“I learned how to understand and interact with people from other backgrounds.”

Alexandru Uta, Head of Credit Risk Methods and Framework, Erste Group Bank

My story with QFin started in 2012 when I joined the program’s fourth cohort. Since the program was basically new on the market and I had just moved to Vienna as a foreign student, I honestly didn’t know what to expect either from the level of the program or from the prospects it could offer me after graduation. However, hopes were high, and it was not long until I realized that choosing the QFin Master’s program was indeed one of the best decisions I could have taken. The human quality of both my colleagues and my professors were impressive as I found myself surrounded by highly intelligent, motivated and friendly people. The diverse cultural environment, numerous organized events, the team oriented approach to solving problems promoted by QFin, all greatly influenced my personality as I grew to learn how to understand and interact with people from other backgrounds. Although it might be strange, as QFin is quintessentially a technical and quantitative program, I wanted to mention first the importance of these “softer skills” that I acquired during the program, as it was later proven in my career. Regarding the “hard skills”, without a doubt, the fact that the syllabus is constructed around a solid foundation of R programming constitutes the main competitive advantage of QFin. I soon understood that the complex financial theories or models that we were being taught were much easier to comprehend when translated and executed practically in R. After two years of hard work I could feel the power gained through the accumulated knowledge, giving me lots of confidence for joining the job market. The value of the program indeed helped me easily find a job, as I became a consultant for Deloitte, putting thus into practice both the financial and the programming skills that I had collected during the studies.

After three years I then decided to join Erste Bank as a credit risk model developer and since 2019 also started heading one of the modelling teams. The connection with QFin however did not disappear in time, thanks to a very strong alumni communion and several recurring events that keep the continuously growing network together. QFin has made a name for itself and I am proud to say it is recognized today by the industry as one of the best quantitative finance programs in Austria and the CEE. And since every year new and new cohorts of QFin alumni are joining the financial job market, I would also like to express my gratitude to the program now as a manager, for providing us a constant source of young talented professionals who are always welcome to join our great team at Erste Bank.