Brandeis University Master in Finance Program Student Review

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The Brandeis University Master in Finance Program is another great option in Boston for students looking at a graduate degree program. I’ve been lucky enough to receive a student review from a recently graduated individual. Hope it helps!

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1. Why a Masters in Finance? Why Brandeis?
I started plateauing in my previous professional path, and thought that getting a graduate degree would help me jump-start my career, and also give me a shot to switch into something investment research related. Brandeis University in particular was attractive to me due to its international flavor (80% of students are international), and broad course selection.
2. Pros/Cons
Pros:
  • Strong networking opportunities due to Boston location
  • Excellent instructors with a nice mix of theory-oriented PhDs and successful industry professionals. Lots of former senior executives and partners.
  • Flexible program structure (program can be completed in 9 months, 12 months, or 15 months).
  • Very broad course selection and many specializations. Asset Management, Risk, and Real Estate specializations are popular.
  • Global student body. I am not sure what the specific MSF stats are, but across the whole business school, there are about 500 students from ~80 different countries.
  • Placement gets better every year. Definitely a rising program.
  • Strong professional clubs: The investment club makes it to the local CFA stock pitch final round every year, and won it last year
Cons:
  • OCR is mostly limited to the local investment managers and banks … you really have to network.
  • Strong local brand name, but not well known outside of the North East.
  • The work load can be insane at times. Maybe more a word of warning than a con, but don’t expect to sleep very much if you plan to have a social life.
  • Flip-side of international student body means that native English speakers find themselves doing a lot of proof-reading on group projects.
3. Who would you recommend an MSF for?
Somebody who knows what they want, and is trying to learn the tools to get there. A 1 year program means you start recruiting the second you get on campus, so you really need to be prepared. For those still trying  to figure out what they want,  a 1 year program is too short, and an MBA (or for example the Brandeis 2 Year Masters in Finance and Economics) would be a better option.
4. Recruiting/Placements
  • Geographically it is mostly in Boston & NYC.
  • State Street is the #1 employer of grads
  • Some placements at Investment Research and Asset Management shops around the area
  • Big 4 Valuations and Bulge Bracket Risk Management are very popular
  • Very strong Commercial Real Estate placements
  • F500 CorpFin
  • Not much Bulge Bracket front office (2 per year on average I’d guess)…but a steady stream of JPM/GS MO roles every year
  • Little to no PE

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