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10/18/16

I created the last post about this time so I thought it would be a good time to get a new thread going. With many MSF/MMS programs starting their application cycle in the next couple of months I wanted to provide a place where people can post their profiles, ask questions or seek help. I've done this for the past 3 years and I think a lot of people have found it helpful. I hope this year is the same!

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/msf-class-of...
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/msf-class-of...
Ask away!

Comments (329)

8/21/16

Do you need to have CPA or show progress towards it in order to work at big 4 tas/Valuation after your msf? I see so many big 4 tas jobs on the Internet that require you to pass the cpa or show show progress towards it which is disheartening since i have no interest in cpa. I'm more inclined towards CFA and would like to invest all my time in gaining the charterholder instead. Does CFA suffice?

Accepted.com
8/22/16

Sorry, been jammed. IMO, CPA is pretty nice to have in public accounting. Most ppl I know going into tas try and get it or have to. It's not that bad. Why not do both.

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8/25/16

Because with the CFA you probably won't have time to do anything else.

8/23/16

Not needed for valuation, though it helps.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

8/27/16

Thanks y'all

5/2/17

@TNA Hey I know I'm a little late on this particular thread but I am looking towards the future.

School: Junior at West Coast non target
Academics: BA Finance, Cumulative GPA: 3.4 and Major GPA: 3.8
WE:
Summer Treasury Analyst at Large healthcare group
Summer Commercial Banking Internship at <100B Total assets Regional Bank
Upcoming Summer Corporate Banking at regional bank
Extracurricular: President of Finance Club

Other: Runner-Up CFA research competition, Involved in student managed investment fund, Completed Wall Street Prep Modeling Courses
Goal: Break into IBD, maybe stay the course in Corporate banking

Targets: Vanderbilt, USC, Others I should look at?

8/22/16

Bump?

8/26/16

Hey @Noelle90 -

My roommate works for Big 4 TAS, and he's currently studying for the CFA Level 1 exam. He said the few people who actually asked him understood because he explain that while he enjoys accounting, his heart is more into the finance. Nobody really minds, and some of his superiors have the CFA as well.
Hope that helps.

Look, that's not an "explosion"
It's just a rapid unscheduled disassembly

8/27/16

Thanks!

8/23/16

Will be applying in First Round for Vandy, UTA, WUSTL, Minnesota. Profile is below. Would love everyone's thoughts/input.
Location: Upper Midwest State School (MT, SD,ND, MN)
GPA: 3.66 cumulative, no real trend
Extracurricular: VP of student investment fund
GMAT: Aiming for 690+
Current: Loan Officer at community bank, roughly 2.1B in Assets. Been there full time 1 year after interning there throughout college.
Goal: IBD. Doesn't matter boutique, MM, BB. Just want a foot in the door & the chance.

Originally was planning on Law school, but had change of heart mid way through senior year, thus never had the opportunity for an ibd internships, etc.

Thanks for the opinions!

8/24/16
Blast-Off:

Will be applying in First Round for Vandy, UTA, WUSTL, Minnesota. Profile is below. Would love everyone's thoughts/input.Location: Upper Midwest State School (MT, SD,ND, MN)GPA: 3.66 cumulative, no real trendExtracurricular: VP of student investment fundGMAT: Aiming for 690+Current: Loan Officer at community bank, roughly 2.1B in Assets. Been there full time 1 year after interning there throughout college.Goal: IBD. Doesn't matter boutique, MM, BB. Just want a foot in the door & the chance.

Originally was planning on Law school, but had change of heart mid way through senior year, thus never had the opportunity for an ibd internships, etc.

Thanks for the opinions!

Assuming you get a GMAT in the range you are expecting, I think you'll definitely get into Minnesota, with a 90% at all the other schools. 1 year of work experience in credit is solid and makes up for no internship. 3.7 GPA is strong and higher than the average at the schools and a 690 would put you on solid ground. Being a domestic student will help as well.

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10/8/16

Would be great if I could get some input on my profile for Oxford MFE, LBS MFA, LSE MFin
Canadian Business Undergrad
GPA: 3.8
GMAT: 730
Extracurricular: bunch of club positions, nothing amazing though
Internships: S&T last summer, F500 this summer

Feel like what I'm lacking is quant courses (haven't taken anything above 2nd year math) and don't have great academic references
Thanks in advance!

8/24/16
cloww:

Would be great if I could get some input on my profile for Oxford MFE, LBS MFA, LSE MFinCanadian Business UndergradGPA: 3.7-3.8GMAT: 740Extracurricular: bunch of club positions, nothing amazing thoughInternships: S&T last summer, F500 this summer

Feel like what I'm lacking is quant courses (haven't taken anything above 2nd year math) and don't have great academic referencesThanks in advance!

Highly competitive. As long as you hit the prerequisite Quant classes.

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9/9/16

Thanks! Good to know. What would be some similar US schools I could try applying to?

8/24/16

Not critiquing, genuinely curious. Why do you want to go to the UK? Given Brexit and all. Best of luck with your applications.

9/9/16

Want to work in Asia afterwards. From what I've heard, apart from Harvard/MIT type of schools in US, the UK schools have the best brand name there.

8/25/16

For LBS, I think you have a very high chance of getting in provided you ace your interview. If you want to do IB though, they'll grill you on that and you better have a pretty good story about how you intend to break into the industry w/o prior relevant experience. If you're interested in consulting or another area of finance, I'd say you're more or less in. Additionally, you may want to spin your EC or internship experience into making it sound more "leadership-like". LBS is just obsessed with admitting / nurturing leaders, just read the LBS review and you'll see.

For LSE, it's a bit trickier because you don't have good academic reference. They place a disproportionate amount of weight on academic reference, and since you're a fresh grad, you'd need 2 stellar ones. The odds of you getting in are still very high but there's a small chance of you getting dinged just because of that.

For Oxford, unfortunately I can't say because I'm not familiar with what they look for beyond solid academics, and don't have friends in the program.

If I may also add a bit of unsolicited advice, if you want to work in the UK after graduation, try hard to get into Oxford, with LBS being a very close second. The doors Oxford open, and the strength of the LBS network will make it that much easier. If you were British, LSE would also make sense but the fact is a lot of international students have been struggling to find jobs after doing their MSc there.

9/9/16

Thanks for such a detailed response. For what you said about LBS, I truly do want to do consulting so hopefully it is easier to get in. Do you think I can apply for both their MFA and MiM programs?
Oxford is definitely my first choice because of the doors that brand will open, but their minimum requirements seem to be very high (asking for 90% percentile quant on GMAT, 3.6+ gpa, etc).

9/10/16

No you can't apply to both MiM and MFA unfortunately. But I would recommend you apply to the MiM if you want to do consulting. The MFA is heavily focused on getting people into IB/AM/HF etc. and doesn't have a lot of strategy classes.
Sorry I can't help you more with regards to Oxford =/

8/24/16

School: Non-target state school
Academics: BA Economics 2.7 CGPA
WE: 2 year higher ed accounting upon matriculation, may be moving to a reputable REIT
Extracurricular: Founded a fraternity (held leadership positions), member of on-campus investment club, and several other clubs/group
GMAT: 740 currently, retesting for 750+

Goal: IBD or corporate finance/Restructuring consulting (FTI, A&M, Alix etc.)

GPA will be the biggest hold-up I'm sure, I do have an explanation partly but doubt it'll sway the needle significantly.

Targets: Vandy, WUSTL, Villanova, UT, USC. I'd like to get your opinion on EU programs LSE, HEC MiM, ESADE, Bocconi.

Ultimately I'd like to go get an MBA, 2 or 3 years post-MSF from Gtown, Johnson, or UVA and transition to a BB; again GPA will be hold up here but hoping MSF GPA will assist in that regard.

Thanks for the help!

8/24/16

idk if anyone else has said this but if you waste your time trying to increase a 740 gmat score you are a moron.

8/24/16

Do you think so? Given that my GPA is horrid and the difference between a 740 and 760, while not a significant jump for those with typical average GPA's(3.3-3.6) would make more of an impact in my case

8/24/16

if u weren't going to get into a school w/ a 740 then an extra pts wouldn't make a difference. Maybe if u get a 780+ it would change things but honestly that is a waste of time/ resources. You'd be better off preparing for CFA lvl 1 come December as that will help in your job search.

8/28/16

Have a story explaining your goal....I think retaking goat is a waste of time. Spend more time on interview prep.

8/28/16

*goal- gpa..autocorrect

8/24/16

Great GMAT.

@tyler2434

Domestic. GPA is bad, but not horrible. Can you highlight your major GPA? How about an upward swing to highlight?

Work experience is good. I'd say you'd get into nova, be competitive at UTA, struggle and vandy and wustl and have a low probability at USC.

Eu programs would be tough. They tend to give less leeway with grades and gmat.

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8/24/16

@TNA I'd say there's a moderate upward trajectory, nothing significant; major GPA is about a 3.0.

8/24/16

OK, that helps. I'd put the major GPA and use an optional essay to highlight the improvement in GPA as you progressed in school.

