UCB MFE Hold status from Berkeley | Next steps

Hi All,

I just wanted to know what is the realistic chance of getting admitted into the program after being put on "Hold" status. I have also been asked to undertake preprogram courses in stats/Maths/C++. I am more than happy to take those but just wanted to ensure if it is a step in the right direction as its a lot of effort in terms of time and money. I would really appreciate any advice from alumni or their current student in this regard.

Thanks
 
I am neither a student nor an alumni but it sounds like this "Hold" might mean a conditional acceptance as opposed to a Waitlist? Just an idea...
 
I guess it is how you look at it. Being Waitlisted - nothing is in your hands. Being conditionally accepted - it is up to you to do well in the courses required for your admission for you to get in.
 

Kittu

UCB-MFE-2012
Sorry to say, a "HOLD" is UCBs way of saying reject(well almost). The idea behind hold, according to them, is that they keep your file for consideration later on. They go on to offer admits to some students and also draw up an unranked WL towards R3/R4. Most of the guys who get late admits(towards Feb) are the ones who move off the WL to Admit. They keep the HOLD as the last buffer, in case the WL empties without UCB filling out their class. Sadly, this rarely happens. Most of the times, people are left stranded on WLs.
I would say, it will be a good idea to make sure all your other applications are sent out in time.
 
Hi All,

I just wanted to know what is the realistic chance of getting admitted into the program after being put on "Hold" status. I have also been asked to undertake preprogram courses in stats/Maths/C++. I am more than happy to take those but just wanted to ensure if it is a step in the right direction as its a lot of effort in terms of time and money. I would really appreciate any advice from alumni or their current student in this regard.

Thanks

You might find this message useful. It is from the global derivatives and answered by someone from Haas.
http://www.global-derivatives.com/forum/index.php?topic=7409.msg45192#msg45192
 
My application was recently placed on Hold status. The letter that accompanied notification of my hold status wrote:

We advise you to complete the following:​
• The admissions committee will schedule another interview with a current student or alumnus​
• Take the preprogram courses in C++, Mathematics, and Statistics offered by our department​
• Read Crack’s Heard on the Street, Hull’s Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives, Brealey, Myers, and Allen’s Principles of Corporate Finance and Zhou’s A Practical Guide to Quantitative Finance Interviews and read the Wall Street Journal regularly​

After receiving this letter, I spoke with an administrator at their office, and they indicated that UCB intended to interview me a second time relatively soon. It would seem that it would be in my best interest to read the above books in short order.

My guess is that the Hold status in my case actually means that UCB wants to collect more information.
 
Kosta.. Since you have a second interview.. you still have a good chance..let us know how your interview goes.. If you don't mind, could you please share your profile?
 
Hey Michaelbevan, thanks for the encouragement. To be fair, I haven't actually received the interview yet, so there's a lot that can go wrong still.

I have an unusual profile for someone applying to an MFE program -- by training I am a scientist.

Education:
McGill University: BSc in Physiology, minor in Mathematics; MSc in Physiology,
University of Calgary: PhD in Medical Sciences.

I've co-authored 17 peer-reviewed academic publications. The majority of these publications utilized novel statistical analysis, novel time-series analyses and/or novel mathematical models.

GRE:
Quantitative - 780, Verbal - 680, AWA - 5.5
I am a CFA Level II candidate

Work Experience:
Presently running a small investment fund employing bespoke statistical arbitrage strategies of my own design.
Spent a year as a statistician at a company building medical diagnostic devices.
Spent 5 years in environmental risk assessment where I would quantify environmental impacts, then estimate present- and future-day concentrations using mathematical models, and then estimate future-day risk from these results.

Recommenders:
Two glowing letters from professors from my grad school days, and a solid letter from my last boss (medical diagnostic device).

My strengths have to be my demonstrated creative capabilities evidenced by my publication record as well as my proven ability to apply quantitative approaches in multiple fields. My major weakness is that I have no experience in finance. Also, it have been quite a while since I've taken a course in mathematics. While I can model, as well as run packages like Matlab, R and Excel, I may be a little rusty in deriving equations, solving differential equations or integrating formulas.
 
