Calin was born and raised in Romania. He completed his undergraduate education in Italy and subsequently obtained the MIF degree, graduating in 2011. He currently works in the commodity market as a gas and power analyst with E.ON Benelux, the regional unit of E.ON SE, one of Europe’s biggest utility groups.
I have been interested in the area of economics and finance for a long time. That is why I pursued my undergraduate education at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, graduating with a BSc in International Economics and Management. In general I’m more of a numbers-driven type of person, and I was more attracted to the practical implementation of economic and financial theory. Therefore I decided to further expand my knowledge and focus on a more finance-oriented education. That’s what brought me to follow the MSc in International Finance at the ABS.
During my studies I enjoyed comprehensive exposure to the different areas of finance, and have come to realize that my interests lie more in investments and trading. I have pursued an internship with ING Commercial Banking, working with the bank’s sell-side European equity research team. This has been a great opportunity for me to fully experience the dynamic and motivating environment of the dealing room, while at the same time getting exposure to global tier-1 institutional investors and senior management of large listed companies. I found that this experience complemented my studies very well and I was able to successfully apply the knowledge I gained in school. I also enjoyed the challenge of a steep learning curve which motivated me further pursue knowledge in this field. Subsequently I have worked as an equity analyst for two other brokers in Amsterdam, CA Cheuvreux, and Kempen & Co. This has enabled me to further develop my analytical and commercial background, and also develop specialist sector knowledge (covering banks and insurers, and companies active in the clean technology field).
I have recently switched to commodities working on the European gas and power markets with E.ON Benelux in Rotterdam. In my current role I follow energy commodity markets, I contribute to taking and implementing hedging strategies and I advise clients on market developments and expectations. I enjoy a lot of responsibility and make high impact decisions.
The environment is very motivating, and requires you to stay up-to-date with geopolitical, macroeconomic and financial developments across the globe and to translate their impact on the energy markets. Electricity markets are also quite unique within commodities due to the complex nature of how they operate.
After deciding to pursue graduate-level education in finance I looked at different programmes in Europe. I made my decision based on a number of factors, such as the faculty, the programme content, the University’s reputation and accreditations, employment statistics and so on. I already knew that the University of Amsterdam had a strong finance department. I also got in touch with alumni and inquired about their experiences in the program.
I was also aware that the Netherlands and Benelux region is an important hub for multinational companies, trade and investment, and of course Amsterdam as an important financial centre in continental Europe. And I also discovered the University of Amsterdam to be well entrenched in this particular business and financial environment. I heard if this through alumni, but also through research and various other initiatives. This was important for me as well.
Through this initiative I am looking to share my very positive experience with the Amsterdam Business School and the MIF programme. It’s a way of giving something back to the school. I am currently involved in working together with the MIF management team in promoting the programme, providing information and sharing my experience with new and prospective students. I also organise and take part in different activities such as speaker events and guest lectures.
For many reasons our study trip to South Africa was definitely a notable experience during my studies. On the one hand, we got the chance to experience the local business environment and learn about an emerging economy, not only in a class room, but literally in the field. I especially enjoyed meeting some local entrepreneurs and hearing about their success but also the particular challenges they faced. On the other hand, it was a great way for us as a group to get to know each other in a different setting which eventually, in my opinion, resulted in an improved team work for the rest of the year, and of course friendships that lasted beyond our studies. Furthermore, the trip was for me culturally very rich. I got the chance to learn so much about the history of the country and this made a deep impression on me.
I really enjoyed the Investments and Advanced Asset Management course of Prof. Ludovic Phalippou. He was really engaging his students with the content of the lectures. I also appreciated having met so many Private Equity and Investments professionals through the guest speakers he brought in class. However, I have also really enjoyed the lectures of Prof. Arnoud Boot and many others.
At the moment I am very involved in learning Dutch. Better late than never. I am following an intensive 1-year course and I am really looking forward to mastering the language! I feel that it truly opens more doors and it is an underestimated aspect (by expats) of living in the Netherlands, despite the fact that everybody speaks English. I have set this as one of my goals and I am enjoying the challenge.
Reliable, friendly and open-minded
I would advise them to be proactive and try to get the most out of this experience. On the academic side you are really given the tools and the environment to gain in-depth knowledge in the field and explore the different sides of the subject matter through elective courses and so on. I also find the opportunities to take an elective from the MBA program and the option to take the CFA Level 1 quite unique. What is equally important is also to take advantage of the networking opportunities and the links that the school has with the business community in and around Amsterdam.