# "MFE program profile evaluation" master thread

#### Josephine

Josephine, I don't see a single probabilities or differential equations course in that list. You better take some of those.

I did actually took a class called Statistical Models/Methods. It is a calculus-based statistics class and it is the pre-req for my Econometrics class. I learned pdf, poisson, regression, conditional probability, and some other stuff that I do not remember. Did some T-test, F-test too.

I guess if that's not enough, I should take a higher stat class, Intro to Probability. That will dwell deep into probability topic.

As for differential equation, I don't take the class because I'm a grader for that class. I have to correct students' homework, so I guess that should be fine?

#### Jarrod

Commerce Student

Education:
BComm in Finance (top Canadian school). Spring 2010.
CGPA (3.80/4.33) C- during first/second year, 4.33 for third/fourth year
GRE: 790/700
GMAT: 760

Computer Skills:
C++, Java, MATLAB

Work Experience:
Research assistant for econ prof
Research assistant for finance prof
Calculus Tutor
TA for finance courses

Math Courses:
Calc I-IV
Applied Linear Algebra
Elementary Differential Equations
Probability with Physical Applications
Numerical Methods for Differential Equations

Economics Courses:
Non-Calculus: Micro & Macro I, Managerial Economics, Int. Finance, Int. Trade, Money & Banking, Intro. Game Theory

Calculus: Optimization (4XX), Game Theory (4XX), Int. Micro Honors

Finance Courses:
Financial Theory, Security Markets, Corporate Finance, Risk Management and Financial Engineering, Fixed Income Markets

Computer Courses:
None. Self-taught C++ and used some for math courses.

Recommenders:
1 Math, 1 Econ, 2 Finance

Concerns:
-Low GPA (esp. 1st and 2nd years)
-Lack of investment banking work experience
-Low GMAT
-No real analysis courses
-Weak Math
-Weak Econ

I want to apply to Columbia MFE, Princeton MFin or Phd, Chicago Finance Phd, LSE Msc Economics and Finance, MIT Finance Phd, Wharton Finance Phd, Berkeley MFe

Are they too high of a reach?

#### GoIllini

##### Market Crises= Gray Hair
Your math is actually pretty in line with an engineering student's. Finance is a less quantitative major overall, but you don't need to worry about scrutiny on your math curriculum.

Finance PhDs are extremely difficult to get into; they accept 2-3 students per year at most schools.

Your GMAT score looks stronger than your GRE quant score; I'd use the GMAT where you can, but that's just me. 790 won't keep you out, but you'll be below average.

Sure, you have a chance at the top five MFE programs, but make sure you have some safeties, too. UW Madison, for example, has an excellent Financial Risk Management program that might be a little easier to get into than Princeton, but they typically have a 100% placement rate (albeit some students wind up at insurance companies and commercial banks) and get a lot of students into positions at the CBOT and CME trading firms.

#### Jarrod

Your math is actually pretty in line with an engineering student's. Finance is a less quantitative major overall, but you don't need to worry about scrutiny on your math curriculum.

Finance PhDs are extremely difficult to get into; they accept 2-3 students per year at most schools.

Your GMAT score looks stronger than your GRE quant score; I'd use the GMAT where you can, but that's just me. 790 won't keep you out, but you'll be below average.

Sure, you have a chance at the top five MFE programs, but make sure you have some safeties, too. UW Madison, for example, has an excellent Financial Risk Management program that might be a little easier to get into than Princeton, but they typically have a 100% placement rate (albeit some students wind up at insurance companies and commercial banks) and get a lot of students into positions at the CBOT and CME trading firms.

What would be the GMAT equivalent of a GRE 790/700?

I still want to get a PhD because I want to be a professor someday... But right now I want to focus on work. Does a MFe help me get into finance/economics PhD programs? If not then I'm probably better off with a PhD. Although I don't know what I would do if I don't get into any.

#### boskri

Hi Andy,

I have been reading your posts and found them quite informative and helpful to the future MSFE prospects. I am hopeful that you could help me out as well.

I have done B.Tech in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (2005 pass out). I chose C++ as my elective in the final year not knowing that I would someday decide on pursuing MSFE. My acads are not very impressive; however my average in engineering math is on par with the topper in class.

After the completion of UG, I have decided to work with my family managed business for a while and then go for my Masters. This is the time I wish to study and after a detailed introspection and research on various courses, MSFE sounded appealing. The reason for not choosing MBA, which was my option until mid 2009, was because of the cost of the program.

I am currently doing Certificate course in Financial Engineering with an internship in a company called Torux Software.

