Michael Bostler, CFA — Research Analyst
Growing up in the peaceful suburbs of Chicago, I quickly came to believe that, with enough dedication, I could readily pursue nearly any goal in the entire spectrum of opportunity — I just didn’t know which part of the spectrum I liked best. And so in high school I tried a little bit of everything, from football and track to leading roles in plays and winning poetry slams to being a mathletes star (I scored a perfect 800 on my math SAT IIs). In my work I tried to blend innovation with pragmatism. One of my fondest memories was a statewide robotics competition: my school’s 40-person team was given a box of raw materials and 10 weeks to design, implement, test and market a remote-control robot that would ultimately perform against other robots in an arena-based competition. I was project manager and cherished my role because it demanded both the technical know-how to effectively gauge our progress as well as the vision to integrate various facets of the project, meet deadlines and guide our team to success. Despite being a rookie school, we placed third in the competition.
At Columbia University I studied economics and computer science. I chose Columbia over comparable schools because I felt that the broad-based education there best suited my desire for versatility. I couldn’t have been more pleased with this choice; I took courses on a variety of subject matters, from data structures to global trade to East Asian Buddhism, and I emerged with an awareness of the way in which distinct fields are interconnected.
I worked regularly through college. In my final year I interned with Daruma, doing quant-related work, including various statistical analyses as well as custom software solutions to supplement the various investment processes already in place. I quickly saw that success at Daruma would not only come from running regressions or writing programs but also from mastering the situation at large through a cross-disciplinary approach to problems. When I was offered an opportunity to continue my work after graduation, I was thrilled. I feel most comfortable being able to focus on the details while developing a clear understanding of the big picture, and Daruma is an ideal place to do just that. I cannot imagine a better environment in which to begin my professional career.