Msc. Finance - For non-IBD career path?

Hello Everyone,

Background: After much research on Msc / Ms. Finance programs it seems to me that 80% of the students intend to go into IB. I have no desire to get into IB or Management Consulting, but I still want to stand out and have a rewarding career. I would rather use my degree to get a position as a finance analyst / treasury analyst / credit analyst at a large bank, corporation, or big four accounting firm.

Question: Would a Masters in Finance be applicable in this case? Would my lower career aspirations hurt my statement of purpose in my application?

After all, having students graduate into IB roles would be much better for the school's reputation than just a run of the mill analyst at a fortune 500 company.

What are your thoughts?

Best Regards,

Snookie4President

Comments (24)

 
4/26/10

Hi Snookie,

I think a MFin education will fit your career goal. MAYBE not big four accounting (depends on what your position is though). When I look at Princeton's MFin, their students go to work in a variety of fields in finance. Some are in government, some are in central banks at different countries, and some even decided to pursuit a PhD in finance.

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We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from mbaMission’s Senior Consultant team. Learn more.

 
4/26/10

Hi Humble,

I'm not sure what you mean by MFin Education. Do you have an example of programs?

Another motivation for me to get a Msc. Finance is many schools (in the UK at least) teach some of the CFA curriculum. Thus, I'd be killing two birds with one stone. (Getting my masters and studying for the CFA.)

 
4/26/10

Hi there,

I understand where you coming from. If you are at UK, then there are many good programs such as:

Imperial
Oxford Said
Cambridge Judge
LSE (Msc in Econ, Finance (or both), Msc in Finance & PE, Msc in Finance & Acct)
Warwick

If you are in US, good programs are:

MIT
Princeton

Hope this helps.

Edit: what I mean by Mfin is Master of Finance. Personally, I think it is just a matter of nomenclature, I personally think the differences between Master of Finance and Master of Science in Finance is marginal. But of course I know AnthonyD will be opposed to this idea, hahaha. So I guess just look at the courses you will be taking and see if they are want you wanted to learn.

 
4/26/10

what is your profile snookie? that'd help in suggesting some programs for you...

 
4/26/10

Snookie Profile:

GPA: 3.6/4.0
GMAT: 600
Major: Finance/Computer Science
Non-Target, State University

Extra Curricular: Outstanding (ie. President of prestigious club & other)
Work/Internship Experience: Outstanding (ie. Corporate Finance in a F500 Company and other finance related)
Citizenship: U.S. & E.U.

Overall, a modest profile compared to most on this forum, however most of you guys are freaks. Respectively. That said, I'd point out I'm in a unique position with my dual citizenship, great internship experience, and extra curricular activities.

Target Schools (UK):

1.) LSE (Reach)
2.) Imperial College (Target)
3.) Warwick (Target)
4.) Cass (Target)
5.) Durham (Safety?)

How does this sit with you guys? Being from the states, I was surprised to learn that most schools do NOT require the GMAT (LSE does). My guess as to the reasoning behind this is that schools pick the TOFL over the GMAT for international students.

Side Note: Not much said about Durham in online forums, looks like a great program though, not sure why not more isn't said about it. I've hear people say that if you don't make it to Oxbridge you go to Durham. Which is like saying if you don't get into Harvard or UPenn, you get into Dartmouth. Can anyone verify this?

 
4/26/10
 
4/27/10
humble_dude wrote:

What is Durham?

Durham University - close to Newcastle

http://www.dur.ac.uk/dbs/degrees/msc_programmes/
By the way I have a great resource for Msc. Finance programs. It shows all the US & International programs:

http://www.bus.lsu.edu/academics/finance/faculty/d...

 
4/27/10
Snookie4President wrote:
humble_dude wrote:

What is Durham?

Durham University - close to Newcastle

http://www.dur.ac.uk/dbs/degrees/msc_programmes/
By the way I have a great resource for Msc. Finance programs. It shows all the US & International programs:

http://www.bus.lsu.edu/academics/finance/faculty/d...

Oh, thanks! my bad I thought you are talking about Duke.

 
4/26/10

Durham is considered average, maybe a little better than average when it comes to MSc Finance programs in Uk. The reason schools require TOEFL (from which you're exempt) is to make sure internationals have adequate fluency in English.Don't think it has anything to do with GMAT. UK schools seem to place lot of weight on GPA and relevant coursework so that probably works in you favor since you have a pretty good GPA and assuming you have decent math background. The only problem is that you're from a non target state university, so not sure how schools would view your GPA. But honestly, I would recommend that you retake your GMAT and try to improve your score (>650) if you want to improve your chances of getting accepted at your target schools. You might also want to consider diversifying your list to include schools outside of UK (Bocconi, St. Gallen, RSM), all great programs and on par with your target schools.

