Current Students Sharing their Study Experience on the Admissions Information Session

October 16, 2019

Written by NYU Shanghai Graduate Admissions


On October 11th, Karen and Xiaoyu, students from two master's programs, gave us a very valuable experience sharing in the information session of master's program in Quantitative Finance, Data Analytics and Business Computing. They shared the motivation of applying to the MS program and study experience at New York and Shanghai campus. Here are some excerpts of student sharings and Q&A  from the event.


I had my undergraduate in dual-degree of Marketing and Interactive Media Arts. I am going to share why applying for this program, the advantages about this program and some recommendations for application.

I heard about the program from the program director and went to one of the on-campus information sessions. One of the things really catching me was that our professor told me it's an industry-focused program. Now is the Big Data Era, which is really the trend. And I thought this program was really unique and this was a really good opportunity. So after talking to my parents, I decided to give it a try.

As for the advantages of this program, first of all, we have a lot of resources. If you are an academic person, we have a lot of library support. For example, we have access to a lot of paid databases by using our NYU NetID. This is really good and also if you want to do some research that requires  some unique hard copy materials, which are in New York, Florence or anywhere around the world, you can just request for it in NYU Global Community and they'll ship them to you for free.

Besides really good library resources, we have a lot of good creative wellness sources as well. For example, program director has arranged a lot of company visits for us, so we can really get the first hand industry experience. You get to talk to a lot of people who work in this industry for quite a long time and you get really fresh and first-hand experiences.

So those are the major advantages. As for the recommendations for application, first of all, for myself, I am not really a data person. My undergraduate study is not actually relevant to this program. I got a lot of students asking me, what if my undergraduate major is not relevant? Can I still apply for this program? The answer is definitely Go For It. Don’t worry too much about the major but definitely think about why you want to apply to this program. If there is something you really want, then go for it.



My undergraduate major is finance. Karen had said a lot of things about her willingness and practice about applying to the program, so I will share more experiences atNYU Stern in New York and here, at NYU Shanghai.

The first thing at NYU Stern is about the faculty. For example, Prof. Cliff Hurvich, our professor for Statistics is very famous in the field. He got a PhD from Princeton. And we're in Quantitative Finance program. Our academic director is Jeffrey Wurgler. He's also a very famous finance professor. And also we have other professors, like Alexi Savov, famous for the option return research[LR1] , and other professors who have experience in the clinical, professional as well as the academic area. 

We also have other resources like CDC, the Career Development Center, a whole platform that provides  you with on-campus jobs, full time jobs or part-time internship opportunities. We can search on the Internet and quickly apply for it. CDC helps you to revise your CV and prepare for your job interviews, which is very helpful. You can make appointments with them or just walk in  during their fixed office hours. We also have company visits. We went to the Federal Reserve in New York and also NASDAQ. It's really fantastic and precious.

Finally for some application tips. The first and foremost important thing I think is that you have to know why you want to choose the program. That's the most important thing. You need to know what you want to gain from the program, what the objects are. And secondly you need to know what are your advantages over other applicants, because you need to think about why the program chooses you to be a member of it. And the third thing is the two essay questions, one is for your professional aspirations, the other is for six photos. You should use six different style photos to show your diversity and passion . And also we have one recommendation letter. For this I believe  you don't need to choose the famous professors. Instead, you should choose the professor who are most familiar with you.


Q: I am deeply attracted by the Quantitative Finance Program and will definitely apply for it. So can you give some tips for the preparation?

Xiaoyu: We have three pre-enrollment requirements. So I suppose you can learn Math as much as possible. Math is very important, because some professors just teach you the model. And if you don't know the basic math, you can't understand what he is talking about.

Secondly, as for the preparation for the program you need to learn Finance as  we are the Quantitative Finance major. For the quantitative part you should know math and for the finance part you should know finance. Like the professor I mentioned before, they will not start from the very beginning of finance. They will start from the very high level. So you need to try to learn like finance investment or even international finance before you join the program.


Q: I’m just curious about comparing the two programs, which one do you think requests more math knowledge?

Karen: I think Data Analytics and Business Computing definitely requires a lot more computer science skills. And their program requires a little bit more math skills. I think multivariable calculus is one of the prerequisite courses  for the Quantitative Finance program. Their program is a little bit more math-intensive and ours is more coding-intensive.