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Ohio University’s Online MFE Roadmap

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Brittany: Alright. Good afternoon. Thank you, everyone, for joining us today for our Masters of Financial Economics Road Map to Success webinar. My name is Brittany Kraft and I will be your moderator today and most of you will know me as your enrollment advisor. Our webinar should take maybe about 30 minutes or so but we will have a Q&A section at the end to address any questions that you may have for myself and our other presenter. If you need to step away from the webinar at any point, it’s not a problem. A recorded version of today’s webinar will be available for on demand viewing. So let’s go ahead and get started.

So, as I said, my name is Brittany Kraft. I am the enrollment advisor for the online MFE program. It is my role to assist potential applicants through their research phase and to ensure that the right program is being selected for both future educational and professional goals. I work with all applicants through the admissions process until classes start. I want to introduce two individuals who, while they’re not with us today, will be a very important component to our – to your potential success in the program. The program director is Dr. K. Doroodian. He is actually the founder of the MFE program as well as the current professor and is very active in the success of the program and its students. If accepted to the MFE program you will be greeted by Dr. Doroodian on behalf of the Economics Department and you will get to know him very well throughout the program. James McKnight is your program coordinator and he assists all accepted students from the start of the program to graduation. Think of James as your personal support system on the road to achieving your Masters degree. So even though the program is completely online you do have a strong support system within our MFE team.

So before I go into detail about the MFE program I want to kind of provide you what to expect moving forward. Uh, there is going to be another individual with me that I want to introduce. I am joined today by Vahic Gegarian. He is a current online student completing the Masters of Financial Economics degree. I will introduce Vahic shortly and we’ll have the opportunity to ask him some questions about his experience and get everything started from there. But let’s go ahead and get started with a little bit more about our financial economics program. Before you begin the admissions process for any program it’s first important to determine if the program will fit your needs. Make sure that you’re finding a program that fits both your educational needs as well as your work/life balance needs. Our online Masters of Financial Economics program is offered fully online and can be completed in as little as two years. Following a part-time cohort this program is flexible for working professionals and easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Today’s employers are seeking highly educated employees who can handle all that life throws their way and finding a program that will help to increase your career potential but will not limit your capabilities at work is a great way to show adaptability and preparedness.

So why an MFE degree? The Financial Economics Masters program is different to an MBA or a Masters of Finance because the curriculum goes deeper into the knowledge base required for careers in the inves – in the investment management sector and in financial services specifically towards financial analysis. More than 70% of the curriculum is based on the Charter Financial Analyst candidate body of knowledge as we are endorsed by the CFA Institute and the program places focus on the CFA Institute code of ethics and standard practices as well as the concept and skills covered in the exams. For those of you who are interested in the Options Affordance charter – excuse me, charter holders, the program places curriculum emphasis on all three levels of the exam while also providing an application-based and real world approach to the financial industry. If you would like a more in depth examination of the program curriculum and the alignment with the CFA candidate body of knowledge, you will find a link to our previous webinar entitled Being a CFA Charter Holder on the left-hand side of your screen. That webinar goes into detail about the CFA requirements and the examination and you’ll hear from the program director and a current professor on how the program aligns with the CFA and the benefits of both.

So now its time to ask yourself: “What do I want to gain from this degree? How is this program going to help me in the future?” And if the online MFE program checks all those boxes and answers those questions, then you’re ready to move on to the next step. The online program offers three third terms a year. Currently we are accepting applications for the fall semester and classes begin on August 28th. If you’d like to apply for the fall 2017 start term it is recommended that you submit your application materials prior to our July 1st priority deadline. As an enrollment advisor I am here to assist you in this endeavor and I can work with you to create a strategy for meeting that priority date or any additional deadlines after the fact.

