Baruch MFE 2017 Baruch MFE Q&A Panel (ask current students)

QuantGeek

New Member
Dear QuantNet community,

We are current Baruch MFE students, entry of Fall 2016. We are excited to set up this Q&A panel on QuantNet to help you know more about Baruch MFE program and answer any question you may have. Please feel free to follow up and ask questions. I will invite some of our students to help! ;)


A brief introduction to myself:
I obtained my Bachelor's degree from Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in China. Prior to joining Baruch MFE, I studied at Columbia University in Mathematics of Finance for one year. I am concurrently pursuing an online Master's degree in Computer Science at Georgia Tech. I have internship experience in risk management, equity research and quantitative research before. I will join a hedge fund: MKP Capital Management, as a Global Macro Quantitative Analyst, in this Spring and Summer.


My dear partners, please help: @Jiaxi Wang @songgaoxian @Derek_Q @gyin @Corbin Guan @BSD @Bingcheng Wang
 

gyin

New Member
Hi everyone,

I am Gordon, a current first-year student at Baruch MFE.

About my background: prior to Baruch, I spent two years at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Electrical and Computer Engineering and later I transferred to the University of Michigan and finished my undergraduate study there in Mathematics. I did not have full time experience before applying for Baruch (had one internship during the summer of junior year in a real estate company in Chicago). This coming summer, I will join Morgan Stanley as a rates quant.

Thanks,
Gordon
 

Derek_Q

New Member
Hi all,

I'm Derek, first year full-time student at Baruch MFE program.

I graduated from Tsinghua University in China before joining Baruch MFE. My major was economics and finance, and I had a double major in math. I did a half-year internship in China with a hedge fund focusing on quantitative trading, and my role was strategy research. Currently I'm doing an off-cycle internship in an investment management company in New York, doing strategy research on ETFs. I'll be joining JPM quantitative research this summer.

If you have any questions about Baruch MFE or about anything else that you think I might know, feel free to ask me.

Thanks,
Derek
 

songgaoxian

Active Member
C++ Student
Hi all,
I am Gaoxian, first-year Baruch MFE student.

I graduated from Chinese University of Hong Kong in Quantitative Finance and Risk Management. Then I worked full-time in a start-up private equity in Shenzhen as a quantitative analyst for one year. I will intern in JP Morgan, Quantitative Research in this summer.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

Thanks,
Gaoxian
 

Charles Hammer

New Member
1. There is a wealth of placement statistics for alumni right after graduation: how much they earn, where have they been placed, what type of job, etc. However I would like to know, how are the 'old graduates' doing? The people that graduated from the program 3 or 5 years ago. Are you familiar with the situation of any of them?

What I am trying to ask is: what is the progression for your quants after a few years in their roles. Their position and compensation. Where can I expect to be 5 years after graduating Baruch MFE program?

2. What was the hardest part about the experience at Baruch for you? For instance a particular course, the amount of coursework in general, life in the city, etc.


Thank you.
 

Derek_Q

New Member
1. There is a wealth of placement statistics for alumni right after graduation: how much they earn, where have they been placed, what type of job, etc. However I would like to know, how are the 'old graduates' doing? The people that graduated from the program 3 or 5 years ago. Are you familiar with the situation of any of them?

What I am trying to ask is: what is the progression for your quants after a few years in their roles. Their position and compensation. Where can I expect to be 5 years after graduating Baruch MFE program?

2. What was the hardest part about the experience at Baruch for you? For instance a particular course, the amount of coursework in general, life in the city, etc.


Thank you.
Hi Charles,

I might be able to say something about your questions.

1. We are still in close touch with some alumni graduated years ago, after they get into quantitative finance, most of them would still be doing this kind of work, might have changed to another firm or another group, or keep staying within the same firm. They all got promoted quickly, having higher pay meanwhile carrying more responsibility on their shoulders. The level of exact position might vary since different people might have different starting points and different career path design. Most of them are still in NYC, they might still be interested in some of our courses or lectures.

2. As for me, my hard time is in coding when joining Baruch, as you might have heard, to be in quantitative finance needs a decent knowledge on various fields including math, computer science and finance. And for most of us, when entering the program, might not be able to reach that goal. Definitely we have to work hard for that. For me I spent lots of time improving my coding skills so that I could be a qualified candidate when it comes for job finding. But with the help of the program alumni, my skill actually got improved very efficiently. The gain definitely worth the pain.
Meanwhile the course load is never easy at Baruch MFE program, be prepared to get worn out if you want to get admitted. My other colleagues could prove that I'm by no means exaggerating the case.

