Best graduate schools for sales & trading

I go to a non-target school (junior) and am considering going into a masters of finance program right after graduation. I had S & T interviews at 4 BBs and didn't get a SA offer and really want to be in Sales & Trading. I will also have the CFA level 1 & II out of the way before I enter the masters of finance program.

Domestically I am considering:
-MIT
-Princeton
-George Washington University
-Villanova
-Johns Hopkins University

and internationally:
-Oxford
-London School of Economics
-City University London-Cass
-IE Business School
-HEC Paris
-University of Strathclyde Business School
-Rotterdam School of Management

I'm really interested in knowing which of the these schools has the most street cred for sales and trading (especially the international schools).

Comments (90)

Jul 27, 2009 - 12:44pm
Greenback8, what's your opinion? Comment below:
monkeyface:
I'd also consider Waterloo and University of Toronto. They get recruited heavily by the Canadian banks. But looks like you've got your heart set on the BBs.

My little brother goes to U of T... placement is terrible there.

Much better at Western (Ivey) and Queen's.


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Mar 29, 2009 - 11:01pm
AlgorithMIT Trader, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Don't bother with MIT- The masters of finance program is like 20-30 people, many of whom were undergraduates at MIT and have some of the coursework out of the way. The others generally have work experience, are international, and quant geniuses. I've yet to meet a ~23 year old from a non target at LFE

What about UCB and UChicago?

Mar 29, 2009 - 9:55pm
joemontana, what's your opinion? Comment below:

To get into the best places, you need a quant UG and legit programming skills. Its not like an MBA that just takes talent - you need a specific skill set.

Assuming you can get in, do your research. I know that Princeton is an MFE program. As of 2 years ago, their placement was insane. However, it may have been for financial engineering jobs that no longer exist, or for pure quant and risk management jobs. That said, it is Princeton, and they probably do well.

As far as the other US SChools: Villanova's program is pretty weak. I think (not sure) that Johns Hopkins' program is new. If so, you don't have an alumni base or track record. Big negative.

Also take a look at Carnegie mellon's MSQF. I don't know about trading, but the overall program is very reputable. More attainable than Princeton (Avg GMAT about 690-700). Plus, you have a solid alumni base from both the UG and the underrated MBA program. This is one of the schools that requires quant UG and programmer skills.

Mar 29, 2009 - 11:43pm
tdr34, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Did he say that he wanted to do an MFE? It sounded like he just wanted to go for a Masters in Finance. Mind clarifying that AnimalPak?

Jack: They’re all former investment bankers who were laid off from that economic crisis that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have zero real world skills, but God they work hard.
-30 Rock

Mar 30, 2009 - 8:53am
AniMalPak, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I just want to go for a masters in finance. I only have calc 1 & 2 + a combined class in linear algebra & differential equations. . .I don't have the math background for an MFE.

Mar 30, 2009 - 12:21pm
bluechimp, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'll be heading to Princeton MFin this fall, so I'll try to chime in:

  1. The programs at MIT, Princeton and JHU are essentially financial engineering programs. Similar to programs like MSCF at Carnegie Mellon, MFE at Berkeley, and U of Toronto MFE (and a slew of similar programs..) -- you probably need more math than that to get in (probably a good extra year in school.. probability, mathematical statistics, econometrics, real analysis, and some coding).

  2. If you're hell-bent on S&T, I'm not sure if the FE programs are the best bet, since their bread and butter were structuring and originations. We all know how that went. Princeton and other top FE schools used to place a lot of people on prop trading desks, but they all have closed down as of late.

  3. LSE Finance & Economics, and Oxford MSc in Financial Economics are probably the ones on your list closest to your background and interest. I do know that they place kids well to the City, although I have not seen their placement breakdown for S&T specifically.

There are more of MSF programs scattered throughout US. On top of my head, I think UIUC and Washington Univ. at St. Louis have these tracks. Try checking them out; take a look at their suggested academic background, curriculum, placement -- hopefully you can find one suitable for you this way.

Mar 30, 2009 - 12:48pm
trigger1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

With that background, unless you choose Villanova or George Washington (both great schools by the way) you will receive offers to do whatever you want. How about Portfolio Management? Develop black-box strategy at a Hedge Fund?

Sales & Trading is a lot of fun, but Ivy League schools do not always guarantee you a great spot, especially in a meritocracy environment like Trading. Just make sure to choose a market that will not require a 90 hour week.

