As you might have noticed, MiF bloggers have been very quiet recently. It is not that we do not like writing or being bloggers but we simply have been too busy. Take me, for instance. I took four classes for the Spring Term (running from January to end of March) and combined with the work on the MiF project, I was overwhelmed. It seems like most MiF students were in the same boat so I don’t think the level of work was due to the specific classes I was taking. I think I can explain why so many of us have been over-worked:
Type A’s: The average MiF student is smart, confident and has a history of academic/ career success. This is a dangerous combination as it means we often prefer challenge over balance. I remember talking to fellow MiFs before the start of the semester, and no one thought taking four classes would be an issue. A friend took five! (To put things in context, we need to take 6 to 8 elective credits across the last two semesters and various block weeks to graduate. So three courses a semester would probably result in a demanding but reasonable work load)
Course Offerings: LBS offers a wealth of compelling courses. However, all courses are not always offered year round and it seems like a larger number of electives are offered in the Spring term compared to the Summer term. So depending on how much you want to take certain classes, it might be necessary to take on a heavier course load in the Spring term.
Structure of the MiF Program: The MiF programme offers a transformational education that opens new gates and its specialization gives us an edge over MBAs in the field of finance. And it can be completed in just under a year. While it reduces the opportunity cost of taking time off work to study, the short duration of the programme also makes job hunting tricky for those of us that want to work in a new industry after graduation. MBAs have the opportunity to do an internship between their years of education. Internships are often easier to obtain and can conveniently lead to a full time job. However, the only time MiFs can do an internship is after graduation and no-one likes the idea of interning post-graduation because we ultimately do not know for sure if the internship will be converted into a permanent opportunity. Moreover, large firms with internship programmes often require that there is an 8-9 month gap between the end of the internship programme and start of the full time employment since they typically like to intake new employees in waves. This works just fine for an MBA but MiFs do not really have anything to do during this time. To sum up, MiFs typically target full time positions straight away and this makes us a bit uneasy. Therefore most MiFs keep their academic workload at a minimum in the Summer term so they can concentrate on chasing jobs. The result is a heavy course load in the Autumn term.
I am really glad I chose to get a MiF degree vs. an MBA because it really is a much better match for my development needs and career goals. And recent employment stats are soothingly good: http://www.london.edu/programmes/mif/benefitsandcareerimpact.html
But it certainly comes with unique challenges and it is important to be aware of these as well.
All right, this one definitely belongs to the weird and wonderful category:
The MiF programme is sponsoring a Sundowners evening, which is clearly a fantastic contribution to the school community. Us MiFs will even wear special Tshirts to mark the event. We have a little slogan competition going on at the moment to decide what should be written on the Tshirts. We do not have a winner yet and frankly most of the entries have been disqualified because they are a bit naughty. I am not sure what the winner will be but it is guaranteed to be nerdy and finance related! I do have one in there but I wont tell you which one it is Here are some of the best so far, do let me know if you have a favourite:
- No, it’s Mif, not Milf!
- Proposing, MiF style: Want to be my held to maturity security?
- Come to MiF for Great Discounts on Cash Flows
- London’s finest model(er)s
- The next generation of bubble blowers!
- “This T-Shirt cost me 33k”
- MiF…educating leveraged sellouts since 1994.
- Trading in Options for brighter Futures!
- MIFs, bringing down the girl to guy ratio at Sundowners since 93
- MiF 1: You look tired, what’s up? MiF 2: I was up all night doing a model.
- Masters of Finance
There is a never ending debate in the London Business School Community about which is better for a career in finance: MiF or MBA? Truth is they each have distinct advantages.
An MBA benefits from being a more standardized product. It is offered throughout the world and as a result is understood better. A MiF on the other hand requires some explaining, especially outside the UK. Another benefit of getting an MBA is that it offers the opportunity to get an internship before graduation while the one-year format of MiF requires that we look for a full time job straight away, which is harder.
A MiF on the other hand provides a more comprehensive finance education and therefore is the better long-term investment for those interested in a finance career. I spent the past weekend in a two-day financial modelling training course. (BTW, courses like this are one of the perks of being at LBS. The course was offered by an external provider but at a special rate, which really was a small fraction of what it would have cost to take it externally.) I was already familiar with almost all the financial concepts taught in the course and understood them easily. Fellow MiFs seemed equally comfortable, while MBAs in the course seemed to struggle at times. Moreover, shortness of the MiF programme means that it is a lot more efficient, keeping us out of the work force for a shorter time.
To sum up, I think MiF is the right choice for those that want to be in the finance industry but then I could be biased:) Hopefully both MBAs and MiFs will land great jobs by the time we graduate and then we can call it a draw. At the end of the day we are all part of London Business School and should go far.
I remember very well reading the Masters in Finance brochure as a prospective student. I was amazed to find out how hectic a typical day as a full time student was supposed to be. A month into the program, I am finding that the description in the brochure was accurate and I am loving the experience! To show what a typical day might look like, here is an account of what I did last Thursday:
8:15 AM Financial Accounting and Analysis. Challenging class but I am learning soo much.
3 PM Meeting over coffee with a student from the part time MiF Program at her office. She was extremely helpful and gave me lots of information about her job and company.
4:30 PM Meeting with my study group back on campus to go over the Investments homework.
6:30 PM Sundowners. Working on Investments would make anyone thirsty but fortunately Thursday night is Sundowners night! Who can say no to free beer?! Sundowners are great for bonding with fellow students
9 PM Went home and had a late dinner
10 PM Went over the Investments homework and made a clean draft
11:30 PM Bed time, finally!