Princeton University Master in Finance: Is It Right for You, and Are You Right for Princeton?

Click here to listen to our recent podcast episode, Masters in Finance: What You Need to Know!

So what’s the ticket to heaven?

Being amazing is just a qualification for the Princeton University Master in Finance program. But if you qualify, get admitted (about 30 out of 600 applicants do), and choose to attend (about 25 out of that 30), I believe you enter heaven.

 • All your classmates are not just extremely bright and passionate about finance; they also represent experience from across the industry – and they are chosen in part because they can communicate their insights from that experience.

• There is 100% recruitment for summer internships at the most desirable institutions, and almost 100% post-graduation employment (2014). These internships/jobs span the globe—Mexico City, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, and various cities in the US as well as NYC.

• A curriculum that is intensive and deep; following the core you can either develop your own study program or pursue 1of 3 course tracks: Financial Engineering and Risk Management, Quantitative Asset Management and Macroeconomic Forecasting, and Financial Technologies.

• Career “boot camps” where alumni, industry experts, and academics help you formulate a career path that is meaningful to you and productively employs your skills, talents, interests.

• World-renowned faculty (think Alan Blinder, Paul Krugman) from multiple disciplines who don’t just teach sophisticated skills but who engage passionately in ideas, thereby helping you become a thought leader in the field.

So what’s the ticket to heaven?

Academics – A high GPA and a transcript that reflects a strong quantitative component – many applicants have degrees in subjects such as mathematics, economics, and engineering, but it is not required and they have admitted people from a range of disciplines (though there are certain math requirements). A grad degree is “a plus but not required.”

Standardized tests – Both GMAT and GRE are accepted; the median quant GRE score is 167 and the average quant GMAT score is 49.5. That said, a high quant score doesn’t make up for weak quant coursework. If your undergrad school was not taught in English (or if it was taught in English in a non-English speaking country), either the TOEFL or IELTS is also required.

Interviews are by invitation only, and selected applicants will be notified. Others are discouraged from seeking interviews.

Experience – Professional experience is not required; however the adcom wants to see some practical industry exposure via internships at least – they note that potential employers look for this experience. So the program is open to new graduates who have had an internship or two – but make sure you have something substantive to say based on your experience; your competition will.

Qualitative factors – You may be surprised that in the adcom’s eyes it is the qualitative factors that “set applicants apart”! The adcom specifically looks for strong communication ability, expecting its students to contribute within a highly intelligent cohort and to become leaders in the industry. More than anything, it seeks passion for finance. Even if you’re a quant geek, don’t think there’s a formula for this passion – it must be expressed through application contents holistically. The adcom members will know it when they see it.

Finally, be sure this is the right degree for you. As the website states, it’s not the right program for people pursuing corporate finance or investment bank M&A; but the MiF “is becoming the preferred degree in the trading and asset management areas of the I-bank.”

 Click here for the lowdown on one of the most up and coming specialized masters programs in the business world.

Cindy Tokumitsu By , author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with

Related Resources:

• The Facts About Financial Services
• Where Does Wall St. Hire: U.S. B-Schools Sending Grads into Financial Services
What is Passion in Admissions?

The Tuck School of Business and the Global Insight Requirement

Click here to listen to the full conversation with Dr. Phillip Stocken!

On September 3, 2014, the Tuck School of Business introduced the new and exciting Global Insight Requirement.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Dr. Phillip Stocken, the Associate Dean for the MBA Program at Tuck, for the scoop on the new requirement and more info about the b-school.

00:02:33 – The structure of the Tuck MBA Program.

00:05:15 – What is the Tuck Global Insight Requirement?

00:13:32 – About the first year project and where it meets the new program.

00:17:26 – What will define the Global Insight requirement as a success.

00:19:38 – Tuck alum are by far the most loyal MBA grads: What is the secret?

00:24:14 – The faculty cooperation that makes Tuck unique.

00:28:06 – What do Tuck students have in common?

00:30:10 – What Dr. Stocken wishes MBA students would know before starting b-school.

00:34:07 – Important advice for MBA applicants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of

Related Links:

Tuck Announces New Global Insight Requirement 
Tuck School of Business 
How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats

Related Shows:

A B-School Professor on Main Street, USA 
• A Transformational Year: The MIT Sloan Fellows Program
Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute

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MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips - Download your free copy!

MBA Essays That Earn an Automatic Rejection

Download your free copy of 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your MBA Application Essays!

