Forum: School selection (6 Comments)

M.Sc in Finance

  • Posted by - Nidhi Vig - on 14 August 2012 - 11:41am


    I am a graduate who completed their B.Com with Computer Applications affliated to the Mahamtma Gandhi University last month. Currently I am training with the accounts department of the leading pharmacy in Bahrain and also pursuing ACCA degree and have successfully completed 6 out of 14 papers so far. However now I am keen on starting my masters. I earlier wanted to do MBA in Finance but due to their long work experience requirement I have now shifted my attention to M.Sc. I look forward to do something in Finance and preferably in U.S.A.

    It would be great if you could advice me better on my degree selcetion.

    Thank you very much.

    Nidhi Vig

    • Posted by - drgauravmishra - on 14 February 2013 - 9:27am

      Hi Sir,
      I am intern in dental college in India. I want to pursue my career in finance and would like to have your opinion on school and program selection. I have found that besides the schools mentioned in FT Ranking, there are many schools in US who admit candidates without experience. But I have queries regarding the placement opportunities there especially in European schools.
      My academic profile is:
      ICSE : 83.4%, year 1998
      ISC : 79% , year 2000
      BDS(bachelor of dental surgery) : Subharti Dental College. Aggregate: 65%
      CFA Level I: to appear in Dec 2013
      C, C++ : NIIT, India. Grade: Outstanding
      VB.Net : NIIT, India. Grade: Outstanding
      Advanced Excel: NIIT, India. Grade: Outstanding.

      My few ECA:
      Volunteer at Pratham India: A child welfare NGO.
      Member of Editorial Committee,College Annual Magazine "Sanskriti".
      Member of Cultural Committee, College Annual Cultural Fest.
      Batch Representative of BDS 2005 batch from 2005 to 2011.
      Represented School at ICSQCC '99 Lucknow.
      Won several prizes at various level in painting, quiz and science exhibitions.
      Presently writing a book to be published by Penguin India.
      Actively participated in charity fund raising events in School.
      Member of Soka Gakkai International: Buddhism
      Taught slum dwellers children on weekends for last seven years during college.

      Currently pursuing:
      Online Course in Calculus, Linear Algebra and Statistics from Coursera.

      Kindly guide me on school selection and further enhancement of mine candidature.


      • Posted by - Thomas Graf - on 14 February 2013 - 11:54pm

        Hi there,

        thank you for your question. I think you have a great profile. Now your next step is to focus on a geographic region that you want to study and maybe work later on. Think about one or two countries and investigate a bit which schools offer finance masters and have a good reputation.

        Once you have a shortlist of 5 to 10 schools, theer are some follow up steps such as having a closer look at each program's curriculum, structure, student portfolio and career services.

        Best wishes

        • Posted by - drgauravmishra - on 15 February 2013 - 9:47am

          Respected Sir,
          Thanks for your opinion. I have gone through various schools in europe and united states and shortlisted on following schools.
          Princeton University: MFin
          University of Oxford : Master in Financial Economics
          London Business School: MFin
          HEC Paris : MFin
          LSE :MFin
          I have few questions

          1. I belong to lower middle class family and had been bearing my academic expenses after my school, so I cannot afford the fee at all i.e. I need 100% scholarship to pursue my MS Finance. Kindly guide me in this regard.
          2. I belong to non financial background had didn't had mathematics as a subject after high school. Keeping this in my mind ,I had decided to appear for CFA to compensate for my lack of financial know how and did short term certificate graded courses in programming keeping in mind the need for such in finance studies. Moreover I am enrolled in various online certificate courses covering calculus, linear algebra, statistics and economics. Would all this count in my application?
          3. I have to come know that placements are weak in europe following reccession. Moreover, they favour locals as compared to international students. And since I have a peculiar background(Dental Surgeon), would this dwindle my chances of getting a good placement?

          With best regards.
          Dr. Gaurav Mishra

          • Posted by - Thomas Graf - on 15 February 2013 - 12:24pm

            Dear Gaurav,

            thank you for your question. Well, your selection includes some of the top schools worldwide. Top schools means "most difficult to get in", "many applications (=competitors for you)" from very "high caliber" students who all want the same study place. I think it's great that you try to get into these schools - but in case that it doesn't work, I recommend you to have a plan B and also consider some schools that are not necessarily Ivey league schools.

            As for the scholarships, your best chance may be the school itself. Every top school offer financial aid to high calibre students who do not have the financial resources for studying. So, check the schools' Financial Aid websites and have a look at the scholarships and eligibility requirements.

            CFA and certificates - Would all this count in the application? It definitely will. However, I am not sure if it allows you to apply for a program that requires a first degree in business. As you know, some programs do require such a first degree and some are open for graduates from any discipline. You can use the Filter "Entry requirements" in our search engine to search for one or the other. Now, the certificates will definitely bring you an advantage if you apply for masters in finance that are open to graduates from all disciplines. But I am not sure to what extent they are sufficient when it comes to programs that expect pre-experience. For some programs it may work, for some not. You may need to find that out individually.

            As for your last question, I don't think that your background plays a role as long as you apply for Masters in Finance that are open to graduates form all backgrounds and as long as you have a first academic degree.

            By the way, I recommend to have a more detailed view on Europe. There are more than 45 countries here and the chances to get placed or not are not equally distributed. If you are at the right school in the right program it can be that you find a great job even though this country's economy faces problems. I recommend that you have a closer look at some schools and their placement reports.

            Finally, I recommend you to do the GMAT and get a score of 600 minimum - and to qualify for scholarships even 650 or more. Depending on the school, this would increase the likelihood that you actually receive financial aid.

            Best wishes

    • Posted by - Thomas Graf - on 14 August 2012 - 1:27pm

      Hi Nidhi,

      thank you for your question. I understand your plan and think that you are on the right track.

      Personally, I think that not only the required work experience speaks against an MBA in Finance but also the content. I am always sceptical when I hear "MBA in Finance". Why? Because the MBA per definitiom is a general management education. A general management education "in finance" does not make sense for me and most ofte means that the schedule is split. You may get some overview on general management issues and some overview on financial issues. But you will never become the in-depth knowledge from such a program as from a MSc in Finance.

      Bottom-line: If you want to deepen your knowledge in Finance you should go for a Master in Finance - and that's exactly what you are doing now.

      As for the programs in the US I recommend you a three step approach.

      1. I would check out the US rankings for finance masters. As a starting point you may have a look on our article on Master in Finance rankings. By finding rankings for masters in finance and finance schools you get a first overview of which schools play a role in the US. And you can make a selection of those that interest you the most.

      2. Once you have a smaller selection of schools or programs, I would check out which companies recruit on these campuses and where the graduates end up working. You can find this partially through the schools' website and partially by contacting the schools (career service and admission office). Based on this information you can again make a smaller selection of programs - those that are most interesting for you.

      3. I would contact some firms that you would like to work later on and ask them if they have preferred schools - or ask them about their opinion on certain programs of your interest. Start your approach by introducing yourself, saying that you are interested in their company and that you would like to do a MIF before you apply for this company; and that you have some schools in your mind and that you would be very interested in whether they have any experience with these programs or not. Be sure to be very polite.

      If you follow these steps you will gain more information that are RELEVANT for your future career. WIth this information you will eventually gain certainty about where you want to study.

      Best wishes