Best,
Derek
 

songgaoxian

Active Member
C++ Student
1. There is a wealth of placement statistics for alumni right after graduation: how much they earn, where have they been placed, what type of job, etc. However I would like to know, how are the 'old graduates' doing? The people that graduated from the program 3 or 5 years ago. Are you familiar with the situation of any of them?

What I am trying to ask is: what is the progression for your quants after a few years in their roles. Their position and compensation. Where can I expect to be 5 years after graduating Baruch MFE program?

2. What was the hardest part about the experience at Baruch for you? For instance a particular course, the amount of coursework in general, life in the city, etc.


Thank you.
Hi,
1, I do not have much personal contact with senior graduates, but whenever a course is open, alumni are always free to sit in. Professor Dan always welcome these alumni. You will get life-long community support from Baruch MFE if join this program.
2, I think the hardest part up to now is the Big Data course. In this program, you need to be good at at least C++, python, and R. Although programming skills are generally transferable, it is still not easy to be EXPERT at some unfamiliar language (not just know).
 

BSD

New Member
1. There is a wealth of placement statistics for alumni right after graduation: how much they earn, where have they been placed, what type of job, etc. However I would like to know, how are the 'old graduates' doing? The people that graduated from the program 3 or 5 years ago. Are you familiar with the situation of any of them?

What I am trying to ask is: what is the progression for your quants after a few years in their roles. Their position and compensation. Where can I expect to be 5 years after graduating Baruch MFE program?

2. What was the hardest part about the experience at Baruch for you? For instance a particular course, the amount of coursework in general, life in the city, etc.


Thank you.
1. A linkedin search will give you an idea. And I think it has less to do with degree but more with what you have done in the meantime with 3-5 years' experience. It varies. So what you do right after graduation does matter in this sense, which I think Baruch is one of the best among MFE/Master programs(for Phd, that is a different story). That being said, the program still tried to forward positions they have for the former students.

2. Check out Derek's answer.
 
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Bingcheng Wang

Member
C++ Student
Hi everyone,

I am Bingcheng, also a Baruch MFE 16-fall student.

I graduated from Peking University last summer, majoring in physics and economics. I interned at a hedge fund when I was a junior student, focusing on multi-factor models. Currently I am interning at MKP Capital Management in New York, doing credit analysis. And I am going to intern at Barclays Investment Bank as a QA Macro Flow Associate for the incoming summer.

If you have any concerns, please feel free to ask me.

Thanks,
Bingcheng
 

Jiaxi Wang

New Member
Hello everyone,
I am Jessie, a current 1st-year student at Baruch MFE. Please feel free to ask me any questions about our program.

A little bit about myself:
Prior to Baruch, I finished my undergraduate Math and Econ degree at Tsinghua University. At that time, I didn't know much about quantitive finance. I have two internship experience back in China. One is in Investment Banking department and the other is in Equity department at security companies.
Last semester, we had 4 courses: numerical linear algebra, stochastic process, Python and OOP in cpp and also intro to pricing financial instruments. I learnt a lot useful tools in these classes. Also, I received summer intern offer from Morgan Stanley risk management department. And Dan is very supportive and will make sure everyone gets his/her best placement : )

Thanks,
Jiaxi (Jessie) Wang
 

Corbin Guan

Member
C++ Student
Hello guys,

This is Corbin here, a current first year student at Baruch MFE. I graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a degree in Mathematics and Economics. After graduation, I worked full-time at a big 4 company in Singapore for 1.5 years before I came to Baruch. I also had internship experiences at the wealth management department of a US bank in SG, and also a fund in China.

I'm going to intern at JPMorgan Quant Research in the coming summer and is now doing my part-time internship at a hedge fund.

Let me know if you any question about the program and the application process, I'm more than happy to help you and provide you with suggestions!

Cheers,
Corbin
 

Xiruo Li

Member
C++ Student
Hello, everybody,

I am a current graduate student in civil engineering,UIUC. And I'd like to apply for MFE program. I have some questions on 3 major academic backgrounds(finance, math, programming) on application for MFE.

1.I believe that my math background is not bad( I have learned calculus(1 year), linear algebra(1 year), probability and stat, differential equation, stochastic process, applied method of stat, economic stat...) . The only question for my math background is that is it necessary for me to learn PDE and Time Series before MFE program?

