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Best MFE program to get into S&T

Hi,

I wonder which would be the best programs to get into Sales & Trading. By S&T, I mean trader and not S&T quant.

I think that NYU or UCB are very good programs but are too quant oriented and much less trading oriented. I am aware that every MFE prepare to quant jobs but I may think that some programs like Columbia may open the trading door more easily since school reputation is very important in S&T...

What do you think?
 

roni

Cornell FE
Have you looked into MSF programs?
And why do you think NYU and UCB don't have the reputation needed?
 
I think that in trading, the school reputation is a very important factor.
I have looked in Linkedin and a lot of people from NYU and UCB end up in quant roles whereas I have seen a good number of Columbia MFE or MAFN ending up in trading.

At UCB for example, only 25% have S&T related jobs (source : their job area statistics). Students from UCB, NYU or Columbia told me that a great majority of students prefer S&T jobs to quant jobs. But as S&T jobs are very limited in numbers for MFE students who are not going under grad scheme, trying to have a summer internship or grad scheme in S&T is a good solution. And for grad scheme, RH may be Ivy League biased...

My 2 cents
 
By S&T, I mean trader (not very quantative trader) and not S&T quant/Quant trader (strategist, desk quant, HFT trader, etc.)

To put in a nutshell, I am looking for a not very quantative role in Trading or Structuring.
I just wonder which MFE program would be the best choice for me to find a job that I want.
Some programs offer top notch courses or a very good career services. But I think that the courses may be excellent and the career services very good only for people looking for quant roles. As I am young, I don't mind going under a grad scheme after an MFE. Am I missing something here?

Concerning MSF, Princeton and MIT offer top notch programs. But their acceptance rate is also very low. Princeton can be in 2 years which is a little bit long and MIT is very expensive. If these programs don't offer more opportunities than an MFE in S&T, I prefer an MFE program.

Please tell me if you think that I am misunderstanding or if you do/don't agree with me.
You are more than welcome.
 
Sounds a bit sarcastic and negative to me. You're not gonna pickup lacrosse and play D1 in a couple years, so that's out of the question.

Why are you so down on S&T?
 
I like Trading more then maths and programming. I don't want to be a quant for too long and try to network into trading. But I think that after an MFE, this is what will happen. I am quite happy with that but I would really prefer to have a junior trader position. Why shouldn't I try to do something that I really want?

Yes Joy Pathak sounds a little sarcastic. But is it the reality in NY? Only Ivy undergrads get these roles?
 
Yes Joy Pathak sounds a little sarcastic. But is it the reality in NY? Only Ivy undergrads get these roles?
Banks have a pretty established process to hire undergraduates and MBA into their analyst program, S&T roles. There is no such thing for MFE graduates.
Each bank has a list of target schools they recruit from. You can see from their website (look at the campus events).
If you like "not very quantitative" roles, "trading more than math and programming" then MFE is a sure unfit for you. Just because you like "trading" like millions of students out there, you have to differentiate yourself from the rest.

During interviews, people would be upset if you can't demonstrate a good understanding of investment bank structure and where each division/group interacts within the bank.
My suggestion is to reading more. The link is under my signature. The section you want is General Wall Street culture.
 

Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
Among the few traders and trading interns I have met, they attended the following schools:Yale, Stanford, UPenn, Harvard, Columbia,Duke and Princeton. Thats where the majority of them went to school. There are some from other schools like UConn, Baruch, Michigan, and some liberal arts colleges in the North-east. I didn't see any variation in knowledge. The spread between the people is very small regardless of the school. I have also seen lots of athletes who play division 1 sports at the above schools in this years summer analyst class. All very nice and smart people.

Like Andy, said...when it comes to S&T, the banks have target schools they goto. It is very hard to get into an S&T program if you don't attend a target school. Not impossible, just VERY hard.
 
Banks have a pretty established process to hire undergraduates and MBA into their analyst program, S&T roles. There is no such thing for MFE graduates.
Each bank has a list of target schools they recruit from. You can see from their website (look at the campus events).
If you like "not very quantitative" roles, "trading more than math and programming" then MFE is a sure unfit for you. Just because you like "trading" like millions of students out there, you have to differentiate yourself from the rest.

During interviews, people would be upset if you can't demonstrate a good understanding of investment bank structure and where each division/group interacts within the bank.
My suggestion is to reading more. The link is under my signature. The section you want is General Wall Street culture.

Definitely do an MBA to go into sales and trading. The less "quant" stuff you have on your resume the better. When people see that you have the quantitative skills its very hard for them not to put you in a corresponding role.
 
Like Andy, said...when it comes to S&T, the banks have target schools they goto. It is very hard to get into an S&T program if you don't attend a target school. Not impossible, just VERY hard.

Each bank has a list of target schools they recruit from. You can see from their website (look at the campus events).

The question is : the target school list is for undergrads and MBA only or it's also applicable to grad programs like MFE also?

Since Columbia has an Ivy brand name, going to Columbia MSFE or MAFN would be better than going to NYU, UCB or CMU to work in S&T?

It would be really great if some students in MFE could illustrate with their experience like Joy did...
 
Definitely do an MBA to go into sales and trading. The less "quant" stuff you have on your resume the better. When people see that you have the quantitative skills its very hard for them not to put you in a corresponding role.

I heard in various discussion board that after an MBA, you don't really get trading roles but you are more likely to get sales roles. That's not what I am interested in.
 
