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

SamPf

New Member
Hello Weiyi, Yun, Sam and Scott,

Many thanks at the outset for helping us.. I see that all of you have done internships at reputed firms, I will be grateful if you throw some light on

a) How a typical day look like and what are the areas ( projects in brief) you have worked on?

b) what major concepts of programming and mathematics were used and what programming languages were used?

c) I am 2013 passed out CS graduate with GPA (9.1/10). I am currently working in SAP ( not in coding space). Its been three years I left Math and coding. I consider myself average in both math and programming. May I know what you felt you should have already known before entering the program and should I defer to next year if I get an admit to get some finance experience ( I dont have finance exp now) and give myself more time to be well versed with Advanced Math and Competitive coding.

P.S: I have been trading equities/derivatives from two years and want to work in Hedge fund/Prop trading firms. So, I am considering MFE.

Thanks Again & Happy Weekend,
Krishna Sai.
Sorry for the delay. For some reason I did not get any notification emails about the new posts.

a) A typical day consists of working on homework and my capstone project for several hours and then attending a class 6-9pm.

Each class has unique projects/homeworks to work on. As an example, in our FX class we had one homework problem that required us to calibrate the local volatilities of a mixed local vol/stochastic vol model to some benchmark volatilities and then price a knockout option using the calibrated volatility surface.

b) Prerequisite info is here: Application Process - Baruch MFE Program
In particular, C++ knowledge is quite important. Throughout the program, we used C++, Python, R, and Matlab (plus a little VBA and Q). You don't need to know all those languages coming into the program, but you definitely need to be quite comfortable with programming so that you have an easy time picking up new languages. Knowledge of object oriented programming is also very important.

In regards to math skills...
You definitely need a solid background in calculus, linear algebra, probability, and some statistics.

c) If you have the programming and math skills above, then you should be fine. You should also be coming in with some basic knowledge of wall street.

In regards to whether you should defer an admit...
If the program accepts you, it means that they feel you are well prepared for the program and will be a very strong potential employee coming out of the program. So if you are accepted, I don't think you should defer to gain more experience. This is just my opinion though, so you may want a second opinion.
 

SamPf

New Member
How well do you think your internship and work experienced helped get your position at Baruch?

I am currently CS with Math minor, but I really lack the hands on experience from an applicable internship. Do you have any suggestions on getting or searching for one?
I think my internship experience did help me get accepted to Baruch. That said, all the different components of a resume helps. This is quite a common question that I've seen asked of Dan Stefanica. "I have weak performance in [work experience/GPA/GRE score/math skills/programming/etc] but strong performance elsewhere. Will this ruin my chances of getting an interview?" The answer has always been that they will not disregard your application because of one weak area. They look at your resume as a whole. Obviously if you are weak in many areas, that will ruin your chances of attaining an interview.

I do think it is important to have some relevant internship experience. You can go to job fairs, talk to the career assistance at your college, fill out applications for some companies, go to networking events, talk to professors that you have formed a relationship with to see if they know of any opportunities, etc.
 

Scott Hounsell

New Member
Sorry for the delay. For some reason I did not get any notification emails about the new posts.
Apologies, it seems I have also been having issues with the notifications.
Hello Weiyi, Yun, Sam and Scott,

Many thanks at the outset for helping us.. I see that all of you have done internships at reputed firms, I will be grateful if you throw some light on

a) How a typical day look like and what are the areas ( projects in brief) you have worked on?

b) what major concepts of programming and mathematics were used and what programming languages were used?

c) I am 2013 passed out CS graduate with GPA (9.1/10). I am currently working in SAP ( not in coding space). Its been three years I left Math and coding. I consider myself average in both math and programming. May I know what you felt you should have already known before entering the program and should I defer to next year if I get an admit to get some finance experience ( I dont have finance exp now) and give myself more time to be well versed with Advanced Math and Competitive coding.

P.S: I have been trading equities/derivatives from two years and want to work in Hedge fund/Prop trading firms. So, I am considering MFE.

Thanks Again & Happy Weekend,
Krishna Sai.
Hi Krishna,

I have to agree with most of what Sam has said. I will add however, that I had zero experience with C++ before entering the program. My only familiarity was with MATLAB and Python, so that is not necessarily a deal breaker. As long as you have programming experience in some modern language(s), those skills are transferable.
How well do you think your internship and work experienced helped get your position at Baruch?

I am currently CS with Math minor, but I really lack the hands on experience from an applicable internship. Do you have any suggestions on getting or searching for one?
Hi Colben,

I see that Sam has beaten me to it, but I can present a second opinion here, as well. My internship experience was limited when I applied to the program with my only position being unrelated to quantitative finance. (I interned at a credit card company, mainly in an operations role.) However, I had a strong GPA and GRE scores, and I also took the on-site Pre-MFE seminars and did very well in them. So as Sam said, no one will have everything, but your potential for success in the program is evaluated on more than a single shortcoming.
 

