‘In Finance I Am Interested in Building an Investment Portfolio’
Dmitry Perkov, a student on the ‘Master of Finance’ online programme, has developed his career from sales representative to regional manager in multinational corporations. He told HSE News Service how studying helped him to take a fresh look at his regular job and provided him with tools for managing his own investment portfolio.
— Dmitry, what is your professional background?
— I started as a sales representative at Pepsi, then worked for a long time as a manager at various levels at Philip Morris. Now I am a regional manager for Johnson &Johnson. I have gained a lot of unique experience in trade marketing and sales development in some of the leading companies within the industry. But even the most difficult and responsible work at some point becomes routine and comfortable. There are fewer and fewer questions that you can't answer, decisions that you've never made before or problems that you haven't encountered before.
— Why did you decide to enroll on HSE's Master of Finance programme?
— I have always been interested in finance. I liked such films as ‘The Big Short’, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, and ‘Boiler Room’. I didn't understand everything they were talking about and tried to find answers on my own. Swaps, derivatives, long, short — what is it all about? So little by little I started to teach myself: I read books, and watched online lectures. Then I tried investing, first through mutual funds offered by the investment divisions of large banks, and then on the stock exchange. While gaining experience and knowledge, I started to realize that I still had much to learn in this area.
I didn’t want to be an amateur, but a professional, just as I am in my job. As a result, I started looking for high-quality educational programmes at the best Russian universities
I found the HSE Master of Finance online programme, eagerly enrolled on it and now I’m in my second year of studies. As well as giving you knowledge, it forces your brain to work. And I really like this! In terms of finance, I am interested in building an investment portfolio and its management, as well as factor and quantitative investment. I test different portfolio options, ideas and strategies.
— Before enrolling on the programme, you were a student on our open specialist courses. Why did you choose it?
— I studied financial mathematics and did a course on investment management in financial assets. I have difficult relationship with mathematics, so I decided to upgrade my knowledge. The investment course was a specialized one. The content of both courses was clear and the presentation was fascinating. The course authors delivered the materials in an interesting way, sharing examples and practical tasks, which made the course useful and easy to study. I’d like to thank Ayana Shelike and Oleg Shenker for the excellent lectures, I often return to them to brush up my knowledge. This specialization helped me evaluate the programme quality and motivated me to enroll at HSE.
— Did the programme meet your expectations?
— In general, yes, it did. I liked the extended course in financial mathematics — ‘Quantitative Methods in Economics and Finance’, ‘Macroeconomics’, ‘Finance Theory’, and the course on financial markets. Considering my entry level, I picked up a lot of useful information.
I particularly enjoyed the course in ‘Corporate Finance’, as it helped me, a person who has worked in some of the world’s largest corporations for almost 20 years, to see these organizations from another side and understand a lot of things that I simply didn't notice before or took for granted
Advanced courses in econometrics and stochastics were more difficult — I had to just do my best. I am sure that all the practical studies and models in this work will be useful to me in managing my investment portfolio.
I would like to note the outstanding work of our lecturers. During lectures and webinars we could see that they don’t just teach the material by rote, but put their hearts into it.
— Do you communicate with you classmates?
— Of course, the online format limits this option somewhat. But we communicate in a group, help each other both with studies and everyday problems.
— What advice can you give to those who are just thinking of applying for online programmes?
— First of all, do not give up at the first hurdle. Searching for solutions helps you develop. As for HSE's online master's programmes, I am sure that you are unlikely to find materials of this level on various aspects of economics and finance anywhere else.
By Ekaterina Zinkovskaya, HSE eLearning Office