Deciding on Oxford MFE offer
Hi guys, so I got offer from Oxford MFE on the weekend. I was thrilled and excited at first, but there are some things that worry me when trying to decide to accept the offer or not:
- My background: I am currently a buy side analyst in a boutique firm in Australia. My goal is to relocate to Asia and work as a trader in BB
- One of the things I notice based on my research on Oxford MFE is that it seems to be a pre experience program. Reading their student profiles most students only had internships in the past and the average age is 23. They go to MFE straight from undergrad. I will have 3 years of full time work experience by next year, have completed CFA, and am 26 this year, so I am not sure if this program is for me mainly because of this.
- another thing is that there are better alternatives out there like MIT Mfin or Princeton Mfin, but those are more selective I heard, and more importantly, if I apply to those, I would only know whether I am accepted or not in March ish, so that means if I want to go to those two, I will most likely need to reject Oxford offer first, but then if I eventually don't get princeton/MIT, then I will be left with no offer outstanding.
As a fellow Aussie (albeit younger) I think that brand will assist you greater than anything else you can do in Aus. It's a legit reason to leave the country and network there is global.
Bottom line is get out of Aus imo or you'll end up stuck here.
P.S. Could I PM you with some Q's :P?
yeah my thought exactly, I am worried that I will be stuck here forever. that being said, the question is not whether to do master or not. I am certainly doing it, but whether this master is the right one or not
yeah sure you can
I think the biggest thing to do is find out exactly when the MIT and Princeton MFin applications are due and when their offer notifications are. If you are able to find out your offer status at those schools before your offer at Oxford expires, that is obviously optimal for you.
The Oxford MFE program is ridiculously competitive. I imagine if you were accepted there that you would be a competitive candidate here at the two American programs. I agree that the outstanding issue is the work experience. The MFE is not viewed as a mid-career degree. You are in the awkward stage where you are 1-2 years shy of the sweet spot for MBA applications and 1-2 years past the sweet spot for the one-year Master's degree.
The top two American programs don't seem to have this issue, at least from what I can tell. People attend them with years of experience on their resume.
In short, see if you can identify the timing of the application process for your target schools. Keep the Oxford offer as long as you can.
I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.
that is exactly what I am planning to do, but it jsut seems unlikely that oxford will hold their offer for four months, at the very least I would have to deposit some money I would have thought
I am thinking to possibly reject the Oxford offer for next year, so that I can find out what is my admission status for other programs and if I don't get other programs then I will apply to Oxford again next year but I am not sure if they will admit me again if I reject their offer the first time
also forgot to mention that my undergrad degree is accounting finance, I scored very highly for all quant subjects but obviously my math skills are pretty rudimentary, I believe this will reduce my chance for princeton and MIT compared to Oxford as those two seem to require more quant skills from their potential students
Can you accept and defer your Oxford admission for a year? It's likely the deposit you pay will be relatively small, and if you accept the offer and can defer it for a year, you might be able to apply to Princeton/MIT etc and hear back from them definitively before your time at Oxford would start. That way, you could either accept an offer from Princeton/MIT and just not go to Oxford, and if you get rejected by those two you could go to Oxford no problem. The cost of doing this is probably 1000 pounds or whatever the initial deposit to hold your place is- while not cheap, it may be worth the expense to secure your place and still have a shot at the other schools you want to apply to.
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I was thinking about that as well but I thought the deposit is typically 10-30% of the program fee which is quite substantial, if it only requires like 1000 pound then I will most probably do what you say its like buying a real option for 1k isn't it ? it's worth it
Definitely. I may be very wrong about the deposit, but look into it. Otherwise, the Oxford program will be very competitive, especially if you want to work in Asia, and one bird in hand is worth two in the bush- unless you have very specific reasons for wanting to attend Princeton/MIT, you will do just fine with the degree from Oxford.
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Note: The deposit isn't £1,000 - it's £4,900.
