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Advantage of CFA in MBA application

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Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2011, 16:44
Hi, I am from a non-finance background (consulting) and I am planning to apply for and start MBA in 2013. In the meantime, I thought of taking CFA exams. I have two questions in that respect:
1. How much of an added value will it be to clear CFA exams in bolstering my application to the top MBA programs such as LBS, Kellogg etc?
2. Do I have to clear all three levels before it can hold its worth in the application?

I am very skeptical and do not want to invest a lot of time in CFA if the ROI is not that much. Would rather spend my time in doing other things that may help me in developing a more well rounded application. My main motivation for getting a CFA, is to compensate for non-Finance background both during the application process and during MBA. Do you that my expectations from the certification is valid?
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Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2011, 18:33
I think most will agree that the CFA will help, but is not one of the main things that schools are looking for. As with other things, I would recommend it only if you feel that you would learn much from the studying and taking of CFA exams. If you're simply doing it for the sake of b-school admission, I don't think it's worth it and its payoff may just be marginal, if any.
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Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2011, 19:04
Thanks for the quick reply..totally agree with you, my intention is to not do it just for MBA admission but also to learn more about a field that I think I will be interested in once I get an admission (if I do). But just wanted to know how and in what way can it add to my application. I have not taken GMAT yet and was trying to plan out CFA, GMAT, and the application process which I believe takes some quality time.

Any pointers to a good book which will help me in planning out the entire 1-1n1/2 years before the admission?
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Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2011, 19:50
Good book for GMAT? Or just general reading?
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Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2011, 19:55
A book to help me plan the application process.

Thanks again!
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Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2011, 20:05
wondering if you have know that CFA is very challenging....

no doubt it helps in MBA ( assuming you can nit this well with your long term goals)....in fact many would argue that a complete CFA is as good or even better as tier-2 MBA Finance from USA

only issue though....it specifically prepares you for portfolio management....so if your target is VS/PE/Fund Management/Research it helps....

for pure M&A advisory and any general management role...ivy league is the preferred route

just browse through sites of all tier-1 colleges....almost all have tie-ups with CFA institute and they market it high
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Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2011, 14:24
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[highlight]From Dr. Shel Watts, http://www.mbaadmit.com

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Hi MBAaspirant4,

I find that passing even the first level of the CFA is something that can add value for some candidates. But, the CFA is very hard to pass, so I don't think that will be time well spent unless you truly need it for your career. Most likely, you will be better off spending time studying hard to get an outstanding GMAT score, and gaining some excellent extracurricular activity credentials. The ROI there will likely be much higher for you in the admissions process.

Best wishes,
Shelly Watts
[highlight]MBA Admit.com
http://www.mbaadmit.com
Email: mbaadmit@aol.com[/highlight]



MBAaspirant4 wrote:
Hi, I am from a non-finance background (consulting) and I am planning to apply for and start MBA in 2013. In the meantime, I thought of taking CFA exams. I have two questions in that respect:
1. How much of an added value will it be to clear CFA exams in bolstering my application to the top MBA programs such as LBS, Kellogg etc?
2. Do I have to clear all three levels before it can hold its worth in the application?

I am very skeptical and do not want to invest a lot of time in CFA if the ROI is not that much. Would rather spend my time in doing other things that may help me in developing a more well rounded application. My main motivation for getting a CFA, is to compensate for non-Finance background both during the application process and during MBA. Do you that my expectations from the certification is valid?

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Why pay $3700 for assistance with 1 application? Our "Early Bird" options: $925 for 1 application (Basic Package) and a Buy-1-Get-1-Set-Free at the regular Gold Package Rate. Contact Dr. Watts for details.

MBA Admit.com: Proudly, one of the most affordable top-quality MBA admissions consulting companies, with prices nearly 50% lower than our direct competitors.