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8/24/16

Thanks @TNA, I planned on utilizing the optional essay to explain my GPA and the impact of 2 yrs of WE has had, but definitely drilling down on GPA

8/24/16

School: Non-target state school
Academics: Poli Sci, 3.4 GPA
Exp: Quant summer analyst at F500 biotech, corp dev internship at f500 tech co, just finished ibd SA at a top MM m&a group, accepted full time offer
Extracurricular: Fraternity rush committee, founded and incorporated an LLC on campus as a student run mutual fund, placed in top 3 in state for CFA investment research challenge which I led
GMAT: aiming for 750+

Goal: enter msf after 3 years in ibd - possibly

GPA will be a hurdle, but I do have valid reasons for it being where it is. Have wanted to be a career banker for a while now, and still want to as of now; considering MSF in the event I don't feel the same way after analyst years.

Targets: USC, UVA, MIT, UTA, WUSTL, Cornell, Georgetown

Thanks for the input

8/24/16
ThatBankerOverThere:

School: Non-target state schoolAcademics: Poli Sci, 3.4 GPAExp: Quant summer analyst at F500 biotech, corp dev internship at f500 tech co, just finished ibd SA at a top MM m&a group, accepted full time offerExtracurricular: Fraternity rush committee, founded and incorporated an LLC on campus as a student run mutual fund, placed in top 3 in state for CFA investment research challenge which I ledGMAT: aiming for 750+

Goal: enter msf after 3 years in ibd - possibly

GPA will be a hurdle, but I do have valid reasons for it being where it is. Have wanted to be a career banker for a while now, and still want to as of now; considering MSF in the event I don't feel the same way after analyst years.

Targets: USC, UVA, MIT, UTA, WUSTL, Cornell, Georgetown

Thanks for the input

GPA is fine. If you get a GMAT like that you will be solid. Don't do an msf after 3 years banking. Do an MBA.

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8/24/16

Have heard the same. Is it just the value add that is greater? Assuming I get partner track at my MM - which I would be totally on board with as of now - I probably wouldn't need to erase my shitty ug name. But if I needed to rebrand my education, would it be wiser to take the 1 year msf or 2 year mba? Common sense says mba but the one year difference could make a difference. Not entirely sure

8/24/16

If you are looking for a rebrand after working in finance, get the MBA. More well known, more top schools offering it and the network you get is unmatched.

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8/27/16
ThatBankerOverThere:

Have heard the same. Is it just the value add that is greater? Assuming I get partner track at my MM - which I would be totally on board with as of now - I probably wouldn't need to erase my shitty ug name. But if I needed to rebrand my education, would it be wiser to take the 1 year msf or 2 year mba? Common sense says mba but the one year difference could make a difference. Not entirely sure

If you got partner track I would do an EMBA or something. Keep working and paper over your UG. Basically buy a brand.

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8/27/16

Damn an EMBA never crossed my mind. I would essentially aim to rid my ug brand so that's some solid advice. Really appreciate your insights man.

10/21/16

Also your MBA prospects are probably stronger than your MSF ones. Not sure what firm you're at, but a 750+ GMAT would definitely put you in the running for H/W down the line.

Gimme the loot

10/21/16

Top MM. Let's hope so, dream MBA would be at Tuck.

11/6/17

FYI top 3 in state for CFA challenge isn't much to brag about. Usually each state only has 5 universities, at most, compete. So you placed 3 out of 5 in your state, which is out of out of 50 states, which is out of 100+ countries that compete.

11/7/17

Who cares

8/24/16

@TNA who do you think has the best MSF program for IBD?

8/24/16
BillBelichick12:

@TNA who do you think has the best MSF program for IBD?

MIT, vandy. Others place kids in banking, but those would be the best.

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8/24/16

With that profile, I would say you'd get into Nova, most likely Vanderbilt/WUSTL, maybe USC. UT favors non-finance UG's so who knows. BC, probably in, but they are a little odd.

You have a good profile. GPA is fine. Domestic student. Good internships. Solid EC's. Assuming your GMAT is in line, you have decent rec's and your essays don't suck, you should be good.

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8/24/16

TNA, thanks so much for spending the time to go through these again. Really great to get your opinion on everything.
If you, or anyone else, has a some time to look over my app:

School: Top 10 Undergrad

Academics: STEM and Econ major with a 3.5 GPA. (notable upward trend)

Experience: Pretty weak, sadly. Graduated recently and have been working at a family office with a FoF approach to investing for the past 3 months.
In college, about 13 months aggregate over 2 years as a research assistant for 2 different professors in different fields (one early on in college and the other throughout junior year). And a public finance summer analyst position (not junior summer).

ECs: Helped found a fraternity and was the service director for a few years. Tutoring throughout college. A couple of volunteering organizations with no leadership roles.

GMAT: Practice test around 720 so hopefully 700+

Goal: IBD or ER

Programs of interest: MIT, WUSTL, Vandy, Nova, USC,

Frankly, I would love to go through the curriculum of a MSF but would rather lateral. Any thoughts on how my prospects of that look in about the next year?

8/25/16
Cratorex:

TNA, thanks so much for spending the time to go through these again. Really great to get your opinion on everything.If you, or anyone else, has a some time to look over my app:

School: Top 10 Undergrad

Academics: STEM and Econ major with a 3.5 GPA. (notable upward trend)

Experience: Pretty weak, sadly. Graduated recently and have been working at a family office with a FoF approach to investing for the past 3 months.In college, about 13 months aggregate over 2 years as a research assistant for 2 different professors in different fields (one early on in college and the other throughout junior year). And a public finance summer analyst position (not junior summer).

ECs: Helped found a fraternity and was the service director for a few years. Tutoring throughout college. A couple of volunteering organizations with no leadership roles.

GMAT: Practice test around 720 so hopefully 700+

Goal: IBD or ER

Programs of interest: MIT, WUSTL, Vandy, Nova, USC,

Frankly, I would love to go through the curriculum of a MSF but would rather lateral. Any thoughts on how my prospects of that look in about the next year?

Personally, I would focus on networking and breaking into banking without a graduate degree. You have the education to do so. Assuming that isn't feasible, then I would say you should target MIT, Vanderbilt and USC (that is if you want West Coast finance).

Top 10 UG - solid. GPA is fine. Tutoring is a good EC to have. The research in school would help you with fellowship applications. I'd say if you get a 690 or above, you'd get into Vanderbilt, WUSTL, USC and Nova. If you get in the 720 range I think MIT becomes more of a lock. You should still apply with any gmat score above a 680, but the higher you get, the better your odds.

Good luck!

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8/25/16

Thanks so much for your feedback. Means a lot. Will definitely work on your advice. Really appreciate it!

8/25/16

School: Private liberal arts school, T2 according to the Barron's. Well known but only on the west coast.
Academics: double major in international business administration and music with a 3.84 overall. Honors program within the school of business.
Experience: 1 year as branch intern for a brokerage firm. SA in operations at a top AM. Currently Business Director for a local non profit during this school year.

ECs: founder and president of a music-related club. Member of a sorority and occasionally show up to investment club meetings. Member of on campus choir and other ensembles with my instrument.

GMAT: haven't taken, hoping to be taking in mid to late October. SAT score was 2160 so some people say take the proportion of that? My math section on SAT was 740 if that helps.

Goal: get more specialized finance knowledge than I had In undergrad as well as connections from a better school

Programs of interest: LSE, Oxford Said, HEC, NYU, MIT, Cornell

8/25/16
bankrobber:

School: Private liberal arts school, T2 according to the Barron's. Well known but only on the west coast.Academics: double major in international business administration and music with a 3.84 overall. Honors program within the school of business.Experience: 1 year as branch intern for a brokerage firm. SA in operations at a top AM. Currently Business Director for a local non profit during this school year.

ECs: founder and president of a music-related club. Member of a sorority and occasionally show up to investment club meetings. Member of on campus choir and other ensembles with my instrument.

GMAT: haven't taken, hoping to be taking in mid to late October. SAT score was 2160 so some people say take the proportion of that? My math section on SAT was 740 if that helps.

Goal: get more specialized finance knowledge than I had In undergrad as well as connections from a better school

Programs of interest: LSE, Oxford Said, HEC, NYU, MIT, Cornell

So you have a very special profile. 1) being a woman is huge since all these programs are like 90% guys. 2) The liberal arts school, dual major in business and music, the EC's, the internships, all great. GPA is strong.

IMO, supposing you get a GMAT in the high 600's/low 700's, you will get into just about all the schools you apply to. Not sure which program you are looking into at Cornell/NYU. They have MFE programs, which I do not think you qualify for. MIT, 100% apply. The UK programs would love you. I'd look at LBS's MS in Financial Analytics as well. I would drop HEC though.

The schools you are looking at all have great brands. That being said, unless you are a European or UK citizen, only MIT is really going to help you get a finance job in the US. Maybe look at Northwestern, Duke, Michigan, UVA, for their MSM programs (or UVA's MS Commerce). All would give you that top tier brand and a graduate degree. UVA would especially be a good fit.

Good luck!

