"My aim is for students to understand the financial services ecosystem and where they might want to fit in. Having a better understanding of the players and the roles they fulfil, grounds theoretical financial knowledge in the real world." – Tarryn Valle
Tarryn Valle, Head Instructor for iXperience Investment Finance
Tarryn joined us last year, teaching Investment Finance and generally blowing minds. We're thrilled to welcome her back this year, where we know she'll bring her ability to humanize even the most complex financial topics.
Her resume is near super-human. She has Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Commerce undergraduate degrees and a Master of Commerce in Finance post-graduate degree. In 2004 she was awarded the CFA designation, followed by the FRM designation in 2005. As of 2019, she is registered as a doctoral student and is working on her PhD dissertation through the University of Cape Town.
With over 15 years of experience in financial services, on both the sell-side and the buy-side, she could work just about anywhere.
However, she has a particular passion for start-ups, from both an operational involvement and education perspective. As such, she is working with the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, where she assists their Venture Incubator Program in helping entrepreneurs with their financial planning and strategic business decision making.
[Audio clip from Tarryn]: My background, and what to expect from this program
More Q&A with Tarryn:
What do you enjoy most the Finance industry?
There are so many avenues to the finance industry and because of that, there is something for everyone. The type of person attracted to an institutional sales job is going to be very different from someone sitting on the derivatives trading desk, but both start at the same point when it comes to education.
Why did you decide to get involved with teaching?
I am a teacher at heart and for me, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing some “get it”, particularly when that entails grasping a complex or challenging concept. I think the art of teaching is being able to communicate and engage with students so that you can lead them through the learning process and not just tell them the information.
How do you see the Finance industry changing in the next 10 years? What skills will industry professionals need to have?
I think that there is going to be increasing technological change, not limited to the finance industry. We see it already in the rise of passive investing and robo-advisors, and I believe blockchain technology will materially impact typical financial back-office processes. Financial services professionals will have to stay agile and open to learning. They will need to focus on human ingenuity and relationships – the value-add over the repetitive tasks that can now be automated.
What are you looking forward to about iXperience this summer?
Personally, I am looking forward to the opportunity to teach every day! I do love it and the fact that I will help educate students who are keen, motivated, and taking the class because they are embracing knowledge, rather than just having to get credits, is wonderful.
What skills will iX Remote students have after graduating from your class?
My aim is for students to understand the financial services ecosystem and where they might want to fit in. Having a better understanding of the players and the roles they fulfil, grounds theoretical financial knowledge in the real world. Ultimately, that is the absolute goal – to be able to hit the ground running in a career.
What is the biggest lesson that students took away from iX's Finance program that you taught last year? What do you hope to impart this year?
I think a lot of students had a fairly narrow view of what working in finance entailed. Many had a “Wall Street or nothing” mindset. However, finance is not only about heavy-duty quants! There is a role for everyone and it’s important to find a niche that works for your own character and attributes. I would like to impart that message again. Many are scared by the numeracy of finance, but not all finance needs mathematicians and engineers.
How will your students be putting what they learn to practice in the internship component of the program?
We will be working closely with those corporates offering internship positions to align the curriculum material with the real-world requirements. The focus on the practical elements elevates this course over the typical theory-based university offerings. You can learn more about the iX Remote internship component here.
What’s one piece of advice that you have for the iX class of 2018?
In finance, always follow the money! It’s probably true of politics too... But it is a basic rule that allows you to get to grips with the risks and rewards of financial instruments, businesses, and even economic policy.
What would students be surprised to learn about you?
I have an undergraduate degree in physics and astrophysics and am still a bit of a space geek. I feel especially proud and awed by Elon Musk, who actually went to school just down the road from my own school.
What are your ‘desert island’ books or movies?
The Matrix remains one of my favorite movies and, if I was on a desert island, I would definitely have my 7 well-worn Harry Potters and Lord of the Rings with me.