When choosing a master’s degree in finance, you’ll want to study in a location that’s brimming with finance hubs, expertise, and home to top finance companies.
Many students look to the US, and in particular New York, with its famous Wall Street banking area and NASDAQ stock exchange.
Meanwhile, others might consider global finance epicenters in Hong Kong, which serves as a key entrance point to the finance sphere in China.
The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA)—a government project that aims to interlink Chinese cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou into a buzzing business hub—is further proof of Hong Kong’s central role in the East Asia economic network.
To gain the benefits of both these locations, students may opt to join a partnership program that’s hosted by business schools in the East and the West.
A Master in Finance partnership program will mean accessing global companies
North America and East Asia are home to top finance organizations and firms, making these regions a great place to learn about global finance trends.
Yaxin Dai is from Singapore and is a graduate of the Master of Science in Global Finance (MSGF) program that’s hosted by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Business School and New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business.
The MS in Global Finance is targeted at finance professionals with around 12 years of work experience. Yaxin, who worked in risk management at a global investment bank at the time, joined the program after receiving a recommendation from her mentor at work.
She joined the one-year MSGF as she wanted to further her finance knowledge and broaden her global network while advancing her career.
The Master in Finance offers opportunities for professionals to work in teams, use relevant financial knowledge and skills assimilated throughout the program, strategize a solution to real-life finance issue or at a real company, and then present their findings.
Yaxin’s project saw her working on the assessment of a potential takeover bid of Tinder by Chinese dating app Momo.
“Through the analysis of the companies and the wider mobile dating app industries, we learned a lot about how companies generate revenue and how culture plays a part in the different regions and each respective company’s key competitors,” she says.
You’ll learn from professors with expertise in global finance matters
A master’s in finance can only be as good as its faculty.
As the MSGF is hosted by HKUST and NYU Stern, professionals learn from a mix of faculty with knowledge of Eastern and Western finance markets.
In courses such as ‘Global Macro and Asian Markets’ and ‘Financial Markets and Corporate Finance in China’, professionals can gain a deeper grounding in foreign exchange markets and new financial developments in Asia.
Xiangrun Li had been working in corporate finance for 10 years before deciding to join the MSGF to enhance his finance fundamentals. The chance to learn from renowned faculty was another deciding factor for him.
“One of my greatest inspirations for valuation analysis is Aswath Damodaran, a professor at NYU Stern. My fellow peers continue to refer to his equity risk premiums estimates for countries across the world.”
Aswath, who has written influential books on topics such as discounted cashflow valuation and dividend discount modelling, teaches in the partnership program.
“It was also great to know that I could continue to experience learning in the fast-growing economies of Asia, while learning about the biggest financial markets of the world in the US,” he says.
There are also non-traditional courses in ‘FinTech: Digital Currency, Blockchains, and the Future of Financial Services’, helping professionals keep ahead of key financial trends.
The Master in Finance program also invites guest speakers, such as those from fintech companies in China and the US, to speak with the class about the rapid dominance of new tech in the global finance industry.
A global Master in Finance offers great networking opportunities
Joining business school means accessing a global network, but joining a program hosted by two business schools in Asia and the US means accessing an even bigger network that can help to build your global finance career.
“I enjoyed learning about what my classmates were doing in their respective roles in the different companies and countries that they came from,” Yaxin says.
Professionals come from a range of finance sectors, including investment careers and real estate.
There are more than 500 MSGF alums working in over 40 different countries.
From speaking with her MSGF peers and gaining a deeper understanding of the Hong Kong market and culture, Yaxin leveraged this knowledge to gain experience in structured finance credit rating in Hong Kong.
She then used this knowledge to leap into a career within this area at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore.
There are also many grads who go on to launch careers within the US banking sector in areas such as private equity or investment.
Xiangrun has also benefited from being immersed with global peers by improving his cultural awareness learning, helping him to thrive at a global bank BNP Paribas as a corporate finance director for real estate investment banking in Asia-Pacific.
“The robust learning has further strengthened my finance fundamentals and made me more knowledgeable across all spectrums of finance,” he says.
Even if you’re a seasoned finance professional, there’s always room to learn more about the complex finance world, and get up to speed with constantly changing trends.
Choosing a Master in Finance that leverages shared knowledge of Eastern and Western finance markets might be your best bet if you’re looking to launch a truly global finance career.