Greetings from Alex Wang and My First Question

Alex Wang

New Member
I am a prospective student of Baruch MFE 2008 class and the following is my profile:

Alex Wang

Renmin University of China

(No.1 Theoretic and Applied Econ. Dept. in China, No.1 Financial Engineering program in China, most respected Database and Knowledge Engineering researches in China)

B. Econ. in Financial Engineering
, GPA: 3.78 with Math GPA: 3.97 (Expected in July)
B. Eng. in Computer Science, GPA: 4.00 (Expected in July)

Courses included:

Math&Stat: Math Analysis I/II/III, Advanced Algebra I/II, Differential Equations, Probability Theory, Statistics, Stochastic Processes, Discrete Math I/II, Econometrics, Financial Econometrics, Financial Math, Math Programming (Audited), Real Analysis (Audited), Engineering Math(Audited)
Finance&Econ.: Micro/Macro/International Econ., Accounting I/II, Corporate Finance, M&A, Venture Capital, Investment, Money and Banking, International Finance, Derivatives, Risk Management, Fixed Income Securities, blablabla.
Computer Science: Data Processing, Data Structures, Database Systems, OOP, Software Engineering, Operating Systems, etc.
Languages: C/C++, Java, PL/SQL, Perl, XML, Unix, Matlab, S-Plus

Designations:
PRMIA Certified Professional Risk Manager (Elite Group Member and perfect Math score)
CFA Level I Candidate (Expected in June; Planning to finish three levels during the MFE study)
Sun Certified Java Programmer Candidate(Coming soon)
CAIA (a little bit expensive, want to pick it up after being hired to get someone to reimburse it):D

W/E:
Financial Analyst Intern in a top investment bank in China;
System Developer Intern in a top energy firm in China;
To be continued...

Ambition:
Get admitted by a major MFE program and join a trading desk as desk quant/ structurer / quant trader, and proceed into the hedge fund industry after several year.

Thank you for reading!

I got a lot of info from the Baruch MFE program course descriptions and the Quantnet but I also want to know your idea about the skills acquired from the MFE program.

Can you guys talk about the skill sets acquired from this program from aspects of Math, Finance and CS and these skills can help you land on what kind of positions?

What in extra should I do in this program to make myself to become the right person (PhD-like student as Mr. Stefanica mentioned) to break into the front desk?


Any answer is welcomed and thank you all!:tiphat:
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Hi Alex,

It seems that you haven't even graduated yet and you are a candidate to a lot of certificates. Being a candidate won't buy you anything. Mentioning that you are a candidate in so many things is as good as me saying I'm a future billionaire.

I think you should graduate first, make sure the candidacy in all those professional certificates become reality and hit the job market.

If you are looking to an MFE to have a US education, that's another matter all together but you should tone down the rethoric. It comes across kind of arrogant if it is not real yet. If I'm an employer and I see those credentials and all the claims you are making of candidacy to everything, I won't hire you because I would think that you wouldn't fit in my team. Jobs in a quant group are also related to how well you interact with your peers.
 

dstefan

Baruch MFE Director
> What in extra should I do in this program to make myself to become the right person (PhD-like student as Mr. Stefanica mentioned) to break into the front desk?

You should find an interesting project and a person (advisor) to work with on that project, and do research-type work, which mimics the thinking process of a person working toward a PhD. After all, this is what having a PhD in a hard science means to hiring managers on Wall Street: that you have the ability and experience to do original, independent research.
 

Alex Wang

New Member
Thank you for your comments.

I personally view these candidacies as a kind of ambition and motivation. Every time I become a candidate, I turn it into reality.

I'm sorry that it may convey some kind of arrogance. I just pasted most info from the application materials where one's academic / professional credentials and motivations are very important. And I get along with my peers very well :)
 

Alex Wang

New Member
That will be very nice if I can follow some research projects in financial engineering. Can someone talk more about this? Thank you~
 

Muting

Member
Hi,

In Baruch, we have quite a lot of opportunities to do that. Now we are doing a project on algorithm trading under the mentor of Prof. Donefer. Besides, you will have opportunities to work out some projects with our alumni who already worked in the industry. Finally, some of our faculty are working in the industry and they will also bring some projects on the table.

