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What I Learned from: David Sobotka YC ’78, Former Partner, Capula Investments

In this series, students reflect on talks by visiting speakers. Shengshun Zhou ’21 shares his takeaways from a talk by David Sobotka YC ’78, former partner, Capula Investments.

David Sobotka YC ’78, former partner, Capula Investments, spoke at an event sponsored by the International Center for Finance on February 23. Sobotka shared wisdom from his 40-plus years in finance. His most recent role was as a partner in the $18 billion hedge fund Capula Investments in charge of macro and credit trading. 

MBA student Shengshun Zhou ’21 shares his takeaways.

How this speaker enriched my Yale SOM experience

David shared his rich career and his experience in several market cycles. In times like today, his experience and advice are even more necessary and inspiring.  In this age of data, the qualitative side of business is getting more important. But to be competent in the future, we should not only learn how to analyze the data, but also how to articulate them into a qualitative narrative—this is exactly what we are learning at SOM.

My biggest takeaway

Expand and diversify your reading list. Regardless of what we do, we should all read some behavioral economics—learn how people react to stimulus, how herd mentality works, and how to distinguish trend over fad. Also, read books about different cultures, learn how people from different places behave. After all, the world is formed by people, and whatever we do, we are interacting with people.