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Morning Coffee: The $29k quant course whose students earn $220k on graduation. The art of writing a cold email for a job

We've written about the Baruch Masters of Financial Engineering (MFE) course a few times at eFinancialCareers. If you're someone with an unusual talent for mathematics who wants to be a quant and who dislikes squirting unnecessary money at prestigious courses, it's probably for you.

Competition for places is always high: there are interviews and an 'aggressive' screening process. But now that Baruch's benefits have been noticed by Bloomberg, it's likely to be even higher still. 'Baruch’s master’s in financial engineering (MFE) offers quasi-vocational training that can pay off fast,' notes Bloomberg. The Baruch Masters in Financial Engineering course costs $29k versus more than $120k at MIT, and Baruch graduating students earn $170k, or $220k when bonuses are added. This year, one Baruch MFE student secured a $500k offer from a hedge fund.

Baruch's most recent MFE career development report (from Jan '22) reveals that most of its graduating students stay in New York City, with around a quarter working elsewhere in the US or the rest of the world. Many are also American, but Dan Stefanica, the former MIT professor who runs the course, tells Bloomberg that more and more are arriving from elsewhere. They include 23-year-old Yurun Song, who says her Chinese parents were concerned that she was studying at a college they'd never heard of.

Within five years of graduating, Baruch MFEs can earn $1m. The employment report reveals that the most lucrative roles for graduates are in buy-side quantitative research, where many earn more than $600k. The least lucrative are in risk management, where pay tops out below $300k. Even that's not bad for a one-year course costing $29k: “We have the highest compensation and lowest tuition among the top 10 programs,” Stefanica tells Bloomberg. 

Separately, if you don't have a Baruch MFE and are trying and failing to apply for quant jobs at hedge funds, Igor Tulchinsky, the Belarusian former video game programmer and ex-Millennium quant who now runs Millennium spinout WorldQuant, has some advice. You have to send a lot of letters to company executives.

“For every 1,000 letters you get about 10 interviews and two job offers, but only if you send to CEOs and only if you flatter them in a vague way," says Tulchinsky, who used this technique himself in the early 1990s. It's different if you have the correct credentials: "If you send 1,000 letters to Wharton alumni [where he did an MBA] you’ll get a thousand letters back with pages of thoughtful advice but no job offer.”

Meanwhile...

Citi is letting employees work from wherever they want (within their country of employment) for the last two weeks of the year. "Our junior bankers, they don’t have to be in the office late at night if they’re working on a deal. Once they’ve done the work collaborating together, they can do that at home. We know if they’re doing a good job or not.” (Bloomberg) 

Prosecutors will need to show that Sam Bankman Fried willfully broke the law. (WSJ) 

SBF is in the hospital ward of his prison in the Bahamas. In an application for bail, his lawyer said he vegan, suffers from depression and insomnia, and has had attention deficit disorder (ADD) for over a decade. He also uses Emsam, a patch that must be replaced daily, which treats major depressive disorder; takes 10 milligrams of Zyrtec, an allergy pill, every day; and takes 10 milligrams of Adderall for his ADD every four hours. (Nassau Guardian) 

Ryan Salame, the former co-chief executive officer of FTX Digital Markets who tipped off Bahamian authorities to Bankman Fried spent $6 million on restaurants and real estate a small town in Berkshire, America. He owns two restaurants, a dessert shop, a catering company and a food truck called The Lunch Pail. (Bloomberg) 

Sheila Bair, ex-head of the FDIC: "The weaknesses are obviously in the non-bank sector... You can’t insulate banks from instability in the non-bank sector. In the financial crisis, banks got blamed and they were responsible for a big part of it, but at the origination level it was primarily non-banks that were making unaffordable mortgage loans and securities firms played a big role in subprime securitisations." (Financial Times) 

Blackstone and Apollo have made Christmas videos. Blackstone's has Steve Schwarzman in a Santa hat. Apollo's contains the lines, "It's Sunday, so we like to let them start a little later," and "Not everyone has the same needs. This meal needs to be designed accordingly." (Business Insider) 

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Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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