Chicago MSFM Should I do the Chicago MSFM at Singapore ?

stonyblue

New Member
I am admitted by U of Chicago MSFM at Singapore (Singapore Program) and now I am considering whether I should attend it. I decided to go for MFE late (this March) so I missed the deadlines of most US/UK programs for Fall 2008 intake. This Chicago program at Singapore is the only one I managed to apply to. I am working in Singapore now as an engineer.


Now I have two options:

1. reject the Chicago MSMF @ Singapore admission, apply to Fall 2009 intake of
top UK/US programs (I am sure I can secure a few admissions). However I
will waste 1 year in engineering job, which is very demanding in working
hours and not helpful to my future career at all. I will be 29 when I
graduate in year 2010, kind of old for entry level job. However I can look
for job in US/London right after the master program.

2. do the U of Chicago MSFM @ Singapore, work in Singapore / hong kong for
several years, and then try to move to UK / US. However I am not sure the
feasibility of moving from asia to UK/US.

For both options, financing is not a problem. My long term goal is to work
in Chicago / London / New York. Please comment. Thanks.
 

Uncle Max

Member
If your long term goal is to work in Chicago / London / New York then it makes more sense to study there, get internship, build your network. One year will go pretty fast and you can spend it reading financial books to get more familiar with the topic.
 

stonyblue

New Member
thansk maxrum . does it mean moving from asia to UK/US is very difficuolt ?

any dude familiar with HK/Singapore would help comment ?


If your long term goal is to work in Chicago / London / New York then it makes more sense to study there, get internship, build your network. One year will go pretty fast and you can spend it reading financial books to get more familiar with the topic.
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
At the risk of duplication I hear bad things about the organisation of this program. Phrases like "we asked for a refund" and "horrendous". The TA's were somewhat less than respected also.

One set of information I got was so bad that I have to talk to my lawyer before I post it., and for various reasons they are committing Cricket at an army base.

Also unlike the live course there are no visa advantages for graduates wanting to work in the US. Bizarrely however although it is a "US" MFE, it does help a lot if you want to be allowed to work in London.

If you think the Chicago course is for you, do the Chicago course in Chicago. I fear the difference is between watching a porn star and being a porn star :)

Also the deadlines for several MFE courses are rather less rigid than you might think, some also have January starts. Or you could do the CQF :)
 

stonyblue

New Member
thanks Domini,

I would appreciate if you can share more information if your lawer say it's okay.
insde information associated with "refund / horrendous" can't be more critical.
 

Sanket Patel

i do stuff
If you think the Chicago course is for you, do the Chicago course in Chicago. I fear the difference is between watching a porn star and being a porn star :)
Dominic, you have some of the most brilliant analogies. :tiphat::prayer:
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
"On the contrary I pity this old man for putting up such analogies."

That is just cruel, you'll be old one day, then you will know how it is :(
But I win because my significant other is prettier than yours.
Old != Past It.

Andy is right about the money affecting academia badly. It is not only finance, but other degrees are suffering from the desire to grab cash.

A purely commercial discipline is to sell as much as people will buy. A MFE costs the same as a Jaguar sports car. Jaguar does not insist on you passing an advanced driving test before they let you buy one.
But they are quite happy to be paid yet more money to fix it when you have an accident :)

Columbia and Chicago MFEs have as part of their value that it is perceived that they are hard to get into. However, there is actually no reason why they could not teach every single MFE student on the planet.
At one level there is an attractive business model. Use decent quality video conferencing to reach everyone, everywhere. Back this up with teaching assistants of a better quality than they so far have used. That's actually the toughest task, since you need good quality control, but feasible given a year to find and train the best.

