To be honest, apart from being a Board Member of the Finance Club*, the Portfolio Management Program (further: PMP) is legit one of the best experiences you get at UZH. I am writing this as I am closer and closer to completing the program and fly away from the educational nest.
I know, you might now ask yourself: What on earth is the PMP?
Well, you might first want to visit this link.
If you are too lazy to visit the link, let's cut it to this: It is a 2-year program within your studies, where you are trained for the role of a portfolio manager. The first year you are an analyst, do a lot of research, backtest your trading strategies, give your market view, and in the second one you get to implement it all on a real money portfolio. All along the way you have the best supervisors from both academia and practice, who are extremely strict but generous and helpful.
Now that you know the basics, we can go on.
Here is the 13 Reasons Why you should apply for PMP which you will not ever really find on the official web page of the PMP:
You can get in even if you do not study finance per se. You really CAN. We have had people from mathematics or biology. Program managers offer an opportunity to every person able to defend an opinion and having true interest in investing.
You actually get to trade financial products for real money. It is by no means a simulation of something.
And because this is not YOUR money but the money given from the sponsor of the program you need to defend your ideas in front of your sponsors (which makes the process look a lot like real portfolio managers defending their ideas in front of the managing directors of some hedge fund). You have your skin in the game.
You get your own Bloomberg Terminal as a team. So you can click, read news and learn all day long!
One more thing here - you will complete the BMC - Bloomberg Market Concepts Certificate - which is a great plus for your CV. Many employers find it very appealing for Junior positions when you’ve had experience with Bloomberg.
The world of investing is so dynamic, fundamental knowledge is simply not enough (but believe me, you will get enough fundamentals), but what is more valuable is that you will get an intuition for markets and what is going on, i.e. understanding how all the different factors play together and what story they tell.
Experiencing market swings, up or down, is a psychological experience (and training) like no other. You will learn how to take risks and believe me, if you do, you will be rewarded for that.
Networking. I mean, apart from the members of your own team (there will be 6 of you) you will have 12 more from two other teams to chat with and learn from!
Networking 2.0. The fact that PMP exists in three cities: Zurich, Berlin and Vienna is somehow hushed up so you get to know that only once you start. There usually is a catch up event (sorry, not in corona time) where you can get to know everyone.
Networking 3.0. The PMP has a vast alumni network of people working for the leading financial institutions. You can get recommendations or even a job offer.
Now a very practical thing: towards the end of the program when it is usually easier and you already figured out how to handle everything you get 6 (!) ECTS (for the PMP Implementation 2). Keep in mind tho, PMP is not something you do for credits - inherent motivation is essential. The credits are a nice cherry on top!
If you survived till this last reason, I will tell you a secret: the skills that you get are easily transferable to your future life, irrespective of you becoming a real portfolio manager. Time management, negotiation skills and critical thinking is something you develop very quickly in PMP.
I hope to have convinced you that PMP is worth applying for and already envy you that your journey is only about to start whereas mine is about to end.
You can start applying for this experience for the HS2021 intake HERE :)
This is the place where members of PMP present their trading strategies.
Ph credit: Park Hotel Vitznau
*the Chairman of the Finance Club made me write it :)