"Don't do an MFE to become a trader"

I keep reading this on this forum. I understand that the best reason to do an MFE would be for the sake of education and finding the material interesting. But in terms of GETTING IN to MFE programs:

1) The universities seem very focused on careers - application forms ask for your career goals.

2) Universities care a lot about placement once you get in.

Given these 2 points, surely you must gear your statement of purpose towards mainly talking about your professional experience/career goals, right? Or are you meant to be talking about a particular academic theory/model (say, GARCH) that has caught your interest?

I just don't get this advice that keeps being given on these forums - to forget the career side and focus on the academic side - when the universities seem to only ask about your career aspirations.

Bear in mind, I can very easily get a job in trading straight out of undergrad (indeed, a lot of my friends have and I turned down an offer at an IB), but I am going for a Masters program to further my academic knowledge. However, my statement of purpose is almost entirely based around the fact that I want to be a trader.

I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT how useful an MFE is when you're working as a trader or anything like that, I am talking about ADMISSIONS into MFE programs and how your statement of purpose should be geared.
 
I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT how useful an MFE is when you're working as a trader or anything like that, I am talking about ADMISSIONS into MFE programs and how your statement of purpose should be geared.

So tell them you want to be a trader and present some halfway convincing reasons why an MFE will assist you in becoming one, or becoming a better one. Show them you already know a bit about trading and present some plausible reasons how knowing about things like GARCH (or whatever) will either help you get a trading job or assist you as a trader (even if it's not strictly true).
 
That's exactly what I'm doing but the advice on these forums is putting me off doing that because it's making me think that the admissions tutors will think I'm naive for saying that I want to be a trader and that his program will help me.
 
That's exactly what I'm doing but the advice on these forums is putting me off doing that because it's making me think that the admissions tutors will think I'm naive for saying that I want to be a trader and that his program will help me.

If you flesh out your application with some convincing details (showing that you know what a trading job entails and that you can make connections between what will be taught and what is actually done on the trading floor) you will be making a real case for your candidacy. That's what they want to see. That you yourself -- in your heart of hearts -- might not believe it is beside the point. I concur with what Ken has said. But you are trying to present yourself in the most convincing light and this is what you must do.
 
That's exactly what I'm doing but the advice on these forums is putting me off doing that because it's making me think that the admissions tutors will think I'm naive for saying that I want to be a trader and that his program will help me.

The advice on this forum is not about applications of MFE degree for a trading position, the advice is about to be as precise as possible about your goals, how to achieve your goals, about to understand what it takes, how to recover from failures etc.
 

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
It just feels weird that you would forego a trading job to go do a Masters. Having some experience helps you realize what you need to learn as you see what people do in the real world.
 
1.) First to agree with Yike, if you are interested in LEARNING then an MFE is actually not what you want. Doing a phD and terminating at the masters level (2-3 years ) will have you learn A LOT more. MFEs are built to place students in jobs as much as they are to learn. The pace of content being thrown at you is fast to prep you for the job - its 100% tuned for learning.

2.) If you want to be a trader its fine to say so. The majority of MFE students in any school want to be traders - why play this foolish game of trying to hide what is obvious. However, do state why doing an MFE is useful to you as stated before by another poster. Like was already mentioned, perhaps you want to know derivatives at more than just a topical level. An MFE will help you there (but a phd more!).

to close, there is not a single person in my program (Berkeley) who had the chance at a BB S&T position...or i am sure they would not have applied to the MFE. Point is...peopel are trying to get to the spot you gave up through the mfe.
 
People apply for mfe for different reasons.
1.) Swayum, it is okay to gear your statement of purpose toward being a trader. That is actually what I did. keep in mind that you have to convince the admission officers that their mfe program will assist you in reaching your goal
2.) captn, are you a current student at berkely ? It is shocking to hear you say not a single person had a chance at a BB S&T.
 

mfegrad

CMU MSCF Alum
2.) If you want to be a trader its fine to say so. The majority of MFE students in any school want to be traders - why play this foolish game of trying to hide what is obvious.

and i would like a house on long beach island, one in vermont, and one on an island in the south pacific (tbd).

of course, i don't know what it's like to own property in any of these places, and i don't actually know what owning property there entails. i've heard it's glamorous, though. i can't really articulate why i want those houses, aside from "it would be nice."

and chances are i will never own those properties.

to conclude this analogy, it would probably help if i tempered my expectations (realizing that very few people own second, third, and fourth homes in those locations), did more research about owning properties in those locales, and did some more self-reflection as to why i want those houses.
 
People apply for mfe for different reasons.
1.) Swayum, it is okay to gear your statement of purpose toward being a trader. That is actually what I did. keep in mind that you have to convince the admission officers that their mfe program will assist you in reaching your goal
2.) captn, are you a current student at berkely ? It is shocking to hear you say not a single person had a chance at a BB S&T.

there are a lot of people who had chances at bb s& t @ Berkeley, but this is not my previous statement.

I said that I do not know of anyone in the program, who worked in BB S&T prior to applying to the mfe (we have some students with prior S&T experience but not at BB). I think its reasonable to assume that if you are already in BB S&T you are not likely to consider an mfe as a career move.

Note: I'm assuming anyone who had a chance at bb s&t would have accepted it instead of doing an mfe...
 

Yang_Pop

Tina.Yang
I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT how useful an MFE is when you're working as a trader or anything like that, I am talking about ADMISSIONS into MFE programs and how your statement of purpose should be geared.
I think that depends on which program you are applying to.
Some programs, such as the MFE program of Baruch College aims at preparing students with the necessary skills for working in the financial agencies as a financial engineer. So they require applicants to provide a statement of purpose with a clear career goals. However, there are some programs, which focus on the academic training, such as the MF in Columbia and Chicago, or some PHD programs. Thus, I think you could stress your academic achievements more.
 
Top