SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

FallQuantStudent
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

Hello,I was accepted into these two programs and I have a hard time to decide which one to choose. I use Quantnet on regular basis and I received good and honest answers from users about Cornell and Baruch.Now, I'm trying to search for more opinions over the net. To be honest, up until today I knew I was going to choose Baruch. However, I just spoke with a Cornell student and he just made me uncertain about my final decision.All right,Baruch MFEPros:- All three semester are in NYC- Very cheap- The curriculum is VERY quantitative and a lot of programming is done- Dedicated career service. The director is working very hard to place all of his students- A couple very famous practitioners teach in the program (e.g. Jim Gatheral)- A very small class size (around 30)- Very good alumni society and very good placements.Cons:- The school's brand name is weak- I didn't get my undergrad degree from a big school, so this is probably my last chance toCornell ORIE:FEPros:- A very good name on Wall Street or around the world- A beautiful campus(though not very important to me)- The program has been going through some changes( added C++ to its program, the director started being more involved)- The last semester is in NYC, however is it not too late? (for networking, for example)- I heard that it can place you in quant jobs (e.g. Quant analyst at a derivative desk) or in less quantitative jobs (e.g. Trading)Cons:- The curriculum look like it's just a combination of courses.- Away from NYC for 2 semesters- Cost, the admission letter says that the cost is around $95K. But, I live in NYC and even if I calculated this cost I reached$80K. So, I guess the total cost is going to be $75K-$80K.- No dedicated career service(?), however, many companies recruit Cornell students. Therefore, I think most of the jobs are not really quant related. However, a current student said that some people get quant jobs.- The same student said that the job you get pretty much depends on your background. I didn't come from a quantitative background, but my goal is to enter quant finance.I also got into Columbia MSOR, but I crossed out this option right away. My third option is to try again next year. I can improve my application by a little bit (a few more math courses, I can take the P-exam and perhaps a part time job in finance). I actually was very close to get into CMU so my application is good, overall. I had an interview with CMU and I felt it was very good, however, they rejected my application (don't really know why).So,1) Baruch MFE2) Cornel ORIE:FE3) Try again next year
Last edited by FallQuantStudent on April 6th, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alan
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

Go to Baruch and invest the difference in the Vanguard Balanced Index Fund -- which you won't touch for 30 years.

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Joined: May 19th, 2006, 9:50 am

### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

Here are some factors which you may want to consider:1. Do you want to work in IT or Operations? In this case, school brand name is not important.2. Do you want to work as front-office quant? In this case, school brand name and alumni network is absolutely critical.3. What university name do you want on your resume for the next forty years? For front-office roles, this s absolutely critical.4. What alumni network do you want to be a part of? You will be meeting these people fairly regularly for the next few decades.5. Cost is a major consideration if you are targetting IT / Operations positions. You should absolutely ignore cost completely if you are targetting front-office roles. Your one-year bonus will be more than the education cost.If you ever want ot work in Hongkong or Singapore, the Ivy brand generates a lot of respect over there.For me this choice would be a no-brainer, but different people have different utility curves and risk tolerances.

FallQuantStudent
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

QuoteOriginally posted by: traderjoe1976Here are some factors which you may want to consider:1. Do you want to work in IT or Operations? In this case, school brand name is not important.2. Do you want to work as front-office quant? In this case, school brand name and alumni network is absolutely critical.3. What university name do you want on your resume for the next forty years? For front-office roles, this s absolutely critical.4. What alumni network do you want to be a part of? You will be meeting these people fairly regularly for the next few decades.5. Cost is a major consideration if you are targetting IT / Operations positions. You should absolutely ignore cost completely if you are targetting front-office roles. Your one-year bonus will be more than the education cost.If you ever want ot work in Hongkong or Singapore, the Ivy brand generates a lot of respect over there.For me this choice would be a no-brainer, but different people have different utility curves and risk tolerances.I think what I am aiming at is front-office quant ( derivative pricing at a derivative desk). Baruch MFE has a growing alumni network, I think it's getting strongerAs far as where I want to work, my target is NYC only, at least for the coming years.And, cost is not what concerns me. I'm willing to pay if it's worth it.I know for sure that Cornell has a better brand name and that it will open more doors for me. However, I'm looking at the curriculum and I don't think it will prepare me for a front-office quant position, especially since I'm not coming from a technical background (I have a bachelor's in Finance and Investments). I don't think Cornell has enough quant programming. What do you think?Thanks.

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Joined: May 19th, 2006, 9:50 am

### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

I honestly don't know dude. These are both good schools. You may want to use Linkedin and try to contact their alumni and find out if they were able to get interviews for front-office positions. For front-office positions, the IBs are obsessed with school brand name. If you are confident of getting into UCB or Princeton, it may make sense to work for one year and try again next year. But then, you may not get into UCB or Princeton next year, so again this risk factor comes into play.I don't know enough about this. Contact their alumni and see what type of work they are doing.I wouldn't worry too much about course content. The IBs are more interested in where you get the degree from than in what you have learned. Unless you want IT / Operations positions. Just see where their alumni are working and what type of work they are doing. You will probably get a similar job to their alumni.

