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Students at the CNBC Delivering Alpha conference

Reflections on My First 60 Days in the Master’s in Asset Management Program

Urkesh Cusack Tuerxun ’24 looks back at getting to know his classmates, learning from Yale SOM faculty, and connecting with financial industry leaders.

What stands out the most from my first two months at SOM is the time I’ve spent forging bonds with new friends from all over the globe. Beyond connecting with my Asset Management cohort, I've built friendships with students from Yale College, PhD programs, and naturally, within SOM. Whether it was exploring New Haven on sunlit afternoons or diving deep into study sessions in the SOM library, every moment has been unforgettable.

Orientation week was filled with activities—one standout was a delightful day at the park, where we played games and had the opportunity to learn more about our new classmates in a relaxed setting. But what I enjoyed most were the evenings that followed these activities, when we congregated for meals and shared our experiences.

Once classes started, it didn’t take long for me to appreciate the direct tie between our academic coursework and its real-world application. It's one thing to study concepts but witnessing how these theories are implemented in the industry truly brings learning full circle. For instance, diving into the Fama-French factors and then having Professor Tobias Moskowitz elucidate on the birth of Dimensional Fund Advisors grounded in those principles was insightful.

A discussion on state at the Delivering Alpha conference.
Students hanging out

One of my favorite classes right now is Statistics for Asset Management, with Quantitative Investing being a close second. Statistics for Asset Management is particularly captivating thanks to Professor Theis Jensen. His recent transition from his PhD gives him a unique perspective, allowing him to resonate deeply with graduate students. He masterfully demonstrates the application of statistics in real-world scenarios, drawing from examples at pioneering firms like Renaissance Technologies. The practicality of the homework further cements our understanding, equipping us to harness statistical tools effectively in real-world settings.

Recently, I attended the CNBC investment conference in New York City with 10 of my classmates from the AM program—it was an enriching experience that gave us the chance to immerse ourselves in insights from New York’s top-tier investors. The discussions were super interesting, especially when we heard from industry stalwarts like Bill Ackman and the CEO of Franklin Templeton.

My time at SOM thus far has provided me the opportunity to dive deeply into highly relevant academic courses and combine these concepts with experiences that give me insight on the asset management industry. I look forward to finding out what the rest of the year will bring!