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8/25/16

Thanks so much for the response, it helps a lot. If you don't mind a couple clarification questions - why drop HEC? Also, what about my application would make the UK schools like me, so I know what to highlight the most on my application? Finally, I did receive a full time offer for the AM firm I worked for, but it's in operations and doesn't seem to have a whole lot of upward mobility. Still, I'd be getting paid instead of paying for an MSF. Which do you think is more worth it?

8/26/16
bankrobber:

Thanks so much for the response, it helps a lot. If you don't mind a couple clarification questions - why drop HEC? Also, what about my application would make the UK schools like me, so I know what to highlight the most on my application? Finally, I did receive a full time offer for the AM firm I worked for, but it's in operations and doesn't seem to have a whole lot of upward mobility. Still, I'd be getting paid instead of paying for an MSF. Which do you think is more worth it?

Really depends on what you can afford. I think studying music and business is unique. Being a woman in a field far overrepresented by males is huge. Your stats would stand on their own as well. Honors, choir, nonprofit work, etc. Your profile distinctly stands out from the hundreds I have seen.

I say drop HEC because I think you'll get into better programs. Really no need for a safety at this point.

Highlight your different perspective and experiences. You'll be well sought after.

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11/5/16

The Finance program at HEC is at least on par with the one at LSE and clearly beats Oxford MFE and LSE in terms of job placement.

EDIT: For anyone reading this it's not just my opinion. I know people at each of these schools and went to two of the schools above. HEC's career placement is beyond anything I've seen. 60% of the class ends up in London mostly at top places (every year around 2-3 to BX, 6-8 at GS, 8-10 MS and so on, check their website if you want to). The rest usually ends up in France or in their home country in MBBs - mostly because they want to. Do a quick linkedin search and you'll be able to confirm that. They literally select people by the fact on whether they can place them or not and 80%+ of students come from top target schools in Europe already (Bocconi, St. Gallen, LSE, Cambridge, SSE, CBS, french engineering schools and others)

8/25/16

Does anyone know which MSF gets recruited for Big 4 TAS positions and my chances?

Profile:
Non target UC school (California)
Major- Accounting
GPA- 3.7
ECs- President/Founder of Personal Finance Club, VP of Beta Alpha Psi, VP of social fraternity
Internships- EY Audit and Audit/Tax internship with local CPA firm
GMAT- still studying

8/25/16
nbd786:

Does anyone know which MSF gets recruited for Big 4 TAS positions and my chances?

Profile:Non target UC school (California)Major- AccountingGPA- 3.7ECs- President/Founder of Personal Finance Club, VP of Beta Alpha Psi, VP of social fraternityInternships- EY Audit and Audit/Tax internship with local CPA firmGMAT- still studying

Honestly, all the programs that have Big 4 UG recruiting. I've seen TAS hire from Villanova, Vanderbilt, WUSTL, and Ohio State. I have no doubt you could get it from USC, UVA and other schools.

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8/25/16

Hey @TNA , just wanted to check, I'm looking at applying to Vandy but I'm looking at getting my application in at the second round. How much of an effect does applying in the second or later rounds have on your admission chances?

8/27/16
keyboardb:

Hey @TNA , just wanted to check, I'm looking at applying to Vandy but I'm looking at getting my application in at the second round. How much of an effect does applying in the second or later rounds have on your admission chances?

Won't have too much of an impact. I like 1st round because it lets you have an acceptance to shop around. Big difference is between 1 and 3 round.

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8/25/16

Everyone interested in the Vandy MSF program, please feel free to message me! I am currently a student in the program and may be able to provide a little perspective.

8/25/16

phoenixfire I don't have enough banana's to PM you, could you PM me?

8/25/16

Profile

School: Top 10 business undergrad (Bloomberg ranking)
Majors: Finance & MIS with a minor in Business Analytics
GPA: 3.3 (Cumulative), 3.4 (Finance), 3.8 (MIS)
GMAT: 690 (probably going to retake to get 730+)
ECs: Several business clubs and president of a social club
Internships: Financial Analyst at a large public pharmaceutical company, PE Analyst (part-time) at a search fund
Current Job: Analyst at a REPE fund (credit focused strategies)

Programs of interest: MIT, Vandy, WUSTL, UVA, Cornell, Georgetown

Thanks for your help!

8/26/16
damitkwr:

Profile

School: Top 10 business undergrad (Bloomberg ranking)Majors: Finance & MIS with a minor in Business AnalyticsGPA: 3.3 (Cumulative), 3.4 (Finance), 3.8 (MIS)GMAT: 690 (probably going to retake to get 730+)ECs: Several business clubs and president of a social clubInternships: Financial Analyst at a large public pharmaceutical company, PE Analyst (part-time) at a search fundCurrent Job: Analyst at a REPE fund (credit focused strategies)

Programs of interest: MIT, Vandy, WUSTL, UVA, Cornell, Georgetown

Thanks for your help!

I'd say you are on the bubble for me giving you an all clear for Vandy/WUSTL. You are a business grad so UVA is out (unless you are looking at their MS Global Commerce). Probably in at Gtown. Probably not at MIT. Not sure which Cornell program you are looking at though.

GMAT at the 710-720 range would help, but not huge. Like I don't think it gets you into MIT at that level. Maybe boosts you for Vanderbilt/WUSTL though.

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8/31/16
damitkwr:

Profile

School: Top 10 business undergrad (Bloomberg ranking)Majors: Finance & MIS with a minor in Business AnalyticsGPA: 3.3 (Cumulative), 3.4 (Finance), 3.8 (MIS)GMAT: 690 (probably going to retake to get 730+)ECs: Several business clubs and president of a social clubInternships: Financial Analyst at a large public pharmaceutical company, PE Analyst (part-time) at a search fundCurrent Job: Analyst at a REPE fund (credit focused strategies)

Programs of interest: MIT, Vandy, WUSTL, UVA, Cornell, Georgetown

Thanks for your help!

if your undergrad school withstands in top 15 MBA ranking lists, stuff other than Cornell and MIT ikely more of a downgrade, because your career office now should have more than enough alumni resources for your next pivot. Bloomberg UG ranking isn't a reliable list

9/2/16

Thank you for your inputs!

The school ranking does not hold in MBA ranking lists but does hold in part-time MBA rankings.

I am considering MSF as an option since I am international with uncertainty over H1-B Visa results. Better hedge than be sorry right?

@TNA What would you say I need to improve on to get better chances at MIT or any other top program?

9/2/16

I would say a pretty high GMAT. Maybe some really good rec's including one from a current employer. You have a good profile, don't get me wrong, but MIT is really picky, especially with non-domestic students.

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9/3/16

part-time MBA ranking is basically a joke after Booth Haas Kellogg Kenan-Flagler McCombs and Ross (alphabetically) because they're about the only Top 15 that has a part-time. I use Poets & Quants full-time ranking as a reference for every tier of about 3 spots on top and 5-7 spots until top 25ish.

if it doesn't hold in the top 25 MBA schools, that means you price-to-value may decline quickly from the MSF ladder, and I would be worried if I have to scream for H1B sponsorships. Sure, go apply MSF as a safe backup without offers, but you should also think about balancing job search / networking versus MSF sort of things. It'll be hard to prioritize your time... but you may try job heavy until end of year and then by January, most MSF are about Round 2 for applicants.

For MIT MSF, get in touch with currents/alumni and then maximize your benefit on every piece of information you hand to MIT Sloan.

9/7/16

Thank you both for your inputs! It was really helpful!

Accepted.com
8/25/16

Hey TNA, thanks for making this thread. I'm not sure where I stand relative to the competition, or whether the MSF is right for me, but am looking at all options.

School: H/Y/P/S/M, currently a senior
Major: Economics
GPA: 3.7/4.0
GMAT: N/A (not yet taken)
Extracurricular: N/A (don't wish to disclose, but strong)
Internships: Elite Boutique IBD in New York, no full-time return offer

Targeting MIT. Thoughts?

8/26/16

An MSF would hurt your profile. Keep applying.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

8/26/16
throwaway_999:

Hey TNA, thanks for making this thread. I'm not sure where I stand relative to the competition, or whether the MSF is right for me, but am looking at all options.

School: H/Y/P/S/M, currently a seniorMajor: EconomicsGPA: 3.7/4.0GMAT: N/A (not yet taken)Extracurricular: N/A (don't wish to disclose, but strong)Internships: Elite Boutique IBD in New York, no full-time return offer

Targeting MIT. Thoughts?

Keep applying and target MIT. You have the GPA and school brand. Make sure you have the required math classes. Gives you optionality. Outside of that I don't know. You don't want brand devaluation this early. Keep grinding.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

9/2/16

use your network wisely. if you're HYPS, sorry I don't know if M is MIT, then you should have a huge network that is handing jobs away comparing to nontarget and probably MIT MSF too.

Think about a different equation to network towards your career.

8/25/16

Hey @TNA and everybody else thanks for this post and thread,

Current finance senior at a north east non target school would like opinion on schools that I should apply and have a good shot at being accepted.

