Alumnus Neel Patel (right) with John Longo, a professor of professional practice in finance and economics.

Alumni Profile: Investment in master's program pays off quickly

New grad analyzes investments in his role at state Department of Treasury.

Neel Patel earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers Business School in 2013 majoring in finance and a Master of Financial Analysis from RBS in 2016.  He currently works at the New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Investment, as an investment analyst.

"The MFinA program prepared me for my role with the State of New Jersey by equipping me with the necessary skill set that I need to start my career in finance on a strong note," said Patel.

"One of the things that is pertinent to my job as an alternative investment analyst is ratio analysis. A framework that was thoroughly covered in my investments course. I analyze many companies in the alternatives realm in different sectors of the market on a daily basis.  One of the many means of analysis that I use to see if an investment is worthwhile is looking at the firm's various liquidity and debt ratios and see how they stack up against its competitors.

"In addition, the MFinA program taught me that finance is an industry that never sleeps. When one market closes, another market opens to begin its trading session. While I was in the program, I made it a daily habit to get myself immersed in all the various activity going on in the financial world by reading news sources such as The Wall Street Journal and networking with companies that came on campus.

"Director of the Master of Financial Analysis program Daniel G. Weaver, Program Coordinator Cheryl Daniels, and all of my professors stressed the importance of studying the financial world beyond the course material, and connecting with company representatives.  This advice has helped me immensely in my current role.

"The Master of Financial Analysis program taught me that finance is an industry that never sleeps." - Neel Patel, who completed the program in 2016.

During the academic year of 2015-2016 while a full-time student in the Master of Financial Analysis program, Patel was a member of the Rutgers Business School team that competed in the 2016 CFA Institute Research Challenge. The team advanced to the New York Regional final four along with Binghamton University, Fordham University, and Seton Hall University.  The competition started with 21 teams from the New York metropolitan area.

"It was a great privilege to be a part of the Rutgers Business School's CFA Investment Research Challenge team," Patel said. "Over the span of Oct 2015-Feb 2016, I learned quite a bit about the banking industry and how to create and pitch an industry-level equity research report. This challenge utilized every bit of my knowledge in finance and gave me invaluable experience."

"One of the most valuable things to which I was exposed, was how to create a financial model from scratch in order to derive a target price for the company. I have learned about different valuation methods from my course studies, but being able to apply them in a real-world setting was a tremendous learning experience," Patel said.

"When applying for positions after graduation, I was able to present this report to companies to demonstrate the quality of work that I was able to produce at a professional level."

-Sean Ireland

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