Afternoon with Industry: Leveraging Your Quantitative Skills

Sintok: The talk by Puan Nadia Edmaz Abdul Hadi, a senior vice president of ValueCap Sdn. Bhd. was held on 4th December 2018 with the title of “Leveraging Your Quantitative Skills”, at School of Quantitative Sciences (SQS), specially targeted for Business Mathematics students currently in their final semester. This program was held in conjunction with the Service Learning Program organized by SQQM3024 Mathematical Modeling class. Also presence were Dr. Masnita and Dr. Rahela, the facilitators of these classes. The purpose of this talk is to encourage students to capitalize their technical quantitative knowledge in a challenging industry, in particular finance-based and asset management industry. She emphasize the benefit of being a quant-based students as this skill is highly sought after by many companies or organization.

Puan Nadia also shared her personal experience during her early days of entering professional career and internship. She also touched on human factor, such as understanding different personalities among people. As such, as a newbie, it is critical to adapt yourself in a new environment and get along well professionally with peers, and superiors in order to develop a healthy and productive relationship in the organization. Furthermore, when we enter a real job market, we need to consistently evaluate and reflect our footing, in particular on how best to position ourselves to contribute to the company growth.

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She also highlighted that employer will likely to seek for employees with strong positive attitude, interpersonal, communication, or leadership skills. There are cases where a lower grader performed better in their job rather that those with high grade. To put things in perspective, she shared her experience having a friend that always obtained poor result during undergraduate study, but he is able to turn things to his advantage with positive attitude of a growth mindset after university, to become a director in one of big company in Malaysia. She insisted on not to look down on people with lower grades, but keep on learning to equip yourselves better in additional skills that is able to provide us with competitive advantage.

Puan Nadia strongly encourages Business Mathematics students to involve and applying jobs related to derivatives, debt to equity, or asset management. Such area are in direct need for quantitative skills, in particular modeling financial assets, in line with fundamental obtained from the courses in Business Mathematics program. Having a quantitative skills with minor studies such as in finance or marketing provide students with a further step ahead than in other courses. Thus, she encouraged students to utilize this competitive advantage to pursue job market in a more challenging market. Such insights open students mind to see the value in quantitative skills that they are currently possess. She also remind students to always identify your inner strengths and weaknesses in doing the work. For example, construct our own SWOT analysis and through that, honestly evaluate ourselves on think on how to consistently make improvement in our lives.

The session was conducted in an active two-way communication, as students are actively engaged with various questions to gain as much knowledge from industry, in particular on the match between quantitative skills and industry needs. Students have utilized the platform and gained significant insights, with all participants are looking forward and energized to embark on their new future. This successful event was concluded by gift ceremony and photo taking.