Kindly advice if my profile is suitable for the MSFE course and if I can cope up with the other students who may already have exp in the field or have done their UG in Math/commerce/computers.

I really wish to do this course no matters how much effort I have to put in. I would like start imagining working with a bulge bracket Investment firm based on your answer.

Profile:

BTech Electrical Engineering - 55%
12th - 83%
10th - 70%
Work Experience - 4 years
GRE - due on 23rd Dec (Anticipating 1200+)

Best

#### Andy Nguyen

Geoffrey,
C++ is your strength and that's what you should focus on during interviews. You can't compete with recent graduates for math courses you studied 8 years ago.
FRM is a bonus but may not be relevant for the quant developers position. CQF is a nice thing to do if your employer pays the tuition. Its utility is unclear for someone hoping to use the certificate as a ticket to get a first quant job. That's my opinion but Paul Wilmott may think CQF is way better than all the MFE programs out there.
Try to test the water, send your resume to a few recruiters. Apply to a few positions on quant job sites. They may push you to a few places and you will have a better sense of what people want out there.

#### GoIllini

##### Market Crises= Gray Hair

What would be the GMAT equivalent of a GRE 790/700?
Probably a 740 or 750. I think the GRE publishes an equivalency calculator somewhere.

I still want to get a PhD because I want to be a professor someday... But right now I want to focus on work. Does a MFe help me get into finance/economics PhD programs?
It can, assuming you need references from econ and finance professors and/or research experience.

If not then I'm probably better off with a PhD. Although I don't know what I would do if I don't get into any.
Just keep plugging away and working hard. Bear in mind that if you really want a PhD, you can always get one in Applied Math if you're willing to spend six years focusing exclusively on that. It may be easier for you to take the Applied Math route than the Econ route, though there is less job stability for Math PhDs than economists.

Bear in mind that Finance PhDs and MS's may not always be funded. Econ generally is fully funded. Be sure to focus on saving money if you want to take the finance route. If you have money for grad school, then go for it, but if you'd have to go into debt, I'd recommend trying to find a job at a bank or insurance company first, seeking some relevant experience and saving up some money, and then going back to school.

#### aishwaryagovil

How easy will it be for me to get into Baruch?

Hi,
I have a GRE score 780Q 450V. Toefl- 105
I am currently doing a Bachelor's degree in engineering
I have C++ certification, interested in mathematics (calculus)
no work ex
enrolled for six sigma course
have a nice SOP and reccomendations

Do you think I can get through for the MFE course? PLease evaluate my profile

Hi andy,
I am posting a little detailed info this time.Tell me what you think.
Thank you

Gpa 60% in Pune university (dont know how to convert)
interests in Mathematics
lots of co-curriculars(Music and sports)(at national level also)
certified for C++,JAVA
class 12- 84%( PCM- 87%)
class 10- 89%(maths 96, science 97,english 88)
studied high level calculus took 3 courses of maths in undergrad
in final yr computer engineering
corporate marketing head for the college Fest

and one more thing, will getting the CFA be an advantage?

#### Andy Nguyen

Your scores are a bit under par for the Baruch MFE judging from the latest average scores of the admitted students.
I don't see any glaring weakness from the little info you posted so I'd say take a deep breath and just hit the button.

#### AnoopRN

My profile:
Have 8 years of software development experience in C & C++ in a US MNC, but not related to finance.
An engineering bachelors degree in Electronics & Communication.
PRM level I (88.9%), level II (91.7%), planning to complete remaining two level exams by jan 2010.
GRE quant 800.
Pretty good with numbers, complex algorithms. In fact before switching to software development, was a small time mathematician in number theory & trigonometry.

Can you please tell me what kind of quant developer roles I can target with this profile?
how will my chances change if I do CQF? I am not in a position to do full time MFE.

Also, can anyone please tell me approximately what percentile my PRM scores belong to?

Maths I studied for my engineering:
Matrices, Differential Calculus, Multiple Intergrals, Vector Calculus, Integral Transforms, Complex Variable Functions, Statistics & Probability, Curve Fitting, Operation research.
I think this list is incomplete, studied these more than 8 years back, I used some of these for my PRM level II exam I took last month.

Geoffrey, after 8 years in a non-finance industry, would you be comfortable working in the capital markets ? Given your back-ground, you should be able to land some of the more IT-centric roles with a little effort. If it's the business side of things which you find appealing, I'd suspect that a PT course in Financial Engineering would help you along your way.

On a seperate note, why not leverage your experience and target more managerial roles ? Try getting an executive MBA from a top notch school. There's more than one way to participate in the financial industry. But of course, this is only my personal opinion.

