Senior undergraduate need advice

petergx

New Member
Hi, I am expecting this post will make upright fellows consider me as another ignorant undergraduate posting question asking about the life universe and everything else and I am more than happy to listen for all kinds of advice you would like to give, while some of them I might not understand well, I will try hard and ask more. I really appreciate if you can give me any advice regarding my questions at the end.

I am a senior in computer engineering.

I am trying to apply for graduate school, MFE.


I don't like my major very much -- I know this could be the worst and here is some pretext:

I am an international student in a big, well-known public university(it's not a fancy school by someone's standard, but I kind of like it, met people very smart and hardworking here), if I wanna find a job after graduation computer engineering would be a pretty good practice. It’s was kind of hard to change major as an international student, considering the tuition my parents are paying for me, but they are actually supportive to my choice on master degree.(I guess they don’t really understand what MFE is, and maybe me neither, but they are just supportive and I am very appreciate all they did to me)


But after years I realized that I actually like math more than CE(I don't hate it, just don't like it that much), and I like money -- I have to admit that but I am not eager to earn(not sure if this is a good signal), I am willing to learn and build a solid background to get a financial engineering career. And that's why I am trying to apply for a MFE degree.

---------------------------------------------Background---------------------------------------------------

know some C/C++(compared with those real smart ones I know in the university);

some java

some embedded system & logic design(guessing this is not really relevant but just for reference)

some app development

some algorithm(I am interested in algorithm, and I will talk about this later)

I got a GPA 3.55 I know it sucks

GRE V162/M170 Not sure if I should have another try but I know I can do better


I got a very good friend (who is also very sincere and smart) suggested me that I am just F***ing stupid and really should chill down, find out what I want to do, how to do it and do it step by step.


-------------------------------------------My thoughts----------------------------------------------------


I want to do finance -- learning math, use scientific tools to solve problems and making money and I guess there are basically two paths I can do that:


  1. get a phd degree in CS or math;
(I don’t think I could successfully get an admission for phd, but if i could I am willing to spend time before 30 if there are signals indicates I will have progress doing so)

  1. get a MFE degree
-----------------------------------------Questions-------------------------------------------



1/Would you guys please give me some advice on applying MFE degree/ career path after I graduate?


2/Could you tell me what kind of typical career path in FE people with my background would have(if there is any)?


3/I am going to graduate in Dec but the master programs(if I would get into any)would begin in fall, so I would have 8 months to do whatever I want and I am thinking about:

  1. learn C++ (we have a very good engineering programming language course for graduates here I can audit and also I shall read C++ primer)

  2. review and learn algorithm

  3. learn math -- My friend suggest me not to do math since if I don’t have a mentor the progress will be very limited

  4. get an internship(which I am not intended to but if you suggest so and might give me some clue I would try to find one)

Again I appreciate if any of you could share your thoughts and giving me some advice.

Thanks.
 
Firstly, too many contradictions up there.
Secondly, MFE is more CS than finance. So, you would be better off with a simple MFin.
Just my 0.2
 

petergx

New Member
Firstly, too many contradictions up there.
Secondly, MFE is more CS than finance. So, you would be better off with a simple MFin.
Just my 0.2
Thank you for your reply!
Could you give me some clue what's the contradictions so maybe I can explain or find out what's wrong with myself.
Also, if MFE is more CS related why I should not go for it considering I already have a CS background?
 
Thank you for your reply!
Could you give me some clue what's the contradictions so maybe I can explain or find out what's wrong with myself.
Also, if MFE is more CS related why I should not go for it considering I already have a CS background?
You don't like your major. The degree is a boost if you're actually good at programming.
 

petergx

New Member
You don't like your major. The degree is a boost if you're actually good at programming.
You are insightful with this, actually my friend asked me the same question.

The truth is I don't dislike it.
I like programming, just don't feel excited while thinking I am gonna be a software engineer in my forties.
I looked at scientific computing my friend works on in turbulence, they are really thrilling and I like it -- you can say I am just saying so and I will change my mind, I can't say for sure but I am interested in it now.