The trick is to let in anyone who will pay, but keep the final exams at a challenging level that employers will respect.
A smarter wheeze is to include extras like the "Soft Skills" stuff we are soon giving on the CQF and a high quality "English for quants" . I

Although I don't think that Columbia & Chicago are going for world domination, they are half way between the commercial and academic worlds, and thus they often genuinely see things differently than a school that offers a masters in Medieval music or a PhD in string theory.
 

stonyblue

New Member
The truth is that top MFE programs especially Princeton & Stanford are quite difficult to get in.
The above statement is probably more suitable for certificate programs like CQF , FRM or CFA.
The trick is to let in anyone who will pay, but keep the final exams at a challenging level that employers will respect.
 

bigbadwolf

Well-Known Member
Although I don't think that Columbia & Chicago are going for world domination, they are half way between the commercial and academic worlds, and thus they often genuinely see things differently than a school that offers a masters in Medieval music or a PhD in string theory.
At the risk of belabouring the obvious, this holds for all degress associated with business -- MBAs as well as MFEs. What's offered is not academic rigour (despite protestations to the contrary) but

1) The cachet of the university's name (Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton), usually built on the basis of top-flight education and research over decades, but now being squandered in the greed for cash,

2) vocationally tailored courses (i.e. what will sell on the job market), and

3) internship and networking capabilities.
 

stonyblue

New Member
(for US MFE programs only ):

Princeton Stanford Berkeley Chicago Columbia CMU NYU

Maybe you can also add Michigan and Cornell. That's all.
I believe most people would agree.

Why did you ask ?



stonyblue,

what is your definition of a top program?
 

alain

Older and Wiser
I just wanted to know what you use as criteria. It still doesn't seem very clear to me how you come up with those names but that's ok. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion.

BTW, I don't think most people will agree with your statement either.
 

stonyblue

New Member
well , my criteria is simply excellent school brand + quality research/teaching in quant finance + impressive placement figures . sound fair, isn't it ?

Different opinions are always there. Some people think Waterloo's FE program is among top3 in North America. good for them!


I just wanted to know what you use as criteria. It still doesn't seem very clear to me how you come up with those names but that's ok. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion.

BTW, I don't think most people will agree with your statement either.
 

alain

Older and Wiser
IMO and experience, brand doesn't mean anything in this field, so I can skip that part.

I can't talk about quality of teaching because I've never taken class in those places (I have spoken with people in some of those programs and with people who teach in those programs so I have an idea but that is not my opinion). So the only thing left for me is placement record. I haven't seen numbers for all of the programs you mentioned (because they don't usually publish them) so I would reduce that list.

If you have placement numbers for each of those schools, could you post them or a link to them? That will be a great help for anybody looking for advice.

BTW, stonyblue, are you in the US?
 

alain

Older and Wiser
I re-read the thread and it looks like you are in Singapore so the brand name might be very important for you.

However, I doubt if you can know for sure which programs are good or not. I would recommend you to talk to people in those programs before you form an opinion. You might be surprise from what you hear.

PM me if you want to know more.
 

Mathamaniac

New Member
IMO and experience, brand doesn't mean anything in this field, so I can skip that part.
I am not sure why most of the posts from Baruch guys sound like this but Alain, I hope you agree that a brand delivers premium quality education. Right ? (I take marketing absolutely out of it).I agree that beyond a specific level the brand name doesn't matter and it's your individual attitude but still I can safely assume that the so called brand names like Columbia, Stanford, Chicago and CMU impart premium quality education.If you are joining any post grad apart from a job I hope you are looking for the best quality of learning.. isn't it. I would love to pay a 50k fee and land up an 80k job from Columbia than pay a 30k fees and an 80k job from any XYZ institute but that's again an individual preference however you can take my word that most of the aspirants would fall for the former given a chance.

To DC :

If i take you back to your mid twenties (i know you'll be happy with this offer but pls don't take it too seriously) :)... and i offer you an FM / FE degree from two universities :- University of Chicago (costly yet a premium quality education) and Baruch (economical but education which i can assume to be at least not as good as UChicago...(don't argue on this now :))).Be discreet in your choice because you were talking of something like a Jaguar Car in your last post and therefore I put this question to you...

Now let me talk about the commercial aspect of the same. Considering the fact that the American economy is crumbling and what lies next might be even worst .. is it SOOOO bad a decision to join UChicago Singapore considering the VERY FACT that there is a lot of potential of growth in this part of the world? (Do you have any second opinion to this ?)
 
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