Advices on joining ETH MSc QF program

shodan

New Member
Hello,
I've been admitted to the ETH MSc quantum finance program starting next September. My profile: degree and PhD in experimental Physics (no "pure" quantitative bg then), 3rd year postdoc, 30 yo (quite above the program's average), willing to switch career. The idea is to attend the MsC and then get a job in finance, since even with a PhD my profile seems not to be good enough to get a job immediately. I chose ETH because it definitely seems to have the best quality/price ratio: I've read some very good comments about it and they seem also well connected with swiss banks. Does someone have some direct experience with it? In general any opinion/comment on the MSc program, its placement record and/or on attending a MSc after a PhD will be much appreciated. I've been also admitted to Bocconi's Mafinrisk, but I believe this program is less considered than ETH's, and definitely more expensive (comments are welcome on this issue as well).
 

alain

Older and Wiser
I work with 3 experimental Physicist PhDs so there is something wrong with you if you can't land a job in Finance with that title. What exactly are you looking for? Which kind of jobs did you apply to? did you work with a recruiter?
 
Are you a EU citizen ? Getting a job in swiss banks from ETHZ maynot be as easy as it seems. Did you apply to Berkeley,CMU, NYU, Baruch.
 

shodan

New Member
Sent CVs to several banks and investment companies, no reply. I believe this is because my experience is only academic, and in a field which is not particularly quantitative. So I thought that a MSc in QF could help "filling the gap", even though it represents a step back wrt to a PhD, strictly speaking. Didn't work with a recruiter.
Im a EU non German-speaking citizen, do you believe this represents an issue for Swiss/German banks (which I assume are the main recruiters for this MSc)? I simply cannot afford the US programs you quoted, I could go for Oxbridge or LSE, but from people's comments I got ETH MSc's quality is just a step behind and the difference in price (>20k pounds vs 2k Swiss Francs!) is really sizable.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Sent CVs to several banks and investment companies, no reply
Talk to a recruiter. They have the ins. IMHO, sending a resume to an HR department is a big waste.
 

tigergb

New Member
As a graduate from this program, here are my two cents:
1) the course structure of this program is amazingly good, from derivative pricing to risk management, you can build a strong foundation if you carefully choose courses;
2) the professors, especially at ETH side, are well-known, and most importantly, are highly responsible, they not only prepare teaching material scrutinizingly, but also are willing to provide career advice if possible (not all of them though);
3) it is located in Zurich, therefore you may have a bigger problem to find a job as a non-EU people due to swiss working visa restriction, which did happen to some of my classmates and me;
4) it is not as recognized as other top programs in UK, especially in HH's eyes (I may be wrong, just my feeling)

anyway, good luck.
 

atreides

Graduate Student
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As a graduate from this program, here are my two cents:
1) the course structure of this program is amazingly good, from derivative pricing to risk management, you can build a strong foundation if you carefully choose courses;
2) the professors, especially at ETH side, are well-known, and most importantly, are highly responsible, they not only prepare teaching material scrutinizingly, but also are willing to provide career advice if possible (not all of them though);
3) it is located in Zurich, therefore you may have a bigger problem to find a job as a non-EU people due to swiss working visa restriction, which did happen to some of my classmates and me;
4) it is not as recognized as other top programs in UK, especially in HH's eyes (I may be wrong, just my feeling)

anyway, good luck.
 

Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
Talk to a recruiter. They have the ins. IMHO, sending a resume to an HR department is a big waste.
Not true lol I don't think so at least. Two BB interviews by applying online and sending resume to "recruiting@weareawesome.com" . No internal recommendation or anything.

I am sure luck played a strong role too.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Not true lol I don't think so at least. Two BB interviews by applying online and sending resume to "recruiting@weareawesome.com" . No internal recommendation or anything.
Did you get an offer? That's the bottom line.
 

F. Chicken

New Member
As a graduate from this program, here are my two cents:
1) the course structure of this program is amazingly good, from derivative pricing to risk management, you can build a strong foundation if you carefully choose courses;
2) the professors, especially at ETH side, are well-known, and most importantly, are highly responsible, they not only prepare teaching material scrutinizingly, but also are willing to provide career advice if possible (not all of them though);
3) it is located in Zurich, therefore you may have a bigger problem to find a job as a non-EU people due to swiss working visa restriction, which did happen to some of my classmates and me;
4) it is not as recognized as other top programs in UK, especially in HH's eyes (I may be wrong, just my feeling)

anyway, good luck.
Did you manage to gain admission to the program with or without an entrance exam?
 

migs

New Member
I work with 3 experimental Physicist PhDs so there is something wrong with you if you can't land a job in Finance with that title. What exactly are you looking for? Which kind of jobs did you apply to? did you work with a recruiter?
I am an experimental Physics PhD as well. Could you please let us know what kind of background your colleagues have? Experimental physics in which field? particle physics or nanomaterials or optics...etc..
Thanks!
 

alain

Older and Wiser
I am an experimental Physics PhD as well. Could you please let us know what kind of background your colleagues have? Experimental physics in which field? particle physics or nanomaterials or optics...etc..
Thanks!
This was almost 6 years ago but I can tell you. Two of them were specialist in Particle Physics. They used to work at CERN and the younger of them was very good writing C/C++ code. Both of them were very bright. I don't know the specialty of the other one but I'll ask him (we very good friends). He ended in Finance because he came to NY following his wife. He is also very successful now as a Data Scientist and no longer in Finance.

Since that time, I have worked with another Physicist but a theoretician, extremely bright. However, I haven't seen as many physicist in finance recently.
 
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