Dorota busts some stereotypes and gives some advice about starting a career in Quants.
byDorota, Quants, Krakow
11 Jul 2017
Dorota's experience with working in Quants team
Could you give us a bit of background on yourself?
I am a member of the UBS Quants (quantitative analytics) Hub in Krakow and a risk modeling & analytics specialist in credit methodology. Before joining UBS, I worked for multi-national companies and the European Central Bank, as well as in academia. I hold a PhD in Econometrics and Economics and studied at Charles University/CERGE-EI, Warsaw School of Economics and Stockholm School of Economics.
What made you choose a career in quants?
My first lectures in statistics, econometrics and financial markets. What I saw there captivated me.
Can you tell us about your current role and what you enjoy most about it?
I develop credit risk models for various US portfolios in the context of various regulatory initiatives, as well as other internal and external requirements. My role involves applying econometrics to risk modeling and this is what I love the most about it.
What advice would you give to someone looking at a career in quants?
Decide which role would give you a chance to work with passion, dedication and joy. Figure out how you could assume this role and then plan the next years accordingly.
Can you tell us what you like most about your team?
It’s a creative, multicultural mosaic and we can really count on each other.
What do you think about the stereotype that quants are just for physicists and engineers?
It is a very rough approximation of who quants are. Naturally, quants tend to have a fluency in mathematics and statistics, as well as advanced programming skills. Still, we come from various backgrounds and what one really needs to become a quant is intellectual curiosity and rigorous thinking supported by knowledge of mathematics, statistics and financial markets.
What does diversity mean to you and how do you see it implemented in the bank?
Diversity means that we attempt to recruit men and woman of different origins and age, but still evaluate candidates based on merit. Locally, in the UBS Krakow Quant Hub, I work with 55 individuals representing 17 different nationalities and, globally, with much more. This is how I see diversity being implemented in the bank. I also see more and more women around me and more seasoned professionals joining UBS Krakow (the latter is a great success of the Career Turn initiative). I think we are going in the right direction towards creating a truly inclusive and diverse working environment.
If you had to pick one thing that sets UBS apart from the competition, what would it be?
Caring not only about what we want to achieve, but how we want to do it.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I’d like to be an owner of a local restaurant on the seaside, possibly with a small B&B next to it. It is actually my plan for 'after I retire'…
How do you relax?
Depending on my mood and the weather conditions, I can pack my stuff and go hiking or just stay home and cook or bake for my friends.
What is the best thing that happened to you during the past week?
My former student wrote to me and thanked for my lectures. She found them very useful when preparing for an interview with an investment bank, and eventually she got the job. Even though I regard my contribution as minor, it feels really good to get such feedback.