Quantitative finance MS student makes the most of investment in education
"If you're thinking about making a career change and/or going back to school, take action immediately," says Jeevan Teja Araveti '24. "The longer you delay, the more challenging it becomes."
After graduating from Hindustan University (India) in 2017, Araveti began a career in sales and marketing, delving into startup concepts and pitch meetings. Between an educational background in mathematics and professional experience in the people side of business, he ignited a new enthusiasm to combine the two in finance and began working as a research analyst in equity markets.
"As a part of some startup ideas that didn't work out, I learned that it's not just the ideas that fail, it can also be a lack of capital," Araveti says. "By meeting investors and exploring how financial markets work, I developed an interest in using my analytical and quantitative skills towards finance."
Master's in Finance
Araveti entered the financial industry soon before the world, and stock market, came to a halt in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeling the painful effects this had on the global economy, he was impressed to see financial professionals quickly put plans into action and thrive under the pressure of unprecedented times.
"This made me realize how crucial it is to have a long-term plan in place," says Araveti. "I don't know when the next crash will come, or what will prompt it. But I knew I needed to develop the skills needed to assess the financial ecosystem's risks and thrive in risky times."
Why UMass Dartmouth?
"Education in America ranks first in almost all metrics. With a legacy that spans over a century, UMassD provides transformational education to students from all over the world. Additionally, the master's in finance with a quantitative finance concentration strategically overlaps with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) curriculum, making the program of study the perfect fit for my postgraduate goals.
"Moreover, the Charlton College of Business has numerous PhD-holding faculty members, including finance professors with CFA charters, like one of my favorite professors, Duong Nguyen. The college also offers the flexibility to choose non-finance electives in an AACSB-accredited business school (a feat less than 6% of universities with business programs accomplish)."
What do you like about the quantitative concentration?
"The curriculum is perfectly suited for my current skill set and my future career goals. Having an engineering background, mathematical skills are obviously my strength, and an area I excel in. Also, the quantitative approach is the in-demand skill set in the industry right now. I'd like to work in Fin-Tech (financial technology) after graduating, and this program opens that door for me."
Opportunities at UMassD
Beyond what he's learned in the classroom, Araveti has been motivated to make the most of his collegiate experience through student clubs and organizations. The aspiring fintech analyst has received real-world trading experience and rounded out his academic, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills through student clubs, jobs, and events.
Formerly "Distributive Education Clubs of America," DECA is a career and technical student organization with more than 177,000 members in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, DC, Canada, China, Germany, Poland, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Spain. UMassD has sponsored a Collegiate DECA chapter for the last 13 years, sending teams to conferences in Baltimore, MD, and Orlando, FL in the past two years, and will head to Austin, TX this spring.
"I've made great friends in DECA, which promotes leaders and entrepreneurs by simulating how the corporate world operates. These are lifetime skills that we can apply throughout our careers."
Part of Professor Michael Anderson's Finance 301 course, the UMassD Student Investment Fund manages nearly $170k of real money in the Charlton College of Business's Bloomberg Technology Center. The group earned an impressive 26.71% return in Fiscal Year 2023, beating the S&P 500's 19.59%. In a friendly competition, this ranked the best among student teams at the other three UMass campuses with business schools.
"This course taught me how Americans understand financial markets. Professor Anderson brings so much excitement and passion to this subject. We got to practice pitches for buying, holding, and selling real assets, which is super valuable in a relatively low-stakes environment, compared to when your employment is riding on your returns."
An organization revived this fall, the Economics Club will likewise pick, hold, and trade stocks, this time using fake currency. The group focuses on enhancing economic understanding and practical applications, offering insightful discussions to engage at events, connect with alumni, and create a dynamic environment for students to explore economic theory and real-world insights.
"Joining a club effectively in its infant stage offers several similarities to a startup company, such as a proactive and innovative mindset required to build something from the ground up. The Econ Club's potential for future expansion, and ability to make a meaningful impact on campus are very exciting for me."
Araveti is also a member of UMass Dartmouth's Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) chapter, an international honor organization for financial information students and professionals, which he credits for connecting him with further with other students, faculty, and professionals.
"My friend Joshua Keith and I were able to represent UMassD's Mu Phi BAP chapter at the 2023 mid-year meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, where all BAP chapters across America gather in one place. This was a golden opportunity for me to network with passionate individuals and professionals in accounting and finance."
At the annual Corsair Idea Challenge last year, Araveti and Keith won a $200 cash prize and memberships to the Co-Creative Center in downtown New Bedford for coming in third place for their startup product idea, Envision.
"This experience not only provided tangible rewards, but also honed my pitching and presentation skills, which will become essential in my future career as an analyst, where effective communication and persuasion are integral."
Teaching Assistant and Tutor
People say mastery of a subject comes when you can teach it, which Araveti does as a tutor for business underclassmen and TA for Accounting 211, Finance 312, and Finance 485.
"These opportunities to guide and support other students are especially rewarding, and a win-win, as I continuously expand my own expertise in developing important teaching and communication skills that will undoubtedly benefit me in my future career."
How do you know UMassD was the right choice for you?
"The diverse student body creates a culturally rich and inclusive learning environment. I'm so thankful for the excellent team at the International Student & Scholar Center (ISSC)."
What are you looking forward to in the next year before you graduate?
"Academically, I'm looking forward to exploring potential project concepts in the field of algorithmic and quantitative investing. Professionally, I'm preparing for the CFA exam, and thinking about taking the FINRA Series exams as well."
What do you hope to accomplish in the short and long term?
"After graduating, I'd like to work in an analyst role at a prestigious Fin-Tech firm in the United States. As time progresses, I will adapt my plans to an evolving future, but my vision is to make a significant impact in the financial technology sector by blending finance with artificial intelligence, creating a legacy of wealth for future generations."
- Professor: Duong Ngyuen
- Staff member: Lori B. Raspotnik
- Mentor: Chris Jacobsen
- Class: Finance 655: Quantitative Methods in Finance
- Spot to eat: Wendy's in the Campus Center
- Place to study: Quiet Study room at the Library
- Hangout spot: The game room in the Campus Center
- Memory: My friends not letting me pay for my bill on my birthday was both a culture shock and one of my favorite memories
- Event: My first DECA event at the Stonehill College, 2022
- Book: "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho
- Podcast: How to Get Rich (without getting Lucky) – Naval Ravikant
- Extracurricular: Collegiate DECA