Columbia MSOR some truth about the Columbia MSOR

Stefan, the issue is, I have an engineering background and great work experience in one of the biggest engineering companies in the world. But, I want to move to IB and I know MBA-Fin from a top program will get me there, but I will not get admitted to any school without some financial work exp. So MFE is one way to shift and then probably get into MBA-Fin.

Dont know if I will get in another specialized field (mfe) and not be able to shift to IB even with a MBA
Many MBA programs don't require finance experience. It seems that your end goal is to work as investment banker. In this case, I would recommend to build a strong application for an MBA school.
It can include good recommendations, perfect GMAT, even taking some CFA levels, taking general management courses (not necessarily part of a program) etc ...

MFE is a completely different direction from MBA. As far as I know, I don't think an MFE will increase a lot of your chances of being admitted to a top-5 MBA program ...
 

renaissance man

New Member
Admissions

Hello,

I just want to start my first post by thanking all of the contributors. The spirited debate is extremely valuable to me and I greatly appreciate it. It's always amazing to see that people are willing to contribute so much information to a community for the benefit of others.

Does anyone have any statistics on admissions for Colombia's MSOR program? What do average undergrad GRE and GPA scores look like, etc? How many are accepted from the applicant pool of how many? Any information like that, even qualitative in nature, would be helpful.

Also, in this thread, it was mentioned that there are very few Americans in the program. Does anyone think being American (speaking fluent English) would be an advantage for an applicant?

Thanks for any and all replies!

rm
 

financeguy

Active Member
Hey all,

Checking back in for the first time in a while.
I was recently browsing the student list in the Columbia MS programs and it does seem as if these classes are continuing to grow in size - I'd be a bit concerned about that as a new non-American student. I haven't been back there though so I can't comment specifically.
As for admissions statistics from MSOR, I don't have a number obviously, but I keep up with about 11 people from my graduating 2009 class and 8 of them are employed in financial services or consulting and 3 are still looking. And to be fair not all 8 are working at what people on these threads would consider the "top tier" firms - though I wouldn't say that has any correlation with which ones are happy with their jobs! And only 1 of those 11 is American.
One new piece of insight I have is when you're poking around at new job opportunities after working somewhere post graduation, nobody cares which program or what school you are from as long as it's a big name and a relevant subject area. A good GPA from Columbia MSOR and you are pretty solid down the line in the education department.
 
Hey all,

Checking back in for the first time in a while.
I was recently browsing the student list in the Columbia MS programs and it does seem as if these classes are continuing to grow in size - I'd be a bit concerned about that as a new non-American student. I haven't been back there though so I can't comment specifically.
As for admissions statistics from MSOR, I don't have a number obviously, but I keep up with about 11 people from my graduating 2009 class and 8 of them are employed in financial services or consulting and 3 are still looking. And to be fair not all 8 are working at what people on these threads would consider the "top tier" firms - though I wouldn't say that has any correlation with which ones are happy with their jobs! And only 1 of those 11 is American.
One new piece of insight I have is when you're poking around at new job opportunities after working somewhere post graduation, nobody cares which program or what school you are from as long as it's a big name and a relevant subject area. A good GPA from Columbia MSOR and you are pretty solid down the line in the education department.
where did you get the MSOR student list? I think IEOR hasn't updated their official student list on their official website for quite a long time.

Also, are you saying even the top well-known financial firms in the Wall Street don't care which program and which school you got your degree from (in terms of hiring people)?
 

financeguy

Active Member
the student list on the IEOR website i believe is pretty current.. i'm no longer on there and classmates of mine who graduated a semester after me aren't there either.. so that's not outdated at all really

and yes that's what i'm saying about the top wall street firms.. when i speak with other firms after having worked a year all that matters is that i did well at a quant masters program at columbia - which one in particular doesn't matter to them
 
the student list on the IEOR website i believe is pretty current.. i'm no longer on there and classmates of mine who graduated a semester after me aren't there either.. so that's not outdated at all really

and yes that's what i'm saying about the top wall street firms.. when i speak with other firms after having worked a year all that matters is that i did well at a quant masters program at columbia - which one in particular doesn't matter to them
What would they (wall street firms) consider "doing well at a quant masters program at Columbia"? Do they use GPA as measuring tool?

I am currently having 4.0 after 4 classes at Columbia MSOR, but I don't expect to have 4.0 after I am done with the 10 required classes (but I'll study hard to maintain 4.0), in general, what GPA do they consider "doing well"?

