Good US MsF Programs for Breaking In in Canada?

Hassen's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 72

Graduating from a non-target in the US this summer or next fall, finance major, no relevant experience, got interested in the industry only recently and after asking some WSO users for advice thought I'd apply to MsF programs as a plan B if I don't land any internship this summer.

I'm not a US citizen and would want to work in Canada after graduation because I'm interested in the natural resources sector (interested in gas & oil market, family has ties to solar energy and mining) as well as the immigration process is much easier (family has business relations and friends in Canada too, none in the US).

Any idea what US MsF programs are considered reputable in Canada? I'd apply to a Canadian one directly but seems like they are all part-time ones. I'm looking for a full time program.

I'd like to break into IB but to be honest if I could land a job in Canada straight out of MsF I'm open to anything in finance. Still, I'm primarily focused on IB as for now at least.

Any comment would be appreciated, thanks in advance for the help.

Update: I think I gone full retard with this post since the answer was pretty obvious. I'm applying to Vandy, Duke, WUSTL, and Nova; just sticking with programs with national reputation I think I'll be fine taking it to Canada. Might try UT Austin too, not sure yet. Also considering SMU but family is opposed to it, but since they want me to go to Simon Fraser I might as well not listen to them at all.

Comments (22)

Nov 24, 2013

The top MFin programs in the US would be reputable in Canada too, I'm sure. The top in the US is Princeton's but based on your resume etc I'm not sure you'd be competitive enough. Use the search function here and you should find a ton of info about US MFin programs. Busy atm, will respond to your questions in your resume thread later.

Nov 24, 2013

Thanks! I searched around a bit and seems like Princeton's is more focused on quant?

I'm looking at Tulane and UT Austin right now because of the whole energy thing, just not sure if they are as reputable in Canada since they are considered a bit more regional.

But yeah, I'll apply to just about any good ones there are and choose later if I get accepted into any. I don't feel I'm a competitive enough candidate but it won't hurt to try.

Nov 24, 2013

Don't sell yourself short, while your 2 years in UG might not help in banking it may help a lot when applying for graduate school. Keep in mind that going to Canada is definitely the long way and not necessarily an easy path- easiest would be MF and get a job in the US right out of grad school after crushing it during your degree.

As I said, will reply later to other questions- but short answer about international experience is that banks don't/won't care enough to make it worth putting on your resume. I also have significant international experience. Unless it's a study abroad program or work overseas, you can't really mention anything on your resume- but if you want to mention it, you can do so in a cover letter.

Nov 24, 2013

Haha we meet again Hassen. Vanderbilt, Duke, UVA, Wash U, Villanova, MIT are all top programs. MIT and Princeton are very quant heavy and in my opinion are kinda for a different purpose than the others.

If your family/friends has ties to the solar/energy business you should start by networking there. That might even work out better than a MSF program, especially because you already have a finance major.

Nov 25, 2013

Villanova doesn't fit my graduation schedule, sigh. I like Catholic schools.

Anyway, family friends' mining business is in British Columbia, while I obviously should go to Calgary or Toronto.. I just came across the MsF program of Simon Fraser University too, dunno, pretty non-target but networking opportunities exist and has better placement into IB than my uni at least--can help me move to Canada and working part time to gain experience is far easier in Canada as an international student, Vancouver is better than my small college town in the middle of nowhere too. In fact visiting Vancouver's financial district is what got me considering banking at all. It's also cheaper... Guess I'm now falling back into the same way of thinking that got me into my current non-target.

edit: talked to my mother about it, pitched her Vandy, Duke, and several others, she's only most excited about Simon Fraser. *facepalm*

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Nov 25, 2013

So much wrong with what's been said so far. As someone in finance and energy in Canada, please consider the following:

1. Generally, as a Canadian, we believe that the US education system is shit save perhaps the top 20 schools compared to our schools. We don't have the funding any where near the top 30, though, and that's the essential difference. Even so, no one will ever care that you went to Vandy, Duke, WASTL (or whatever), tulane or otherwise. It's a joke. All that Duke is known for up here is basketball, and most of the others I'd never heard of or care enough about before I got on this forum.

2. Your best bet is probably Texas-Austin IF you're going to stay in the US. Though still, I doubt this will give you a "leg up" if this is what you're looking for. Might get a few interviews because people are interested. But really, if you're not going to an M7 or other universally well known schools (Ivys, etc.), forget about trying to get a leg up.

3. I'm not sure why you think going to school in the US is particularly advantageous anyways. Most of us pay $6000/year or less in some provinces, while you pay $30000+. Even as an international its only about $15,000 up here.