The question is : the target school list is for undergrads and MBA only or it's also applicable to grad programs like MFE also?
Yes and No.
Let's just hear directly from Emanuel Derman, director of Columbia MFE program when I asked him this exactly question (towards the end of the interview)
http://www.quantnet.com/interview-with-emanuel-derman/

If you are so set on doing MFE, investigate the connection each program has built with hiring managers, banks. Brand name means little if the program does not reach out to potential employers.

I would again suggest go through the reading list for quants (if you want to do MFE) and reading list for Goldman Sachs (if you want to do the MBA route)
http://www.quantnet.com/goldman-sachs-reading-list/
 

roni

Cornell FE
The question is : the target school list is for undergrads and MBA only or it's also applicable to grad programs like MFE also?

Since Columbia has an Ivy brand name, going to Columbia MSFE or MAFN would be better than going to NYU, UCB or CMU to work in S&T?

It would be really great if some students in MFE could illustrate with their experience like Joy did...

We have a CMU grad here and if I remember correctly, he mentioned once that many of the MSCF students end up in S&T. I know also that many Cornell's MFE students end up in S&T.
But, why would you want to go through all of the math & programming "sufferings" if your goal is to get a job in S&T(no quant related)?
 

mfegrad

CMU MSCF Alum
so you want to trade, eh?

which of the four main divisions?
what products? why?
do you know what flow is?
do you know how to hedge a call or a put?
can you explain what vega is?
what is reset risk? and what's so big about immy days anyway?
what's your take on the wheat market? are you bullish or bearish and why?
give me a good trade idea. why will this make money? what happens if it moves against you? what's your bailout?
how's the euro moved against the yen, chf, usd, and aussie dollar over the past few months?
do you think greece will restructure or leave the euro zone? give me a trade idea and how you'd hedge yourself if either of those happen.

being able to answer all of those questions, on the spot, rapid-fire (along with many other questions) will help you more than just having a "brand name" on your resume. any number of quant finance programs can land you trading gigs (a lot of graduates from mine landed trading rotations full-time), but you have to know your stuff.

and if you don't like quantitative stuff, this isn't the industry for you.

this industry, despite what millions of money-hungry people think, isn't the way to quick riches, unless you're spectacularly good. an oft-quoted statistic is that 90% of restaurants fail (do not know the veracity of the statistic, but i've heard it a ton). the same's true for traders. most will never make it, and those that do know their stuff. yes, it can look glamorous, and it sounds awesome when you read in the journal about some trader who just blew 3m on a loft in tribeca. but if you look at the probabilities (as you should if you want to get into this industry), that's a three sigma event.

if that's what you want and you're smart enough and hungry enough to make it, god speed and best of luck. but do some research and learn about what you're getting into before you start chasing the extra zeroes at the end of your paystub.
 
Definitely do an MBA to go into sales and trading. The less "quant" stuff you have on your resume the better. When people see that you have the quantitative skills its very hard for them not to put you in a corresponding role.

This sounds like horrible advice to me. S&T desks love quant skills, which is what MFE students have. MBA is good for IBD, but not S&T.

Someone who knows more than me should correct me if I'm wrong, but don't a lot of MFE grads end up in S&T? I recall reading about that on here.

If you're smart and have exceptional knowledge of the markets, then you should be able to land an S&T role assuming you go to a "target" school where firms interview at. If you don't go to one of those target schools, then you'll have to network to get that first interview. Once you get that first interview, reputation doesn't really mean shit. S&T is all about P&L. If you're making millions for the firm, then nobody cares if you went to Harvard or Middle Tennessee State. I think they're really just looking for smart (specifically quick-thinking and work well under pressure), passionate people. From what I hear trading is something that is learned on the job, and nothing you learn in school really prepares you for it.

This might be helpful: http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/sales-trading-vs-investment-banking-part-1-recruiting/
 

mfegrad

CMU MSCF Alum
This sounds like horrible advice to me. S&T desks love quant skills, which is what MFE students have. MBA is good for IBD, but not S&T.

Someone who knows more than me should correct me if I'm wrong, but don't a lot of MFE grads end up in S&T? I recall reading about that on here.

no, you're absolutely right. we had BBs come in and basically tell the mixed mba/quant finance audience "sorry, we don't want to hire mbas for s&t anymore."

edit: that said, in my intern class, there were some kids from mba programs, but there weren't a lot and they were all doing either commodities or distressed.
 
CMU may be the best program for S&T among MFEs.
I heard several times that CMU place a significant amount of people into S&T.
NYU should be also great I guess.

Summer internship may help a lot in the placement since summer internship is the best way to break into S&T.
That's why I think that UCB is not the best choice.
 

roni

Cornell FE
Summer internship may help a lot in the placement since summer internship is the best way to break into S&T.
That's why I think that UCB is not the best choice.

Have you looked at their stats? they place nearly 100% of their students for internships and full time jobs. Though, look if you fit in (many of their students have full time experience).

I heard several times that CMU place a significant amount of people into S&T.
Then, why did you say that CMU wasn't good for S&T just minutes ago?

My suggestion, apply to all of the top programs and if you get into several of them, then try to figure out which program to choose.
All of the top programs are good. And, if you are good, you will find your way.

Also, don't forget, not only MFEs try to get into S&T. I visited a CLOs trading desk a few weeks ago and there was only 1 MFE grad (he was a strategist) at the desk, the rest had different degrees/levels (1 was an applied math graduate). So, MFE is not the only option to get into S&T.
 
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