Preparation for Master in Finance

ADN's picture
Rank: Chimp | 3

I'm starting a Master in Finance next fall and during this Summer, I'll try to do some revisions and read some books.

I've a Bachelor in Economics and a Post-graduation in Finance and Taxation. During these, I got courses in the following topics: Economics (obviously), Accounting, Statistcs, Math, corporate finance and Financial Markets and Investments.

Which topics in each of these fields (specially Math since I did it some time ago), should I revise in order to be prepared for the program?

Which books should I read before starting the program?

Thanks in advance.

Comments (35)

Jun 16, 2012

I'd try and get an internship instead. You have the UG experience and should not have an issue with MSF coursework. If you do insist on studying I'd try and grab some old CFA L1 books. Pretty much the bulk of most MSF programs.

Jun 16, 2012

My math skills are a bit rusty. Not the GMAT level Math but Linear Algebra and Integration. Any specific undergrad level math that I should revise?

Jun 16, 2012

Calc I, Stats, Probability

Jun 16, 2012
Jun 16, 2012

what undergrad major?

use the think... line btw :D

Jun 16, 2012

just study the CFA curriculum!

Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

Jun 16, 2012

Agreed. I looked at MSF curriculum, then decided to self-learn cfa coursework instead.

Jun 16, 2012

CFA level one is pretty much all you need to get prepared. Are you doing the corp finance track or the quant track?

Jun 16, 2012
ANT:

CFA level one is pretty much all you need to get prepared. Are you doing the corp finance track or the quant track?

Do you need CFA Level II as well or just Level I?

Jun 16, 2012

I agree with ANT

In general I would recommend getting your statistics (econometrics etc) up to speed.
Further, getting your feet wet with Black Scholes and Option pricing can save you quite some time later on.

If I was to do my MSF again that is how i would prepare...

there is no need to learn basic concepts in advance, just get the "math" bit out of the way

Jun 16, 2012

You'll forget it all by the time class rolls around. Enjoy yourself, read different books on a variety of topics, and explore your interest and work on yourself. That way when you get in school you can hit the ground running

Jun 16, 2012

I was looking to go to WUSTL's MSF program (decided to go to Vandy instead) and I actually talked with Nikki, the adcom at WUSTL, and their academic advisor for the program about how to prepare. Their advice for non-math/engineering majors was to self study calculus classes. A few of the current students in the Corporate Finance and Investments track struggled big time with the qaunt calsses (I kept hearing Stochastic calculus) just because they were not prepared and it comes up so fast there is really no time to prepare during the semester.

Also, get a summer internship if possible and try to network over the summer because the job search starts as soon as you get to campus.

Jun 16, 2012
jstopfor:

I was looking to go to WUSTL's MSF program (decided to go to Vandy instead) and I actually talked with Nikki, the adcom at WUSTL, and their academic advisor for the program about how to prepare. Their advice for non-math/engineering majors was to self study calculus classes. A few of the current students in the Corporate Finance and Investments track struggled big time with the qaunt calsses (I kept hearing Stochastic calculus) just because they were not prepared and it comes up so fast there is really no time to prepare during the semester.

Also, get a summer internship if possible and try to network over the summer because the job search starts as soon as you get to campus.

I'm interested in doing the Vandy MSF as well but doing the quant track. I'll prob study CFA Level 1 and 2 before enrolling in the MSF to be prepared as well. What would you say that you know now that you wish you knew before enrolling at Vanderbilt? It's my first and only choice MSF. Thank you.

Jun 16, 2012

Nikki is great and I think you will love Vanderbilt. I forget the name, but there is a learning website with 1,000's of self teaching videos on math. Stats, Calc and probability are extremely important in an MSF program. I would study them.

Read up on accounting and valuation. That is usually stuff people are rusty in and can be tricky. If you can find some older CFA L1 books or PDF's those should help. Most MSF programs utilize L1 & L2 as a general course outline for the program.

Get acclimated with Nashville. Maybe start looking for some internship opportunities. Also, make sure you spend time contacting alumni before you get there. Class work is important, but networking is something that pays dividends. I encourage everyone I speak to to begin networking before classes start. One year will fly by and you need to be prepared for recruiting.

Jun 16, 2012
ANT:

Nikki is great and I think you will love Vanderbilt. I forget the name, but there is a learning website with 1,000's of self teaching videos on math.

www.khanacademy.com

Array

Jun 16, 2012

Find out what math parts the curriculum entails.
I wish I had realized how much econometrics (especially applied using various softwares) my program entailed before I started.

