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Manager
Joined: 22 Apr 2004
Posts: 156

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14 Dec 2005, 09:47
Hi Paul:

Congratulations on being admitted to MiF @ LBS.

I am interested in the MiF course. Understand you may be currently very busy but can u assist to answer a few qns about MiF @ LBS?
(a) From reading the MiF brochure, it appears the course is very exam and assignment-oriented. How true is this perception?
(b) How competitive is the MiF cohort?
(c) Does the course assist us to develop the ability to communicate numbers & ideas clearly to others?
(d) How impt is creativity in an MiF course? Given that we need to combine certain knowledge sets (such as pricing and corp finance) in our daily work, does MiF assist us in that aspect?
(e) Do certain modules in the course teach us to analyse legal documentation such as JV agreements, sale and purchase agreements, etc?
(f) How accessible and helpful is the faculty?

Thks very much

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GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 15 Dec 2003
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14 Dec 2005, 10:50
Hi ronybtl, I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can.

Quote:
(a) From reading the MiF brochure, it appears the course is very exam and assignment-oriented. How true is this perception?

The course is indeed more quant oriented than is the MBA. We do many HBS cases and in most of them, we strictly concentrate on the financial part, much more so than the MBAs do. However, this is not a masters in financial engineering so you will not be required to know advanced calculus or stochastic probability unless you really want to do so (there are electives catering to those needs).
You will indeed have many assignements during the term and I can tell you that the first term is perhaps the most difficult, even with a finance background. You will have VERY heavy course load with assignments, valuation project AND preparation for interviews (yes, right after the first month of studying).
Although much work will be on a lecture based approach, you will have to keep abreast of the latest news in the market and will be asked to present your view and debate this in a classroom setting. As a matter of fact, the lecture approach will account for only 50% of your study method, the rest being case based approach and class/group participation/interaction.

Quote:
(b) How competitive is the MiF cohort?

The MiF program is very competitive and I am not trying to sell you the program. I will try to give you the pros and cons. First, you can see the stats for the 2004 class here: http://www.london.edu/assets/documents/ ... port-1.pdf
Being a MiF student, I learned that if you want to do a career switch, you are better off with an MBA. You will have the opportunity to the a summer internship which clearly sets apart the MBAs from the MiFs. However, MiFs AND MBAs are both considered when it comes to any full time positions and both have the same average salary after graduation. Of course, if you already have experience in a certain field and just want to build on that edge for a promotion or a more specific area, the MiF would be better. Another pro of the MiF is obviously the cost savings of living only 1 year in an expensive London city.

Quote:
(c) Does the course assist us to develop the ability to communicate numbers & ideas clearly to others?

Well, this depends on your innate communication skills. You could be as number litterate as you want but how you eloquently convey your ideas will rest solely on you. The program for its part does give you a very strong business finance background and you could expect to learn a lot from the MiF. In the second and third term, you choose your own electives and gear it towards your own career aspirations.

Quote:
(d) How impt is creativity in an MiF course? Given that we need to combine certain knowledge sets (such as pricing and corp finance) in our daily work, does MiF assist us in that aspect?

I wonder how creative finance can be? In your daily work, assignments, you will pretty much stick to the fundamentals which you have learned. However, you can always be more creative in your valuation projects or even come up with your own Miller and Modigliani theorem

Quote:
(e) Do certain modules in the course teach us to analyse legal documentation such as JV agreements, sale and purchase agreements, etc?

No, this is not the goal of a masters in finance but that of a JD program. If you end up working in LBOs, M&As or High Yield structuring, you could learn some legal framework in the course of work.

Quote:
(f) How accessible and helpful is the faculty?

Very. LBS has a small faculty (about 80 professors) and everybody knows each other and this makes for a very collegiate and intimate environment. If you want on any given day, you could always ask your professor out for lunch, and talk about business or academia.
_________________

Best Regards,

Paul

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Manager
Joined: 22 Apr 2004
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15 Dec 2005, 08:28
Hi Paul:

thks so much for the thoughtful answers to my qns.

How do you define a career switch? Does switching from being a financial analyst to being a corporate finance specialist qualify as a career switch?

How impt is leadership in the MiF course?

Am surprised that the course does not emphasise on legal documentation. I find it to be very impt area whether it be M&A or normal finance work. This aspect happens to be an area which i am weak in and hope to improve.

thks again

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Intern
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17 Dec 2005, 20:39
Paul

Coming straight from the horse's mouth, your insight on MIF was very informative.

