Michelle Ruvolo applied directly to MAPH during her senior year of college and arrived in Hyde Park the following fall. “I didn’t have any plans,” she recalled when we spoke on the phone last week. Like many incoming MAPHers, Ruvolo did have a sense that the academic life was where she wanted to be after graduation. “I thought I wanted to do a PhD and be a professor in the humanities,” she said. But her perspective changed by the end of first quarter.
“I came to terms with the fact I wasn’t going to do a PhD,” she remembered. “I needed to decide what skills I would need in my next life.”
As a MAPH student, Ruvolo took courses across departments—everything from Social Thought and Philosophy, to English and Math. She completed her thesis with then-Program Director Professor Candace Vogler as her advisor, on a topic inspired by readings from Professor Arnold Davidson’s Foucault class.
Today, Ruvolo works as Managing Director of Risk Management at the investment firm Sterling Stamos. In her current role, she conducts “investigations on hedge funds, trying to determine what the risks are.” The position requires constant interpretive analysis and clear writing. She cites “the ability to read and critically analyze different kinds of information,” as two skills that she developed as a MAPH student.
In her investigations, she finds there is often an “asymmetry of knowledge,” and she needs to interpret the most important information and communicate her perspective in 10-20 page memos.
“In some sense it’s still like writing papers from school,” Ruvolo said.
To make the transition to a career finance, Ruvolo explained that she recruited with consulting companies during the autumn after MAPH. She attended UChicago’s on-campus career fairs and ultimately found a position with Susquehanna Investment Group. “I had never taken a finance course or economics course,” she said. But the firm was a good fit, and Ruvolo moved to New York.
After her time at Susquehanna, she developed an interest in financial risk management, and found a new position at Sterling Stamos. She was able to complete another Master’s degree as a part time student in Financial Engineering while working for the firm. Ruvolo has now been with Sterling Stamos for five years. She lives in Manhattan.