Also, I doubt the student list is current.... First, my name is not there. Second, one of my TAs (currently a PhD student at IEOR) is listed under Masters student list.
 

financeguy

Active Member
that's interesting about the student list.. i know it's current through students who graduated after last year's fall semester. so at worst they are a semester behind.. in any case you should let them know and they'll update it.. i'd be worried that there might be even more students on the list then!

as for what's doing well i guess that varies from firm to firm but keep it above a 3.5 cumulative
 

TraderJoe

Active Member
maybe your friend fell into that group of 3 out of 11.
That may be true. But it is necessary to find out what separated the 8 who got jobs and visa sponsorships from the 3 who could not get jobs. You would think that Stanford Math Fin degree and 3.9 GPA would almost guarantee a job. I am just trying to figure out exactly what went wrong.
 

Andy Nguyen

Member
Many programs would categorize any student who has a part-time job, internship, consulting, etc after graduation as having a job. There is no guideline on how to report this. Some would use 3-month-after-graduation as in MBA programs, some would mention nothing. Some would use the fraction of people who reported to their survey (Columbia MFE, Rutgers MSMF).
In the case of the Stanford grad, the program may or may not count him in the "found a job" category.
Do you only count those with US job? Do you count those who can't find job in the US and go back home and doing whatever there as having a job?
It's an area where there aren't much data to look at.

I know it's hard to push programs to publish their relevant stats but you guys need to understand how much leverage the prospective students (paying customers) have over the well-being of these programs. If a program does not show it, keep asking for it and eventually, it will give in.

This has happened to at least one program. My guess is more will see the writings on the wall and follow suit to survive. In the mean time, I would strongly encourage every potential applicant to email and ask the programs about their admission and placement stats. You don't go buy a car/computer without learning about its specs. And you don't spend 100K on a program you know nothing about the whereabout of its graduates.
 

TraderJoe

Active Member
Yeah, it would surely be helpful if the universities could provide this detailed placement information. Until now, UCLA has released detailed placement stats that 47% found jobs in USA, 40% in Hongkong/Singapore/China and 13% unemployed. They also provided the salaries. It would surely be helpful if the universities would provide detailed placement data and salary statistics before the students take out $100K debt.
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
Andy is right that customers have power in this market, if they keep pushing.

Since they are already doing that, but we see little movement, my intuition says that there must be forces pushing the other way.

I suspect they rationally see first mover disadvantage.
If you publish honest, comprehensive career outcomes for your students, then there is a risk that some horror will be found, and used against you.

So college X may find that (say) 6% of its students are unemployed two years after completing the course. That would be a mix of people who recently lost their job, never got one, and decided that this work was not for them.

That 6% may actually be much better than the average, it might even be about the best, but you can see how that might look against a school that stuck to the "99.9 % of our students get placed" line.

As it happens, the UCEM we have at P&D could do this objectively and consistently. But it would take 2-3 months to run, would give a table of the form:

School::Course::Graduation Date::Job Title::Employer::Employer Type

But even with our level resource there's a couple of obvious problems.

1) Persuading people to tell us their pay is non trivial so not in the above table.

2) We can't find all people who don't work in banking. They don't register on our radar, so if someone does an MFE, but goes to work in Starbucks, odds are that we never see him.

3) We don't see everyone, contrary to what some people seem to believe, the P&D database does not include all bankers. That means we could say that X% of grads from Y school work for GS at some point in their career, we couldn't give an actual count, and the number that is based upon may not be statistically sound.

4) There are aggregation problems, in that some universities and courses have multiple names that their alumni call it. This thread itself is an example where a course is called "MSOR", rather than it's full name. New York, London and Paris each have many universities and institutes, and although it's entirely feasible to untangle that with a sed script, it's a big boring effort.

5) Our data can't be trusted. As I've mentioned elsewhere, the founders of P&D are themselves part of the financial education industry, so would you really believe us saying we are really good ?

6) Representing it is an entertaining problem in visualisation.
Personally I think of these things as non deterministic finite state automata, where transitions have probabilities with memory and therefore are Markov chains, ie if you graduate from X, and your first job is at Y, the odds of your next job being in a hedge fund is Z.

But I don't see that as a mass market graphic. I actually did something like that once, and the art director of PC Magazine wrote that it was the worst image ever to have appeared on a computer screen.
 

financeguy

Active Member
i didnt fully understand what dominiconnor wrote below but im sure its spot on haha

as for other factors beside GPA and test scores and school name, a big one is being able to interview well.. you need to come across as someone smart and trainable that they can also put up with sitting next to for 12 hours a day and maybe even get a beer with afterwards.. not suggesting that was your friends problem but it definitely IS a problem with a lot of students coming out of these programs
 
i didnt fully understand what dominiconnor wrote below but im sure its spot on haha

as for other factors beside GPA and test scores and school name, a big one is being able to interview well.. you need to come across as someone smart and trainable that they can also put up with sitting next to for 12 hours a day and maybe even get a beer with afterwards.. not suggesting that was your friends problem but it definitely IS a problem with a lot of students coming out of these programs
I am not sure if I would have any energy left for a beer party after a 12-hr work day... LOL.
 
