Student reviewers of MFE programs

I can't wait to read all these replies! Andy you are doing well teasing us with these one liners...jk...
From a Baruch MFE'08 graduate

Baruch MFE program has a very practical approach. Most of the classes are well structured with extensive homeworks and assignments which give an opportunity to use hands on tools that are used on Wall Street. Many courses taught by practitioners who know what is important for doing day to day job at a financial institution. There are many guest lecturers invited to give various talks describing current market trends, employment opportunities and giving advice on the ways how to prepare for a successful career in finance.

Faculty is involved very much in educational process. There are additional seminars on various topics (free of charge) available only for Baruch MFE students. Professors are willing to spend extra time with students. We had some classes that ran more than an hour past the official ending time. TA’s and professors can be easily reached by email and give pretty quick response.

There’s a great level of interaction between current students and alumni online at Quant Network as well as in various live events set up by the program. This gives a unique chance to meet Wall Street professionals in informal setting and acquire valuable contacts for the future.

The last but not least is the terrific assistance the program gives to help place its graduating students at the top financial companies. Definitely, program’s location at New York City and active alumni network helps a lot to achieve that. On a top of that, every student gets personal attention from help at creating a competitive resume to advice how to prepare better for the interview at particular company. Given all that, whole process of landing a good job becomes much easier, especially for students without prior experience in finance.
From UCLA MFE alum who graduated Dec 09
Suggestions for the program to make it better
I would work harder to promote the program and the MFE. I want to see more effort and result in promoting it to the industry. Financial engineering is not new, maybe some HR representatives understand what is MFE about, or UCLA MFE just didn't have a reputation.

It seemed to me that we were never being considered for positions that were traditionally held by MBA, even though we might be qualified. It bothered me a bit.

My personal experience with Duetsche Bank (I have friends working there who spoke to the HR) -- I was rejected for their analyst internship because I over-qualified, and I was rejected for their associate internship because I wasn't a MBA nor PhD. So where do we stand?

---------- Post added at 10:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:11 PM ----------

From a Columbia MFE full-time student who will graduate in May 2010
Career Service
They had a resume book, and a career website. There were also many networking events. Columbia is relatively good at placing people, but does not do so well in a bad economy.
What DON'T you like about the program?
Some of the teachers could be better at teaching.
Suggestions for the program to make it better
Perhaps have online notes for each class to allow students the opportunity to teach themselves.


Graduate Student
I was just thinking about this. We know a lot of schools have raced to set up MFE programs recently to supposedly feed the need or demand from aspiring students that cannot get into the marque programs like UCB, CMU, Baruch, Stanford, etc.

Obviously, some of these sub standard programs which are designed as cash-cows will not do a good job in teaching those students the skills they need or positioning them well to break into quant finance roles on the street.

There will be a lot of "buyers remorse" and these students if they choose to do the MFE survey will probably not have very kind words or endorsements of any kind. Since Quantnet is becoming a very big player in the field, with the ability to sway people from applying to certain institutions because of views that have been expressed here. Do you see any legal recourse from those affected institutions? (I guess that's why you have the disclaimer on the form)

Or will it be the case of students having the right to say "hey, I paid for that damn degree and I have every right to tell the next guy in line whether it even worth the paper it's written on"?
How: they will be released online at first in a Review category. Unlike many hotel/restaurant/book reviews done by people who never visited/ate/read what they review, we will verify each and every review submitted by our members to make sure they are done by graduates of such program.

We may publish a magazine with these user reviews. We'll see where 2010 takes us.

When: as soon as we can. Work is being done around the clock behind the scene to ...well, we'll keep it a big surprise for our members.
The reviews are set up so that
  1. We can verify identity of reviewers. The initial group of reviewers have been approached directly by us so we know who they are.
  2. Reviewers can remain anonymous so they have total freedom on what they want to say.
We believe Quantnet will be a reflection of the new shift on how info is shared/consumed. People are using social networks like twitter to gather/share info online and having other sources of reliable info besides the program's website is just a natural progression.

Disclaimer aside, I don't see any legal obstacle. Would the author of a book takes legal action against the reviewers who write unkind reviews on Amazon? Would the studio do the same thing for bad movies reviews? It's certainly would be very hard under our current system to write a review with malicious intention. Most people we have approached have been enthusiastic and generally supportive of their own program.

One would hope that the programs would use this opportunity to improve their own and learn from what others are doing right/wrong. At the end, we all learn something.
From the beginning I found the level of attention Professor Stefanica spent on the admissions process and the dedication he affords his students to be unmatched. Coming from a non-finance and non-CS background I was very careful to choose an MFE program that would make me competitive in a tough environment. However, I could tell immediately during a battery of "refresher" courses prior to the first semester that I had made the right choice. These courses were highly rigorous, and meant to merely bring all of us up to an entry-level of study.

The curriculum for the program is very challenging, but well worth the sacrifice. Dan told me when he admitted me that as long as I studied hard and applied myself, he would find a job for me. He more than lived up to his word, as I graduated with multiple offers to consider in one of the worst job markets in history. If I had the choice to do it over, I would still choose to study Financial Engineering at Baruch.
Roger Trimble, Baruch MFE'09
Commodities trader/quantitative analyst, NuWave Investment Management
From CMU MSCF student who graduated 12/09
Career service
MSCF shares with MBA students the career service website for Tepper School of Business (And other CMU students do not have access to this website). MSCF students also have access to the career service website of CMU. Both websites are very helpful, and most students can get at least several on-campus interviews from these sources. Most major banks come to campus recruit through these websites.

MSCF also sends out resume books to a long list of firms, and these firm do give a lot of interviews in response to the resume book. These firms include many big names like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Nomura Securities, GETCO, etc.

The career service consultants are very helpful in providing advice on resume and cover letter writing, job hunting and interview preparation, mock interviews, etc. Many consultants are CMU alumni that has many years experience in the industry. e.g. Sondi has worked at Goldman for 12 years, and Jack at Barclays for 8 years.
Good things happen to those who wait ;)

We are putting up the reviews one by one. Available are reviews from all major programs, thanks to all who have contributed to our community by writing a review.

Without further ado, attached is one of the earliest review submitted by a recent graduate of the NYU Math Finance program.


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Good things happen to those who wait ;)

We are putting up the reviews one by one. Available are reviews from all major programs, thanks to all who have contributed to our community by writing a review.

Without further ado, attached is one of the earliest review submitted by a recent graduate of the NYU Math Finance program.

Great review! Makes me want to go to NYU. Thanks a lot.
hey Andy, can you post the full review for BU math fin? I just got an acceptance and they want a deposit of $1000 to hold a spot in their class before Feb 17. A full review would be great so I can decide whether I should pay the deposit. Thanks!