Trying to decide which Master of Science in Finance program is right for you? Director of Admissions Maura Clark has some advice

This post was written by Maura Clark, Director of Admissions for the Vanderbilt Business Master of Science in Finance program.

Maura Clark

As we enter 2019, prospective students will start applying to Master of Science in Finance (MSF) programs or considering the acceptances they have already received. As with all graduate schools, deciding what program to attend is a big decision: Getting an MSF degree is an investment of time, energy, and money, though the ROI is often considerable.

If you’re trying to decide which Master of Science in Finance is right for you, here are my top five tips for weighing your options:

1. Visit campus if you can.

This may sound rather obvious, but nothing can really replace stepping foot inside Owen, meeting your current student host, and sitting in on a class with MSF students. Casual conversations, the vibe among students, activity in the school — these are all important pieces to observe. Do you feel comfortable on campus? Are the students, staff and faculty welcoming? Can you really picture yourself here next year? You can glean a lot from websites and phone calls, but nothing replaces being able to explore a program in person.

2. Interview virtually if you can’t.

That being said, if you can’t visit, don’t sweat it too much! We enroll students from all over the globe, and I understand that not everyone can visit campus. Candidates who can’t interview in person have the option to conduct a Skype interview. If you haven’t used a video-chat system like Skype or Zoom before, you can practice ahead of time so you feel more comfortable.

3. Reach out to current students and recent alumni.

Our community wants to meet you and connecting with students and alumni via email or phone is a great way to learn more about the program and life at Vanderbilt. Be yourself, be respectful of the student or alum’s time. Do a bit of research ahead of time and have some targeted questions. However you’re communicating, act professionally and authentically, and always follow-up with a thank you!

4. Research the program online.

Go beyond the school website and look up articles, rankings and blogs to see what people are saying about a school that interests you. Just as you would for a school assignment, look for quality information that cites sources or shares methodology.

5. Call or email me!

As the dedicated admissions representative for the Vanderbilt MSF program, I am happy to connect via phone or email to answer any questions you may have. We can talk specifically about Vanderbilt, or more generally about applying to graduate schools, careers in finance, and so on. If I don’t have the answers, I will find someone who does.

Haven’t applied to MSF programs yet? The deadline for Vanderbilt Business is coming up on January 10, 2019, and you can start (or finish) your application here. If you’d like more information before you apply, feel free to check out our program page or email me at maura.clark@owen.vanderbilt.edu.