September 27, 2012

The End of an Era, the Start of a Dynasty

Post by:Justin Tyo
MS in Mathematical Finance Candidate, ‘14

Three weeks in as a Mathematical Finance student and the pace of school has picked up immensely. Midterms around the corner, weekly problem sets due and regular study hours in a 16 by 16 studio apartment. The crazy part about all of it is that I love it. There is really nothing more energizing than regular class meetings with some of the smartest Mathematics professors and students in the nation.

However, three weeks ago, I was coming to Boston from a small town in Northern New York called Massena. Shall we clarify what “Northern New York” is? It is in fact not near Albany, Syracuse or Buffalo; rather it is 150 miles straight north of Syracuse located on the Canadian border. Also known as “The Gateway to Canada,” “Yeah, it gets real cold up there,” or simply just “The Tundra,” Massena is the definition of an awesome small town where everyone knows everyone and every person is there to lend a hand whenever you need it. However, Boston is the polar opposite of that; a large city with a lively community where you’d be lucky to meet 1% of the population over the course of your working career. Boston University has helped make that transition easy.

Deciding to go from open fields to a lively city was a difficult decision to make, but I wouldn’t have done it differently. The opportunities in  the Boston University Mathematical Finance program are phenomenal and the experience of coming to a prestigious school like BU is priceless. I am surrounded by my classmates who are always willing to lend a hand with anything that you may need, which is comparable to that tight-knit culture that I am used to. The program is comprised of such diverse cultures that it is exciting to hear about my classmate’s backgrounds. Just like me, they all come from their own unique places across the world. The best thing about Mathematics is that its a universal language. Despite our drastically different native languages, we all know how to do proofs, derivatives, and integrals and communicate it flawlessly to one another (if we know the answer, of course). That’s what makes our Mathematical Finance program so interesting because our passion for learning and Mathematics brings us together within a classroom setting which allows us to feed off each other’s intelligence and intuition.

We have begun developing a family-like atmosphere within our Mathematical Finance program and it has only been three weeks. The orientation week and several social events have made it all possible through the help of the Graduate Programs Office. They do a wonderful job in coordinating events that bring us close together from the start. Most importantly however, meeting some of the brightest minds from not just across our nation but across the planet is an invaluable experience which has certainly made me proud to be a part of this program. I am looking forward to the next 17 months and growing the professional relationships that I have begun to develop with my classmates.

 Justin Tyo is a first year Mathematical Finance student with experience in options trading and credit modeling. He played for the St. John Fisher College Men’s Golf team from 2008-2011 whose team won three consecutive ECAC Championships.

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September 18, 2012

My Summer Internship at the World Health Organization

Post By:
Catherine Shih
MBA/MPH in Global Health Management, 2013 

In 2010, over eight hundred billion was spent on pharmaceuticals globally.  This represents about a quarter of the global expenditure on health illustrating the importance of medicines to not only consumers, but also to governments and payers alike.  Interestingly, the difference in the amount spent on pharmaceuticals on a per capita basis varies significantly between income groups and World Health Organization regions. For example, about $9 per capita is spent in the Africa region compared to $243 per capita in the Europe region.  This illustrates the disparities in pharmaceutical access across regions of the world. 

Outside the WHO main building
I spent my summer analyzing medicines expenditures around the world for the World HealthOrganization (WHO).  Not only did I get to become a whiz with Microsoft Excel and Access through my work developing chart books, reports and databases, but I also had the opportunity to present my findings to regional representatives.  It is hoped that by presenting relatively up to date information on health expenditures broken down by regional and income level, decision makers can analyze their current medicines financing situations and make improvements. 

Interning with the WHO gave me the opportunity to see how broad health policy is developed, particularly in the area of pharmaceuticals.  In addition, being in Geneva offered me not only the opportunity to participate in events and seminars put on by other UN agencies such as the United Nations, the International LaborOffice and the World Trade Organization, but also the experience of living in Switzerland.  

With the summer now over, I hope to maintain my ties with the WHO through participating in pharmaceutical related seminars and talks here in Boston, in addition to doing part time projects related to the work I was doing this summer.

Catherine Shih is a 2nd year MPH-MBA with experience in tax policy, international trade, and organizational development.  She spent the summer in Geneva working for the World Health Organization and eating chocolate. 

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September 14, 2012

My Summer Internship at Aimia

Post By:
Alex Bonder
MBA, 2013 

My summer internship was a great experience. I got the chance to work at Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management, in Montreal, Canada. The company has over 3,400 employees and presence in Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South America.

I worked as a strategy consultant for the travel business developing area. My project was to analyze the possibility of developing a business intelligence tool for airlines that could help them to do deeper, customer focused analysis.  I was very lucky to be involved in this project for many reasons: I learned about the business intelligence industry which was something new for me, the project involved the airline industry which is my passion and is related to my professional background, and finally I worked as a consultant which is the type of work I would like to do in the future. 


Montreal is an amazing city. It merges the flavor and food of a French culture with the utmost order of the British culture. The city offers a diverse number of cultural activities during the summer. I got the chance to attend to the annual jazz festival, one of the most famous in the world.

Alex (bottom left) and friends in Montreal
My summer experience as an MBA exceeded my expectations; I made good friends at work, the project was challenging and very interesting, and the city was spectacular. 
Alexander Bonder is a 2nd Year MBA. Although life, work and graduate school have taught him about the "turbulent" nature of the airlines industry, turbosine seems to be in his veins.

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