SMU, ASU, Utah or UC Irvine for MSF, and will this plan work?

Currently working at a small real estate company in an analyst role (mainly acquisitions/dispositions), would like to jump into IB (if I can) or real estate private equity.

Considering Arizona State, UC Irvine, Utah, and SMU for my MSF (I applied to UT Austin but haven't heard back yet), thoughts on these schools? I would be applying to a higher tier of schools but I have a non-quant 2.9 undergrad degree with a 700 gmat.

I'm leaning towards SMU, as it's part time and I would be able to land a summer internship in between semesters. ASU would be my top choice (it's ranked higher) but it's full time which limits my options for work/internships. Am I likely to land a SA role with at least a boutique firm through this program?

If I can't make the jump to IB I would stick to real estate and try to get an MBA from a top 20 school down the road.

Comments (4)

May 1, 2019 - 1:40pm
WSO Monkey Bot, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi statedoctor14, the silence is deafening, sorry about that.... Any of the threads below helpful?

  • MFin Plan Review (part-time, about a year). Will be joining a boutique IB firm for one last summer internship. MSF Plan ... GMAT. Plans for MSF /MFin programs, looking for advice/criticism regarding plan. ... Asia, I really feel that I should pursue a MSF /MFin/similar masters in the US/UK.
  • MBA or Master in Management I don't plan to apply to Ms in Management Programs, but it seems like this type of program is ... Don't they already have the same classes like MBA students will have? MBA; MSc; MiM; Master in ... Management; MFin; MSF; MAcc; Specialized Masters; ...
  • 3 years work experience in big 4, Ms Finance or MBA? Could you please give me some advice? school and score So my plan is: Apply for a MS fin in LBS /HEC paris/ESADE/ LSE, and find a FT job in IB ... you know, even 5 years in audit may not help me a lot in applying for an MBA, and the longer I work in ... years old) Is that possible? I mean will it be a waste of money to have 2 masters' degree? Could ...
  • Oxford MFE vs HEC Paris MIF vs Notre Dame MSBA vs MIT MFin/MBan interviews for both MFin and MBan programs this coming week. HEC have committed to at least 20k scholarship, ... I have also have been invited to interview for Dukes MQM:BA, but I think I will scratch that. Background: ... Had an internship in one of MS, GS, JPM in the UK, and currently a teaching assistant for 1st and 2nd ...
  • AMA: GS/MS IB Analyst -> Megafund PE Associate -> HBS/GSB Business School Hi Everyone, I've lurked on this site for a long time and it's been extremely helpful at ... 2 years as an analyst at GS /MS at one of the top groups (think GS TMT /MS M&A)- Have spent the past ... few years as a private equity associate at a megafund- Will be attending HBS /GSB in the fall Will ...
  • MS real estate at NYU level msc in finance and I am anyway keen on real estate I think that enroll to this nyu master which ... so... do you think this master can fit to my plans? somebody who just did it or only have an impression ... Dear all, I am very new of this forum and I start to thank you very much in advance for your ...
  • Goldman Sachs SLC IBD Overview this below). The aim of the program is for an analyst to work for about a year and a half and then move ... This means that they will stay in NY for the first five weeks while actually on the desk in order to ... as you work in a group and prove yourself, this tends to wear off. For those select few who it ...
  • Top Masters programs- 1/2 years of experience What are some of the top masters programs for someone with 1-2 years of work experience? ... Obviously, MBA is out of the question at this time and I want a quick 1 years masters program (preferably) or ... 2 year program that will help me break into a top industry (top BB IBD, etc). I have heard MSF ...
  • More suggestions...

I hope those threads give you a bit more insight.

Most Helpful
Jun 16, 2020 - 5:57am
Sloppydro, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As a resident of Arizona, as much as I love the state, I would actively avoid working here. it was founded as a retirement state and likely will stay that way. Mainly just operations here. I've met a few people who went through the MSF at ASU. it's a non target. I met them while working at a broker dealer call center

  • 2
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 16, 2020 - 11:42am

Take this from someone who attended SMU for undergrad but who has had multiple friends and colleagues go down the MSF route there... I can speak with relatively high confidence given the experiences shared from those colleagues as well as after having sat on the other side of the "recruiting table" at a Houston EB.

My takeaway is that it will not help you gain much traction with IB recruiting at any of the BB or EB shops without other "ins" through connections or serious networking. Even then, your odds of landing a spot for FT recruiting will be very, very tough -- especially given the current hiring climate. For BBs and EBs, an SMU MSF will barely get you a look in Dallas and Houston for IB recruiting even at shops that are desperate. At most, you can count on getting a shot at recruiting with LMM IBs in Dallas. Don't know much of anything about the real estate career path so will defer on that topic to those who are more familiar.

I don't know anything about ASU, UCI, Utah. I have also had a few friends go down the MSF path at UT and actually considered it myself before landing a FT IB role during undergrad recruiting. I think your recruiting prospects will definitely be stronger relative to SMU, but it sounds like you recognize this as well and are just waiting to hear back. I'd imagine schools are seeing more and more admissions deferrals for this year's fall enrollment due to Covid-19 so my personal recommendation would be to keep your foot down in terms of finding a way to enthusiastically reiterate your interest in attending UT through the right avenue without coming off as annoying or desperate.

If you don't hear back from UT, my opinion given what I know about SMU's MSF is that I think you are better off staying at your current role given your options and then applying again for higher ranked programs during the following admissions cycle. Would also consider Vanderbilt's MSF if you haven't already. Despite having a solid score, you can always try improving your GMAT another ~10-20 points if you have lots of time to spare in order to further erase any doubt that admissions personnel may have regarding your academic horsepower given the non-quant UG GPA.

Jun 16, 2020 - 11:56am
statedoctor14, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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