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Review My Application/ Profile

Saharsh Poddar

New Member
Hi Users,

This is my first post and I am someone who has just come across this forum/Website.

So to give you a bit of background, I am currently working as an Applied Data Scientist at Dunnhumby (Gurgaon, India) with 5 Papers of Actuarial under my belt. I have also completed my Undergraduate in B.A Economics (7.108 CGPA) and Postgraduate in Economics with Specialisation in Finance from IIFT New Delhi. (75% for the 2 years)

Being an Actuarial science student and Economics Postgraduate, I have learnt about SDE's, Ito and Browniad Motions, Time Series, Difference Dand Differential Equations, Markov Chain and Bayesian Stats etc.

I aspire to become a Researcher at a hedge fund and my question is this (And I hope you guys can help);

Since I have not been able to score above average in my undergrad and Postgrad and currently hold no Experience in the financial world (But have worked on huge data sets and quite proficient in Data science platforms like R, Python SAS and SQL (Work Experience of 2 Years)) do I have a shot at top 5 schools like CMU, Berkeley, Baruch, and Colombia?

Before writing my GRE's and taking the next step forward I just hope that maybe some of you can guide me wether my profile even fits for such schools, I Have been dreaming to study Quant Finance for some time now and will really like to leverage my love for math in the financial world.


Well-Known Member
I would say, sign up for GRE and spend a bit of time reading stuffs from forum discussions here to the top programs' pages (check which math/computing courses they require/want you to have done - and from there plan how you can fill in the gaps, maybe online courses or self study). I think this would at least give you a nice look at what you have already covered and what you need to work on. For example, I realized several weak points in my profile, such as stochastic (never studied much back in undergrad) and C++ (learned Java back then, and haven't used it much so I need to relearn stuffs).

No one can really tell whether you've got a shot at the top schools, just try to do some research on how you can fulfill their requirements and send out a few applications. You can either mix in some lower-ranked programs if you really want to go as soon as you can, or focus on strengthening your profile for next year if the top programs reject you. For what it's worth, some programs seem to accept students who haven't covered all the required stuffs. I recall Berkeley even had a pdf form where you can list whether you've studied the required topics and what your plans are to prepare for those, in case you haven't.


Active Member
Agree with noether. In addition, many people have come from your background and gotten into great schools. I think the most important thing is to show admission you've taken steps to being a quant researcher. What particular interests you about it? how have you proven your interests? Look at the kind of research you want to do as well, etc.