John Pearce, '11

John Pearce, Albion College Class of 2011Major: Mathematics and Economics
Residence: Troy, Mich.
Career: Quantitative Analyst, NorthPointe Capital

In a nutshell, what do you do?

I use math to pick stocks. Specifically, I develop and maintain mathematical models that take into account a bunch of data on domestic equities and return metrics that aid in our investment decision-making process. I often compare it to the book/movie Moneyball, just without all the baseball and Brad Pitt.

Why do you love what you do?

My role allows me to have complete intellectual freedom. I get to study and think about a vast range of subjects and then figure out how to connect those varied ideas to each other, the models I create, and my general understanding of financial markets. In this way, my job is a perfect example of how a liberal arts degree applies in a professional setting. Working in the markets also gives you instant, concrete, feedback about the validity of your ideas. There is never a dull moment.

How did Albion help you get there?

The faculty taught me the technical skills I needed to get started and helped me learn that no idea exists in isolation and the best questions lead to more questions. The staff provided me with constant support and friendship when things got tough. The students pushed me to study hard, party hard, learn about who I am, and develop relationships that will last a lifetime.

For me, Albion ...

... is only the beginning to my story of lifelong learning, but was an excellent one.