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Profile Evaluation: Data Scientist with 6 years experience to Quant

Hi,

I would really appreciate it if you took a few minutes out of your time for a quick read through my profile, it will help me gauge myself.

I'm primarily a Data Science guy, with around 5 years experience in local trading houses in the UAE.

Education:
- MEng (Mechanical) from University of Southampton (2015) - low 2:1 (around 3.4 GPA).
- Most of the modules included calculus, so I'm pretty comfortable with it.

Experience:
- 1.5 years with a local currency trading house, order analysis mostly.
- 3.5 years with a local oil trading company, again helping traders assess some futures contract prices.

My experience has mainly been large scale data engineering + deep learning on the datasets on the pipelines that I make.
I also trade equities on the side in an attempt to increase my savings.

GRE:
- Aiming for Quant: 168+, received a 165 in a mock test + will grind more out.

Primary reason for Masters:

I've stagnated in my career, I didn't know being a quant was an option until I got a job that was basically a forex analyst, and was immediately sucked in.

But I don't think I'm going to get ahead in this career without a big-name university attached to my resume + a lot more mathematics attached to my skill-set.

I can program well in Python, VBA, Golang (I know no one uses this in the quant industry) and C++ (very rusty).

These are the universities I'm looking at, at the moment. None in the US as I don't think my grades translate well (am I correct in this assumption?).

University DegreeDepartmentProgrammeCategory
UCLMScComputer ScienceComputational FinanceWithin Reach
ImperialMScMathematicsStatistics (Statistical Finance)Barely within reach
ImperialMScBusiness SchoolRisk Management and Financial EngineeringBarely within reach
ImperialMScMathematicsMathematics and FinanceBarely within reach
CambridgeMFinJudge Business SchoolMaster of FinanceAmbitious
OxfordMScMathematicsMSc in Computational FinanceAmbitious
WarwickMscBusiness SchoolMathematical FinanceWithin Reach

I've got a couple of questions:

1) Which US universities do you think are within reach and barely within reach for my profile?
2) How correct is my view on Cambridge and Oxford being "Ambitious"? I'm only asking this because I've got no details on anyone with experience + my bad grades get into their programmes. Are there any such unicorns, i.e is there hope or should I spend my application money elsewhere?
 
It is true that lots of these programs are very competitive, especially last year (applications to admissions around 10:1 or less), and so lots of applicants will have firsts etc. However since you have relevant work experience that may be a plus for you. I believe most of the courses called 'mathematical finance' or 'financial mathematics' prefer people with maths/statistics undergrad degrees and so UCL compfin and imperial fineng may be the most likely to accept you and the others you listed might be more difficult like cambridge and oxford.

With US unis the average GPA for top programs is around 3.6-3.7 (Baruch was around 3.55, Berkeley 3.8 etc.) so I dont think a 2.1 should be a major issue. US unis also seem to put more weighting on work experience so I think you might actually be more likely to gain admission there compared to UK unis where grades are probably more important. With a good GRE score you should have a chance at the top US programs (GRE not really needed for UK).

You should also have a look at other job positions you would be attractive for since data engineering skillsets are certainly in demand and consider the opportunity cost of a MFE.

The only way to know if you will be accepted is to apply, so good luck
 
It is true that lots of these programs are very competitive, especially last year (applications to admissions around 10:1 or less), and so lots of applicants will have firsts etc. However since you have relevant work experience that may be a plus for you. I believe most of the courses called 'mathematical finance' or 'financial mathematics' prefer people with maths/statistics undergrad degrees and so UCL compfin and imperial fineng may be the most likely to accept you and the others you listed might be more difficult like cambridge and oxford.

With US unis the average GPA for top programs is around 3.6-3.7 (Baruch was around 3.55, Berkeley 3.8 etc.) so I dont think a 2.1 should be a major issue. US unis also seem to put more weighting on work experience so I think you might actually be more likely to gain admission there compared to UK unis where grades are probably more important. With a good GRE score you should have a chance at the top US programs (GRE not really needed for UK).

You should also have a look at other job positions you would be attractive for since data engineering skillsets are certainly in demand and consider the opportunity cost of a MFE.

The only way to know if you will be accepted is to apply, so good luck

I see, this has been really insightful. I'll review my applications again and focus more on my work experience + more US unis.
Thanks for the reply.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
Not really, didn't see them ranked that highly in many rankings.
Will definitely give them a look now.
Thanks for the reply.
I (external) supervised quite a few MSc theses there until recently. Some very good students.

See 2019 2020 Blogs on www.datasim.nl for several theses.




N.B. Students get C++ training!
 
Last edited:
Can anyone please evaluate my profile

applying for Master of Quantitative Finance
gre : 325 (169Q 156V)
cgpa - 7.1 (IIT Kharagpur)
work experience : 5 years of data science
4 research paper in data science
1 year of startup experience
1 year self learning experience of trading, options

I am totally afraid that my cgpa will hamper chances in top 10, What are the chances you see, Should I apply or totally reject all to apply ?
 
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