So let’s go ahead and talk about the qualifications and the application materials to get you started. There are minimum qualifications to be considered for admission to the program but if you don’t quite meet every requirement, don’t count yourself out just yet. The qualifications are a recommendation and there are a number of different factors that are considered in the admissions review. The criteria does require that you have an accredited four year Bachelors degree or higher and it is preferred that you have some quantitative course work under your belt. Many students in the program completed their undergraduate degree in International Business, Finance, Economics, Engineering or a similar subject. If you have not completed your Bachelors in a quantit – in a quantitative field, you can still be considered for admission. However it will be important for you to highlight your ability to do well both on a graduate level – both on a graduate level and in quantitative and analytical subject matter.

And I just got a note that the audio is not very clear; I do apologize. I’m going to try and see if we can see if we can get that fixed. Please hold. Okay. Hopefully this is better. I apologize. If not, like I said, there will be an on demand recording and we’ll see if we can fix the audio at that time.

So going back to the qualifications, there are several ways that you can show your quantitative abilities and highlight those graduate level abilities through current or past work experience or through specific courses taken during your undergrad or after. It is also recommended that you have a minimum 3.0 GPA overall. If you have between a 2.8 and a 2.9 GPA you can also be considered for conditional admission so don’t be too worried about that. For anyone who has less than a 2.8 GPA, I do encourage you to send me your resume and transcripts for review as the application review process is holistic in nature. Various factors can help to take the place of a lower GPA or a limited background in the field. As a work – as I work very closely with the program director I do have insight into the key factors that are highlighted during the – during the process so I can definitely give you a better idea of your eligibility and you will find my e-mail address at the end of the webinar so you can send those directly to me.

Now, if you meet the qualifications and you’re ready to apply, the admissions committee is going to require certain documents along with the application itself to render a decision. You will be prompted to create a login password with the application which gives you the option to start and stop at any time and gives you kind of some time for them to figure out your best plan of action. You will also have the option to upload all of your documents directly into the application portal and will be prompted to do so along the way. In order to have a completed file you must provide all of the following:
– Transcripts from all previously attended institutions. This means all colleges and universities even if you only attended for one course; the admissions committee will require those transcripts.
– And for those of you with international documents you will also be required to provide your diploma.
– Three letters of recommendation are also going to be required; professional and educational are preferred. No personal references will be accepted. It is important to note that letters of recommendation generally take the longest to receive so it’s important to request those ahead of time.
– We will also ask for an updated resume or CV highlighting your work experience and any noteworthy ite – item.
– A personal statement outlining your career objectives and how this program will benefit your career. The statement is no longer than two pages, no specifics expectations other than just what you hope to obtain from the program and how it will benefit you.

And then, upon providing all of these documents and a completed application form, you will also pay a $50 application fee when you are ready to submit. So I will be e-mailing the application link to all of today’s attendees along with an application checklist just so you have it on hand. That e-mail will include my contact information and a link to my calendar so we can actually schedule a time to speak if you are ready to get started with the application, uh, you can go ahead and follow those instructions to get started with the app and then I’ll touch base with you on the next step and as a reminder, since those letters of recommendation take the longest and we have a shorter time frame before the priority deadline, I would encourage you to fill out the application up until the recommendations portion which would be about page 5 or 6 and then this will allow you to include the recommender’s name and e-mail address and have them respond as quickly as they can.

So once you complete an application and if you are interested what you can expect from the program, let me go ahead and introduce you to Vahic so we can talk about once you’re actually in the program what to expect. So Vahic is a current online student in the program and his background speaks to the differences in student population for the specific program. So hi, Vahic, welcome. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us today.

Vahic: Oh, thank you for the opportunity to share some of my thoughts with all of you. Actually I’m honored to be here.

Brittany: Well, we’re definitely happy to have you here and I definitely want your background because you’re – you have a very extensive background and I think its very interesting how you got involved with MFE so could you provide the audience with a little insight into your background and how you came across the program?

