Baruch MFE Reasoning to attend Baruch MFE?

I am extremely interested in attending the Baruch MFE program, and have applied to the following schools' MFE/MFin/MSCF programs:

Baruch, MIT, CMU, Columbia, NYU, Cornell

I would like to ask if my reasoning to attend Baruch has any flaws (eg in the facts), given the hypothetical situation that I get accepted into all the schools above. To Andy: I've added all of these to the Application Tracker

Please note that I came from a very math-heavy undergrad, but slightly rusty in programming. No working experience.

  • Baruch is mucher cheaper than the other programs. The premium paid for other programs seem to be solely for the brand name, IMHO...
  • Speaking about brand recognition, Baruch might be lacking this for firms/employers based in the Asia-Pacific region? Can someone verify this for me?
  • Baruch has an internship term (as opposed to, eg. MIT), which is very helpful for someone with no experience (me)
  • Focuses on C++, which is much more applicable to quant work in the industry. The only other school, I believe, that teaches substantially in C++ is CMU
  • Has a small, tight-knit class. This also means that career services at the school are much more focused, as opposed to, say, Columbia
  • Can't find much, if any, "fluff" material in the Baruch curriculum. (I'm looking at the MIT curriculum and it seems one could get by the majority of it without really learning any new math finance)
  • Very informative and helpful admin & faculty. The only program to post statistics for students without relevant work experience. My perception of some other programs, particularly ones like Princeton & Berkeley (both of which I didn't apply to) seem to accept only students with past internships/work exp at bulge brackets, so it's hard to separate the added-value of the program for students without relevant work experience.

Considering all the factors above, Baruch seems to provide the highest return for the expenses. The points above are conclusions I've come to after doing some research; any input greatly appreciated!
 
You will get a first-rate education and a great experience at Baruch. As an alum, you can always sit in future courses for free.

It's obvious that Baruch as a university does not have the name brand as MIT, Columbia, Cornell, NYU and it will never do, let be honest about it. If you are outside of tri-state area, chance is you haven't heard of it before. The Baruch MFE program is very competitive in the NYC area. It also helps that the majority of their graduates end up working in the NYC area.

If your education is funded by your parents, they probably will have final say on where they want you to go. I'm sure the people who can afford to get in and pay for Ivy name are successful and did not second guess their choice.

I'm not qualified to say if one should go to public or private schools. I remember asking Jim Gatheral something along this line during my interview with him.
Interview with Jim Gatheral of Baruch MFE
I would advise students to pay careful attention to the content of a masters program. The prestige that comes from being admitted to one of the top schools will get you through the first year or two but not necessarily further. A masters program offers the student a golden opportunity to build a solid basis for his future career; course content and quality of teaching are crucial.

And let's not get ahead of ourselves, you haven't been admitted to all programs you applied YET. Wait until then to make a choice.
 

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
Consider this for the future...

If you have the background to get into a name brand school, you will likely be able to get into one in the future.

You'll have to think about what you are looking for and what you can afford to pay for. And you have to think about what brand name recognition is actually good for (e.g., probably more important for front office jobs where the "old boys club" factor is key).

Personally, I wanted to get into quant finance without paying too hefty a price tag. I didn't need a great brand name for MFE because:

a) I already have one with my undergrad.
b) I realize if I ever want to do something that is truly front-office, I always have the option of going back to school and getting an MBA from one of the top business schools.
c) With that in mind, it was more important to truly learn the skills I needed than it was to get another brand. It doesn't matter if you have an MFE from a top school if you can't pass the interview...

So when it came down to Baruch and a bigger name school, Baruch won out.
 
Re: recognition outside the NY region (particularly Asia) how much will the school matter assuming one has 2-3 years of relevant working exp?
 

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
Re: recognition outside the NY region (particularly Asia) how much will the school matter assuming one has 2-3 years of relevant working exp?
If you have connections in Asia, you should ask them. I don't know much in this area.

However, generally speaking you just sell your strongest asset. Pretty simple... if you went to Podunk U but worked at Goldman Sachs, you play up Goldman Sachs and omit Podunk. Or if you took on an important project that made a lot of money at a no-name firm, you sell the project not the firm.
 

billy d

Baruch MFE, Class '11
I see that you have done your homework very meticulously. Way to go:)

  • Baruch is mucher cheaper than the other programs. The premium paid for other programs seem to be solely for the brand name, IMHO...
  • Speaking about brand recognition, Baruch might be lacking this for firms/employers based in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Baruch has an internship term (as opposed to, eg. MIT), which is very helpful for someone with no experience (me)
  • Focuses on C++, which is much more applicable to quant work in the industry. The only other school, I believe, that teaches substantially in C++ is CMU
  • Has a small, tight-knit class. This also means that career services at the school are much more focused, as opposed to, say, Columbia
  • Can't find much, if any, "fluff" material in the Baruch curriculum. (I'm looking at the MIT curriculum and it seems one could get by the majority of it without really learning any new math finance)
  • Very informative and helpful admin & faculty. The only program to post statistics for students without relevant work experience. My perception of some other programs, particularly ones like Princeton & Berkeley (both of which I didn't apply to) seem to accept only students with past internships/work exp at bulge brackets, so it's hard to separate the added-value of the program for students without relevant work experience.
 
Thanks billy. Assuming that the employers in Asia on average have no idea what Baruch is, I guess I have to think really hard about where to work for the 2-3 years following MFE and the chances of getting into a good firm to do cool stuff
 

dstefan

Baruch MFE Director
Some of our students did internships at top firms in Asia. Some of our alumni, after working in New York, are now working in Asia.

However, most of our alumni are working in New York.
 
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