A master’s degree in finance is your passport to a dynamic and data-driven career in finance. This specialized program equips you with advanced quantitative and analytical skills, enabling you to dissect complex financial data, model risk, and forecast market trends with precision. It’s a qualification that can do incredible things for your career prospects, opening doors to quantitative finance, asset management, and financial technology roles — making you a sought-after professional in a rapidly evolving financial landscape. However, do you need years of work experience to embark on this graduate program?
At Emory University Goizueta Business School, little or no professional experience is required to join its Master of Analytical Finance. As a novice or one who is looking to further their skills, this 10-month, action-based STEM degree has experiential learning built into its curriculum. Students experience the working life of a Wall Street analyst through four divisions of a top-tier global bank or fund. To ensure a solid foundation, there are boot camps in financial statements, business statistics, and technology/data to kickstart the program.
“The curriculum is built around our practicum experience in which students are placed at the center of a ‘high-touch’ learning environment where they interact with industry leaders and engage with markets on a daily basis,” says Tom Smith, Professor in the Practice of Finance and Academic Director of Emory’s finance master’s degree. “The entire curriculum focuses on students having direct experiences with the industry.”
Students experience the working life of a Wall Street analyst through four divisions of a top-tier global bank or fund. To ensure a solid foundation, there are boot camps in financial statements, business statistics, and technology/data to kickstart the program. Goizueta then gives students access to global markets on a professional trading floor. Students learn and utilize professional tools, data, and trading platforms including Bloomberg, FactSet, Thompsons, Python, R Studio, Barra, and MATLAB.
“We have two ‘jewels’ within the program — our amazing faculty and our state-of-the-art Finance Lab,” says Smith. “Our students work out of the Finance Lab, which includes Bloomberg terminals, for most of their classes. Our faculty are approachable and offer hands-on learning to our students.”
The major difference from other schools is that this master’s degree takes a more hands-on learning approach. “This internship-style graduate program allows us to gain more real-world experience than a typical master’s program,” says Lauren O’Banion, a 2023 graduate.
There are four different rotations: global markets, asset portfolios, investment strategies, and a final ‘in practice’ rotation on a global leadership team. “The curriculum was designed to take advantage of the amazing talent within Goizueta’s Finance faculty. Our students are learning from award-winning faculty, including professors Narasimhan Jegadeesh, Kevin Crowley, and Tetyana Balyuk,” says Smith. “I enjoy seeing our finance students learning each quarter and am thrilled when one of the students stops me in the hall to talk about a project or about the job they just landed. The students are flourishing.”
In the “global markets” rotation, students become part of the Wall Street research team responsible for analyzing connections in real-time and publishing sell-side client research. Not only will they gain expertise in how the global markets function, but an insight into the operations of the financial system, tracking real-world news and events and making connections to theory learnt in the classroom.
With the sales and trading team in the “asset portfolios” rotation, students will gain an understanding of the asset classes that are traded around the world. In this, they get insights into markets and deliverables as well as pitch live trading ideas to their portfolio manager.
During the “investment strategies” rotation, students develop and propose a proprietary trading strategy to institutional investors. This is when turning ideas into real investment strategies will become second nature. Emory master’s in finance students can choose to specialize in strategies such as ESG, algorithmic trading, or digital currencies to deliver customer-driven results.
The final “practice” rotation is where students put what they have learned into their on-the-job training. As part of a team, they are charged with proposing ventures and investment opportunities that can make the world a better place. Using data-driven analysis and innovative blue-sky ideas, their respective teams leverage a firm’s global reach and funding sources to tackle a pressing social, economic, or environmental issue using a strategy that has a positive return on investment.
Each of these rotations takes students into the heart of the global finance community in the number one city for fintech: Atlanta. Georgia has become a giant in sub-field of technology, with 70% of all transactions on a global scale passing through the state. Goizueta’s strategic location in the global commerce capital adds to the list of opportunities for students with the many fintech industry leaders and Fortune 1000 companies around. Thanks to these connections, students have no shortage of chances to network and collaborate with professionals, clients, and mentors.
“In addition to technical finance skills, we want our students in our finance master’s program to learn the soft skills necessary to thrive and grow in the modern finance workplace,” says Kirsten Travers-UyHam, Associate Professor in the Practice of Finance. The program includes visiting experts, including ESG-impact specialists, who give talks and will listen to pitches of the investment proposal to a panel of respected corporate leaders.
With access to experts, cutting-edge systems and real-world projects, Goizueta master’s in finance students gain a wealth of experience that are set to launch their careers in all the right ways. This master’s in finance helps students earn professional licensing, including Bloomberg BMC, SIE (Series 7 preview), and CFA prep, as well. As an unmatched experience and insight into the world of finance, this Goizueta program ensures every student evolves from a beginner in this field into a graduate set to excel in areas such as sales and trading, investment management, fintech, and investment banking.
“Our students are receiving employment across the finance spectrum: investment banks, family offices, pension funds, and corporate entities. I am impressed with the quality of jobs that these students have secured,” says Smith. “In fact, several of our current students have already secured employment for next year and we’ve just finished our first quarter of classes. Our students are very employable.”
Excited to expand your professional horizons and experience? To check out Emory University Goizueta Business School, click here.