Treated More Like a Colleague Than a Student

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Will Gogolak first heard about the Stuart School of Business program when he was working at CME Group as a specialist in risk management modeling for banks and derivative products. “There were a significant number of Stuart alumni working at CME,” he recalls, “and they told me about the school’s finance program.”

Over the next several years, he continued moving up in his career as a financial modeler at consulting firm Bain & Company and then as a senior principal consultant at CBIZ Private Equity Advisory.

When he decided to return to school for a doctorate, Gogolak says he chose Stuart because of its emphasis on technology and track record of producing some of Chicago’s top quantitative finance professionals.

“As a Ph.D. candidate in management science, professors treated me more like a colleague than a student, so I gained insight into the professorial profession,” he says. “In addition to learning the subject matter, my time on campus really helped develop me as a professional in the field and prepared me for a career as a professor.”

His doctoral thesis co-advisers, Associate Professor of Management Smriti Anand and Associate Professor of Finance Li Cai, were “the most encouraging faculty imaginable and helped me reach my full potential,” he says. “The most memorable aspect of my Ph.D. experience was the level of rigor they instilled in me during the dissertation process. I learned what is required to conduct high-quality research.”

Gogolak has hit the ground running in his new career teaching finance at Carnegie Mellon University. “College is such a transformative time for students,” he says, “which makes teaching one of the most rewarding careers available.”