Love to be in finance but which part of finance?

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cleverCFA's picture

Okay, a lot of posts in a short amount of time. Sort of scanned through most of them.

Is it just me who’s first reaction was “why would you want to do a MS Applied Finance” when you’ve already passed the 3 levels of CFA and the 2 levels of FRM. I could be wrong here, but my impression was that if you know enough to pass 3 levels of CFA, you’re way ahead of anything taught in an MS Applied Finance. Anybody out there share this opinion? If you really need to do a masters, I would do something more in depth like an MSc in Quantitative Finance or Financial Engineering. My opinion of MS Applied Finance is for people who have no finance knowledge/background (i.e. studied IT or Anthropology or whatever), might be working in a bank already, don’t want to do anything too hard like CFA, but want something “financial” on their CV, so they do MS App Finance. To be blunt and to the point, I find it’s a bit of a “soft c*ck” option, and one which I don’t think is going to be of any benefit to you (you’ll be a specialist at nothing upon completing this degree vs. the other degrees I mentioned). This is just my view but one I know is shared by at least a lot of other people.

You finished your undergrad in 2009 so you’re still very young I presume. Why don’t you apply for a job instead of collecting more bits of paper whose marginal benefits are questionable. You sound VERY employable based on your CV (I would call you for an interview based on your CV), so just apply to jobs. Most big firms have grad programs which have yearly intakes. This is where I started and where I would recommend you start.

With regards to which jobs suite your personality, can I also suggest quant type jobs as well as research. You don’t really have the usual Maths background that is typical of quants, but you seem like a pretty smart guy, so this might be an avenue to investigate. You have programming skills too, so you might also consider algorithmic/arbitrage trading areas where the emphasis is very much on combining markets knowledge with technology.

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FrankArabia's picture

i have met a few investment bankers…..i believe they like what they’re doing……but they will tell you its a trade off…..its kinda like being a porno actor….

maisatomai's picture

Hi, thanks all for the replies. I found that although some of the answers are harsh, the answers really help me understand more about my self.

Here are some of my replies to various poster (thank you again)

@Cleverku: In Singapore where I am in, there is 2 MFE and 1 MS applied finance course only. The university are SMU, NTU, NUS. For MFE, I worried I do not have the quant skills required for the course. Nonetheless, I will apply for MFE at NUS too. I am not young as I am now 27. I have a bond which will make me stay in my current job till Dec 2013. That will mean I will be 29 when I step into the finance industry, which is sort of old. I really wish that I can break into the finance industry as I do not want to end up quitting my current job and becoming jobless (I have two children to feed). That explains my reason for taking CFA and FRM and later CAIA. I hope the cert will be marginally useful when I make the transition when I am 29 years old.
In Singapore, males are forced to do a compulsory National Service which means they draft you into the army for 2.5 years. The MS applied finance brochure says that people who passed CFA will also benefit.

@FrankArabia: Since you are a charterholder, you know that the CFA exam is not based on memorising. I learned some of the jobs available in finance when I was in undergrad / doing my CFA. But they are just job descriptions but do not really go into what type of personality the job required or what is really in the job.

@bchadwick: My strong point is analytical and not communication. Please advise me how do I portray myself as someone who likes finance in the resume?

@Ohai: Thanks a lot. Your post is very useful.

To all, I have decided that my ST goal is to be a research analyst. But what should be my long term goal? To become a senior research analyst?

dhyun3's picture

You gotta be kidding here…You ask us your long-term goal…and maybe becoming a senior research analyst? Once you become a senior research analyst, will you be coming back again and ask us whether a portfolio manager should be your next goal? Grow up man…you’re 27…

Anyway, go to some CFA networking event and get to know some people working in finance. You remind me of a few kids who did exactly what their parents told them to do when I was growing up.

————————————————————————————————————
To all, I have decided that my ST goal is to be a research analyst. But what should be my long term goal? To become a senior research analyst?[/quote]

maisatomai's picture

then I guess I will have no LT goal after all. I wish to clarify about the short term and long term goal thingy. The reason I ask is I need to put it into my administration eassy. I do not want the adcom to feel that I am a lost sheep if I wrote “Wanted to study MS finance becaue I want to be part of the finance industry”

cleverCFA's picture

Why don’t you just put that your short term goals are to “enrich yourself with the body of knowledge provided by the course and to meet like minded people blah blah” and that your long term goals are to enter the finance industry as a research analyst, and to bring great value to a rapidly changing industry with all that’s going in the world blah blah blah, I am particulary interested in the changing dynamics of Asia and blah blah. I don’t think anybody can realistically expect you to know exactly where you’ll be long term (i.e. when you’re 50), it’s a little naive of them if they really expect you to answer that

maisatomai's picture

Thanks a lot cleverku. You are a great help. I guess I will use the answer in my SOP.

cleverCFA's picture

Also, I wouldn’t let you “old age” stop you from trying for grad programs. My grad program at Credit Suisse First Boston had people from age 20 to 34 who all came from a variety of backgrounds. I was 25 at the time.