Hope this helps

Snookie4President wrote:

Snookie Profile:

GPA: 3.6/4.0
GMAT: 600
Major: Finance/Computer Science
Non-Target, State University

Extra Curricular: Outstanding (ie. President of prestigious club & other)
Work/Internship Experience: Outstanding (ie. Corporate Finance in a F500 Company and other finance related)
Citizenship: U.S. & E.U.

Overall, a modest profile compared to most on this forum, however most of you guys are freaks. Respectively. That said, I'd point out I'm in a unique position with my dual citizenship, great internship experience, and extra curricular activities.

Target Schools (UK):

1.) LSE (Reach)
2.) Imperial College (Target)
3.) Warwick (Target)
4.) Cass (Target)
5.) Durham (Safety?)

How does this sit with you guys? Being from the states, I was surprised to learn that most schools do NOT require the GMAT (LSE does). My guess as to the reasoning behind this is that schools pick the TOFL over the GMAT for international students.

Side Note: Not much said about Durham in online forums, looks like a great program though, not sure why not more isn't said about it. I've hear people say that if you don't make it to Oxbridge you go to Durham. Which is like saying if you don't get into Harvard or UPenn, you get into Dartmouth. Can anyone verify this?

 
4/26/10
islandoffmorocco wrote:

what is your profile snookie? that'd help in suggesting some programs for you...

See other post above:

Free Consultation

We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from mbaMission’s Senior Consultant team. Learn more.

 
4/26/10

Hmm I would not say so. At my school, they were more or less desperate to pair us up with non-banks such as insurance companies (especially) or corporates, usually sponsors of the school. It is important to them as their budget is not 100% tuition fees. Good relations means good recruiting.

I'm not an admissions officer, though.

 
4/26/10

Also one more thing, don't waste your money on LSE application fee. I can tell you right now, it will be near impossible to get in, especially this late in the admissions cycle. Unless you can manage a 700 or above GMAT, don't bother.

 
4/27/10
tentop wrote:

Also one more thing, don't waste your money on LSE application fee. I can tell you right now, it will be near impossible to get in, especially this late in the admissions cycle. Unless you can manage a 700 or above GMAT, don't bother.

You are absolutely right about LSE. It's extremely competitive. I should have mentioned how I still have another year to go and another shot at the GMAT. Whether or not I apply is based on my next GMAT score and grades.

 
4/27/10

couple of things

first, what kind of state school did you go to? is it one that is well known outside of the USA or is it one of the lower tiered ones.this actually does make a difference when it comes to applying abroad

second, you need to retake the GMAT

a 600 won't get you in anywhere competitive.

aim for a 680+

 
4/28/10
Affirmative_Action_Walrus wrote:

couple of things

first, what kind of state school did you go to? is it one that is well known outside of the USA or is it one of the lower tiered ones.this actually does make a difference when it comes to applying abroad

second, you need to retake the GMAT

a 600 won't get you in anywhere competitive.

aim for a 680+

I go to a school on the same level of the University of Miami. It's well known nationally because of it football team and we have a slightly above average business school, but we are certainly not a University of Michigan. I'd say we have a slightly competitive program.

I'm counting on my GPA, outstanding internship experiences, and dual citizenship to carry me through. On most of the admission pages they don't even mention the GMAT, and when they do, they say only add it in if it helps or they will ask you to take it if they question the validity of the school you went too (which my school is borderline). It seems to me that they don't stress it much at all. There is no average GMAT class profile either.

"We do not take into account your score for the GMAT or GRE examinations when considering your application, and we therefore do not require you to take these exams. If you feel you would like to include any such results, you may do so on the space provided on the online application form."

~Imperial College Msc. Finance~

At the end of the day, I think taking the GMAT again is unavoidable. If I did get above +700 I'd have a shot at LSE for next fall. Even if I get into the program I want, I'll still have to study for it when I go for my MBA.

+200 hours of studying for a 2 hour test on material that means nothing the second you finish it that directly determines how successful the start of your career is. (<- incorrect GMAT Grammar)

 
4/28/10
Snookie4President wrote:
Affirmative_Action_Walrus wrote:

couple of things

first, what kind of state school did you go to? is it one that is well known outside of the USA or is it one of the lower tiered ones.this actually does make a difference when it comes to applying abroad

second, you need to retake the GMAT

a 600 won't get you in anywhere competitive.

aim for a 680+

I go to a school on the same level of the University of Miami. It's well known nationally because of it football team and we have a slightly above average business school, but we are certainly not a University of Michigan. I'd say we have a slightly competitive program.

I'm counting on my GPA, outstanding internship experiences, and dual citizenship to carry me through. On most of the admission pages they don't even mention the GMAT, and when they do, they say only add it in if it helps or they will ask you to take it if they question the validity of the school you went too (which my school is borderline). It seems to me that they don't stress it much at all. There is no average GMAT class profile either.

"We do not take into account your score for the GMAT or GRE examinations when considering your application, and we therefore do not require you to take these exams. If you feel you would like to include any such results, you may do so on the space provided on the online application form."