Vahic: Ah, sure. Ah, please let me share with you some background information about me. Uh, personal as well as professional, I’ve been married for almost 40 years to my darling wife and we have three children which they have left the nest obviously. And uh, just this last Memorial Day I officially added another title to my name, which is Grandad Vahic, so I am excited. Uh, I work full-time. I, uh, manage money and the – it is – as an online student it is not easy to accomplish, uh, what a student set out to do, especially if you are working full time, you have family commitments. Uh so, the balancing act is extremely important, how you actually time management, how you allocate your time to your studies, to your family, and if you have small children, then it becomes a challenge. How did I, uh, and why did I choose to study at Ohio University, the MFE degree is, uh, some interesting experience that I would like to share with you. As a consumer, uh, in our daily lives, we buy things, food, clothing and different items and we expect to be treated right. Uh, what happened when I contacted Ohio University from the moment I first contacted I was treated with a perfect combination of utmost care, respect, kindness and professionalism. And I would like to thank Dr. Doroodian, you, Brittany, James and my professors for their extraordinary support that I have received. I’m grateful for that.

The, uh, how this is applicable, the course is applicable to my, to my career goals, to my profession – I have my Ph.D. I manage money and I also consult businesses. I have been doing this for almost 35 years. Uh, before enrolling at OU I registered with CF Institute. I paid all the fees including for level one exam and when I went through the material I start having second thoughts. Uh, the reason was because it was not just the prestigious CFA initials that I was after. I wanted more than that. I wanted to have the depth and knowledge that I was comfortable with which then it would make me more valuable to my clients and that is what I found out going through the MFE, uh, information. I found that the MFE will give me that additional record knowledge that I need. The – my journey after completing MFE or during the MFE is to study and sit for the CFA exams and the reason I do that is because CFA credential will put me as a professional at par with other professionals such as CPA’s and attorneys. And in fact any investment managers – not any but most of the investment managers that I’ve come across, they hold the CFA designation. Uh, a combination of the knowledge base that I will gain from MFE program and CFA, it will underpin my credibility when I share my views in social media and write financial articles or investment-related articles and maybe I have plans to write a book. So those are the reasons that, uh, I enrolled in MFE program, I’m extremely happy with the support that I have received so far and I believe the support will continue and I believe that I will graduate from the program.

Brittany: Wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing that, Vahic, and I will have some additional questions for you during the Q&A portion but do you have any advice for someone whose considering the program – anybody who is still kind of contemplating this versus another degree or any kind of advice that you would give to them?

Vahic: Well, sure, sure. By the way, I just also wanted to what attracted me to Ohio University was the accessibility of the department and the team, uh, supporting the department. At other universities I did not have that kind of experience. It was difficult. I was hitting roadblocks and, you know, it was difficult. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t seamless as it was at Ohio University. Uh, and beside that also the curriculum is very, very closely following the CFA – CFA material or CFA is following MFE material, vice versa.

Uh, my advice – what advice would I give for someone entering the program? First, study a subject that you love. That is the main thing. I love finance. I love economics. So study a subject that you love. Uh, if you love what you are studying you will find it interesting while it is going to be challenging and finding the MFE program is pretty challenging. If you don’t love the program then otherwise it will be – you will be disappointed whether you finish your degree or not. And when entering the program always consider the opportunity cost and return on your investment. See whether or not the time you are going to spend away from your loved ones and concentrating hours and hours on your studies if this is something that you want to do. If that is what you want to do then just going there and doing everything you can. When in your virtual class work together as students need to work together to support each other, two parties met in discussions, make the class interactive and that will cause a transfer of knowledge among the students and it will just make you a better student, more informed or well informed student.