4. The best finance programs are unsurprisingly at the best business schools here (i.e. Canadian targets...which will be more advantageous for you in general but not particularly advantageous for energy). Maybe you should consider going to a Canadian school if you're going to come here permanently. Since you already have an UG degree from the US, why not diversify? Best finance programs in general (my ranking...most would agree I think): 1. Ivey (Western Ontario) 2. University of Toronto 3. Queens/Schulich (York). If you know for sure you want to get into energy though, check of U of Calgary's program and U of Alberta has masters in finance/econ...I'm sure either of those schools have some program related just to energy. If you're looking to get into the energy field, you'll almost exclusively have to live in Calgary if you want a front-office role. Toronto maybe if you're looking for corporate strategy for energy companies or something but Calgary is definitely the winner. All this being said, school up here is undoubtedly harder than a lot of programs in the US, so be weary. At my school 4.0s are virtually unheard of. And I think 9 people out of 35,000 got ~4.3 and its among the top universities in Canada.

5. Vancouver is easily the most expensive city in Canada. A basic house costs about $800,000 near the city. No idea why you think its cheap. Calgary is as expensive (maybe a bit less) but wages are much higher.

6. SFU is a non-target. Its not even in Vancouver (most of the campus is in the suburbs). Avoid if you can go to other schools that are more energy focused (Alberta, Calgary). Or "Canadian" targets (Ivey, Toronto, Queens/Schulich).

Dec 13, 2013
PutINweRK:

So much wrong with what's been said so far. As someone in finance and energy in Canada, please consider the following:

1. Generally, as a Canadian, we believe that the US education system is shit save perhaps the top 20 schools compared to our schools. We don't have the funding any where near the top 30, though, and that's the essential difference. Even so, no one will ever care that you went to Vandy, Duke, WASTL (or whatever), tulane or otherwise. It's a joke. All that Duke is known for up here is basketball, and most of the others I'd never heard of or care enough about before I got on this forum.

FWIW, this is actually very true, except the list is no where near as large as 20 for everyone - more like 20 well known American universities, period. List of American schools that I knew were good before working in NYC/HK: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT and University of Chicago.

If you'd heard of Duke for basketball, you probably studied in the East. Basketball isn't that big where I studied.

Fact is, in Canada we don't care that much about brand name schools because (for better or for worse) hiring in Canada is very different compared to the US (obviously not true for every firm). Recruiting IME is more structured in the US and networking works extremely well in Canada (people are pretty friendly about it).

To the OP: if you want to get hired in Canada, your odds are much better should you have studied in Canada. Generally employers don't know or care about American schools and you can network while you're in school (you also get a Visa I believe).

Nov 25, 2013

While I agree with some of the above comments, one must realize that Canada doesn't offer a lot of non-experience MSF programs. If the OP had experience I would say look at Rotman or something else, but without experience there are maybe 1-2 programs that the OP could qualify for.

And the programs the OP is looking at are highly ranked US programs. I don't like in Europe or Canada, but I know of top programs there. I would imagine people in Canada would do the same. And if Duke is only known for basketball and not having one of the best MBA programs then I just don't know what to say.

Nov 25, 2013

A) The OP didn't ask for or make the distinction.

B) It doesn't have one of the best MBA programs really. People have heard of it obviously, but it doesn't carry nearly the same weight as M7 or any top Canadian schools (McGill, Ivey, Toronto). I'm speaking from the point of view of competing with other CANADIAN students and from the (FALLACIOUS) point of view that most Americans carry: A second tier American school is better than a first-tier Canadian school when applying to jobs in Canada.

Nov 25, 2013
PutINweRK:

A) The OP didn't ask for or make the distinction.

B) It doesn't have one of the best MBA programs really. People have heard of it obviously, but it doesn't carry nearly the same weight as M7 or any top Canadian schools (McGill, Ivey, Toronto). I'm speaking from the point of view of competing with other CANADIAN students and from the (FALLACIOUS) point of view that most Americans carry: A second tier American school is better than a first-tier Canadian school when applying to jobs in Canada.

Umm Duke is consistently ranked as one of the top programs.

"Any idea what US MsF programs are considered reputable in Canada? I'd apply to a Canadian one directly but seems like they are all part-time ones. I'm looking for a full time program."

As I mention, the selection of Canadian programs the OP would quality for is limited (as he mentions in his original statement). Therefore saying "apply to a Canadian school" really doesn't help him.

Programs that are reputable in Canada are programs that are strongly ranked with a history of placements and alumni. Plenty of international students attend US MSF programs and go back to their home country to work.

Nov 25, 2013
TNA:
PutINweRK:

A) The OP didn't ask for or make the distinction.

