Viet Phung, '16

Program: Master of Finance, Class of 2016
Current Title: Analyst
Company: Goldman Sachs

Viet Phung

What impact has Rady had on your career progression?

I was an accounting and finance major in college, but focused more on accounting. After college, I was about to become an auditor, which typically means working a 9-to-5 accounting job. In summer 2015, while vacationing in Europe, I received an acceptance letter from the Rady School of Management. I called my parents and my grand uncle and asked them what I should do: go to grad school or go to work? I still remember what they told me: “Don’t work, get a master’s degree”. After a sleepless night, I called the recruiter in the morning and turned down the job offer. Two months later, I became a student at Rady.

Has your Rady Master of Finance degree enabled you to change industries or functional areas or even achieve a promotion?

The Rady Master of Finance degree prepared me to work effectively with big data and enabled me to get comfortable with coding and quantitative aspects of finance. I believe Rady students are very well prepared to challenge different functions in their fundamental, behavioral and quantitative finance careers.

What event or realization served as a “turning point” for you during your Rady School and/ or professional career?

Before starting school at Rady, I never thought about spending time learning to code, but the program changed my mind completely. Nowadays, in the era of increasing quantitative funds and systematic trading, being able to program is a huge plus for finance students in the job market. You do not have to be an expert in coding, but learning that kind of language is important.

What was your favorite class and why?

Business Forecasting with Professor Timmerman and Econometrics with Professor Valkanov. They are the most challenging classes but what I learned from them has been extremely valuable in my career. I also enjoyed our capstone project with Professor Michael Melvin. We had a chance to work with the Head of Quant Research at Citibank.

What is the best thing about being Rady alumni?

Rady is well known for being an entrepreneur-supportive environment. You learn to be innovative and creative in everything you do, which can be applied wherever you go in your career. Even after school, you still have access to the big network of other Rady alumni all over the world. They are very willing to help and connect with you everywhere. I now have a lot of friends from China, Ukraine, Turkey, Japan, India, Korea, etc. No matter where you go, as a Rady alumni, you always feel like you have a family there.

Tell us a fun fact about you, or something people may not know about you.

I am a 49ers fan. ( Seahawks, don’t talk to me!)

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