Vanderbilt University MSF Program

The Vanderbilt University MSF program continues to produce talented individuals and I was lucky enough to get another one of these great students to review the program for my site and all of you to read. It is a pretty in depth review and the 4th for the site so I hope it helps all of you in your decision making process.

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Why a Master’s in Finance? Why Vanderbilt?

While completing my undergraduate economics degree, I obtained great finance related internships. And, although I received job offers at a variety of great firms in roles ranging from options trading to credit analysis to private wealth, I wasn’t sure where to start my career. I began to look into graduate school. The MSF seemed like a great opportunity for me to gain technical skills, have greater access to investment banking recruitment, and most importantly, figure out what finance career I wanted to launch.

I began to research the top Master in Finance programs. I narrowed the initially long list down to about five schools that I’d be interested in attending. I reached out to students and spoke with administrators at the various programs. I also took the time to make an official campus visit to Vanderbilt University. The conversations I had with the current students and the Career Management Center were enough for me to decide that Vanderbilt was where I wanted to go.

Pros/Cons of the degree/Vanderbilt program?

Pros:

Vanderbilt awarded me the opportunity to momentarily step away from recruitment and understand where I should direct my career. I spent hours speaking with the career center, alumni, and current MBA students to figure out what each career path had to offer. In undergrad, recruitment felt like such a passive search. I simply hoped that I landed in the right finance role that would award me future opportunity. Vanderbilt equipped me to transition from a passive search to an active pursuit. Due to the Vanderbilt MSF, I became a very competitive applicant during recruitment because it was clear to firms that I had the technical ability, the work ethic, and the genuine interest necessary to function in the role at the highest level.

Cons:

Beginning the Vanderbilt University MSF was an overwhelming transition. I had just moved to Nashville. I was surrounded by 40 new people. I was just beginning to network. I was trying to figure out what exact job I wanted. I was taking difficult classes. The initial transition was a lot to take in, but I suppose it is simply the nature of a one year advanced degree program. I will say, Vanderbilt administration recognized this difficultly and has taken steps to make the transition smoother. This year, three current students were offered positions within the career center to simply reach out to incoming students to help guide them along in their future transition. I think it’s a great idea that will help incoming students secure top summer internships before hitting campus, figure out what finance role to target, and ultimately find their place within the Owen community.

Who would you recommend an MSF for?

I would recommend the degree for anyone who feels as though, for whatever reason, they haven’t secured their ideal job. I graduated with great job offers, but the roles just didn’t feel right. The degree is perfect for someone looking to make themselves more competitive in the job search and find where they would truly excel.

Anything else?

I had a great experience at Vanderbilt. The degree and the school provided everything I was looking for. I remember sitting in my career coach’s office after I figured out what I wanted to pursue. I was organizing my priorities between job role, type of firm, and geography. For me, the most important piece was landing a job in investment banking. Looking back, I not only landed the IB job, I went to my ideal coverage group in one of my ideal firms in my ideal city, San Francisco. While this is not always the case, my success was a result of listening to the guidance of my career coach. I am very pleased with my Vanderbilt experience, and I truly look forward to helping future Vanderbilt MSF students throughout the entirety of my career.

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You can also check out previous student reviews at the following links:

Vanderbilt University MSF Student Review #3

Vanderbilt University MSF Student Review #2

Vanderbilt University MSF Student Review #1

Here is a link to the Vanderbilt University MSF Program