Hey Michaelbevan, thanks for the encouragement. To be fair, I haven't actually received the interview yet, so there's a lot that can go wrong still.

I have an unusual profile for someone applying to an MFE program -- by training I am a scientist.

Education:
McGill University: BSc in Physiology, minor in Mathematics; MSc in Physiology,
University of Calgary: PhD in Medical Sciences.

I've co-authored 17 peer-reviewed academic publications. The majority of these publications utilized novel statistical analysis, novel time-series analyses and/or novel mathematical models.

GRE:
Quantitative - 780, Verbal - 680, AWA - 5.5
I am a CFA Level II candidate

Work Experience:
Presently running a small investment fund employing bespoke statistical arbitrage strategies of my own design.
Spent a year as a statistician at a company building medical diagnostic devices.
Spent 5 years in environmental risk assessment where I would quantify environmental impacts, then estimate present- and future-day concentrations using mathematical models, and then estimate future-day risk from these results.

Recommenders:
Two glowing letters from professors from my grad school days, and a solid letter from my last boss (medical diagnostic device).

My strengths have to be my demonstrated creative capabilities evidenced by my publication record as well as my proven ability to apply quantitative approaches in multiple fields. My major weakness is that I have no experience in finance. Also, it have been quite a while since I've taken a course in mathematics. While I can model, as well as run packages like Matlab, R and Excel, I may be a little rusty in deriving equations, solving differential equations or integrating formulas.

Your background seems excellent for UCB : Phd, relevant work experience (statistics + investment fund), research, etc.
I guess the applicants pool is really strong this year.
 
Thanks for the encouragement Moumou and Michaelbevan. But to be fair, I must really downplay my investment experience. My present position is with a very small private issue, and only started a few months ago. So while I applied to many schools this past year, I did not place that job experience on my CV in the majority of my applications.

I applied to Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, CMU, NYU, University of Chicago, University of Toronto, Berkeley and USC (MF). I haven't heard back from USC, I've been accepted to the University of Chicago, and I am waiting for a second interview from UCB.

About Berkeley, I applied to their school in R4 of last year. I received an interview, which I did poorly in.
 
Sorry to say, a "HOLD" is UCBs way of saying reject(well almost). The idea behind hold, according to them, is that they keep your file for consideration later on. They go on to offer admits to some students and also draw up an unranked WL towards R3/R4. Most of the guys who get late admits(towards Feb) are the ones who move off the WL to Admit. They keep the HOLD as the last buffer, in case the WL empties without UCB filling out their class. Sadly, this rarely happens. Most of the times, people are left stranded on WLs.
I would say, it will be a good idea to make sure all your other applications are sent out in time.

Hi Kittu, where did you hear this from?
Based on what I've read so far it seems like those on HOLD are not very much different from those on WL.
By the way I just joined the HOLD club in R3.
 

Kittu

UCB-MFE-2012
I would say that from personal experience, I can say that. This year things might have changed as many ppl have started reporting getting converted from HOLD. But, in my opinion, WLs come before Holds. Good luck to you.
 
Hi All,​
I just wanted to know the chance of getting admitted into the program after being put on "Hold" status. I have also been asked to undertake preprogram courses in stats/Maths/C++. I haven't received an invitation for an interview, does this mean something to you? Can you advice me please.​
Thanks​
 
From my experience, UCB will give you some tasks (including taking their pre-program courses) to fulfill when putting you in the Hold status. And from time to time, they will collect updates from you on those tasks and at the same time will add some more tasks to fulfill (still saying that there is no guarantee when you fulfill all these old and new tasks blablabla...). In a word, I don't think UCB thinks much of the time and efforts of applicants. In my view, it's not worth it to continue if you are in the Hold status.
 
From my experience, UCB will give you some tasks (including taking their pre-program courses) to fulfill when putting you in the Hold status. And from time to time, they will collect updates from you on those tasks and at the same time will add some more tasks to fulfill (still saying that there is no guarantee when you fulfill all these old and new tasks blablabla...). In a word, I don't think UCB thinks much of the time and efforts of applicants. In my view, it's not worth it to continue if you are in the Hold status.
What do you recommend me to do?
 
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