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A student in a suit smiling

Chad Chern-I Chew ’24

Master’s Degree in Systemic Risk

Manager, Foreign Exchange Policy, Central Bank of Malaysia

When I was finishing my undergraduate degree in computing, I never thought I would venture into a finance role, much less that I’d build a career in central banking. My learning curve over the past 11 years has been steep, meaningful, and most importantly, practical. But without formal academic grounding in finance and banking, I always felt like there was a missing piece to the puzzle. Joining Yale’s Master’s in Systemic Risk program hasn’t just been about finding the missing piece. It’s expanded the size of the puzzle and made it a spectacular piece of art! This program propels career professionals passionate about financial stability to greater heights.

A group of students sitting in a classroom for a panel discussion
A student smiling in front of a Yale SOM backdrop
A student posing in front of the ancient Mayan structure Chichén Itzá

As a central banker, mitigating systemic risk is our bread and butter. Failure to address risk can have widespread consequences that impact not only financial institutions but also businesses, households, and the economy as a whole. One important takeaway from the program has been learning how to respond broadly—systemically—to financial crisis. Core courses dig deep into slicing and dicing the causes of crises, pushing us to think extensively about what worked and what did not work across the system. The Monetary Policy course helps us connect the dots between financial stability and monetary policy.

Recent events have shown us that standardized regulatory policies can leave unintentional gaps. It’s imperative for regulations to have a nuanced, comprehensive approach to emerging risk.

Chew and other students pose with Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank
With Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank

Learning from my classmates has been one of the most meaningful parts of my time at SOM. Once a week, we all participate in a Systemic Risk Colloquium, which features a mix of discussions, presentations, and lecturers by guest speakers. This is where the magic happens. Everyone shares their experiences in the countries where they work, their pain points, and lessons learned. These moments have enriched our time together and our understanding of the issues that we’re all facing.