Uh, another thing is don’t hesitate to reach out to your advisors and professors for help. Your advisors and professors are aware and they understand that you are not traditional on-ground, full time student. And as an online student you have different and even additional challenges or needs. For example, they are aware that some of you work part time or full time. Some of you may have family commitments. Some of you have children that need your time, you attend your children’s school activities, sports events and so forth. Generally your needs are different. Uh, you require different type of support to succeed and OU is aware of this point. Your advisors and your professors, they can be one of your amazing, tremendous source for help, information to assist you to succeed in this program. Do not isolate yourself from the rest of the course and people that you come in contact with, whether your professor, advisor or the course. Strengthen your network. I give an example. Through my network I have enough, if I would be interested, to write a training program in – a for non-finance executives. I haven’t said yes or no yet, I will do that only after I graduate from the MFE program but this venture actually will take me to Africa, something that I wasn’t even thinking about. It was purely because I was interested in what my classmates were doing and I was willing to learn from them and ask for help from everybody that could help me with it. So those – that’s my 2 ½ cents should you enter the program properly you may want to consider those things. It is your education, it is your future, work hard at it and you will succeed.

Brittany: Wow! Amazing. Amazing, Vahic, thank you. That’s actually a really great opportunity for you so I hope you get some time to really think that one through once you complete the MFE. Uh, so, for everybody a reminder. You can go ahead and submit questions in the Q&A box for Vahic. We will have our Q&A portion, uh, in just another slide or two so please start those questions coming, he’s a great representative for the program, he has a lot of insights. I’ll be happy to kind of push those questions along to him shortly.

But I do want to move on to what to expect from the graduate experience once you are completed with the program so a big question that I always get is what is the kind of graduate career potential. How do I know if this is going to be the right program for my career? Well, this program is very specific and in its focus which helps to narrow down the possibilities for graduates of the program. So first and foremost graduates are positioned to obtain their charter financial analyst designation through course work preparation. To give you some insight into the success rate that we’ve seen for the exam, graduates have about an 80% success rate which is double the national average at this time for level one of CFA exam. So if you do plan to obtain your CFA designation, why not earn a Masters degree while you’re doubling up on your odds, definitely a great key factor to this program. So, outside of that, graduates generally pursue careers as financial analysts, equity analysts, financial managers, investment portfolio managers and the like. The content of the program was constructed from interviews with executives of financial companies like Merrill-Lynch, Investment Management and Research Incorporation, Franklin Advisors and the National Citicorp. So the graduates can find employment in banks, money management firms, mutual and pension funds, investment banks and various private corporations similar to an IBM.

And this is definitely – you know, a great segue back to our Q&A portion and to our conversation with Vahic, as far as the potential past graduation, you’ve mentioned a lot of options that are available to you once you graduate with the program, Vahic, is there any other kind of aim that you have with getting that MFE aside from the CFA designation, anything that you can think of?

Vahic: As far as career is concerned and opportunity?

Brittany: Yeah.

Vahic: Sure. The, uh, as I said, uh, graduating from MFE and when I become financial economist and also having the designation of CFA, uh, it will do several things but do two major things are that the depth of the knowledge and the experience, uh, it will make me a better investment manager which that is going to translate and transfer to my clients, uh, which ultimately helps to grow the business. Uh, beside the knowledge, expertise, when you are working in a circle of professionals, you are attending seminars and uh, you, you – there are attorneys or CPA’s there, uh, they will – they look at you and they expect to do business with you if your credentials is at par with them. These are true professionals that they want to see, assess you and say: “Okay, whom am I going to do business with? Why am I speaking with this guy?” These credentials are going to help me greatly or anybody has and is in the right circle will help them greatly. Uh, if you look at – at mutual fund managers, uh, analysts, uh, bank’s trust department, uh, all the serious positions, uh, you realize you will see that most of them, uh, if not all of them – most of them they have the CSA designation or some kind of finance degree underpinning their career, underpinning their credibility. The world is very competitive. It’s extremely competitive. You may retain an investment manager anywhere in the world and communicate with that person via any kind of social media or Skype or whatever is available. To compete in today’s world you need to keep yourself always relevant. You must be relevant to whatever you do and, uh, uh, in today environment or the business that you are in. Uh, education is something or the right education is something that assists you to do that, to stay relevant and to stay competitive and hence the reason even though that I have my Ph.D. and I work (Laughter) extremely, extremely hard at it, I still thought that there is something more that I can do to make myself more credible, more knowledgeable and more useful and valuable to my clients and, uh, the people that I associate with.

