Need Application Advice

mutz

Member
C++
I am applying to Fall 2021 MFE programs
My background:
3.4 GPA at a semi target in Finance
3 yrs of work experience at a top fintech firm more on the sales side though
I am taking the GRE this weekend with my practice tests being Q: 169 V: 157

If I have not completed the required prerequisite courses prior to applying should I bother applying to the top programs?
I am planning on taking the required courses this Winter/Spring but will not have the opportunity to do so before applications are due.

Thank you
 

Qui-Gon

Well-Known Member
C++
What prerequisites are you missing? I think the answer depends heavily on which exact classes you're missing and how many.
 

mutz

Member
C++
All of them. I am in the process of taking a probability course, so still need to take a Multivariate Calc, Linear Algebra, and a Programming class. I have some python work experience but likely not enough to properly prepare me.
 

Onegin

Well-Known Member
C++
Only thing worse for you than not getting in would be to get in and not be fully prepared.

It's a shit show, and kind of tragic.

I was very disappointed when I was turned down by my top choice a few times. After completing the pre-reqs, I was very grateful to the Admissions Committee for preventing a disaster.

Consider optimizing over a longer time horizon, give yourself a reasonable time to gain the knowledge.

It is hypothetically possible to get the math if you quit work and are in school full time. You're still ****** for programming, which turns out to be a non-trivial component of internship recruiting, which starts the week you get to school in August.

Consider doing Baruch's prep, this year and next, with additional courses sprinkled in.
 

mutz

Member
C++
Only thing worse for you than not getting in would be to get in and not be fully prepared.

It's a shit show, and kind of tragic.

I was very disappointed when I was turned down by my top choice a few times. After completing the pre-reqs, I was very grateful to the Admissions Committee for preventing a disaster.

Consider optimizing over a longer time horizon, give yourself a reasonable time to gain the knowledge.

It is hypothetically possible to get the math if you quit work and are in school full time. You're still ****** for programming, which turns out to be a non-trivial component of internship recruiting, which starts the week you get to school in August.

Consider doing Baruch's prep, this year and next, with additional courses sprinkled in.
Interesting, I was under the impression the I could definitely complete the 3 Math courses in the next 9 months plus take a python class and the c++ quantnet course. Is this not enough to fully prepare me?

I'd prefer to not wait the extra year if possible, especially as my current role is far from what I would like to be doing and another 18 months in the role would be difficult.
 

noether-skolem

Well-Known Member
C++
I completely agree with @Onegin, the recruiting and school work are non-trivial. If you don't have strong foundation in math you'd probably struggle or have to spend a lot of time working with assignments and preparing for exams. I remember in my first stats & time series lecture the professor started with something like defining sample mean and sample variance/stdev, and fast forward 15 minutes he's talking about probability measures and Borel-Cantelli lemmas.

Some of the more rigorous problems can be tricky if you're not familiar with how to write formal proofs in math, while some of the more applied problems can consume a lot of time if you're not used to it (installing and reading package documentations, choosing different packages/algorithms, getting and parsing data, figuring out error codes, figuring out why the numbers don't make sense).

If you don't have good programming background you'd likely fail a lot of the coding challenges from the banks/funds. Some of the coding challenges require good understanding of data structures and efficient algorithms (brute force solutions likely will fail some of the bigger test cases, so you need to understand concepts like dynamic programming to shave your program's run time).
 

Onegin

Well-Known Member
C++
@noether-skolem Amen. @mutz - part time, 9 months is enough to do the 3 math courses and quantnet C++. Python might be a stretch. These are minimums from my point of view - Berkeley's page has a list of coursework that's probably more reasonable to set you up for success.

It's quite possible you'll get into a program on the promise of these courses and quantnet; and maybe that's the best option for you. I can't say how miserable your job is, and I barely know what to advise myself let alone anyone else.

I do know competition for internships starts in early August, and it's pretty brutal. I would have been toast had I been looking for an internship (mid-career, so wasn't part of my plan).
 

YankeesR

Well-Known Member
C++
Some of the programs have the resume books available for the public to see (one example is NYU Courant program). Look at the resume of the current students and see what they have in terms of coursework. You would be hard pressed to find someone that has only the prerequisites. Does that mean it's impossible for someone to get in with just the bare minimum? Of course not, but the deck is stacked against you, as they sift through candidate after candidate that has more rigorous coursework completed.
 
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