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sathish
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Joined: September 25th, 2009, 1:12 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

June 1st, 2010, 4:54 pm

Hi,I've received an offer from Birkbeck Uni into their MFE program. Will be doing the part-time course over the next 2yrs.Is anyone here planning to start this Oct?
 
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meniscus
Posts: 48
Joined: August 10th, 2010, 4:34 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

August 10th, 2010, 11:17 pm

Overall good course - main selling point of BBK is their commodities division - one of the world's top.BBk doesn't really have a mathematics department as such (just two proper maths lecturers) and one of them is pretty dismal.If your interests lie in econometrics and you're in London, you have to go then to the LSE.
 
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phil451
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Joined: December 7th, 2007, 8:21 am

Birkbeck MFE?

August 11th, 2010, 7:51 am

I did this course. On the whole i thought it was very good with some excellent lecturers and phD students running tutorials. However, they do get the occasional stinker. The course is almost entirely theoretical with the only practical element being the dissertation at the end of the course. You get a dissertation supervisor but the amout of input you get is extremely variable. I was lucky and got a very good supervisor with whom i had regular meetings and good e-mail feedback. Others had less luck.My biggest complaint was with the general administration. Lectures and tutorials were cancelled and re-scheduled with a cavalier disrepect to part-time students who are trying to balance work and family committments. On the whole the modules cover a lot of a material and i felt that i learnt a lot of interesting stuff but that was not entirely relevant to the real world having already spent a number of years trading when i was a younger man.If your background is Mathematics/physics i would 'bone up' on Econometrics before you start as it is a tough module.PM is you wish.
 
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tinoob
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Joined: October 19th, 2010, 4:09 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

October 20th, 2010, 12:45 pm

Hi Satish I am also looking forward to enroll to the course next year. Just want to ask about your background ( in regards to the Application criteria / successful applicant's background ) and also how is the course ? I would really appreciate if you can shed some light thankstinoo
Last edited by tinoob on October 19th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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tinoob
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Birkbeck MFE?

October 21st, 2010, 9:46 am

Thanks Andy, that is very helpful
 
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meniscus
Posts: 48
Joined: August 10th, 2010, 4:34 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

October 22nd, 2010, 8:22 pm

Quotehere is a student review of the Birkbeck MFE program here you may find helpfulIf you read what that link gives it says something as to the 'fit' of the candidates they let in.To quote from the relevant review he was an"Economics undergraduate with accountancy and administration working experience." Most of these MFE type of programs usually clearly stipulate that such candidates are not considered for entry as the numerical demands are too high,however BBk let him in despite his background.Granted the period 10/2008-10/2009 when he was enrolled there was an abnormal year for the markets including the job scene but one would have thought there would have been a surplus of relevant 'over qualified/over experienced' people wishing to kill time productively whilst out of full time employment but clearly this wasn't the case at BBk then.The standards at BBk are second to none (I can attest to that personally since I know of others on similar programs elsewhere) so maybe that year when he got in was an odd one or that they just wanted more fees.In any case if I were to consider an MFE program the above would perhaps put me off going there.It should be noted that if you're wishing to get employment in financial houses after completion of you're degree at BBk and you don't have the usual relevant skills (e.g.IT development in front office ,etc.) beforehand then I can confidently say you're not really going to get a job in the aforesaid places. If you're looking to career change at the end of the course then also think again since you're competing against others who have Phd's for the same jobs (i.e. quant development) since that is currently the state of the job seeker's market. The best you can do on coming out from BBk is to get a good HH work for you and if you get lucky you might land one of those high paying quantish jobs and that goes too for those who have the general relevant work experience in the first place.
 
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sathish
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Joined: September 25th, 2009, 1:12 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

November 23rd, 2010, 5:22 pm

Meniscus, I disagree with your first point. I have seen candidates from Imperial MFE who are utterly useless. How did they get in to Imperial then?"Much learning does not teach understanding." -HeraclitusTrue the market is saturated. But, it all depends on one's own hardwork.Wait till I post my review on Quantnet in 2 years time.
 
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awm55
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Joined: January 14th, 2010, 4:49 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

November 23rd, 2010, 10:33 pm

i do the MSc Finance and Commods and take some of the MFE courses. the vast majority of those enrolled come from IT backgrounds and are looking to switch over to more front-office type work, however, most people know next to nothing about the industry or the nature of the work and would most likely bomb in interviews. this is not their fault, but the course focuses so much on intense mathematics and theory that people lose sight of what they are actually doing. many people on the course just state they want to be traders or quants without a hair of knowledge about what traders actually do or what asset class they want to work with. in addition, and i know this has already been stated, but if you don't have a PhD or relevant work experience you will have a hard time getting a job after the degree.
 