#### FinEng

I started out university great with a 3.6 gpa my freshman year. However, my sophomore and junior years brought my overall gpa to around a 2.6. At the time, my sole major was a bs in the hardest major offered at my university.

The reason for my poor performance was a complete lack of goals. Now that I'm 100% sure that I want to work in this field, I have goals to motivate me and have completely changed my academic performance. I declared a second major in physics that will require me to be here an extra 2 years and made the president's list with a 4.0 last semester; compare that to my 1.8 the previous semester.

If I can continue this performance until I graduate, will my sophomore and junior years still prevent me from getting into a good program? I've read that many universities, especially universities outside of the US, focus more on the last 60 credit hours of your college record. If this is the case, there a few schools in the UK (lse, ox) and Canada (u. tor.) that I'd love to attend.

I realize that I'll be 24-25 with a Van Wilder style of years in college when I finally graduate but I think that it'll be worth it when I finally get accepted into a good program. I'm just hoping that universities I apply to don't reject me on the perception of me being a 'professional student'.

Test scores shouldn't be an issue because I'm a great test taker (800 SAT math) and I literally have years to study.

Since my goal is to actually work in the field, the school that I go to doesn't matter as much as the placement of the school. So, I want to get into a top 12 program or one of the better schools outside of the US. What are my chances?

#### komal

Hi,
From all the discussions it's clear that C++ is very useful if one wishes to get into an MFE programme. But in my case, I have no knowledge of C++. I will complete my MA(Economics) from Delhi School of Economics in India. The job we get after this involves econometric analysis in banks using SAS. Will such a work-ex of 2 years count in getting into an MFE programme? Or should I also get some certification in C++ from private computer institutes?

Thanks

#### Andy Nguyen

For your own survival, you need to know some real programming language to have a better chance of admission and then to do well in the program. So my suggestion is to go beyond taking some C+ certification. The cert may have some beneficial use but in your case, it would make a strong case if you spend the next several months working in C++ problems. Just take a few C++ books from the master reading list and work through it. If you come out of it alive and kicking, you look much prettier than showing some piece of paper with C++ and some place in India on it.

#### komal

Hi Andy,
What about the value of work-ex I'm going to have in the next 2 years using SAS?

#### DanM

##### Math Student
The cert may have some beneficial use but in your case, it would make a strong case if you spend the next several months working in C++ problems. Just take a few C++ books from the master reading list and work through it.

Would you recommend starting with a book that's more geared towards quantitative finance, or just general C++/OOP?

#### Andy Nguyen

@komal,
There are pockets in QF where SAS is utilized but it's an expensive tool hence not widespread. Ask yourself how your SAS experience will translate to a workplace that uses something else. I'm of the school of thought that a guy who does C++ is more adaptable to a new programming setting. And SAS exp is way overrated. You don't want to be made fun of like those "SAP consultants". People I know had no problem picking up SAS.

@DanM,
I started off years ago with Walter Savitch first edition of Amazon.com: Problem Solving with C++, 7th Edition (9780321531346): Walter Savitch: Books

It's up to 7th edition now and it served me well. A good mix of topics and exercises. If I want to get a book on a specific topic, I can pick a dozen available but that Savitch book has saved me a few times.

#### mav

Hi all,

I am in the process of completing my application process for Baruch.

Id like to have a fair idea of where i stand as of now, and what i could possibly do to improve my chances of getting through.

My GPA: 8.5/10 Engineering
test scores: 800Q; 690V; 4.0A GRE
Toefl: 109
Intern: programming C++ ;
Work Ex - statistics / number crunching.

Thanks.

#### davepang

I will graduate this spring with a Master's in Electrical Engineering from the University of Louisville. My undergrad GPA was 3.3/4.0 and my grad GPA is currently 3.5/4.0.

I took the GRE and got a 800 Q and 490 V. I have extensive programming in C++, Matlab, and Java. I also have done 3 cooperative semesters of work in the engineering controls fields.

What are my chances of getting into a top 10 school? What can I do to make my resume stronger?

#### Andy Nguyen

@mav,
Your TOEFL is not relevant anymore since I heard Baruch will use interview to determine your English fluency. If you are in the NYC area, make sure to attend the info session and talk to the director in person.
I'll say make sure to get a very strong personal statement and super letter of recommendation.

@davepang,
You can try to highlight your work experience, your relevant skills in the statement. Maybe doing a CFA L1 may do some good, however marginal.

#### mav

Thanks Andy for the response..

I am from India (im sure u get that a lot )
Ive done the best i could for my personal statement;
my math HOD will be writing my recommendation..
What i could infer from your tone was that there is something i need to explain really well.. im guessing its my work ex.. am i right??

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