"I find inspiration in the constant evolution of the financial world and the opportunity it presents to innovate and make impactful decisions. My desire to continuously learn and grow in this field is also motivated by the potential to contribute significantly to the economic landscape and help businesses thrive."

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Farhat Rafi

January 11, 2024

MSc in FinanceBeedie School of Business

Tell us a little about yourself, including what inspires you to learn and continue in your chosen field

I am deeply passionate about finance and banking, driven by the dynamic and challenging nature of this field. My journey in finance is fueled by the satisfaction I gain from structuring complex financial deals and managing significant corporate portfolios. Pursuing a Master of Science in Finance and being a CFA Charterholder are part of my commitment to excellence in this sector. I find inspiration in the constant evolution of the financial world and the opportunity it presents to innovate and make impactful decisions. My desire to continuously learn and grow in this field is also motivated by the potential to contribute significantly to the economic landscape and help businesses thrive.

Why did you choose to come to SFU?

Choosing Simon Fraser University (SFU) for my Master of Science in Finance was a strategic decision influenced by several factors. SFU's reputation for excellence in business and finance education was a major draw. The university's rigorous curriculum, focused on practical and theoretical aspects of finance, promised a comprehensive learning experience that aligned with my career goals. Additionally, the opportunity to engage with a diverse student body and faculty, and the potential to connect with industry leaders through SFU's extensive network, were significant considerations. The university's location in a vibrant economic hub also offered numerous opportunities for professional growth and real-world application of my skills.

How would you describe your research or your program to a family member?

I'd say it's a comprehensive program that helps me understand how money and investments work in the business world. It's like learning the art of managing money, understanding market trends, and making smart decisions to help companies grow or advise individuals on investments. This program is like a toolbox that gives me all the essential tools and knowledge needed to excel in the finance industry. It's challenging but also very exciting because I get to learn new things every day that can make a big difference in the world of finance.

What three (3) keywords would you use to describe your research?

To concisely describe my research in the Master of Science in Finance program at Simon Fraser University, I would use the following three keywords: Corporate Finance: This reflects my focus on understanding and managing the financial operations within corporations, including investment strategies and capital management. Financial Analysis: This emphasizes my deep dive into analyzing financial data, market trends, and economic indicators to make informed financial decisions and predictions. Risk Management: This highlights my study of identifying, analyzing, and mitigating financial risks in business operations and investments.

How have your courses, RA-ships, TA-ships, or non-academic school experiences contributed to your academic and/or professional development?

The courses in my Master of Science in Finance program at Simon Fraser University have been instrumental in enhancing my understanding of financial theories and their practical applications. They have equipped me with advanced analytical skills, a deeper knowledge of corporate finance, and an ability to understand and interpret complex financial data. Additionally, non-academic experiences, such as participating in university events and engaging with diverse groups on campus, have broadened my perspective, improved my communication skills, and helped in building a professional network, all of which are essential for my career growth in finance. Additionally, participation in various competitions has been a crucial part of my academic and professional development. These competitions often focused on finance and business strategies, have provided practical platforms to apply theoretical knowledge, fostered innovative thinking, and enhanced problem-solving skills. They have also been a great opportunity for networking with industry professionals and peers, offering insights into real-world challenges and trends in the finance sector. This blend of academic rigor and competitive experience has been fundamental in shaping my professional outlook and skills.

Have you been the recipient of any major or donor-funded awards? If so, please tell us which ones and a little about how the awards have impacted your studies and/or research

As a recipient of the Beedie Graduate Entrance Scholarship at Simon Fraser University, I have experienced significant positive impacts on my studies and research. This prestigious scholarship, awarded for academic excellence and leadership potential, has not only provided financial support, easing the burden of tuition and other expenses, but also boosted my confidence and motivation. It has allowed me to fully immerse myself in my Master of Science in Finance program, engage more deeply in my research, and participate in various academic and non-academic activities without the stress of financial constraints. This recognition and support have been instrumental in my academic journey and professional development in the field of finance.

What have been the most valuable lessons you've learned along your graduate student journey (or in becoming a graduate student)?

Throughout my graduate student journey at Simon Fraser University, the most valuable lessons I've learned include: Adaptability: Embracing change and adapting to new concepts and challenges is crucial in both academic and professional settings. Critical Thinking: Analyzing information critically and thinking beyond the conventional to find innovative solutions. Networking: Building relationships with peers, faculty, and industry professionals is invaluable for personal and professional growth. These lessons have been fundamental in shaping my approach to learning and my career in finance.

How do you approach networking and building connections in and outside of your academic community?

To effectively network and build connections within and outside my academic community, I approach it with a strategy of openness and active engagement. I participate in professional conferences, workshops, and seminars, where I interact with peers and professionals, sharing insights and learning from their experiences. Additionally, I utilize platforms like LinkedIn to connect with industry experts and alumni, often reaching out for informational interviews to gain industry insights. I also engage in community events and volunteer opportunities, broadening my network beyond the academic sphere. Building genuine relationships, showing interest in others' work, and offering help where I can have been key to my networking approach.

What are some tips for balancing your academic and personal life?

Time Management: Prioritize tasks and create a structured schedule, allocating time for both studies and personal activities. Set Boundaries: Define clear boundaries between study time and personal time to ensure both areas receive adequate attention. Self-Care: Regularly engage in activities that relax and rejuvenate you, like exercise, hobbies, or spending time with friends and family. Stay Organized: Keep track of deadlines and commitments to avoid last-minute stress. Seek Support: Don't hesitate to ask for help from peers, mentors, or family when needed. These tips can help maintain a healthy balance between academic responsibilities and personal life.


Contact Farhat:fra31@sfu.ca

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