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MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2013, 19:35
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Hey guys! I run MSFHQ.com and am pretty active on this site answer MSF related questions. I'm also on WallStreetOasis as well as countless other forums. I am a 2010 Villanova MSF graduate and have 7+ years of financial industry experience (and counting).

I figured I would throw a post up and see if anyone had any questions that they would like me to answer. Hope this leads to a bunch of great questions and discussions!


~ Anthony
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2013, 11:56
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Hi ANT,

Great to see you on this forum as well. The Q&A on WSO has been very useful and I'm sure that a lot of people here have a lot of questions for you.

I'm currently deciding on which university I want to attend for my Master's degree in Finance and I'm still not sure which one is the best one in terms of education and IB placement in London. So far I've read plenty of fora and articles on the different universities, but did not really find a clear overview of the requirements in terms of GMAT scores (except for GMAT minima, but those seem way too low).

The universities that I want to apply for are:
- LSE (MSc. in Finance/ MSc. in Finance & PE)
- HEC Paris (MSc. in International Finance)
- SSE (MSc. in Corporate Finance)
- St. Gallen (MSc. in Banking)
- Bocconi (MSc. in Finance)

Best regards
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2013, 16:53
All those schools are phenomenal and will place in London as well as elsewhere in Europe. If I had to choose one for London finance I would obviously go with LSE. Are you a UK citizen or an American looking to working in London? I ask because everything that I have heard is that it is really hard to get a position in London as a foreigner. Just something to look into when making your decision.

Warwick and Imperial are great UK schools also.
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2013, 12:50
I'm from the Netherlands, so visa will not be a problem I guess.

LSE is my first choice, however probably the thoughest program to get in to. Planning to do my GMAT in October and given my results in other standardised tests I expect a score of 700+.

My profile so far:
- GPA: 7.8/10.0 (two Bachelors)
- 2 internships at 1 elite boutique and 1 BB (both in Amsterdam)
- plenty of extracurricular activities

What kind of score do you think I need on the GMAT to be considered for LSE, Imperial and the other programs in Europe?
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2013, 19:45
I would target a 700, but if you get less than this I wouldn't panic. From what I have heard about LSE is that not all of their MSF's are as hard to get in. What I mean is there is an MSF with a focus on PE that is harder than say their MSF (accounting), etc. All the recruiting is the same though.

I'd focus on the GMAT now as that will be the real driver of which school you are competitive with.
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2013, 04:08
Hi ANT,

What are the options for European students that want to pursue a MSc. in Finance at universities in the US, e.g. MIT, Villanova, Vanderbilt, Claremont McKenna, etc. Especially interested what the job opportunities are to start in the US (IB at BB or elite boutique) and if the GMAT requirements are relatively higher or lower than their European counterparts.

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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2013, 06:46
NereusAMS wrote:
Hi ANT,

What are the options for European students that want to pursue a MSc. in Finance at universities in the US, e.g. MIT, Villanova, Vanderbilt, Claremont McKenna, etc. Especially interested what the job opportunities are to start in the US (IB at BB or elite boutique) and if the GMAT requirements are relatively higher or lower than their European counterparts.

Best regards



Fluency in English is a major thing. Visa requirements will always be a hurdle, but if you can't speak English with a business proficiency you will find landing a US job difficult. Only you can gauge where you are regarding that.

With that said I tend to think MSc programs are harder to get into in Europe simply because they are more popular and more top schools in Europe offer them. In the US there are plenty of really good schools, but generally not the "best of the best" or whatever that really means.

Have a good GPA (3.5 or above). Do well on the GMAT (650 or above) and try and have an internship and you should get into many of the programs people focus on. As for placements, they range. Plenty of BB and MM IBD placements at all the main programs. You also have people going into rotational F500 programs, consulting, valuation, real estate, etc. Just depends on what you want to do.
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2013, 10:05
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Hi,

I would like to know the chances of placement in the USA for an international student after completing the MSF program. I am Indian and plan on applying for Sep 2014. I will have just about a year of work experience by then.
Which universities should I look at if placement is my only consideration? I would prefer studying in the US. I know that Princeton and MIT are the best, but I don't think I would do very well in a quant-heavy course.

I'd appreciate any help. Thanks!
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2013, 13:16
shilpa0592 wrote:
Hi,

I would like to know the chances of placement in the USA for an international student after completing the MSF program. I am Indian and plan on applying for Sep 2014. I will have just about a year of work experience by then.
Which universities should I look at if placement is my only consideration? I would prefer studying in the US. I know that Princeton and MIT are the best, but I don't think I would do very well in a quant-heavy course.

I'd appreciate any help. Thanks!


Depends on what you want to do. If investment banking is your goal then the chances are probably low. If you are open to a variety of jobs within the financial industry then your chances are much higher.

