UCB MFE Berkeley MFE... good choice right out of undergrad?

RKG

Member
C++ Student
Hi,
I got accepted into UCB MFE which I am very happy about, but have a few qualms about it. In particular:

Most students have a LOT of experience which makes me think this is why the placement is so top notch because its easier to place someone who has already worked on a trading floor to another trading floor etc...

I on the other hand only recently graduated with good marks (that was probably in my favour) and 8 month internship in a quant position (but this was more of a pricing experience where the work was with scenario generator development not with trading research which is what I want to get into). So since I don't have much experience working on a trading floor, and basically just a recent graduate, is UCB MFE a good choice given my career goal to be in a more of a trading role?

Thanks!
 

Philip_Mitterrand

Active Member
When you are offered a seat at rocketship you don't ask which seat or why am I here ...you just grab it !


Hi,
I got accepted into UCB MFE which I am very happy about, but have a few qualms about it. In particular:

Most students have a LOT of experience which makes me think this is why the placement is so top notch because its easier to place someone who has already worked on a trading floor to another trading floor etc...

I on the other hand only recently graduated with good marks (that was probably in my favour) and 8 month internship in a quant position (but this was more of a pricing experience where the work was with scenario generator development not with trading research which is what I want to get into). So since I don't have much experience working on a trading floor, and basically just a recent graduate, is UCB MFE a good choice given my career goal to be in a more of a trading role?

Thanks!
 

RKG

Member
C++ Student
Neither, Caltech Aerospace is the top quant program.
Now I really can't tell if you are offering serious advice or not lol. Although I think I get the joke, because aerospace program -> rocketship analogy -> some sort of connection
 

pingu

Well-Known Member
Now I really can't tell if you are offering serious advice or not lol. Although I think I get the joke, because aerospace program -> rocketship analogy -> some sort of connection
Clear as water, when hiring for quants, people rather hire somebody from Caltech (and probably MIT) aerospace above anybody else.
 

Billy Liu

New Member
Hi RKG

Straight out of the undergrad - without working experience, then I think it is a better choice to be with the experienced.

I went to the program after my undergrad without any experience at all - not even an internship. I had the same concern as you do before joining the program, but I would say studying with the experienced is probably one of the best advantages of this MFE program.

As I've already been working in the industry from some time, I would say the people we are looking for are not only your technical skills or smartness. If we had set technical competence as the only criteria, then PhDs are better candidates than most MFEs. However, during the interview, we are always trying to look for people with professionalism - they way that interviewee talks, the approach they use to solve problems, how well they understand the technical knowledge against the real-world context, and ultimately whether he/she has good work ethics that the team is comfortable to work with. I think this could be even more true for a trading role.

The best part of studying with the experienced is that they've already developed many of those skills and they carry them to the projects which you are going to work with. Where else could you find a place in which you can learn from their experience and ask them about career questions without having to pay or spending effort to make extensive connections? Moreover, once you come the program, you will know that this MFE pays very much attention to diversity: traders / structures / engineers / bankers etc.. and fresh undegrad who are the little lambs to this competitive world - you can always find someone to learn - from both their successes and mistakes.

Just adding to it - we do have quite a few graduates who went for trading roles after graduation - and some of them are young people. I cannot speak for them though, but I think being with the experienced is definitely a plus not a minus if you are aspired to have a trading job.
 

pingu

Well-Known Member
Is this serious or a joke? If so, why?
Serious. To study aerospace engineering you need to be a mega-geek so smart as f..

Then if you want to go to Finance, you are going to be hungry and it's clear you are doing it for the money. The hiring people know this and will milk it.
 

Totally

New Member
Serious. To study aerospace engineering you need to be a mega-geek so smart as f..

Then if you want to go to Finance, you are going to be hungry and it's clear you are doing it for the money. The hiring people know this and will milk it.
Ahh interesting. I'm a hard science graduate student maybe at 1 of the 2 schools you mentioned. So I was curious.
 

RKG

Member
C++ Student
Hi RKG

Straight out of the undergrad - without working experience, then I think it is a better choice to be with the experienced.

I went to the program after my undergrad without any experience at all - not even an internship. I had the same concern as you do before joining the program, but I would say studying with the experienced is probably one of the best advantages of this MFE program.

As I've already been working in the industry from some time, I would say the people we are looking for are not only your technical skills or smartness. If we had set technical competence as the only criteria, then PhDs are better candidates than most MFEs. However, during the interview, we are always trying to look for people with professionalism - they way that interviewee talks, the approach they use to solve problems, how well they understand the technical knowledge against the real-world context, and ultimately whether he/she has good work ethics that the team is comfortable to work with. I think this could be even more true for a trading role.

The best part of studying with the experienced is that they've already developed many of those skills and they carry them to the projects which you are going to work with. Where else could you find a place in which you can learn from their experience and ask them about career questions without having to pay or spending effort to make extensive connections? Moreover, once you come the program, you will know that this MFE pays very much attention to diversity: traders / structures / engineers / bankers etc.. and fresh undegrad who are the little lambs to this competitive world - you can always find someone to learn - from both their successes and mistakes.

Just adding to it - we do have quite a few graduates who went for trading roles after graduation - and some of them are young people. I cannot speak for them though, but I think being with the experienced is definitely a plus not a minus if you are aspired to have a trading job.
Hi,
Thanks for your reply, it makes me feel more comfortable knowing there are still going to be plenty of people in my shoes with similar opportunities.

One additional question, what languages are used the most in the program and most useful in terms of interviews? I heard it is mostly matlab, but the curriculum is not completely clear on what languages are being used.

Thanks!
 
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