Online Master of Science in Finance

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Degree Impact on Students

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Kevin Sahotsky:
The program has impacted my career in an incredibly positive way. I had a full-time job for a good period of time and I was on a great track. The MBA allowed me to take that next step in my career to an executive level and that’s been extremely positive. Personally, the MBA has given me the confidence to look forward with a lot of things that I do and push harder knowing that I have a great background from Northeastern University.

Amy Brown:
Professionally, it was immediate. I was given a promotion in June. I just finished a program in August. My employer saw how dedicated I was to my schoolwork as well as managing my day-to-day work obligations. So, it was immediate for me.

Brian Pellegrini:
It allowed me to more directly implement the things that I had learned at my job. And it’s allowed me to take on a new role as – a more senior role.

Isabela Danielsen:
Wonderful point that Northeastern makes is to ensure that the faculty is available to support students, even from a distance. Those interactions were fantastic because it taught me skills that actually I applied today at my work ‘cause around 75% of what I do is done with facilities all over the world. So, that ability to actually do what we do every day, WebEx or teleconference or being able to actually provide a work product to a teacher after doing the work that wasn’t necessarily done in the same location actually enriched my life very much and enriched my ability to do my job. I was able to apply that directly into what I do on a day-to-day basis.

Jordan Erskine:
The program has impacted me a lot. Already a couple months before I was completing the program, I was already having a lot of job offers and even promotion opportunities within the company that I work for.

[End of Audio]

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Marcy Reyes, Online MSF’14

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My name is Marcy Reyes and I completed the masters of science in finance program at Northeastern. I would tell a colleague who was considering this program to definitely go for it. Just be prepared that it’s going to be a lot of work and you’re going to have a fantastic experience, but it’s going to take a lot of discipline and focus because it’s just as much work as if you were to take classes here at the school.

I currently work full-time in the finance division for a healthcare company and I was able to move up in the company. I was promoted and I’m also looking at prospects for teaching as at the school where I completed my undergraduate degree. So, it’s very exciting because it’s opening the doors for me and I’m very excited about that. This is a very rewarding experience. I am extremely proud that I was able to complete this program because of how much work it is, how much you learn, how intense it is, the level of self-discipline I was able to afford to get it done. And I was able to do it while setting an example for my daughter, for my younger sister’s who’s now enlisted in school and she’s doing well. And just for the opportunities that it’s going to bring you. It’s just very, very rewarding overall.

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Scott Desmond, Online MSF’14

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My name is Scott Desmond. I completed the online master of science and finance. I work in financial services and asset management in downtown Boston. Currently, I do derivative operations which involves handling everything from swaps, futures and options, once they’ve been traded right through to maturity.

I chose this program because I wanted to further my career and move more into the investment management side of the business and this program offered me the flexibility to do my work from home without having to commute into Boston to take classes.

The thing that I would tell any friends or colleagues is that it’s a great program from the standpoint that you can get your master’s degree without having to physically attend school, especially after work when you get out you’re in class for about three hours. You can do all this from home.

The track that I decided to pursue was the investment side. So, it was more of stockbroker analysis and all the financial aspects of the investment industry. I chose that because I’ve worked in investments for about 15 years and I wanted to further my career in that progression, in that track.
The classes that stood out to me were the classes that involved a lot of the sort of financial analysis, ‘cause those were courses that I didn’t have a lot of when I was in undergrad. And the other courses that you do a lot of is statistical analysis. Typically what I would do is I would go to the library and I would make sure I did everything before I did the lessons. And I always printed up the lessons so I had something on paper to refer to and so I could facilitate taking notes on.

It’s a great program. It allows you to complete your degree on your own time and at your own pace.

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Brian Pellegrini, Online MSF’13

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My name is Brian Pellegrini. I completed the masters of science in finance program.
I chose Northeastern for a few reasons. The first is that the school itself is a good school. A highly accredited business school. And unlike a lot of other programs, the online program is the exact same program that the in person students take, which is not always the case for different schools. And there’s a lot of faculty-student interaction from what I understood from my investigation beforehand.

