Columbia MAFN Columbia MAFN Placement Data for 2010 via Linkedin

Will D

New Member
Hi Andy,
Thanks for the kind words.

OK, I think I'm done researching MAFN after this post. I'll probably move on to some web research for Michigan FE, another program that has limited info on its site.

Btw, I applied to my target programs because I don't think I have strong enough C++ skills to get accepted and do well at Baruch and CMU.

Anyway, here is the employment data from Linkedin for Columbia's Mathematics of Finance class of 2010:

· FX Options Trader at BNP Paribas (London)
· Equity Option Trading at Capstone Investment Advisors (NY)
· Associate at Morgan Stanley – PWM Investment Strategy (NY)
· JP Morgan Rates Trading Analyst (London)
· Quantitative Developer (FO) - Credit Derivatives at Societe Generale (NY)
· Trading Analyst at Perella Weinberg Partners (NY)
· Trainee, Exotic Credit Trading Desk at Societe Generale (NY)
· Senior Analyst at Bank of China International (NY)
· Fixed Income Associate at BNP Paribas (Hong Kong)
· IBD Analyst at Deutsche Bank (Hong Kong)
· Quantitative Analyst at AllianceBernstein (NY)
· Associate at Moody's Investors Service (NY)
· Fixed Income Portfolio Management Group at BlackRock (NY)
· Quantitative Associate at Bank of America (NY)
· Operation Analyst at Yang Ming Transport Corporation (Taiwan)
· Head of Portfolio Analysis and Analytics at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (NY PT)
· Executive Director at Morgan Stanley - Derivative Strategy (NY PT)
· Quant developer at BlackRock (NY)
· Associate, Counterparty Risk Measurement at DBS Bank (Singapore)
· Barclays, Commodity Hybrids Trading (NY)
· Equity Exotics Trading at SGCIB (NY)
· IB Analyst at JP Morgan (NY)
· Private Equity Analyst at Neuberger Berman (NY)


Active Member
Columbia MAFN placement is a lot better than I had thought. They should collect placement stats and put them on the web site.
This collecting data from LinkedIn is very useful and will help many other MFE students make their admission decisions.
I hope someone undertakes this exercise for Rutgers who claim that they have 100% placement. Linkedin data will be more reliable.

Will D

New Member
Thanks Andy and Trader Joe,
Well, I tried to run a screen and locate people who attended the program from 2009-2010 (all full-time)... then clicking a profile, and following the links on the right "Viewers of this profile also viewed...", I was able to locate about half of the class. My guess is that the others are not on linkedin, just wrote "Columbia" without any degree, have high privacy settings, or for whatever reason, are not in the same social circles as the students I found, at least on Linkedin. Here are a few more.



New Member
The data is a bit old but nonetheless, i'm stunned at how well they've placed since i always thought MAFN at columbia was a joke compared to FE. Hopefully i'm wrong about that.


Psychic in Training
Given any program a number of graduates of it will be very successful. What separates the top programs is the proportion of the very successful.

Top programs place close to 100% of their graduates in desirable positions.

Back when I was interviewing, I interviewed with Knight Capital (back when they were still "legendary" status, before they almost went bust) through a contact from Georgia Tech university, not very successful at placing people. Yet some make it to top places nonetheless.

Andy brings up a good point - cherry pick any program and there will be people who are doing well... where are the rest of the graduates?


New Member
Given that MAFN takes in many part timers, gotta be cautious at taking this at face value. I have to admit it's quite impressive though.


Active Member
This is the value of programs that publish their placement stats.
But keep in mind that placement stats can, and often are, doctored. Either they are incorrect or they leave out a part of the story. You must always condition the stats on whatever information you can gather. In fact, placement stats are usually already conditional on some -- often favorable -- characteristic, in order to draw your attention away from less favorable numbers. This is the cherry picking Andy is referring to.

For example, "of those graduating, X % were placed" or "of those looking for jobs, Y % were placed." A lot of people might pick a program purely because X and Y are near 100, forgetting to inquire, "how many didn't graduate and still got jobs?" and "how many were not looking for jobs, and after how many failed attempts did they stop looking?"


Psychic in Training
stats are infinitely better than no stats. No stats typically means the stats are so bad there's no way to rotate them to make them look like the stats you want to show the world.


I think it depends on what department the program is housed in. For example, arts and sciences departments usually don´t gather that kind of thata, while business schools always do

Andy Nguyen

pruse has some good points.
A lot of times, I'm amused by how many applicants (future quants) don't seem to apply some common sense, critical thinking and just take things as presented.
Take this thread for example, the OP used LinkedIn to search for Columbia MAFN grads who graduated in 2010. What he found is their 2012 employment status.
What is missing is when they obtained their current postion? Was it prior to their 2010 graduation? 3 months later, 1 year later?
The common sense is that given a long time horizon, everyone will find some kind of employment, be it relevant to their degree or as a result of luck, timing, etc. Often, the program plays no supporting role in those people finding job months or years later.

This is why citing 100% placement rate is irrelevant. Business schools usually follow a standard reporting format which is at graduation and 3 months later. This does not happen at most MFE programs.

Another good thing having MFE programs posting their placement stats is that it is very likely to result in their own students/alumni or some people questioning the credibility of those stats.
This has happened to EVERY program that publish numbers. The old adage is true "it's not as good or as bad as it looks".

How can it be a bad thing for prospective students to have some stats to gauge their chance of employment/expected salary, etc?
How can it be a bad thing for the numbers to be scrutinized by everyone? In the case of law schools, having misleading stats can lead to lawsuits.

I'm amused by the arguments that Ivy, famous programs don't need to publish their numbers to attract applicants. Yes, of course, they can always find people to buy on the good name. It does not mean they have an excellent placement record, or any career services support system in place at all.

At the same time, they can't answer the simple question "what happened to most graduates?". They can only points to a few data sample of successful graduates that they personally encountered or via second hand info.

What about those forgotten ones? In programs that graduated 60+ students a year, these numbers are not minor.
Too many times I go to LinkedIn and see graduates from various programs with the "I'm recently graduated from XYZ and looking for a quantitative entry level job".
I doubt they show up on any official stats.

If the programs don't keep the statistics of their graduates, what does it say about their career support services (or lack thereof)?
If the programs have statistics but don't publish it, what does it say?
This is not 2006 anymore where everyone got job. This is 2013 where the best programs have difficulty placing their graduates. These are professional programs not academic programs where your #1 objective is to get an industry job after graduation.

Lastly, can anyone give a good argument on why programs should not publish their stats?
Stats is often not the whole (or even accurate) indication but without it, how would one based their life time investment on? Dream, hope?


Psychic in Training
I think it depends on what department the program is housed in. For example, arts and sciences departments usually don´t gather that kind of thata, while business schools always do
I don't think that's it. Columbia's MFE and MSOR are in same dept. if I understand correctly. One offers a window into life after the program, the other deliberately says nothing.