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Even with almost three decades of experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers – most recently, building out PwC’s financial services consulting practice in Tokyo and then Hong Kong and now leading the Washington, D.C., Metro advisory practice focusing on commercial businesses – Jeff applied to the HKUST-NYU Stern Master of Science in Global Finance (MSGF) program, believing a master’s program would benefit him in many ways.

“I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of how my financial services clients operated their businesses – their strategies, their front-office operations, how they deliver shareholder value and profitability, and the core of their business,” he explains. “I also was interested in becoming recognized as having studied at the master’s level in the area of finance, which I hope to use to further my career in delivering services to my clients.”

The MSGF degree is an emblem of Jeff’s transformation into a global citizen. A die-hard Philadelphia Eagles football fan, Jeff was both raised and educated in Philadelphia and spent the first 19 years of his career with PwC there. At first very apprehensive about relocating to Asia, Jeff now admits, “I couldn’t have imagined what a positive impact my overseas assignments have had on me both personally and professionally.”

When Jeff sought to further his education in global finance, this program was his unqualified choice. The program’s modular format, one-year commitment, and Hong Kong location made the program especially convenient for him. In fact after much research, those initial attractions actually became subordinate to the MSGF’s other assets. For one, “The faculty of both Stern and HKUST are world-renowned in their field, have an unparalleled passion for teaching, bring real-world experience to the classroom, and deliver an outstanding student experience,” Jeff says. In addition, the program focuses on his specialty – finance, risk, markets, mergers & acquisitions, and the financial services industry – rather than a more general curriculum.

Finally, he was hoping for a seasoned, international cohort, and the program more than delivered. As Jeff puts it, “My fellow students are impressive in their desire to learn, their experience of real-life trading and investing strategies and experience, and their knowledge about global finance and economy. We challenge and learn from each other, we embrace the topics because our careers involve them, and, most important, we have lots of fun along the way.”

Despite the challenges of working full-time, studying, and occasional travel, Jeff says the program has “far exceeded” his expectations in every way: “What I've learned has been extremely useful in my job in terms of more engaging conversations at C-level positions with my financial services clients. I’ve been able to gain an understanding of their underlying core businesses, their challenges and global issues, and how they differentiate themselves across the value chain, which makes my discussions more robust and on point. It's not that I didn't understand these issues before, but my confidence, my ability to articulate the issues, and my understanding have all increased as a result of the program.”

Original Source: Tales in Possible, NYU Stern Business School website

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