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tinoob
Posts: 83
Joined: October 19th, 2010, 4:09 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

November 24th, 2010, 9:52 am

Hi Sathish I completely agree with you and i am also looking forward to start with MFE in Birkbeck next year. Sathish i will be in tomorrow at the Birkbeck for the open evening. Is it possible to take 10 minutes of your time, if you are at the Uni ?Or is there any way i can meet you in person for 5 - 10 minutes anyday, anytime. I just want to get an idea of what exactly is in the course from the person who is doing it. Thanks
 
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Caesaria
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Joined: November 25th, 2010, 2:54 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

November 25th, 2010, 9:39 pm

Wow, a masters in commodities trading. I never knew you could learn that in school! So what did your profs tell you is the "fundamental" reason for backwardation of the commodity futures curve?
 
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awm55
Posts: 51
Joined: January 14th, 2010, 4:49 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

November 25th, 2010, 9:54 pm

are you trying to be condescending? Helyette Geman is a lecturer for the commodities course and she is internationally renown. And it is not a course on trading, it is a course on commodities markets and pricing.
 
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Caesaria
Posts: 190
Joined: November 25th, 2010, 2:54 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

November 25th, 2010, 10:05 pm

oh yeah. She's a good academic in the field for sure, I didn't know she taught there! interesting.
 
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meniscus
Posts: 48
Joined: August 10th, 2010, 4:34 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

December 6th, 2010, 3:49 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: sathishMeniscus, I disagree with your first point. I have seen candidates from Imperial MFE who are utterly useless. How did they get in to Imperial then?I take it that these candidates were those who completed the MFE at Imperial and not those just starting that course? You have to remember that the likes of Imperial and others are fundamentally academic research centres so it's not viable for all courses there to be a true reflection of what's going on on the trade floor even as I write this blurb.Consequently many who graduated from this course will not have the real world knowledge and to certain interviewers they may appear as useless.Also remember the fees at Imperial are very high and so from time to time they may experience shortfalls in applications from "preferred" candidates so they loosen the entry requirements to make up the numbers.
 
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awm55
Posts: 51
Joined: January 14th, 2010, 4:49 pm

Birkbeck MFE?

December 7th, 2010, 1:44 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: meniscusQuoteOriginally posted by: sathishMeniscus, I disagree with your first point. I have seen candidates from Imperial MFE who are utterly useless. How did they get in to Imperial then?I take it that these candidates were those who completed the MFE at Imperial and not those just starting that course? You have to remember that the likes of Imperial and others are fundamentally academic research centres so it's not viable for all courses there to be a true reflection of what's going on on the trade floor even as I write this blurb.Consequently many who graduated from this course will not have the real world knowledge and to certain interviewers they may appear as useless.Also remember the fees at Imperial are very high and so from time to time they may experience shortfalls in applications from "preferred" candidates so they loosen the entry requirements to make up the numbers.Most people on these courses know nothing about the industry. They will know the technical and or theoretical aspects of many areas of finance but don't know how to apply any of it. These courses are used to get another shot at the application process, the knowledge you will learn won't be all that useful unless you plan to seriously get involved with modeling or other quant type work. From the perspective of a salesperson, trader, or structurer, I would not recommend it.
 
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Hansi
Posts: 3300
Joined: January 25th, 2010, 11:47 am

Birkbeck MFE?

December 7th, 2010, 2:28 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: awm55QuoteOriginally posted by: meniscusQuoteOriginally posted by: sathishMeniscus, I disagree with your first point. I have seen candidates from Imperial MFE who are utterly useless. How did they get in to Imperial then?I take it that these candidates were those who completed the MFE at Imperial and not those just starting that course? You have to remember that the likes of Imperial and others are fundamentally academic research centres so it's not viable for all courses there to be a true reflection of what's going on on the trade floor even as I write this blurb.Consequently many who graduated from this course will not have the real world knowledge and to certain interviewers they may appear as useless.Also remember the fees at Imperial are very high and so from time to time they may experience shortfalls in applications from "preferred" candidates so they loosen the entry requirements to make up the numbers.Most people on these courses know nothing about the industry. They will know the technical and or theoretical aspects of many areas of finance but don't know how to apply any of it. These courses are used to get another shot at the application process, the knowledge you will learn won't be all that useful unless you plan to seriously get involved with modeling or other quant type work. From the perspective of a salesperson, trader, or structurer, I would not recommend it.I agree, I did my MFE at Imperial and it's highly technical and not even remotely practical and it just seemed like the people in charge preferred it that way or at least they didn't do anything to change it while I was in the program, despite numerous complaints from students. Another factor worth pointing out is that the 2007 intake was 50 students but the 2008 100 so they were definitely taking on more people with less relevant experience. Most people came directly from BSc and had little or no relevant industry experience (myself included)Would be interesting to hear from recent grads of the program if they are skulking about on here since apparently it's been restructured completely since I did it.
Last edited by Hansi on December 6th, 2010, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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