Apr 5, 2009 - 1:19pm
Nomade, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I had a similar choice to make, though I Wasn't considering internationals MFEs. I looked at Princeton, Berkeley, NYU, and Stanford. I was accepted to Berkeley/Stanford/NYU, but not Princeton.

Here's my take: NYU has some really famous faculty, but the quality of teaching is not that good. On top of that it is a math program and they tend to focus on math rather than finance. I was a bit put off by that. Dupire's class is amazing, but I don't see that being useful for a noob. Plus, the school is very, very disorganized. But it certainly has a location advantage.

Stanford - I went there, sat on a couple of classes. Pretty good teaching (better than NYU). The school is absolutely fantastic. Very math focused as well, but after the core courses you can pick GSB courses and other more soft electives. In terms of overall experience I would place it at the top. I guess the program is similar to Princeton, but they don't do as much as a marketing effort as Pton does. Your quality of living will be superior to Princeton. One shortcoming is that the program has a lot of very bright stanford undergrads, and for S&T you'd be competing against them and against Stanford GSB. Plus, don't expect any help from the school in finding a job. I heard some professors have some contacts, but those tend to be for PhD positions.

Berkeley - Sat on a couple classes there as well. Overall the best program. The campus is great, the city is shit, but it is just a year, and San Francisco is close enough. Quality of leaving can be very high (Tahoe, Marin, Carmel, and a bunch of places to go). The teaching is absolutely amazing. They've been pruning the bad instructors since the inception of the program and all of the ones I sampled were very strong. The career services is really helpful both during the program and after. They have a lot of resources from the business school and it is a real program, as opposed to a bunch of classes put together. Several alumni in S&T in NY, London, and Asia. Plus a lot go to Mellon Capital, PIMCO, and BGI on the west coast as PMs. The classes are much more finance focused which I particularly prefer. Seems very intense.

Princeton - Probably the program with the best students. I haven't sat on classes. Indeed, it is a FE program where you can take ECON/MATH electives, but the core is FE (although they claim it is more broader). Placement was very strong, many alumni in trading/PM with top firms. Similar to Stanford, the program is very flexible and you can shape your electives according to your target job. I suspect teaching is very strong, and they bring top people to give seminars at Badheim both from industry AND academia (though heavily slanted toward academia). They have a lot of momentum and they're committed to building the best MFin program. The shortcoming is that program alumni is very thin given the size. I heard some students having trouble finding internships for Summer 09.

In any event, placement on any of those programs will be bad, so I only advise you joining if you think you will be at the top 25-50% of the class.

Apr 5, 2009 - 4:35pm
tdr34, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm sure he appreciates this information... but he isn't looking at MFE's, just Masters of Finance programs.

Jack: They’re all former investment bankers who were laid off from that economic crisis that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have zero real world skills, but God they work hard.
-30 Rock

Apr 5, 2009 - 6:00pm
indian-banker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you want to do Masters in Finance, then don't apply to financial engineering programs. It's futile to do financial engineering when you don't want to be a quant. Oxford probably has the best placements of all the universities (local and international) for a masters in finance program. It's probably a little bit stronger than Princeton's. It's also very difficult to get into and the average GMAT is 730 (higher than some top MBA programs). Like Nomade mentioned, the placement from these programs isn't really spectacular and even M&I did a piece on this. These programs help you buy yourself some time and if you go to a non-target, they give you a good chance to get a good brand name on your resume. Also, keep in mind that some of these programs cost about 55,000 - 75,000 dollars a year (all inclusive), so it's important you ask yourself if it's worth it. Coming back to your original question, internationally, Oxford and LSE are probably the best. I hear good things about Warwick and Cambridge (S&T) especially. HEC is also very good and is heavily recruited by the french banks (BNP & Societe Generale). The program at HEC I believe is a little bit more focused on the math side (I have a friend who finished the program recently).

Apr 5, 2009 - 8:41pm
Nomade, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Regardless of the degree title, those programs are more similar then the title suggests. Princeton is a MFin, but effectively it is as mathematical as Berkeley if not more.

Also, in terms of sales and trading, it is unlikely that any of these programs will put you on a sales job, so they're really useful if you want to trade.

For sales, MBA is the degree to have (never met a Mfin in sales). I am not sure, but for trading of derivatives, I think LSE and Oxford are a bit lightweight (meaning you might have to have a quant undergrad + CFA to land a decent trading role). Plus, it is unlikely that a MFin from Vandy, Villanova, or GW will put you on a trading job for a BB bank.

