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Viraj Joshi

Viraj Joshi

The Biz Quiz Champion

When Viraj Joshi (MQF '23) reached the final round of the Biz Quiz, it was as if he’d arrived at the end of a journey that started half a world away and more than half a lifetime ago.

The first-annual UC Davis-Financial Times Biz Quiz took place in November and was based on Financial Times business news coverage from Sept. 15 through Oct. 30. Joshi, a student in UC San Diego's Rady School of Management's Master of Finance program who moved to California from his native India, said he felt he’d been building toward that moment for most of his life.

“Ever since the fifth grade I have been an avid reader of newspapers and books,” he said. “When I learned that the quiz involved reading over 1,200 articles across two months, I immediately signed up since I felt that I was a perfect candidate for it. I wanted to expose myself to the competition in the real world with other university students and take up a challenge.

Joshi answered the challenge by working his way through the competition before facing the 40 final-round questions. The result? First place finishes as an individual and as part of the UC San Diego team.

“I was proud to win, since my hard work resulted in success,” he said. “While preparing for the competition, I was exposed to a newer body of knowledge, and that has helped me to this day.”

While that journey is complete, another continues for Joshi, as he works his way through the program.

Joshi was initially attracted to the program because the coursework had the exact blend of foundational courses he wanted and electives that would help him become a more well-rounded business professional.

The program’s STEM designation – an honor earned from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for its focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – also was important to him when he was deciding on the right program.

“The STEM designation helps keep the program on par with the current industry trends,” he said. “Since the financial world is becoming more data driven, it is important for all financial professionals to have a basic understanding of the quantitative mathematics that underpins it.”

Joshi called the knowledge he’s gained from the MQF program thus far “enriching” and said he has enjoyed gleaning lessons from his professors’ careers.

But the lessons he’s learning are about more than just the inner workings of the financial world.

“The most important lessons I have learned so far in the program have been the importance of hard work, focus and adaptability,” he said. “You have to be on your toes, juggling assignments and projects. I have learned that with hard work and focus, it is not difficult to manage the tasks.”

Joshi now is at a point where he’s looking at life after graduation. His goal is to become an investment analyst and eventually start his own U.S.-based hedge fund.

What he’s learning in the MQF program will continue to play a large role in helping him achieve his dreams, he said.

“The coursework and interactions I have had at Rady have helped me develop important skills that will help me reach my goal,” he said. “I have learned how to formulate and present my thoughts in a formal manner and interact with people from different backgrounds in a friendly and impactful way.”