This is the first post of the new year for the Georgia State University MSF program and after a wonderful discussion with the program director, I thought it would be a great time to update all of you on this program. I have some general information from a few articles to post as well as and application deadline update for any of you considering applying to the program this year. Will work to post more frequently this year so make sure to keep checking back.
Alum in the Spotlight
- Date – September 2020
- Interviewer: Drake Davis, MS Finance, 2021
- Interviewee: Crystal Banks, MS Finance, 2015
- Job Role – Performance Measurement and Reporting Manager at Truist
You currently work at Truist (formerly SunTrust). Tell us more about your background?
I started my career in the engineering field by working for Motorola and Hitachi. Although these fields were not in finance, they taught me the value of problem-solving and how to develop a workable framework in the absence of a perfect framework.
Why did you choose to pursue the MS Finance degree and why Robinson?
I chose to pursue my MS Finance degree because I desired to advance my career further. I knew that obtaining a master’s in finance would propel me into additional roles within the finance industry. I chose Robinson because I was encouraged by the emphasis on networking and strategies on how to be successful at networking.
What experiences or classes stick out in your mind five years after graduating?
One of the classes that stuck out mind was the “Leading the Finance Function” FI8070. The course addresses the leadership, design, and organization of the finance function in a modern corporation. We also had several guest speakers from various industries including, banking, manufacturing, utility, and government. One of the speakers had experience with the Federal Reserve Bank and spoke about the Dodd Frank Act, as well as the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review. During this time, I was afforded the opportunity to work in the capital planning management in corporate Treasury. This is truly an example of when classroom connections meet with real world experience.
In recent years, the MS Finance program has added courses in financial data analytics, FinTech, and blockchain. How do you see these trends influencing your professional activities going forward? How can students harness skills related to these areas to be better finance professionals?
I cannot speak on blockchain, but I believe that financial data analytics provides deeper insights into business performance. Self-service business intelligence tools such as Tableau and MicroStrategy enables stakeholders to harness information to make data driven decisions. Being able to use financial data analytics to forecast financial scenarios enables management to develop strategies to drive profitability and create value. Relative to financial data analytics, developing your skills in querying data using query languages such as SQL, SAS, and Python will give you a considerable advantage over those who cannot source their own data. Developing your skills in data visualization using BI Tools such as MicroStrategy or Tableau would be an excellent asset for your career.
What advice can you offer a student just entering the program on how to get the most out of the experience? Best prepare for a subsequent career?
Do not underestimate the value of networking and building trust. High Performers are great to have in your organization, but if you cannot trust them, then there is no value. Always push yourself to learn more than what is required and take that extra effort to be the leader.
Here are the remaining deadline, but please keep in mind that applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and because of COVID-19 things can change. I would reach out to admissions in the event that you might miss one of these deadlines. I would imagine a compromise can be reached.
- Priority Scholarship Deadline III: February 1
- International Student Deadline: April 1
- Final Deadline: August 1
Graduate Certificate in Fintech Innovation
This is a 4 class, two semester certificate program where you can apply the classes to both an MBA and MSF. You can earn this fully online as well, allowing you to keep working or study anywhere you have an internet connection.
You have (3) required classes: The Fintech Ecosystem, Innovation Studio 1: Innovation & Design Thinking, and Blockchain and Business Disruption. You can then choose one of four electives – Innovation Studio 2: Launch and Scale, InsureTech: New Technologies in Insurance Markets, AI and Machine Learning Applications in Finance, and Financial Data Analytics.
Tuition is $4,058 per semester for Georgia residents and $8,912 per semester for Non-Georgia residents, plus a nonrefundable seat deposit of $250. This is subject to change.
More to come on the GSU program. I have a couple other student spotlights to post and working on some additional content. I really like the certificate program they offer with the ability to apply the credits to a degree later on down the road. Wonderful optionality.
Here is a link to the Georgia State University MSF Program