Even so, I still think it is worth it considering that you're holding onto a pretty valuable option - the only MSF-ish programmes (I call them that as they lie on the spectrum between an MFE and a true MSF) that I would rank at the same level as or above Oxford would be MIT and Princeton. I personally think that it is worth the amount of the deposit to have one in your back pocket and try for the others with limited downside.
Also, just something to consider - the MIT programme is more than double the cost of the Oxford programme. If you wanted to work in the US, I'd say MIT hands-down - but in Asia, Oxford is as reputed (if not more so) than MIT.
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As far as I know Oxford brand is very strong in Australia, and I believe its not weaker in Asia... Princeton/MIT are also top programs , but outside USA I don't think they will place better that Oxford. So, I would take the Oxford MFE offer and never look back.
Btw, I am also applying to Oxford this week, hope will be admitted :)
As mentioned above, Oxford will be as good a degree as any if trying to work in Asia/outside the US. If you're trying to work in the US, Princeton/MIT will be infinitely better. Unless you want to go to Princeton/MIT specifically, I think it might actually be easier to get a job in Asia coming out of Oxford.
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Sometimes this board is a little bit to US focused. The MSF at MIT or Princeton are definitely top notch, but people seem to underestimate the Oxford brand, especially in Asia. I would definitely pay the deposit and join Oxford. I mean, you can still apply to MIT/Princeton and see what happens and if you really changed your mind, you could join MIT/Princeton and loose those GBP5,000. But in my opinion the MFE at Oxford is perfectly fine and will give you tremendous opportunities in Europe, Asia, and Australia and I don't see the MIT/Princeton brands being any stronger. The only thing you might consider is if you want to study with 22-24 years olds, but that's one thing you have to decide for yourself.
yes based on the replies here, I think some people misunderstand my concern. I am not concerned about Oxford brand. I have no doubt that Oxford is at par with MIT/Princeton. What I am worried is how I will be seen going to pre-experience master if I have experience. I am worried about having redundant degree.
I said MIT/Princeton is better simply from the fact that people going there seems have better qualification in terms of experience so there is further opportunities to network there. And for me networking is a large part of master, what they taught in class, mostly I can probably learn myself with the abundance of materials in the internet alone. Plus Like above_and_beyond said, I will probably be slightly bothered if I have to study with people 3-4 years younger than me though it is not a big problem really.
Do you guys think there are disadvantages of people with experience going to pre-experience program or not really ?
Well, you will definitely have better opportunities to network at Princeton considering that it is essentially a post-experience programme with an average Work Exp. of about 3-4 years. MIT - not so much, as I am given to understand that a larger portion of their students join straight from undergrad with an internship or two.
Aside from being unable to network too well due to the relative inexperience of the class, I don't think that there would be any disadvantages as such. If you're looking to network, perhaps you should consider the LBS MFin or the Cambridge MFin, both of which are strictly post-experience.
Moreover, I don't think that there is a strict distinction between the 'post-experience' and 'pre-experience' programs in Europe as there is in the US. For example, in the US, after 2-4 years of experience one is expected to go for an MBA rather than a MSF-type degree; whereas, in Europe and Asia it is not uncommon for people to pursue a variety of degrees as post-experience options. Thus, most MSF degrees have a relatively diverse class profile in terms of years of experience, so I don't believe anyone would particularly look down on you or single you out as the experienced guy in a 'pre-experience' degree.
I could be wrong though, as I am speaking purely based on anecdotal evidence; would appreciate it if others chimed in.
In my opinion, this decision depends on whether you're willing to pay almost 2x the cost to go to a post-experience degree/work with older classmates rather than a pre-experience one.
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I'd like to bump this thread because I am in a similar situation--I've received an offer and I am trying to decide. I noticed they have not released placements since the 2010-2011 academic year. Seemed pretty good for the worst part of the recession, tho. Does anyone know how the program is placing nowadays? Of course I will also post what I find out from current students as I find this out.
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