Finding the Right Fit: Q&A with Current Master of Science in Finance (MSF) Student
Considering a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree? Finding the right graduate school can be an exciting process. As an admissions professional I encourage candidates considering Babson to engage with our dynamic community. In addition to our website there are many ways to learn more about the MSF program at Babson College: visit campus, connect with current students, attend a class, and most importantly ask questions.
Our MSF students have a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds, as well as reasons for pursuing the program. Here are some insights on how Stephen Juras, MSF ’17, decided on Babson and what his experience has been thus far:
What led you to pursue your MSF?
Working as a CPA, I had many clients that were owned by private equity firms. Through working with these clients, I developed an interest in how these deals worked, and felt that I needed to re-brand to take advantage of this new interest. A specialized master’s degree seemed like the best strategic move for gaining this unique insight.
What attracted you to Babson College?
Babson is well known for its unique perspective on business as a whole; always looking at it from an entrepreneurial light, both socially and financially. This, combined with the smaller class sizes meant that I could gain a set of diverse and flexible tools with my MSF degree, beyond the traditional quantitative structure I would have experienced elsewhere. In addition, the heavy international student presence was another attractive factor, as I knew these students would bring diverse experiences and ideas to my business classes.
What have your experiences been with the faculty at Babson?
Where to start: Positive, Challenging, Abstract? Babson has done a fantastic job of providing a mix of top-tier academics and highly successful industry executives. I can confidently say I have never had a more challenging, but rewarding academic experience. Every professor I have is a master of their craft and a wealth of knowledge. From mutual fund executives, to SEC heads, I have gained a unique perspective in all the courses I’ve taken, and I’m all the better for it.
In what way is the MSF program unique?
Definitely the practical approach with entrepreneurial spin each class holds. Great example, our Corporate Finance class. What would be traditional financial modeling class for internal capital management has become an entirely different animal. Many of my classmates worked or built start-ups in the biotechnology sector, so the entire class has taken on that spin. Estimating earn-outs and 3 stage real options for drug trials instead of managing the M&A activity of Coke, it’s exciting.
How is the Babson MSF program preparing you?
I would say that the entrepreneurial perspective in all of my classes, along with interactions with classmates really makes me take a step back and consider the weight of decisions. Numbers become factories, people, and futures, not just a bottom line. I really believe you gain a more well-rounded perspective of doing business in an economical and ethical manner at Babson. What would be a straight-forward analysis suddenly requires abstract thinking, and justification beyond just slash-and-burn management tactics. It doesn’t hurt when your group member on a project has built 4 businesses either!
The Babson environment on-campus breaths social responsibility, almost weekly there is a new email blast or announcement around activities of social value. If you want to learn about green investing and venture start-ups, in combination with socially-responsible capitalism, this is the place to do it.
Even beyond that, Roger Babson started this school with the goal of creating well-rounded individuals who were prepared to venture into the international space and make connections for life. The diverse student body really makes me feel connected to the current social and business issues around the world.
What advice would you offer to a student considering a MSF?
I would say go ahead and take the plunge! It’s a real challenge, and you will have to think in abstract and news ways, but you will learn a lot very quickly. I cannot emphasize the newly built confidence I have in my heavier quantitative financial skills as a result of this Master’s program. Old areas of anxiety are now points of strength, and I cannot wait to get out there and use my new skill set.