Investments, Canadian Pension Fund

Required Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Disciplined / self motivated
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Time management
  • Attention to detail

Typical Day

  • 8am: Dealers call with market updates
  • 9am: Transact trades for the day
  • 11am: Review portfolio with team
  • 1pm: Read research reports
  • 3pm: Update presentation for risk committee
  • 5pm: Update internal reports and spreadsheets
Meet Catherine Renwick, Investments
Catherine Renwick, Investments -
Why did you pick your program and university?
I chose to study Economics and Mathematics at McMaster because I love solving puzzles. Both fields allowed me to explore and learn new concepts while continually exercising my critical-thinking skills. While mathematics gave me the tools to tackle problems logically and methodically, economics showed me how I could apply these techniques on a large – even global – scale. The program ended up being a great fit for my current career, as I find myself using these skills every day. McMaster has strong programs in Business, Mathematical Finance, and Health Economics. However, the most attractive feature to me was the network of clubs and professors that actively support you as you explore your potential career paths. At the University of Toronto (UofT), where I did my masters, I also found the most rewarding part of the experience to be the interactions I had with my fellow classmates and colleagues.
What made you decide to pursue finance once you started university?
While I enjoyed the research I was doing in economics, I realized I wanted to work in a more fast-paced and high-intensity environment. I took a few finance electives in my undergrad, and found my skills and interests greatly aligned with the field. From there, I decided to pursue a Master’s in Financial Economics at UofT, and it was during that time I became truly passionate about pursuing a career in finance. In the world of finance there are new hurdles to tackle with every step, and I enjoyed having to constantly learn and evolve.
What kind of internships or job experience did you complete while in school?
During my Master’s, I did an 8-month internship at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) working on the Global Credit Products team in Capital Markets. I worked on several big projects that entailed building, analyzing, and optimizing strategies for the portfolio managers on the desk. It was a fantastic experience, as the work was challenging, interesting, and also meaningful to the OTPP fund. My team members gave me a level of trust and responsibility far past what I anticipated as an incoming intern.
Describe your current role and your typical day.
I am currently working full-time on the Global Credit Products team as an Investment Analyst at OTPP. My day-to-day life has the high-intensity schedule that I was looking for, requiring me to juggle daily tasks and ongoing projects, as well as managing my own portfolio risks and onboarding new interns. In the morning I start by sending out daily reports, and monitoring my current portfolio holdings and risk. In the afternoon I am often working on ad hoc projects to support my team members, improving and optimizing current strategies, and looking for potential new trades to put on. My job is a great fit for me, as it requires me to leverage my economic background, using the technical and analytical skills I acquired during my education, such as programming and statistics.
What's one piece of advice that you would give someone in high school looking to a career in your field?
Don’t be afraid to ask. There is no better time to ask for help, than when you are just starting in your career. In finance there is always something new to learn, but it only gets harder to ask questions the more experienced you become. Take advantage that as a student or intern there will be plenty of people willing to help you. Building those relationships now can take you a long way in your career. Lastly, asking questions is the surest way to show your interest and passion for finance, so let your curiosity shine both in interviews and at work.
Meet Linda Yan, Investment Analyst

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