Brittany: Perfect. Thank you so much for answering that and we have started our Q&A portion so I see a few questions coming in. Definitely keep them rolling. One of the questions I see is regarding the program’s intent and the possibility of Ph.D. studies after the fact. Generally speaking, this program is not meant for those who are looking to go toward their Ph.D. It is a more real world application based program and generally most Ph.D’s require a theoretical understanding first. So obviously this would vary based on the specific program, the specific Ph.D. program you’re looking into but generally speaking and I have had this conversation with the program director as well – he would normally recommend more of an applied economics Masters program if you are looking toward the Ph.D. option. So, you know, just another kind of follow through that it is more about the tools and techniques for the industry and actually moving toward the designations and the different licenses in order to work in the field more so than be at the university level as a teacher or a professor. So just keep that in mind.

Another question I have, this one is for you, Vahic, regarding the support that you received. I know that you did mention it early on, as far as, you know, myself and James and Dr. Doroodian and your professors but can you go a little more in depth as to the support and how the team is able to support you through the process?

Vahic: Uh, sure. The steps, the steps were, as I said, from the first point of contact is extremely important. Uh, the experience that we get as potential students and the – how I was supported throughout from the first moment and through the application process, uh, the key was available. There is your phone number, there is your e-mail address, uh, all the contact information that I needed and something which was very, very pleasant experience that I was able to talk directly to the director, to the department director, Dr. Doroodian. Uh, when I called his number, uh, I called with the notion of (Laughter) that okay, this is going to go into his voice mail. And I was taken aback. He answered the phone and something that I did not experience in other universities. And I’m not trying to make, uh, uh, OU shine better than other universities. There are some excellent universities. It is just the touch, that extra touch that OU has that attracted me and I’m glad that I did because now I’m finding that the rigor of the program and what I’m going to get out of it is amazing. Now, as far as the application process is concerned also, uh, you were there, James was there and even, uh, I had to ask a couple of questions from Dr. Doroodian and he was there, so in the chain of process starting from “I’m interested to study at OU” to completion, everybody came and did their level best in order to make sure that, uh, I, I did the right thing and I will have any pending things which would hinder my enrollment. I had a welcome call from you, Brittany. I had a welcome call from James. I had welcome e-mail from the university and every time that I enrolled in a new course, uh, James always he calls before and then he calls after and he does call throughout the course, making sure that everything is going fine and he actually asked me if there is anything that I need help with. Uh, so that is the administrative part of enrollment which is wonderful.

As an online student, you see, we are far. We are all over our country or maybe you are – well, not maybe, outside the country also. This extra steps that university takes, it makes us feel closer to home. Always we are out there somewhere on our own and we are, you know, trying to do things and we don’t have the luxury, uh, to be sitting there face to face with our professor or classmates to draw on each other strength, uh, to succeed. So what is filling the gap here is the very professional and attentive attitude that the team has supporting distance or online students which is very, very valuable to me.

Brittany: Wonderful. And we’re so happy to help throughout the process. I’m glad that you had a great experience thus far and we strive to continue with that, that positive response and that’s a great segue into, uh, you know, your concerns as an audience as to what assistance you’re going to get at this stage in the process. I do want to remind you as an enrollment advisor, yes, I help through the admissions process but I’m also here to help with your research. So if you’re still trying to figure out your different programs I want to make sure that you have all of the information that you need, that you are able to compare and contrast these different programs and make sure that you’re finding what’s right for you. Uh, as my role is to help you through that research and admissions process, I don’t want anybody to start the program who doesn’t feel like this is the right fit for them. So, if you’re still questioning whether or not the degree is right for you or if you’re still kind of wondering what’s going to be the best option, please feel free to reach out to me. There is no commitment to get started with the program and I’m not going to push you to do so but I do want to make sure that you are supported along the way and I do thank you, Vahic, for that follow-up on our role because that is really what we’re here to do is support you and make you realize that you’re a Bobcat with us, whether you’re online or on campus…
(Laughter)

