# Undergraduate looking for advice

#### Vanessa Quintero

##### New Member
Hello all!
So this is my first post.

I am a freshman in college and I chose to major in Electrical Engineering, however, I don't know if that is what I would really like to be. I was talking to a fellow friend who is also a Professor that traveled and has experienced a great deal. He had informed me of the different pathways I could take and it sounded like I may want to go down the Financial Engineering route. I am trying to research everything and figure out if this is really what I want to go through with. Can anyone give me any advice as to what I can do? Or just about the general idea of an MFE?
I think it would be great to start my own business--though I know how hard it may be--and I have a passion for math. I have heard that going to UC Berkeley for a Masters in Financial Engineering was the route to go. Also, that working in New York for Goldman Sachs was where I could get paid very well as a Financial Engineer.
Any information regarding this field/career would be extremely helpful!
Thanks!

#### Varun Dubey

##### Member
1. You've just started college. Focus on this first rather than thinking about the next degree.

2. Go through the pre-requisites for any MFE program and take up those courses. You will know if this field is meant for you or not.

3. Getting into UCB or GS is not a cakewalk and not everyone can go there.

4. Don't look at the money because you won't be getting any if you're not up to the mark.

5. Decide what you want to do in life yourself and don't let people dictate what you should do.

#### Pavlos Sakoglou

##### Well-Known Member
C++ Student
Hello all!
So this is my first post.

I am a freshman in college and I chose to major in Electrical Engineering, however, I don't know if that is what I would really like to be. I was talking to a fellow friend who is also a Professor that traveled and has experienced a great deal. He had informed me of the different pathways I could take and it sounded like I may want to go down the Financial Engineering route. I am trying to research everything and figure out if this is really what I want to go through with. Can anyone give me any advice as to what I can do? Or just about the general idea of an MFE?
I think it would be great to start my own business--though I know how hard it may be--and I have a passion for math. I have heard that going to UC Berkeley for a Masters in Financial Engineering was the route to go. Also, that working in New York for Goldman Sachs was where I could get paid very well as a Financial Engineer.
Any information regarding this field/career would be extremely helpful!
Thanks!
Everybody wants to make money, so what makes you eligible to work in Goldman or any other major player, as a quant?
Find the correct answer, and then unpack it to define all steps that lead to that state. Then you will know where to start

#### Daniel Duffy

##### C++ author, trainer
Wait is that wrong? haha
I will try to second guess bigbadwolf We get these posts on a regular basis here, by those dreaming of greener pastures and often with $in the eyes. I have a passion for math. A major warning sign. Everyone says that. I was talking to a fellow friend who is also a Professor that traveled and has experienced a great deal. He had informed me of the different pathways I could take and it sounded like I may want to go down the Financial Engineering route. From the 10^10 different paths to take in life, did the Prof provide any rationale for this choice? Last edited: #### Daniel Duffy ##### C++ author, trainer I am a freshman in college and I chose to major in Electrical Engineering, however, I don't know if that is what I would really like to be. My advice would be: STOP NOW and do a degree in maths. Then review your situation in 3-4 years time. Hasten slowly. Last edited: #### C S ##### Active Member You should realize your professor's advice is highly outdated. It's not 2001, it's 2015. Supply versus demand for financial engineers has shifted completely (used to be a scarcity, now I see all these MFEs applying for jobs that entail just financial accounting and spreadsheet work). When you do your salary calculation you need to consider that you probably have at least two hours of commute every day (unless you live in Manhattan, in which case you pay NYC tax and extra $$in rent and other expenses), and it's not necessarily a nice commute like in San Francisco or some other metro areas. You may need 1-2 hours additional per day to decompress from work. A lot of people don't "do the math" unfortunately, until after they're making six figures in NYC and it dawns on them that they're not actually ahead. #### Pavlos Sakoglou ##### Well-Known Member C++ Student You should realize your professor's advice is highly outdated. It's not 2001, it's 2015. Supply versus demand for financial engineers has shifted completely (used to be a scarcity, now I see all these MFEs applying for jobs that entail just financial accounting and spreadsheet work). When you do your salary calculation you need to consider that you probably have at least two hours of commute every day (unless you live in Manhattan, in which case you pay NYC tax and extra$$ in rent and other expenses), and it's not necessarily a nice commute like in San Francisco or some other metro areas. You may need 1-2 hours additional per day to decompress from work. A lot of people don't "do the math" unfortunately, until after they're making six figures in NYC and it dawns on them that they're not actually ahead. So true. #### Vanessa Quintero ##### New Member I will try to second guess bigbadwolf We get these posts on a regular basis here, by those dreaming of greener pastures and often with$ in the eyes.

I have a passion for math.
A major warning sign. Everyone says that.

I was talking to a fellow friend who is also a Professor that traveled and has experienced a great deal. He had informed me of the different pathways I could take and it sounded like I may want to go down the Financial Engineering route.

