund uses. Students spend the semester researching stocks, arguing their case for or against them, and then collectively deciding whether or not to include them in the portfolio. It helps you gain a deeper understanding of equity research and financial markets.
Q: Do you have any advice for future Northeastern students?
A: I think the best advice I can offer is to be open-minded and utilize all of the resources Northeastern offers, especially the professors. The professors here are willing to help you, whether in class or preparing for your career, but you have to take the initiative—go to office hours, ask them for advice. The connection I made with one of my professors, is what set me on the path to land my current job at PIMCO. He introduced me to a contact at PIMCO who told me more about fixed income management, which is an avenue I had never considered. I applied and had secured a job offer six months before graduation.
“A degree from a reputable school in the States is recognized worldwide and exposes students to more opportunities, so it will be beneficial no matter where I work later in life.”
“While the current times are challenging, the industry will always be competitive, so giving up is not an option. It’s really about putting in the effort and creating your own opportunities.”
“When I told my friends that you can actually run a real fund here, they couldn’t believe it. They had never had that opportunity themselves. It’s a really attractive part of the program and gives you experience in investments that a book can’t teach you.”