GRE 146Q,145V.... yes I know horrendous, suffer from extreme standarized test anxiety will not have time to retake it before applications nor do I think I can improve without therapy (yes its that bad)

GPA Cumulative is 3.9
Major GPA (Finance) is 4.0

Experience:
Summer BO for a BB in their tech division,
Summer for a fin planning shop,
Co-founder/intern for schools vale investing endowment fund similar to what Yale has (serious fund by that I mean we work with and are under a BB, contracts with the fund school, etc...trying to say that its not a club/small group)

Can get solid recommendations from professors/Finance professionals. Resume is designed and created for finance jobs (*I did xy and results were z)

Looking to stay in the North East preferably in the NYC as I am from their and don't want to shell out on other living expenses. Looking to enter the IB world (if needed) and end up on the buy side for a HF.

Is the GRE going to end up fucking me over or do I have a shot at a few good schools. Once again thx everybody

+1SB for you TNA seems ur the MSF guru.

8/26/16
Silverback__Monkey:

Hey @TNA and everybody else thanks for this post and thread,

Current finance senior at a north east non target school would like opinion on schools that I should apply and have a good shot at being accepted.

GRE 146Q,145V.... yes I know horrendous, suffer from extreme standarized test anxiety will not have time to retake it before applications nor do I think I can improve without therapy (yes its that bad)

GPA Cumulative is 3.9Major GPA (Finance) is 4.0

Experience:Summer BO for a BB in their tech division,Summer for a fin planning shop,Co-founder/intern for schools vale investing endowment fund similar to what Yale has (serious fund by that I mean we work with and are under a BB, contracts with the fund school, etc...trying to say that its not a club/small group)

Can get solid recommendations from professors/Finance professionals. Resume is designed and created for finance jobs (*I did xy and results were z)

Looking to stay in the North East preferably in the NYC as I am from their and don't want to shell out on other living expenses. Looking to enter the IB world (if needed) and end up on the buy side for a HF.

Is the GRE going to end up fucking me over or do I have a shot at a few good schools. Once again thx everybody

+1SB for you TNA seems ur the MSF guru.

So. I have a excel GRE conversion tool and that came out to like a 400 GMAT. With that you will be seriously hindered. I would do one of two things.

1) Get a medical diagnosis and try and get an exclusion from the test. I think this is probably doable considering your GPA.

2) Assuming you cannot get a formal diagnosis, get letters from professors, something from a counselor, stuff from high school, whatever to make your case and directly talk to adcoms.

Without doing the above you'll be basically auto-dinged. Normally, I would say use your optional essay to explain this, but your score is too low to wait for the application essays. You need to head this off.

Assuming you get some traction with the above, I think you'd be competitive at a lot of schools. Without that, you'll get shot down from most programs off the bat.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

8/26/16

Agree with TNA but I have one question, how did you get a 3.9 GPA with testing anxiety so bad that you got a GRE that I could've achieved in 6th grade? I am not even trying to roast you or disrespect you, my GPA was far lower than that. I am genuinely curious

8/26/16

"suffer from extreme standarized test anxiety"

8/26/16

hey @bobthebaker well one way to put it is that i don't get stressed when taking finance exams or classes that I enjoy...sounds weird but I enjoy the course and I find it relevant and useful...for example analyzing a financial statement vs knowing three different words that mean the same thing as resplendent...

9/2/16

get your score to "reasonable" levels like GMAT of 600s equivalent... or just try a GMAT since it's a lot lighter in rigor that can help you. after getting to that kind of standardized score then just dive in the application parts and forget about the score problem - 3.9 can wipe it out for you if you complete the other parts correctly.

8/25/16

Hey thanks for doing this.

School: small liberal arts in Midwest
GPA: 3.5 cumulative, 3.8 Finance Major
Extracurricular: Student govt, Social Chair (not strong)
GMAT: Aiming for 700
WE: internship at small boutique investment fund, almost 1 yr as financial analyst at a decently-established startup(left due to Visa), just started recently in IB at a local firm in South East Asia.
Goal: Investment Management/HF
Status: international

Would love to hear your thoughts on whether I should stick to the Analyst program for 2 years then try at Msf or apply to the current cycle now?

Thanks again. Much appreciated

8/26/16
klimaz308:

Hey thanks for doing this.

School: small liberal arts in MidwestGPA: 3.5 cumulative, 3.8 Finance MajorExtracurricular: Student govt, Social Chair (not strong)GMAT: Aiming for 700WE: internship at small boutique investment fund, almost 1 yr as financial analyst at a decently-established startup(left due to Visa), just started recently in IB at a local firm in South East Asia.Goal: Investment Management/HFStatus: international

Would love to hear your thoughts on whether I should stick to the Analyst program for 2 years then try at Msf or apply to the current cycle now?

Thanks again. Much appreciated

Hmmm. Decent GPA (nice that your major GPA is higher). Liberal arts school in the Midwest is good. Check to see if your school has a connection to Claremont McKenna. You might be able to apply to their MSF if you do.

Work experience is nice. If your GMAT is in that range you'll be competitive. Weaker EC's, but that is a nominal impact on your application. Being an international is going to make it harder for you.

I'd suggest two courses of action.

1) Apply to only the best US MSF programs that place kids in banking.

2) Apply to US programs that are well known overseas. Basically hedging your bets in case you need to go back home and work.

In case 1, I think you could be competitive at Vanderbilt, WUSTL, etc. In case 2, I think you'll be more than fine at UIUC, JHU, OSU, etc. Make sure you get scholarship money or something since these programs are expensive and have limited career services.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

8/27/16

deleted.

8/27/16

Good call on the hedging route. Will definitely look into schools that are known back home.

My main concern, however is: would it hurt me in any way if I delay my application till next year (class of 2019, I'd be coming in with 3 years FT exp)?

From my research, 2 years FT exp seems to be the max (with some exceptions, but think that's more specific to individual's background)

My reasonings for applying later: more time to work on GMAT, EC. more deal/modeling exp. more knowledge on my country market (which might be useful when applying to those funds that want emerging market exposure). Also, maybe a long shot but I kinda want to wait it out on a fix to the H1b program to improve my odds (it may be worse though)

Your threads on the Msf programs have been really useful. Cant say enough thanks, TNA.

8/27/16
klimaz308:

Good call on the hedging route. Will definitely look into schools that are known back home.

My main concern, however is: would it hurt me in any way if I delay my application till next year (class of 2019, I'd be coming in with 3 years FT exp)?

From my research, 2 years FT exp seems to be the max (with some exceptions, but think that's more specific to individual's background)

My reasonings for applying later: more time to work on GMAT, EC. more deal/modeling exp. more knowledge on my country market (which might be useful when applying to those funds that want emerging market exposure). Also, maybe a long shot but I kinda want to wait it out on a fix to the H1b program to improve my odds (it may be worse though)

Your threads on the Msf programs have been really useful. Cant say enough thanks, TNA.

3 years FT work experience - do an MBA. I'd advise doing an MSF after that kind of work experience only in specific circumstances.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

8/26/16

Thanks a lot for doing this.

Canadian engineering student (graduating April 2017) looking to get into IB (Canada or UK).

School: Canadian target
Major: Engineering
GPA: 3.8/4.0
GMAT: 780 (AWA6.0, IR8, Q51, V48)
Extracurricular: several student groups that provide consulting services, student investment fund
Internships: oil and gas (16 mo internship), pharma (4 mo internship), academic research (8 mo)

Targeting: Oxford MFE, LBS MFA, LSE, HEC

Would like your thoughts on admission chances.
Also, what other schools could I realistically use to get into London IB? How do IE, Bocconi, St Gallen stack up?
Not looking into US, because the costs are too high (my limit is ~USD 65K)

8/27/16
taranjka:

Thanks a lot for doing this.

Canadian engineering student (graduating April 2017) looking to get into IB (Canada or UK).

School: Canadian targetMajor: EngineeringGPA: 3.8/4.0GMAT: 780 (AWA6.0, IR8, Q51, V48)Extracurricular: several student groups that provide consulting services, student investment fundInternships: oil and gas (16 mo internship), pharma (4 mo internship), academic research (8 mo)

Targeting: Oxford MFE, LBS MFA, LSE, HEC

Would like your thoughts on admission chances.Also, what other schools could I realistically use to get into London IB? How do IE, Bocconi, St Gallen stack up?Not looking into US, because the costs are too high (my limit is ~USD 65K)

I think I answered this question on another forum, but I will do my best here. GPA and GMAT are stellar. Bonus points for a hard major. You'd most likely get into Bocconi and also get funds because of your gmat score. I think you'll get into LSE, especially since they tend to be pretty open to international students. LBS MFA is pretty new and I think they would like your stats. I think you'll also be pretty competitive with Oxford as well.

One thing you left out, which is important, is citizenship. If you are Canadian, I would look at Queens, Toronto, etc. Top Canadian schools. Citizenship really is a big issue. I feel like I repeat myself (which I do), but going to school in the UK or Europe doesn't really make it easy to get a job there for non-citizens. If you have prior connections there, dual citizenship or the ability to camp out and grind, then ok, but if you expect to do the traditional recruiting process you will find yourself hitting a brick wall.

