SAMPLE SOP FOR MS FINANCIAL ENGINEERING

| Sample SOP for MS Financial Engineering – This a Statement of Purpose of a student who got admitted to Columbia University for the Masters in Financial Engineering (FE) program. |

Over the last few decades, the landscape of the financial industry has transformed at a persistently rapid rate. The world as we know it has changed dramatically on account of the technology boom and the financial industry has been, in my opinion, the biggest beneficiary of this boom. Gone are the days when human intuition played the key differentiating factor in investment decisions. Algorithmic trading now comprises roughly one-third of total volume traded on many mature derivative exchanges. Today’s financial markets rely on innovative models and advanced quantitative techniques and strategies, executed by computer programs, for value creation. I witnessed this first hand during the two 10-week online courses, “Introduction to Finance” and “Computational finance and Financial Econometrics”, I took via the free online educational website, Coursera. These courses provided me with introductory knowledge on financial instruments, time series concepts, AR(1) and MA(1) models, Monte Carlo Simulation, Markowitz algorithm, and how to use the statistical programming language R for financial applications. Intrigued by the subject matter and realizing my aptitude for the same, I am eager to expand the knowledge I attained during these courses and pursue more a rigorous and thorough education by pursuing a Master’s degree in Financial Engineering at Columbia University.

My short term career goal is to work in an investment bank or hedge fund in the areas of derivative pricing, quantitative asset management and trading financial products. I intend to work in such a capacity for a few years, developing my professional network and perfecting my trade after which I plan to start my own hedge fund. Within derivatives, my interest primarily lies in asset classes like fixed income, credit and foreign exchange, dealing in instruments like variance swaps, credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations. I am certain that attaining a degree from Columbia University would be my first and most crucial step in achieving this goal.
Sample SOP for MS Financial Engineering
I believe that my educational background specifically my undergraduate degree in Electronics Engineering from _________, one of the pre-eminent engineering colleges in India, has given me the skills I will need to succeed in this program. My undergraduate curriculum has given me sufficient grounding in Mathematics and Computer Science. I have always excelled in mathematics, right from my school days. Back then I used to be called the “go-to-guy” if anyone had any doubts in mathematics and the teacher was not around to solve them. My performance in examinations has always been exemplary which resulted in awards and recognition. As a result of my hard work and propensity for the subject, I have attained a score of 96/100 in my 12th grade HSC board examinations and 98/100 in the state entrance examination in mathematics, which placed me well within the top 0.5% of candidates appearing for these exams.
Sample SOP for MS Financial Engineering
My engineering curriculum in mathematics has enabled me to gain a solid grasp over topics like differential and integral calculus, differential equations, vector algebra, matrix algebra, complex numbers, partial differentiation, probability theory, statistical theory, random distributions, correlation, regression, numerical techniques etc. Also courses in other areas of engineering like Digital Signal processing, Control Systems and Digital Communications have introduced me to time and frequency domain transforms, continuous and discrete time analysis, random processes, linear predication and AR, MA and ARMA models. I was always amongst the top 5% of students in my class of 75 in the subject of Applied Mathematics.
Sample SOP for MS Financial Engineering
Mathematical models have existed for longer than most of us realize. They alone would have had very little bearing on financial markets had it not been for technology. In fact, during my internship at Citibank, I learnt the tremendous difference that technology has made in improving the speed and efficiency of operations and how it has provided a platform for consolidation.
Sample SOP for MS Financial Engineering
During my undergraduate education, I have had the opportunity to learn a wide gamut of programming languages like C, C++, MATLAB, amongst others. Throughout my engineering studies, I have engaged myself in a number of technical projects which have enhanced my programming skills. When given any problem, I particularly enjoy conceptualizing the algorithm and arriving at the most efficient solution in a given scenario.
Sample SOP for MS Financial Engineering
I have already taken steps to provide myself with a suitable platform for my graduate studies in financial engineering. Besides the aforementioned online courses, I have undergone a training program, titled, “The Beginners Program on Futures and Options” at the Centre for Financial Learning at ICICI Bank. I have enrolled for two more Coursera courses beginning in the future, namely “Computational Investing” and “Financial Engineering and Risk Management”, the latter being taught by Columbia faculty, including the famous Emanuel Derman as a guest faculty. I also intend to take a course on Advanced Derivatives Trading Strategies in the near future.To further enhance my credentials, I am looking to attain a CFA Charter from the CFA Institute and am currently a Level 1 candidate and will appear for the Level 1 exam in June 2013.
Sample SOP for MS Financial Engineering
My current role as an Associate Consultant at Ernst and Young has me working on Enterprise Intelligence and Analytics engagements where I study the operational processes of different corporations and work with a team to design a Business Intelligence solution for objectives ranging from operational reporting to predictive analytics aiding in corporate decision making. Periodic presentations and meetings with clients have helped me enhance my social skills and confidence while dealing with clients. Working in teams has developed my leadership and team-building skills.
Sample SOP for MS Financial Engineering
While my undergraduate degree and work experiences at Citibank and Ernst and Young have refined my core skills in applied mathematics, programming and finance, I look forward to pursuing a graduate degree from Columbia University to learn to assimilate these disciplines. The MS program through courses such as Asset Allocation, Algorithmic Trading, Credit Risk Modelling and Credit Derivatives, Foreign Exchange and Related Derivatives Instrument, Global Capital Markets & Investments, Computational Methods in Derivatives Pricing, Quantitative Risk Management, Term Structure Modelling, Introduction to the Implied Volatility Smile and other such topics, will offer me a comprehensive understanding of the latest developments in my professional arena. Columbia University is one of the most prestigious and sought after institutions of higher education in the world and being situated in New York City, it would provide the ideal environment for earning a graduate degree in Financial Engineering. Additionally the opportunity to learn from the esteemed faculty and network with current students and alumni would provide me with an invaluable practical perspective. It is my sincere belief that my self-motivation coupled with drive to attain perfection and specialized knowledge will not only help me achieve my own academic objectives but will also enable me to contribute to the furthering of those at Columbia.
Sample SOP for MS Financial Engineering
I keenly look forward to being a part of the incoming autumn 2013 class.