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Career Doctor
UST Master of Financial Analysis
BC
posted on Sunday, 11 April 2010 22:48
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Dear Career Doctor,

After my graduation from the Chinese University in Financial Engineering, I started my career in Big 4 to provide auditing and financial advisory service to clients for 5 years. Hence, I got CPA qualification.  However, I always aim to Corporate Finance field.

This year, I apply for Master of Financial Analysis in UST to enhance my finance knowledge and the school gives me the offer. On the other hand, I am thinking to apply overseas master program e.g. London School of Economics, Warwick university. My questions are:

1.      The deadline to accept UST offer is mid of April, should I accept UST offer and give up applying other overseas universities?

2.      Except for taking master program, what are your recommendations for me to increase the chance getting employed in CF field?

 

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3 Comments
Career Doctor's picture
Career Doctor  
Posted Tuesday, 20 April 2010 03:38 PM

As a headhunter myself, your Financial Engineering degree + CPA qualification and experience is enough for Corp Fin entry jobs. With or without a Master’s degree it doesn't make much difference.

If you think that the Master’s degree can help, and therefore investing your time and money, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed in the end.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking you not to continue advancing yourself by further studying, it's just doesn't serve and can never be an entry ticket to the corp fin world you want to get into. You have to be very clear on this.

Do you know what an entry level Corp Fin guy is doing? A lot of research, due diligence, report writing, all ground works that required someone with a strong analytical mind, figure sensitive, hardwork, diligent etc. etc. It's all about how you master your job but has nothing to do with a Master's degree.

I don't think you're talking about quitting you r job to study a master overseas, but to decide between a master program in HKUST or an overseas University, right? If that being the case, I want to know how you "rate" them yourself and the cost incurred. If you want to ask me which university name is more "sellable", you're wasting your time! It's the course itself and what it covers that should be of utmost importance, reputation of the school helps, but how many graudates are there in each of them every year?

I've successfully placed quite a few candidates from Big 4 (used to be Big 6, remember?) into the banking sector, in Corp Fin/DCM, Credit & Risk, Research/ECM, Finance & Accounting, Compliance etc.

You need to know your strengths, what qualities would an employer be looking for, you need to know how to engineer your career.

Other qualifications such as CFA, Chartered Risk Analyst can help too. Write back if you want to share with us more.

Anonymous's picture
passby
Posted Thursday, 15 April 2010 04:00 AM

I think you get into wrong field after obtaining a finance eng degree. Big 4 accountants mainly focus on plus and minus. A MBA will be better for you, e.g. UST MBA

Anonymous's picture
Newwilson
Posted Tuesday, 13 April 2010 07:49 PM

Hi BC,

I think you have decided to give up your job and start your full-time study, right? Otherwise, studying in UST and overseas university are totally different things.

So, the first thing you need to consider is whether you should quit your job. I don't know how others think. To me, quitting the current job could never be a good decision. It is more like a gambling for a dream of corporate finance profession.

In the view of academic background, I don't think it is not enough to work in any finance area. I don't know whether you have any weaknesses. Just based on the information you have provided, it is not quite necessary to acquire one more finance qualification although I think a master degree is beneficial to everyone.

Studying overseas is a even bigger gambling. The cost is higher and the return is expected to be better as UK/US companies are still the leaders in financial industry.

I think you should think carefully about your situation. If you decide to do so, you should work harder. Also, please bear in mind that you have taken the risk so that you won't regret when you become unemployed or finally return to accounting firms.

I am an extremely realistic person. So, a dream will not have good rating to me.

What I suggest is staying with your current job. Look for a job with small corporate finance company. Build up yourself in the industry for some years. Then, make a longer career plan.

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