A Love of Math Adds Up to Big Returns for Alumnus

Douglas Schadewald ’07 has never met a differential equation he didn’t like. In fact, his love of math started long before he majored in applied mathematics at Harvard University. “I was always very interested in math. I joined Math Counts when I started at USM in 6th grade and was on the math team all four years of high school.” Schadewald took every advanced-level math course offered at USM, from AP Calculus BC to Multivariable Calculus. “USM prepared me very well for my major. I think I had all of the math teachers at USM, and they were all incredible—very enthusiastic and very demanding.”

The summer after his freshman year in college, Schadewald obtained an internship at a Milwaukee hedge fund, Stark Investments. “The USM network helped me get my foot in the door at Stark Investments. I played football and basketball with the co-founder’s son at USM. He gave me the opportunity to work as an intern at Stark Investments and he was instrumental in inspiring me to pursue a career in finance. I’m really grateful for the opportunity he gave me and I try to pay it forward whenever I can.”

Schadewald accepted an internship at Barclays Capital the summer after his junior year. Following the internship, he took a role as a derivatives trader on the equity index derivatives desk where he has worked ever since. Currently a director, Schadewald trades options on the S&P 500 and VIX Indices, making or losing millions of dollars every day. After seven years of working his way up the ladder at Barclays, he hasn’t let the pressure get to him. In fact, he thrives on it. “I love competing, and most of the people on my team are hyper-competitive,” he said. “You have to be competitive to do this type of trading. Every day I have a profit and loss associated with my name, and I love being judged purely based on my performance.”

Not only does he love the work, he’s good at it. He was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 class of 2018 in the finance category. He was also elected as a member of the Chicago Futures Exchange’s Trading Advisory Committee in 2016. But he is modest when it comes to his success. “Maybe one-third of my job is very quantitative, but the rest is about understanding people and managing personal relationships. As a trader you have to be very humble, have a lot of discipline, and realize when you are wrong.”

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