New Member

I have been following quantnet's posts for all this year. I can say that they were very helpful and since my experience from my applications is coming to an end, I feel that I must give back to this site. I will come back to it with some interesting details about several programs that I have applied.

However, I am currently in the process of making a decision on which program to attend, so I wrote this post in case someone could give me some critical advice or opinion about my options.

I was accepted at LSE Finance Program, UCLA MFE and I am currently waiting after my interview at CMU MSCF their decision. However, deadlines are strict and narrow (and taken into account that I believe that I did well on CMU's interview) so I incorporate this program in my analysis.

LSE has a really low admission rate in its program and has a very good brand name in Europe. However, I would be limited to work only in Europe if I chose this program so I am a bit reluctant.

CMU MSCF is the most applied program out there and its program is very demanding. The market knows this and rewards it with very good placements and high salaries. 80% of the incoming class has no full-time work experience - so do I-. I believe it matches better with my engineering-math background and my future career goals as it is very applied and quantitative (compared to the other two). Location in Pittsburgh is my major concern and the computational background needed in order to be competitive in the course.

UCLA MFE, is generally a Top 10 MFE Program (not that rigorous as MSCF), in a business school with all its advantages. The program will give me 36 months opt after graduation according to the new legislation which is very important -they told me in my interview, I don't know if the same applies for MSCF-. I highly appreciate the whole picture of studying at UCLA which will combine very good studies with a very good quality of life. Its job placements are as well very good but not that good compared to MSCF. The average age of the people in this program is 27 -I am 23- so I could have many side benefits with my interaction with these students compared to those in CMU.

So some questions are...
Is the difference in job placements that important to chose MSCF (if I am accepted) to UCLA?
Is the program and the skills acquired at MSCF so much better in order to abandon a much better everyday life at UCLA to CMU? (you see I am seeking a good placement but a balanced life as well)
Can anyone compare the alumni network of the two schools after graduation?
Does anyone know if Pittsburgh campus CMU students have that good placements compared to those in the New York campus? (stats are given wholistically for both)

I am open to hear opinions or advice.