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Purdue University: A specialised MS in Finance that boosts careers

Purdue University is renowned for its rigorous and experiential programmes that prepare students for successful careers. At its business school, one of the 44 best business schools in the US, students gain leadership skills and global thinking — the kind that elevates their professional lives to greater heights.

Purdue’s Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business offers several programmes. This includes the MBA, speciality master’s and PhD programmes, all of which are highly collaborative and incorporate work experience to prepare students for life after graduation. An advanced degree from Purdue has provided many graduates with the foundation for success, from which they’ve built on to become leaders of some of the largest companies in the world.

Priscilla Gracia chose Purdue’s School of Business for these reasons. She first double majored in finance and marketing in 2021, where she interned in HR and project management roles in South Korea and her home city Jakarta. Satisfied with her programme, she decided to extend her study of finance.

“Purdue has a great reputation in Indonesia and attracts a lot of international students. That diversity and strong alumni network were big factors in my choice,” she says. “It made sense to continue my studies in finance as a graduate student.”

As a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) student, Gracia joined case competitions, including one where she had to provide advice to a fictional client on strategic alternatives to maximise shareholder value. “We didn’t win, but we learned a lot about financial modelling and had the opportunity to apply our skills in a real-life context,” she says.

She is helping to revamp both the undergraduate and graduate-level courses tied to the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) as well. The SMIF is a student organisation that allows current Purdue students the chance to invest real money in the stock market. The club currently manages approximately US$400,000 with an investment policy of capital preservation and value investing.

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The STEM-designated MS Finance prepares students for careers in corporate finance, investment management, security analysis and brokerage, and more. Source: Purdue University

The MS Finance prepares students for financial and analytical roles in a wide range of industries and organisations, from corporate titans to the public sector to commercial banking.

Ranked fifth in Corporate Finance by Best-Masters.com, this fast-paced 10-month degree is holistic. It draws on real-world applications and access to the top minds in finance, complementing what students learn in classrooms.

MS Finance students can choose to specialise in three areas: corporate finance, investment management, and financial analytics. It’s possible to complete a general finance curriculum if they choose not to pursue a track as well. Specialising gives students an extra advantage and a head start on their future careers. The tracks add more flexibility to a student’s curriculum too, as they take on four courses and can choose from a handful of electives — all of which have been designed to deliver what the market is looking for and to adapt to global trends.

The growing demand for technical and analytical expertise in the business world is one of them. The financial analytics track is set to meet this as it’s closely aligned with the Master of Science in Business Analytics and Information Management (MSBAIM) programme. The MSBAIM develops proficiencies in the use of Python, Rstudio, Excel, SQL, SAS, Minitab, Gurobi and various other big data technologies, and ranks #6 in the US by QS.

The MS Finance curriculum is very complete. It builds you from the ground up. Without a doubt, I am better prepared to go into the financial industry having gone through such competitive curriculum,” says student Gabriel Gomez Treif.

The MS Finance is a STEM-certified programme, international students may apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT), in addition to the regular post-completion OPT (often for 12 months). Graduates with STEM OPT are authorised to work in the US for 36 months in the field related to their majors.

Source: Purdue University

MS Finance students take part in classes that go beyond the basics and challenge their ability to learn quickly. Source: Purdue University

Excellent support and guidance

Finding the right career is a journey — one that Purdue students get plenty of help with from day one through graduation and beyond.

The Professional Development Centre ensures each student has a personalised career planning framework, exposure to campus and corporate research tools, and support to identify areas for bolstering leadership, networking and functional skill sets. Through counselling, job search resources and on-campus recruiting services, the centre guides students on how to perfect resumes, master interviews and more.

“Apart from the programme, Professional Development Centre helps me build connections by facilitating on-campus career fairs, informative sessions, and workshops,” says student Sanskruti Jaiin Nainutia.

For Gracia, the impact of the centre is more profound. The Professional Development Centre  makes me more aware of what the industry expects me to do,” she says. “And having that expectation definitely helps me to prepare myself in order to stand out from other applicants.”

What are you waiting for? Click here to kickstart your career in finance at Purdue University.

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