DISCUSSION on second rated MFE programs

Yuriy

MFE Alum
But who is better

Kent State or Illinois Institute of technology ( Stuart school of business)

Thanks guys,
I appreciate the help


I could probably take a look at those schools if you provide links to programs' websites. That way I'll let you know my opinion about their courses in general. Of course, I don't know anything about their placement, reputation, etc.
 
To Alain,

You don't have to give out random advice to people. That is the worst thing you can do. People like me come here for advice and if you do not want to help people then kindly don't mislead them.

You have to understand that while deciding colleges people like to listen to all the opinions that any body has and more information always helps. I know you guys are the senior members of this forum..that is why people ask for your opinions.

Andy never mocks anybody and is always there to provide useful information to everybody.




You know what, I might start to give random advice about schools and maybe, just maybe, people will stop asking those silly questions.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
I'm sure you have been reading the forum for some time, right? Then, you probably notice that we can't give any type of advice regarding any school besides Baruch.

From my point of view, the issue here is that I don't want QN to become another Global Derivative but a place where discussion and professional advice (finance related, work specific, etc) are the main concern. Any topic that reads like "Eval my profile", "where school should I go?", "should I take this job?", etc, shouldn't have place in this forum because everybody is different and they will look at the world with a different set of eyes. Maybe I'm older and I see everything from a different stand point but that is just my opinion.

Believe me, Andy won't ever give you advice regarding which school to go besides Baruch (we share the same opinion regarding this) . That decision should be only yours so in case you don't like it, you don't blame somebody else for it. Again, as long as you are good (and a little bit of luck), it really won't matter which school you go or which program you attend. This only applies to this field though. It might be different in other fields (I know it is really different in Law and MBAs).
 
UCLA had another MFE information session on Tuesday, and my friend told me it was pretty well attended with about 50 people there. They are supposed to have a NYC session soon, but nothing his posted on their website yet. I am interested to hear their pitch.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Sofitel

44 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036
7:00pm-8:30pm

Since you are interested in the NYC session, why don't you go to this one, take a few pictures and report back here. If I remember the date, I may even go to this event to hear their sell pitch. I probably have a few good questions to ask.

By the way, when I sign up for the event, there is a question that how I learn about the UCLA MFE program, here are the choices
  • UCLA Anderson website
  • Email blast
  • Global Derivatives
  • Wilmott
  • QuantNetwork
  • International Associations of Financial Engineers (IAFE)
  • PRMIA
  • Google/Yahoo search
  • Referred by UCLA student/alum/faculty/admin
  • Others
So it's clear that the people at UCLA is aware of the existence of a thorough discussion of their program in this thread thank to me ;)
I'm sure their are monitoring this thread closely as well as anything about UCLA on Wimott and GD. As far as I know, every discussion about UCLA on Wilmott and GD or any other forum all points to this thread so Quantnet is the biggest source they have. I think UCLA should consider buying ads on Quantnet :)
 
I added information to the Wiki about Stevens, its mostly available in the course catalog and around the web site. Having been here four years gives me some experience with their mess of a site.

The FE major recently moved from the Math Department (in the school of Science & Engineering) to its own department (as far as I can tell) under the School of Systems and Enterprises.

I am yet to take my first FE class here, but I hear from a friend that took the first course (Stochastic Calculus for Financial Engineers), that it was pretty bad (taught in person by Khashanah). Hopefully I will find that to be untrue, when I take it this summer.
 
First off, I want to say that I don't have inside/first hand/second hand info about the Kent program. I haven't visited their website until now. Everything I said is directly from their website, poster. I don't have first hand info about any other program either.

Most programs will define it as a process where students compete for and gain a short term (3 months) full time job during summer with pay. Other programs may just define it as a assigned project. I think Fordham and Kent are in this second group.
This is directly from their resume pdf book


Are you only interested in a mid and back office job ? You don't want a front office, trading job ?

Few programs have a trading floor with live data where students can use. Baruch has a full-fledged trading floor with 40 trading terminals. It has been used for real trading by some firm after 9/11.
http://zicklin.baruch.cuny.edu/centers/subotnick/
Any Baruch student can use it but they are not allowed to do personal trading.

I don't have any opinion about it except that i read many posts where people seem to say that it accepts almost everyone and gives out generous tuition waiver. Is it good or bad, I don't know.

Somebody from another board asked me to post this here:
Re: Kent MSFE
fair enough. Since nobody knows anything about the Kent program here, the program does not keep track of the stats, maybe you can help the potential people who consider going there.

What do you like and dislike about the Kent program? How the current market affects the students there?
Likes: despite the age of the trading floor computers, there is a lot of really useful software like Retuers, X-trader, CQG, etc. Maybe all programs have this. I don't really know. Also, lots of guest speakers come, so that's educational and a good way to make industry contacts. The academics, I think, are quite good. The Derivatives I and II courses are quite good. So is the time series class. Fixed Income is good too.

