What are my chances? : MS Finance
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# What are my chances?

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16 Jun 2013, 17:20
Hi Everyone,

Let me start off by giving you my stats:

23, Female, US Citizen
Undergrad - Tier 1 Research University in USA
BBA, Finance and BS, Psychology (graduating with both in August 2013)
GPA Cum: 3.04, Finance GPA: 3.67 and Psychology GPA: 3.83
Both degrees are Magna Cum Laude*** (my university only counts last 2 years for this honours calculation)
About 2 years of intern/part time work in the financial field
GMAT: expecting to get at least 700

***For those of you who aren't familiar with the latin honours system, Magna Cum Laude is for a degree with great honour.

NOTE: I had a 3.6gpa in my first year. My cum. GPA is low because during my second year I was struggling very hard to decide what I wanted to do in my career. I started off as a finance major, however, back in 2009 when the market was doing horrible, I was advised that it will not be a wise decision in the end. So, I made the horrible choice of deciding to study something else... my grade kept dropping for a solid 1.5 years because I had literally zero motivation to go to class and take the exams (I simply did neither). I have two or three Fs and a couple of Ds, because of this reason. After changing my major 7 (Yes, SEVEN) times, I soon came to realize that I will only excel in a subject that I am truly interested in learning. So during my fourth year, I changed my degree to BS in psychology and during my fifth year, I added BBA in finance to that. I could only do it in this order because the business school's entry requirements made me wait until i get my gpa to at least a 3.0. Otherwise they wouldnt admit me into the program.
While I realized that I would be going into an additional year and risking admission on the premise that I would get a 3.0, I figured it is worth it simply because I wanted to get the degree in what I absolutely wanted to do, plus I wanted to finish what I started. I was a much happier person after I got back on track and actually enjoyed the learning experience much more. That's why my gpa got back up. During the past Spring (official last full-semester) I managed to get a 3.75 in 24credit hours (8classes = 6 were from 4000-level fina and 2 were from 4000-level adv business) while working 30hours in a professional financial setting.

My gpa trend is strong in the last two years, hence the Magna Cum Laude. I am hoping that this would play to my advantage, over the low cum.GPA.

These are the universities I am hoping to apply to:

USA:
Stanford, Booth, NYU, UCLA, Cornell, Duke, Columbia, Rice and UT (UT is my safe school)

UK (let me just say that it is my dream to go to UK to do my MS in fina-related/MBA, but the main focus is to go to a top school):
Imperial, Warwick, LBS, Cass and Oxford

Thoughts on my chances of acceptance?

I would greatly appreciate any serious feed back!
Thank you again for taking the time to read the long post!
Director
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Re: What are my chances? [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2013, 19:41
All the schools you listed, with exception of UT and the UK schools are MFE programs. With a finance and psychology major you really don't have the math necessary for those programs. I suppose you could take extra classes, but you'd need to increase the amount of math classes under your belt to be competitive.

Your GMAT is going to make the difference. The finance GPA will help, but your overall GPA is still basically a 3.0. All the major changes will need to be explained away in your essays as adcoms will pick up on this.

I'd advise you to research the MSF and MFE degree a little more before you any decision.
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Re: What are my chances? [#permalink]

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16 Jun 2013, 20:22
MSFHQ wrote:
All the schools you listed, with exception of UT and the UK schools are MFE programs. With a finance and psychology major you really don't have the math necessary for those programs. I suppose you could take extra classes, but you'd need to increase the amount of math classes under your belt to be competitive.

Your GMAT is going to make the difference. The finance GPA will help, but your overall GPA is still basically a 3.0. All the major changes will need to be explained away in your essays as adcoms will pick up on this.

I'd advise you to research the MSF and MFE degree a little more before you any decision.

I will definitely look into whether those schools actually have a MFE or a MSF. I did the research earlier, and for some of those above listed schools, especially the ones in US, I am mainly targeting the MBA programs (that is, if they don't have a MSF + accept people with less than 2 years of work experience).

I don't want to pursue a very heavy quant masters, so I definitely don't plan on doing a MFE. MSF or any other masters in investment/asset management would be ideal as well.

Thank you again for the input! I really appreciate it!
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Re: What are my chances? [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2013, 05:18
Yeah, I kind of thought you were looking at MBA programs. I'd focus on the GMAT right now as that is going to be a big part of your application. Top MBA programs usually like to see work experience, but there are some that will accept people with less than normal experience. I can't comment on how competitive you'd be since your application is incomplete without the GMAT and I focus on the MSF/MAcc degree and not the MBA.
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Re: What are my chances? [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2013, 06:38
MSFHQ wrote:
Yeah, I kind of thought you were looking at MBA programs. I'd focus on the GMAT right now as that is going to be a big part of your application. Top MBA programs usually like to see work experience, but there are some that will accept people with less than normal experience. I can't comment on how competitive you'd be since your application is incomplete without the GMAT and I focus on the MSF/MAcc degree and not the MBA.

Any idea whether the MSF programs in UK are valuable compared to the US' MBA? It's not all that important since if I get a job there, I would like to stay there as well, so I just want to know for general knowledge's sake.

The MBA programs require experience... I am tired of reading information about needing work-req, so I think I'll save my \$ and go for a MSF and then focus on a MBA later on, if need be.

I plan on taking the GMAT in July. So, I should have a clearer picture by then as to what my chances are, I guess. Thanks again for answering!

Last edited by amannce on 17 Jun 2013, 08:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are my chances? [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2013, 08:30
IMO, the MSF in Europe/UK > MBA in Europe/UK. The MBA is king in the US, but the MSc has more weight across the pond. Honestly, it makes sense since the degree is a specialized, focused masters. The MBA in the US is used more for branding/signalling rather than actual educational enhancement.
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Re: What are my chances? [#permalink]

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17 Jun 2013, 08:53
MSFHQ wrote:
IMO, the MSF in Europe/UK > MBA in Europe/UK. The MBA is king in the US, but the MSc has more weight across the pond. Honestly, it makes sense since the degree is a specialized, focused masters. The MBA in the US is used more for branding/signalling rather than actual educational enhancement.

Yeah, that makes sense. When I did the research, it seemed like MBA was (much) easier academically, compared to MSF. Also for some reason, MSF seemed more attractive to me, given my interests and the profile criteria. So, I think my ROI will be higher for a MSF right now, and I think I will be mainly focusing on this.

Thank you so much for the information!
Re: What are my chances?   [#permalink] 17 Jun 2013, 08:53
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