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Finance major getting into mfe program

Hi all,

I needed your opinion on my current situation. I have just graduated from a state u in finance and accounting. GPA 3.81/4, finance GPA 4, some internship experience doing institutional portfolio management and corporate accounting (not bookkeeping but more analytical) I am really interested in the MFE program since I want to do algo trading. And since my school is way far from target and I am international, I could not get a job on Wall Street. So I am planning to get into MFE at next year (top rank school) while trying to gain some experience through internship and at the same time save money for school next year. (yes I am poor)

I took Calculus in my freshman/sophomore year as undeclared major. I took it in community college and my grade start from zero when I transferred. I pretty much screw everything up and got bad grades. B- for Calculus 1, C+ (retake) for Calculus 2, C+ for Calculus 3, Intro Stats B, Stats and Application B+. My math are good, I just never study and misses class which translate to poor grade.I plan to take classes as a non-degree University in new york as non-degree student. I also wanted to retake calculus.

Problem is, I plan to work (full-time/double time) while taking class and I expect I could only complete 3/4 class until december.

which should i take? (I already have the prereq for the classes, I just have bad grades)
1. calculus 1
2. calculus 2
3. calculus 3
4. linear algebra
5. differential equation

So, can I ask for your opinion and ranking based on priority.

Thanks and sorry for the extra lengthy post.
My first question is how do you know that you want to do algo trading? Algo trading is very programming/math intensive, and it sounds like you have no computer science background and only basic math classes.

You really need all 5 of the classes you listed plus more.

Unless you have some unique knowledge/experience, I don't see how you will get into a top MFE program against applicants that have more math and programming.

But I don't want you to get discouraged. I think first you really need to determine that algo trading is what you want to do for the rest of your life because it will be an uphill battle for you at this point. Go to the master reading list and read a few books on algo trading and using C++ for finance, this should help give you a better idea.

To take the classes needed to have a strong application for MFE would just about require you to get another degree, which could be done part-time. Another option for algo trading (because it is so programming intensive) is to go the computer science route (masters/phd).
Connor, thanks for the advice. I am an international student and graduate from a state school which makes it an uphill battle for me anyway. As for algo trading, you are right, maybe that is not for me right away. I am also interested in AM, derivatives and trading. And I can't work and study full time for another degree since my OPT will run out before that. I would really want to start the MFE program next year but some deadlines were on December so I dont know if it is enough time for me to get another degree while working. By the way, I am unemployed, just doing part time and internship now.

A different choice for me would be to take those classes in community college combined with university non-degree but I dont know how well community college grade would looks for MFE entrant. What do you guys think? Also, what about joining a trading arcade by paying some upfront money. (it sounds like a scam to me)

If it helps, I took a class in C-language with an A- (I am quite good in programming), I also played around with Visual Basic when I was 14 and make some stupid programs, and I learned matlab, mathematica, spss but rarely uses them. It is possible for me to get a certificate in C-language. I got CFA level 1 during my junior year. One thing I am good at is cramming, I cramed CFA in 3-4 weeks, no kidding.

As for unique experience, it might helps that I am from a lesser known emerging nation. I also did some trading and was able to double my portfolio in 4 months doing strangle and straddle during my final senior semester. As for why I am still poor, I spend more than half of my portfolio to pay for my expenses. Coming to NY, I spent less time to researching and more spending and my portfolio value doesnt change much since. To make it easier for you guys, I have included my resume.

P.S. I am not a math genius, otherwise I will be the next Bradley Cooper in Limitless
Thanks for your advice but getting a job is hard for me when every company ask "do you require sponsorship?" I really wanted to stay in US and wanna continue studying. I am thinking maybe master in economics but I still lacks the required mathematics. And I want to get into good school because I hate to not being good enough for firms to want to sponsor me