How did you get so good at Excel? Tell us a bit about your modeling training.
Ever since I was very young, I always had a thing for numbers. Two years after high school, I started working at a local branch of Rabobank, where somehow I was asked to make an asset allocation dashboard to be handed out to clients (as Rabobank was pretty decentralized, there was a lot of room for developing these tools at the local branches). After that, I got the hang of it and started using Excel for all kinds of different things, at work and as a hobby.
What makes you different from the other competitors? What are your strengths?
Although I worked at a bank, I’m not really into finance on a daily basis anymore. The upside is that I used Excel for all kinds of different things, including probabilistic models and physics models (resistance of a racing bike). Also, having studied Computer Science is pretty useful too.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received at work?
“Working at the cash desk is not really working out for you, maybe you’re better off working for the Financial Advisory team”
Favorite Excel Shortcut(s):
Shift-End-Arrow key, and the F1 key (only kidding guys)
Tell us a bit about your life away from work.
I have been very happily married to Inge for 6 ½ years now. As non-Excel hobbies I love running, and to a lesser extent (read: only when it’s sunny outside) cycling. Recently I started brewing my own beers, so that still absorbs quite a bit of time.
What do your friends/family think about you being involved in the ModelOff competition?
At first most people don’t believe there exists something like an Excel World Championship (to some people I even have to explain that Excel is the green X button next to the Word shortcut). My family and close friends of course followed my journey last year, so they all assumed I would make it to the 2015 finals again (no matter how I tried to explain to them that last year may have been nothing but a lucky shot…)
What do you hope comes out of being a ModelOff Finalist?
I’m really looking forward to meeting the other finalists, and talking to the QDT and the ModelOff team again.