~Imperial College Msc. Finance~

At the end of the day, I think taking the GMAT again is unavoidable. If I did get above +700 I'd have a shot at LSE for next fall. Even if I get into the program I want, I'll still have to study for it when I go for my MBA.

+200 hours of studying for a 2 hour test on material that means nothing the second you finish it that directly determines how successful the start of your career is. (<- incorrect GMAT Grammar)

go gators?

anyways, if it's a large school ranked in the top 1-2 tiers of US unis, which it sounds like yours is, admissions will know about it, so don't worry about questions of validity. Questions of validity would be for a school like Akron or Fresno State that nobody knows about.

a GMAT retake is a must for entry to competitive program and there really is no sense in attending a non-competitive program

 
4/27/10

A lot of schools accept the GRE, too.

You don't need to take the GMAT if your undergrad was in the US.

 
4/28/10

Yea, but if you're applying from a non target state school, you need a good GMAT score to validate your candidacy. I think most (could be wrong) competitive MSC Finance school outside US don't accept GRE. They usually recommend, but not require a GMAT. US MSF programs require GMAT.

 
4/28/10
tentop wrote:

They usually recommend, but not require a GMAT. US MSF programs require GMAT.

When UK schools say they "Recommend to take the GMAT" I feel like that is such a grey area because it implies that you should. I wonder if more applicants are selected with GMAT scores than not.

If I wouldn't have to take the GMAT again, I wouldn't.

 
4/28/10
Snookie4President wrote:
tentop wrote:

They usually recommend, but not require a GMAT. US MSF programs require GMAT.

When UK schools say they "Recommend to take the GMAT" I feel like that is such a grey area because it implies that you should. I wonder if more applicants are selected with GMAT scores than not.

If I wouldn't have to take the GMAT again, I wouldn't.

The most important thing when applying to schools in UK is you undergrad GPA and specifically relevant course work with good math background. I would say UK schools rely less on GMAT than US schools or other European schools. A friend of mine got accepted into Imperial, Warwick, and LSE (accounting & Finance) Finance programs with only a 620 GMAT score. He might not even have submitted his score, since its not required. This is just one example, but I believe it is representative one.

 
4/28/10
tentop wrote:
Snookie4President wrote:
tentop wrote:

They usually recommend, but not require a GMAT. US MSF programs require GMAT.

When UK schools say they "Recommend to take the GMAT" I feel like that is such a grey area because it implies that you should. I wonder if more applicants are selected with GMAT scores than not.

If I wouldn't have to take the GMAT again, I wouldn't.

The most important thing when applying to schools in UK is you undergrad GPA and specifically relevant course work with good math background. I would say UK schools rely less on GMAT than US schools or other European schools. A friend of mine got accepted into Imperial, Warwick, and LSE (accounting & Finance) Finance programs with only a 620 GMAT score. He might not even have submitted his score, since its not required. This is just one example, but I believe it is representative one.

wow a 620? Warwick and LSE MSc Accounting & Finance must be nowhere near as competitive as the LSE MSc Finance, which has an avg GMAT of 700 (I got wait-listed with good grades AND a 740 GMAT), or the Oxford MSc in Financial Economics, which has an avg GMAT of 730 (the highest avg I have ever seen for any program)

 
4/28/10
Affirmative_Action_Walrus wrote:
tentop wrote:
Snookie4President wrote:
tentop wrote:

They usually recommend, but not require a GMAT. US MSF programs require GMAT.

When UK schools say they "Recommend to take the GMAT" I feel like that is such a grey area because it implies that you should. I wonder if more applicants are selected with GMAT scores than not.

If I wouldn't have to take the GMAT again, I wouldn't.

The most important thing when applying to schools in UK is you undergrad GPA and specifically relevant course work with good math background. I would say UK schools rely less on GMAT than US schools or other European schools. A friend of mine got accepted into Imperial, Warwick, and LSE (accounting & Finance) Finance programs with only a 620 GMAT score. He might not even have submitted his score, since its not required. This is just one example, but I believe it is representative one.

wow a 620? Warwick and LSE MSc Accounting & Finance must be nowhere near as competitive as the LSE MSc Finance, which has an avg GMAT of 700 (I got wait-listed with good grades AND a 740 GMAT), or the Oxford MSc in Financial Economics, which has an avg GMAT of 730 (the highest avg I have ever seen for any program)

I have read somewhere that the admissions rate for LSE's Accounting and Finance program is around 16-17%, which sounds about right. The MSc Finance program at LSE is definitely MUCH MUCH harder to get into. But I am surprised you didn't get in with 740 GMAT. Must have been quite a competitive pool of applicants. With Oxford I am not surprised because Oxford seems less geared for Banking and Finance type roles and maybe more towards academia driven roles . And the avg work experience for accepted candidates is over 3 years, which tells me that they have a preference for candidates with certain backgrounds and future goals, in addition to its ridiculously high benchmark grades and GMAT.

 
4/28/10

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