Look at the usual schools. Vanderbilt, WUSTL, Ohio State, BC, Villanova, UT Austin, etc. Depending on what area of the country you want to work in and what you want to do the list can be narrowed down quickly.
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2013, 10:12
Hi Anthony

I have admits from Univ of Cincinnati and Univ of Rochester for MS in Finance
I gather that MSF at Univ of Cincinnati is a new course and much info is not available regarding placement stats.
Which one of the two schools would you recommend?
also, how would you rate Univ of Cincinnati for MSF?

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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2013, 14:02
I think Cincinnati will develop into a decent program. I do think the school has stiff competition from schools with better ranking/brand recognition and geographic location. Personally, I would probably choose the Rochester program. It is heavily weighted with international students, but Simon is a very good business school and the program has a history of placements and alumni.
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2013, 20:49
Hi,

I am researching for tier-1/ tier-2 MS finance programs (in US) which does not always lead to investment careers (IB/ trading/equity/asset mgmt, etc) and has good alumni network or job prospects. I would prefer to work in , lets say, pharma industry in corporate finance. I already have an MBA (management, '05) from US and have worked in non-finance roles in pharma industry for 4 years. Currently I am in my home country but realized that I need core expertise in finance to ramp up my career.

Target: finance role in non-investment industry (e.g. corporate finance); expected GMAT: ~650; total exp: 6 yrs in non-finance roles in pharma industry; edu: MBA (management) '05 from US.; current location: non-US

Please share program ideas based on your experience.

Regards.
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2013, 19:27
You'd be competitive with Ohio State, Villanova, BC, Johns Hopkins, Santa Clara, Illinois. You might want to look at Johns Hopkins, Santa Clara and BC since they have night time options. JHU is a well known school for medicine with a growing business brand. You could do the program in Baltimore or DC which would allow you to work and go to school. Might be a good option.
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MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2013, 00:49
I am Gaurav from INDIA. I am 25 years old. My profile is as follows:

>Class 10 - 91%
>Class 12 - 92%
>Bachelors in Engineering (Electronics & Telecommunications) 4 years full time - CGPA - 9.1/10 from a reputed University in INDIA
>2 years Full time work experience in IBM INDIA PVT. LTD. as a SAP Business Intelligence Consultant
>Currently pursuing MBA in Capital Markets (2012-14) from India from a reputed B-school. CGPA for first year - 3.6/4.
>I have 4-5 corporate projects in my name, in the area of IPO, Private Equity deal, Capital Budgeting, Business strategy for SMEs, etc.

I want to pursue a Masters in Finance from abroad, with focus on following areas:

Corporate finance
Investment Banking
Mergers & Acquisition
Private Equity/ Venture Capital
Real Estate Valuation
and other related subjects

Is it the right stage in my career to go for a Masters in Finance? If Yes, then how should I go about it? Kindly assist me
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2013, 01:13
Hi Anthony,

Firstly, thank you for doing this. I read through the Q&A on WSO and it is full of great advice, hoping for the same over here.

Was hoping to get some advice on if a MSF would be appropriate for someone in my situation.
Basic Stats:
-25 years old
-3.48 UG GPA, 3.83 Major (Business)
-Small, private liberal arts school w/o OCR for banking/finance/F500
-740 GMAT (48q, 44v)

Got into business/finance late in UG so no internships. Been working at a regional commercial bank managing commercial real estate. Would have approx 3 years of work experience when I apply and 3+ by the time I hopefully matriculate. Ideally I would apply to MBA programs, but I don't think my current work experience is strong enough to get into any top programs. Would like to use MSF to break into finance opportunities.

Targeting CMC, MIT, WUSTL, BC, Villanova. How are my odds at my targets? Am I too old to do a MSF? I know 3+ years WE starts to get out of analyst placement range, but if possible that's what I would like to go for. Ideally looking to get into IM or IB.

Sorry for the long post.
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2013, 11:06
HImba88 wrote:
Hi Anthony,

Firstly, thank you for doing this. I read through the Q&A on WSO and it is full of great advice, hoping for the same over here.

Was hoping to get some advice on if a MSF would be appropriate for someone in my situation.
Basic Stats:
-25 years old
-3.48 UG GPA, 3.83 Major (Business)
-Small, private liberal arts school w/o OCR for banking/finance/F500
-740 GMAT (48q, 44v)

Got into business/finance late in UG so no internships. Been working at a regional commercial bank managing commercial real estate. Would have approx 3 years of work experience when I apply and 3+ by the time I hopefully matriculate. Ideally I would apply to MBA programs, but I don't think my current work experience is strong enough to get into any top programs. Would like to use MSF to break into finance opportunities.

Targeting CMC, MIT, WUSTL, BC, Villanova. How are my odds at my targets? Am I too old to do a MSF? I know 3+ years WE starts to get out of analyst placement range, but if possible that's what I would like to go for. Ideally looking to get into IM or IB.

Sorry for the long post.



Glad it helped.


You will be on the bubble, IMO, when you graduate. I usually advise people to avoid the MSF if you have more than 3 years experience. I was in a similar situation as you though as I did my MSF with 3 years of post UG experience. I found slight difficulty when applying for IB positions, but was still able to land a good FO gig.