I don't think I am suck at programming either, definitely not the best in UT but I did kind of learn a lot on the operating system, distributed system and algorithm classes. Just, you know, when I see my TA and other genius doing crazy stuff in programming I know that I really need to learn more.

Also, I really enjoyed probability class(I wish I could have more chance to take more class, but I only took two regarding my degree plan and I have the confidence say that I am one of the best) that make me really want to do a Operation Research or MFE degree.

I helped my friend through financial class and I took some actuarial class myself (life contingency model and derivative markets), those classes are just lame; I never go to class and only need to study the night before exams to get all full 100 on the exam. --I know the real ones in the industry would be much harder, but I guess it's just really not my type.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
"I like programming, just don't feel excited while thinking I am gonna be a software engineer in my forties."

There is a chance that programming might be a large part of your life. Folklore has it that [60,90]% of quant time is spent on such chores.
 

petergx

New Member
"I like programming, just don't feel excited while thinking I am gonna be a software engineer in my forties."

There is a chance that programming might be a large part of your life. Folklore has it that [60,90]% of quant time is spent on such chores.
Sir, first, may I ask if it worth a try to systematically improve my programming skill? (disregarding what master degree I am going to pursuit)I feel it was kind of interesting while reading from C++ books and the I really like the professor who is going to teach the engineering programming class next semester.

(I learned lots of theories, some of them are quite ambiguous: not because they did not taught it well, but I think I lack practice and the other skills to use these theories.)
I noticed you are probably one of the person I would ever met who would answer this question best(if this doesn't bother you): what is the systematical way to learn c++ (to be an entry level financial engineer), is there a bible I can read?

nvm to read: I am kinds of frustrated doing all the setting and configuration during the OS class, and I claimed I like programming just don't like the config stuff and my partner suggested that I am just ***** lazy -- which is true.

what is the possible career path for someone who like programming less than motorbike but more than pizza in financial engineering?

Thank you!
 

petergx

New Member
For everyone read my post, I appreciate your advice and time here is one thing I want to clarify:
I Do Not hate programming.

People know me asked such question and I appreciate you guys really paid attention to my post while reading, I would say my problem is laziness, I am trying to work on that.

But regarding the careers I mostly have intention and opportunity I feel well doing math with computation tools -- and I am not interested being an cashier. I feel thrilled work out a math prob as much as fixed a bug.

I prefer convenient IDE because I am lazy, I am not proud of it. And I do know lots of people like using gdb to debug and coding in terminal... I just prefer not if I do have another option, and if there is a auto-programming machine I would definitely buy one...
BUT, I know that there is no easy way out,
I have to contribute, to learn and work hard to be the person I wanna be.

Just, want to clarify,
I do not hate/dislike/have passive feeling about programming.
 
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Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
"what is the systematical way to learn C++ (to be an entry level financial engineer),"
The QN C++ course, have you read about it here?

"is there a bible I can read?"
No, not really. It's not as easy as that.

"I would say my problem is laziness, I am trying to work on that."
OK
 
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petergx

New Member
How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, practice, practice.
Yes, Sir. I mean I noticed there are various books about C++ programming in financial engineering, from entry-level to advanced. I also talked to a close friend(thus I am assuming that he tell me the truth, all the truth, nothing but truth), he stated that he didn't really get a very solid background from FM program in a top-ten university in US(he is very smart and industrious with an applied math undergrad background). Instead, he said most of time during that 18-month program he was looking for jobs and watching lecture videos during the weekends.

So I assume that I am much on my own and that's why I really wanna know what should I do in the 8-month time before the next fall?(otherwise the best situation I might end up with would be feeling like I get the offer just Admission office made a mistake).
 
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euroazn

Active Member
"I like programming, just don't feel excited while thinking I am gonna be a software engineer in my forties."

There is a chance that programming might be a large part of your life. Folklore has it that [60,90]% of quant time is spent on such chores.
almost considering lifting 90% if you've got size on your offer
 
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