What’s it like studying finance in a city that is home to the stock markets of the U.S.? Chitral Gandhi shares his experience.

I always wanted to be a Quant when I was in school and in my undergraduate college. This dream came true after I left my job and decided to be a full-time student and entered IIT Stuart School of Business’s highly reputed programme: Master of Science in Finance.

The city of Chicago is known as the Windy City because of its politicians, in fact in real life you can experience high wind gushes. Yes, it is windy, it is cold but far better than New York and most other business cities, because it is easy to commute here. Public transportation is available all across the city — buses, the subway and trains. Although I have stayed in cities like Mumbai and Pune, I like Chicago more because one can see bright blue lakes just like a coastline and lush green parks and experience less traffic nuisance; it is a peaceful city in its own terms.

The Stuart School of Business, ranked third in the U.S. and 26th globally for its Master of Science in Finance programme, by The Financial Times, is usually an initiator and innovator with development of new programmes.

It recently started a new programme, Master’s in Marketing Analytics and Communication, one of its kind. The professors here have great knowledge and understanding and sometimes provide personal or individual advice on what one should concentrate upon.

IIT Stuart School of Business is really blessed to have a good full-time staff; I got a chance to interact with most of the staff as part of my on-campus job at the Dean’s Office.

Industry experts

Apart from the full-time faculty, the school has many industry professors who have great wisdom and niche-knowledge in the subjects that they teach which I find more appealing. The school also provides some great opportunities to students in the form of organising various networking events and bringing in professionals from the industry to interact with students and build a relationship with them.

The school has programmes like Advancing Career and Education (ACE), where the students are taught how to work on their resumes, networking skills and are motivated to bring a taste of American culture in their own lives. This would give a perfect start to the career from an international student’s point of view.

The school also has affiliation with basics of the industry like CFA for the Finance student, IBM for students in MBA and Analytics where professors are dedicated to motivate and help train the students for such competitive assessments. The course structure of the school really provided a base for my preparation of CFA exam. It has societies like Stuart Investments, and Net Impact, which are solely run by the business students. It also has a Career Management Center exclusively for Stuart students.

At Stuart School of Business, one needs to take initiatives to grab the opportunities which can turn your career into a great life.

(The writer did M.S. Finance course at IIT Stuart School of Business, Chicago.)