2018 Best & Brightest: Benjamin Chang, Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

Benjamin Chang

Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University

“The few things that I truly love: my family, my work, and animated movies.”

Fun fact about yourself: I started learning how to draw and play piano sophomore year of college. Better late than never!

Hometown: Beijing, China

High School: The International School of Beijing

Major: Finance

Double major: Computer Science

Favorite Business Courses: Derivative Securities, Finance, Corporate Finance, and Business, Society and Ethics

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College Tennis Club, Beta Gamma Sigma Inductee, Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar Inductee

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Intralinks – Financial Planning and Analysis Intern in NYC
  • Red Hat – Quality Engineering and Testing Automation in Beijing
  • Deutsche Bank – Sales and Trading Summer Analyst in NYC (Securitized Products Trading and Equity Structuring)

Describe your dream Job: I want to be a CEO or founder of a financial firm (hedge fund, private equity), in which my decisions matter and I can make or lose a lot of money. Alternatively, heading structuring or trading desks at an investment bank would also be nice.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Duane Seppi, my derivatives securities professor. Only a genius can make derivative securities interesting, exciting, and easy to comprehend – he certainly is one. I loved every second of that class and enjoyed his tests. The only complaint I have about that class is that we had too few lectures.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? Anything quantitative about finance – hedging, trading, discounted cash flows. The science behind finance is a beautiful one. Just thinking of the arguments made by Black and Scholes for options pricing or Miller and Mogdiliani for the effects of the structure of the firm sends shivers down my spine – these theories so elegantly and simply argued, yet they have such a profound impact on the finance industry.

Where would you like to work after graduation? I’ve signed full-time with Deutsche Bank in NYC and will be returning there as a trader.

What are your long-term professional goals? I don’t want to get stuck in one position for too long. I hope to make MD of a trading desk in 10 years, or to move to a managing role of a PE firm or a hedge fund.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Take the major seriously. Take something quantitative.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…”I attended my father’s award ceremony for outstanding sales performance when I was in the 6th grade.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…studying computer science.”

“Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…how to program and what the difference was between investment banking and trading.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? Going to San Francisco with my family in the summer of 2002 to have a week’s worth of fun at Disney Land!

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Being inducted into Andrew Carnegie Society, hand-picked by the dean and awarded to the top 2% of entire senior class across the Carnegie Mellon campus.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? Dog. Dogs are the best! Dog, dog, dog! There really isn’t a reason. I just love dogs.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My father, mother, and brother. They have stood by me through thick-and-thin and have sacrificed so much for me. Everything I do, I do to make them proud.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? Take the major seriously. Go to class. Get good grades.

Favorite book: Atlas Shrugged

Favorite movie: Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Favorite musical performer: Elvis Presley

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere with beaches and clear skies… maybe Hawaii.

What are your hobbies? Tennis, drawing, singing, “pianoing”

What made Benjamin such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“Ben Chang’s enthusiasm for learning is palpable and infectious; whether he and a group of students are vigorously debating a programming assignment in a killer Computer Science class, or he is having a long phone call over the weekend with a professor about Monte Carlo Simulation for a financial derivatives valuation case project. Having students like Ben around is what makes being on Carnegie Mellon’s campus exciting and great. Off-the-charts IQ, an appreciation for the power of knowledge, and a capacity for hard work are a combination that makes the extraordinary possible.”

Duane Seppi
BNY Mellon Professor of Finance,
Head of the M.S. in Computational Finance Program,
Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University

DON’T MISS: THE FULL HONOR ROLL: THE BEST & BRIGHTEST UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS MAJORS OF 2017