For previous generations the completion of an undergraduate degree would provide a direct pathway to secure employment. But in 2019, with the advent of globalisation, world travel is now affordable and accessible, the global population is increasing and living longer, so naturally competition for employment has subsequently increased.
So, as much as an undergraduate degree is an achievement and a sign to a potential employer that you have the tenacity to commit to a period of study, it may no longer be enough to give you the edge over another candidate/student, and that’s where postgraduate study comes in.
The University of Otago has a range of postgraduate study options, and today we will focus on the Master of Finance (MFinc), and associated scholarship opportunities offered by the Otago Business School’s Department of Accountancy & Finance.
Where to from here?
So, you’ve completed an undergraduate degree – congratulations! Or, perhaps you’ve been working for a number of years and you feel that there are gaps in your knowledge base/skill set that are holding you back from moving forward in your chosen career path? If you are seeking/currently in a career in the finance industry or for financial specialists in non-financial firms the Master of Finance (MFinc) is the qualification for you. The study options within the degree are designed to offer a number of pathways for you depending on your academic background and career aspirations. The primary pathway is for strong graduates of mathematically-oriented degrees such as mathematics and statistics, physics and economics.
Key information about the Master of Finance (MFinc):
- 12 month (February to February) full time study
- Seven taught papers plus either an applied or research project
- Applicants with a mathematically oriented degree and normally with an average grade of B+ in the papers satisfying the final year major subject requirement for that degree are encouraged to apply
- Applicants with relevant practical experience may also be considered if the B+ average is not met
If you complete the Applied Project (FINC501) option you will have a wide range of career opportunities in commercial and investment banks, brokerage and investment firms, insurance companies, treasury departments of non-financial corporations, regulatory agencies, consulting and accounting firms. If on the other hand you complete the Research Project (FINC580) you will also have the ability to design and pursue a large project of independent research and consider a Master of Commerce (MCom) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Finance.
The Master of Finance (MFinc) will equip you to be either:
- Professional practitioners in the field of Finance; or
- Academic researchers in the discipline of Finance
Internationally renowned lecturers
Professor Jin Zhang is Professor of Finance at the University of Otago. Jin was previously Associate Professor at the School of Economics and Finance, the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Jin Zhang received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tsinghua University in 1985 and 1988, respectively. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1996. After spending one-year as an associate at Morgan Stanley in New York, he went to Hong Kong to teach Financial Engineering at City University Hong Kong from 1997 to 2001, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from 2001 to 2004, and then HKU from 2004 to 2012. He has served as the Director of Master of Finance program and Associate Director, Center for Financial Innovation and Risk Management (CFIRM) at University of Hong Kong from 2009. PLUS on top of all of these academic achievements Jin was awarded the OUSA 2018 supervisor of the year award for the Accountancy and Finance Department!
Advice from a former Master of Finance (MFinc) student
Long Bui graduated with a Master of Finance (MFinc) in May 2019 and he had this to say about his experience:
“Completing the MFINC degree at the University of Otago has given me an opportunity to take a step forward in my finance career, i.e. to become a portfolio manager. As I moved on to management level in the asset management industry, I realised that having a solid background in financial analysis and fluent asset pricing technique is just not enough. You also need to be confident when encountering and discussing different advanced topics with your management colleagues and other specialists in this industry.
Confidence comes when you get rid of your fear and “the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”.
In this regard, the MFINC program enhances my knowledge on various aspects of finance, which were unknown to me before, such as mathematical finance, advanced corporate finance, advanced financial econometrics and energy carbon finance. I also had a chance to learn how to prepare and write academic research. Not to mention that I had hands-on experience in doing real life projects in risk management, electricity trading, stocks momentum effect using Matlab, STATA, and Excel simulation. All of the above fill the missing pieces in my whole picture of the broader finance world.
Besides, the MFINC lecturers are very supportive and dedicated, with their “heavy” and comprehensive course materials. Therefore, I would be more than happy to recommend the MFINC program to not only someone who wants to climb higher in their career ladder but also to those who think of starting their very first journey into the finance world.”
Apply now and receive a $10,000 scholarship
The Department of Accountancy and Finance is currently offering international students, who fit the admission requirements of the Master of Finance (MFinc), and wish to commence study in February 2020, the opportunity to receive (based on academic merit) a NZD $10,000 scholarship.
Further your knowledge and your career with the Master of Finance (MFinc) from the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Applications close 31 October 2019.
Nicky Richardson is an International Marketing Coordinator at the University of Otago. With degrees in music and marketing, both from Otago, she is passionate about education, and the places it can take you.