…and so you know as well as I do, Vahic, you are a Bobcat, so…

Vahic: I’m honored. I am honored. I appreciate that. You are absolutely right. It is not just the, the having a seamless process, it is also getting the right guidance, advice, probing, asking questions – Is this why you want to study this – and that is what Dr. Doroodian actually did – did with me and why I wanted to study for MFE and that’s very important. Because when you see thousands and thousands of students, uh, in their first year, second year, third year or when they graduate, then they realize this is not what I wanted to do. And you don’t want that to happen. And the checks and balances of quality control that the team does, uh, OU does, is extremely important. Time is valuable to you, time is valuable to students, students borrow a lot of money to study, some of them they have their own money, some of them they are funded by employer, I don’t know. But it is extremely important to use those resources to get in a program that we really love to do. And because we don’t know any better (Laughter) we need expert advice and that is, that is extremely important that you are actually asking the questions: “Why do you want to study this? And is this really what you want to do? How does it relate to our profession? How is it going to help with our future employment or current employment?” These are extremely important for us in order not to misstep. Once we misstep we have lost time, we have, uh, uh, we have become disoriented and we have lost money. And disappointed a lot of people around us, too.

Brittany: (Laughter) And it’s great information and it’s exactly why we’re here to help out and those of you, you know, Vahic did mention that he was in conversation with the program director, if you want to speak with him, he is very active in the program and he’s always happy to help, even if you’re just researching, he wants to talk to you. He loves to talk to the students or potential applicants and just kind of help them through. So if you want to reach out to him, his e-mail is up there but you can also e-mail me and I can get you into a phone appointment with him if you’d like. So definitely use the resources that are available to you and I know some of you have probably received quite a few phone calls from me. I’m just here to help, you know? So if you need assistance and you’re trying to figure out what’s going to be the best, let me know and I’ll do whatever I can to help you out.

So, going back to some of the questions that we have here, I do see a question regarding the deadline and the application process so yes, our priority deadline is July 1st. That’s our hopes of getting everybody an early decision. My recommendation if you’re not certain that you can meet the July 1st deadline with all of the documents, my recommendation is to submit the application itself. You can actually submit it without adding any documents to it so if you want to go ahead and just submit your application itself before July 1st, all of the documents can then be provided to me either through regular mail or through e-mail and as long as they’re in before July 21st you can still be considered for the fall semester. So, like I said, if you want to go ahead and apply for the fall term, priority deadline is July 1st. I can accept documents. You can upload them into the application even if they’re not all there or you don’t have all of your recommenders just yet but you know you want to meet that fall deadline, go ahead, start the application because the program director is watching, he wants to see how many students are applying so he knows what kind of seat amount to accept – to expect for the fall term. So as long as we can get an application started and on file by July 1st we have about three weeks from that date in order to get all of the remaining documents together and so that’s a great reason to reach out to me as well. I can make sure that we are meeting that deadline, we can create a strategy if you have concerns with getting letters of recommendation or issues with transcripts, I’m more than happy to assist you with that. So definitely reach out to me. If you would like to move forward, that way we can get started with that strategy and plan and I can make sure you are able to meet that fall deadline. And again, priority is July 1st but you are – all documents must be received by July 21st. So great question there.

And then I do see a question regarding the factors if you are not within the specific elements of the requirements so if your GPA is lower than the 2.8 which is that conditional admission GPA or if you don’t necessarily have a quantitative background – for those situations again, go ahead and send me an e-mail with your resume and a transcript and I’m happy to review it. I do work with Dr. Doroodian and the program director so I know what he’s looking for and I can tell you one way or the other if you’d be admissible or what we can do to make you admissible. So even if your GPA is lower than expected or you don’t have a mathematical backing or any kind of finance related classes under your belt, I can help you meet it. There are other factors like your letters of recommendation, like your personal statement that can help to boost your application and I’m always happy to go above and beyond to make sure that we can get you everything you need to be eligible for the program. So, again, my e-mail address is up there for you. Go ahead and send me your resume and transcript. I’ll be happy to look them over and I always try and respond as quickly as I can, usually within 24 hours as far as what we can do next or what we have to do at that point. So, definitely reach out to me with those questions. Again, that’s what I’m here for so keep that on mind.

