Christina Xing: Analyzing Endowment Investments for Major Research Universities
January 25, 2023
The Duke FinTech master's graduate will join Caltech's Investment Office
Graduation: December 2022
“I chose Duke due to its strong student and alumni network.”
Christina Xing | Master of Engineering in Financial Technology
What has been your best experience at the Pratt School of Engineering?
To be honest, there have been many unique experiences that will be forever cherished. If I had to choose one, it would be the second semester when I was the teaching assistant for Allegra Jordon and Ted Ryan’s core course, 540: Management of High-Tech Industries.
During that time, not only was I able to enhance my leadership, management and organizational skills, but most importantly, I was able to help out students from diverse backgrounds. I remembered that it was the first class of the semester back on campus, so the other teaching assistants, the professors and I tried our best to incorporate many fun events, including throwing a huge stress ball in the classroom and holding a small sports event on Harrington Engineering Quad.
That experience has taught me a lot, not only how to be a great teaching assistant to the students, but also who I am and who I want to be in the future; this has also led me to be a TA in another course during the continuing semester.
What was your favorite course?
My favorite course was 520: Financial Institutions Products & Services. The course provides students with an understanding of finance and financial concepts, emphasizing innovation and technological changes. The knowledge taught in the class has led me to find my true passion in the industry and benefited me throughout my later interview processes.
The instructor, Craig Hurwitz, always attracted my attention with his incredible stories while working in finance. For me, Craig was not only a professor but also a mentor. I could discuss anything with him, from my internship application experience to my holiday plans. He is why I chose to be the course’s TA my final semester.
Where did you do your internship?
I did my internship at DUMAC Inc., which manages Duke’s $28 billion of assets, including endowments, pension plans, health system investments and much of the university’s working capital. DUMAC’s investment performance is ranked among the top tier within the United States. I worked as an investment analyst for the public security team for three months, from May to August 2021.
Throughout my time there, I was able to gain exposure to different asset classes, such as global equity, hedge funds, fixed incomes and commodities. I participated in meetings with world-renowned fund managers and was lucky to conduct and participate in some fun ad-hoc research, including a biotech fund dashboard.
Overall, I improved my quantitative and qualitative research, communication and time management skills.
What are your career aspirations?
In the short run, I have accepted an offer to work as an investment analyst in the Caltech Investment Office, which manages the California Institute of Technology's endowment, trusts and other assets.
In the long run, I aspire to continue working in asset or investment management.
What advice would you give to students considering Duke Engineering?
I would give three pieces of advice to prospective Duke Engineering students:
- First, try to step out of your comfort zone; you will encounter many opportunities to develop your skills in and outside your class. Take them and challenge yourself, as sometimes unexpected things will happen
- Second, expand your network. I chose Duke due to its strong student and alumni network. I participated in multiple academic clubs and a PE & VC (private equity and venture capital) event organized by Duke's Fuqua School of Business
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Nobody knows everything; ask your friends, professors and any resource the school has provided. They are more than happy to help you
The FinTech Master of Engineering is a degree program in Duke Engineering's Institute for Enterprise Engineering. To explore all our education programs, visit ene.duke.edu »