Dont worry. We will keep you busy : P
 

Alex Wang

New Member
Hi,

In Baruch, we have quite a lot of opportunities to do that. Now we are doing a project on algorithm trading under the mentor of Prof. Donefer. Besides, you will have opportunities to work out some projects with our alumni who already worked in the industry. Finally, some of our faculty are working in the industry and they will also bring some projects on the table.

Dont worry. We will keep you busy : P
Sounds Great!

I think it is what LOCATION ADVANTAGES mean.

And glad to see you here, Muting. I read some posts by you on ChaseDream, very helpful ;)
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
And glad to see you here, Muting. I read some posts by you on ChaseDream, very helpful ;)
Interesting. I wish I can read Chinese to understand what Muting posts over there :D

By the way, when you post your profile, instead of saying "Work for top investment bank", just say "Work for ABC". "Top" is objective.

You seem to have plenty of skills. What is your unique strength ? Which is the strongest skills, etc ?

Why do you want to get into hedge fund after working on a trading desk ? What product you want to work ? Do you plan to go back to China after X years working on Wall street ?

How would you describe your personal traits ?
 

Muting

Member
I think it is what LOCATION ADVANTAGES mean.

And glad to see you here, Muting. I read some posts by you on ChaseDream, very helpful ;)
Glad to hear that my post helps you. You have strong programming background. I think this program will fit you very well. Looking forward to seeing you in this summer.

By the way, I am curious about this: How do you know that is my post in Chasedream......
 

Muting

Member
Andy:

Even I use Chinese, a computer geek like you can still turn it to what you can read ;)
 

Alex Wang

New Member
By the way, when you post your profile, instead of saying "Work for top investment bank", just say "Work for ABC". "Top" is objective.
Yes, good advice.

You seem to have plenty of skills. What is your unique strength ? Which is the strongest skills, etc ?
I try to acquire different skills in math, finance and computer science like crazy from day one in my undergraduate years. I got a good math foundation for MFE study; I covered more than half of the CFA curriculum; and I programmed a lot. My philosophy is what makes one excel on the job market is not what specific skills (like using C++ to solve high-order PDEs) he/she possesses (and that can help one to lose one's job when those specific skills go out-dated), but is the integrated understandings and skills of math, finance and computer science. I know I need some unique strength to hit the job market. But can I define the comprehensiveness as a strength? Any comments?

Why do you want to get into hedge fund after working on a trading desk ? What product you want to work ? Do you plan to go back to China after X years working on Wall street ?
Well... It is because the different lifestyles of sell side and buy side. Working hours seems reasonable on the buy side when you are in your late 30s or 40s.

Products? Flexible. interest rate derivatives, credit derivatives, exotic options, hybrid, etc. I believe what young age really means is that I can try different desks and find which one I best fit in. Any comments?

Not decided yet, may go back to Hong Kong in my thirties.

How would you describe your personal traits ?
Big question. Fast learning + Reflective + Intuitive + Motivated + ...

Thank Andy for these interesting and inspiring questions.;)
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
I believe the following are valid (potentially important) questions to ask

What other programs have you applied to ? What interests you about Baruch program ?
If admitted into Baruch and say others, how you would decide which to join ?

And these are asked by Dominic which I think interesting
What sort of things do you enjoy doing ? and what do you hate ?
What subset of your skills do you feel are considerably ahead of your peers ? What things do you avoid, or only get through by hard work ?
 

dstefan

Baruch MFE Director
Actually, the thread is meant to answer Alex's questions about the Baruch MFE Program, so, Alex, you should not feel like you need to answer Andy's questions above about the other places you applied to :)
 

Alex Wang

New Member
;););)

Hi Andy,

For the first question I think talking with people in each program (director, students and alumni) is the key to get first-hand info and to make informed decision.

Dominic's questions are really important but hard to answer, because the loves and hates can shift from time to time. As for me, I wished myself can be a computer expert one day in my childhood while I was fascinated by the physics in my high school. But Mankiw's Principles of Economics guided me into the world of econ and finance and strongly influenced my selection of my major. But at least, I am always comfortable with coding, dealing with math formula and trading in the volatile markets. And that may partially explain why I am seeking an advanced training in Financial Engineering.

