The Ohio State University Master in Finance program is approaching graduation and the conclusion of their inaugural first year. I’ve been lucky enough to get a review of the program from a graduating student, hopefully helping anyone who is contemplating going to OSU for year two of the program.

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1) Why a Masters in Finance in general and why and OSU MSF specifically?

I decided to pursue an MSF because I knew I wanted to do finance, and nothing else. When you are committed to working in a specific sector, I believe that a generalist degree is not a good option. Also, in more technical positions like investment management and trading, an MBA is not that important-these guys tend to go into banking or anything related to corporate finance (yes, IB requires corporate finance coursework).

I chose Ohio State because I liked the curriculum, which is pretty flexible. I also liked the “Team Project” class, which is actually working on a project for a company-something like a part-time internship. Also, although this is the first year for our Master, Ohio State is one of the best universities that offer an MSF degree. Last but not least, I am an international student who wants to work in the United States-getting a degree from the country (or the specific region) you would like to work in is extremely important.

2) Who would you recommend the Ohio State University Master in Finance program to?

For everybody who would like to work in the areas of research, corporate finance, investment banking and investment management. It is a traditional finance degree which will provide you with many useful tools, but it is not a quantitative one. Also, it would help a lot everybody who would like to work in the Midwest. As you have mentioned numerous times, unless somebody attends an Ivy League school, the target market is regional.

3) Pros and Cons (if any) with the program

Pros:

1. As a replacement for summer internships (at one year programs there is no such opportunity), the university cooperates with numerous companies that provide us with projects. Therefore, every student has an opportunity to work with professionals, enhance his resume and network. Like internships, these opportunities can lead to offers as well-the team of a well respected bank for which students are working for came recently on campus for interviews.

2. Flexible curriculum. Half the credits are from electives, plus there is the opportunity to take courses from the MBA program (for those who believe corporate development is the way to go, this is a great option).

3. Whether it is an excellent classroom experience or an extensive professional network, every professor has something to offer (of course you have to ask first..).

Cons:

1. Location. Unfortunately Ohio is not the hottest spot for finance.

4) Anything else you would like to add. You can talk about the Campus, local area, friends you made, recruiting, whatever you want.

This is the first year of the program, so everybody is trying to “fine tune” things. The curriculum next year will be a little bit different, and already action has been taken to correct or improve some features of the program. While I am overall satisfied with the program, I believe that next years’ students will have a much better experience, plus a few dozen of alumni willing to help them.

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Here is a link to the Ohio State University Master in Finance program