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