Graduate Student Spotlight: Emily Huang, MIT

Eller PDC Alumni Stories

Photo Credit: UA University Relations

Emily Huang graduated in May 2014 with majors in Finance and Mathematics. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Here Emily shares with us her preparation and application process. 

I learned about the term “financial engineering” in my sophomore year, and immediately I knew this is what I’m going to pursue: applying Mathematics and Computer Science skills into Finance. I looked into schools that offer Master’s in Financial Engineering (MFE) degrees, and started to prepare myself for the competitive application process then.

I believe a strong candidate for Financial Engineering programs should at least possess the following three attributes: strong quantitative skills, high achieving leadership, and keen interests in Finance. Declaring a math major was the very first step I took to achieve my goal. After that, I was elected to be the Vice President of the Investments Club to learn industry insights. Then I worked hard to intern at GE Capital in the summers of my sophomore and junior years working on Collaterals and Financial Modeling. During my senior year, I participated in the Global CFA Research Challenge (regional 3rd place) and Math Contest in Modeling (24th place out of 8,000~ internationally), and also passed the CFA Level I exam. I was very luck to have Associate Dean Pam Perry, Dr. Gosnell, and a few math professors (Prof. Laetsche, Prof. Niu, and Prof Lin) to be my strong supporters in applying for graduate schools.

I was admitted to 6 out of 7 graduate schools that I applied to. After careful consideration and much research on each program, I chose to pursue a Master’s degree in Finance at MIT. There is great flexibility in elective classes that students choose from, and we can cross-register with Harvard Business School and Kennedy School to have a broader selection of courses. The innovative and entrepreneurial campus environment of MIT also provides many opportunities to apply theories into practice, which I think is important to success in Finance careers.

Applying to graduate school is a lengthy process that requires persistence and long-term planning. In the end, the reward of getting admitted to my dream grad school and being one step closer to my career aspiration is worth the trouble of the arduous application process.