Apr 6, 2009 - 7:05pm
Pathus21, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Nomade:
Regardless of the degree title, those programs are more similar then the title suggests. Princeton is a MFin, but effectively it is as mathematical as Berkeley if not more.

Also, in terms of sales and trading, it is unlikely that any of these programs will put you on a sales job, so they're really useful if you want to trade.

For sales, MBA is the degree to have (never met a Mfin in sales). I am not sure, but for trading of derivatives, I think LSE and Oxford are a bit lightweight (meaning you might have to have a quant undergrad + CFA to land a decent trading role). Plus, it is unlikely that a MFin from Vandy, Villanova, or GW will put you on a trading job for a BB bank.

I am a bit confused. Are you saying banks will hire people directly out of these programs and give them a book right away? It has been my experience that associates in S&T may be given some risk and if they do a good job and a slot opens up that they can get a direct trading role. Where do they hire people directly into a trading role?

Apr 7, 2009 - 11:51am
skins1, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Nomade:
Regardless of the degree title, those programs are more similar then the title suggests. Princeton is a MFin, but effectively it is as mathematical as Berkeley if not more.

Also, in terms of sales and trading, it is unlikely that any of these programs will put you on a sales job, so they're really useful if you want to trade.

For sales, MBA is the degree to have (never met a Mfin in sales). I am not sure, but for trading of derivatives, I think LSE and Oxford are a bit lightweight (meaning you might have to have a quant undergrad + CFA to land a decent trading role). Plus, it is unlikely that a MFin from Vandy, Villanova, or GW will put you on a trading job for a BB bank.

I'm not really adding too much to the overall discussion, but a side comment on the quote above. MBAs going into sales represents the minority. From what I've seen, more MBAs go into trading than into sales (though the numbers are pretty close and do swing around a bit), and a good amount go into structuring as well.

Keep in mind that structuring is part of S&T, and falls under either sales or under trading, depending on what area you are in. In commodities, for example, structuring usually falls under sales. So the sales people are very quantitative, and in turn it's possible to move between sales and structuring. Many credit desks are set up that way, as well.

I'm mentioning this because if the original poster really wants to go into "S&T", as he put it, and is not sure where specifically, then to be honest it will be easiest to do with an MBA, not a Masters of Finance. The latter probably prepares you better for the job, the the recruiting focus just isn't there. You'll do a lot more legwork on your own to get interviews if you are a Master of Finance, in contrast to MBAs, where much of the work is done for you.

Caveat all this by saying that's the way it's been in the past, whether or not this entirely changes once we emerge from this crisis is something else to consider....

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Apr 18, 2009 - 5:13pm
ShreddiesBrah, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Nomade:
For sales, MBA is the degree to have (never met a Mfin in sales). I am not sure, but for trading of derivatives, I think LSE and Oxford are a bit lightweight (meaning you might have to have a quant undergrad + CFA to land a decent trading role)
What the hell are you talking about?
skins1:
Keep in mind that structuring is part of S&T, and falls under either sales or under trading, depending on what area you are in. In commodities, for example, structuring usually falls under sales. So the sales people are very quantitative, and in turn it's possible to move between sales and structuring. Many credit desks are set up that way, as well.

I'm mentioning this because if the original poster really wants to go into "S&T", as he put it, and is not sure where specifically, then to be honest it will be easiest to do with an MBA, not a Masters of Finance. The latter probably prepares you better for the job, the the recruiting focus just isn't there. You'll do a lot more legwork on your own to get interviews if you are a Master of Finance, in contrast to MBAs, where much of the work is done for you.

Structuring is neither sales, nor trading. It falls under the Markets/Securities/Sales & Trading segment yes, but nowhere will structuring be classified as Sales or Trading. Quantitative skills in sales?? What?? I'm intrigued as to which Credit desks you've seen with that set up. I've never seen any like that, but then again I may not have been exposed to as many BBs as you have.

And suggesting an MBA over a Masters in Finance for a S&T role is probably one of the dumbest comments I've seen on this forum.

edit: Keep in mind that my perspective is based on what I've witnessed in London, and the way it is in NY may be, and probably is, quite different.

Apr 6, 2009 - 11:21pm
Nomade, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Unless you had prior trading experience. Otherwise the program will put on a path to trading by means of a FO role. A lot depends on the shop. There are places that will hire you as a junior trader, even though effectively your job is more of a clerk and assistant. But if you do well at some point you will be given a book.

There is no program that will get you a trading book right away afaik.

Apr 18, 2009 - 4:09pm
ReadLine, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Where do you guys pull this crap out from? Structuring is neither sales, nor trading. It falls under the Markets/Securities/Sales & Trading segment yes, but nowhere will structuring be classified as Sales or Trading. Quants in sales?? What??

