SWE Profile Evaluation (Reality check)

Hi, I am aiming to apply to MFE programs for the 2023 school year and would like a reality check on my profile.

Work Experience:
2 years as a software engineer, currently building backtesting systems for quants at a large fintech firm

Education:
Economics and Software Engineering Double Major from Top Canadian University
GPA 3.0, biggest weakness

Courses:
Coding - various algorithm/data structure classes. I come from a Java background and have been doing C++/Python in the past two years for work.
Math - discrete math, linear, statistics, calc 1/2. I am missing probability and not sure what else since school requirements may vary.
Econ - micro/macro, econometrics, and various electives

I know my poor GPA likely eliminates me from top schools. I'm wondering if my work experience makes up for my GPA to still give me a shot at some solid programs. I'm not sure how valuable my background is given most people on this forum are already in the industry and applying to MFE. I'm grinding GRE now and hope to take the CFA lvl 1 after.

I've had many hedge funds reach out for dev positions, but I'm far more interested on the quant side. Would it be better to get a quant dev position then try to break into research? I'm looking to separate out programs that have stringent gpa requirements vs ones that may be more open to strong engineers w/experience.

Thanks!
 
I think you are more suited for a quantitative developer position based on your background and experience than a quantitative research position. Still, suppose you are keen on breaking into quantitative research. In that case, a requisite knowledge of financial mathematics and stochastic calculus is a must, and this is where I think an MFE program would be most helpful.

As you stated, your GPA seems to be the biggest weakness in your overall application to MFE programs, which is obvious. It's simply because the competition for top MFE programs is fierce. However, you can still shoot your shot more carefully by applying to top-rank and mid-rank schools based on QuantNet's ranking.

Note:
I
: Before applying, I recommend you go through the school's curriculum and familiarize yourself with their MFE program. Also, get reports from past alums and check the program's page on QuantNet.

II:
(i) I do not think your work experience makes up for your GPA, but I am no admission officer. Every school is unique and how they evaluate your overall application is different. However, I think your experience would stand out in your application since it's a relevant experience.

(ii) Make sure you score high on the GRE with a quant score of 168 and above.

(iii) Take the CFA LVL 1 and pass the exam. It may help your application if you consider UCB's MFE program.

I wish you the best.
 
Thanks for your insights. I was thinking my work experience would help me tell a good story of why MFE and flow naturally into my goals. I am also considering other masters programs, though MFE fits my goals the most.
 
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Thanks for your insights. I was thinking my work experience would help me tell a good story of why MFE and flow naturally into my goals. I am also considering other masters programs, though MFE fits my goals and helps with the lacks I lack.

Yes, I think your work experience can help you tell a good story and flow naturally into your goals. I recommend you consider the MFE as your plan A and maybe the MMF (Masters in Mathematical Finance) as your plan B. I believe these programs best prepare you for a career in quantitative finance.
 
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