2.I am worried about my programming abilities. I have only learned C when I was freshman and also has a little experience of R and matlab. To prepare the application, I plan to learn C++ online class for MFE in Baruch in summer. Besides that, what programming courses should I learn? For instance, are Data Structure, Data Mining, Numerical Analysis courses in CS or Machine learning,Statistical Computing(both using R), SAS courses in STAT useful for MFE? Due to my limited time on preparation, could you please recommend one to three from the courses I have mentioned above, the most important programming courses in MFE for me?

3.About finance background, as MFE does not require strong finance background on applicants, I am not worried too much on them although I have a little knowledge of finance. I have learned micro and macro economics and I am learning corporate finance. Besides what I have learned, what do I still need to learn on finance for application of MFE? Owing to the restriction of finance courses on other major students in my school, I have little access to many finance classes in my university. Could you recommend some self study resources(books, online course) about what I need to learn?

Thanks
 
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Bingcheng Wang

Member
C++ Student
Hello, everybody,

I am a current graduate student in civil engineering,UIUC. And I'd like to apply for MFE program. I have some questions on 3 major academic backgrounds(finance, math, programming) on application for MFE.

1.I believe that my math background is not bad( I have learned calculus(1 year), linear algebra(1 year), probability and stat, differential equation, stochastic process, applied method of stat, economic stat...) . The only question for my math background is that is it necessary for me to learn PDE and Time Series before MFE program?

2.I am worried about my programming abilities. I have only learned C when I was freshman and also has a little experience of R and matlab. To prepare the application, I plan to learn C++ online class for MFE in Baruch in summer. Besides that, what programming courses should I learn? For instance, are Data Structure, Data Mining, Numerical Analysis courses in CS or Machine learning,Statistical Computing(both using R), SAS courses in STAT useful for MFE? Due to my limited time on preparation, could you please recommend one to three from the courses I have mentioned above, the most important programming courses in MFE for me?

3.About finance background, as MFE does not require strong finance background on applicants, I am not worried too much on them although I have a little knowledge of finance. I have learned micro and macro economics and I am learning corporate finance. Besides what I have learned, what do I still need to learn on finance for application of MFE? Owing to the restriction of finance courses on other major students in my school, I have little access to many finance classes in my university. Could you recommend some self study resources(books, online course) about what I need to learn?

Thanks
Hi Xiruo,

1. As far as I know, time series is very important, you may frequently face that kind of questions both in you program application and future job interviews. So I suggest you learn that before MFE program. PDE is a bonus skill, you may choose to learn it based on your time. Honestly it's been a long time since I faced sophisticated PDEs.

2. In addition to C++, I recommend data structure, numerical analysis and machine learning. But I should remind you that algorithm is as important as data structure.

3. You should learn financial derivatives. You can read Options, Futures and Other Derivatives by John Hull. People regard this book as a "bible for financial engineering".

Good luck!

Bingcheng
 

Xiruo Li

Member
C++ Student
Hi Xiruo,

1. As far as I know, time series is very important, you may frequently face that kind of questions both in you program application and future job interviews. So I suggest you learn that before MFE program. PDE is a bonus skill, you may choose to learn it based on your time. Honestly it's been a long time since I faced sophisticated PDEs.

2. In addition to C++, I recommend data structure, numerical analysis and machine learning. But I should remind you that algorithm is as important as data structure.

3. You should learn financial derivatives. You can read Options, Futures and Other Derivatives by John Hull. People regard this book as a "bible for financial engineering".

Good luck!

Bingcheng
Ok, I got it. Thank you a lot!

I also have questions about software and programming in MFE (or career of quant). For instance, for R,SAS,Matlab,Python, C++,etc, which one (or several of them) is used more frequently?
 

QuantGeek

New Member
Hello, everybody,

I am a current graduate student in civil engineering,UIUC. And I'd like to apply for MFE program. I have some questions on 3 major academic backgrounds(finance, math, programming) on application for MFE.

1.I believe that my math background is not bad( I have learned calculus(1 year), linear algebra(1 year), probability and stat, differential equation, stochastic process, applied method of stat, economic stat...) . The only question for my math background is that is it necessary for me to learn PDE and Time Series before MFE program?

2.I am worried about my programming abilities. I have only learned C when I was freshman and also has a little experience of R and matlab. To prepare the application, I plan to learn C++ online class for MFE in Baruch in summer. Besides that, what programming courses should I learn? For instance, are Data Structure, Data Mining, Numerical Analysis courses in CS or Machine learning,Statistical Computing(both using R), SAS courses in STAT useful for MFE? Due to my limited time on preparation, could you please recommend one to three from the courses I have mentioned above, the most important programming courses in MFE for me?