Hi TraderJoe,

This is Anshum.I have absolutely no idea who you are and where you get your information from.

On graduation from Stanford, I had a couple of offers - one in NYC and the other one in London. I took up the London one as you should have seen from my LinkedIn account and worked there for a year before I moved to DB in my hometown Mumbai.

I am assuming you are an Indian. Small assumption on my side, given you have made such big assumptions about me without even knowing who I am.

Working in India can be a lifestyle choice (read - easier lifestyle, better hours, greater money saving, friends and family) for many as opposed to a failure to secure a job abroad.

Next time, plz check before you post mis leading information and LinkedIn Accounts about me or anyone else on a public forum.

Kind Regards,
Anshum

Haha.... TraderJoe just got busted?
 

mbagradperson

New Member
Updates on this program

Can any current students chime in on the employment situation? Can students still find jobs? The information on their website seems to be outdated now as they still refer to Lehman Brothers. I started a dialogue with the lady at Career Services but she did not respond to my second email.
 

roni

Cornell FE
Can any current students chime in on the employment situation? Can students still find jobs? The information on their website seems to be outdated now as they still refer to Lehman Brothers. I started a dialogue with the lady at Career Services but she did not respond to my second email.
What's her email ?
Will also email her, that will put pressure on her to answer :\
 

roni

Cornell FE
I read through the thread and MSOR students (probably graduated already) said that MSOR students can get a concentration in FE with many if not all courses identical to the MSFE students.
Now, I'm looking at the MSFE course plan:

IEOR E4701: Stochastic Models for Financial Engineering
IEOR E4702: Statistical Tools for Financial Engineering
IEOR E4706: Foundations of Financial Engineering
IEOR E4729: Financial Markets, Institutions and Risk


Fall: Required Core, 15 points

IEOR E4007: Optimization Models and Methods for Financial Engineering
IEOR E4703: Monte Carlo Simulation
IEOR E4707: Financial Engineering: Continuous Time Models
IEOR E4709: Data Analysis for Financial Engineering

One elective (1.5 - 3 points)
IEOR E4720: Topics in Quantitative Finance: Commodity Derivatives (M. Higgins)
IEOR E4721: Topics in Quantitative Finance: Global Capital Markets (S. Dastidar)
IEOR E4723: Topics in Quantitative Finance: Behavioral Finance (X. He)
IEOR E4728: Topics in Quantitative Finance: Guide to Financial Industry for Quantitative Professionals (A. Kuznetsov)

Spring, 12 points
Choose four from the courses below, plus one other course in consultation with faculty adviser.

DRAN B8835: Security Pricing Models (C. Moallemi)
IEOR E4500: Applications Programming for Financial Engineering (D. Bienstock)
IEOR E4602: Quantitative Risk Management (M. Haugh)
IEOR E4630: Asset Allocation (G. Iyengar)
IEOR E4710: Term Structure Modeling (M. Haugh)
IEOR E4718: Introduction to the Implied Volatility Smile (E. Derman)
IEOR E4721: Topics in Quantitative Finance: Computational Methods in Derivatives Pricing (A. Hirsa)
IEOR E4722: Topics in Quantitative Finance: Algorithmic Trading (I. Kani)
IEOR E4723: Topics in Quantitative Finance: Foreign Exchange & Related Derivatives Instruments (D. DeRosa)
IEOR E4724: Topics in Quantitative Finance: Introduction to Structured & Hybrid Products (I. Kani)
IEOR E4726: Topics in Quantitative Finance: Experimental Finance (M. Lipkin & A. Stanton)
IEOR E4731: Credit Risk Modeling and Credit Derivatives (X. He)



And, I'm looking at the MSOR course plan:

IEOR E4004: Intro to OR: Deterministic Models
IEOR E4106: Intro to OR: Stochastic Models
IEOR E4404: Simulation
SIEO W4150: Introduction to Probability and Statistics (can be waived if the student has the right background in probability and statistics)

And the rest are electives. Say I can waive SIEO W4150 and replace it with an FE class.Now, these courses are offered only in the summer:
IEOR E4701: Stochastic Models for Financial Engineering
IEOR E4702: Statistical Tools for Financial Engineering
IEOR E4706: Foundations of Financial Engineering
IEOR E4729: Financial Markets, Institutions and Risk


So, you already miss the core courses and they are the prerequisites for many other courses. For instance, the prereq for IEOR E4007 is IEOR E4701(offered in the summer). So, what did the past MSOR students meant when they said that you can take many MSFE courses ? And, how if MSOR students don't have the prerequisites?

Thanks.
 
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