Meeting the Future Masters of Finance: Part II

One of the key goals of the campus visit on November 8, 2103, was to give students an honest idea of what it’s like to be a member of the Tulane MFIN program. The Office of Graduate Admissions and the Administration agreed that the best way to achieve this goal would be to open the floor to current and former students to share their experiences during a current student panel and an alumni panel. This allowed the prospective students to learn about what currents students hoped to achieve with their degree and what past students were achieving in the professional realm.
The current student panel consisted of six MFIN students of diverse background, both ethnically and academically. I was lucky enough to be the mediator for this panel, which allowed me to answer many questions that I had been receiving from prospective students. The main question referenced was: What to do with an MFIN degree from the A.B. Freeman School of Business? The panel’s responses varied and included: investment banking analysts, corporate pricing analyst, institutional fixed income trader and entrepreneur. Though the answers varied, all of the candidates felt the proper foundation was laid for them to take the first steps toward achieving their ultimate goal. Another question asked was: What is the biggest challenge of being a Tulane MFIN candidate? The most common response was delegating time between class, study, projects, job hunting and finding time to enjoy New Orleans. Time management is a key skill to being successful in the Tulane MFIN.  The intensive nature of the program means students must be able to digest an ample amount of information in a condensed period of time.  With strong time management skills, the workload is manageable and does leave time for exploring New Orleans and pursuing other interests. The current students gave the prospective students a good idea of what to expect both inside and outside of the classroom.
We also welcomed three MFIN alumni that have been able to put their degrees to work in the professional world. Jenell (’10) works with Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), Tom (’13) is employed by J.P. Morgan Personal Wealth Management and Anthony (’11) is working in Corporate Finance at Hewlett Packard. All three alumni pursued very different career paths and are putting their degree to good use every day. This panel quickly turned into a professional development session. The questions flowed naturally and there was an in depth discussion on what it takes to be a successful employee and how the Tulane MFIN helped them develop these skills. The alumni panel emphasized that as an applicant or a new hire, truly understanding corporate culture is essential to being professionally successful no matter what other specialized skills you may have. Above all, the alumni stressed to the prospective students the need to remain a curious employee and continue to use and develop the analytic skills acquired during the Tulane MFIN.
These panels helped give prospective students an insight into life during and after the Tulane MFIN. By meeting current students, prospective students had a better idea of everyone’s background before entering the program. While the alumni panel showed the wealth of career options available to Tulane MFIN alumni. Our hope is that the prospective students see the value added by their peers in the classroom. Bright peers are just as important as brilliant professors. Tulane has plenty of both.
Tommy Milburn
Master of Finance Candidate 2014