From my limited knowledge, you are someone with more than excellent math and cs background and want to do structured finance after graduation. I believe you do have far more choices. Can you share with us how did you choose this specific one, say structured finance?

And what do you feel most excited about Baruch MFE if you like to answer?:)
 

Yan He

Member
Alex, your claimed candidacies and skills should prepare you a strong prospective students for MFE programs. Good luck! Since most of the applicants to Baruch program are from some kind of "top"s, if you submitted applications to Baruch already, I bet you will face very strong competitors.

As for the question "what do you feel most excited about Baruch MFE ". I think every student, alum has their own answer for you. For me, Baruch MFE gave me the most precious chances to learn, and a group of great peer students, alum and professor, whom I can always resort to when I have any kind of question, when I neen help at work, in job-hunting, in need of someone to hang out in Chinatown or a bar :)

You will see how dedicating the faculties and staffs, and the alum in helping placing, doing project, you will like the relations and interactions among peoples here. Just put yourself as nobody and learn as much as you can !


Good luck and welcome !
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
Talking to the current students is definitely the best way to make an informed decision.
When I was applying to Baruch back in 2006, I scouted the net relentlessly to find anything/anyone with the info about this program. I happened to find John, a current student at that time. Through him, I learned many many things about who/what/how of this program.

I have to say that John has played an very important part in my decision to join Baruch. I haven't regretted a bit ;)

As a result, we like to give our prospective students the same opportunity that the previous cohorts gave us. I know many of my friends at other programs are still kicking themselves because they went to other programs for the wrong reasons.

Now back to your question. Obviously, you read my profile. I wrote that back when I was a fresh faced newbie to the program with wide eyes and dreams of changing the world ;)

I admit that I had no idea what structured finance is then. But it was a hot wagon that people seem to jump in every day. Remember back in 2006, CDO is a sexy word.

So without knowing anything specific, I just put structured finance because it is broad enough and I was so sure I would do something in structured finance.

As I learn a bit in the program, talk to our alumni, I just learn that it is a big world out there. Taking class with the renowned Dr. Sylvain Raynes helped a great deal with the world of structured finance.

When I went to interviews for my current job, I was presented with different opportunities such as SF, fixed income research, asset management, trading and I end up in trading. I think it fits what I like to do and my strength the best.

What I like best about the Baruch program ?
Where do I begin ? :D

I like it because the people are friendly and caring. I have the absolute best group of people in my year (no offense to previous or current cohorts ;)

When I joined Baruch in 06, we have a small and relatively unknown program so it's always been our mentality that we are the underdogs. We worked extremely hard, studied together through sweat and tears. Through it all, we bonded together as a big family. It's the closeness of everyone in the program makes us a very, very special group.

Some may argue that our program has become one of the top programs now. It may be the case but I believe we still have the same underdog mentality that we have to work very hard to earn what we deserve. We don't have any slight thought of "entitlement". Nothing is taken for granted. Being in our program is a privilege, not a right.

Also, being in a small program gives students a lot of input in how we take our Baruch MFE brand name to the new level. It's unbelievable how much you can do in our program. The administrators are 100% behind the drive to make MFE the flagship program of the whole college.

Quantnet is the best example of what you can do at Baruch. It's a student project that many of our students, faculty help growing to become such a success.

Do you know that Quantnet is also the study portal for our students ? Homework, discussion, feedback are all held here. It's absolutely the best study tool that I've seen from any program.

At the end of the day, joining an MFE program is a decision that everyone has to make differently. There are plenty of programs out there that welcome your hard earned money.

We all compete for the best possible candidates. We demand our incoming students to be hard working and accept nothing less than 100% effort from everyone.

Where would you want to study also depends on your expectation. Have a real expectation of what you want to achieve and see which best provides the tools and path. Do not expect going to an Ivy and pay 60K-90K will automatically warranty a high paying job. Or a job if any.