Dislikes: you get the shaft with internships. The administration is very poor. We were told not to look for internships on our own, that they'd be found for us. Well, some people don't have internships, and the ones that do, aren't at banks or hedge funds. Also, the math classes are really theoretical--we never get to see how it ties in. I took stochastic processes and financial math and don't really know anything about it or how the models work. This isn't just me, but pretty much everybody in the class. I think a lot of people don't think too favorably of the program anymore. We used to place lots of people at Key Bank, but none this year. Maybe this is just the nature of the market.

There a lots of foreign students here this year, so we have a hard time looking for jobs, given the market. Most people haven't started to look for jobs too aggressively. Classes just ended last week and now we're on internships, getting adjusted.

The program has a lot to offer, but be prepared to be frustrated with the administration and some of the professors. (Some grade quite hard for a graduate program.) The jobs just aren't there. I don't know anybody who made 150k first year out. That's kind of an inside joke among the students.

Knowing what I know now, I would not go into the program again. Given the difficulty with internships, and the current market, I'm not confident that my degree is going to help too much.


-------------------end of quote from other place.

Also, I should mention here that Andy's quote about the internship lifted from the resume book about Kent State is for a graduate assitantship, not an internship, and that there is a basic misunderstanding about the way the semesters and internships work.
 
Hi chooseroption,
Thanks for joining and posting about Kent program.
One small clarification about the trading floor issue. Not every program has a real trading floor. Baruch has one and it has all the latest software: Bloomberg, Reuters, TradeStation, NASDAQ Head Trader, Quick Quant, Market Simulator, Barra Aegis, Lindo, Trader Game, etc
http://zicklin.baruch.cuny.edu/centers/subotnick/about/resources.html/

As I said before, I don't have info about the Kent program and only respond when specially asked. I would rather have someone with first hand info to respond to these queries. I hope you can provide the needed info instead of outsiders like me who can unintentionally mislead people.
It's interesting to hear that "We were told not to look for internships on our own, that they'd be found for us" and "The administration is very poor"
Can you please elaborate on that?
 
Hi Chooseroption,

Thanks for posting about the Kent MSFE program.

I have a few concerns since I am trying to go there-

1) Does every student get an internship.
2) If you are able to find an internship that the school did not find for you , are you allowed to do that ?

3) If you guys are just starting internships, then should you not wait till the end of the internship period to get the full time jobs....maybe the company you are interning with will keep you .

4) I am an international student too( did my undergraduate from the the US in computer engineering so finding a full time job isvery important for me. How are you guys trying to find the jobs??

Any information about the Kent program will be greatly appreciated.

-Regards
 
Hi chooseroption,
Thanks for joining and posting about Kent program.
One small clarification about the trading floor issue. Not every program has a real trading floor. Baruch has one and it has all the latest software: Bloomberg, Reuters, TradeStation, NASDAQ Head Trader, Quick Quant, Market Simulator, Barra Aegis, Lindo, Trader Game, etc
http://zicklin.baruch.cuny.edu/centers/subotnick/about/resources.html/

As I said before, I don't have info about the Kent program and only respond when specially asked. I would rather have someone with first hand info to respond to these queries. I hope you can provide the needed info instead of outsiders like me who can unintentionally mislead people.
It's interesting to hear that "We were told not to look for internships on our own, that they'd be found for us" and "The administration is very poor"
Can you please elaborate on that?

Well, that's just what we were told, "oh, don't worry about internships, we'll find them for you." Even one week now into internships, some people still do not have internships. Also, some people wanted to go to the IAFE or whatever career fair at NYU in October 2007 and program director told us that if we go, he wanted a list of employers there so that we would not be considered again for internships with these firms through the KSU resume book.

"The administration is very poor:" the program adminstrator: whenever you ask her about internships, she says, "don't ask me about internships, we're working on it." There is no defined method or program for assigning internships, and quite honestly, it seems like it's a low priority task for the administration. IN the spring, new applicants are coming in and it's more of a concern to get their money--they already have ours.

Also, it's hard to build any trust or a real relationship with the program administrators b/c they just want students money and are not really too concerned with what happens to the students. It's funny, one day the program director says something like, I went to Dubai, and it's great, they have internships. Then he went around and asked everybody indiividually if they'd like to go to Dubai for internships. For our internships, some are at Chicago, one in NYC and some in Kent and some in Kent w/o internship. They're just clowns here.
 
Hi Chooseroption,

Thanks for posting about the Kent MSFE program.

I have a few concerns since I am trying to go there-

1) Does every student get an internship.
--As of right now, 2 of 10 students do not have an internship. 2 are at KSU investment fund. Others have an internships in Chciago or NYC.
2) If you are able to find an internship that the school did not find for you , are you allowed to do that ?
--Yes, you are allowed. And this is what you should do. Apply early and often. This is the best advice I can give you if you choose to go there. The only problem is that there are 15 credit hours in fall semester and there's really not much time to do anything except study for the tests. This is unfortunate.

