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Worth it to get MFE at tier 2+ school w/o work experience?

Is it worth it to get an MFE at a non-tier 1 school straight out of undergrad if you have no prior (relevant) work experience, aren't well connected, and aren't some kind of rare genius?

I want to be a quant, but I realize that it's a competitive field. I'm currently a junior majoring in math and have good grades (3.8-3.9 without freshman year) at a state school and have taken or will take the relevant courses including a 5000 level math-finance course with stochastic processes (today we derived the black-scholes!), but unless I get some sweet finance internship or REU this summer, I won't stand out in the application process enough to get into, say Cornell or UChicago. Given that I can't take any finance courses till next year (I need to take an accounting prerequisite next semester), I think my chances of getting a finance internship this summer are slim.

I'm kind of deciding between grad school in math or an MFE. The only reason I want to go into quantitative finance (besides the fact that it's mentally stimulating and uses math/stat/cs) is the money, so I don't want to get an MFE if it means that I'll end up in some mediocre "analyst" position making the same money I'd be making at a scientific consulting company where I'd feel as though I'm actually benefiting society as opposed to just moving money around. Sorry if that sounds harsh.

Also feel free to give me any general postgrad advice.
 

Lyosha

Psychic in Training
My general postgrad advice - don't count your chickens before they hatch.

You are deciding how to act in one specific low probability outcome, which may be somewhat premature.
 
Do grad school in math. The right math electives could give you a quant finance basis and also give you other opportunities. And don't do something just for the perceived money potential.

Get some research experience and start working on getting good letters of recommendation.
 

roni

Cornell FE
Is it worth it to get an MFE at a non-tier 1 school straight out of undergrad if you have no prior (relevant) work experience, aren't well connected, and aren't some kind of rare genius?

I want to be a quant, but I realize that it's a competitive field. I'm currently a junior majoring in math and have good grades (3.8-3.9 without freshman year) at a state school and have taken or will take the relevant courses including a 5000 level math-finance course with stochastic processes (today we derived the black-scholes!), but unless I get some sweet finance internship or REU this summer, I won't stand out in the application process enough to get into, say Cornell or UChicago. Given that I can't take any finance courses till next year (I need to take an accounting prerequisite next semester), I think my chances of getting a finance internship this summer are slim.

I'm kind of deciding between grad school in math or an MFE. The only reason I want to go into quantitative finance (besides the fact that it's mentally stimulating and uses math/stat/cs) is the money, so I don't want to get an MFE if it means that I'll end up in some mediocre "analyst" position making the same money I'd be making at a scientific consulting company where I'd feel as though I'm actually benefiting society as opposed to just moving money around. Sorry if that sounds harsh.

Also feel free to give me any general postgrad advice.
Do you want to go into quant finance just because of the money and not because it also attracts you?
what if you get a well paid job but at the same time you'll hate it very much...
what then ?[FONT=Georgia, serif][FONT=Arial, Verdana, Geneva, Helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT][/FONT]
 
Ok I should have clarified, it's not just about the money. I want a job related to my broad interests that is mentally stimulating. The thing is, I'm not really passionate about anything in particular. All I know is that I like math and don't mind programming. Well ok I like programming but I wouldn't want to be a software programmer because I feel like a lot of the work they do is like manual labor (well at least that's how my summer job as a programmer turned out). So given that I'm not particular passionate about any specific field, I might as well choose the most lucrative one. I'd rather make a lot of money even if it means that my life would be busier. Passion, at least for me, can be easily developed. I love the math-finance class I'm taking right now, but I wouldn't care about it if math-finance payed the same as, say, statistics.

But also in the back of my mind, I want to be doing something productive to society, something that I can tell people and be proud of it. For example, my grandfather helped build rockets for NASA. What can a quant tell his grandchildren, that he created a model that helped his firm make millions through options trading? But in the end, I'd rather be the young guy using quantitative techniques on wall-street making $350,000+ than the other guy using quantitative techniques making less than half as much at the same age.

I think my first step is to get involved in undergraduate research since that's necessary to get into a good math grad school (both because of the experience and because of the LOR's), and then if I don't get into a decent MFE program I'll just go to grad school in math. I can always reapply later.
 
A lot depends on whether the company will have to sponsor your visa to work in USA. If you have USA citizenship, you will be able to get some Finance job (maybe not quant job) from a Tier 2 school. If you need visa sponsorship, you will probably not get ANY job from a Tier 2 school. The IBs used to sponsor work permits. Right now, most of the IBs are not sponsoring work permits. The boutique firms and hedge funds will not sponsor any work permits.
 
Your characterization of finance as just moving money around and not contributing to society tells me this isn't the field for you. Maybe go take some econ classes and see if your attitude changes. You need to understand what capital is if you want to be anything in finance. Maybe use your family connection to work at NASA.
 
Sounds like a lot of MFE personal essays I read. There is one person that you need to convince, it's yourself. If you have no idea what you are interested in this field and do not have the initiative to learn more, it can't bode well.

You definitely can take advantage of the resources we have here.
I would start off with this reading list Master reading list for quants, MFE students | Quant Network

Many of it, you can already download for free here (the career guide, Joshi, Dominic, etc).

If you have questions, ask. It's free and it will save you lot of time and money in your future.
 
As an old post-grad, I'd suggest you do whatever you will be the best and genuinely interested in, math, it seems in your case. Maybe choose an applied math focus that is much applicable in finance, if you still have any ambition in the finance field by the time you finish your bachelor's.
One's ideology is as important as his capability, you can't go too far if you have to struggle with yourself on the way there...
 
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