Skins1 said "quantitative" not "quant". And he is probably the top S&T practitioner left on wsoasis with a record of insightful posts from first-hand experience.

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:36am
mjc123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Best masters degree for trading (Originally Posted: 08/06/2015)

Hello,

I am looking into masters programs and was wondering if anyone had some incite as to the best area in order to get a good trading job. I know this is very vague but I've always thought for a finance degree since im undergrad finance, but thinking about business analytics now because thats more math and statistics based. Any help would be appreciated!

Apr 20, 2009 - 11:14pm
Nomade, what's your opinion? Comment below:

London and New York. Indeed, the MBA craze is much more of a NY thing (said that on another thread), whereas in London people recruit from a handful of advanced degrees (MBA being just one of them).

On the desks I worked for (EM correlation/struct credit) structuring sits within S&T and work very close with both sales and trading (they do pricing, though they don't think about hedging and obviously don't have a book and don't see risk reports, and are not part of day-to-day hedging and book managing). That is pretty much the setup skins1 described.

I can clearly see structuring being co-mingled with sales and in some cases even legal. Structurers normally have more client facing than traders.

Usually, the cycle is this: sales speaks with client, describes what client is looking for, structurer cooks up a termsheet and discuss with the traders. The traders look at the risks and price it (basically cost of hedge - PnL - balancesheet charges - credit charge - etc, etc). Often structurers price the trade as well and tie up numbers with the desk. This goes back and forth until everyone is happy and the client posts an order.

In that setup, usually structurers would go on client calls with sales, but traders only occasionally (though I Can see this being different for different desks/products).

Feb 5, 2010 - 11:12pm
bigapple23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Great info.

I have an admit from Berkeley's Part-time MBA program, as well as from Cornell Johnson's full time MBA (likely with the Park Leadership Fellowship full-ride)

Of these two programs which do you think would best position a career-changer for S & T?

Waiting to hear from NYU, Chicago, Kellogg, Yale, UCLA as well.

Feb 9, 2010 - 12:12pm
IlliniProgrammer, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Great info.

I have an admit from Berkeley's Part-time MBA program, as well as from Cornell Johnson's full time MBA (likely with the Park Leadership Fellowship full-ride)

Of these two programs which do you think would best position a career-changer for S & T?

Waiting to hear from NYU, Chicago, Kellogg, Yale, UCLA as well.

Not gonna happen. An MBA doesn't help you get into trading . Research? Investment Management? Investment Banking? Sales? Absolutely (OK, sales is a little iffy). Not trading. (For a non-trading position on wall street, I would recommend Cornell full-time over Berkeley part-time, but Yale, Booth, or Kellogg would all be better.) Please pursue a master's in financial engineering/mathematics or maybe a really strong applied math or quant-heavy finance program.

The one rule for getting more responsibilities as a trader is that you have to be aggressive. Don't worry- it can be a learned skill. Perhaps there is a correlation between people who pursue MBAs as opposed to MFEs and aggressiveness if they already have the background to make it to the trading floor, but you can always work on your aggressiveness in an MFE program too, and an MFE guarantees that you have the quantitative competencies required for most seats on the trading floor.

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:38am
ebbitten, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Agreed, they accept plenty from undergrad. If you want an advanced degree that would help trading it would probably be math/compsci to do some of the algo trading/complex derivatives.

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:39am
anybankeratall, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Is MSF and the CFA useless for trading? (Originally Posted: 11/05/2010)

I'm a junior in undergrad majoring in BSBA with a international Finance specialization really hoping to get into trading. I'm considering getting a MSF and going for my CFA lv. 1 and lv. 2 after graduation at American.

Is it worth getting or is it completely useless for trading. Is the MSF worthless in general? Is it worthwhile to boost your resume if you graduated with only a 3.4-3.6 range with only a cold-calling internship at Wachovia?

I'm unfortunately NOT that kid who's dad is on the board of directors at MorganStanley or had that internship at Goldman. Is it still possible for me to break into ibanking or trading even at a boutique?

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:40am
ValuationCFA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"I'm unfortunately NOT that kid who's dad is on the board of directors at MorganStanley or had that internship at Goldman. Is it still possible for me to break into ibanking or trading even at a boutique?"

Stop whining and start networking. How many people do you think getting a job at BB because of their parents...

Honestly, CFA will not help you getting into trading or investment banking. Of course, it won't hurt you, but your time can be better spent on networking....