Another question that I have is as far as transcripts. Uh, for those of you who have international transcripts, we will accept a phot – a copy of a WAF evaluation but we will also request that you actually submit the official transcript. So because they are international transcripts we need the original as well as the evaluation for the admissions process. The original – it doesn’t have to be official as long as it is legible and is a copy of the official, that will definitely be accepted as well but for those of you who are international, yes we have some TOEFL requirements if English is not your primary language. Those where shown. You want to get at least an 80 on the TOEFL and I can provide you with more insight into that later. As far as your transcripts, we do need, like I said, a copy of your original documents including the diploma. It will be required that you provide a certified translation if they’re not in English and we don’t require an evaluation at this point. Ohio University actually does our own evaluation but if you’ve already completed one go ahead and add that to it because that will help out with the translation if it’s needed. So that’s a really good question. If pri – English – I guess add if English is your primary language or if you are in a dual language country you will not be required to complete the TOEFL. It’s only for those of you who do not have English as a first language or if you have some issues with English language, either writing or speaking because, again, it is a fully online program and our communication evolves through writing and speaking communication so just keep that in mind.

Let’s see here. I have another question for you, Vahic, as far as the online platform. You did kind of talk about the virtual class and being in control and then being in contact with the other students. Can you explain the online platform a little bit as far as what kind of assignments you have to complete, how you provide them, anything along those lines?

Vahic: Uh, sure. The assignments (Laughter) – a lot of assignments. How it works is, uh, we are given assignments to, uh, paper assignments to write a paper, uh, related to whatever the subject is and the – that assignment is due every Sunday, Sunday night by 11:59 p.m. to your local time. And – sorry, now to Eastern Standard Time. And beside those recent papers or assignments there are also DQ, the Discussion Questions that are posted on the website, uh, but students they are required to actually answer those questions. Uh, I have seen a very fast turnaround when I submit paper, some of them, you know, much faster than the others, and with full comments that, you know, these are the things that I miss or these are the things that I be careful and these are the things that I need to make improvement. Those are the papers and then the grade is posted.

Uh, then we also have the DQ’s as I said posted on the web and we go in and as a class we all answer those DQ’s and participate and I encourage you, I encourage you that also be inquisitive, uh, have uh – when you read a response from a student, respond to it, ask questions, don’t worry that you may create hard feeling – that’s not the purpose of, uh, asking questions. If you ask question then you are encouraging other students to join in and by that, because transfer of knowledge is extremely important to me, and if in isolation I write something and nobody says anything I think: “Oh, great. I have made it. This is the right thing.” Until a good old profession steps in and says these are the things that you guys you wrote and this is what it should have been then you realize: “Oh, wow, how much I missed.” Or “Wow, I did well.”

Then there is also online quizzes, uh, that we need to take, uh, and depending on the subject, the number of quizzes vary and these are graded. Everything you do, by the way, is graded. Uh, so there, with the exception of there are some papers that you write, uh, they are not graded, otherwise everything you do is graded. So be on top of things. Do not leave things to, uh, to the last minute, submitting your papers, which has happened to me, uh, a couple of times, and I try to avoid that because I don’t function well at all under stress, under, you know, that “Oh my God, and I’m getting nearest to the deadline.” I want to keep my end of the bargain and submit the papers on time. Uh, pace yourself, do your work throughout the week and it is much more enjoyable instead of submitting it the last minute (Laughter) on Sunday, submit it on Friday or Saturday because you want to enjoy the rest of your weekend, you don’t want to stress out. You want to have the continuity of enjoyment. You don’t want to go out and enjoy yourself and come back and sit in front of the computer and stress out and try to do your things the last minute. Pace yourself. Uh, uh, you will find it a different experience, you will find it a constructive experience, you will find it a pleasant experience. So, to summarize, papers to write, DQ’s to participate and also quizzes to do.