You'd be a good candidate at all schools, getting into Nova, BC, and WUSTL. You'll be competitive at CMC and MIT also. If you get into MIT you could probably use the MSF as an MBA substitute since the brand will be strong enough. You might want to consider UT Austin also as McCombs is a top business school, especially in the Texas area.


I do think you would be pretty competitive for many MBA programs. Maybe not M7, but I could see you getting into Cornell, UVA, Duke, Yale, etc. All great schools.

Do you want to stay in real estate? Have you considered a masters in RE. Georgetown has a great program. As does MIT. Might be something to consider. You could also add another year or so of work experience and target 1 year MBA programs. In fact, I would probably recommend a 1 year MBA if you end up doing the MSF. I think if you did a Boston College MSF and then say a 1 year MBA at Northwestern or Cornell you would be in a good position.

Lots to consider, but I think your raw stats are good enough to open all these options up to you. Keep me posted on your progress! Good luck!
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2013, 01:37
MSFHQ wrote:
HImba88 wrote:
Hi Anthony,

Firstly, thank you for doing this. I read through the Q&A on WSO and it is full of great advice, hoping for the same over here.

Was hoping to get some advice on if a MSF would be appropriate for someone in my situation.
Basic Stats:
-25 years old
-3.48 UG GPA, 3.83 Major (Business)
-Small, private liberal arts school w/o OCR for banking/finance/F500
-740 GMAT (48q, 44v)

Got into business/finance late in UG so no internships. Been working at a regional commercial bank managing commercial real estate. Would have approx 3 years of work experience when I apply and 3+ by the time I hopefully matriculate. Ideally I would apply to MBA programs, but I don't think my current work experience is strong enough to get into any top programs. Would like to use MSF to break into finance opportunities.

Targeting CMC, MIT, WUSTL, BC, Villanova. How are my odds at my targets? Am I too old to do a MSF? I know 3+ years WE starts to get out of analyst placement range, but if possible that's what I would like to go for. Ideally looking to get into IM or IB.

Sorry for the long post.



Glad it helped.


You will be on the bubble, IMO, when you graduate. I usually advise people to avoid the MSF if you have more than 3 years experience. I was in a similar situation as you though as I did my MSF with 3 years of post UG experience. I found slight difficulty when applying for IB positions, but was still able to land a good FO gig.

You'd be a good candidate at all schools, getting into Nova, BC, and WUSTL. You'll be competitive at CMC and MIT also. If you get into MIT you could probably use the MSF as an MBA substitute since the brand will be strong enough. You might want to consider UT Austin also as McCombs is a top business school, especially in the Texas area.


I do think you would be pretty competitive for many MBA programs. Maybe not M7, but I could see you getting into Cornell, UVA, Duke, Yale, etc. All great schools.

Do you want to stay in real estate? Have you considered a masters in RE. Georgetown has a great program. As does MIT. Might be something to consider. You could also add another year or so of work experience and target 1 year MBA programs. In fact, I would probably recommend a 1 year MBA if you end up doing the MSF. I think if you did a Boston College MSF and then say a 1 year MBA at Northwestern or Cornell you would be in a good position.

Lots to consider, but I think your raw stats are good enough to open all these options up to you. Keep me posted on your progress! Good luck!


Thank you Anthony, I really appreciate the advice. Especially from someone who has been through the process with 3+ years of WE and was still able to secure a FO position.

To answer your question about real estate, I'm honestly looking to get out. Been trying to break into IM for the past year or so (I live/work in Hawaii so there aren't many options in terms of finance gigs). Plan on giving IM one last shot this fall while applying for MSF programs. Should I get into IM, I'll probably just apply to MBA programs from there.

It's good to hear that I at least I have some options available. I'm just a little uneasy about being "too experienced" for MSF programs, especially since employability is so highly valued in the admissions process.
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2013, 12:14
Look into endowments also. Many colleges, Unions, etc have them and they basically invest in alternative asset managers (PE funds, etc). Fund of Funds too. All related to investment management and can provide some great experience. Hawaii sounds beautiful right now, enjoy it ha.
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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 13:09
Are endowments, FoF, AM more feasible (vs IB) for "old" people like me post MSF? I noticed on schools' employment reports some consistent placement in endowments and traditional asset managers (caltech investment office, relational investors, pimco, harvard management company, etc).

Those are the types of jobs/companies I'm interested in long term but haven't had any luck breaking in so far.

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Re: MSF Q&A [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2013, 13:12
I tend to think jobs like that are more forgiving of a different path or story than say banking. Investment banking is very rigid and hard to break into. Hours are difficult for older individuals also as they tend to have wives, kids, outside commitments.

You can have a great career and life working in a variety of financial fields. Investment banking isn't the end all, be all.
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Re: MSF Q&A   [#permalink] 18 Jul 2013, 13:12
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