Dr. Shel Watts is a graduate of Harvard and Oxford who has Harvard admissions experience. At MBAAdmit.com, "Dr. Shel" provides--at nearly 50% lower pricing than many comparable competitors--excellent MBA essay editing services and comprehensive admissions consulting, including one-to-one strategizing, essay development, school selection, GMAT advice, interview preparation, and recommendation advice. http://www.mbaadmit.com

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Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2011, 21:41
CFA exams are tough due to the time commitment required to pass the exams. CFA level-1 is definitely going to help you in the MBA application process if you plan to get into the finance field. CFA holds real value in investment management but even level-1 is a proof that you have the finance basics right and you can work hard.

If you haven't appeared for your GMAT and haven't really pondered about different essay questions... I would suggest to invest this time in preparing the application package. If you are serious about CFA then register for the test for December 11 (or even June 12) and mention that in your application.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2011, 03:46
MBAaspirant4 wrote:
Hi, I am from a non-finance background (consulting) and I am planning to apply for and start MBA in 2013. In the meantime, I thought of taking CFA exams. I have two questions in that respect:
1. How much of an added value will it be to clear CFA exams in bolstering my application to the top MBA programs such as LBS, Kellogg etc?
2. Do I have to clear all three levels before it can hold its worth in the application?

I am very skeptical and do not want to invest a lot of time in CFA if the ROI is not that much. Would rather spend my time in doing other things that may help me in developing a more well rounded application. My main motivation for getting a CFA, is to compensate for non-Finance background both during the application process and during MBA. Do you that my expectations from the certification is valid?


There are many students to pursue MBA without having any background in finance. If in future you want to get in financial side then only you should focus so heavily on CFA now. Although you don’t need to take all three levels if you don’t see your career in finance direction.
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Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2011, 08:57
MBAaspirant4,

Unless you are planning to make a career switch into Portfolio Management either pre- or post- MBA, I would not suggest getting a CFA.

Here are excerpt from our recent Blog at Inside MBA Admissions:

"Many of our clients ask whether getting a business specialization certification like a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or one of the APICs certifications (Supply Chain / Operations Management) will give them a better chance of being admitted to their targeted Business School. The answer is yes, but with some caveats....

...The caveat is that the value of your certification to a Business School varies depending on your career goals. Schools will place a low value on a certification that does not fit with the goals stated by the candidate. For example, obtaining a CFA right before applying to business school, where you intend to focus on Corporate Finance, will only confuse the Admissions committees. Additionally, these certifications take a great deal of time to acquire and are not something that can be completed in the summer before applying to school. Simply beginning the certification process, or getting a few modules completed for the sake of business school applications is not a good strategy. Rather, the certification needs to seem like a step in a logical career progression. In many ways the reason for the certification is similar to the need for the MBA, and it needs to come across similarly in the application: it provides the experience and education necessary to achieve career goals. Certifications that reinforce a candidate's focus and demonstrate career progression are very powerful."
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Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2011, 14:04
MBAaspirant4 wrote:
Hi, I am from a non-finance background (consulting) and I am planning to apply for and start MBA in 2013. In the meantime, I thought of taking CFA exams. I have two questions in that respect:
1. How much of an added value will it be to clear CFA exams in bolstering my application to the top MBA programs such as LBS, Kellogg etc?
2. Do I have to clear all three levels before it can hold its worth in the application?

I am very skeptical and do not want to invest a lot of time in CFA if the ROI is not that much. Would rather spend my time in doing other things that may help me in developing a more well rounded application. My main motivation for getting a CFA, is to compensate for non-Finance background both during the application process and during MBA. Do you that my expectations from the certification is valid?


CFA just as a certification will not help your MBA application, however, it can aid you in presenting your goals with more passion and commitment. Coming from a non-finance background, You will find it a bit easy to convince the adcom about the seriousness and and your goals in finance field as a post MBA career choice. Moreover, it may help you DURING your MBA when companies come for internship recruiting and having Level 2 (or more) candidacy/certification will help you to pitch yourself to them in a convincing manner. Also, keep in mind that a large portion of CFA coursework is similar to MBA and hence, it will be much easier to get the complete certification DURING/AFTER your MBA coursework. Many schools also provides credits, trainings and scholarships, for those who enrolled for CFA exams during their MBA classes.
Re: Advantage of CFA in MBA application   [#permalink] 24 Jun 2011, 14:04
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