When Master of Science in Finance (MSF) graduates from Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Business venture out on their own, many of them find success, including Mey-Ling Perez.
When Perez joined the MSF programme, her goal was to seek a move from international banking to private banking. At FIU, she gained knowledge on the investment and portfolio management side of finance – and how all those pieces correlated. By the time she graduated and started interviewing for roles, her expertise showed.
“I was ready to have those conversations. Maybe I had not done it on a day-to-day, but I could have very in-depth conversations about valuation, the stock market, correlation of assets — it far exceeded the expectations of my employer at the time,” she shares.
Perez is now the SVP and Managing Director (Private Banking) at IberiaBank.
“I run the market. We are a US publicly traded company of about US$30 billion dollars in assets,” she explains.
As Perez’s story shows, FIU’s MSF is a solid return on investment. Using an in-depth curriculum, it enables students to apply financial strategy to challenging, real-world business decisions.
“The Chapman Graduate School of Business’s MSF provides a unique set of courses ranging from Corporate Finance to Advanced Financial Risk Management, giving the students an incredible set of finance-specific tools to compete in the marketplace,” explains Faculty Director and Associate Professor of the MSF programme Dr. Brice V. Dupoyet.
The MSF has a University Affiliation with the CFA Institute, offering excellent preparation for Level I of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam and emphasizes the high quality of the education and curriculum.
There are many other reasons to choose FIU. We explore the top three reasons given by MSF graduates who have been there, got the degree and say it’s one of the best decisions of their lives:
The MSF offers value for money with no compromise on quality. Perez’s story and countless others show how it is the best option in the state when it comes to an advanced finance degree with a solid ROI.
For Florida residents, tuition for the programme is US$30,000. For non-residents, it is US$33,600. Tuition fee includes course registration, professional development seminars, access to software and online tutorials, universities fees and parking.
“The MSF is one of the best value for money graduate finance programmes, as it is a one-year degree with tuition costs in the low US$30,000,” explains Dr. Dupoyet. “Most graduate finance programmes charge twice that amount, making the FIU MSF extremely competitive in that respect, from a value and financial standpoint.”
FIU offers several scholarships and financial aid options for this programme. The MS in Finance Merit Scholarship was established in the 2000 to reward individuals who have shown exemplary academic and work achievements. There are a number of scholarship opportunities provided through the generosity of both individuals and corporations too.
Opportunities for internships and professional development
The MSF is a 36-credit, 12 class programme that covers established and emerging concepts, practices, and technology in the financial industry. Classes are taken two at a time in eight-week terms. It can be completed online or onsite.
What sets this programme apart is its hands-on approach. This means students get to use the latest technology and financial software to conduct financial analyses, valuation analyses, derivative pricing and risk management, securities trading portfolio management, bank management and merger analysis, FinTech, big data, and Python coding.
A dedicated career services team offers career planning and interview coaching.
“Our office offers a full range of career planning and job search support services and maintains valuable employer relationships to enhance employment prospects,” shares Isabel Lopez, Associate Director for Finance and Real Estate Graduate Programmes.
It also helps with internships.
“Like finding a job, the process of finding an internship (paid or unpaid) can be challenging and time-consuming, but our specialised staff is here to assist every single step of the way,” Lopez adds. “Our students expressed that internships have given them a competitive advantage to build connections and have relevant work experience before graduation.”
The result? A vast set of tools that will serve them for the rest of their lives and careers.
“The students also tremendously benefit from close interactions with their peers as our cohorts function as a lock-step programme in which the students often work in groups and form life-long bonds with one another,” shares Dr. Dupoyet. “The networking aspect is priceless, as are communication and presentation skills honed throughout the programme.”
For alumna Perez, her favourite class was “Portfolio Management.” For one of the modules, they simulated the stock market. Students got to play with fake money in a very realistic way, investing in commodities and options, as well as understanding how the correlation of assets really worked in favour of a client or not.
“That gave me a lot of practical experience that I was able to bring into those interviews that I was having,” enthuses Perez.
Also known as “Wall Street South,” Miami is home to over 1,000 multinationals from Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe; a thriving international financial district; and influential government agencies. The city even has the largest concentration of domestic and international banks on the East Coast south of New York City.
When students aren’t building links with Fortune 500 companies here, they are racing to sample as much as they can of this exceptionally multicultural city. There’s not just Little Haiti and Little Havana, but also Little Venezuela and Little Moscow. The beaches are as stunning as they are famous for sun, sea and bronzed tanners alike. Food? Any fresher and it would still be swimming in the ocean. Cultures — past and present — are just as electric. Choose FIU and experience all of this yourself — to learn more about the MSF, click here.
“You can go just about anywhere in Miami, and you will find individuals from just about every country in Central and South America, all bringing their own unique traditions to Miami, which just adds to the vibrance of the city. There are also so many people from every other continent living in Miami, further enhancing the energy of the city,” shares Isabel.
You can even experience the city right on campus, with places like the Frost Museum and Vicky Bakery based at FIU.
“Equally important, Miami has so many great dining options from Cantina La Viente to Mayami Mexicantina on a fun night out or eateries like Astra or the Dior Café for a more casual experience,” Isabel enthuses.
Whether it is a trip to Nikki Beach, going to a Heat game, or checking out the Wynwood Walls, there is always something fun to do in Miami, on or off campus.