If you do a foreign program, make sure it is well respected and represented back in Canada because you'll most likely end up back there for a FT position.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

8/27/16

Thank you for your response.

I am Canadian, but have not considered Canadian programs because they require experience in finance (except McGill, but its program just launched, hence is unproven).

I was betting on the Youth Mobility Visa for work in the UK. Not sure if banks accept this Visa or otherwise sponsor students.

8/27/16

Check out Queens. They have a number of MSc programs in Business/Finance. I believe a couple of them are for people without work experience.

Not sure about the Youth Mobility Visa. Hope it works though. Sad it is so hard to work in different countries.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

10/9/16

Sorry but this is a horrible answer TNA.

Having done my undergrad and graduate degree at the schools mentioned by taranja I can say:

  • There is a number of canadians at these schools with similar backgrounds
  • The MSF helps them to place well and every Canadian I know managed to get a top SA gig in London
  • Working in London I have barely met any Canadian (in a junior position) that did is MSF at a top canadian school and landed a gig in London out of school
10/9/16
hahuho1234:

Sorry but this is a horrible answer TNA.

Having done my undergrad and graduate degree at the schools mentioned by taranja I can say:

- There is a number of canadians at these schools with similar backgrounds- The MSF helps them to place well and every Canadian I know managed to get a top SA gig in London- Working in London I have barely met any Canadian (in a junior position) that did is MSF at a top canadian school and landed a gig in London out of school

I get it, you went to HEC, fine. Very good school and well ranked. But my advice is spot on.

1) OP said London OR Canada
2) His profile will get him into the top UK schools
3) Because he isn't a UK citizen I gave him advice to be cautious because it is difficult for non-EU citizens to get placed post-graduation. Canada is a special case it seems
4) Since working in Canada is an option, I advised him to look at Queens, a top school in Canada as well as some other programs

IMO, from what I have read, heard, seen and in speaking with students over the years, LSE,LBS,Oxford and Cambridge, are all key London placement schools. Do you ONLY have to go to those schools to place in London? No. My buddy is going to Bocconi and interviewing in London. SSE, St Gallen, Rotterdam, ESADE, HEC, all fine schools, that can get you a job in London, but I like to give advice that is usually the path of least resistance.

If OP was fine with a job outside of London, in continental Europe, I would have said to look at schools outside of the UK focused ones he listed. Looking at HEC placements you see only half the students went to work in London. Layer on the Brexit uncertainty and things get more complex. I stand by my advice.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

10/9/16

I went to a UK school as undergraduate (Oxbridge/LSE) and did my MSF somewhere else (not that this is important but this should tell you that I know the landscape very well). And from there I can tell you that the UK schools you named place by far better for their undegraduate students BUT NOT for their MSF (maybe with the exception of the Oxford MFE).

Placing 60%+ of your class in Finance in London is a very high number for MSF programs in Europe. Also, the pre experience MSF of LBS is completely new this year and has not proven to be anything yet. I'm not saying it's bad, but it's completely new and time will show. As for the MiM program at LBS, most people ended up in corporate jobs and consulting in their home country and not in Finance in London.

Your advise is completely based on hearsay and I stand by my point.

Also, Canadians are no exception. It is more difficult to get a job if you require Visa sponsorship but getting sponsored is far more easy than for foreign students in the US.

10/9/16
hahuho1234:

I went to a UK school as undergraduate (Oxbridge/LSE) and did my MSF somewhere else (not that this is important but this should tell you that I know the landscape very well). And from there I can tell you that the UK schools you named place by far better for their undegraduate students BUT NOT for their MSF (maybe with the exception of the Oxford MFE).

Placing 60%+ of your class in Finance in London is a very high number for MSF programs in Europe. Also, the pre experience MSF of LBS is completely new this year and has not proven to be anything yet. I'm not saying it's bad, but it's completely new and time will show. As for the MiM program at LBS, most people ended up in corporate jobs and consulting in their home country and not in Finance in London.

Your advise is completely based on hearsay and I stand by my point.

Also, Canadians are no exception. It is more difficult to get a job if you require Visa sponsorship but getting sponsored is far more easy than for foreign students in the US.

Well the only school I didn't recommend was HEC, so it is pretty obvious this is what you took issue to. And I sure would hope that a French program taught entirely in English would place half their class in London, the European financial capital.

And yes, nearly all schools have better placements in their UG than MSF. Same on the other side of the pond as well. This is because students have 4 years to intern, know alumni, know their location, know the recruiters, etc. For LSE, for example, you have a large number of international students who are looking to take the brand back home, which impacts placements in London.

LBS is recommended because of their brand and reputation in London. The MFA and MiM is recommended because their MSF is for experienced students.

LSE is a top UK school for financial placements.

Oxford/Cambridge are premier brands in the UK and place extremely well in London.

My advice is based on about 6 years of talking to students, adcoms, people working at the schools, watching rankings, seeking placement stats and hearing other students experiences and advice. On top of all this, I caveat 99% of the time that my advice is stronger in the US than it is in Europe. That doesn't mean I have zero clue on what is going on, it simply means as an American I have a better feel for things.

As for your advice, I respect it and it should be weighed, but you are getting a little too upset simply because I didn't recommend HEC. HEC Paris is a fine school with very good placements, but at best it is going to be on par with with UK schools that were talked about for London placements. No way is is the far superior choice or anything like that.

So in conclusion. you stand by your advice, I stand by mine. Cheers.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

11/6/16

I agree with you on most points. For LSE there's a big difference between their top notch programs (Finance, Finance and PE) and their other, sometimes as "degree mill" described programs such as Finance & Accounting, Risk and others.

8/29/16

Hey
What Master exactly for HEC ? International Finance?
I am thinking about the Msc in Managerial and Financial Economic for HEC and Msc in Finance for LSE

8/29/16

Yes, Intl finance

8/27/16

Hi there,

Thank you very much for creating this thread. I'd love to get your opinion on my current profile and chances for the following programs:

  • London Business School (MSc Financial Analysis)
  • London School of Economics (MSc Finance)
  • Vanderbilt: Owen (MS Finance)
  • Oxford: Said (MSc Financial Economics)
  • MIT: Sloan (Master of Finance)

My profile details are below:
- Education: BS Business Economics, 1.446/5.000 (within top 7.5% of class; magna cum laude)
- GMAT: T770 Q49 V47 AWA3.5 IR8 (2nd take, initial: T730 Q47 V44 AWA5 IR8)
- TOEFL: 116 (R30 L30 S28 W28)
- Founded an inter-university finance organisation (grew from a pilot of 50 to now 800 members over 2 years, partnering with three other universities; accounts for almost 2% of all retail equity accounts belonging to Filipinos below 30)
- Financial Services & Risk Management Advisory Intern at EY (derivatives structuring & valuation, conducted VCAs and credit risk research on Philippine agriculture and energy)
- Passed FRM Part 1 (top quartile in all areas)
- National semi-finalist in a McKinsey & Co. case competition (restructuring and relaunching bank remittances business), and national semi-finalist in a valuation competition
- Executive positions in other organisations

Thank you very much!

8/27/16

I think you'd be competitive for just about all the schools. Top class honors is great. Super strong GMAT. All the brand names you have will grab people's eyes. I'd focus on recommendations and selling the essays. I would say LSE is going to be the "easiest" to get into, with MIT and Said be being the most difficult. You really stand out and check all the boxes, just need to humanize yourself on the essays and get solid recommendations from people.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

8/27/16

Hey TNA, thanks for doing this!

School: Ranked no.1 in the country
Major: Economics & Political Science
GPA: 3.1 currently, aiming to end with a 3.3+. (very strong upward trend, started with a 2.35 due to semi-pro/pro soccer commitments during my first year)
GRE: 320+ in practice tests, with a 164+ (166 highest currently) in Quant, hoping for a 325+ with a 165+Q

Extracurricular & Work Experience:
- Captain of the Soccer Team (Varsity), team best player 3 years in a row.
- Junior Year Internship, Citibank, Investment Banking Division
- Consultant for family real estate lending business where I have been dealing with clients, negotiating and drafting contracts, interacting with lawyers, dealing with any issues that come up etc. I have successfully managed to bring revenue up by 41% in last year. (could put a different spin on this if you think this could help)
- Worked as a social media consultant for a university incubated startup focusing on the healthcare sector.
- USAID intern consultant for NGO certification within the country.

Target Schools:
- Imperial College, MSc Finance
- UCL, Management
- Warwick, MSc Finance
- LBS, MSc Management/Financial Analysis
- HEC Paris, MiM/MS Finance
- ESADE, MiM/Finance
- Vanderbilt, MS Finance
- Columbia, MSc Financial Economics
- Kellogg, Management
- USC, MS Finance
- WUSL
- UT Dallas & Austin

Aim is Investment Banking/Management Consulting. I would love to hear any feedback you have, or help you could provide regarding these schools, or ones i should be applying to.

Also, since most of these are one year programs, will my GPA affect my chances at recruitment since I wont have my masters GPA to show when companies come to campus.

Thanks!

