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What will I need for MSF? Is it for me?

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What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2009, 21:37
I am currently an undergrad, and I am studying Industrial Engineering, and Financial Mathematics (maybe Economics/Econometrics too) as an undergraduate. Assume at the end of undergrad I have something like a 3.3 GPA, at a top Engineering school.

I am looking to take many classes that relate to finance, however the school reserves actual "Finance" classes to only students enrolled at the Business school (I am in the Engineering school). The classes I am thinking are at core, math, with financial applications. Industrial engineering at my school also has a few finance type options, and I am planning on taking those. I plan on a couple of summer internships, and I'll try to see if I can get ones related to finance, but I feel that that's unrealistic.

Originally I was thinking something like an MFE but doing more research into it, it seems more technical than I was looking for. I don't want to have my job being about programming which is what it seems MFE grads do. I want to be in the finance industry, however I don't quite know what yet. I also want a degree which shows that I have strong math abilities, and thus is substantially quantitative. Perhaps not as quantitative as an MFE though, I want Finance to be the focus of the degree, not math and programming. As well, I can get a strong math base in undergrad. I want to get into this as quickly as possible out of undergrad, not work for 6 years and go back to school like people generally do for MBAs.

So...

1. What will I need to do to get into a good MSF program out of undergrad? Is that realistic? If it's not realistic, how should I position myself to get into a top MSF program after a short period of work, what do I need to do? (I'm guessing a CFA would be good, but anything else?)

2. Is the MSF a good degree for what I'm thinking? Specifically, I am looking to do this as soon as possible out of undergrad.

Thank you
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Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2009, 11:27
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The CFA would be excessive. Most of the MSF programs are partners with the CFA, and are designed to help you pass L1.

MSF is for you. But first, I would more about the finance industry, which is incredibly broad. Theres research, advisory, sales, trading, capital markets, etc... Learn about these and decide what is best for you.

To get in: get a high GPA, if you want a shot at some of the top schools you will need a 3.7+

MSF programs really care about the GMAT, so you are in the right place. Some MSF programs even have higher GMAT averages than Harvard's MBA program. Study hard and you will have options.
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Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2009, 16:08
Thanks

I'm not really aiming for top. I'm not a top student. The 3.3 isn't a manifestation of laziness (the average here is about a 2.9, and this is a top engineering school), I'm just not a genius. Is a good (not top, but good) school reasonable with that?

If not, what things can be a good aid beyond just getting a higher GPA?
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Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 06:30
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A 3.3 from a quant major would not be the end of the world. Look at a program like Purdue or U. Wash, there ugrad GPA's are not that high. What you need to do is get that 3.3 (hopefully higher), get some solid work experience in the field that you are hoping to enter, and rock out on your gmat, especially the quant section.

You are not in a bad situation, just plan to do the above and you will have some good options when you get out.
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Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 20:22
Okay, thanks.

As for work experience, I'm not quite at the point of getting career yet. Any advice for getting those jobs? About 20% of the graduates from here in engineering get consulting/IB/Finance jobs, (though last year it was only about 13%, but hopefully it should go back up), so there are a good number but it's not a huge amount, and they usually recruit 3.5+ people. Any suggestions for getting into one (other than have a 3.5)?
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Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 13:13
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Here's what I would do. Senior year, do two things:
1. Apply for jobs
2. Apply for Masters Programs

Basically hedge the risk of not getting the job you want by applying to grad schools. Lets say you don't get into Finance/Consulting, then do your MSF at what will hopefully be a school with more Finance/Consulting recruiting than the one than you are currently at.

Either way, you should end up where you want to be.
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Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 15:38
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Few days ago, WSJ had a nice article on people choosing for MSF and other alternative degrees to MBA. It has brief summaries of individuals who chose other master's programs over MBA, and their reasons.

The Alternative M.B.A.: One-Year Master's Degrees
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 18790.html


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Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2009, 08:37
Are MFin and MSF degrees new? I thought they'd been around for a while?

Thanks guys.
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Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2009, 12:11
Further looking into this... The program at Washington (one of the two you suggested for low GPA) sounds really good. It looks rather more quantitative than many other programs which I like, and seems to be well respected. The problem is though, while you say they do not require a high GPA, the average GPA there is a 3.57? Is this a phenomenon of relatively easy majors (I feel I could have a much higher GPA had I majored in Econ instead), and of them realizing it and putting more weight on Engineering majors?
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Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2009, 09:09
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3.57 isnt really high. I would imagine that they would be a bit more lenient with an eng. major. As I said earlier though, MSF programs really care about your GMAT. Because the majority of the applicants do not have work experience, and it is somewhat difficult to compare GPA's from school to school (let alone in different countries), GMAT is the real differentiator. Of course, keep your GPA up, but really work on the GMAT when it comes time.
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Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me? [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2009, 20:57
Okay, thanks. I'll be sure to do that.
Re: What will I need for MSF? Is it for me?   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2009, 20:57
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