B) It doesn't have one of the best MBA programs really. People have heard of it obviously, but it doesn't carry nearly the same weight as M7 or any top Canadian schools (McGill, Ivey, Toronto). I'm speaking from the point of view of competing with other CANADIAN students and from the (FALLACIOUS) point of view that most Americans carry: A second tier American school is better than a first-tier Canadian school when applying to jobs in Canada.

Umm Duke is consistently ranked as one of the top programs.

"Any idea what US MsF programs are considered reputable in Canada? I'd apply to a Canadian one directly but seems like they are all part-time ones. I'm looking for a full time program."

As I mention, the selection of Canadian programs the OP would quality for is limited (as he mentions in his original statement). Therefore saying "apply to a Canadian school" really doesn't help him.

Programs that are reputable in Canada are programs that are strongly ranked with a history of placements and alumni. Plenty of international students attend US MSF programs and go back to their home country to work.

I hate repeating myself. Ummmm I'm aware. I'm telling you that no one cares up here. It's not an M7, it's not Ivy and its in Durham, North Carolina. It's a great school. But you're not going to get a leg up just because you went to Duke up here when compared to someone that went to Ivey. We prefer Canadian students for obvious reasons unless you really stand out (M7, etc.). You can try to spin it any way you want but the fact of the matter is you don't live here and don't recruit here. I'm sorry if you went to Duke and are a bit butthurt about reality. It's quite possible it's objectively better. Nevertheless, given the context of the OP's question: working in the CANADIAN ENERGY sector, it's not relevant. Does Duke even have an MSF (no, not financial econ, just finance)? So much irrelevance.

Nov 25, 2013

Ok, well OP is free to take your one data point under suggestion. I suppose in Canada you haven't heard of rankings or international publications. Thank god people across the Atlantic and Pacific have heard about the program.

Ivy doesn't offer an MSF so that is not germane to the discussion. The below programs offer the degree:

Concordia University
HEC Montreal
Queen's
Simon Fraser University
Universite Laval
University of Toronto

Rotman is a post experience. Queens might be a good fit. HEC is a French language program. So these are your options.

Fact of the matter is you are just one person and their opinion so lets not make it out that you are spouting gospel.

Nov 25, 2013
TNA:

Ok, well OP is free to take your one data point under suggestion. I suppose in Canada you haven't heard of rankings or international publications. Thank god people across the Atlantic and Pacific have heard about the program.

Ivy doesn't offer an MSF so that is not germane to the discussion. The below programs offer the degree:

Concordia University

HEC Montreal

Queen's

Simon Fraser University

Universite Laval

University of Toronto

Rotman is a post experience. Queens might be a good fit. HEC is a French language program. So these are your options.

Fact of the matter is you are just one person and their opinion so lets not make it out that you are spouting gospel.

Trying to decide if I should waste my time trying to convince you of something you're under the illusion of already understanding.

I'd like to think I'm as knowledgeable about world rankings. I've heard of them. I've been accepted to "top" programs. I'm not going to get into it regarding the validity of rankings with you, but suffice it to say the majority are done by American institutions for Americans (with the exception of Shanghai), and may depend on the program (are we talking about strength of the program in terms of research output of the profs? Employer reputation? Etc.). All may very and must be considered within the context of the job. No one is arguing with you that Duke is a great school. As I've alluded to 3 or so times now, I'm aware Duke is highly ranked.

This being said, what weight would a degree from Duke hold in Calgary vs. a degree from U of C? None. No alumni, most likely a foreign national, most likely a pompous American like yourself who goes around saying dumb ass shit like "I suppose in Canada you haven't heard of rankings or international publications. Thank god people across the Atlantic and Pacific have heard about the program." That'll go great in an interview. This is why people hate Americans and I'm surprised you don't think I live across the Atlantic.

HEC is partly in English, first of all. It's hilarious you mention Laval. It happens to be in perhaps the most French place in Canada (Quebec City).

UBC, U of A, York, McMaster, Waterloo, Calgary, and I'm not even including financial economics. This is just off the top of my head.

Fact of the matter is you're arguing with me about how employers view things in Canada while you probably haven't even been to Canada and I find that less compelling than someone who works in the energy sector here. Though I'll let the OP decide.

Nov 25, 2013

I mentioned MSF programs in Canada as that is what the OP is looking for.

So how about my stats.

1) An MSF grad.

2) Run a website on MSF degrees

3) Went to a program that has had 2-3 Canadian students in the past couple of years who have graduated and a) went back to Toronto to work and b) went to London to work.

4) Just because you live in Canada and go to a college in Canada doesn't make you a definitive source. You seem to want to argue for no reason whatsoever, while ignoring the OP's question. Canada has a limited supply of MSF programs for students without experience. If the OP wants to do an MSF program and isn't interested in the relatively few MSF programs located in Canada then the only other option is to go to another country.