Brittany: Perfect, perfect. And just a quick – how long – a quick question – how long do you think you spend on average a week doing the course work or studying for the – for the courses?

Vahic: Well, the, uh – I am a little bit older than all of you probably listening in to this call. I am 64 years old and I’m a grandad. I probably am not as fast or as sharp as some of you young guys out there. Uh, it differs from student to student, uh, but I would say easy in order to cover all the assignments, book assignments, everything that you do, you need to have easy about 8-10 hours minimum in order to really digest, read and digest and understand the subject matter and do an excellent work – do excellent homework. There are virtual classes where professors they hold, uh. I listen to those virtual classes sometimes three times, four times and I take voluminous notes, I take extensive notes when I’m listening to those virtual classes. They are live, you can actually, uh, participate and ask questions from your professor while the class is in session or a recording is available after the class is over and then you can listen to the recording but allocate besides participating in virtual class and other things that you do, you have to earmark at least 10 hours a week in order to really understand and grasp and do quality work.

Brittany: Perfect, thank you so much. Yeah, and that’s definitely with the general so it’s not too bad off there, Vahic, for being a little older than the majority of students so you’re still on pace with the weekly time frame.

Vahic: (Laughter) I try, I try.

Brittany: You’re doing a great job. So we have time for one more question. This is regarding backgrounds and actually getting into the program as far as prerequisites. It says: “What if you have a math and economic background but no finance and accounting, are there specific prerequisites that need to be completed?” The short answer is No, there are no prerequisite classes. The biggest point to the finance to math background is that we want to make sure that you’re comfortable with the quantitative and analytical elements. So normally it’s recommended, if you don’t have finance or accounting or any kind of, you know, mathematical business side of things that you at least have a pre-calc, algebra level of understanding. So because you would have the math and economics background, you would certainly be eligible for the program and as far as success in the program as you did have concerns because you don’t have any background in finance and accounting, there are some tools that I can send your way to help prepare for it. They’re free, they’re easy to use and it wouldn’t be a requirement, it would just be more so for your own refreshment or for your own knowledge. So, again, there are no prerequisites for the program, we just want to make sure that you’re comfortable with that quantitative element because, as I’m sure Vahic can speak to, it is a very staunch program. It’s not going to be a walk in the park. You want to take your time and actually be able to move forward with the program so as long as you feel comfortable with that, like I said, quantitative and analytical elements, you will still be successful in the program. So, does that kind of…

Vahic: Sure, absolutely. Beside, as I said, everything else, you need to spend a minimum 10 hours that on top of that you are writing, you are researching and so it takes several hours but if you are committed and you really love to do it, you want to be successful, then the time is part of the parcel. That comes with the territory. Without allocating the right time, you won’t succeed. You may just about literally, you know, wasting your time and becoming disappointed. So it’s a good program, good support for all of us to succeed, what we need to do, we need to commit ourselves the time and the just hunker down and do our part.

Brittany: Perfect and that’s a perfect ending so thank you again, Vahic, for presenting with me today and thank you, everybody for attending. This has definitely been a great webinar as far as the Roadmap to Success with the Financial Economics Masters program. Um, as a reminder, the priority deadline for fall is July 1st. If you have concerns with that date, reach out to me. There is definitely some leeway so I will help you as best I can. Uh, if you are ready to apply, as I mentioned earlier, I will send an e-mail to everybody who has attended with the Linkedin checklist so you can get that process started. Uh, again, this will be on demand so if you missed anything at the beginning or have any issues with the audio we will be putting it on demand so you can view it at a later date and time and hopefully fixing some of those audio issues. But definitely if you’re interested in the fall term, contact me as soon as possible and we’ll definitely get you ready in meeting that deadline. So, thank you again for attending and enjoy the rest of your day.

[00:51:03] [END OF AUDIO]

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