Cornell FE Admitted to Cornell's Applied OR concentration - Options?


New Member
Hey guys,

I've been accepted to the Applied OR concentration at Cornell and not the FE one. I know there are others who are in the same boat so I would like to know their thoughts, what they plan to do and why.

I tried to do some research about students in a similar situation in the past and what they did. There are different opinions on the same. Some people say Cornell had a great brand name (Ivy league and all), its relatively close to NYC (about 4 hrs) and that students in Applied OR can take some FE related electives and apply for Finance positions. Others say there are limitations to how far Applied OR can take you in landing a finance job.

With the Cornell FE concentration structure now drastically changed (earlier all concentrations were 2 semesters with a final project in the last semester; now FE is 3 semesters with a summer internship and the last semester being conducted in NYC) it might be even more difficult to land a finance job after Applied OR.

So my questions are the following:

1) What are othes who are in the same boat doing?
2) Is it better to go a UMich's FE program?
3) With Cornell's location, brand name etc. is it worth a risk to join Applied OR with the hope of a) switching to FE later b) landing a finance job.

Thank you for your comments.

Andy Nguyen

I would let others answer 1) and 2)
Here is my comments about 3)
Be aware of the program pitch that OR students will have access to FE courses. You can take it but its not as easy as they make it out to be. Columbia says the samething and you should read what their students say in the DISCUSSION of MFE programs thread.
The bottom line is once you decide to join OR program, keep in mind that you will be at disadvantage to fellow FE students. Don't expect to be competitive to all the positions that normally target MFE srudents.
It's funny you mention the location advantage of Cornell. As far as NYC is concerned, Ithaca is as close to NYC as someone from across the country who takes 4 hours flight.

That's what Cornell realized when it created a third semester in NYC. It knows it can't attract recruiters by being in the woods. They have to be right in the middle of NYC to compete with the local programs.