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Master’s degree in finance program inspired alumna Nivedita Rajarajan’s current career

For Nivedita Rajarajan, the wide world of finance is a dynamic and exciting field. The master’s degree in finance at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business helped her discover her passion for finance and investments and led to her current position, which she says is “inspiring.”

Kasey McNerney
Headshot of MS-FIN alumna Nivedita Rajarajan

For Nivedita Rajarajan (MS Finance ’23), the wide world of finance is a dynamic and exciting field.

"I find great satisfaction in the intricacies of investment strategies and the potential they hold for generating returns," says Rajarajan, who currently works as an Investment Portfolio Analyst at PSPRS in Phoenix.

The Master of Science in Finance at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business helped her discover her passion for finance and investments and led to her current position, which she says is “inspiring.”

We spoke with Rajarajan about her positive experiences within the program, how she continues to draw on classwork, and where she sees her future in the finance field.

Why W. P. Carey?

Alumna Nivedita Rajarajan at graduation from ASU

The strong reputation of the Master of Science in Finance (MS-FIN) program at W. P. Carey caught Rajarajan’s attention and brought her to ASU. After learning more about the curriculum and the emphasis on practical work to prepare students for their careers, she knew it was the perfect program for her.

“Overall, I saw ASU as the ideal institution to not only gain advanced knowledge in finance but also to establish a strong professional network that will be invaluable in my future endeavors,” she says.

The encompassing curriculum of the program not only helped Rajarajan narrow into her field of interest, investments, but continues to provide guidance in her current role.

“The robust knowledge I gained in finance during my time at ASU has been instrumental in propelling me towards my career goal of transitioning into an investment professional,” she says. “I actively apply the financial expertise I acquired at ASU as an integral part of my daily responsibilities.”

The world-class faculty in the Department of Finance are ranked highly for their research production and are sought after as subject matter experts. Being able to learn from and work with these industry leaders was a highlight for Rajarajan.

“Faculty members had practical experience in the industry,” she says. “They shared real-world examples, case studies, and anecdotes that bring classroom concepts to life and provide context for their application.”

Why finance?

While obviously having an interest in the world of finance, Rajarajan says that the MS-FIN program gave her a broader perspective on the industry, and she discovered new areas of interest.

“Prior to enrolling at ASU, my familiarity with finance was confined mainly to corporate finance,” she says. “However, delving into the core terms and concepts during my time there broadened my perspective on finance significantly. It illuminated the vastness of the subject and deepened my understanding.”

This deeper understanding helped her discover a passion for investments, which has led to her current position as an Investment Portfolio Analyst. Rajarajan works for PSPRS, a $20 billion retirement plan that provides pension benefits to Arizona’s first responders, corrections officers, and elected officials.

Her primary responsibility is analyzing the organization’s investment strategies and providing insights and suggestions. “What inspires me is the opportunity to have a tangible impact on the financial well-being and success of our organization,” she says. “Ultimately, knowing that my efforts contribute to the stability and growth of our investments is a source of daily inspiration.”

What's next?

Alumna Nivedita Rajarajan with her family

Rajarajan has been happy to stay connected with W. P. Carey after graduation and wants to contribute in any way she can to help the school. She has made herself available for mentorship programs for current students and is open to serving on advisory boards if the opportunity arises.

Both her time in the program and her current position have encouraged her to pursue continuous growth and learning as a finance professional. “I believe that by embracing every opportunity and continually learning, I can make the most out of my journey in finance.”

Rajarajan aspires to attain CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst) certification one day and become an expert within the alternative investment field. But above all, she wants to keep a growth ​​mindset and explore the industry with passion.

“I simply want to relish my journey in finance and discover where it leads me.”

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