3.About finance background, as MFE does not require strong finance background on applicants, I am not worried too much on them although I have a little knowledge of finance. I have learned micro and macro economics and I am learning corporate finance. Besides what I have learned, what do I still need to learn on finance for application of MFE? Owing to the restriction of finance courses on other major students in my school, I have little access to many finance classes in my university. Could you recommend some self study resources(books, online course) about what I need to learn?

Thanks
Hi Xinruo,

1. Your math background seems good. Time Series is a must, while PDE is not. But knowing PDE well would be very helpful in your MFE studies. Besides, you will have to show how well you master those math knowledge in the interview, which is very important.

2. C++ is required for our program, which will definitely be asked in the interview, so you'd better get familiar with it. Data structures / Algorithms is a plus. Numerical analysis, data mining and machine learning are not required because you will learn this knowledge in your MFE studies. Other programming languages are not pre-requisites. Many of us learned them after joining the program.

3. Economics / Corporate Finance are not related to our MFE studies, so not required. Financial derivatives, fixed income are more important. Be sure you know well about Black-Scholes model, portfolio theory, bond math stuff (interest rates/duration/convexity), etc.

The following books would be helpful when preparing your application and interview for Baruch MFE:
1. A Primer for the Mathematics of Financial Engineering
2. A Linear Algebra Primer for Financial Engineering
3. 150 Most Frequently Asked Questions on Quant Interviews
 
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Xiruo Li

Member
C++ Student
Hi Xinruo,

1. Your math background seems good. Time Series is a must, while PDE is not. But knowing PDE well would be very helpful in your MFE studies. Besides, you will have to show how well you master those math knowledge in the interview, which is very important.

2. C++ is required for our program, which will definitely be asked in the interview, so you'd better get familiar with it. Data structures / Algorithms is a plus. Numerical analysis, data mining and machine learning are not required because you will learn this knowledge in your MFE studies. Other programming languages are not pre-requisites. Many of us learned them after joining the program.

3. Economics / Corporate Finance are not related to our MFE studies, so not required. Financial derivatives, fixed income are more important. Be sure you know well about Black-Scholes model, portfolio theory, bond math stuff (interest rates/duration/convexity), etc.

The following books would be helpful when preparing you application and interview for Baruch MFE:
1. A Primer for the Mathematics of Financial Engineering
2. A Linear Algebra Primer for Financial Engineering
3. 150 Most Frequently Asked Questions on Quant Interviews
Thanks you a lot!

BTW, the interview will ask u questions in what aspects?
 

QuantGeek

New Member
Ok, I got it. Thank you a lot!

I also have questions about software and programming in MFE (or career of quant). For instance, for R,SAS,Matlab,Python, C++,etc, which one (or several of them) is used more frequently?
It totally depends on the company and position you do. For our program, we mostly learn/use C++, Python and R.

For quant industry:
-> if you are a Quantitative/High-Freq Trading Developer, you need to have strong CS background, and will have to know C++/C# or Java very well, especially scientific computing, high-performance, multi-threaded applications, etc. (I am not an expert in this field)

-> if you are a Desk Quant/Strat, you will very likely use C++/Python a lot. (Our program has high focus on this)

-> if you are a Trader / Portfolio Manager, you may use some VBA / Python / Matlab / R.

-> if you are a Data Scientist, you must be good at R/Python.

Some companies use Scala. SQL and KDB/Q are very common for database applications. As I said, it totally depends on the position and the company.
 

QuantGeek

New Member
Thanks you a lot!

BTW, the interview will ask u questions in what aspects?
Generally, questions would come from your undergraduate studies in Calculus, Probability, Linear Algebra, Statistics, and Finance, as well as C++

It will be technical and challenging.
 

Xiruo Li

Member
C++ Student
Generally, questions would come from your undergraduate studies in Calculus, Probability, Linear Algebra, Statistics, and Finance, as well as C++

It will be technical and challenging.
Really appreciate it, you do help me a lot!
 

vaibhavpednekar

Member
C++ Student
Hi,

I have a few questions :

1. Are students expected to know at the time of joining, exactly what they want to do post MFE
2. Is the program good for someone who wants to get into Algo-Trading
3. I have a work experience of around 4 years in the Finance Industry and I see that most of the applicants have less than 2 years of experience. So will this work against me at the time of application
 
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