When seeking a consulting, audit or advisory career, the Financial Advisory concentration is the go-to choice for Master of Finance students at Frankfurt School. This blog post will highlight my motivation for choosing Frankfurt School, the Financial Advisory concentration and my experience as a student.
The Master of Finance programme is designed to offer students a choice of concentrations, providing specialised knowledge and skills. Students are confronted with various options as early as the application process. Still, it is not until after the first module that a choice must be made. From my experience, I recommend that incoming FS students research the concentrations and rank their preferences as early as possible. But don’t feel overwhelmed; the curriculum allows for plenty of time in case one is undecided. Usually, in October of the first semester, right after the initial round of exams, an information session is held in which study advisors, lecturers, alums and second-year students will share their respective insights on the concentrations and answer any questions that may arise. For me, these sessions were precious and only strengthened my choice.
In particular, when choosing the Financial Advisory concentration, you are exposed to numbers and the accounting behind financial transactions and challenged to use knowledge in decision-making and financial advisory through case studies and projects. After the intake completes the core modules, students are split into the respective concentrations in March of the second semester. For the Financial Advisory concentration, the first courses are in Corporate Valuation and Financial Market, which are shared with those students who chose the Corporate Finance concentration. Both courses consist of in-depth lectures and extensive group projects.
Subsequent to the summer break, students will then engage in more specialised modules, Restructuring & Strategic Management and Financial Information & Decision-Making. These courses are even more refined to the concentration’s objective and geared towards consulting and advisory careers. Students are confronted with many case studies, simulations and challenging group projects, such as a corporate restructuring case, next to an in-depth company analysis. Another thing that students will be taught is hands-on exposure to the statistical software STATA, an excellent preparation tool for one’s thesis.
Critically, students in the Financial Advisory concentration are exposed to many group projects, a steep learning curve and company presentations. Also, a dedicated elective is part of the concentration and rounding off the third semester. Here, students can choose between two options that offer further exposure to real industry cases, such as M&A or Investment Banking.
I valued the group projects and company guest lectures the most. The professors do a great deal in inviting industry experts and alums from companies such as Deutsche Bank, EY, FTI-Andersch, PwC, McKinsey and others. These events were a fantastic opportunity to engage directly, ask questions and network with experts from the field. The group projects were a perfect experience for me to apply in-class concepts, work with fellow highly motivated students and further refine my teamwork, presentation, time & project management and leadership skills. Specifically, I was exposed to various projects, such as an equity valuation of Amazon stock, in-depth research of Central Bank Digital Currencies, a restructuring case of a fictitious mid-cap retailer, a corporate analysis of Boeing and an Investment Banking case study of Aston Martin.
The choice to study at Frankfurt School was an easy one for me. My ambition to become a finance expert and adjust my career toward consulting coincided with the pandemic. I sought to return to university and be closer to home after working four years overseas. Choosing the Master of Finance programme ticked all the boxes: location, reputation, academia, international study model and, most importantly, the excellent FS alum network.
Adjusting to being a full-time student again was difficult and took me a few weeks. Furthermore, coming from a fast-paced managerial position leading dynamic teams to study multiple hours a day and comprehending lectures in short intervals was challenging, especially during the first semester. Still, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and experience of learning at such a prestigious institution as Frankfurt School.
With its unique three-day study model, the Master of Finance programme allows for part-time employment or a working student position during one’s studies. I found that most of my fellow students engaged in this model. Equally, I took a working student position with a consultancy firm. I could directly apply my skills and knowledge in the financial industry and learn from experienced practitioners. For companies, this is also great exposure to network and recruit from the talent pool of Frankfurt School students. Even though the study and workload can be challenging (time management is a critical skill here), I highly recommend that incoming FS students take advantage of this three-day study model.