I've seen many of my friends blindsided by the lure of brand name. Sure, it looks good on your resume but what good is it if it doesn't get you a job or it doesn't prepare you well for a job. It's really difficult coming from another country, taking 60K loan and not having a job at the end. It's a big financial decision that you have to make carefully.

My expectation going into the Baruch program is that it will get me a job. The very affordable tuition at Baruch is a godsend. Education is a product and as a paid consumer of Baruch MFE program, I'm very satisfied.

These are my own opinion and in no way represent Baruch's opinion ;)

I hope this provides you much needed input when you evaluate different programs. I hope you find values where many overlook. I hope you avoid traps in which many fall.

And best of luck with your quest for MFE education.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
Talking to the current students is definitely the best way to make an informed decision.
When I was applying to Baruch back in 2006, I scouted the net relentlessly to find anything/anyone with the info about this program. I happened to find John, a current student at that time. Through him, I learned many many things about who/what/how of this program.

I have to say that John has played an very important part in my decision to join Baruch. I haven't regretted a bit ;)

As a result, we like to give our prospective students the same opportunity that the previous cohorts gave us. I know many of my friends at other programs are still kicking themselves because they went to other programs for the wrong reasons.

Now back to your question. Obviously, you read my profile. I wrote that back when I was a fresh faced newbie to the program with wide eyes and dreams of changing the world ;)

I admit that I had no idea what structured finance is then. But it was a hot wagon that people seem to jump in every day. Remember back in 2006, CDO is a sexy word.

So without knowing anything specific, I just put structured finance because it is broad enough and I was so sure I would do something in structured finance.

As I learn a bit in the program, talk to our alumni, I just learn that it is a big world out there. Taking class with the renowned Dr. Sylvain Raynes helped a great deal with the world of structured finance.

When I went to interviews for my current job, I was presented with different opportunities such as SF, fixed income research, asset management, trading and I end up in trading. I think it fits what I like to do and my strength the best.

What I like best about the Baruch program ?
Where do I begin ? :D

I like it because the people are friendly and caring. I have the absolute best group of people in my year (no offense to previous or current cohorts ;)

When I joined Baruch in 06, we have a small and relatively unknown program so it's always been our mentality that we are the underdogs. We worked extremely hard, studied together through sweat and tears. Through it all, we bonded together as a big family. It's the closeness of everyone in the program makes us a very, very special group.

Some may argue that our program has become one of the top programs now. It may be the case but I believe we still have the same underdog mentality that we have to work very hard to earn what we deserve. We don't have any slight thought of "entitlement". Nothing is taken for granted. Being in our program is a privilege, not a right.

Also, being in a small program gives students a lot of input in how we take our Baruch MFE brand name to the new level. It's unbelievable how much you can do in our program. The administrators are 100% behind the drive to make MFE the flagship program of the whole college.

Quantnet is the best example of what you can do at Baruch. It's a student project that many of our students, faculty help growing to become such a success.

Do you know that Quantnet is also the study portal for our students ? Homework, discussion, feedback are all held here. It's absolutely the best study tool that I've seen from any program.

At the end of the day, joining an MFE program is a decision that everyone has to make differently. There are plenty of programs out there that welcome your hard earned money.

We all compete for the best possible candidates. We demand our incoming students to be hard working and accept nothing less than 100% effort from everyone.

Where would you want to study also depends on your expectation. Have a real expectation of what you want to achieve and see which best provides the tools and path. Do not expect going to an Ivy and pay 60K-90K will automatically warranty a high paying job. Or a job if any.

I've seen many of my friends blindsided by the lure of brand name. Sure, it looks good on your resume but what good is it if it doesn't get you a job or it doesn't prepare you well for a job. It's really difficult coming from another country, taking 60K loan and not having a job at the end. It's a big financial decision that you have to make carefully.

My expectation going into the Baruch program is that it will get me a job. The very affordable tuition at Baruch is a godsend. Education is a product and as a paid consumer of Baruch MFE program, I'm very satisfied.

These are my own opinion and in no way represent Baruch's opinion ;)

I hope this provides you much needed input when you evaluate different programs. I hope you find values where many overlook. I hope you avoid traps in which many fall.

And best of luck with your quest for MFE education.
AMEN BROTHER!!!!
 
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