FrankArabia's picture

you should speak your mind on your essay…not come on the form trying to get other ppl’s ideas……

ohai's picture

I disagree. Admissions essay writing can be a team effort. Some people even get paid money to do this. Plus, it’s not like someone is writing the application for him. It’s like mosaic theory - take little bits of immaterial information and merge it together to make something material.

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

itera's picture

^ This is why companies ask brain teasers during interviews. Test scores and degrees are fine, but creative people with imagination functioning under pressure is just as crucial. If I want a mindless number crunching robot, that’s easy to find.

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

ohai's picture

That’s jumping to conclusions. I don’t figure myself to be a mindless robot, but if I was applying to school, I would definitely ask around for peoples’ opinions about admissions questions. It’s just a matter of recognizing that other people have perspectives that might be useful. As long as you ultimately write the essay yourself, I don’t see what’s wrong.

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

FrankArabia's picture

there is a diff…he is basically clueless and asking for other ppl to fill him in….why you should go to mba, what your long term goals are should be yours.

itera's picture

^ I agree with Frank, he should be saying: “my LT goal is X and can I get some opinions on how I should position myself for admissions?”

Not: what’s my LT goal?

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

FrankArabia's picture

given my lack of luck with hot classy babes, should I go for hot classy men instead?

AFloverboy's picture

My long term goal is to die a happy death.

maisatomai's picture

FrankArabia wrote:
there is a diff…he is basically clueless and asking for other ppl to fill him in….why you should go to mba, what your long term goals are should be yours.

I think I need to phase the question very wrong.

I should have phase it as “What job can a MS Finance leads to”. Sorry for all anger caused by this nerd.

ohai's picture

They do have a point though. If you don’t know what job comes after the MS, then why are you doing it? The assumption here is that the MS will lead to a better career than what you currently have. This might or might not be a valid assumption, depending on the program.

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

bchad's picture

Tell us why you like finance. We will assume that you like buckets of money. Are there any other reasons… because if there are, you haven’t mentioned any. If you just like buckets of money, become an investments products salesperson, and work on communications skills. If there are other reasons you like finance, then maybe there are other things that make sense.

You want a quote?  Haven’t I written enough already???

FrankArabia's picture

almost every single MBA i have ever met said “if you ever want to do it, know exactly what you want to get out of it, and if you can, the specific job and company if possible. other than that, don’t waste your time. mba for education sake is a waste of money”. Now, he is going to do an MS, which is pretty much the same in many respect cause we know he isn’t going for the academic route….

look at the knowledge we’re blessing this guy with. i should be exchanging this worldly insight for numbers of classy babes……

itera's picture

^ well said.

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

Sweep the Leg's picture

General Discussion has become one big, ongoing self-help seminar.

We need a new sub-forum for advice topics. People wanting to provide constructive advice could do so, and those that get perturbed by the same questions coming up over and over again wouldn’t have to see them.

TOB2020's picture

cleverku wrote:
Okay, a lot of posts in a short amount of time. Sort of scanned through most of them.

Is it just me who’s first reaction was “why would you want to do a MS Applied Finance” when you’ve already passed the 3 levels of CFA and the 2 levels of FRM. I could be wrong here, but my impression was that if you know enough to pass 3 levels of CFA, you’re way ahead of anything taught in an MS Applied Finance. Anybody out there share this opinion? If you really need to do a masters, I would do something more in depth like an MSc in Quantitative Finance or Financial Engineering. My opinion of MS Applied Finance is for people who have no finance knowledge/background (i.e. studied IT or Anthropology or whatever), might be working in a bank already, don’t want to do anything too hard like CFA, but want something “financial” on their CV, so they do MS App Finance. To be blunt and to the point, I find it’s a bit of a “soft c*ck” option, and one which I don’t think is going to be of any benefit to you (you’ll be a specialist at nothing upon completing this degree vs. the other degrees I mentioned). This is just my view but one I know is shared by at least a lot of other people.

You finished your undergrad in 2009 so you’re still very young I presume. Why don’t you apply for a job instead of collecting more bits of paper whose marginal benefits are questionable. You sound VERY employable based on your CV (I would call you for an interview based on your CV), so just apply to jobs. Most big firms have grad programs which have yearly intakes. This is where I started and where I would recommend you start.

With regards to which jobs suite your personality, can I also suggest quant type jobs as well as research. You don’t really have the usual Maths background that is typical of quants, but you seem like a pretty smart guy, so this might be an avenue to investigate. You have programming skills too, so you might also consider algorithmic/arbitrage trading areas where the emphasis is very much on combining markets knowledge with technology.

Awesome reply!

oblivision's picture

cleverku wrote:
Why don’t you just put that your short term goals are to “enrich yourself with the body of knowledge provided by the course and to meet like minded people blah blah” and that your long term goals are to enter the finance industry as a research analyst, and to bring great value to a rapidly changing industry with all that’s going in the world blah blah blah, I am particulary interested in the changing dynamics of Asia and blah blah. I don’t think anybody can realistically expect you to know exactly where you’ll be long term (i.e. when you’re 50), it’s a little naive of them if they really expect you to answer that

Great template!, I am using this for my statement of purpose for admissions.

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