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mfe hopes from low tier undergrad

Hello,

I am in need of any advice to help me on my way to getting into a top mfe program upon graduating. I had very good grades and test scores out of high school but chose a low, low tier school because of athletics and the fact that I received two different full academic scholarships.

I am in the honors program which is a 5 year bs/ms program in computational applied mathematics. I plan on graduating summa cum laude from the undergrad, and doing work in math finance for my masters thesis. I have one really solid research internship in high performance computing and hoping to land a another(hopefully finance related) this summer. I am also beginning some research next semester in GPU optimization of some monte carlo methods for option pricing.

My question is what else can I do to enhance my resume when its time to go to apply to these top mfe programs? I know I can achieve the GRE scores needed, however, i fear my schools reputation, or lack of, will kill me. Any help would be greatly appreciated guys.
 
You may be able to get a job with what you are currently pursing.

A finance internship, great letters of recommendation and some self-study in finance will help you.

A few years of work experience using your degree in high performance computing or something related would help your application too. Many skills outside of finance can be applied to finance, which is the case in some algorithmic finance (such as signal processing).
 

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
Did you go to U$C?
WTF, what college ranking have you been reading? USC is not "low low tier". Its football team may be its most famous thing, but it is not low tier.

Nociton... when you say "because of athletics" do you mean that you were on one of the teams? Or does that mean you just liked the fact that the team had good teams. This can make a huge difference when it comes to applying for finance jobs. It's the competitive drive athletes tend to have.
 
I played on their soccer team for two years before having to stop, due to constant conflicts with my cs classes.

And no I do not attend USC, my school is a state school in north jersey that makes USC look like Princeton. The program I am in is very good and attracts some top students in the state, however the school as a whole is weak because they accept anyone who correctly writes thier name on the SAT's, regarding of how low they score. and I mean LOW.
 

Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
I played on their soccer team for two years before having to stop, due to constant conflicts with my cs classes.

And no I do not attend USC, my school is a state school in north jersey that makes USC look like Princeton. The program I am in is very good and attracts some top students in the state, however the school as a whole is weak because they accept anyone who correctly writes thier name on the SAT's, regarding of how low they score. and I mean LOW.

Trust me, it doesn't matter. It helps if you went to a top school for admission, but it wont hurt you if you did not, as long as you still did good.

Playing on a sports team will help you possibly in the future when looking for jobs during interviews.
 

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
Nociton: sounds like you'll be fine. Just sell your strong points, acknowledge your weak points, and make sure you get thorough (i.e. non generic) recommendations. If I were you, I wouldn't give up on the job search either.
 
I played on their soccer team for two years before having to stop, due to constant conflicts with my cs classes.

And no I do not attend USC, my school is a state school in north jersey that makes USC look like Princeton. The program I am in is very good and attracts some top students in the state, however the school as a whole is weak because they accept anyone who correctly writes thier name on the SAT's, regarding of how low they score. and I mean LOW.

Rutgers? For the record I think Rutgers is a fine school, just curious.
 
No rutgers, Kean Univeristy, state school in north jersey. Again I am in a good but fairly new honors program, but the school itself is not ranked very high. Had aacceptances to schools all over the country, but at the time was more interested in soccer than school and I couldnt pass up 5 free years of school. I agree Rutgers is a solid school.
 
No rutgers, Kean Univeristy, state school in north jersey. Again I am in a good but fairly new honors program, but the school itself is not ranked very high. Had aacceptances to schools all over the country, but at the time was more interested in soccer than school and I couldnt pass up 5 free years of school. I agree Rutgers is a solid school.

I don't think the brand of your undergraduate school is going to significantly impact your chances. If you have a very strong GPA in an appropriate major, strong test scores, and you communicate that you were in an honors program on full scholarship I think you should be fine.
 
Trust me, it doesn't matter. It helps if you went to a top school for admission, but it wont hurt you if you did not, as long as you still did good.

Playing on a sports team will help you possibly in the future when looking for jobs during interviews.

Yep.... I agree... while having a Bachelor degree from a prestigious school would help, it is not a do-or-die factor on where you got your ugrad degree from....
 
WTF, what college ranking have you been reading? USC is not "low low tier". Its football team may be its most famous thing, but it is not low tier.

Nociton... when you say "because of athletics" do you mean that you were on one of the teams? Or does that mean you just liked the fact that the team had good teams. This can make a huge difference when it comes to applying for finance jobs. It's the competitive drive athletes tend to have.

SUC is also known for cheating in their sports teams.... and SUC's reputation is that all you have to be is rich (not smart) to get in....
 
No rutgers, Kean Univeristy, state school in north jersey. Again I am in a good but fairly new honors program, but the school itself is not ranked very high. Had aacceptances to schools all over the country, but at the time was more interested in soccer than school and I couldnt pass up 5 free years of school. I agree Rutgers is a solid school.

Apply at Rutgers. Call them tomorrow and ask the same questions you asked here. I think your chances of attending a top MFE in the same state are better in your situation. Rutgers has undoubtedly admitted students from your school to multiple programs, and is not unfamiliar with performance of students similar to you from your school. So, unless they have all done poorly... you know what I'm getting at.
 

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
SUC is also known for cheating in their sports teams.... and SUC's reputation is that all you have to be is rich (not smart) to get in....
It was still a terrible guess. I have no idea why you would single them out.

Low tier => below top 50. USC hovers around 30 ish.

And for the record, no I did not go to USC.
 

Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
It was still a terrible guess. I have no idea why you would single them out.

Low tier => below top 50. USC hovers around 30 ish.

And for the record, no I did not go to USC.

Depends on what you're talking about. As a whole school, or particular programs. USC business school (Phd level finance especially) and engineering program(graduate) are ranked very highly.
 
thanks for the advice guys,i also thought Rutgers would be my best bet because of the location. However, they dont always have convincing placement stats and I havent read the greatest reviews from their program. Even with a high gpa and high test scores, with some solid research in quant finance topics, are the top (top 5/7)mfe still unlikely.

Would working for a couple years maybe in signal proccessing (my dad is a program manager at lockheed and some of his co-workers have said i'd most likely be able to get placed in DSP given my background) strengthen my chances???
 
My question is what else can I do to enhance my resume when its time to go to apply to these top mfe programs? I know I can achieve the GRE scores needed, however, i fear my schools reputation, or lack of, will kill me. Any help would be greatly appreciated guys.
All the guessing game about where this guy went to undergrad is off-topic and irrelevant. If you meet the requirements, done well in your courses, show maturity and career savvy in your essays, you will be well received.
I have dinged many applicants from top universities who have great scores but shown an utter lack of respect for the application process by thinking the name of the school and their scores will make them an automatic shoo-in.
Wall Street is small and if words start to spread that grads of XYZ MFE program are a bunch of spoiled kids with a sense of entitlement, that will do some serious damage.

Programs that don't screen their prospective students properly are running a loose ship.
 
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