Seeking advices about the MSF program

I am graduating in a month from University of Southern California with a BA in History. Currently, I have been admitted to Simon (80% scholarship) and still waiting to hear back from WUSTL (Asset Management Track), UIUC, Brandeis, and JHU. Their notification dates are all after the Simon deposit deadline (May 2nd). Are the other programs worth the wait or should I just commit to Simon? Also, in general, how good is Simon in terms of placement for international students? Their placement stats are flooded by Chinese banks, so I am worried the stats are inflated.

Comments (33)

Apr 16, 2018

I would say WUSTL is a better choice.

Apr 16, 2018

Personally I would declare at Simon, unless you're expecting a decent scholarship offer from WUSTL (in which case just eat the deposit and reneg). Simon's placements are a bit questionable, but at least they have placement data available. WUSTL's Asset Management track is in its first year, so we won't have any idea about placements for at least a few months. Plus, the AM track is 80%+ international as well, so their data would likely be skewed in a similar fashion anyways.

I'm curious though, why didn't you apply to USC's MSF program? They're pretty transparent about their placements, plus you might've had an advantage for admission as a USC undergrad.

Apr 16, 2018

I was advised against applying to the USC MSF by a member of the faculty that I talked to. He said the program is a mess. Moreover, I wanted to move to the East Coast, and the USC brand name is not huge there (in my opinion). I also applied to Vandy and got an interview, but was ultimately rejected. For the sake of context, my stats are GPA 2.9 (3.6 in upper divisions), GMAT 710 (Q:47, V:41), no meaningful work experience.

Apr 16, 2018

Kudos on the 80% scholarship for Simon. You must have really nailed the essays/interview; I was only offered 40% aid with slightly higher GPA/GMAT. I was very close to choosing Simon anyways, and I would have definitely pulled the trigger had I been offered 80%.

I had similar concerns about Simon's vague placement statistics, so I ended up reaching out to a few of their MSF students, and I'd recommend you do the same. The domestic student I spoke with managed to secure a ton of interview offers (many of them front-office), though he had to hustle since career services wasn't very helpful (typical of MSF programs in general, apparently). Not sure how it is for international students, but I'd imagine that front office wouldn't be a stretch if your English/communication skills are solid.

Apr 16, 2018

I would go to Simon, if I were you. I'm a WUSTL alum but this "Asset Management" track doesn't make sense to me.

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Apr 16, 2018

Interesting. What are your thoughts on the Simon MSF program?

Apr 16, 2018

Generally very good. I know education is top notch and it places well in NY bval.

Apr 16, 2018

If you're international, definitely go Rochester. If you're domestic, the case is less sure. Rochester is absolutely full of Chinese students and placements reflect this. I do suppose if you want the east coast, the program might be best.

As far as placements, you'll go wherever your hustle takes you. The school isn't going to have much FO finance on campus, but historically it was a very good B school. They had a PT MSF in NYC that had a lot of finance people as wel. If you hustle you should be fine.

Also, the USC network will help you a lot. I'd almost try networking into a decent job and skip the MSF. You can't find some Trojan alumni to help you get a credit role?

Apr 16, 2018

I am an international student. Committed a crime against pragmatism in choosing History (bought into the "Undergrad major is not important" part of the American Dream). Therefore, I can only work in my field (History) for my OPT. Otherwise, the odds of finding an H-1B sponsor with no relevant work experience and with a history degree is too slim to my taste. That's why I am trying to use the MSF to change my status (in the eyes of the US Dept of Homeland Security) to a Finance graduate.

Apr 16, 2018

Rochester it is. STEM is what matters. Play off that USC network in NYC while at Rochester.

Apr 17, 2018

current WUSTL student, on the WAM track. Of the 40ish students in the WAM track, 90ish% are international. Ask me some questions and I'll answer what I can

Apr 17, 2018

Wow, really? You know the breakdown for the Q track? Sounds like people got lazy after Nikki left the role. All those international kids are going to really hurt the ranking.

Apr 17, 2018

The MSF program looks more and more like a cash cow ever since they created the separate tracks. WUSTL was legit when there was one, fairly comprehensive and quantitative program. All these tracks were implemented to generate revenue and it's clearly hurting the program. They also pulled the bridge program, which was extremely helpful in terms of placing grads. WUSTL's MSF used to regularly send people to places like NISA, Capital One, etc. From what I've heard, that's no longer the case.

I feel bad because I pushed nudged a friend into the program over Vandy and it's clear now that that wasn't the right move. He's in MM IB now so it worked out, but it was a long and grueling road for him.

Apr 17, 2018

Not 100% sure, but I think its about the same. It seems like the Corp Fin is the only track that isn't extremely heavy with international students. I can definitely see the rankings sliding - from what I've heard (all anecdotal from current students), the internationals are having a tough time finding places to sponsor visas.

Apr 17, 2018

Just get a job . Msf never helps

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Apr 18, 2018

I would if DHS doesn't mind

Apr 18, 2018

Rochester. Don't wait for WUSTL. Not worth it.

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Apr 18, 2018

I do concur with what @Esuric says about a lot of programs. Many of them are just filling up with internationals, provided limited career help and jack their tuition. I think this is highly unfair to the degree and the students.

Plain fact is it is very hard right now for internationals to break into the various areas of finance students largely seek after. Credit, IB, AM, etc, are all very difficult for non-US residents/citizens.

Hopefully this will change, but sadly, I think schools have found their revenue augmenter since MBA applications have been declining.

Apr 18, 2018

Then what's msf good for?

If supposedly better wustl is doing this, how about the worse schools

Apr 19, 2018

Education. Every job I've ever had since graduation the employer has commented on my strong technical ability.

Apr 19, 2018

Just out of curiosity, what did you professor specifically say about USC's msf? I've always had the impression that it's a top msf program, esp in west coast. Rlly surprised to hear that from a usc faculty member

Apr 19, 2018

He said the curriculum is a mess. Well, probably because the program is not that old. Idk, might be just his personal opinion

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Jun 12, 2018

2017 employment report is not that sexy either... :/

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Apr 20, 2018
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Apr 21, 2018