I met a guy, level 2 candidate, doing MSF from AU and he had the interview for an entry level position, which was actually for undergrad students. So, don't waste your time getting MSF from AU.

If I were you, keep networking and see if you can get a decent summer internship opportunity at any trading company and pass the CFA level 1 when you're a senior. Then, at very least, they know 1) you're interested in trading and 2) you're intelligent enough.

Good luck!

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:42am
ValuationCFA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For ER, yes, CFA is a gold standard.. some people will start arguing about CFA vs Top MBA for ER type of job. But when it comes to trading and investment banking, CFA is not that important (I don't want to say useless as I'm a level 3 candidate).

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:44am
ValuationCFA, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well, let me just create a schedule for you.

11/2010 - 5/2011: Study hard to earn good grades and keep networking to get a decent summer internship. Given your location in DC, you should be able to find someone working in fannie/freddie, world bank, or whatever...No matter what, be sure to get a summer job that you're interested in.

6/2011 - 8/2011: Assuming you get a summer job, work your ass off. Just work hard and build a relationship with them.

9/2011 - 12/2011: Hopefully, you get a full-time job offer. If not, using your summer experience, try to get a full-time job offer.

1/2011 - 5/2011: Assuming you get a full-time job offer, take some easy courses, spend some time with your friends and study for the CFA level 1 to take it in June.

Again, I just don't think it's a good idea to get a MSF from AU. Not that I just want to talk shit about your school, but it's not worth it. Good luck man.

Good luck.

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:45am
anybankeratall, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Valuation,

Thanks for the great advice. I just don't want to end up at Freddie Mac/Fanny May down the road or any government job. I was thinking any one of the small branches of Fidelity, etc in Bethesda, MD. I would for any kind of job up in NYC. I will pass on the MSF, I didn't know AU was that crap and useless. I know AU isn't a target school but I thought it was still tier 2 since businessweek had us in the top 30 b-schools for undergrad.

Also how big of a difference is there between i-banking and ER? I know i-banking involves making pitch-books constantly and ER is more straight up analyst. What is ER like compared to i-banking?

Thank you

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:46am
kimbo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thought I should chime in on this but take this with a grain of salt.

I received a CFA scholarship my senior year and took level 1 after graduating. If ER/AM is what you're interested in, I say go for it if you're willing to commit to it. What I mean by this...

a. You will have to put in the hours to study the material, as there is plenty to cover for level one. L1 pass rates are low, 30-40 percent range (possibly lower).

b. If you start the program and are serious, you need to commit the next 3-4 years to get the letters next to your name. It's pointless to pass L1, L2 and decide this isn't really what you want.

I would use your time to network more effectively, prep for interviews, enjoy your senior year, etc. All this you can never get back, the CFA will always be around. If I could go back, I probably wouldn't do it again.

Check out www.msfhq.com for MSF info.

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:47am
happypantsmcgee, what's your opinion? Comment below:

With your GPA, assuming you do reasonably well on the GMAT, you can definitely get into a more widely respected MSF program than AU. Not that I want to shit on anyone's school but there are just better options as far as getting placed in trading on the Street. As everyone has told you, the CFA won't do much for you in terms of getting you to the trading floor but its not a bad thing to work on as long as you aren't sacrificing too much time that could be spent networking etc.

I'm sure Anthony would have better insight into how and why the MSF would/could help you so he would be a good person for you to reach out to about that portion of your question

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
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Apr 23, 2013 - 8:49am
kazzaf84, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Top graduate schools for BB sales, trading, research? (Originally Posted: 02/03/2009)

By graduate school I mean MBA programs and masters in finance programs (MFE, MFin, MSCF, etc.). Where do the bulge-bracket banks' associate programs in S&T and research recruit at?

From what I've gathered so far, these are the top places to go (in no particular order):

Havard, MIT, Cal, Penn, Carnegie Mellon, Chicago, Columbia, NYU, Princeton, Stanford.

And the following schools... I'm not sure about them, can anyone comment on if BB banks recruit there for associate-level S&T and research?

Cornell, Dartmouth, Michigan, Virginia, Duke, Baruch, Northwestern, Yale, UCLA, Indiana.

And please also comment on anything I've left off or shouldn't be here.

Thanks,

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:50am
BudFox24, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Im not too sure how much this is going to help but I hear Columbia is the best for research.

KICKIN ASS AND TAKING NAMES
Apr 23, 2013 - 8:51am
skins1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Keep in mind that any opinions given here are pre-credit crunch, so it may not apply at all in the near- to mid-term, if ever.

