• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering.
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job.
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models.

Columbia MAFN Columbia MAFN Course Selection Advice

Hey Everyone!

I've recently been accepted into the Columbia MAFN and I'm thinking about what elective courses would optimal since one of the more useful aspects of the program is the ability to design your own curriculum.

On their site they've shown that students have taken courses across departments such as Math, Comp Sci, IEOR, B-School, and other. I would hope to gear my education to include more programming, since my undergrad lacked formal training in comp sci. I've heard not so great things about the Math department's quant programming course (G5260), so I was thinking I would replace it with something from the comp sci dept or the IEOR dept.

If any past or current MAFN students would like to share some insight on any elective courses they've taken or strategies they used to design their education, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Also if anyone has anything to say about the current state of the MAFN program, I'm interested in hearing your opinion, I know the MAFN has been riddled with issues in the past but I hope that the new director and structural changes have given this program some more quality.

Thanks folks!
 

rnvpx

Member
Great school, shitty program, run by the exact opposite of dan stefanca of Baruch for a director. Only enroll in the program if you have the social skills to pass IB/consulting interviews or talent to pass the quant section of the interviews.
 
Great school, shitty program, run by the exact opposite of dan stefanca of Baruch for a director. Only enroll in the program if you have the social skills to pass IB/consulting interviews or talent to pass the quant section of the interviews.

Even I have been accepted into Columbia MAFN and plan to join the program. Is it worth the money? What aspects of the program are bad?
 

rnvpx

Member
Even I have been accepted into Columbia MAFN and plan to join the program. Is it worth the money? What aspects of the program are bad?
It's easier to talk about the positive aspects of the program.
1. Columbia brand name / Handshake: You will get to network with and apply via Columbia career services for non quant positions. But note, you're considered inferior to undergrads.
2. Course flexibility: Don't have people skills? Need connections? Take some business courses. Our MBA program is top notch.
3. That's it.
 
It's easier to talk about the positive aspects of the program.
1. Columbia brand name / Handshake: You will get to network with and apply via Columbia career services for non quant positions. But note, you're considered inferior to undergrads.
2. Course flexibility: Don't have people skills? Need connections? Take some business courses. Our MBA program is top notch.
3. That's it.
I have been admitted to MAFN as well and is seriously considering to join the program. Can you share some insights on the differences between MAFN and MFE beside the rank differences? I heard that MFE program does not have a decent career service as well.
 
Here are my thoughts on the whole thing. You have to be VERY VERY HONEST with yourself about the career you want and what you expect to get out of a masters degree. I feel like wishing your program director to do networking for you behind the scenes or get you interviews is borderline entitlement, an entitlement that will certainly rip you apart when/if you start to work in capital markets. Markets don't give a sh*t about your education.

Just because one program has a great director, it does not mean that any other program needs to follow suit, nor does it imply that the first program will perpetually continue to have a great director.

I'm used to the "Columbia model" since I came from a "prestigious" undergraduate program that assumed the name alone should be more than enough to get students jobs. I learned the hard way that this is absolutely not the case, and I figured out things that many of my peers didn't, which is how to find the jobs I want, how to write my resume/cover letter (you'd be surprised at the lack of this skill amongst top-tier undergrads), how to network, and how to interview.

Having a program director means next to nothing to me because I'm simply already used to not having one. Although it would've been nice to say the Columbia director is outstanding, it's just a fact that needs to be accepted.

I'm looking ahead at what I expect out of Columbia if I choose to go. With some ground work on my part, and the brand name on my resume, I can hope to land some first round interviews, or even some quick coffee meetings. After that it's all on me. I also would like to use the "design your own curriculum" model to tailor my education to make me as well rounded as possible. So yeah, does anyone have any recommendations on courses to take/avoid (see original post).

Also for those who are considering MAFN, ask yourself what you want out of this program before you accept, and continue doing your research. Dw, everyone will find their way :)
 

IntoDarkness

Well-Known Member
the program is an excellent part time option for working professionals who already have quant/strat/trading/research jobs at a financial institution in new york with only bachelor degrees. their thursday quant semiar has been very interesting for people working in research area as well. not so sure about the full time option. i heard it sucks. also you better know programming before entry, because that component is pretty weak in mafn.

there is a consense that learning at mafn is not as systematic as the engineering school's mfe. i really like the foundation classes from mfe except for ieor 4709 which was a horrible stats/time series class. i learnt almost nothing from that class (the only thing i still remember is max likelihood...). they revamped 4709 this year hopefully it gets better. mfe's approach was very systematic and the knowledge was built out and extended nicely. also ieor 4720 helps greatly on job hunting part (i didn't rely on it). mfe's electives introduce students to specific products and special topics. those are nice but often available for students from other departments, too.
 
Top