I agree that the MSF is a good time to find your own interests and make you realize where you want to be in finance but especially because that is the case you should get all the "basics" out of the way.

I could have spend more time on our fund team or actually reading into the areas I do enjoy if I hadnt spend nights and nights in the library teaching myself ecoometrics and all those stupid software applications.

If it is a pure CF focused master: chill out before.

Jun 16, 2012

Thanks for all the advice!

blastoise: My undergrad major was in Intl. Relations. Economics Minor.
ANT: I am doing the Corporate Finance track.

My younger brother is an undergrad and he's taking calculus this summer so I was planning on sitting in on his classes until I move to St. Louis. I already took Calculus but it was a few years ago so I think that could be a good way to brush up.

    • 1
Jun 16, 2012
FinanceStudent28:

Thanks for all the advice!

blastoise: My undergrad major was in Intl. Relations. Economics Minor.
ANT: I am doing the Corporate Finance track.

My younger brother is an undergrad and he's taking calculus this summer so I was planning on sitting in on his classes until I move to St. Louis. I already took Calculus but it was a few years ago so I think that could be a good way to brush up.

what math you need help with? algebra/ basic trig?

Jun 16, 2012

it's just a 1 year program... time is short, so enjoy yourself now...

Jun 16, 2012

cfa is kinda irrelevant to quant... but still, studying it is not gona hurt...

Jun 16, 2012

TraderDaily: I am doing the corpfin track at Vandy, but I don't think the program is separated into two separate paths like WUSTL's program. At Vandy, you can create a curriculum based on what you want to learn. The entire second semester (3rd and 4th mods as they call them) are self-picked electives. At WUSTL, once you pick a track you do not have as much flexibility in your curriculum (only 1 elective per 3rd and 4th terms). This is one of the reasons I picked Vandy because I am relatively inexperienced in finance and want the freedom to choose what I study as I learn what I like.

BicepBrah: Other than flexibility, I thought WUSTL's program was too qaunt focused for me. I was a business undergrad with little math experience. Vandy also gave me a little more scholarship money so that made the decision easier. Feel free to message me if you want to chat more. I was in your situation and researched both programs extensively, talked with current students and also visited each campus.

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Jun 16, 2012

When it comes to MSF programs, are you applying for S.A positions or full-time? I would assume F.T positions would be very limited since most banks hire from their S.A class.

Jun 16, 2012
TheKid1:

When it comes to MSF programs, are you applying for S.A positions or full-time? I would assume F.T positions would be very limited since most banks hire from their S.A class.

Curious about this also. Will probably be starting Claremont Mckenna's Masters in Finance this coming Fall. Anyone else?

Jun 16, 2012

Before I did my MSF I wish I had known Excel and VBA. Get a basic understanding of finance like the IPO process etc. and maybe the different securities that are out there. Basically study the CFA level one and excel. Make sure you know your job prospects, if you don't have any finance internships or something close you'll be explaining to every recruiter what an MSF is and that you'll only be in school for a year so summer internships are a problem, at least thats what I'm dealing with...

The hills are alive with the sound of horsepower! - Jeremy Clarkson

Jun 16, 2012
BullMkt:

Before I did my MSF I wish I had known Excel and VBA. Get a basic understanding of finance like the IPO process etc. and maybe the different securities that are out there. Basically study the CFA level one and excel. Make sure you know your job prospects, if you don't have any finance internships or something close you'll be explaining to every recruiter what an MSF is and that you'll only be in school for a year so summer internships are a problem, at least thats what I'm dealing with...

So do you have any offers for IB or anything? S.A or F.T?

Jun 16, 2012

What school did you go to?

Jun 16, 2012

I went to Syracuse University. I did Environmental Biology for undergrad so it took me a while to catch up, but the CFA definitely helped. I haven't gotten anything yet, still looking. It seems networking is the only way to get ahead these days so pick a school that helps with that.

The hills are alive with the sound of horsepower! - Jeremy Clarkson

Jun 16, 2012

Ant could you provide some insight into the recruiting process for Mfin program? Mfin students wouldn't qualify for S.A position since you will be graduating in a year and most banks hire mainly from S.A class. So the opportunities would be very small to break into Ibanking with a Mfin program?

Jun 16, 2012
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