Fellowship Balances Equation for a New Career
In studying management and finance at Boston College's Carroll School of Management, MBA student Peter Finch has returned to his roots. Set to major in math when he arrived at MIT as an undergraduate 16 years ago, Finch became distracted by the lure of the dot-com world. "At that time," he recalls, "all of the smart people I knew were getting into technology." Finch jumped on the bandwagon and earned bachelor's and master of engineering degrees, both in electrical engineering and computer science, from MIT.
After five years working in the high-tech world, the Newfoundland native found that he missed math. "I felt I had skills that weren't being used," says Finch, who designed large computer systems for Sun Microsystems. "The life cycles of my projects at Sun were three to six years. I wanted to work in a field where I could see more immediate results."
Interested in making the leap from high tech to quantitative finance, Finch determined that an MBA was the logical next step. The Carroll School offered him the chance to earn a dual degree—in business administration and finance. "BC has a tremendous finance department," says Finch, "and I knew I also needed a solid understanding of management in order to transition into a new field." When BC offered him the Michael F. Price Fellowship, which supports the Wall Street Executive Fellowship program at the Carroll School, the deal was sealed.
"I've learned so much from my classmates and professors. I really appreciate the diversity of the environment," says Finch of his three years at BC. "I know what a tough, good academic program is like. BC lived up to that standard."
Finch is now in a position he could only dream of a few years ago: deciding among offers from hedge fund firms. He knew that giving up engineering for finance was risky: "My previous experience didn't necessarily translate," he observes. "It was a gamble, but it has worked out extremely well."