Here is a student review of the UIUC Master in Finance program. Really detailed and thoughtful. I appreciate the review and I hope it helps any of you who are interested in the program.
I began my research and due diligence for Masters in Finance (MSF) programs in earnest in 2008. My reason for pursuing an MSF was simple: I wanted to change careers. I had long been interested in finance and wanted to increase my academic exposure to pursue a new career. Although there were plenty of MSF programs available in the states, the one school that caught my attention was the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).
First, it has established and successfully ran an MSF curriculum for over 50 years. I felt that a half century of experience would provide a tremendous leverage in terms of course content, specialization tracks, identifying new trends, developing core skills, preparing for the CFA exams and providing practical approaches to apply in real world situations.
Second, UIUC has one of the biggest university libraries in the United States, rivaling those at Harvard and Yale.
Third, the faculty at UIUC seemed terrific. The faculty had impressive bios and experience from all parts of the financial system, which I viewed as a major advantage.
The advantages listed above only scratch the surface of my experience here at Champaign-Urbana. The university has large career fairs and recruiting programs. The Business Career Service center provides guidance, counseling, resume critiques and mock video interviews (for MSF students, these are mandated). The school provides tons of seminars and opportunities to meet prospective employers.
For example, I was (and still am) very much interested in consulting. I was able to sign up for the ‘Consulting Forum’ where I got to meet numerous consulting companies, like a mini-career fair with only consulting companies. On campus, there were many consulting companies recruiting at UIUC and each provided seminars where I had an opportunity to network. UIUC also provided case interview workshops where I learned to prepare for consulting interviews. In short, there were plenty of opportunities to take advantage of.
For me, the university provides a great environment for academics. While some students may enjoy the hustle and bustle of a bigger city like Boston, I prefer the quiet environment that UIUC offers. Plus, our student body is quite large and there are plenty of clubs and associations that cater to most hobbies and interests. We have state of the art gymnasiums, triumphant school spirit, and great Division I sports teams.
In addition, our MSF program has been gaining some attention. Some companies (i.e. Deloitte) have started to recruit solely from the MSF program as our reputation reaches the corporate world. All in all, I would recommend the MSF program at University of Illinois to anyone who wants an environment conducive for academics, a program with experience, great academic resources, renowned faculty, super administrative staff and seeking diversity of opinions and thoughts.
Here is a link to the UIUC Master in Finance program