What are your day-to-day responsibilities at Deloitte?
I work in transfer pricing – determining the arm’s length price that a business should charge or pay for an intercompany transaction.
How did Brandeis IBS prepare you for such an experience?
Transfer pricing relies on many of the skills taught at Brandeis IBS. Consultants must have a strong command of financial theory, financials markets, and valuation, among others. More than anything, one needs to be able to acquire skills rapidly and apply skills immediately.
The MA program covered a range of things that any generalist would need to know, and they did it at an advanced level. I’ve been able to carve out an interesting role within Deloitte because of what I learned at Brandeis IBS.
One of my first assignments involved creating a VaR model and determining arm’s length compensation for an FX management team. Though I never took any risk management classes at Brandeis IBS, I was able to take what I learned in Financial Theory, Statistics, Corporate Finance, and a number of other classes to quickly understand the task at hand and complete the assignment.
How have resources like our Bloomberg lab impacted your work after graduation?
Full disclosure: I loved the resources available at Brandeis IBS. I basically lived in the Bloomberg lab. If you look carefully at the glass, you can probably still see my shadow (despite how many times Guy has attempted to scrub it away).
Technology is important. I spent two weeks offsite doing valuations for a client where Capital IQ was critical to the project. Anytime I’ve needed to research bonds, Bloomberg has been an indispensable resource.
Having familiarity with these tools is a major asset. Managers are more willing to give you responsibility for a project when you’re able to command available resources without instruction.
I’ve seen people identify Bloomberg or Capital IQ as a “skill” on their resume, but it’s really just a resource. Brandeis IBS taught us not only how to use it, but most importantly, how to incorporate the data into a cohesive argument. It’s a bit like typing and writing: being a fast typist doesn’t make one a good writer. The way Brandeis IBS incorporates technology into the classroom is certainly producing more writers than typists.
How did your extra-curricular experiences at IBS contribute to your current professional success at Deloitte?
Sometimes classroom assignments can be a bit mechanical, but there is no right or wrong answer when discussing ideas during club meetings. In the Global Markets Investment Club, for example, the question of the day always revolved around the merits of an industry or specific company. Having access to Bloomberg allowed us to answer these questions without any limitation.
The Stock Pitch Challenge proved to be a success for the 5th straight year. Can you expand upon your role in guiding GMIC and, particularly, these teams throughout the process?
GMIC had a leadership team of around nine members when I was co-president and we were able to build the club into a more structured organization. The Stock Pitch Challenge was always our biggest event for two reasons: (1) it was a way to motivate current students and give them an interesting experience for interviews; (2) it gave us reason to reach out to executives at investment groups and ask them to visit the school and learn more about IBS. Though guests were always judges first and foremost, we also viewed it as an opportunity to showcase our students and improve our network.
As a second year student, I used to volunteer with other GMIC officers to assist in preparing presentations the night before the event. As an alumnus, I still maintain this responsibility and travel to Waltham to help out the night before. It’s great to see the energy and play a small part in the group’s growing success.
What has life been like after Brandeis IBS?
Expensive. Going from Waltham to New York must be similar to moving from America to Norway. It’s the same stuff, but the prices!
Cost of living aside, work is similar to school except that the tuition you pay suddenly becomes the check you receive. It’s great to be cash flow positive, and I’m increasingly optimistic about the NPV!