Tell us about your educational background. (degree, institute, year and any other information)
MBA, Concentration in Analytic Finance, University of Chicago Booth, 2013
BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, 2007
I sound like the most boring person ever.
How did you hear about the ModelOff competition? What made you want to get involved?
A co-worker (Thanks Mike!) suggested that a few of us give the competition a try. I personally wanted to get involved because I love competing in anything and everything and really wanted a trip to London!
What makes you different from the other competitors? What are your strengths?
I have probably done no more than three DCF models in my life. Everything I know and have learned about Excel, I’ve learned through modeling things of personal interest to me: cell phone plans (sounds familiar?), fantasy sports, poker strategy, travel optimization, and financial derivatives. They are all just different types of games!
Second, the F1 key. I never understood why you would ever want to remove it. Help, whether it’s from co-workers, friends, family, or the F1 key is what makes individuals great. You can’t reach the highest levels on your own.
What is/are your greatest achievement(s) – either personally or professionally?
Am I supposed to say making the ModelOff finals?!? Honestly, my girlfriend and I planned a trip for both our families (7 people) to Europe next summer, all on points. Not only was that an incredibly hard challenge, it will be one of most rewarding experience of my life.
From where does your passion for financial modeling come?
Most of the world can be explained with numbers. The more you understand them, the bigger your competitive advantage will be. Everything is just a game. I think many decisions that are not inherently emotional decisions are made on emotions. If you can become confident in the numbers, it allows you to remove the emotion from the decision. It gives you a competitive advantage.
Tell us a bit about your life away from work.
When I’m not driving my girlfriend crazy by competing in something, I love to travel the world with her. Life is about experiences you have with those you care about. I enjoy navigating (and modeling) the complexities of rewards programs to travel as cheaply and as luxurious as possible. Last year, I circumnavigated the world in 12 days and stayed in 4 and 5 star hotels for under $500/pp out of pocket! I will have spent nearly 70 nights in a hotel this year, despite never traveling for work…