I posted a little while ago about the updates going on at the Georgia State University MSF program and I promised a follow-up student review as well. Well, the admissions staff at the university was helpful as always and really worked hard to put me in contact with a recent alumnus who wrote a pretty comprehensive review of the program. I always find these reviews to be informative and I hope it helps any of you considering this program in your decision.
Why an MSF in general? Why the Georgia State University MSF specifically?
There are essentially two main reasons to this:
First, I am very passionate about investment and entrepreneurship, and this started when I was young. I heard about people that made fortune starting from nothing. What really fascinated me is their risk-taking personality in the hopes of generating profits. I knew finance was the major key, the important beam in business, and I wanted to understand the entire process of managing money, from raising the fund to making profit. Thus, I needed to learn financial management. Second, after my bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics obtained in France, I went to business school where I learned business and financial management. I graduated two years ago, and I worked almost a year after that as business analyst. This was a pleasant experience, but I felt that I needed to expand my knowledge and skills to other area in Finance other than accounting and statements analysis, and that I wanted to embark on new challenges related to my career plan. I wanted to go back to school for a “Master of Science in Finance” that is focused only in finance and investment strategies, something that mix perfectly theoretical and technical aspect of Finance, and Finance only, and that will help me develop the necessary skills to break into investment world.
I chose the Georgia State University MSF first, for the respected name, especially here in the South where I have family. GSU MSF is ranked among the top MSF program in the US. Also, I wanted a short program (16 months), with flexible time. I chose the program because it was already organized in specialization related to the path I wanted, thus as a new comer into the US educational system I could prevent the risk of selecting classes that are not related to my path. Moreover, I picked the program because of its career service and the different executive mentoring session that it promoted.
Who would you recommend an MSF to?
I would recommend an MSF to anybody who is passionate and interested in the field. Someone who is ready to dedicate a considerable amount of his time (some students are full time working professionals) in studying (a lot of readings!). This program is a better fit for someone who has already a basic knowledge in economics, accounting or finance, who wants to get technical skills and is willing to change his career or get into prestigious jobs in the finance industry, hence need a short and deep dive into the theory and techniques of modern finance. Having computer proficiency, especially MS Excel might help saving time, but it is not a requirement.
If you are from a completely different field, and this will be the first time you will hear about economics, accounting, and finance, no worries, you still have a chance in this program. But only if you really want to succeed and you work twice hard because the program is fast.
If you only want a basic education in Finance and how it is applied in a business, I would recommend a MBA in Finance.
Pros/Cons (if any)?
Except the fact that these programs are costly, difficult, and time consuming in general, it is worth experiencing them: Cover all concepts of modern Finance taught by the best faculties; get necessary skills to understand the financial world in general, be qualified for all job requirements in Finance, or become a specialist in the area you prefer; networking opportunities with financial sector professionals. MSF trains future elite of professionals in Finance. Note that it is not everybody who gets a Master of Science in Finance or greater, if you do, you would be recognized as a specialist.
Anything else you’d like to talk about. You can discuss Atlanta, recruiting, alumni help, etc. Whatever you think would be helpful to students trying to decide whether or not to attend.
GSU has a notable alumni network in Georgia. The university is present everywhere in the city. Atlanta is a pleasant city to live in and it is affordable. An MSF at GSU will give you access to great job opportunities in the region. Take the experience seriously, and don’t forget networking! this is important, and GSU has dedicated services such as career centers and coaching to help you with professional insertion.
Here is a link to the Georgia State University MSF Program