Dr. Janina Engel is a financial risk expert at the European Central Bank. After a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, she completed her master’s degree in Finance and Information Management (FIM) at the TUM School of Management in 2013. Janina was specifically looking for an interdisciplinary course of study that went beyond pure mathematics and enabled her to understand the financial sector as a whole. In the FIM study program, she found just that: In addition to classical financial mathematics, she simultaneously acquired knowledge about important trends in the financial sector such as information management, digitalization, and climate change.
What did you like the most about the FIM program?
Several aspects make FIM a distinctive master’s program. First, is the high coverage of interdisciplinary yet connected topics in the field of mathematics, finance, and computer science. Second, the small classes with fellow students from different academic backgrounds collaborating with and complementing each other. Third, the teaching of research-oriented skills that give you a toolkit for solving complex open-ended problems.
What was the most challenging and most fulfilling task?
One of the most challenging but also most fulfilling tasks in FIM was the individual research phase. This module constitutes a unique opportunity to dive into the world of academic research under the valuable guidance of a renowned professor. Together with a fellow student, we derived a new family of multivariate cumulative distribution functions. It is an exciting experience to use your gained knowledge to develop new results, and it provides you with a taste of what it’s like to do a Ph.D. and to work in academic research.
Is mathematics a big part of the FIM program?
FIM is a very flexible Master’s program and adapts to your preferences and interests. You can choose among four areas of specialization and several elective courses. With a specialization in quantitative finance, you can ensure that mathematics form an integral part of your studies.
What were your plans after finishing FIM? How did your career start at the ECB?
After FIM, I had the wonderful opportunity to contribute to the research on financial stability in the European interbank market. The research project was a collaboration of the TUM Chair of Mathematical Finance and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. Besides my interest and fascination for the topic itself, I also very much enjoyed the interdisciplinary and inspirational environment of colleagues at the JRC. To continue contributing to the well-being of our European society in an international and highly motivated team, following my Ph.D., I applied for the Graduate Programme of the European Central Bank (ECB), where I am still working today.
How is the work at the ECB? How did your studies help you in your work?
The ECB covers a wide range of topics including, economics, monetary policy, statistics, and risk management. Hence, at the ECB European colleagues are jointly working on a range of relevant and interdisciplinary questions in close cooperation with National Central Banks and relevant authorities. My studies provided me with a sound foundation in mathematics and finance, as well as the ability to quickly understand and assess complex new topics. This knowledge base and capabilities are essential in my daily tasks to contribute to developing optimal solutions taking duly into account all relevant aspects and perspectives.
Why should graduates in mathematics consider studying the FIM program?
If you would like to take a leading role in the sector of finance or information management, a general understanding of related fields, important trends, and developments is required. FIM provides you with a sound academic basis covering a range of interconnected topics and a toolkit to tackle new open questions in interdisciplinary teams. If this motivates you and corresponds to your future plans, then FIM could be the right Master’s program for you.
About the FIM Master’s program:
FIM offers you an individual and highly attractive study environment, which empowers you with a new set of skills and ensures each student reaches their individual goals. Small classes guarantee a comfortable study atmosphere, an effective implementation of the curriculum, and an excellent student-to-teacher ratio, which allows for the personal support of every student. Gain insights into the current development in digital finance, manage digital transformation and disruption, apply data processing, analysis, and preparation techniques, or design the power grid of the future.
High-level scientists from the Technical University of Munich and the University of Bayreuth as well as professional experts will mentor you. You will learn the necessary methodology and instantly get the opportunity to put theory into practice by accompanying first-class practitioners to work. Both, academic and professional mentors, who will not only give advice on the study program but also support the mentee with individual career planning and personal development, will coach ambitious students. Our network of renowned business partners provides a wide range of possibilities to deepen knowledge in practice and do exciting internships and participate in workshops and practical projects.