8/27/16
heebie jeebie:

Hey TNA, thanks for doing this!

School: Ranked no.1 in the countryMajor: Economics & Political ScienceGPA: 3.1 currently, aiming to end with a 3.3+. (very strong upward trend, started with a 2.35 due to semi-pro/pro soccer commitments during my first year)GRE: 320+ in practice tests, with a 164+ (166 highest currently) in Quant, hoping for a 325+ with a 165+Q

Extracurricular & Work Experience:- Captain of the Soccer Team (Varsity), team best player 3 years in a row.- Junior Year Internship, Citibank, Investment Banking Division- Consultant for family real estate lending business where I have been dealing with clients, negotiating and drafting contracts, interacting with lawyers, dealing with any issues that come up etc. I have successfully managed to bring revenue up by 41% in last year. (could put a different spin on this if you think this could help)- Worked as a social media consultant for a university incubated startup focusing on the healthcare sector.- USAID intern consultant for NGO certification within the country.

Target Schools:- Imperial College, MSc Finance- UCL, Management- Warwick, MSc Finance- LBS, MSc Management/Financial Analysis- HEC Paris, MiM/MS Finance- ESADE, MiM/Finance- Vanderbilt, MS Finance- Columbia, MSc Financial Economics- Kellogg, Management- USC, MS Finance- WUSL- UT Dallas & Austin

Aim is Investment Banking/Management Consulting. I would love to hear any feedback you have, or help you could provide regarding these schools, or ones i should be applying to.

Also, since most of these are one year programs, will my GPA affect my chances at recruitment since I wont have my masters GPA to show when companies come to campus.

Thanks!

Lot going on in this post.

School ranking is good. Better programs get more cred from adcoms. GPA isn't THAT big of an issue, but if you get it to a 3.3 and have a upward trajectory along with say a higher major GPA you should be ok. Do the best on your GRE as that will help offset the GPA. Being an athlete is huge. Citi IBD internship is big. Love all the EC's and stuff.

Your list is way too big. Unless you are international or have EU/UK citizenship, I would simply avoid the UK/EU programs. If you are wealthy, well connected and really looking for an international experience, then fine, look at them. But if you are expecting a job in the US from these programs, focus on the places where you have the least barriers. So, assuming you are a domestic student, that means US programs.

Forget UTD. If Dallas is what you like, substitute SMU. Columbia's program is two years and really a PhD-lite program. Unless you love it, I would remove it. I think your UG ranking and major/minor would make you interesting to the MMS/MSB programs. Northwestern is too new for me to really be able to gauge, but I think it is worth you applying. I would also look at UMich and ND since they are all well ranked, well recruited and in the same vein as NW MMS. I think you would be competitive also, but make sure to really sell the social responsibility aspect of your profile for ND.

USC is getting more career focuses so they might forgive the lower GPA assuming you have frame it the correct way. They like well known UG's so your school should help you there. I think you'd be good at UTA. Vandy/WUSTL, your odds go up depending on their class years. I would say you'd have a better shot at Vandy than WUSTL, simply for the fact that career services has a strong voice in admissions and they will love your Citi IBD experience.

On a side note, please consider simply networking and grinding. You have the school name, you have the internships, your GPA is fine. You could really keep pushing and most likely land at a good shop. Food for thought.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

8/27/16

thank you for the reply! that was very helpful.

a few points, i AM an international student, from Pakistan. I should've mentioned that before, and i want to work abroad, either in the UK but preferably the US. This is why i'm applying to schools in the UK and Europe as well. I know that if i want to work in the US, getting into a college there would be better.

Being an international student, would any of your remarks change? Or does all of this still hold?

Thank you again!

8/27/16

Honestly, my advice is roughly the same. If you are international, you need to consider which school will have recognition back home as well. You really can't count on getting a Visa from companies in your chosen field nowadays. Sucks, but reality.

If you want to work in UK/Europe and are willing to roll the dice, then overweight international schools.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

8/27/16

THAT many schools? I say apply to only 6. 2 reaches, 3 matches, 1 safety

8/27/16

I have another question for you TNA. And thanks for answering the previous one. This isn't about me but what if a person goes to MSF program with 2 years of experience(24 yo, graduates at 25)? You may suggest an MBA instead but that experience was mainly gained in audit and isn't solid enough for a top mba. Would it be okay to pick the MSF instead and transition to IB/Valuation/tas/equity research and work for another 4-5 years and then apply for an MBA at 30? What would you do?

8/27/16
Noelle90:

I have another question for you TNA. And thanks for answering the previous one. This isn't about me but what if a person goes to MSF program with 2 years of experience(24 yo, graduates at 25)? You may suggest an MBA instead but that experience was mainly gained in audit and isn't solid enough for a top mba. Would it be okay to pick the MSF instead and transition to IB/Valuation/tas/equity research and work for another 4-5 years and then apply for an MBA at 30? What would you do?

Depends on your game plan. I agree with your thought process though. You need to consider not just how much work you have, but the quality. Saying "3 years or more = MBA, absolutely" is incorrect. If you have three years of experience that is something that can get you into an MBA program, then don't do an MSF. But if you have mediocre experience, the MSF might be a good bridge. And to be frank, of all the thousands of MSF's I know, probably less that 50 have gone and done an MBA. Truth be told, once you get into your chosen field and start working people consider the MSF to be a graduate degree and don't really care anymore. Also, if you go into MM banking/PE, people tend to be less brand snobby and just value your ability to do work.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

8/28/16

Thank you so much! You are awesome man! Also, how hard is it lateral from MM to BB?

8/28/16

No clue. Depends on the shop, group, individual. People don't give the middle market enough credit. You might find you like it.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

8/28/16

Thanks

8/28/16

Thanks TNA for this! It's a very helpful post.

I was thinking of applying for MSF in USA, haven't chosen some particular college list but my focus would be on very good programs like Vandy,Boston College or other good options. Would really like help in this regard.

Profile -

School - Private College in my home country India that comes under top 20 private colleges in the country.

Program - Bachelor's in Computer Science, with a CGPA of 6.8(74 percentile). *
*NOTE - Due to my mother being hospitalized for 4 years due to stroke, I could not focus on my studies,
the fact which is reflected in the massive drop in grades which started in 2nd semester.
My high school and Senior Secondary school are top notch, which may help me in this regard (Would
need confirmation on this)

Experience - Started working from August 2015 in GlobalLogic as an analyst. No work ex in finance, still looking for
internships as a financial analyst/IB

GMAT - Gave it two years ago and secured a 680 with mild preparations. Can consider giving it once more if
chances of cracking good colleges are positive.

TOEFL - 107

Career Goals - Not any particular goals, but prefer to go into portfolio management or PE/Hedge funds.

Co-Curricular Activities - Like mentioned, due to circumstances couldn't be active in my college. Don't really know
if high school achievements count, but I was the founder of Quiz Club, member of
Debating Society and won quizzes and prizes related to Astronomy.

Recommendations - Would get solid recommendation from my college Economic Professor, as well as a Google
Manager with whom I'm currently working.

Kindly let me know the best options available for my current profile. Please do not be shy in being brutally honest with me :).

Regards
Piyush Kathuria

8/28/16
Piyush Kathuria:

Thanks TNA for this! It's a very helpful post.

I was thinking of applying for MSF in USA, haven't chosen some particular college list but my focus would be on very good programs like Vandy,Boston College or other good options. Would really like help in this regard.

Profile -

School - Private College in my home country India that comes under top 20 private colleges in the country.

Program - Bachelor's in Computer Science, with a CGPA of 6.8(74 percentile). * *NOTE - Due to my mother being hospitalized for 4 years due to stroke, I could not focus on my studies, the fact which is reflected in the massive drop in grades which started in 2nd semester. My high school and Senior Secondary school are top notch, which may help me in this regard (Would need confirmation on this)

Experience - Started working from August 2015 in GlobalLogic as an analyst. No work ex in finance, still looking forinternships as a financial analyst/IB

GMAT - Gave it two years ago and secured a 680 with mild preparations. Can consider giving it once more if chances of cracking good colleges are positive.

TOEFL - 107

Career Goals - Not any particular goals, but prefer to go into portfolio management or PE/Hedge funds.

Co-Curricular Activities - Like mentioned, due to circumstances couldn't be active in my college. Don't really know if high school achievements count, but I was the founder of Quiz Club, member of Debating Society and won quizzes and prizes related to Astronomy.

Recommendations - Would get solid recommendation from my college Economic Professor, as well as a Google Manager with whom I'm currently working.

Kindly let me know the best options available for my current profile. Please do not be shy in being brutally honest with me :).

RegardsPiyush Kathuria

I think your profile would fit with programs like OSU, UIUC, JHU, Brandies/Bentley, etc.

Lower GPA, no finance work experience, limited/no real EC's, no CFA progress, etc. All going to make a tough sell for the top US programs. Being international will also be difficult. I totally understand why your GPA dipped and I think a lot of adcoms will understand as well. You do have work experience, which is good. GMAT is pretty good. You have a compelling story. I'd apply to these good, but not great programs that will have recognition back in India.

