Joining MFE during Covid-19 pandemic

Rachit Tripathi

New Member
Hi,

Since most MFE program usually start in August-September. It is not clear that student would be able to join any of the programs. There are travel restrictions and visa issues for everyone. Also this is quite big recession. Is it good decision to join MFE at this stage ?

PS: I got an admit from UCB MFE. It will start in March 2021. Visa and travel restrictions issues would be sorted by then. Recession and unable to find job after this is my key concern.

Regards,
Rachit
 

Hemaang Kotta

New Member
Rachit,

I think the recession would end by Dec 2021 max. I think you should accept the offer from UC Berkeley as you'll finish graduation by March 2022.
You might find difficulties in finding internships though.

Just my 2 cents. I might be completely wrong in predicting recession period here.
 

bigbadwolf

Well-Known Member
Recession and unable to find job after this is my key concern.
The concern is well-founded. We're not going back to the pre-corona world. It will be a different landscape, and probably bleaker. Here's some recent analysis by Gail Tverberg:

 

Rachit Tripathi

New Member
Rachit,

I think the recession would end by Dec 2021 max. I think you should accept the offer from UC Berkeley as you'll finish graduation by March 2022.
You might find difficulties in finding internships though.

Just my 2 cents. I might be completely wrong in predicting recession period here.
Situation will become clear in next few months and lets hope everything goes back to normal again. I want to know about other students entering MFE in august this year ?
 
I am still accepting my offer. I would rather be in school for the next year and potentially struggle to find an internship than stay in the workforce and delay my career progression out of fear. Reach out to the school you planned to attend and ask for internship/fulltime statistics during 2007-2009, maybe that will help you make a decision.
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
Ideally, the school would let you defer your admission without losing any deposit if you are not able to secure visa or travel due to government restriction. At this time, answers are hard to come by as many states, schools, businesses are closed with expectation to be closed for several more months.
Those that joining in Fall 2020 would be in difficult situation as they need to arrange for visa, travel by the summer which is 2 months away.
I believe all businesses will be greatly affected after this is over. Many people would lose their jobs. It would be very hard for graduate of 2021, 2022, much more than those graduated during the 2008 financial meltdown.
 
Ideally, the school would let you defer your admission without losing any deposit if you are not able to secure visa or travel due to government restriction.
From the recent online Q&A with Columbia Engineering I can confirm that this is indeed their official stance right now. If you can't go due to visa rejection or travel restrictions (either on the US side or the origin country side, wherever you're from) they will defer your admission to Fall 2021.

I believe all businesses will be greatly affected after this is over. Many people would lose their jobs. It would be very hard for graduate of 2021, 2022, much more than those graduated during the 2008 financial meltdown.
Thanks for your opinion on the matter.
 
Ideally, the school would let you defer your admission without losing any deposit if you are not able to secure visa or travel due to government restriction. At this time, answers are hard to come by as many states, schools, businesses are closed with expectation to be closed for several more months.
Those that joining in Fall 2020 would be in difficult situation as they need to arrange for visa, travel by the summer which is 2 months away.
I believe all businesses will be greatly affected after this is over. Many people would lose their jobs. It would be very hard for graduate of 2021, 2022, much more than those graduated during the 2008 financial meltdown.
Yes I agree with that. If we aren't allowed to get a visa or are blocked from entering the country then I would not want to pursue the MFE this year
 

longgamma

Active Member
C++ Student
unpopular opinion: great depression 2.0
Yes, all that was needed was to shut down the world for six weeks to stop this virus in its tracks but apparently its too much of an ask for some people. The longer this drags on the worse it is for all.
 

VPoneday

New Member
I contacted my schools and thought I can share some of the replies from UCLA
1. Deposit deadline extended by 2 mths to June 15.
2. If things get worse, they will review if can refund deposit, but no plans to allow deferrals :(
3. If reapply next year, need to write brand new essay about how you enhance your candidacy and a new recommendation letter from a new person.
Based on the above I think it really doesnt look good for me, as in the first place, I exhausted my list of 3 recommendation letters, and i dont think i can do much to enhance my resume given that its COVID-19. Nothing would change for me in terms of my current job.
 

Mebula

New Member
I contacted my schools and thought I can share some of the replies from UCLA
1. Deposit deadline extended by 2 mths to June 15.
2. If things get worse, they will review if can refund deposit, but no plans to allow deferrals :(
3. If reapply next year, need to write brand new essay about how you enhance your candidacy and a new recommendation letter from a new person.
Based on the above I think it really doesnt look good for me, as in the first place, I exhausted my list of 3 recommendation letters, and i dont think i can do much to enhance my resume given that its COVID-19. Nothing would change for me in terms of my current job.
Thank you for sharing
 
2. If things get worse, they will review if can refund deposit, but no plans to allow deferrals :(
3. If reapply next year, need to write brand new essay about how you enhance your candidacy and a new recommendation letter from a new person.
Based on the above I think it really doesnt look good for me, as in the first place, I exhausted my list of 3 recommendation letters, and i dont think i can do much to enhance my resume given that its COVID-19. Nothing would change for me in terms of my current job.
Huh interesting that they'd rather refund deposits than give out deferments. I understand that it might be too early to ask for deferments though, unless your visa application was rejected.

