Turned down MSF offers last year to go a different path, is it possible to come back?

bcrew13's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 224

I was accepted in Villanova MSF, Duke MMS, and Ross MMS but turned them down to instead go for a job that is my passion (sports) and a field I had a good amount of experience in. I recently got a FP&A job at a commercial bank, but I would like to get into IB. I come from a very small non-target school with literally no brand name, but had a 3.72 GPA in finance, is it worth it to go for my MSF in a year, or just continue working and look to get my MBA in 3-4 years? I regret not just going to get my MSF instead, but am living with the consequences of terrible recruiting and job ops. I have a friend that went to Nova for his MSF and said most of his friends work IB, so it sounds like it could be good, but I don't want to go in the wrong direction again.

Comments (35)

Mar 25, 2017

Duke and Ross MMS are better in about everything except Finance than Nova MSF. I'm real glad that you didn't choose it.

Now you simply have two "real option" valuation exercise. One is wait for your credibility to grow before MBA in a few yrs, and the other is to do a MSF/MMS now. I don't think either works against you, because plenty of MSFs AND MBAs go to IB afterwards.

My best advice is to get all the information on Top MBAs like Harvard and MSF/MMS like MIT, Michigan, so that you start your evaluation up there.

Mar 25, 2017

Look who we have here.

How is Ross "better in about everything except Finance" than Nova?

Per their 2016 placement report


  • 15% went into financial services/accounting - if you look at the firms that hired students you see no banks.

So if the OP's goal is banking, how is this going to be "better in about everything" to Nova? Especially now that he is working?

"My best advice is to get all the information on Top MBAs like Harvard and MSF/MMS like MIT, Michigan, so that you start your evaluation up there."

So your advice to a guy who is working FP&A at a commercial bank, from a no name UG school, is to work and go to Harvard, or apply to MIT and Michigan (which I've highlighted as having no IB placements)?


Mar 25, 2017

You don't seem to have a brain. Should you also call Harvard stupid because they don't place as big of a percentage in IB? They don't place as many in IB because they simply have more choices.

Same applies for Michigan, which is a top Midwest undergrad feeder in any industry, you misinformed idiot

I have zero doubts that Nova has many students that could've done equally well, but to say Nova is a better school than Michigan in job placement is only your own masturbation.

Also, you can feel inferior because you went to nontargets. It's good research anyways back when I wasn't in yet. I see that plenty of nontargets can get into top programs for a change, so don't kill their hope, fool.

Best Response
Mar 25, 2017

Depends on how much experience you have and what your growth role within the bank could be. If you could get into something underwriting or credit focused you could make your way to IB without going back to school.

IMO, apply wider this time. Ross and Duke are fine and you'd be able to get interviews from those programs for banking. Up to you to convert those. Villanova does fine and you'd be able to interview, but not everyone gets banking. You'd have to be OK with getting valuation, corporate banking, etc, which isn't that much better than what you currently have.

Frankly, the time was a year ago. Now the bar is a little higher and I think you'd have to target Vanderbilt, WUSTL, etc, OR go back to Nova and the other schools and look for money to bring the opportunity cost down some.

Mar 25, 2017

So, in your opinion if I could get in to Vanderbilt or WUSTL it may be worth it to attend over waiting for an MBA?

Mar 25, 2017

I think Vanderbilt or WUSTL give you a higher probability of breaking into IB than Duke, Michigan or Nova. If D/M/N gave you scholarship money and you were fine with a close to banking, but not banking role, then I would say revisit those three schools.

Look at it like this. You have a job within a bank. Ideally, you'd want to be in underwriting or something like that where you would be getting credit skills. Surely, you can try and lateral within the bank or go to a smaller bank in that underwriting role. That will give you skills that you could utilize to get into banking directly.

Or, you could keep working for the bank and do a couple things to bolster your resume.

1) Really in-depth charity work. Like throw all your effort into it and have a really striking story to tell.

2) Get involved with ACG, TMA, get on their junior board. ACG has a university you can attend that would look nice on your resume. It would help with getting into banking directly or to beef up your MBA application.

3) Look for a cert program. Not sure where you work, but NYU has a bunch of good certs and you get a GPA. This would give you a new brand to put on your resume and build skills.

4) CFA

5) PT masters at a university with a good brand. This will allow you to continue to work.

Once you start working and have a job with some ability to progress, the MSF becomes a very expensive opportunity. I worked for about 3 years when I did mine, but I was looking to a) relocate, b) my bank was impacted because of the housing crisis and my trajectory was changed and c) I've always wanted an MSF and just loved the subject and material.

But in general, I advise people that an MSF is good if you have 2 years or under in experience. Once you start building your resume it is easier to do an MBA from a T1-15 school. Any good program and you can come in at a MM or BB bank as an associate.

Mar 26, 2017

Anyone who thinks Vanderbilt & WUSTL has better chances of IB, is out of the mind. @TNA"

For fact checks, why don't you check DUKE and MICHIGAN's undergraduate/MBA job reports? Any MSFs are also in-between of the two, so check some percentages please?

It is even more ridiculous to compare DUKE, MICHIGAN with NOVA. Like I said before, I'm sure NOVA has a ton of successful alumni, but the school's ability to place students is a joke comparing to the others. Reminds me of the @techjobsyankee joke about Thunderbird (which is now free-for-lunch Arizona State) versus H/S.

IB is an internship heavy business. It's also very heavy with relationships. Too many undergrads have CFA L1 knocked out before bachelors', so it's a plus but won't get you over. TNA said some stuff about making your experiences more transferrable that I finally won't discredit entirely, and those tips would work well whether you apply back to MBA or MSF/MMS.

Mar 25, 2017

An MSF right now would be a waste of money for you. If you can get into a respectable program for cheap, then consider it. If not, keep working and shoot for a top tier MBA. The MBA is the gold standard. It's very difficult to get an MBA later on when you're 100k in debt from your 1 year graduate program.

Mar 25, 2017

I don't think many programs would put me in $100k in debt. Most programs are around ~$60k, and it would be after me working for a year with no debt.

Mar 25, 2017

Most two year top 15 programs cost 120k plus. You may be looking at the wrong standards if their tuition before discount is near 60k total. Not all MBAs are equal.

Mar 25, 2017
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