FallQuantStudent
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

QuoteOriginally posted by: traderjoe1976I honestly don't know dude. These are both good schools. You may want to use Linkedin and try to contact their alumni and find out if they were able to get interviews for front-office positions. For front-office positions, the IBs are obsessed with school brand name. If you are confident of getting into UCB or Princeton, it may make sense to work for one year and try again next year. But then, you may not get into UCB or Princeton next year, so again this risk factor comes into play.I don't know enough about this. Contact their alumni and see what type of work they are doing.I wouldn't worry too much about course content. The IBs are more interested in where you get the degree from than in what you have learned. Unless you want IT / Operations positions. Just see where their alumni are working and what type of work they are doing. You will probably get a similar job to their alumni.You are right, I'll use Linkedin. And, I know that Wall Street companies are pretty snobby...I don't think I will get into Princeton, but I think I can get into UCB (they are pretty inclusive), however, I don't like the curriculum at all...plus the total cost is above 100K... I think its too much for a MFE degree.I was very close for CMU, though. Had an interview and even though the interview was very successful, I got denied. I can try next year but I don't know if the difference between Baruch/Cornell and CMU is critical in order for me to wait another year.Thanks for your help. Would be happy to hear more points from you or other users. Meanwhile, I'm going to try Linkedin.Thanks.

bearish
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

The alleged Wall Street snobbiness is largely constrained to investment banking. In sales/trading/research, and especially the quant side of things, people are much more focused on what you know rather than who you know. A friend of mine is a very senior guy on the research side at GS, and he once explained to me how they had recurring difficulties with organizing campus interviews at Ivy League schools, since almost none of the partners had gone to school there. Baruch is arguably punching way above their weight in the MFE space, but they absolutely have the attention of hiring managers and, at least for the time being, represent an amazing value proposition. As long as you are ready to sell yourself on the merits of what you know, I don't think you will go too wrong picking them.

FallQuantStudent
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

QuoteOriginally posted by: bearish As long as you are ready to sell yourself on the merits of what you know, I don't think you will go too wrong picking them.Hello,Thank you for the post.Today I approached someone with the same idea and he was like "it's not only about what you know but about what you can learn"... so again, he made me doubt my decision to choose Baruch. I spoke with a good number of Cornell ORIE:FE students/alumni and all of them said the same thing, the program is too theoretical and it doesn't prepare you best for a quant job. Plus, the vast majority of their students get trading and front office jobs. I really don't know what to choose

ArthurDent
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

QuoteOriginally posted by: AlanGo to Baruch and invest the difference in the Vanguard Balanced Index Fund -- which you won't touch for 30 years.+1.nyu/ucb would be better than baruch/cornell, but is there any reason to think you'll get in next year when you did not get in this year?what are you doing now? what will you do for the next year if you do not go to baruch / cornell?can you get baruch / cornell to defer your admission for a year if you decide to roll the nyu/ucb dice?

FallQuantStudent
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

QuoteOriginally posted by: ArthurDentQuoteOriginally posted by: AlanGo to Baruch and invest the difference in the Vanguard Balanced Index Fund -- which you won't touch for 30 years.+1.nyu/ucb would be better than baruch/cornell, but is there any reason to think you'll get in next year when you did not get in this year?what are you doing now? what will you do for the next year if you do not go to baruch / cornell?can you get baruch / cornell to defer your admission for a year if you decide to roll the nyu/ucb dice?I missed the deadline for NYU... never tried UCB. I think UCB is too expensive (above 100K with living expenses...?) and its not in NY. I was very close to get into CMU (had a very successful interview), so I know that my profile is not garbage.I think I can defer Baruch but don't really know if I want to wait another year. Right now, I'm still working as a math tutor at my college and am looking for an internship in the financial services. If I decide to defer the admission for Baruch, I can take 1 more math course, 1 more programming course and probably an internship or 2 in finance.
Last edited by FallQuantStudent on April 9th, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ArthurDent
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

it is simple then - do the internships, and classes, defer baruch and try for ucb.90k is rounding error over a 40 year career in finance. the brand differential between berkeley and baruch is night and day, esp if you don't have other brands on your resume.

FallQuantStudent
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

QuoteOriginally posted by: ArthurDentit is simple then - do the internships, and classes, defer baruch and try for ucb.90k is rounding error over a 40 year career in finance. the brand differential between berkeley and baruch is night and day, esp if you don't have other brands on your resume.I realized it would be unethical to defer Baruch and to apply to other schools next year, so I'm not going to do it...I could reject Baruch and Cornell and try UCB, they are pretty inclusive (last year accepted around 111/333) and they are accepting applications until September for their Spring semester. But, I'm not sure if leaving NY is a smart choice. And, you are right, I don't have a brand name on my resume, so that's why I'm still considering my options...I'm actually leaning toward rejecting both options and reapplying with a better application next year...
Last edited by FallQuantStudent on April 9th, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AbhiJ
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

I would like to bring one point to your notice. Berkeley MFE is not for freshers. Quoted from site:"Is work experience required?No, but work experience is recommended. It is also a key component to finding a full time job after graduation from the MFE. Our 2010-2011 class has an average of over 3 years of work experience." http://mfe.berkeley.edu/admissions/faq.htmlBeware of random advice of armchair analysts.

FallQuantStudent
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

QuoteOriginally posted by: AbhiJI would like to bring one point to your notice. Berkeley MFE is not for freshers. Quoted from site:"Is work experience required?No, but work experience is recommended. It is also a key component to finding a full time job after graduation from the MFE. Our 2010-2011 class has an average of over 3 years of work experience." http://mfe.berkeley.edu/admissions/faq.htmlBeware of random advice of armchair analysts.I've noticed this information... but I don't think it tells much. CMU's average years of experience is 2.6, however, I know a few people who are 21-22 years old and are entering the program straight out of college.The 3.3 years for UCB can be misleading, a person with 10 years of experience can enter the program, and at the same time, 2 straight out of college can enter the program. I think every program says that experience is recommended.

AndyNguyen
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### MFE: Cornell ORIE: FE VS Baruch MFE

Last edited by AndyNguyen on April 9th, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.