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9/2/16

Hey TNA,

Thanks for the reply! I may consider giving GMAT again if that would help me, with my target score somewhere around 720-750. Would this then help me getting into my target universities?

8/31/16

apply higher to wustl and vanderbilt tiers... keep an eye on the program and the % of internationals, which screams for your eligibility to be in.

the applications aren't too unique to take too much time. at worst it's just a reject

8/29/16

Thank you for doing this TNA! Below is my profile.

School: Top 5 private college in South Korea (no-name outside my home country)
Major: Double major in Journalism and Business Administration, graduating in 2017 summer

GPA: 3.8/4.5 overall, with 4.0/4.5 since my junior year. With simple math, that would be 3.38/4.0 and 3.56/4.0 respectively

ECs at college:
1) VP of a politics debate club
2) Member of an investment banking club, established a fund within the club with colleagues

Internship experiences:
1) AM at EB, equity investment team, Korea office
2) Boutique PE in Hong Kong
(agency hire, so I can't directly state the name of the fund on my resume. I have an explanation for that if asked during an interview)
3) DCM at BB (European bank), Korea office (current)

GMAT: Non yet, aiming for 700+ before October (got 640 for a prep test recently)

Others:
1) IELTS 8.0/9.0
2) Passed CFA Lv.1
3) Served 2 years in Korea Air Force HQ for my national service (2013~2015)
4) Spent 2 sems at a top school in Singapore as an exchange student (finance major)
- As my college only accepts letter grades instead of converting them into P/F, my GPA is kind of low compared to my peers in Korea due to harsh grading standard of the Singaporean school

Goal: break into IBD or LevFin. Seeking for location jump

Target: LBS MFA & MiM, LSE, Oxford, HEC Paris, MIT, Vandy, Duke, Washu

Recommendations: I can get 1 from an alum who is LBS student ambassador (assuming that I'm targeting LBS), and 1 from the head of department I'm curretnly doing internship at.

My top priority is LBS MFA, as I've heard international students have higher chances of getting offers in London. Also LBS MFA allows CFA lv.1 instead of GMAT or GRE, so even if I fail hard in GMAT I can still get a shot (but will try to nail 700+ regardless of that, considering that I have to apply for other schools and that 700+ GMAT would be well received compared to CFA Lv.1. Just assuming the worst case scenario)

Any advice would be great! Thank you again for doing this.

8/30/16

I think you have a great profile. The GPA is fine. Your internships and work experience are where you really excel. I think LBS is a good play as well. MIT is worth applying as long as you get that GMAT at or above a 690. I think the military experience, coupled with your work experience would make you very attractive. Definitely an outside the box while still being a core finance student. CFA L1 is great also. IMO, I would drop HEC and Duke is your goal is IBD/LevFin. You have enough good schools and your profile is good enough that you don't need too many schools.

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8/31/16

Thank you for your feedback! Will definitely keep that in mind and put MIT on target list. Thank you

8/29/16

Hey TNA,

thank you a lot for your efforts and intensive care! I would like to hear your recommendation for my MSc. in Finance or Mgmt. study plans. I am from Germany btw.

School: Non-target, but solid ranked unversity
Major: Economics B.Sc. with corporate finance major
GPA: 3.1/4.0 currently, aiming to end with a 3.3, finance related GPA 3.7/4.0 - both converted from a German scale - might have some bias.
GMAT: Working on - Target Score 680/700
Toefl: 110

Extracurricular & Work Experience:
- free tution in math for fellow students
- internships: Big4 Corporate Tax Services (2month), Big4 Transactions Valuation Services (5month), Big4 Restructuring Advisory (3month) , PE/corporate finance Advisory firm (3month), Pipeline: IBD M&A Internship at tier 2 bank, which I most probably will complete after my thesis in march 2017.
- TA for a financial modelling course
- Semester abroad in the USA (UC System)

Target Schools:
- any target school in the US and Europe. I am more familiar with the European requierments, thererfore I kindly ask you to give me rough outline about my chances on the US labor market and my chances to be accepted for a tier 1-2 US business school program.

Aim is Investment Banking, highly interested in Leveraged Finance.

Thanks!

8/30/16

Good profile. I like the thesis. This will help you with any program that offers a graduate assistantship. They like seeing research and I think having a thesis is a great resume point. Internships are in line and positive. GPA is lower, but not horrible. I'd look at the main EU schools (Bocconi, St. Gallen, SSE, etc). As for US schools, I can see you having good odds at all the tier 1 MSF programs. You'd have to pick where you want to study though (north east, south, etc). I think you might have some difficulty breaking right into banking, but I think you would have a easy time getting into valuation with all your Big 4 experience which will set you up for banking after a little experience if that is what you want to do.

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8/29/16

Thanks for doing this, wanting to apply for MSF class of 2018 too.

Currently a student going into my final year at a top-10 UK University studying econ.

Achieved a 1st in my second year, not entirely sure what that is equivalent GPA wise (3.7?). Top 15% of my cohort, don't know exactly where as my university doesn't tell us.

Targeting the following schools, all for MFin, ranked in preference:

LSE (MSc Finance, MSc Accounting & Finance)
LBS (MFA)
Imperial (MSc Finance)
Oxford (MFE)
HEC (MSc International Finance)
Warwick (MSc Finance)

Currently studying for the GMAT, scoring around 700 on practice tests, have another 1.5 months before I take so aiming for around 720.

Strong EC for my application, strong volunteering, student mentoring, demonstrable interest in finance through attending many finance talks/conferences, analyst for student investment fund, pro bono community consulting through my university.

No finance work experience as of yet but I am throwing all my weight behind getting something for the summer of 2017.

End goal is to place into BB/EB IBD post masters. Chances?

8/30/16

I would say very good chances. Good GPA, targeting a good GMAT. You are going to top 10 UK school which should help with your apps (as opposed to a foreign student applying). With that profile I think you'll get into one of those LSE programs, the LBS MFA and Imperial as well.

Try and get an internship or some tangible experience. Will help your application as well as improving your odds at getting a job.

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8/31/16

Thanks for the reply, it's encouraging going into applications in the following months.

And again, thanks for taking the time out to do this.

8/29/16

Thanks for doing this, wanting to apply for MSF class of 2018 as well.

Currently in my final year at a French B-school - GPA : 3.6 (3.71 for my major)
GMAT: 680/700 (taking it on October)
TOEIC: 970+

Targets schools:
HEC (Msc financial economics)
LSE (Msc in Finance)
Said Business School (Oxford)
EMLYON (MS in financial engineering)
ESSEC (Msc in financial techniques)
ESCP (Advances Master in finance)
The Warthon
And Maybe Stanford...

Work experience:
SA at State Street (ER/Pricing)
6 months FP&A in Insurance
Incoming in January 2017 : 6-month internship in M&A and IB Summer Analyst

8/30/16

So, my advice and review is similar to above. Good GPA and target GMAT. Being French and going to French schools should give you an advantage for the French programs. Really can't give too much advice from there. State Street is a good name on the resume. Good you have internships. I feel like Oxford might be a reach, but not 100% sure. You look like you have a decent profile though. I would encourage you to apply to the schools you have listed.

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8/29/16

Thank you so much for doing this! I am only a rising junior but will put in my projected stats for graduation. I am doing this so I can get feedback and find out what to improve on while I still have time!

School: Non-target state school (Top 50 UG Business)
Academics: BS Business (Duel concentration in Finance & Accounting)
GPA: Cum. 3.4 - Major(s) - 3.6
WE: BB PWM Internship (soph summer), Finance department Veterans Services (work-study program) (Off cycle), Business Consulting internship (off cycle), IB SA internship (junior summer)
Extracurricular: Fraternity member, corp. finance TA, financial management association member,
CFA L1 (Dec 2017), Investment banking society
GMAT: N/A
Goal: IBD
Targets: I'd honestly just love some feedback on where I should improve and where I should target.

I am wondering if I should try to get more involved in ECs, get more WE, or just straight push GPA!

Thanks for the help!

8/30/16

Pass CFA L1, keep up with the networking and internships. Assuming you have a GMAT in the appropriate range you should be a competitive applicant at all the main programs. IMO, keep networking and interning and you should be able to land a good position without the need for an MSF.

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8/30/16

Thanks for doing this

Questions: Does it matter what round you apply? Looking to apply late. Also, where to apply? Should I break into finance first(get a Financial Advisor or Wealth Management job) before I apply? Should I skip the MSF program, work, and then go for MBA?

Going into my senior year
Psychology Major
GPA: Cumulative GPA: 3.258 Major GPA: 3.9 , Upward trend
URM if that matters,

Will be applying to UVA, Northwestern, Duke, and Michigan so far. Haven't looked at other schools. Would love everyone's thoughts/input.
Location: Mid-Atlantic State School(top public school in the state) (PA, NJ, NYC, CT)
Extracurricular: Pretty weak. Treasurer of club, Public Relations Office of a club, 1 yr leadership at club
GMAT: Aiming for 700+
Internship: Project Coordinator for non-profit (Unpaid) (5 months)
Current: Pharmacy Technician at top 2 Pharmacy (2 years), Retail Sales Associate at a stadium for a NFL team (4 years)
Goal: IBD. Doesn't matter boutique, MM, BB. Just want a foot in the door & the chance.
Took Calc 1, Financial Accounting, MIS
Currently taking econ

Originally was planning on a health profession school (thus low cGPA because of lack of interest), but had change of heart summer before junior year, applied to all bulge bracket IBD and about 2 MM or boutiques(don't remember) but didn't get anything(didn't know how competitive it was). This was fall/winter of junior year

Thanks for the opinions!

