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Best MSF programs if placement is my ONLY consideration?

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Best MSF programs if placement is my ONLY consideration? [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2010, 18:33
Hi,

I'm writing this because an odd and highly unlikely set of circumstances has me stuck in a dead-end sales job after graduating 4 months ago from a top 15 American business undergrad program. I'm trying to get up and out of this via going back to school. If you can help me with your insights/opinions, I would truly appreciate it.

I graduated in May from Wash U Olin with a BSBA in Finance. I had a 3.6 GPA (3.7 GPA in my major), and I got a 710 on the GMAT (46 M, 42 V). During undergrad, I held executive positions in a student investment fund, ran a community service program that taught financial skills to underprivileged high school students, and was a member of a fraternity. I think my weaknesses have led me to the unenviable situation I'm in today. My weaknesses are poor Excel/MS Office skills, poor accounting skills, and really weak internships during undergrad. Needless to say, I've never had any banking or consulting internships. Now I'm up in the NW, trying to find any sort of finance-related work- paid or unpaid- that would give me a reason to quit selling shards of broken glass to hemophiliacs via door-to-door cold calling. Yeah-- "Here! Hold these shards of broken glass! I swear they won't hurt!" --that's basically my life right now.

I am not well-connected or well-networked (my alma mater is notorious for not helping undergrads with that), and I think my best shot out of here is a MSF (not MFE or quant finance programs). Wash U is at least highly regarded by other academic institutions. MBA is out of the question because I need and want more work experience before doing that.

I am academically and personally interested in finance, but ultimately I am going to grad school solely to get a job and a good career network. I don't care about geography, and I don't care about the price. I just want to apply to places where a) I have a decent shot of being accepted, and b) there is good, consistent recruiting. I don't think I'm cut out for IB, but I would like to get into less time-intensive jobs like corporate finance.

Which MSF programs can I get into with my credentials, plus zero meaningful work experience?
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Re: Best MSF programs if placement is my ONLY consideration? [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2010, 18:54
Try Vanderbilt or overseas. I think it was LSE or LBS, maybe both.
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Re: Best MSF programs if placement is my ONLY consideration? [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2010, 21:12
I would take some time and work on your networking skills. WUSTL is a solid school and I think you need to reach out to people and start building that network. You also need to work on your modeling. Go to Breaking into Wall Street and get that course. When you are in the MSF program is too late to learn the basics. Once you do that you can start thinking about an MSF.


I would recommend BC,Vandy, etc. Where do you want to work? What do you want to do? We need a little more info before I can rec something.
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Re: Best MSF programs if placement is my ONLY consideration? [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2010, 13:46
LBS for sure.
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Re: Best MSF programs if placement is my ONLY consideration? [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2010, 14:12
1) You have a great network from WUSTL. Just because people say alumni wont help doesn't mean you cannot find some who will

2) Improve your excel skills. No MSF program is going to make you an expert. Go buy a modeling course and become proficient.

3) Sales is not the worst thing in the world. You could spin it into a good story to get yourself on a sales desk at a bank. Maybe a sales assistant.

4) Best MSF program, placement wise, is probably Pinceton. I am dying to see some MIT stats. Outside of those two most MSF programs place regionally. Claremont McKenna just updated their placements and I was extremely surprised. Duke MMS has good placements also. Long story short, a lot of schools have good placement.


Do an MSF after you learn to network and build up your excel skills.
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Re: Best MSF programs if placement is my ONLY consideration? [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2010, 19:50
Anthony, what do you think about the MSF programs outside the US (Queen's,ESADE,IE) and how they place their students in the US. Would you suggest going with a good local program (George Washington, JHU, Maryland, etc) or a really good international program. I know top banks recruit at the international schools but mostly locally.
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Re: Best MSF programs if placement is my ONLY consideration? [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2010, 08:02
I think there are a lot of wonderful European MSF programs, but only a handful (maybe less) will have success placing back here. I have spoken to many US students who go to London for school and they all tell me that coming back to the states will be a struggle.

1) You are an ocean away
2) All OCR is London/Euro based
3) Networking will be over there

Can it be done? Yes, absolutely. LBS, LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, HEC, Bocconi, are all well known Euro brands. Still, if you go overseas for school I think you should be comfortable with working overseas for a couple of years.


If you can get into one of the top tier MSF programs overseas I think you would be competitive for admissions at Princeton and MIT. Problem with the US right now is there are very few "elite" universities offering this degree as compared to London where all the top schools offer it.
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Re: Best MSF programs if placement is my ONLY consideration? [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2010, 21:46
Thanks Anthony, the top British programs seem really competitive with very low acceptance rates and 710+ GMAT scores. Coming from a non-target school the GMAT will probably make it or break it for me. ESADE, IE, and Bocconi don't seem that hard to get into. Also, would you recommend going through the hassle of taking the CPA exam if I end up getting admitted into a solid MSF program?
Re: Best MSF programs if placement is my ONLY consideration?   [#permalink] 21 Oct 2010, 21:46
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