Don’t make these 3 mistakes!

You could have a perfect GMAT score, a 4.0 from Yale, and a list of extracurriculars as long as your leg, and still end up in the reject pile for transgressing any one of the following three MBA application sins:

1. Lying or lacking credibility

Lying on your application is literally one of the dumbest things you can do – it’s up there with shooting yourself in the foot. And when I say lying, I mean large scale hoaxes all the way down to the smallest, whitest lie, or even an exaggeration. Stick to the facts. Play it safe. If you worked at a job for six months, don’t say you were there for nine. If your job was assistant manager, don’t say you were manager. If you raised $5000 for a fundraiser, don’t make it $10K. If you have a criminal record – no matter how big or small – own up to it; not mentioning it, won’t make it disappear from your record. I’m not sure why people think they can get away with lying – it frequently comes back to haunt them.

2. Revealing arrogance

Nobody likes a showoff, so when you’re applying to b-school, I suggest you ditch your know-it-all, arrogant attitude at the door. Saying things like “I’m the only one who…” when you couldn’t possibly know if you are the only one, or “Thanks to my efforts, my team succeeded…” when more likely your team succeeded due to team collaboration, show that you think you deserve all the credit. That’s not a very nice attitude, and while schools do want high achievers, movers and shakers, they also want nice, and modest, people. If your essays reflect an attitude of “You’ll be lucky to have me because I’m just so great” or “I deserve to be accepted,” you’re dinged.

3. Sloppiness

A single typo won’t look good, but it won’t give you the automatic axe. When I say sloppiness, I’m talking about serious, messy writing, like writing Harvard when you mean Booth, or just littering your essay with grammatical errors, extra words that don’t belong, and misspellings. Forgetting to submit a section of the application is an obvious no-no, as is just writing very generically or superficially – clearly without much thought or attention. This latter type of carelessness reveals sloppy thinking more than sloppy writing; it is equally damaging.

Rule of thumb: Be honest, be modest, be neat! And of course, a perfect GMAT score won’t hurt.

For more sure-fire ways to get rejected, please see “The MBA Admissions Directors’ Recipe for Rejection.”

MBA 5 Fatal Flaws


Related Resources:

Can You Get Accepted After Doing Something Stupid?
Important Admissions Tip: Be Yourself!
How to Edit Your MBA Application Essays

Vault’s 2015 Banking Rankings

The following banks were rated based on the issues that matter to bankers: prestige, hours, compensation, work-life balance, firm culture, overall satisfaction, business outlook, and other “quality of life” categories. For each of these parameters, other than prestige, the banking professionals rated their own place of work. They rated other intuitions and not their own for prestige.

And here are the rankings!

Where Does Wall St. Hire: U.S. B-Schools Sending Grads into Financial Services

Vault Bank Rankings 2015

(See the full rankings here.)

Here are some highlights from the rankings:

• Goldman Sachs ranks in 1st place for prestige, but for quality of life issues, specifically hours and work-life balance, it ranks in 15th place. Blackstone, on the other hand, ranked in the top 5 for each of the quality of life categories.

• Overall, work-life balance ratings are on the rise within these top companies, as are diversity ratings.

• Two years ago, J.P. Morgan ranked in 1st place; this year they’ve dropped to 4th place.

• Big jumpers include Moelis & Company (23rd last year to 12th this year) and UBS AG (26th last year to 19th this year), as well as Canaccord Genuity and Guggenheim Securities, LLC which both made it to top 25 (17th and 24th place respectively) this year and were not ranked at all last year.

• For more analysis, please see “Vault’s 2015 Banking Rankings are Live.”

Source: Vault Banking Rankings

MBA in Sight: Focus on Finance Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Which Business School Will Get Me to Wall Street?
• The Facts About Financial Services
• Where Does Wall St. Hire: U.S. B-Schools Sending Grads into Financial Services

Hey You – Yeah, You With the Not Quite 780 GMAT Score…

How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats: Click here to register!What?! You have a low GMAT/GPA score and still haven’t signed up for our upcoming webinar, How to Get Accepted to B-School with Low Stats?

Well consider this post your personal reminder to reserve an hour of your time and attend THE webinar that will help you overcome your less-than-desirable GPA or GMAT score and apply successfully to your top choice MBA programs!

The details:

Date: September 17, 2014

Time: 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

Registration link: How to Get Accepted to B-School with Low Stats (Registration is free, but required.)

Save my spot! Helping You Write Your Best