That said, for S&T recruiting the greatness number of candidates come from MBA programs. That said, plenty are recruited from master's and PhD programs, but the recruiting infrastructure and pipeline is just not as developed.

From what I've seen over the past 5 years or so, the two most recruited at MBA programs for S&T are Wharton and Chicago, far and away. Then probably Columbia, and then probably NYU, and maybe HBS. You can get in from any top programs, it's just a matter of how much leg work you have to do on your own, versus having recruiters come to you. On the lower end of the top-15 schools I'd also include Cornell's Johnson school.

That's based on my summer associate class, full-time associate class (at 2 different banks), as well as from what I've seen from b-school buddies in S&T at other banks.

  • 3
Apr 23, 2013 - 8:52am
yesman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

chicago, hands down

wharton is still awesome, but it's stronger in corp fin/IBD

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:54am
Guest1655, what's your opinion? Comment below:

as a Zicklin biz school (Baruch) undergrad, I was surprised to see you even having the school on your list. For an MBA in NYC it would be NYU/Columbia hands down. I know that Baruch had some students get into the front offices in major BB's in the past few years, however I have no statistics about this year.

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:55am
skins1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

@ yesman: Look at the offer rates. I know plenty of people from Chicago, and from what I've seen the average number of offers per person is higher at Wharton than at Chicago. Purely numbers--interest in S&T at Wharton is lower than at Chicago, yet both are recruited at equally. Hence you have more offers for a smaller pool of people.

My year at Wharton S&T offers ranged from 2-7 per person, with the average being 4 (for summer internships). From the people I know at Chicago it was a little bit tougher to get multiple offers per person. So I'd say you have an equal shot from either school.

As far as Wharton being strong in IBD/Corp Fin--not all that many students are interested in that. At top MBA programs Ibanking is for people who can't land a PE job, or are trying to break into finance without any past experience.

Going into IB as an MBA is nothing more than a means to an end (and hopefully a quick one)...

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Apr 23, 2013 - 8:56am
gamenumbers, what's your opinion? Comment below:

carnegie mellon tepper is a top placer of people into quant trading roles, which (pre credit crisis data here, watch out) is a growing part of S&T

as somebody else said, you can do it from anywhere, but each bank has "core" schools where they recruit. a big buy side firm or hedge fund that cranks numbers might recruit quants and thus recruit from chicago or tepper. traditional S&T sell side might recruit Wharton/CBS/NYU. if your school is not a core school, your prospects of getting an offer drop by about 90%, maybe more in the new economy.

these banks are fill of mbas, and there is tremendous inertia in recruiting. if a bank recruits from johnson, there's likely lots of johnson ppl there, which means that they really want to recruit more from johnson.

Apr 23, 2013 - 8:59am
[email protected], what's your opinion? Comment below:

Which MSF program for sales&trading? (Originally Posted: 06/15/2010)

which MSF program do you guys think has the best sales&trading placement out of these: - Vanderbilt - Boston College - Villanova - Uni of Florida - University of Rochester - UIUC

How about in term of proprietary trading and hedge funds?

And if I apply to the MMS program at Duke, will there be better job placement for s&t, proprietary trading or hedge fund there?? (I know this program is not about finance but the brand name might help)

Jul 19, 2009 - 4:18am
Hubris100, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Cass actually has very strong masters in mathematical trading. I know a couple of guys who did very well from there. Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, LSE, MIT.... Its like an exercise in futile name dropping...

Regarding MBA's: Its pointless applying to any European Business School without tangible work experience, and I cant think of any US school that would take on someone who's sole aim is to become a trader - what are your classmates going to gain from your limited life experience? Advice - Think trader say non-profit.... Infanitely more attractive to the admissions bods.....

Apr 23, 2013 - 9:00am
Blank999, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I know of a handful of Nova traders from the MSF program. As far as alumni goes there are a bunch, but they are from the UG or MBA.

I would eliminate U of R and Florida from that MSF list. Don't know how Vandy places for trading. If I had to rank it :

1) UIUC 2) BC3) Villanova / Vandy

UIUC is a solid engineering school and has a good rep in Chicago which has a lot of trading. BC will do well in Boston, Nova in Philly, Vandy down south. Honestly, I think UIUC is your best bet.

  • 2
Apr 23, 2013 - 9:01am
dipset1011, what's your opinion? Comment below:

BC/Nova for trading? i don't think so. If you want trading go to a quant program. Carnegie, Cal, Uchicago, Columbia offers mathematical finance, and so does NYU Courant.

