URGENT!!! MSF Decision Advice

I´m an international student and I was recently admitted into the MSF in the University of Minnesota and The University of Utah... I don´t know which one to choose, I want to pursue a career on IB at a BB and later on my career become a hedge fund manager. As UofM is slightly better ranked, the placement and salary stats of UofU are far better. I couldn´t find any alumni experience... Any advice would help. Thank you in advance!!!

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Comments (16)

Feb 5, 2020 - 7:19pm

Neither of those schools are targets, so it will be up to you to network and apply to get to a good firm. Because of that fact, location is the number one most important factor. Minnesota is closer to NYC/Chicago while Utah is closer to California, but if you want hedge funds NYC is better.

You need to think of it this way: Which location makes more sense to fly out to do interviews? The people who are at non-targets will book an entire week during the school year to do interviews and recruiting, so based on these facts, which school makes more sense to you?

Personally, I'd go to Minnesota b/c Chicago is decent and NYC is king.

Feb 6, 2020 - 2:44pm

OSU is a massive school with a very well known athletics program, so I'd definitely go there. In interviews, you can always talk about OSU's sports teams. The location rationale still applies. While OSU has so many alums, it might be harder to actually sort through all the names to find someone who is willing to talk to you. I don't know how well U of Minnesota is known in Chicago, but at least everyone in the country has at least heard of Ohio State.

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Feb 6, 2020 - 2:59pm

I definitely agree with LeftArmMonkey on choosing Minnesota over Utah.

Carlson holds a stronger business school brand compared to Utah as you stated. The brand will definitely help you in the future/initial job to say the least.

As per Placement and salary - Neither of the schools post an actual employment report to give us a more in-depth look. Carlson does provide the recent overall placement for 2017, which shows 53% in financial services. Now be vary, that is the industry, not the actual function. You may also want to note that from a class size of 90 students at Utah, the average age is 28. This means most of the students coming in have previous experience. Previous experience results in higher $$$ after graduation. Carlson's average age is 24 from a class size of 24. That tells me that the average student has little to no experience, resulting in lower average $$$.

Now looking at your dream of going to IB in BB. Let's talk about Carlson's MBA, as it is much more powerful than the MSF itself. From the last years report, 69 students were looking for employment. 19% went into financial services. That is 13 students from the whole class. Since it doesn't go deep in detail for the finance functions, it is hard to guess how many students actually go into IB, that also in BB.

Honestly, I will say that you have to be on your A game for networking to get into IB from either colleges. These are non-target schools for IB.

Get some experience and go for an MBA, or go to a higher ranked MSF.

To choose between the two, I will go with Minnesota.

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Feb 6, 2020 - 4:06pm

Hi thank you so much for your answer! Which programs do you think could be a better option for IB at BB? I have a 590 GMAT so I thought I may have limited options to be admitted... I will be doing a huge effort going to USA to get my MSF so I want to maximize my opportunities, and besides rankings there are not a lot of places where I can get reliable info. Which schools could be more useful? I also applied to Texas at Austin and Ohio State but they haven´t answered me yet... Any help would be useful! Thank you again!

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Feb 6, 2020 - 7:01pm

Can you provide a full profile of yourself for me to evaluate?
GPA, experience, achievements, Internships, extra curricular, GMAT by your quant and verbal. Your story on low gmat and detailed goals.

Feb 7, 2020 - 12:08am

Sure! I'm a Public Accountant, GPA 6.5/10, Junior and Senior years GPA: 7.5/10, Internship on financial company, work experience 1 year: University Professor of Taxes as soon as I graduated, General Manager at Retail Store, also during my career was fellow in a research fellowship about creating economic markers for my State... GMAT 42Percentile on Quant and 56P on Verbal, 590 and 51% overall... I had less than 3 weeks to prepare for the whole exam so my performance was below my skills, Goal is to work at a hedge fund and later on my career have my own HF... Extra-curricular: I'm a Basketball player since I was a little kid and had the chance to go Pro 3 years ago but declined to continue pursuing a finance career... 24 years
Also I recently saw that a MSQF or MFE would be more appropriate given the career I want to pursue, do you think I could qualify for one given my profile? Thanks for the help!

Feb 7, 2020 - 7:42am

MSQF and MFE usually require a technical major in undergrad (math, physics, engineering, computer science are common) and outstanding quantitative abilities proven by a high quant score in GMAT or GRE. Honestly, I am not sure that with your current stats you are a competitive candidate. If you decide to go down that route you might want to consider the GRE because it's the preferred standardised test for MFE degrees and the math part is usually considered to be easier (most MFE candidates get the highest score possible).


Feb 7, 2020 - 5:43pm

Ah all right, And given my profile, which you think would be the best path for me to make a career at a HF? Is possible to get a job there getting out of a MSF? Or what should I do? Because I don´t want to end up doing a MSF if it´s useless to my objectives...

Feb 7, 2020 - 10:22pm

I don't have any personal experience with that. What I think you should do is message people on LinkedIn who work at hedge funds. Someone will be willing to talk to you and give you advice. That being said, if you work hard and network all the time eventually some hedge fund will give you a shot. There are a bunch of good threads with more info on the subject:


Feb 10, 2020 - 11:46am

Sorry for the delayed response.

I do not believe you will be able to directly get into hedge funds from your master's unless you have previous IB experience. It's kind of like how PE and VC are, where only IB folks are recruited into them. So if HF is the long term goal, your current goal should be getting into IB.

So let's focus on IB from your comments and the profile.

MSQF/MFE vs. MSF: Your current profile is suited for MSF. Your goals are also suited for MSF. The other two programs are much more technical. Your background is also suited for MSF.

To get admission into MSQF/MFE, your college coursework will have to be heavy on the quant side. Your GMAT score of 42 percentile in quant is awfully low. You will literally have to be above 80-85 percentile to 1) get admission into these programs 2) be successful, if you get the admission. Since these programs are also technical focused, they tend to place people in other quant heavy roles and not in IB. So that deters away from your goal.

When you do go to network for IB, your GMAT score will be questioned. I highly suggest that you re-do your GMAT regardless of the school you choose to go to. If you do get a really high score, I suggest re-applying to some other schools to meet your goal and to make it easy to achieve your goals.

Currently given your profile, your school selection, your score, it is extremely hard to say you will be placed in IB at a BB. Don't stop me from saying no to your goals, but it will also be wrong on my side to give false hope.

At the end: Both schools are great, but for not IB. Your GMAT is low and should consider a re-do. If you stick with either of the schools, re-do your GMAT, and network your A$$ off.

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