Thanks

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GMAT Club Legend
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23 Dec 2005, 07:45
Hi rony, a career switch would be someone from industry moving into finance/banking or vice versa although the former is harder to achieve if you did not have any finance background or a degree from a reputed school. Thankfully, LBS has very good relations with the finance community and especially with European banks such as Barclays Capital or UBS.

Depending on what you mean by finance "specialist", I would rather describe this as a career "shift". Notice the nuance with what I previously mentioned given that you already have finance experience per se.

When it comes to leadership, I believe it plays less of a role in the MiF although it is clearly an aspect sought after at LBS as well. What I mean is that a strong GMAT score with good work experience would suffice whereas at schools such as HBS, leadership would be much more important for the MBA program. Don't mistake this opinion with that for the LBS MBA though which could require more leadership experience. The MiF for it's part will favor more finance work experience both in relevance and length.

Once again, keep in mind that this is a masters in finance program, not a JD program. You could perhaps get this kind of courses in those schools which do offer the MBA/JD program. As a matter of fact, I am scheduled to take the M&A class next spring so I could elaborate more then although I'm very positive in the fact that the legal documentation would not be part of the syllabus. I can always double check for that class since we do have access to the previous years' teachers' notes.
_________________

Best Regards,

Paul

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Manager
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23 Dec 2005, 08:34
Thks so much Paul

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Senior Manager
Joined: 25 May 2004
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26 Dec 2005, 10:50
Paul, how tough, if at all possible, is it to get any kind of financial support/loan from the school? (It's quite an issue in my case.)
Thanks!

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27 Dec 2005, 07:11
When it comes to scholarships, the most important ones are the Merrill Lynch one(Â£8k) and the Citigroup one(Â£10k but for women only). Both require you to write an essay on different topics and although the former one is based on merit only, the latter one is based on both need and merit.

Although this information might not concern you, I would like to advise all applicants who are from ex-Commonwealth countries to apply for the British Council Scholarship which I believe offers you up to Â£20k if not more. I failed to apply for it given my around the world trip prior to school but I also failed to apply because I was not told about it You might want to read about it here: http://www.britishcouncil.org/home

In general, scholarships are rather rare at LBS given the relatively small size of the school. LBS was founded in 1965 and its alumni network is still nascent. Hence, the scholarships given to attract candidates are rather rare - unless you get 760+ GMAT in which case you could likely get one such scholarship. My word of advice would be not to count on scholarships too much. Most of us here self finance our studies through different loan schemes anyways(ie HSBC loan scheme).
_________________

Best Regards,

Paul

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Director
Joined: 04 Jan 2006
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05 May 2006, 08:38
Paul,

Very informative posts!!!! Thanks a lot..

Was wondering about the career shift.. I have been an engineer for the past 5-6 years............ If I want to move to Finance Field, I am assuming Full time is a better option than part time correct?

Does LBS like Engineering background when they consider ms in finance students?

Thanks!

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GMAT Club Legend
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05 May 2006, 18:41
Many of my colleagues have an engineering background, mostly indians it is. It will be quite tough at first to deal with the new finance material all the while job hunting and networking but engineers are good with numbers so they should get through fine. Many of my engineer classmates are obviously very quant and end up taking financial engineering or time series classes. Those guys clearly make great structurers and exotic traders.

Finance is broad and it all depends on what you want to do after school. But this is just to let you know that your background does fit the candidate pool.
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Best Regards,

Paul

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Intern
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15 Jun 2006, 11:48
Paul,

Your imput is really informative. I am a software Engineer for the last 10 years. I am a working mother & live in LA. I am very interested in Finance/Accounting/Economics. I am ready to give up my rather handsome salary for the career move.
I know, I need to get a degree. But, I do not not know what is a good education to move in that field. I do not want to do general MBA if it does not get me what I am looking for. I am only aware of UCLA. Do you know of any good schools here that offers the courses like LBS ? And, if LBS offers any long-distance courses ( though I would prefer school classes).

Your response will be highly appreciated !

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16 Jun 2006, 07:25
Hi todinesh, I would unfortunately not know about programs similar to that of LBS. I think you should ask this question to the "ask Hjort" forum. He has much more knowledge about programs all over the world. FYI, there is no distance learning program at LBS although there are evening classes.
An MBA from a top b-school is definitely a good way to break into the field of finance but indeed there is some preparation and soul searching to do before you can make the leap. Most programs at other schools are usually more theoretical financial economics or financial engineering courses and they do not compare to that of LBS which is more practical.
_________________

Best Regards,

Paul

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16 Jun 2006, 07:25
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