Friday, October 23, 2009

2 weeks down... and the race is on!!!

Its been close to 2 weeks (about 4 weeks counting induction) since we began the MFE course here at the Said Business School at
Oxford. Moving away from the dreaming spires to the brutal business world, the Business school is as different from the "University" as chalk from cheese. The harsh reality of the careers "game" as they put it here has hit everyone hard. So, when we have time from attending lectures and finishing assignments, we are busy giving the final touches to the CV or the covering letter. As all applications (especially banks) tend to happen from October-December, the first term is essentially "THE" career term. If you miss the deadlines, you are definitely not going to get an offer.
However, its been an amazing roller coaster ride as of now. The class is great. The global mix of the batch is inspiring. With 25 countries represented, it is probably one of the most diverse groups I have come across. And the diversity is not just about geographies. We have people who have worked and people who have not. Experiences come from consulting, banking, technology, and non-profit (and I am sure I am missing out on whole lot of other backgrounds).
A lot of people have mailed me asking about the course and whether it will make a difference to their careers. I think it is a personal choice and not something that can be generalized. To begin, some points to clear:
1. This is a Financial "Economics" course, not a Financial "Engineering" one: Well, the difference lies in the fact that this course will not train you to be solely quants/trades/risk managers. You can choose electives that help you achieve that; but its not the only thing on the plate.
2. The course content is pretty analytical and quantitative. It is not a soft course in finance. It will teach you the theory behind something we take for granted in the world of business. However, that said, it is not only that. The intuition behind the math is important as well.

If you want to explore the world of finance and economics, I feel this course would give you that knowledge. This is not an MBA in finance. This is not a Masters in financial engineering. If you understand the difference, you would be able to make a conscious decision. Please send me a comment if you need any other help

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Magdalen College @ Oxford

I have been accepted by Magdalen College at the University of Oxford. Oxford works as a collegiate system with 39 "colleges" sprawling its campus. Grads and under-grads study at these colleges and each student at Oxford will be associated with a college. These places also provide accommodation and meals.
It was pretty much a random choice to go for Magdalen. Not that you can do a lot of research to choose a college anyways. However, its supposed to be a prestigious college and gets filled up pretty fast. Considering that, I am lucky to have been selected. The rooms and meal charges seem consistent with the rest of the colleges.
The con would be the distance from the college to the Said Business School, where I would be attending classes.
Hope that doesnt become a major issue, especially during rains etc. Till then Magdalen rocks :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CFA: One level down

Finally... after banging my head over financial statement analysis and ethics, I managed a sweet victory cracking the CFA Level 1 exam.
Level 1: Pass
The table below illustrates your subject matter strengths and weaknesses. The three columns on the right are marked with asterisks to indicate your performance on each question or topic area. Multiple Choice
Topic Max Pts <=50% 51%-70% >70%
Alternative Investments 8 - - *
Corporate Finance 20 - - *
Derivatives 12 - - *
Economics 24 - - *
Equity Investments 24 - - *
Ethical & Professional Standards 36 - - *
Financial Reporting & Analysis 48 - - *
Fixed Income Investments 28 - - *
Portfolio Management 12 - - *
Quantitative Methods 28 - - *

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oxford MFE: Admitted !!!

Finally,the first admit of the season !!! Good way to begin the new year.

Felt on top of the world when I read the email from Heather Browning of MFE admissions at the Oxford Said Business School.

"I am delighted to confirm the decision of the MFE Admissions Committee to offer you a place on the 2009-2010 programme."

"The School's objective is that the 2009-2010 MFE class will number approximately 75 students from across the world and we hope very much that you will be a member of this group."

I am one amongst 75 students across the world to be accepted by Oxford. That makes me feel special somehow.

The Said Business School just started looking prettier :)