Vanderbilt University MSF Program – Women in Finance

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The Vanderbilt University MSF program is one of the top specialized masters in the US and they have done an amazing job increasing diversity within their program. This is something that needs to happen as the financial industry (among others) remains less diverse than it could be. This post is going to feature two recent female Vanderbilt graduates who have found success from the program and hopefully this can inspire others to follow in their path.

How I Got the Job: Black Arch Partners, Investment Banking Analyst

Before deciding on the MS Finance program, Chen completed several internships with companies, including Bain & Company in Shanghai; Founder Legacy Partners in Los Angeles and MD Global Partners in New York City. Chen says all of these opportunities helped her realize her passion for investment banking.

“I’ve done consulting, private equity, and investment banking, and throughout the experience in private equity, I was introduced to investment banking,” she said. “I saw firsthand how the deals were done and how bankers could not only help with merging acquiring companies but leveraging that to scale the company quickly. My internship at MD Global partners really solidified my interest.”

Chen completed her Pre-3 course requirements over the summer of 2022 and then entered the MS Finance program in August. Shortly after the program began, Chen hit the ground running, meeting with the Career Management Center for resume review with Brook Meissner and Ginny Ling.

“Brook and Ginny were very helpful. Brook walked me through every single detail of the resume, because we wanted to strive for excellence, we didn’t want mediocre work, but excellent,” said Chen.

Chen attributes her success with landing a job to Vanderbilt Business resources and the school as a whole.

“Without Vanderbilt’s reputation, I would not have been able to get the job. After chatting with a few of the MDs and associates from the firm, they let me know that it is because year after year of the students doing great work, that they want to continue recruiting out of Vanderbilt.”

The full article can be found here.

People of Vanderbilt: Hannah Thomas (MSF’23)

What are 1 or 2 experiences that have really shaped your time here at Vanderbilt?

Mod 0 for the MS Finance class – it is such a hectic and seemingly impossible week. You’re exhausted, and are really thrown to the wolves with Fin Econ 1 in such a short span of time. However, this is also where you really begin to forge connections with classmates that will help all of you make it to the end of Mod 4. I met some of my closest friends in the program during this week, and it’s such a euphoric feeling to overcome that massive first hurdle together. There is nothing like it!

What’s something you’ve learned about yourself during your time at Vanderbilt?

I’ve definitely learned that I can handle way more than what I would have initially thought. Coming into the program I was nervous because my undergrad wasn’t in finance, but if the past 2 mods have taught me anything, it’s that I can do whatever I put my mind to, particularly with the strength of the Owen community behind me!

Looking back on your time at Vanderbilt, what is one of your favorite memories, activities, or rituals?

One of my favorite memories was seeing my full MS Finance class together for our class photo at the beginning of Mod 1. I think that was the first time I had ever seen everyone all together in one spot, and there was just such a feeling of camaraderie knowing that we were all about to navigate the highs and lows of the program together.

You can read the full interview here.

Love reading these stories and I think the best aspect of them is it highlights the path these students took to be successful during the program and in landing that job once you graduate. Common themes I see and preach are early preparation, networking, being organized, and really executing on the opportunities that you find. One thing that Vanderbilt does incredibly well is prepare students with their career services.

More to come on Vanderbilt. Hope any of my female readers find motivation and inspiration from these two great MSF graduates!


Here is a link to the Vanderbilt University MSF program


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