Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Maxim Sak

What is your name?
Maxim Sak

What is your expected graduation year?
December 2017

What are your expected major(s)/minor(s)?
Bachelors of Science in Economics & Statistics

Where are you from?
Charlotte, North Carolina

What drew you to the Carnegie Mellon Statistics program?
I was drawn to the Carnegie Mellon Statistics program by the opportunity it presented me to develop a quantitative orientation, something important given my interest in financial markets. Moreover, the emphasis on R programming also seemed useful in gaining experience coding and gaining experience thinking about problems systematically.

What has been your favorite Statistics class or project so far?
36-315 Statistical Graphics and Visualization

Describe any research experiences or internships that you've had. What did you like best about them?
Last summer (2016) I worked at Variant Perception Research, a firm specializing in quantitatively driven macroeconomic modeling for a wide range of clients involved in financial markets. My responsibilities included examining returns from previously suggested trading strategies as well as working on rebuilding Excel based models into R. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to see how raw data could be filtered into market color and actionable strategies.

This summer (2017), I was a Global Markets Analyst at Barclays Investment Bank, where after training I spent three week increments on US Treasury Trading, High Grade Credit Trading, and High Yield Credit Trading. Across these desks, my roles included producing concise summaries of internal research and recent market developments, with more desk oriented projects analyzing market specific trading strategies. From the math games/brainteasers interns partook in to the modeling I performed, the experience I had in my statistics courses proved very valuable. I will be returning in June 2018 as a high grade credit trading analyst.

What are your current plans for after graduation?
As I'll have six months until I begin work at Barclays, I plan on spending a great deal of time traveling, ideally in the Oceania region. I also intend on preparing for the CFA Level I exam.

Tell us about any CMU student clubs or organizations in which you are involved.
I am involved with the Tartan Student Fund (TSF) as well as Sales & Trading Academy (STA). TSF is a student run organization managing approximately $50,000 of the school's endowment using long-only equity strategies. STA offers students guidance and mentorship in the recruiting process for front-office sales & trading internships at investment banks.

What advice would you give to an incoming student or new Statistics major?
Make sure to study hard and develop the best possible understanding of the concepts; it was clear to me after two summers of work how applicable the degree really can be, and how greater knowledge can be a differentiating factor. Also make sure to get to know the other students in the program, as it is invaluable to have peers to study and collaborate with.

How do you like to spend your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
I greatly enjoy hiking, traveling, playing squash, playing Texas Hold Em', and Russian literature as well as Soviet era films.

Which movie or TV character best matches your Statistics/Data Science personality?
Joey Knish, Rounders

If you could be any statistical distribution, which one would you be and why?
A normal distribution - it would be ideal to have a lack of fat-tail risk.