Columbia MAFN Some Information about Columbia MAFN

diegosanaz

BU MSMF
Just out of curiosity. Given that the program doesn't do much to place students. What is the difference between MAFN and the Master in Stats in terms of placement? Where does the MAFN students gain advantage over the Stats ones?
 

xiaoyin

New Member
"Not lucky enough. I have to mention that I am fluent in French, and I always met French managers in the interviews. Seeing a Chinese student speaking fluently in French really amazed them, which also made the atmosphere of the conversation really comfortable and amiable. I can't guarantee the result will be the same if the managers were like Russian or Indian, since I do not speak Russian or Hindi."

I am an incoming MSFE at Columbia. As a native French and Chinese speaker your information was very helpful, thanks for sharing!
 

Omar Felix

Member
What exactly "big name" are you talking about? I understand people go to Columbia for their campus environment/legacy/professors and so on, but if a financial engineer would rely on the name of their school to get jobs then he should probably look for another career. Ivy League undergrad certainly deserve its reputation (I went to a non-ivy but equally prestigious college so may be I just don't care about brand name), but not so true for their masters. This is especially true for Columbia because it has soooooooo many master programs. To be honest with you I know many people who didn't go to Columbia exactly because it's Columbia. The fact that they have such a low admission bar for so many mediocre master programs (eg. the Chinese dominated Statistics MA) has already severely damaged their brand name, especially in Mainland China. This is even affecting its top tier programs like MFE. If Columbia doesn't stop doing so, its reputation would be ruined further.

After all, we're financial engineers, so perform or perish. There's no other way around. Your future track record as a PM, trading book PnL as trader/strat, and research projects as an analyst are the only things that matter.
Once again, everyone may have a unique preference.
 

Mensa

Member
Just out of curiosity. Given that the program doesn't do much to place students. What is the difference between MAFN and the Master in Stats in terms of placement? Where does the MAFN students gain advantage over the Stats ones?
Maybe it is a little late to reply, but I would like to let other followers see this.

There are TOO MUCH differences between STAT and MAFN Master's programs at Columbia, though the MAFN program is co-sponsored by STAT department.

1. The students' profiles differ a lot. STAT admits a large number of "unqualified candidates". Some of them are even from low-tiered Chinese universities (a part of them). In sharp contrast, the MAFN program only admits students with strong background from those well-known institutions, and the class size is almost less than a half of the STAT program, which has 200+.

2. The curriculums differ a lot. The core curriculum of STAT program requires several courses like: Probability and Statistical Inference, Linear Regression Models, which are the ABCs of Statistics and should have been learned in undergraduate. Although many MAFN courses are open to STAT students, most of them are unable to handle the complex coursework. One needs to look no further than an ironic example: in the beginning of last two semesters, I found there were many STAT students coming to MAFN or other very advanced classes, but after the first lecture or first homework being posted, most of them dropped out and never came back again. I have heard so many STAT students talking about "choosing a easy course to get a higher grade".

3. The placement results differ a lot, even though they both don't offer good career service. Many STAT students never put much effort into finding jobs. Some of them only care about the name of Columbia, and have to go back their country after graduation. Not to mention the much better placement results, the MAFN program has established good reputation in the industry. The competition of Master's students for Finance jobs at Columbia is mostly from MAFN, MSOR, MSFE and B-School. The STAT program cannot be compared with MAFN.
 
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