3) If you guys are just starting internships, then should you not wait till the end of the internship period to get the full time jobs....maybe the company you are interning with will keep you .
--True. Maybe we'll get hired by internship firms. But the best thing to do is just to apply to lots of companies right now for us. Who knows if they'll get a job offer from place of internship. Too risky to put all eggs in one basket. Better to apply right now.

4) I am an international student too( did my undergraduate from the the US in computer engineering so finding a full time job is very important for me. How are you guys trying to find the jobs??
--Mostly hitting up contacts, applying through the web. We don't have any "ins" with anybody through the program, except those gained through the internship. This is where an extensive and supportive alumni network would come in great handy, but, as posted on GD, KSU MSFE doesn't have this, and that's mostly due to the ineptitude of the administration.
 
Based on a personal message, I want to add that I wish somebody in previous KSU MSFE classes would have come on here or elsewhere and posted more candid remarks, so that future students don't have to endure the hardships of realizing false promises.

There is no real opportunity for students to express their ill feelings. I.e., the program director teaches a class during the fall semester, so obviously you don't want to hurt your grade. Then, during the spring semester, you want to keep up positive relations and make a good impression in hopes of getting a good internship. Then, if this doesn't happen, the program director still grades your internship presentation and report, so you don't really get a chance to express how you really feel until it's too late and nobody cares. It's my impression that this is by design rather than accident. Now, you're out 30k, and kind of pissed and up the creek without a paddle. It's too bad it's like this. I've taken measures (internally) to try to ensure that it's not like this for future classes b/c everybody else (professors mostly) involved in the program takes a lot of pride in his or her job and works hard to do what he/she needs to do.
 
Good posts, chooseroption.
Hard to find someone with the courage to speak out for the good of their own program. Constructive suggestions should be valued by anyone who is serious about their own program, be it students or faculty, administrators.

Your posts really surprised me. I haven't come across any negative review on Kent. No, I haven't come across any substantial piece of info. All I read is Kent is a good engineering school so the FE program must be good. That's what all the prospective students keep saying to each others.

Now back to your post about the weird relationship between the students and the administrators there. Did the students try to speak out to the faculty and tell them what is not working, what should been done?
I think it's America and as paying customers, you should have more say in what you pay for? If it's not worth your money, you can complain. NO?
 
This is really an eye opener about the Kent program. But do you think that they deserve some good points because they do find internships for their students?

I mean .... I haven't heard of any program that does that....so at least they are helping students get their foot in the door somehow.

Also can you tell us what kind of companies did the previous students intern with....any big names???
 
This is really an eye opener about the Kent program. But do you think that they deserve some good points because they do find internships for their students?

I mean .... I haven't heard of any program that does that....so at least they are helping students get their foot in the door somehow.

Also can you tell us what kind of companies did the previous students intern with....any big names???


That's true. I guess they deserve some points for getting their students internships. Well, the list is on the website. I can't help but think that an ambitious student would be better off looking for one on his or her own.
 
Good posts, chooseroption.
Hard to find someone with the courage to speak out for the good of their own program. Constructive suggestions should be valued by anyone who is serious about their own program, be it students or faculty, administrators.

Your posts really surprised me. I haven't come across any negative review on Kent. No, I haven't come across any substantial piece of info. All I read is Kent is a good engineering school so the FE program must be good. That's what all the prospective students keep saying to each others.
--I don't think Kent has an undergraduate engineering degree, or masters, for that matter. Perhaps they're confusing Kent and Akron, the latter of which is a solid engineering school.
Now back to your post about the weird relationship between the students and the administrators there. Did the students try to speak out to the faculty and tell them what is not working, what should been done?
I think it's America and as paying customers, you should have more say in what you pay for? If it's not worth your money, you can complain. NO?
--You're exactly right but it's too risky (internship risk, grade risk, reputation risk) and everybody feels that it would fall on deaf ears. So there's not much upside. It's funny, when an undergrad, I used to think academia was great, so objective and clear sighted, unlike the real world. Now I think in some senses it's worse than the real world. At least at most companies, there's a human resources manager that can sort things out if there's a problem with your immediate supervisor. I'm not going to comment on this anymore. It is what is. And though I'm the only poster here about these matter, I'm not alone in my feelings. Come to Kent in the fall and see if you want.
 
And though I'm the only poster here about these matter, I'm not alone in my feelings.

I've read your posts with interest and appreciation and though it will be scant consolation, there are a number of worthless financial engineering programs at American universities just like your own. The directors of these programs are accountable in theory but in reality there's no way of obtaining redress or making legitimate complaints heard and acted on.
 

MidasCFA

Rutgers MSMF Quantneter
awesome thread.
the insights you offered into the quality of Kent program will keep everybody in the right perspective when they enter their own program. I know it definitely will help me keep an eye out on for the potential nastinesss and kind of things my school will do as I go there. (rutgers msmf)

kudos for standing up for yourself!:dance:
 
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