Also yeah, agreed that it would be difficult to improve your profile within the next year. Some people would be lucky to even keep their jobs and avoid pay cuts.
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
Huh interesting that they'd rather refund deposits than give out deferments. I understand that it might be too early to ask for deferments though, unless your visa application was rejected.

Also yeah, agreed that it would be difficult to improve your profile within the next year. Some people would be lucky to even keep their jobs and avoid pay cuts.
Can’t speak for UCLA, but I applied a few years in a row until I got into my target program. I agree there is an expectation to see improvement in the profile - new skills, accomplishments, etc.

I did have 2/3 same recommenders from Y1 to Y2, and all of the same from Y2 to Y3. I provided them updates bullets to save their time, and I assume they revised the letters. Y3 I was admitted to 3/4 of my top choices, and made interview round for a data science masters.

This must be a tough decision, and I hope this perspective provides encouragement.
 
Thank you, some of your past posts in this forum have been very informative and encouraging for me even before I even submitted my applications.

I definitely think it would make perfect sense to expect candidates to have improved before reapplying, though I imagine admission officials would adjust their expectations as this is a rather unusual time where many companies are not doing well and layoffs are happening.

If you don't mind me asking, which programs did you manage to get admitted to in your first two years, and what were your primary considerations to wait another year and reapply, rather than making compromises (I don't really like that word here) and going to those programs? As for my case, I did get into one of my top choices (admitted by Columbia, rejected by Princeton and CMU), and putting aside the whole COVID debacle, the only thing that would make me consider postponing my study is a really good relevant job offer.
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
If you don't mind me asking, which programs did you manage to get admitted to in your first two years, and what were your primary considerations to wait another year and reapply, rather than making compromises (I don't really like that word here) and going to those programs? As for my case, I did get into one of my top choices (admitted by Columbia, rejected by Princeton and CMU), and putting aside the whole COVID debacle, the only thing that would make me consider postponing my study is a really good relevant job offer.
I think you're on to something, and your logic is spot on. All else equal, it's better to start studying earlier.

In my case, I did accept the offer in the first year for the school, shortly before learning my wife and I were expecting our 1st child. I was working, and it seemed prudent to save up more money before heading back. CMU rejected me, which was a bummer, because I really thought their curriculum and the strength of the interns / graduates I had worked with was top notch. The second year, I received some very direct feedback from one of the programs which rejected me, suggesting I should do 6 more math courses (4 at graduate level) to meet the minimum standards for the program. I was still working full time, but I realized the only thing worse than being rejected would be to be accepted and fail out. I did the courses, re-applied, and was accepted to a few more programs than the first round, one of which was CMU. It was a very hard choice, because the other two schools had updated their curriculums along the lines of what I hoped to learn.

Regarding COVID, I don't think we've seen a situation where the entire Global economy has just basically, well, stopped. There is clearly going to be a lot of pain, and a lot of repercussions. There is also going to be a lot of opportunity when the dust settles.

I can't pretend to say what that will look like.

I can say the skills, knowledge, and perspective I am gaining in grad school will help me to make the most of what comes my way.
 

ExSan

Active Member
Hi,

Since most MFE program usually start in August-September. It is not clear that student would be able to join any of the programs. There are travel restrictions and visa issues for everyone. Also this is quite big recession. Is it good decision to join MFE at this stage ?

PS: I got an admit from UCB MFE. It will start in March 2021. Visa and travel restrictions issues would be sorted by then. Recession and unable to find job after this is my key concern.

Regards,
Rachit
I was planning to apply Baruch for September 2021
 
I think you're on to something, and your logic is spot on. All else equal, it's better to start studying earlier.

In my case, I did accept the offer in the first year for the school, shortly before learning my wife and I were expecting our 1st child. I was working, and it seemed prudent to save up more money before heading back. CMU rejected me, which was a bummer, because I really thought their curriculum and the strength of the interns / graduates I had worked with was top notch. The second year, I received some very direct feedback from one of the programs which rejected me, suggesting I should do 6 more math courses (4 at graduate level) to meet the minimum standards for the program. I was still working full time, but I realized the only thing worse than being rejected would be to be accepted and fail out. I did the courses, re-applied, and was accepted to a few more programs than the first round, one of which was CMU. It was a very hard choice, because the other two schools had updated their curriculums along the lines of what I hoped to learn.

Regarding COVID, I don't think we've seen a situation where the entire Global economy has just basically, well, stopped. There is clearly going to be a lot of pain, and a lot of repercussions. There is also going to be a lot of opportunity when the dust settles.

I can't pretend to say what that will look like.

I can say the skills, knowledge, and perspective I am gaining in grad school will help me to make the most of what comes my way.
Thank you so much, I'm sure this perspective of yours will help not only me but anyone considering Fall 2020 intake, or even in the future when we see something similar. I completely understand that it would be prudent to rethink your plans if you're having a child (congratulations, by the way!). Glad to see it worked out for you and now you're in the MSCF program. I'll be spending the next few months studying to cover my relative weakness in stochastic and programming, hopefully to get me off to a strong start when I end up going this year.

I hope everything goes well for you and please stay safe.
 
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