Bakai Madybaev

"I like making things happen."

With a Muskie Fellowship in tow, Bakai Madybaev builds his global finance career at TCU

Hometown: Bosteri, Kyrgyzstan.
Former career: Started a software company that provides IT solutions for commercial banks.
Future life: Export his financial knowledge to take his company to the next level.
Cool fact: He presented his newly acquired TCU teammates with Kyrgyzstan’s national hats and he plans to take cowboy hats to his friends back home.

World-class fellowships: Bakai won the Edmund Muskie Fellowship, a prestigious award that brings emerging leaders from Eurasia to the United States for graduate study. His goal: study American financial practices and working cultures and apply them to his software company in Kyrgyzstan. “My friends and I started our company with five people, and within five years, we grew it to 35 employees. With my newfound knowledge of the investment process, I can go home, grow the business and contribute to the development of my own country.”

Model student: Bakai worked with Dr. Pete Locke, one of TCU’s experts on derivatives, to demonstrate his technical skills on financial theories. He built a trinomial futures options pricing model as a research assistant for the finance department. “I developed this model that builds a hypothetical tree for futures, or contracts on commodities. The branches represent the variations of price movement. And the ending nodes, or leaves of the tree, go back to the root of the tree to come up with the final price of the option.”

Boston uncommon: Dr. Locke helped Bakai grow his research assistant job into an internship at Boston’s State Street, one of the world’s largest investment companies. He returned for a second stint there after graduation. “The people at State Street have PhDs in finance, economics or computer science. They build sophisticated financial models that define the company’s investment decisions. Seeing these bright minds at work and getting exposure to quantitative investments was a truly unique experience.”

A sound investment: TCU students manage the $1.5 million Educational Investment Fund, the second oldest student-run fund in the country. They decide where to invest by preparing full equity research reports on a particular company and presenting that company to industry experts and their fellow students. “I researched Cisco. The fund held the company for 15 years, but based on my research, I proposed we sell the Cisco stock. The rest of the fund agreed with my thesis, and we got rid of the stock. After we sold it, Cisco’s stock went down and we avoided losses.”

Coming to America: Bakai had barely gotten his bearings in the United States before jetting off to New York for a national career fair. Only two weeks into his MBA program, he spoke with big-name companies, learned just what kind of industries operated in America and got a good perception of the job market. “I did my research beforehand and narrowed down the list of companies to visit. You can’t cover all the companies, so you prioritize your search and talk to the most important ones.”

Capital idea: As one of the executive officers of the Capital Markets Club, Bakai makes things happen. He coordinated a trip to visit New York investment banks, resulting in a Wall Street internship at Nomura for one deserving club member. And he organized MBA students who have landed internships on Wall Street or major companies to coach other students through technical finance interviews. “The Graduate Career Center does a great job with mock interviews. But we wanted to take the coaching one step forward and tailor it for financial careers. The more I accomplish, the more confident I feel in my leadership skills. Plus, I feel good when I help other people to achieve their career goals.”

Dream big: So what did he experience at TCU that he never imagined? “I never thought I’d get an internship with the second-largest investment management company in the world. And I never thought I’d meet Warren Buffett. A lunch with him was sold for millions!”

Bakai

"I never thought I'd get an internship with the second-largest investment firm in the world."

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