SamPf

New Member
Apologies, it seems I have also been having issues with the notifications.

Hi Krishna,

I have to agree with most of what Sam has said. I will add however, that I had zero experience with C++ before entering the program. My only familiarity was with MATLAB and Python, so that is not necessarily a deal breaker. As long as you have programming experience in some modern language(s), those skills are transferable.

Hi Colben,

I see that Sam has beaten me to it, but I can present a second opinion here, as well. My internship experience was limited when I applied to the program with my only position being unrelated to quantitative finance. (I interned at a credit card company, mainly in an operations role.) However, I had a strong GPA and GRE scores, and I also took the on-site Pre-MFE seminars and did very well in them. So as Sam said, no one will have everything, but your potential for success in the program is evaluated on more than a single shortcoming.
We can always count on Scott to answer...eloquently ;)
 

Yun Peng

New Member
C++ Student
How well do you think your internship and work experienced helped get your position at Baruch?

I am currently CS with Math minor, but I really lack the hands on experience from an applicable internship. Do you have any suggestions on getting or searching for one?
Work experience is a plus but not nessasary for entering the MFE program.

If you want to gain some exposure, Banks are willing to recruit CS students with math minors if you perform well in the interviews. Perhaps you need to read some interview books to help get familiar with how an interview will go.
 

SamPf

New Member
@Weiyi CHEN
I have seen in the official Baruch MFE website that the curriculum gives an option for electives
But I don't see any course description regarding them. Is there any link that you can tell me for the course content. I am mainly looking for the courses like Algorithmic Trading, Time Series Analysis, Machine Learning, Applied Econometrics in Finance.
According to Dan Stefanica, this information will soon be posted on the Baruch MFE website. He said he will direct people to that information when it is posted.
 

validum

New Member
Hi All,

I hope this thread isn't dead yet. I graduated from Baruch with an MS degree in 2009. It's been awhile since I've picked up a text book. Do you think this program (and interview) would be too difficult for me? What do you think my chances are of getting into and through the program?

I suppose you'll need some more background info:

Undergraduate gpa (Finance) 3.27/4.0
Graduate gpa (Statistics) 3.55/4.0
Not much formal training in programming (just some light reading on my own). I'm comfortable with concepts of OOP, encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, dynamic/static binding, but out of practice with the exact syntax.
Just took my GRE's in preparation for my application 167Q 165V.

Thanks.
 

Pavlos Sakoglou

Well-Known Member
C++ Student
Hi All,

I hope this thread isn't dead yet. I graduated from Baruch with an MS degree in 2009. It's been awhile since I've picked up a text book. Do you think this program (and interview) would be too difficult for me? What do you think my chances are of getting into and through the program?

I suppose you'll need some more background info:

Undergraduate gpa (Finance) 3.27/4.0
Graduate gpa (Statistics) 3.55/4.0
Not much formal training in programming (just some light reading on my own). I'm comfortable with concepts of OOP, encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, dynamic/static binding, but out of practice with the exact syntax.
Just took my GRE's in preparation for my application 167Q 165V.

Thanks.
Since it's been a while from your graduation, you might want to apply for the Pre-MFE seminars to refresh your knowledge and expose yourself in a competitive graduate academic level. Furthermore, on Januray 25th there is an information session in Baruch for the MFE program where the director and alumni will answer questions and talk about the whole process + the benefits of the Pre-MFE seminars.

Your GRE score is good enough so I wouldn't worry about that part of your application. As for programming, since you want to pursue graduate studies in FE I would strongly recommend you to consider the C++ online certificate here, sponsored from Baruch MFE. It's very helpful and give you all the necessary knowledge you need to excel in the program afterwards.

Let me know for further questions and make sure you check the Baruch MFE website for the above information.
 

validum

New Member
Thanks for your reply Pavlos. For some strange reason I thought the Pre-MFE courses were the refresher courses and only open to accepted applicants.

I'll take the one I think I'm weakest in and find out if the program is right for me. Plus if I do well that's one recommendation letter I don't have to worry about.
 

Pavlos Sakoglou

Well-Known Member
C++ Student
Thanks for your reply Pavlos. For some strange reason I thought the Pre-MFE courses were the refresher courses and only open to accepted applicants.

