UCB MFE UCB MFE Admit Conditions

Pablo Bertisch

New Member
I have been accepted into the UC Berkeley MFE program yesterday, on 2/27, for the Spring 2015 term. However, I was assigned several conditions that I must meet such as:
-Raise GRE score
-Pass CFA Level 1 exam
-Pass preprogram courses
I was wondering if these or other conditions are usually assigned to admitted students and what would happen if, for example, I attempt but fail to pass the CFA exam. Would by admission be revoked?
Any advice or personal experiences are useful.
Thank you.
 

moretodo

Active Member
They have, as yet to the best of my knowledge, not revoked anyone's offer. It's just to prepare you better for the program going through what they consider the unofficial first year of the program.
 

HelenM

New Member
Hi Pablo,
When did you get this email? Did you have any second round interviews?

thanks
 

moretodo

Active Member
Congratulations! Its a great program if you have 2-3 years of work experience.
 

moretodo

Active Member
What did you mean by "if you have 2-3 years of work experience"? Is it not a good program if you do not?
You will be at a significant disadvantage since most of your peers will have work experience so you probably would not get as many interviews through the program as your peers with work experience would be given preference. Also, most jobs that come in at UCB MFE are mid career opportunities as opposed to entry level at Columbia which is more relevant and compatible to your profile in my opinion.
 
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curltron

Member
What did you mean by "if you have 2-3 years of work experience"? Is it not a good program if you do not?
Hi Pablo. I'm actually a current student in the program, graduating in a few weeks. Not sure how moretodo is getting this information as he is not, to my knowledge, a current student. I came into the program without any experience, and was able to secure an internship at Goldman Sachs, and recently took a full-time offer in automated trading at a different bank.

The lack of experience in this program can actually be a huge advantage as your projects become your experience in interviews. In my case, I did projects that I was extremely passionate about and hence got interviews for positions I was passionate about. The program is in my opinion the best in the world when it comes to selling you to employers, but you do need to make sure you have interesting selling points. However, I don't think you would get an offer if they didn't think they could sell you easily.

On the topic of admit conditions, all I can tell you is I completed all of mine. One of mine was the GRE, and I found it helpful when it came to interview tests, which can sometimes follow the GRE math format. The preprogram classes get you prepared for the material in the program, and they're actually taught by professors you'll see in the MFE. To my knowledge everyone took the preprogram courses that were assigned. I wasn't assigned the CFA so I can't comment on that, but I know quite a few students were and completed it.
 

moretodo

Active Member
Hi Pablo. I'm actually a current student in the program, graduating in a few weeks. Not sure how moretodo is getting this information as he is not, to my knowledge, a current student. I came into the program without any experience, and was able to secure an internship at Goldman Sachs, and recently took a full-time offer in automated trading at a different bank.

The lack of experience in this program can actually be a huge advantage as your projects become your experience in interviews. In my case, I did projects that I was extremely passionate about and hence got interviews for positions I was passionate about. The program is in my opinion the best in the world when it comes to selling you to employers, but you do need to make sure you have interesting selling points. However, I don't think you would get an offer if they didn't think they could sell you easily.

On the topic of admit conditions, all I can tell you is I completed all of mine. One of mine was the GRE, and I found it helpful when it came to interview tests, which can sometimes follow the GRE math format. The preprogram classes get you prepared for the material in the program, and they're actually taught by professors you'll see in the MFE. To my knowledge everyone took the preprogram courses that were assigned. I wasn't assigned the CFA so I can't comment on that, but I know quite a few students were and completed it.
Curltron is right. I'm not an UCB MFE student; neither past, present or future. While I agree with everything you've stated in principal, can you please confirm if every student who went to the program with you straight out of college have had significantly better access to opportunities than other Tier 1 programs as it seems to be in your case or are you an exception?
 

curltron

Member
I'd expect all of the fresh graduates in the program to give feedback similar to mine, but I can't read minds nor will I try. The gist though is that the program wouldn't give an offer to a student they didn't think they could place. They have quite a selection to choose from, and good potential applicants are watching placement statistics like a hawk, as this thread demonstrates.
 

moretodo

Active Member
I'd expect all of the fresh graduates in the program to give feedback similar to mine, but I can't read minds nor will I try. The gist though is that the program wouldn't give an offer to a student they didn't think they could place. They have quite a selection to choose from, and good potential applicants are watching placement statistics like a hawk, as this thread demonstrates.
A response that would make a politician proud! You should perhaps consider running for office if and when you retire. Congratulations on your offer! Wish you my best.
 

vtomar

New Member
Hi moretodo, I am a UCB MFE student. You had private messaged me earlier to inquire about the program. You had then mentioned that you had applied to the program and got waitlisted. Please make this information clear in your postings or else you are misleading applicants. Also, you mentioned that you are not from India but then you went on to ask questions about non-IITians and if they are disadvantaged in the program. After having sent that message, you realized I might have figured out that you are an impersonator, so you ended up sending me another message clarifying that you are asking all this information for one of your friends and not for yourself.
I am made to wonder, if you think spreading false second hand information about the program is going to bump up your application from the waiting list to being admitted.
 

