UCB MFE Berkeley MFE application status

bronson

Member
I received an email for a second interview for the Berkeley MFE. Did anyone else receive the same email?
 

bronson

Member
Michaelbevan, yes they're telling me it will be another technical interview. The last one lasted more than hour so I can't understand why they want another one.
 

Michaelbevan

New Member
I have heard cases where more than one technical interview were taken for the candidates. Just curious, how did the first interview go for you?
 

bronson

Member
I suppose it could have gone better. I had an extremely hard time understanding what the interviewer was saying because he had a thick accent. There were some questions that I was not able to answer immediately.
 

mcgruber

Member
I suppose it could have gone better. I had an extremely hard time understanding what the interviewer was saying because he had a thick accent. There were some questions that I was not able to answer immediately.
Berkeley MFE interview process is very chaotic at times. They ask these current students to conduct interviews and this approach is problematic in my opinion. Many of these students are knowledgable but can't speak properly in person, let alone be clear on the phone.

The Berkeley MFE admission will do a big favor in selecting just a few current students/alumni to conduct the interviews who have excellent communication skills and who are able to ask questions correctly, before they put fate of the applicants in the hands of these awful interviewers.

Note to Berkeley MFE: There is very little correlation between someone having good grades and him/her being a good communicator.

Disclaimer: I am not an American/Europe born person. And I have had horrible experience with Berkeley MFE interview process first hand.
 

bronson

Member
Is it true that recommendation of the interviewer plays an inordinately significant part in the Berkeley MFE admissions? I wonder if I am being asked for a second interview because my initial interviewer gave me a bad recommendation.
 

mcgruber

Member
Is it true that recommendation of the interviewer plays an inordinately significant part in the Berkeley MFE admissions? I wonder if I am being asked for a second interview because my initial interviewer gave me a bad recommendation.
I think it does. But it is another layer to filter applicants ....Make sure your second one goes very good. You can still make it.
I was put on-hold and asked to take 2 pre-program courses after my horrible interview...

Focus as much on Probability, BS model and Statistics (and Time Series) depending on what you have on your resume and transcripts.

Good Luck !!!!
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
Berkeley MFE interview process is very chaotic at times. They ask these current students to conduct interviews and this approach is problematic in my opinion. Many of these students are knowledgable but can't speak properly in person, let alone be clear on the phone.

The Berkeley MFE admission will do a big favor in selecting just a few current students/alumni to conduct the interviews who have excellent communication skills and who are able to ask questions correctly, before they put fate of the applicants in the hands of these awful interviewers.

Note to Berkeley MFE: There is very little correlation between someone having good grades and him/her being a good communicator.

Disclaimer: I am not an American/Europe born person. And I have had horrible experience with Berkeley MFE interview process first hand.
You bring a very good point about the process. While you can color it as "having a thorough, rigorous filtering process by students and alumni of the program", the downside is that you don't have the same group of people to do this year in and year out and many of these people do not have experience interviewing other people.
And if you add language problem and a weak phone signal to the mix, there is a possibility that every candidate would perform much more poorly than had they done in person.
UCB MFE used to have a "record yourself speaking in front of a webcam" requirement in their admission process which they eliminated later. It's a program based off the Haas business school and I'm surprised applicants still complain about the admission process after all these years. It should have been a well-oiled machine by now.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It helps everyone learn more about UCB MFE program.
 

mcgruber

Member
You bring a very good point about the process. While you can color it as "having a thorough, rigorous filtering process by students and alumni of the program", the downside is that you don't have the same group of people to do this year in and year out and many of these people do not have experience interviewing other people.
And if you add language problem and a weak phone signal to the mix, there is a possibility that every candidate would perform much more poorly than had they done in person.
UCB MFE used to have a "record yourself speaking in front of a webcam" requirement in their admission process which they eliminated later. It's a program based off the Haas business school and I'm surprised applicants still complain about the admission process after all these years. It should have been a well-oiled machine by now.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It helps everyone learn more about UCB MFE program
Linda Kreitzman flys around the US (and some international locations) conducting MFE information sessions. I don't think it will be too much of a hassle for her to bring together few alumni in locations like New York, LA, Chicago, London, Paris etc. to have in-person interviews for the applicants. Even if it is, Berkeley MFE owes it to the applicants to make the process fair and balanced by removing the very luck-prone factor of phone interviews by current students, many with borderline incomprehensible accents. And I am sure most applicants would not mind spending little extra money to come for an in-person interview. For other international applicants especially from Asia, Berkeley MFE can use Skype, Google Video Chat etc. for interviews.

If Berkeley MFE places so much emphasis on interviews, in-person interview sessions conducted by more than 1 person will not only provide more information to the interview panel to judge the applicant comprehensively and more chances to the applicant to perform better (and recover from a bad start), but also help remove some biases/prejudices a single interviewer might have against the applicant based on his/her gender, race, religion and national origin.

Involving alumni is especially important since even after just a year of experience in the industry, they most probably have better communication skills and are in a better position to judge an applicant's chances of success in and post program, compared to current students.
 

Ryan

Member
Agree. I can hardly understand what my interviewer said, even after studying and working in US for couple of years
 
@Michaelbevan, I checked it today, it is hold.

As you said, hold is different from Waitlisted. Are you sure?? If yes, then what does *hold* mean?

@Andy, can you please comment on this?
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
Vaibhav
I wish I know the answer for your question. I don't and a lot of applicants seem confused about this as well. I see lot of complains about the way UCB MFE handles their Hold/Waitlist applicants in recent years. The common rant seems to be that the process is designed to make sure UCB has the most flexibility in filling their 60 seats while applicants have to take CFA/pre-program courses and still get the shorter end of the deal.

Whether that's true, I don't know. A representative of the UCB MFE program posted on GD trying to explain this. I would do as she suggested and contact them directly.

First of all, students who are in the waitlist or hold status should contact us directly with questions. Each applicant's situation is unique, and we do want to engage in a dialogue with our applicants. When we ask students in the waitlist or hold status to take courses, read texts, or retake exams, we do this so that the student will be prepared in the event a spot does become available. The Berkeley MFE program is very intensive, and we want to make sure that anyone who joins the program is ready from the first day they are here. We also know from experience and from speaking to candidates on our waitlist that many candidates plan on applying for a future term if they are not admitted this year. If a candidate takes the courses one year, is not admitted, but then is admitted in the following year, the candidate is welcome to retake the courses for free as a refresher.

Contrary to popular belief, we do not ask the waitlisted candidates to take the pre program courses simply to make money. I am not sure where one of the posters got the information that the money goes only to our program, but that statement is false.

In addition, we did not remove the video requirement from the application because we were unhappy with the quality of the 2010 class. We found the process of collecting the videos to be cumbersome, especially since there exists technology (such as skype) that allows us to engage in video chats with candidates in real time.

Two final points: We notify all waitlisted students that there is no guarantee of admission if they complete the steps we ask them to complete. Second, we notify all waitlisted candidates that we keep admissions open until the start of the program in March and that candidates could be notified of a change in status at any time before March.

Again, we want to underscore that concerned applicants should contact the admissions office with questions. This is the best way to obtain information on your status.
 
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