Opinions on My Application's Competitiveness + Question

jimbread

New Member
Hello Everyone.

I'm looking to apply to MFE programs to attend next year Fall 2020. Thank you guys in advance for taking the time to read my post.

Academics
Currently a rising 4th year that will graduate from a 2nd tier engineering school in Spring of 2020.
Major: Industrial and Systems Engineering (Top 20 ISE Graduate Program according to US News -- for what it's worth)
Minor: Economics
GPA: 3.6 -- I should be graduating Magna Cumme Laude
Relevant Coursework: Time Series Analysis, Programming and Data Structures, 1 class on probability and statistics, 2 on applied statistics, Calc 1, 2, & 3, linear algebra.
Programming Competency: Somewhat amateur. I got good marks on my two programming classes so far (A's). I will be getting more learning experience in my last two semesters, however.
Leadership Experiences: Moderate. Nothing significant, however.
GRE: Have not taken yet. Aiming to get 167+ on Quant and Verbal. Will update on how I do on my benchmark test later today.
Update: I just took my benchmark GRE and got a 167 Quant and 152 Verbal.
Work Experience
Spent last summer interning at a big tech company using SQL and Powershell
This summer I will be doing a trading internship at a medium-sized, 2nd-tier discretionary Prop Shop. Will likely be doing equity research work as opposed to working on coding projects though.
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Question 1
I am an Asian-American US Citizen at a US College. I understand that the majority of applicants are International Students. I've seen from other posts on the forum that being a US Citizen "helps", but I'm also Asian-American. Does my ethnicity hurt? What about being from the US?
Question 2
I have seen the admission statistics of the top 10 schools and they are quite impressive. I am often under the average GPA posted by the programs.
Part 1: As stated previously, there are a lot of international students pursuing MFEs. I was wondering if anyone can speak on the grade inflation situation at either Chinese or Indian Universities/Colleges.
Part 2:
Looking at the major breakdown at certain programs, Engineer Undergraduates make up around 25% to 35% of their entering class. My general sentiment towards Engineer GPAs are that they are relatively deflated (at least at my college). Does anyone know if admission consider this when looking at applications?
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This concludes my post. Thank you again for taking the time to provide me with crucial advice.

Edit: Updated with benchmark GRE score
 
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jimbread

New Member
if you get that gre and keep your gpa, you are pretty much shoe-in all mfe programs except for princeton.
Thank you. Do you see any weaknesses in my stats? What is your exposure to the mfe application process? And would you happen to have any opinions on any of the questions that I posed on the bottom of my original post?
 
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IntoDarkness

Active Member
taking classes in proof based math classes such as real analysis helps greatly with mathematical maturity.
learning basic machine learning techniques is becoming a borderline must in today's industry.

q1 us citizenship helps more than ethnicity discrimination offsets so its a net gain. the bottom line is that school just wants strongly employable candidates. i remember back in the days many schools boast about how "global" their incoming class is. now the extreme global incoming class often signals degree mill...

q2 p1 don't know and i wouldn't care about it. p2 yes

i would say at this point, instead of focusing whether you can get in, you better off pay more attention to acquire skills and knowledge benefit for the immediate career.

bonus: what is a strongly employable candidate? it is a person who graduates from reputable school, did relevant internships or jobs, aced the classes, has the minimum required skills and knowledge to develop from, speaks english, works hard as individual contributor, is not an arse to work with in a team. it is very simple.
 
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IntoDarkness

Active Member
I'm assuming this statement doesn't hold true for the top 10 programs on quantnet, despite the programs being dominated by international students.
not so fast. my master degree alma mater is a top 10 program. i didn't think its a degree mill until i attended the graduation and observed so many master degrees i never heard of being awarded to international students... the majority of undergrad still americans though
 

jimbread

New Member
not so fast. my master degree alma mater is a top 10 program. i didn't think its a degree mill until i attended the graduation and observed so many master degrees i never heard of being awarded to international students... the majority of undergrad still americans though
Well I guess what's important is the implication of a college being a degree mill and what's even considered to be a degree mill. Just because a program has a majority of international or domestic students doesn't necessarily mean their program is worth less or more (at least that's what I would like to believe).
 
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