TraderJoe

Active Member
Hi moretodo, I am a UCB MFE student. You had private messaged me earlier to inquire about the program. You had then mentioned that you had applied to the program and got waitlisted. Please make this information clear in your postings or else you are misleading applicants. Also, you mentioned that you are not from India but then you went on to ask questions about non-IITians and if they are disadvantaged in the program. After having sent that message, you realized I might have figured out that you are an impersonator, so you ended up sending me another message clarifying that you are asking all this information for one of your friends and not for yourself.
I am made to wonder, if you think spreading false second hand information about the program is going to bump up your application from the waiting list to being admitted.
EXCELLENT POINTS. I always get suspicious when people advise others to decline admission to Berkeley. If you take a look at their placement statistics, it is a no-brainer to accept an admit from Berkeley. So these guys are misleading others to decline a Berkeley admit so that they can get admission themselves. This is really pathetic of these guys. I hope they land in IIT-Chicago and get help from BBW for their placement.
I think that he has advised someone else on thi forum to decline Berkeley and go to Columbia MFE.
 

moretodo

Active Member
Hi moretodo, I am a UCB MFE student. You had private messaged me earlier to inquire about the program. You had then mentioned that you had applied to the program and got waitlisted. Please make this information clear in your postings or else you are misleading applicants. Also, you mentioned that you are not from India but then you went on to ask questions about non-IITians and if they are disadvantaged in the program. After having sent that message, you realized I might have figured out that you are an impersonator, so you ended up sending me another message clarifying that you are asking all this information for one of your friends and not for yourself.
I am made to wonder, if you think spreading false second hand information about the program is going to bump up your application from the waiting list to being admitted.
I am not an impersonator. Yes, I had personally messaged you regarding the same since it so happens that an ex-work colleague (my firm was his client) has been admitted to the program who happens to be an Indian and I was asking on his behalf. Since he helped me quite a bit with my work, I was merely trying to return the favor.

Your assumption that I am spreading "false" information with the hopes that my application would eventually be accepted is quite frankly short sighted and unbecoming of a UCB MFE student whom I thought are generally smart. I don't see how affecting the decisions of the MFE2015 admits would affect my chances of making it to MFE2014.
 

vtomar

New Member
Hi Pablo and students who are planning to apply or have applied straight out of undergrad. Let me share my first hand experience:

Thank you for considering Berkeley! To start with, the top rank holder in the class is a student straight from undergrad with no work experience. He secured an internship at Morgan Stanley and will be joining full time as an Associate at Morgan Stanley. The guy must be around 21-23 years old and he managed to make a jump straight to an Associate position and will not have to work as an Analyst. 2 other guys who after their undergrad joined the MFE program secured internship at Goldman Sachs, NY and have full time offers from Goldman. Again, they both are students with no work experience. Another undergrad, will be joining as a Junior Portfolio Manager on RBC's proprietary trading desk. I am myself joining a high frequency trading firm as a Quant Trader.

These are just a few examples that come to my mind when trying to answer if the program is good for undergrads or not. Personally speaking, I am extremely happy that I took the decision to join the program. I had not in my wildest dreams imagined that I will get the amount of focus and opportunities I have been given by the program. The amount of work Linda and the crew puts in is unparalleled. I haven't seen a better career services than what's being offered over here. During my internship, I got a chance to interact with students who were interning as well and were enrolled in Princeton, Columbia and Chicago. And while sharing their first hand experiences, it was confirmed to me that my decision was right to choose Berkeley over any other program. To be honest, Berkeley was the only program I applied to. Mainly because, the traders and financial engineers I had come across at the firm I was working for prior to joining the program were from Berkeley and they all suggested me to go for Berkeley over any other program. It helps a lot since the alumni of the program are spread across the Wall Street. More often than not, you end up getting interviewed by a Berkeley MFE Grad, thus helping your job prospects.

I can go on and on about how much I owe to this program and how much the program has helped me shape my career in the direction I wanted it to. For now, I guess I will stop here and leave it to you to ask us any questions or doubts that you have in your mind.

And don't go by what you see on chat rooms, some of the students who apply and don't get admitted end up holding grudges against the program and end up posting comments as if they are sharing their first hand experiences. Sometimes, all they needed to do is work slightly more on their application.

Let me know if you have any more questions. More than happy to guide you through.
 

moretodo

Active Member
Hi Pablo and students who are planning to apply or have applied straight out of undergrad. Let me share my first hand experience:

Thank you for considering Berkeley! To start with, the top rank holder in the class is a student straight from undergrad with no work experience. He secured an internship at Morgan Stanley and will be joining full time as an Associate at Morgan Stanley. The guy must be around 21-23 years old and he managed to make a jump straight to an Associate position and will not have to work as an Analyst. 2 other guys who after their undergrad joined the MFE program secured internship at Goldman Sachs, NY and have full time offers from Goldman. Again, they both are students with no work experience. Another undergrad, will be joining as a Junior Portfolio Manager on RBC's proprietary trading desk. I am myself joining a high frequency trading firm as a Quant Trader.

