Preston Wong

Position title: 2022 Cohort


What is your educational background? I graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with majors in Organismal and Population Ecology, Medical Mathematics and Economics with a minor in Data Science.

Why did you choose this program? I wanted to complete graduate work to demonstrate my ability to handle the workload and take advantage of opportunities to do research with leading professors in Economics/Finance. The MSFE program allows me the opportunity to gain further experience in Economics while also obtaining the Financial Theory knowledge that I was not able to fit into my undergraduate plan. The ultimate deciding factors for me were the ability to take PhD courses and the fantastic professors teaching MSFE classes who actively do research in my areas of interest and whom I might be able to do research with.

What has been your favorite thing to do in Madison or what is your favorite part about living in Madison? Being from Hawaii, the small-town and welcoming community are reassuring to me. I have enjoyed touring the many local eateries, which embody the nature of Madison as a crossroads for people from many cultures. I have treasured the weekly excursions to these places with the friends I have made in the program. The bike-able nature of Madison with its numerous paths will be something I miss dearly.

What has been your favorite class or what are you most looking forward to taking? Derivative Securities: Theory and Practice (FIN 730) with Bjorn, Advanced Derivatives and Fixed Income Securities (FIN 830) with Dani, and Financial Econometrics (ECON 724) with Bruce have been my favorites so far. In particular, the professors are very knowledgeable and willing to nurture my curiosity both in and out of class. I have been blessed to have Bjorn and Dani advise my research since being in their class. I am looking forward to the challenge that PhD Finance Theory (FIN 920) will bring this semester and PhD Seminar – Investments (FIN 971) next semester.

What are your career aspirations?I am applying to PhD Finance and Economics programs this application cycle to continue to explore my research interests in asset pricing, derivatives, machine learning, and industrial organization.