8/30/16

Assuming your GRE/GMAT is above a 650, I think you'll stand a chance at Duke and maybe Michigan. You'll need a 700 or above to be competitive at UVA and Northwestern. I would probably look at Wake as a safety.

Later rounds can either hurt or benefit you. If a school needs a few last applicants, the last round can really help you. If they have a good applicant class, the last round will be used to round out and polish the years class. I recommend either 1st or 2nd rounds to be safe. Third is a crap shoot.

As for advice on MSF vs MBA, it all depends. I don't know if your experience so far and UG profile would be enough for you to break into a T10 MBA program. T11-20, maybe. If you ramp the experience, get a new gig, crush the GMAT, etc, then maybe you crack a top program and go into banking as an associate. If you can't get into a good MBA program you'll be stuck. I think doing an MMS offers a lot of benefits in your case since you didn't study business during UG, you need a nice brand and it will give you a chance to get into a good job that will set you up career wise or at least improve your MBA odds.

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8/29/16

Hi and thank you again for helping me out.

School: Business school at a top 10 state school
Major: Finance and Economics
GPA: 3.5, Major GPA: 3.7

Work Experience and extra curriculars:
- Currently enrolled in Fund Oversight at a well-known local mutual fund in Boston and enrolled for the CFA I in December
- Completed 3 internships (2 Private wealth management internships) in Boston
- 2 leadership positions in fraternity and philanthropy groups (treasurer and recruitment chair)
- Completed the Wall Street Prep Program through WSO

Target Schools:
- MIT, MSF
- Northeastern, MSF
- Columbia, MSc Financial Economics
- Princeton, MS Finance
- Kellogg, Management
- USC, MS Finance

My goal is to get into equity research or work in a portfolio management group and would love to hear what route you think I should go down and any school suggestions that you feel would lead me on the right track. Also, if you think there are schools that are better suited for the ER route please let me know. My goal is to get into a school where I can get great connections.

If you need any more info please feel free to message me.

Thank you so much!

8/30/16

Without the GMAT or GMAT guidance it is tough. School ranking is a positive, GPA is good, but not great. Work experience is a positive, but fund oversight isn't glamorous. I would say definitely in at Northeastern. MIT is a stretch without a lot of work. Kellogg is obtainable though. Princeton is going to want more and better work experience. Columbia would want a more quantitative and academic looking background.

USC, maybe. I mean if you get a 700 or above things change a lot. You have a good, but not great profile.

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8/31/16

I think your top 10 state school has enough resources. buying time with a MSF isn't always an excuse to not do networking all around. Fair questions for everyone to ask why you're doing MSF without a nontarget background or a horrible GPA. the real commitments are networking, expermential learning projects, and CFA since you singled out ER

8/30/16

Sorry guys, I've been slammed. I'll respond to everyone tonight. Keep up the questions.

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8/30/16

Top 50 World Wide university located in northern Europe
Bsc Economics
Exchange semester to top 3 Hong Kong University
GPA: 3.66 (straight 4.0 in final year, highest grades in all courses of class final year, except one)
Dissertation: 4.0
EC: Finance club member, volunteer, affiliate Payment processor (e.g. PayPal), science mentor for high school students
Internships/FTE: None
GMAT: Not yet done

Noteworthy:
- Had health issues during my studies. However after a clean MRI scan I got way less stressed about it and achieved 4.0 GPA ever since.
- Played and coached poker profesionally at a high level. However I do not think I should mention this on my resume or cover letter while applying for such a program.
- Owned an affiliate business. Managed 5-10 people and had over 100 clients. This was all online.

I would like to move abroad. What would be achievable universities for me in Europe (USA = too expensive).I would like to end up in IB and/or consultancy.

This year is a gap year, which I will try to fill with internships.

I would like to do a management and/or finance program.

Are universities such as LBS/HEC ever possible?

Thanks.

8/30/16

Don't worry about explaining your GPA, it is fine. I wouldn't hide the poker experience, especially if it is legit (ie. you won tournaments, stuff like that). Definitely focus on getting an internship. If you get a high gmat score you should be fine with applications.

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9/1/16

Thank you very much for your reply.

To be honest I am high insecure and I would not know why ANY program would even accept me. Furthermore I am turning 24 already next year (2017).

I am wondering which applications would be fine for me? As in: at which universtities do you think I stand a chance?

9/2/16

People often say the seemingly lame thing "you'll figure it out eventually" to very smart people who seek advice, because they're, READ THIS, highly confident of their intellectual ability to compete.

You could try to solve your confidence problem first, and that's the best way to solve your interview and master's offers with your otherwise strong background..

Note though, you want MC and IB, but the preparation for both is quite different in universities, so make up your mind and don't interview MBB with a MSF thing or a MiM for Finance to become less competitive again

9/2/16

Thank you very much for your reply.

May I ask: how would you try to solve my confidence problems?

What I do not understand is that when I compare myself to my peers my background is not really that strong. I am not sure if I am actually too insecure with what I have. Or if my fears are actually justified.

9/3/16

I think you can compare your strength with other people's strengths.

for example, if someone has a great GPA, so what? You don't have a great GPA, but you just say you can kick ass too with your poker skills.

If a guy wants to compare pretty-ness to a girl, he will never win that battle; so he mustthink about his own strengths, whether it's stamina, masculinity or other stuffthat makes him win. From those two examples, you should think about magnifying your strengths too.

8/31/16

TNA, what do you think about Rochester's MSF program?

9/1/16

My opinion is evolving. I used to think it was an OK program, but mainly international and not one that focused on placing students, but I recently checked out their webpage and it looks like their are placements now being posted. I think it is worth checking out, but the cost and location are big negatives.

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9/7/16

Simon is a very underrated business school. They have a strong network and solid presence in mid-tier IB and in bval.

"Elections are a futures market for stolen property"

9/1/16

Hey TNA, thanks for all effort. Appreciate it.

I am an international student (from India), Targeting MIT.
My profile is:
Business Graduate with 3.7 GPA (Bachelor of Management Studies, specialized in Finance) from Delhi University, prestigious in India.
720 GMAT(Q50, V39)
2 Internships: One at Venture Capital Firm and one at Broker. It was mostly creating reports of upcoming industry in venture capital and back office work at the broker. The firms are small cap firms.
I've cleared CFA level 1 this June and taking Level 2 next year.

My extracurriculars are not that strong, just managed some events at college level and was part of the Executive Council for the Finance Club.
I will join Breaking Into Wall Street/Wall Street Prep this week and hopefully finish the basic module before applications.

Also, I am suffering from Type 1 Diabetes (Genetic), and have been able to manage it well. Will that make a difference?

I have no work ex.
Wanting to get into Equity Research.

If you need any more info please feel free to message me.
Thank you so much!

9/1/16

I say your MIT chance is very tough. if you really want it you need to double your speed with things.
first of all you can't name any strong impacts in internships
second congrats on CFA L1 but it's quite more often these days. Level 2 would be a plus but your MSF apps cant wait until next June I suppose.
third your GMAT is 720 or "average" around top 15 schools. Sadly ORM such as yourself have to have high 740+ to be even "competitive"
fourth your activities sounds very much blank, compared to others who started this competition probably 4 years ago.

Best of luck, but I say if you start working and really kill it, your MIT chances can raise exponentially

9/2/16

You really need to stop giving crappy unsolicited advice

9/3/16

just keep walking dude. I'm not going to put dirt on myself by wasting time on you or your mindless questions all over WSO

9/3/16

It's really simple. Don't give your advice unless someone asks you. This Q&A thread was started by TNA

9/3/16

To the OP of this question, ignore this guy's reply and wait for TNA's response

9/3/16

LOL, thanks man. +1

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9/8/16

@Noelle90 mind your own business and maybe you can stop getting rejections. bye bye paper tiger.

9/3/16

On paper you seem like a decent candidate. Your scores are all in their range or slightly higher. The internships and CFA are all good. I like that you are taking L2 in June. You'll definitely be able to talk about your love of finance and tie your education, CFA and work experience all into one.

I wouldn't bring up the diabetes unless one essay is asking about a personal struggle or something like this. Your application isn't weak so you don't need to explain or offset it.

Advice - apply. You could work on your GMAT split. I think if you could bump up the verbal section you'd look better as an applicant. This isn't an MFE program and employers are going to want strong English fluency. If you look at the class profile and then placements, you see how MIT is like 80% international, but their international placements aren't as good as the domestics. I'd probably advise you to target their 18 month MSF option as I believe this was created for people without work experience and those needing sponsorship.

Good luck!

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