Best Response
Apr 23, 2013 - 9:02am
Blank999, what's your opinion? Comment below:
dipset1011:
BC/Nova for trading? i don't think so. If you want trading go to a quant program. Carnegie, Cal, Uchicago, Columbia offers mathematical finance, and so does NYU Courant.

I agree with you, but within the OP's constraints I ranked them as I think they fall. Both BC and Nova have a lot of alumni on the street and quite a few traders. More than enough for networking purposes. Both are located in large secondary cities as well as close to NYC. Reason I put UIUC tops is because of the engineering reputation of the school. If the OP is looking at Florida and U of R it is a reasonable assumption that they are not looking for something as math heavy as the above schools.

While we are on the topic, Princeton will place well in trading.

  • 3
Apr 23, 2013 - 9:03am
[email protected], what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have listed the above schools because those r the reasonable ones that I can get in w/ my stats. How about the MSF at Claremont McKenna? And how would you guys rate these schools in terms of alumni representative on the street since I'm also looking for networking opportunities.

Apr 23, 2013 - 9:06am
insight123, what's your opinion? Comment below:
I have listed the above schools because those r the reasonable ones that I can get in w/ my stats. How about the MSF at Claremont McKenna? And how would you guys rate these schools in terms of alumni representative on the street since I'm also looking for networking opportunities.

What are your stats? Claremont Mckenna does place people into trading but it's a program more designed for banking/Asset Management/corp. finance in my opinion. UF places well into trading too actually (if you're one of the top few students) but mostly into places like Citi, Wells Fargo and some regional shops. As always, with any MSF, your undergraduate education and previous work experience will play a major role.

Apr 23, 2013 - 9:04am
San Franciscan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

A tiny bit of research will tell you that the "MSF at Claremont McKenna" is actually an MAF at Claremont McKenna.

As for their placement... http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/academic/masters/placement.php

"If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars." - J. Paul Getty
Apr 23, 2013 - 9:08am
FIASCO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I attend UIUC (UG) and I would suggest the MSFE. Though it's new, it's a hybrid between College of Business and College of Engineering. And all the prop firms here go to the engineering career fair, not the business one. You won't find many MSFE alumni trading (because it's new). But chicago is full of UIUC traders at many different shops so you should find people to talk to. PM Me if you have any questions about anything I could hep with.

Apr 23, 2013 - 9:09am
San Franciscan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're willing to go abroad, Imperial College London has a very quantitative MSc in Finance that places primarily in S&T.

"If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars." - J. Paul Getty
Apr 23, 2013 - 9:12am
nelly0, what's your opinion? Comment below:
bcbunker1:
if you want to do s&t at a BB the only msf programs worth attending are those at princeton and MIT. how was your quant score on GMAT?

With a 3.2 GPA OP won't get into Princeton (barring crazy prior work experience or graduate degrees). MIT has no placement record and is also difficult to get into. I don't think these are reasonable options.

Feb 7, 2010 - 2:10pm
Business-Guru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey guys,

I believe Sales doesn't require a sophisticated educational background. I know guys in the industry(at BBs and boutiques) from schools you'll hardly ever hear about. Trading is a little more difficult to get into but one could still get in without an MBA/MFE, the most important thing is experience and a profitable track record. However, an MFE will increase your chances of joining a quant trading desk or financial modeling team. An MBA is more towards the IB/PE/VC route. At the end of the day, the most important thing is setting yourself up outside the classroom. By the way, I just want to give you guys a heads up about a new website on trading strategies/financial talk. For those interested, it is www.moneyhawker.com.

Apr 23, 2013 - 9:14am
i.short.you.you.short.me, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Best graduate school to break into trading? (Originally Posted: 01/23/2013)

I'm not interested in sales, just trading. I don't even drink so wining and dining clients wouldn't interest me. I am interested in all forms of trading though, equities, commodities, options, currencies, futures, etc. I know Tulane has an energy trading program. What other grad schools are good for wannabe traders?

Thank you

Apr 23, 2013 - 9:15am
pplstuff, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Top math, physics, computer science, and engineering programs. The closer proximity to NYC the better (so as to have access to internship opportunities).

