Oxford MSc Financial Economics
MFE alumni Q&A
Our MFE alumni from the past 10 years of the programme answer the questions you want answered:
What is the single most important thing you have learned on the MFE?
- “The rigour of quantitative finance.”
- “That I could compete with very smart classmates from top programs around the world.”
- “Besides technical abilities, I think the single most important thing was working together in very international groups. Learning from each other was the most important thing on the MFE.”
- “That hard work counts for more than mere talent/intelligence and that confidence matters even more than both combined at times”
- “This may sound funny but it's more of a life lesson; I learned that no matter how smart, hardworking and capable you think you are, there will always exist those that will outdo you in each category. And ultimately that's ok. Being the best at everything is not what life is about. Having the humility and wisdom to take a step back and open one's mind in order to learn from other amazing, high-achieving individuals is so much more meaningful.”
How has the MFE provided you with the skills and knowledge required to do your current role?
- “The MFE has been tremendously helpful in two ways: 1) The Oxford brand and network is very powerful; 2) The MFE gave a rigorous understanding of the fundamentals of finance, which has given me confidence in formulating opinions and understanding investing scenarios.”
- “The MFE was great in that it provided me with the technical abilities to solve challenging problems in financial economics. Being in a Ph.D. in economics program, I would say that the math skills, programming capabilities in Matlab, and thorough knowledge of how financial markets work were most valuable.”
- “My job is much simpler than anything the MFE covered. It has provided me with a solid academic background that is helpful. The name of the University and the prestige of the course come in handy when meeting new people.”
- “More than anything else the MFE program invigorated my mind and challenged me to be a more dedicated, deep thinking individual. While I can't say I've used specific tools taught in lectures - I didn't even go in to the finance or economics fields - I am a better employee, team member and individual because of my experience at Oxford.”
How do you view your experience of studying at Oxford since you left?
- “One of the single most rewarding and enjoyable years of my life.”
- “The best investment I've ever made.”
- “It was a transformative experience and a very enriching year. Oxford as an institution is tremendously impressive and I think it is important to immerse oneself in university life (outside the MFE) as much as possible.”
- “I think Oxford was one of the best years of my life. The experience was extremely valuable both in terms of the skills I picked up, but also in terms of the friendships I made, which last to this day.”
- “I view it as a very transformative year of my life where I learned extraordinary things. I was pushed way out of my comfort zone and came to understand so much more about myself and the world.”
- “Critical stepping stone for my career growth and professional network.”
How would you describe the programme now you have some distance from it?
- “I was impressed by the professionalism of the whole experience. I examine my time at the MFE and realise how everything was so incredibly well attuned so that you could just focus on learning. I later went on to work in banking and recognised this efficiency as akin to what one finds in the corporate world. To a prospective student I would say: your subjects will be challenging and the stuff to go over magnificently copious, but in as much as you want to get to the bottom of it all, the programme will make sure that the limit is set only by your brains and the duration of a term.”
- “Academically and theoretically rigorous. Challenging.”
- “I would say it's an intensive, accelerated finance/econ boot camp for some of the brightest minds on earth.”
- “Best part of my life.”
How has the programme changed you?
- “Apart from the technical skills, it made me an incredibly global and well-rounded person.”
- “It has opened up career options that would not have been possible without the Oxford name and the confidence in financial and economic foundations that the curriculum provides.”
- “I think the programme has given me a better appreciation of the views of people coming from very different cultures than my own, and what they can bring to the table. I think doing well at Oxford has also made me more confident about my abilities.”
What are your best memories of Oxford?
- “There are just too many great memories! All of them involve fantastic people, many of whom I count as my best friends.”
- “All the hard work that at the same time was the most fun I've ever had.”
- “A new approach to knowledge. My classmates. The pubs and the colleges. The shadows of giants past and present.”
- “The historical and cultural richness of the institution. Rowing. Lasting friendships.”
- “So many things. Punting in the spring with friends. Lavish college balls. Spending time together at dinner, either in college or at SBS, after a day full of stimulating learning experiences. I think every day was great.”
- “If I can be honest, my fondest memory is the adventures I took around campus when I probably should have been in class or studying instead. I would become stressed at times and take long walks, mostly around the Christ Church meadows just to explore and observe. I remember seeing all the spring baby animals hatch and watching them grow big into the summer. These memories of the walks I took will forever be in my heart.”
- “Early mornings on the water training with college rowing team and late nights in the library studying with MFE course mates.”
Learn more about our programme from a student point of view