Profile Evaluation for MFE (US)

arohan

Hi all, I wanted some pointers on how I can improve my profile and if it is competitive enough for MFE Admissions in the US. Key highlights of my profile:

Nationality: Indian

Work ex: 2 years (will have 3 by the time I plan on joining MFE). 1 year in a data engineering role, 0.5 years in a quant modelling role (risk management) at a fintech start-up, and currently working with an asset manager ($800 billion+ AUM) as a quantitative portfolio analyst reporting directly to PMs managing portfolios of over$8 billion AUM.

Education: Undergrad in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics with a GPA of 8/10 (around 3.5 I believe) from a tier-1 institute (non-IIT). But I have very high grades in relevant coursework (9+ in statistics, stochastic processes, financial mathematics, LinAlg, and Operations Research)

Other info: Cleared CFA L1, took L2 this feb and awaiting results. I also happen to be first author for a conference paper on financial mathematics published in conference proceeds indexed by scopus. I also happen to have a few PORs from my college time including student representative for my academic department as well as the convenor of the college’s cultural fest, if these things count.

Target schools:

CMU, UC Berkley, UCLA, MIT, GeorgiaTech, BU Questrom, Baruch

I haven’t yet given the GMAT and any inputs on how much I should target in GMAT to make my profile competitive enough for the above schools would be appreciated. Thanks!

WorkofArt

Looking good.
Your work experience gives you an edge and I recommend you capitalize on that as much as possible. A well written essay explaining your work, individual contributions and accomplishments combined with corroborating recommendation letters would increase your chances of being admitted to top programs.

Do you have any experience with Machine Learning/Data Science in college? Given your background, a project(s) that combines your computer science and finance knowledge is something I would want to see if I was on an admissions committee. Your CFA shows you have the drive for finance but transferrable skills you can bring to the table with your CS knowledge would make you stand out.

Don't take the GMAT. Take the GRE and aim for a perfect quant score. A 90%ile quant score is almost the bare minimum for top programs at this point.

finkv

I believe most schools prefer the GRE over the GMAT. GREs don't fix profiles. Most of the students accepted into top programs have around 168+ in quant, so I think having a good GRE is the expectation but a bad one could disqualify you. Other than that just make sure SOP are great, and get good letters of recommendation.

If you are already in finance, why you want a MFE? Your job looks great and I am wondering if the 1 1/2 years of school would benefit you more than working.

Also I would split your school in two. CMU, UCB, MIT Baruch and then the others.

arohan

If you are already in finance, why you want a MFE? Your job looks great and I am wondering if the 1 1/2 years of school would benefit you more than working.
I feel my education till now hasn't been comprehensive enough to further advance my career into quantitative research and asset management and even my current workplace has the expectation that I'll go for a masters sooner or later. So, I feel I'll have to go for an MFE sooner or later and better sooner than later. Regardless, I'll be taking some time to decide on this depending on how my job progresses going forward. I'll go for an MFE only if I feel i really need it to progress further in my career.

arohan

Don't take the GMAT. Take the GRE and aim for a perfect quant score. A 90%ile quant score is almost the bare minimum for top programs at this point.
Yeah, most people I’ve talked to suggested the same. I’ll prepare for GRE instead. Thanks for the advice!

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