I'll do what I can to help ya'll. But, the game's out there, and it's play or get played.
Apr 23, 2013 - 9:16am
i.short.you.you.short.me, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can't get into those. I have a degree in ECON from a non-target and am going for a MS in Math from a non-target. I will have completed courses in Cal 1-3, ODE, PDE, Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra, Real Analysis, Complex Analysis, Probability, Statistics, Financial Math, Options&Derivatives, and hopefully Numerical Analysis and Stochastic Calculus by the time I'm done. I do not want a PhD. I was thinking either a Masters in Statistics or something involving Finance. I got no interviews for summer internships from the BB's or Hedge Funds so far. I think either my schools, lack of internship, or poor SAT's which I took over 5 years ago are filtering me out. I have traded with a prop firm, though I have no formal training.

Apr 23, 2013 - 9:17am
pplstuff, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you want a brand on your resume, check out the Cornell PSM in Stats.

Here's placement info... they have a few other years placements on the website too.

http://www.stat.cornell.edu/mps/2011_PGS.pdf

I'll do what I can to help ya'll. But, the game's out there, and it's play or get played.
Apr 23, 2013 - 9:18am
SirTradesaLot, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Have you looked into the masters in financial engineering at Columbia?

Apr 23, 2013 - 9:19am
i.short.you.you.short.me, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the suggestions. Columbia has a MS in Stats, MAFN, and MSFE. All 3 programs have placed people into the big banks and hedge funds. It's in prime location being in the city while Cornell's in Ithica. I wonder how much time I should spend studying for the GRE. I got a 790Q/450V/4.0. Do these programs care about my crappy verbal score?

Feb 7, 2010 - 2:24pm
brotherbear, what's your opinion? Comment below:

In terms of placement, the LSE Finance and Economics programme places well (I graduated from it a couple of years ago). Princeton's MFin definitely places better than any other programme on your list. It's also the hardest the get into.

In truth, programmes that don't have a quant element to them are somewhat worthless in my mind. What do you learn about finance that doesn't involve some quant? At the LSE, 1/4 of you entire master's is going to be econometrics. And not the crap you studied as an undergrad. Another 1/4 is going to be arbitrage theory/options pricing. Another 1/4 is graduate micro, and the last 1/4 is up to you. In any case, you're not going to do well without some quant background.

Domestically, I'd apply to:

Princeton MIT Columbia Financial Maths NYU Financial Maths UChicago Fin Maths Berkeley MFE

Abroad:

LSEOxford MFE Cambridge MFin Imperial College London ... Bocconni

I'm not sure it's worth going to a programme outside of these. The costs are high, and you're essentially paying for a placement in high finance. You might as well try to get your money's worth.

Feb 7, 2010 - 3:43pm
wintonheights, what's your opinion? Comment below:

i confirm most of whats been said. ive seen trading desks that have associates that do nothing but structure (eg CDOs). ive seen desks where the sales teams actually do the structuring (eg interest rate derivatives). and ive been on a desk where all the traders are the structurers. so as with much of life, the answer is it depends.

generally speaking however, salesmen are not required to be as technical as traders or structurers, but this should come as no surprise. sales jobs do not often require this skill set unless youre in one of those special situations like the one i mentioned earlier (which is really a hybrid role anyway). the important thing to note however, is that if you want to be a good salesman you will learn these details about your product so that you can discuss it intelligently with your client and with your firm's trader - in which case you will become somewhat technical (will you be able to use and manipulate structuring tools? prolly not, but youll know what say an inverse IO is and how it receives cash flow, what its risks are, etc if you are on a mortgage desk).

in my experience as a trader i had tremendous face time with clients. only the covering salesperson had more. structurers tended to be team members not team leaders...as in, there to answer any really technical odd questions that a client may have or create a structure after the bankers/salesmen and traders have decided what it should be. they werent driving the process. if its any consolation, i think everyone would acknowledge that they tended to be the smartest people in the room.

I cant speak to the programs, but MIT is always a well respected name in S&T. and at my BB people with MBAs were the ones who got to work on the desk. people with MFs or MFEs tended to be packed in a corner doing research or in my description of structuring role above or doing some really technical isolated role. then they had to work their way onto the desk from there.

and in general, its harder to get a book than you think. dont walk into these jobs thinking youre going to run a book in a few years if you do well. sure you may trade a portion of it or get clearance to do trades, but you have to be exceptionally good and really lucky to have a firm give you your own p&l.

  • 2
Feb 9, 2010 - 2:31pm
Ben Shalom Bernanke, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I will second you take a look at Carnegie Mellon's program. Supposed to be top notch. Great reputation

Feb 9, 2010 - 4:49pm
wintonheights, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Feb 21, 2010 - 3:21pm
Batrick Pateman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Nov 2, 2012 - 11:24am
GoodBread, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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