Romae SmithMS in Mathematical Finance* Miami, Florida
“The people behind the MSMF program will work very closely with you. I can talk one-on-one with the program director, and he’ll ask for my input—you feel like they’re personally invested in your success.”
*Renamed the MS in Mathematical Finance & Financial Technology in 2020.
After earning her undergraduate degree with a double major in mathematics and statistics, Romae wanted to move into the financial industry—but that wasn’t always her plan. “For the longest time, I thought I wanted to be an actuary,” she explains. “I did some internships, one of them was as an actuary at a consulting firm in Miami, but after, I realized I really wanted to be in the financial industry.” That drive led her to the MS in Mathematical Finance (MSMF) at Questrom.
“Not only is it a great program academically, but being in Boston has really helped. It’s a great place to be in finance—there’s so much opportunity here,” Romae says. “It was down to either Boston or New York, but I thought Boston would be a perfect place to go to school. It’s a great mix of everything.”
With a rigorous curriculum, the MSMF program is certainly not an easy one—but Romae appreciates everything she’s learning. “The program has definitely challenged me, but my favorite part is seeing how applicable all of the knowledge we’re gaining really is. I’m learning things that I’ll need to know for the future, like some of the different types of analyses used in the industry, or mastering the statistics side of the program. We’ll definitely need to know those on the job,” she shares. “Just getting to know the industry, like knowing different principle components and industry jargon, has been really helpful.”
Another perk of being in an academically demanding program is the community of other students, all willing to help and support each other along the way. “Knowing that the material isn’t easy, but that we’re all working through it together is really great,” says Romae. “It’s great camaraderie. I’ve made friends in the program—and I think that’s because the MSMF program does a great job of letting us get to know one another. They’ll set up networking events for us, or speaker panels; sometimes even little Friday activities for us to destress and unwind,” she adds.
Thanks to the MSMF program, Romae has also made connections inside the classroom with faculty and program administrators. “The people behind the MSMF program will work very closely with you. They’ll listen to you if you have concerns—and since the program is so small, you probably wouldn’t get an experience like this at other schools. I can talk one-on-one with the program director, and he’ll ask for my input—you feel like they’re personally invested in your success.”
Another standout was Associate Professor of finance Andrew Lyasoff, who, despite teaching one of the hardest courses in the program, went above and beyond for students like Romae. “He does such a good job of keeping material engaging and trying to ensure that everyone understands. You can tell it means a lot to him that we grasp the information. He’s the type of professor to meet with you for as long as you need; with him, it’s as simple as reaching out for help.”
As for her future, Romae is eager to jump into the workforce. “I came straight from my undergraduate degree, so I can’t wait to jump in and start working and using all of the things I spent the past few years learning,” she says.