These are just a few examples that come to my mind when trying to answer if the program is good for undergrads or not. Personally speaking, I am extremely happy that I took the decision to join the program. I had not in my wildest dreams imagined that I will get the amount of focus and opportunities I have been given by the program. The amount of work Linda and the crew puts in is unparalleled. I haven't seen a better career services than what's being offered over here. During my internship, I got a chance to interact with students who were interning as well and were enrolled in Princeton, Columbia and Chicago. And while sharing their first hand experiences, it was confirmed to me that my decision was right to choose Berkeley over any other program. To be honest, Berkeley was the only program I applied to. Mainly because, the traders and financial engineers I had come across at the firm I was working for prior to joining the program were from Berkeley and they all suggested me to go for Berkeley over any other program. It helps a lot since the alumni of the program are spread across the Wall Street. More often than not, you end up getting interviewed by a Berkeley MFE Grad, thus helping your job prospects.

I can go on and on about how much I owe to this program and how much the program has helped me shape my career in the direction I wanted it to. For now, I guess I will stop here and leave it to you to ask us any questions or doubts that you have in your mind.

And don't go by what you see on chat rooms, some of the students who apply and don't get admitted end up holding grudges against the program and end up posting comments as if they are sharing their first hand experiences. Sometimes, all they needed to do is work slightly more on their application.

Let me know if you have any more questions. More than happy to guide you through.
Again, in my opinion, this is very poor justification of whether or not students right out of UG get good opportunities coming out of the UCB MFE program. 3 of the 4 examples that vtomar provides are of students who have stellar grades. One is a valedictorian and Goldman Sachs weighs one's GPA heavily in determining candidates to be interviewed at the UCB MFE program as told to me by a current student who is active on this thread. That implies clearly that at least 3 of the 4 students provided as examples have stellar GPAs.

Now, ofcourse, for any program, the probability that a fresher gets a great job coming out of that program conditioned on the event that he has stellar grades is astronomically higher.

A more appropriate assessment would be assessing final placement of student profiles with reasonably competitive profiles (CGPA from 3.3-3.6).
 
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curltron

Member
Again, in my opinion, this is very poor justification of whether or not students right out of UG get good opportunities coming out of the UCB MFE program. 3 of the 4 examples that vtomar provides are of students who have stellar grades. One is a valedictorian and Goldman Sachs weighs one's GPA heavily in determining candidates to be interviewed at the UCB MFE program as told to me by a current student who is active on this thread. That implies clearly that at least 3 of the 4 students provided as examples have stellar GPAs.

Now, ofcourse, for any program, the probability that a fresher gets a great job coming out of that program conditioned on the event that he has stellar grades is astronomically higher.

A more appropriate assessment would be assessing final placement of student profiles with reasonably competitive profiles (CGPA from 3.3-3.6).
Moretodo, what you are saying is just false. 3 or 4 students is the amount of fresh grads in the program... I was able to secure the internship at Goldman Sachs and my GPA was definitely not 4.0, closer to 3.5. The valedictorian I believe you're referring to is an alumni from previous years. They likely will look at grades, and are rumored to, but the fact that I interned with them shows that you don't have to have the very best grades. In my experience, grades can, sometimes, get you an interview, but it'll never get you a job. It'll be your projects (in my case) or experiences, and how well you can explain them. Fortunately, the UCB MFE is near 100% group work, with projects in almost every other class, so it's your time to shine.
 

moretodo

Active Member
Moretodo, what you are saying is just false. 3 or 4 students is the amount of fresh grads in the program... I was able to secure the internship at Goldman Sachs and my GPA was definitely not 4.0, closer to 3.5. The valedictorian I believe you're referring to is an alumni from previous years. They likely will look at grades, and are rumored to, but the fact that I interned with them shows that you don't have to have the very best grades. In my experience, grades can, sometimes, get you an interview, but it'll never get you a job. It'll be your projects (in my case) or experiences, and how well you can explain them. Fortunately, the UCB MFE is near 100% group work, with projects in almost every other class, so it's your time to shine.
Good for you! Frankly, I don't care what the UCB MFE program actually is and what you make it out to be. I know a couple of alumni from your program as decently close friends and I based my comments based upon my interaction with them. I also am in touch with the guy who interviewed me since we have similar career interests in spite of not doing well on the interview but in my defense most of the questions were extremely challenging. Stuff that they did not know pertaining to the current situation, I asked you guys!

I know for a fact that I wont be going to the program even if I was admitted now since I have other options. I am not at all disheartened nor do I maintain a grudge towards the program or its students/alum.

I'd like to thank you and the rest of the guys to have taken out the time and answered my queries (although I must confess 90% of the current batch did not respond at all) and wish you my best in your careers.
 
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