Two months after joining the Master of Finance program, an important question comes: What concentration should I go for?
Last year my friend Akanshya, and I were asking ourselves the same question and this year we advised the new MoF students on the Capital Markets concentration. While talking to them, 3 questions were frequently asked:
Is it quantitative?
Is it extremely hard?
And what are the career paths?
As our professors define it, the Capital Markets concentration was introduced in response to the high impact of the economic commotion in the modern investment-banking sector.
The concentration involves advanced quantitative products and complex portfolio management exercises, which help you assess and predict market patterns and trends. You are able to come up with complex financial solutions and perform in the high-speed capital markets environment.
The modules provide you with the background needed to perform structuring tasks, asset allocation or other assignments related to capital markets positions. Yes, a big part of those classes is based on quantitative methods, but it does not mean that you have to hold a quant degree in order to choose capital markets.
It may not seem so daunting once you step into the reality of it and start your concentration.
One year ago, we were trying to make a rational decision on which concentration we should we go for. Considering our background in Economics, we were more inclined towards the quantitative and market related aspects the program had to offer. So our choice had to be one of either Risk Management or Capital Markets. Both these concentrations have a large overlap among the modules, barring one or two and can offer some similar career paths. And that was the tie breaker. With exciting modules such as Financial Engineering and Derivatives Analysis, Capital Markets was the right choice for the knowledge and skills needed for the career paths we have been aspiring to pursue.
At this point as we are almost graduating, we believe that we couldn’t have chosen a better concentration. With Capital Markets, you can choose electives in such a way as to incorporate Risk Management or Corporate Finance modules to make it a more comprehensive selection. In a way, this was like opting for two concentrations at the same time! (Best of both worlds). We would say that is one way to go about it if one is confused about choosing the concentration, as the program offers the free choice of elective courses.
When it comes to the career aspects, there are many options on the plate. One should also be aware that choosing this concentration doesn’t stop you from opting a different career path, many of our classmates are working in corporate finance or advisory. Besides that, there are dozens of career paths: S&T, ECM, DCM, asset management and research. Akanshya is currently doing her internship in the Risk Control department at Eurex Clearing AG and I, in asset management at Allianz Global Investors. The Capital Markets concentration has definitely been a support to access these areas of the financial industry.