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Advice on Applying and Getting Accepted to the MS in Global Finance Program

From tapping into the latest opportunities in FinTech to connecting with top investment banks to pivoting career paths, Master in Finance programs are a great opportunity to network, travel, and accelerate your career. 

Even those who have climbed to an executive-level role can benefit from a refresher on their industry. This is especially true in the dynamic world of finance and in today’s evolving global economy, with revolutionary new technologies and constant innovations in products, services, and processes.

The post-experience Master of Science in Global Finance (MSGF), a joint venture between HKUST and NYU Stern, brings together executive-level professionals from across the globe to learn from expert faculty in the financial centers of New York, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. 

So, when researching a post-experience Master in Finance, what should you look for? From admission requirements to fees and application tips, we break down everything you need to know. 

Master in Global Finance Admissions Requirements

Admissions processes vary between schools, with some taking rolling applications and others with clear rounds. Nearly all will require you to attend an interview, submit references, and write an essay explaining why you’re the perfect fit for this program.

The HKUST-NYU Stern MSGF, is competitive so to give yourself the best chance of success, you should reach out to the admissions team to ask any questions you may have and get some insider tips. 

The official process begins with a preliminary information form where you submit your initial resume, and then an informal interview with the admissions team, where you can gain further insight into the program and your compatibility with it. 

After this comes an online application, where you’ll submit your resume, essays, official transcript and recommendations. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a more formal selection interview. 

Master in Finance courses are separated into pre-experience, for recent bachelor’s graduates with limited work experience, and post-experience, that require you to have worked in the sector before enrolling. 

The HKUST-NYU Stern MSGF is a post-experience course, with the class of 2024 bringing an average of 13 years work experience to the classroom, representing 14 nationalities with an average age of 37. Students have worked at companies including Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, and S&P Global. 

Applicants who have worked for these kinds of financial giants are sure to stand out, but the course can also be used to pivot into finance. 

If you are applying with the goal of switching your career, it’s worth reflecting how your individual experience is applicable to the finance sector, and explaining this clearly in the interview and essays. 

The skills you gain can also prepare you for industries outside of finance. Graduates have launched careers across sectors including as a film producer and a co-founder of a luxury fertility company. 

The MSGF also requires clear evidence of quantitative skills, which can be demonstrated through your previous experience, or through taking the GMAT. 

Master in Global Finance Fees

Master in Finance courses are an investment in your future, but the expenses are an important factor to consider. The program fee for the Class of 2025, November 2024 intake, is $84,500 (HKD 659,100). 

While this investment sounds substantial, students are only required to be away from the office for less than six weeks over the course of one year, so they learn cutting-edge finance knowledge while balancing their professional commitments.

There are lots of different ways to fund your degree, from loans and scholarships, to crowdfunding or company sponsorship. 

The HKUST-NYU MSGF has a number of ways to help finance your degree including merit-based awards such as Diversity Excellence and Women in Finance. 

Depending on the candidate’s location, different finance options or aid may be available. For example, the US Department of Veterans Affairs offers financial assistance to service members, veterans, and their dependents.

Master in Global Finance Application Tips

When looking for the right Master in Finance for you, don’t be afraid of getting in touch with faculty, alums, or students to gather as much information as possible before you decide to apply.

“A sincere applicant will reach out to some of our alumni, more than one, to get a better perspective if the program is suitable for them and receive advice about the interview,” says Jialin Yu from HKUST and academic director of the MS in Global Finance.

You’ll need a clear idea of your long-term career aspirations. Are you hoping to pivot into a different department, or gain exposure to a foreign market? It’s worth outlining these ambitions clearly in your application essays, and showing how the specific course you're applying for can help you realize your goals.

There is a strong peer-to-peer aspect at top-tier programs so they will value applicants who have strong communication skills, a collaborative mindset, and a unique perspective to bring to the classroom. 

"From a knowledge perspective, it's more about the exchange of knowledge within the industry," says Michelle Tang who has used what she gained from the program to co-found a luxury fertility clinic in Los Angeles

"My classmates have real-life experience from different functions within the financial industry; some are in sales, some are portfolio managers, and some are traders,” she adds. 

When it comes to your application, particularly in the interviews and essays, it’s important to get across how you will contribute to this collaborative atmosphere, as well as what you are hoping to gain from it. 

Overall, the stand-out applications are often the ones that are most genuine, and allow your personality to shine through. Keep this in mind, and you’re sure to put in a competitive application. 


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