It took a bit of getting used to, interacting with people who I had not met in person at all. One of the good things about it was that you do get used to working in a completely global context. One experience I had – we had a group project and I’m located in New York, one of the group partners was in Kuwait and then another one was in China. And so we had to figure out how to balance getting the work done without having a convenient time we could all talk by phone. And so once we got used to that, it actually worked out well because we could pass off the work to each other based on the time zone. So, I finish, go to sleep, pass it off, then the guy in Kuwait would take over. And then when he went to sleep, the guy in China would take over. And so it was a different experience, it was not something I had the opportunity to do before. And it was very useful and I enjoyed it.

I would say don’t take the decision lightly because it is a big commitment in terms of time and in terms of financially. But it is worth it if you’ve decided this is what you wanna do and you see it through to the end, then it is worth it. But there were people who I came across over the time who seemed like they may have done it on a whim. They seem to struggle a little more than people who were passionate it about it and who wanted to make sure they saw it through to the end.

It’s been a big help to my career. I decided to pursue a master’s program to supplement my CFA charter. CFA is very useful and you learn a lot, but it’s all pencil and paper. So, you’re never actually doing labs, you’re never doing group work. And so, this was a great supplement to that, because it actually allowed me to utilize in a realistic context the things I learned in CFA. And so it allowed me to more directly implement the things I had learned at my job. And it’s allowed me to take on a new role as a more senior role producing my own research.

All the time, pretty much in every single class it involves generally a group project component. And then there’s usually a discussion board that allows the students to interact outside of the group context. And then the professors are always very available for office hours and the teaching assistants were very helpful and most of them had been through the program themselves. So, they understood when you run into a roadblock, ways to help you figure it out and work around it.

I mean it’s a great move for your career and make sure you choose the right program because it is a big financial commitment and it’s a big time commitment, and it’s the kind of thing that you really can only do once, so you can’t take it back. So make sure you get the right place that’s gonna be a good fit for you.

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Professor Jeffery Born

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Hi, my name is Jeff Born. I’m the finance group coordinator. I’ve been the director of the executive MBA program and I was the senior associate dean for academic affairs when the online program was created.

I developed and teached the portfolio management course. This is an elective course for MBA students and it’s a required course for MSF students. And it’s a five-week offering and it’s everything you wanted to know about portfolio management, but were afraid to ask. The management economic course is the only economics course in our program and it provides students with an overview of both macro and microeconomics in a five-week term.

Most of my research has involved an analysis of how financial markets or how financial asset prices respond to new information coming into the marketplace. So, we’ve referred to these as event studies. I’ve done an enormous number of event studies in my career. Everything from how share prices react when companies change their dividend policy to how railroad company stocks react when there’s a major train wreck and loss of life and kind of everything in between. So, I’m really quite interested in how out of chaos comes order. The online program is a very important part of what we do and I’m just really happy to be a part of it.

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Professor Nicole Boyson

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My name is Nicole Boyson and I’m a professor of finance, I guess an associate professor of finance. So, I teach fixed income securities online at Northeastern. I’ve been teaching at – I think this is my sixth or seventh year. And the course is really about economics. And so, I try to teach it as kind of a broad overview looking at sort of how fixed income interacts with the broader investment world. So, for example, we spend a lot of time talking about the fed and how the fed works, short-term interest rates, that sort of thing.

So in our online class, we do quite a few different types of assignments. We have kind of the traditional quizzes, exams and that sort of thing, regular homework and do problems. But we also do some case studies that are driven typically. Studies sometimes that I create based on actual real world events. Other case studies that we use from Harberger or other providers of casework.

I’m delighted when my online students send me an email, because I don’t get that face to face connection and so it’s very nice. You need to make sure you’re absolutely committed to it, you’re willing to put in that time. But I will say that most of us that teach in the online program, and we’re all the same guys and girls that teach on ground, we work really hard to translate that material and make it accessible. So, I’ve had comments from students that said this is very time intensive, this was a ton of material, but it was presented clearly and linearly and I had help. And so I was able to work through it, as all schools sort of get more hyberdized, we like to use all this terminology. I mean we’re beginning to offer some of our on ground students the ability to take courses online. Our part-time evening, MBA students, some of their elective courses. And so we obviously feel that the quality and the strength of the program is identical to the on ground experience, in terms of interaction, in terms of kind of access to faculty and the quality of the materials and the education. They’re perfectly equivalent.

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