Bart de Krom
After high school when I had to choose my study at an university, I was in doubt between a technical or an economical study. I decided to study Mechanical Engineering, but as interesting as Mechanical Engineering is, there is no finance involved in the bachelor. Therefore, I thought the minors ‘Finance’ and ‘Mathematics and Finance’ would be a perfect opportunity to take a sneak peek into the financial world. Since I also wanted to take a glimpse of ‘basic’ mathematics and was challenged by the known reputation of being hard to fulfil, I favored the minor ‘Mathematics and Finance’.
The courses offered in the minor ‘Mathematics and Finance’ are quite diverse, since it covers two different ‘worlds’ (theoretical and practical). However, at completion you will conclude that it all comes together in one big picture and indeed the theoretic foundation provides you with tools and insight to model and solve financial problems. That’s why I think the course ‘Probability for Finance’ is the most interesting and future valuable course. This despite the fact that it was indeed the toughest course I have followed during my bachelor programme.
Besides the normal courses, there were several guest lectures and workshops from companies like Flow Traders and AFM, smoothly bridging the initial chasm between theory and practice. This is a great way to get in touch with the practical side of this minor and to get known with career opportunities for engineers in finance.
Looking back on the past half year, I can honestly state that the mathematical part was indeed as I was told: most of the time proving statements and quite tough. Despite this fact, I think it was a nice way to get to know the basics of a mathematical study and determine if a master in mathematics is a suited and feasible possibility.
When you are considering this minor, I would like to emphasize that if you are not into ‘proving statements’ and prefer to use given derived results in the modelling process, you can better choose the minor ‘Finance’ over ‘Mathematics and Finance’.