I'll take the one I think I'm weakest in and find out if the program is right for me. Plus if I do well that's one recommendation letter I don't have to worry about.
Good plan. And yes, there is a short application process you should go through -- you can easily find it in the Baruch MFE website. :)
 

msamy

New Member
Dear
i have a 2.5 gpa in my undergaradaute degree , but i have more than 3 years experience in finance
what are my odds in admission for the program ?
and if my odds are not good
what can i do to improve it ?
regards
 

SamPf

New Member
Dear
i have a 2.5 gpa in my undergaradaute degree , but i have more than 3 years experience in finance
what are my odds in admission for the program ?
and if my odds are not good
what can i do to improve it ?
regards
A 2.5 GPA is pretty weak. Do you have a strong math/programming background?
 

losterloc

Member
C++ Student
This is my first post here :)

Hello!

I am a student from Poland. Next year I would like to apply to Baruch MFE.

However, the problem is that I do not know whether grades that I received at Polish university (it is the best business school in Poland) are enough to apply to Baruch (we have another grading system: I do not know what is B, I can not find it on the internet) and whether the syllabus of the subjects - Calculus (I had one semester of Calculus in the subject called Mathematics, the second one in the subject called Calculus), Algebra and Probability - covered Baruch's prerequisites.

How can I solve my problem?

I am also wondering, what if I did not meet the prerequisties. I saw that even in this topic somebody has already asked, whether there is any Probability/Calculus/Algebra course on the internet, which would be relevant in the admission process. Do you have any recommendations for such courses? I saw the online course of Columbia University, but it is very expensive...

I would be very grateful for the answer and the help.

Thank you in advance.

Losterloc :)
 

songgaoxian

Active Member
C++ Student
Hi,
I am Gaoxian Song, a current Baruch MFE student.

After graduation from Chinese University of Hong Kong with major in Quantitative Finance and Risk Management, I worked one year in a private equity fund in Shenzhen as a quantitative analyst. My daily task was to develop and maintain Barra model, develop new trading strategies using futures and backtest existing strategies. In this process, I learnt the importance of programming and got to know about Baruch MFE program.

It is fantastic with great career service and strong community support. After admission to this program, the director Professor Dan requires admitted students to take various pre-courses based on their background, so that all students will be well-prepared for this program. This program is intensive and valuable.

Currently, most students have got internship offer. If you have some question about Baruch MFE, feel free to ask.

Best,
Gaoxian
 

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
 

Xiruo Li

Member
C++ Student
Hello, everybody,

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

1.I believe that my math background is enough( 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, 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 little knowledge of finance. I have learned micro and macro economics and I am reading Corporate Finance by Ross. Owing to the restriction of finance courses for other major students, I have little access to finance class in my university. Could please recommend some resources for me to learn finance that is helpful for MFE?

Thanks!
 

songgaoxian

Active Member
C++ Student
Hello, everybody,

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

1.I believe that my math background is enough( 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, 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 little knowledge of finance. I have learned micro and macro economics and I am reading Corporate Finance by Ross. Owing to the restriction of finance courses for other major students, I have little access to finance class in my university. Could please recommend some resources for me to learn finance that is helpful for MFE?

Thanks!
Dear Xiruo,
1, It will be a plus if you take PDE and time series, but it is not really a must. Depends on your time, you may or may not take it. But time series is quite useful in algo trading and when I worked in a Chinese private equity before joining Baruch, one colleague applied time series to designing a very successful trading algorithm. PDE theories seem to be useful in asset pricing and understanding Blackscholes model.
2, Based on your background, it is more important to improve your programming background. C++ is very important in high-frequency trading and also Professor Dan is a big fun of C++. :) In addition to taking online C++ of pre-MFE, it will be better if you also take the advanced C++ online course. Data structure and some common algorithms (quick sort, heap sort stuff) are must to take. Numerical Analysis is also recommended to take. If you still have time, machine learning is good to learn.
3, For finance background, read John Hull (option futures and other derivatives). Actually, macro and micro economics do not seem to be quite important in this program. But option theories and models, especially Black-Scholes, are quite important and are common topic in interview.
 

Xiruo Li

Member
C++ Student
Dear Xiruo,
1, It will be a plus if you take PDE and time series, but it is not really a must. Depends on your time, you may or may not take it. But time series is quite useful in algo trading and when I worked in a Chinese private equity before joining Baruch, one colleague applied time series to designing a very successful trading algorithm. PDE theories seem to be useful in asset pricing and understanding Blackscholes model.
2, Based on your background, it is more important to improve your programming background. C++ is very important in high-frequency trading and also Professor Dan is a big fun of C++. :) In addition to taking online C++ of pre-MFE, it will be better if you also take the advanced C++ online course. Data structure and some common algorithms (quick sort, heap sort stuff) are must to take. Numerical Analysis is also recommended to take. If you still have time, machine learning is good to learn.
3, For finance background, read John Hull (option futures and other derivatives). Actually, macro and micro economics do not seem to be quite important in this program. But option theories and models, especially Black-Scholes, are quite important and are common topic in interview.
Thanks you a lot!
 
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