So the UK would be a good option. Or the US. Within the US there are a handful of programs that have historically strong placements, alumni all over the US and internationally as well as career offices that know how to place international students.

http://www.dukealumni.com/alumni-communities/regio...

Wow, Duke alumni in Canada. Holy shit. Maybe the OP could network with these people and get a job.

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=107641

Holy shit, 24,000 members. In Canada.

http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/glob...

Holy shit, ranked 18th in the FT rankings, a UK paper.

And yes, I have been to Canada. Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City.

Nov 25, 2013

Your website also misspells Argentina. Look, Duke is a good school. The group you posted was for Duke Alumni in general it seems-- not in Canada.

I just listed a bunch of programs. That's off the top of my head. The Financial Times also ranks CEIBS ahead of Duke which is a joke. The rankings are for global MBA, not MSF.

I know you want to remain relevant. I'm not a definitive source. But I'm working in the energy sector here and telling you how it is. It might not be justifiable that someone with a Duke MSF will get rejected in favour of someone with a MSF at U of A, but that's how it is. There is NO one that went to Duke in Calgary in energy (or at least that didn't go to a Canadian university before). That doesn't mean it's not a great school. It's just not AS relevant for working in the Canadian energy sector. I would take your advice if you recommended MSFs in your country because I admittedly know less about US MSFs. I admit I know less in that domain. I don't get why you have to be right? I guess it's because you're suppose to be with the whole website thing, but you're just...not... in this context.

Nov 26, 2013

PutINweRK,

Most of the M7 programs don't even offer masters in finance degrees. Why you keep mentioning M7 schools, or ivy's for that matter, is beyond me. ANT's only point is that Duke is a top tier American program that's more highly ranked than many ivy's (especially true for finance). Next, you haven't provided a single shred of evidence supporting any of your claims. You just keep regurgitating that you're (a) Canadian and (b) work in Canada. This doesn't make you an expert in anything related to the relative strength of U.S. MSF programs in Canada or anywhere else.

To the OP. ANT's suggestion to checkout linkedin when selecting the program that's right for you is spot on. Find a one that has a strong alumni base in Canada and reach out to them before you even attend the program.

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Nov 26, 2013

Having been in the OP's position (graduated in 2 years from undergrad, realized an interest in banking late etc) I can only emphasize that he's entirely correct in seeking out schools that are full-time and do not require relevant experience- not only would he be uncompetitive for admission, but recruiting would REALLY suck- interviewing for the same position as people with several years of experience at the age of 20. If he can find a Canadian program that fulfills those 2 qualifications and is remotely credible, then I agree that a Canadian program would be the way to go.

Nov 26, 2013

Agree with above. Problem is the limited selection. Oh well, I will answer the OPs questions, but I AM not going to get into an argument with an "expert" on Canada.

Nov 26, 2013

@Esuric

You're sweet. I'm gonna make sure you kiss me good with those big lips.

You better sound out the words next time you read something by the looks of things as well.

Not trying to be a jackass (ok, maybe a bit), just thought I make fairly reasoned arguments based on my professional experience in the energy industry in the country the OP is trying to break into which seem to go discredited for some reason. Maybe you're just butthurt about my comment about Americans. I'm sorry. But, you know, maybe it has some value given that there seems to be a generally tendency to jump into a discussion, critique people and their countries and bring nothing to the conversation-- which has been done by a few people at least in a few instances in this thread. What I said is one opinion, that's implied. My point was that Duke doesn't carry the same prestige up here in the energy sector as say an MSF from MIT or Princeton, an MSFE from Columbia, FinMath from Chicago, etc. etc. You're right that there are not a lot of MSF programs in the M7. There are, however, some derivative of finance masters at virtually all of them which I think if the OP was competitive at top MSFs, could easily work his way into the others.

My point was just to offer a perspective on how schools are majoritarily viewed up here by a) the general populace and b) by myself and my colleagues who work in the Canadian energy industry.

Generally, common knowledge would tell even you that American employers prefer American-educated employees,especially given the primary US public policy paradigm spearheaded by the Obama administration since the Financial Crisis is to "buy American" (also given the relevant legislation). I don't see why it seems difficult to grasp that the same would apply here. Some exceptions apply for schools that are considered universally elite (i.e. Ivys and some schools like Oxford, LSE, Cambridge, maybe McGill). Employers are more likely to hire something they're familiar with, and the fact that earlier you claimed that M7 graduates are less likely to work in Canada only reinforces my point. I don't particularly see why it seems difficult to grasp. Objectively a MSF is more than likely the better education than most Canadian equivalents. Yet, I'm talking about the relative perception of employers and that's generally all that matters between a winning and losing candidate.

Nov 26, 2013

* Duke MSF

Nov 27, 2013
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Dec 16, 2013
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