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Oxbridge Master Degree Holder and 2 years Work Exp

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Old 06-04-2010, 10:57 PM
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Default Oxbridge Master Degree Holder and 2 years Work Exp

Hello all,

I would like to know how much do you think a person would earn with the following criteria:

Education: Masters (Cambridge University), BCom (NTU, 1st Class)
Current Field: Financial Services Sector (Non Investment Banking or Consulting)
Work Exp: Slightly Under 2 years.
Certs: No CPA or CFA and not planning on taking it.
Current Salary: $57k/year

The thing is, I currently have an offer for a 1 year masters degree from Judge Business School (Cambridge University). It is not a MPhil in Finance Degree but I would like to know the value of it before I pursue it. It is one of those standard management/strategy degrees. Would I earn more? My goal is also to move into lucrative careers like IB (mid-tier, top tier firms)

MBA is out of the question as I do not want to forgo 2 years of lost salary and have no funds to fund a US$180k 2 year top tier school. I have secured funds from the university for this 1 year programme at cambridge.

I know there are a few Investment Bankers out there. Any advice on this?

Regards,
Pstar

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Old 07-04-2010, 08:37 AM
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I think it is a waste of time. You are better off doing a one year master of finance at LBS if you don't want to do a 2 year MBA program. At least you learn something new. Doing a management program won't help much, unless you are heading towards a consultancy job.
ultimately, you need to be able to explain to your next employer how your newly acquired degree will help and add value to your next employer.

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Old 08-04-2010, 05:03 PM
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It's definitely hard to crack into IB even with an Oxbridge degree without previous experience. Your best bet is still an MBA with a tier 1 school with concentration in finance. Or do a masters of finance from Oxbridge ( I think Oxford has a better rated MFE program )

However, if you are exceptional at networking, an Oxbridge connection can possibly open IB doors via alumni or on-campus recruiting.

But I am sure you will get a better job and salary after Oxbridge based on my own personal experience. If you are getting a funded education in Cambridge, I think you should definitely go for it unless you have better options. In the end, $$ is not all it matters. Go for the experience instead, it's inspiring to study in one of the oldest universities in the world. And I am sure you're smart enough to earn a good living without an IB job.

FYI, I studied in local U and did a masters in Oxbridge too.

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Old 10-04-2010, 04:32 PM
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Thank you all for the comments.

For the person who did his/her postgrad at Oxbridge, did you find it of much help to your career right now?
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:10 AM
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To pStarz. Yes. My oxbridge masters (finance related) degree helped me get a front-office finance career. I used to be an engineer. I find the networking opportunities and alumni support amazing compared to local unis.

But do note that an oxbridge degree is not a magic wand and success depends a lot on the individual. There are ppl I know who graduated with top uni degrees but are jobless. But if you are generally hungry and hardworking, you will definitely do well ... Strong education credentials just makes it much easier to achieve one's aims in the corporate world.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
To pStarz. Yes. My oxbridge masters (finance related) degree helped me get a front-office finance career. I used to be an engineer. I find the networking opportunities and alumni support amazing compared to local unis.

But do note that an oxbridge degree is not a magic wand and success depends a lot on the individual. There are ppl I know who graduated with top uni degrees but are jobless. But if you are generally hungry and hardworking, you will definitely do well ... Strong education credentials just makes it much easier to achieve one's aims in the corporate world.
Thanks again for your advice. I feel that I am still lost at the moment. Moreover, I am not even sure if finance is the right career for me. I mean I've always excelled and enjoyed the bullshit type *cough* marketing *cough* organizational behaviour type of courses at undergrad. I could get excellent grades with very little effort. Whereas courses like corporate finance, I actually had to study to get decent grades. I feel like I've sold myself out to 'make money'. I hardly consider what I am earning now to be good money... considering I work 10-12 hours a day. Though, I'd love to earn more money by joining FO if I put in that much effort. You see my dilemma?

I would like to ask if you always had a passion for finance or are you just doing it for the money. Also, are there bucketloads of brand name school grads in FO in SG? Will I just be another insignificant one? May I ask if you are in Sales/Trading/IB/Research? And what are your thoughts on a FO career. Are the hours and effort that bad as many claim it to be?
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:19 PM
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And a 2 year MBA from the top tier school will set me back about what? US$180,000 (S$250,000) just in fees itself (not incl. lost income)? That's a poor ROI in my opinion if I were to return to SG and would have to slog a few more years to pay that off? A local undergraduate who works dilligently and climbs his way up is probably 'in the money' while i'm severely 'out of the money'. If given that kind of money, I would rather use it to generate me a stream of passive income. The current course that I am offered now costs about S$50,000 - $55,000 for 9 months; which IMO I could most likely pay it off quicker if I fail to find funding from Cambridge/Gates Trusts. One of the main reasons many people have told me to take it up is also because of the networks you make. Having been to an elite school as such, I would like to know if this is over-hyped for a person intending to return back to Asia? In what ways does it 'open doors'? Do you just ring a JBS/Said Alumni up and say you would like a job in FO?

Anyway, thanks for reading this. Much appreciated for helping a young adult play the game of life.
Pstar.
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Old 13-04-2010, 05:51 AM
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hi pstarz. I registered on the forum so that it might be easier to communicate.

I understand your predicament, and the opportunity cost is probably 1-2 years of savings + a year of earnings. That easily amounts to about 150k SGD++, which is a tidy sum of money, so you want to get it right.

I would say it's easier to pay off your study loan fees if you work outside Asia, i.e Europe/US unless you got a job with an international consultancy or bank. Personally, I'm a trader working in Europe after my graduation and it took me about a year to recoup my opportunity costs. So perhaps I am luckier than most, as I got in a career that pays well. But based on my understanding, an associate in consultancy can earn up to 70-90k EUR, 60-80k GBP too.

To be honest, I did it because I have an interest in finance and trading. I wasn't really in it for the money, but it was a good bonus. And if you have a strong interest in the job, 10-12 hours per day isn't really tiring.

So, bottomline is to do something you think you will enjoy. And if you excel in it, $$ shouldn't be a factor.

As in how it opens doors, there are a lot of alumni sessions in the universities where you socialize and network. And if you strike it off with an MD or a CEO of a company over a cocktail event, you might get job interviews/offers on the spot. That's how it works in these places.. Of course, you can also cold call alumni and ask for job leads...

In the end, I feel that if you have the opportunity to study in a top school. You should seize it, your opportunity costs will only increase over time. And, don't be too obsessed with the ROI/$$. You're a smart person, so you will definitely earn enough in your lifetime to recover your cost.. don't let $$ hold you back. That's my 2 cents.
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