From the 10^10 different paths to take in life, did the Prof provide any rationale for this choice?
Well the Professor just listened to what I had to say about what I would like to be doing as a career and the different aspects that I would like to be incorporated, and he isn't dictating on what I should go for exactly. He didn't tell me to pursue a major in financial engineering, but he did suggest that I look into it. I said that I want to do something that had to do with math, as well as maybe start my own business (someday). Based off of what I told him throughout our conversation, he said I should look into financial engineering, however he also said that I should look at my different options at what path I could follow. I am not only looking into the money side of things, I just want to incorporate math into the career I choose to follow and making good money would be a major plus.
I am trying to keep my options open and exploring online other majors like Petroleum Engineering. I know it's really hard to decide what I want to do at this moment in time, but it would just be really great if I could figure it out early so I can get out and put my knowledge to work. The Professor supports any decision that I make, he just wants me to make sure that I am going into a major for the right reasons. He has also experienced many things throughout his time and is very open-minded about the different variety of majors, that's why it's easy to get answers from him and I can trust him; especially because my parents didn't experience much of college, so they are as clueless as I am.

#### Daniel Duffy

##### C++ author, trainer
Well the Professor just listened to what I had to say about what I would like to be doing as a career and the different aspects that I would like to be incorporated, and he isn't dictating on what I should go for exactly. He didn't tell me to pursue a major in financial engineering, but he did suggest that I look into it. I said that I want to do something that had to do with math, as well as maybe start my own business (someday). Based off of what I told him throughout our conversation, he said I should look into financial engineering, however he also said that I should look at my different options at what path I could follow. I am not only looking into the money side of things, I just want to incorporate math into the career I choose to follow and making good money would be a major plus.
I am trying to keep my options open and exploring online other majors like Petroleum Engineering. I know it's really hard to decide what I want to do at this moment in time, but it would just be really great if I could figure it out early so I can get out and put my knowledge to work. The Professor supports any decision that I make, he just wants me to make sure that I am going into a major for the right reasons. He has also experienced many things throughout his time and is very open-minded about the different variety of majors, that's why it's easy to get answers from him and I can trust him; especially because my parents didn't experience much of college, so they are as clueless as I am.
OK.

#### manojv

##### New Member
EE with 25yrs experience here. Working in finance for last 5 yrs.
EE has changed considerably in the last ten years, the jobs have mainly moved overseas and the most of the ones left are in defense or power systems. So you are right to look to other fields if you are not passionate about EE.

Petroleum engineering jobs are getting fewer with the decline in oil prices.

My suggestion is to add CS to your EE and look into big-data analytics which has uses in finance and other industries. But by the time you graduate there may be another area which is more in demand. Key is to stay flexible. Most people have 2-3 different careers in their life.

#### Jedison

##### Active Member
You should realize your professor's advice is highly outdated. It's not 2001, it's 2015. Supply versus demand for financial engineers has shifted completely (used to be a scarcity, now I see all these MFEs applying for jobs that entail just financial accounting and spreadsheet work). When you do your salary calculation you need to consider that you probably have at least two hours of commute every day (unless you live in Manhattan, in which case you pay NYC tax and extra  in rent and other expenses), and it's not necessarily a nice commute like in San Francisco or some other metro areas. You may need 1-2 hours additional per day to decompress from work. A lot of people don't "do the math" unfortunately, until after they're making six figures in NYC and it dawns on them that they're not actually ahead.
That's a gros exaggeration. I have a plenty of friends who survive on less than 40k a year living in manhattan. Yes you can easily spend several times that, and very quickly, but it doesn't mean six figures is barely making ends meet. Not even close.

#### C S

##### Active Member
That's a gros exaggeration. I have a plenty of friends who survive on less than 40k a year living in manhattan. Yes you can easily spend several times that, and very quickly, but it doesn't mean six figures is barely making ends meet. Not even close.
You seem to jump to conclusions rather quickly. I never said six figures is "barely making ends meet". My point is NOT that there are paupers working on Wall Street. It's that people dream of living a life of luxury once they get their "rock star" quant job making six figures.

The banks have done a very careful cost-benefit analysis. There's a reason they offer the salaries they do, and it's not to put you ahead. There used to be a time money was flowing in and they didn't pinch pennies as much, but that time is past.

Incidentally, it's funny you describe your friends surviving in NYC and somehow miss my overall point about quality of life.

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#### Jedison

##### Active Member
You seem to jump to conclusions rather quickly. I never said six figures is "barely making ends meet". My point is NOT that there are paupers working on Wall Street. It's that people dream of living a life of luxury once they get their "rock star" quant job making six figures.

The banks have done a very careful cost-benefit analysis. There's a reason they offer the salaries they do, and it's not to put you ahead. There used to be a time money was flowing in and they didn't pinch pennies as much, but that time is past.

Incidentally, it's funny you describe your friends surviving in NYC and somehow miss my overall point about quality of life.
I used the word "survive" because I'm describing a group of people that make about 100k less than a 1st year analyst. If you add 100k to that you're living the good life.

If you get a shitty job on wallstreet it will be shitty. If you get a good job on wallstreet it's awesome. Not really any more complicated than that.