No Research with Top Hedge Fund Internship (Profile Evaluation)

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
edwood
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:44 am

No Research with Top Hedge Fund Internship (Profile Evaluation)

Postby edwood » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:23 am

Hello, I have been stalking the decisions thread on here for a long time and next year it's finally my turn to apply. Most people seem to have a slightly different background than mine so I was hoping to get some feedback and reality checks. Here's my profile:

Undergrad Institution: Lower-Tier Ivy
Major: Mathematics (Was engineering before switching in sophomore year)
GPA: ~3.7/4 (~3.8 Math)
Demographic: Domestic white male

Test scores: Haven't taken but should be decent to good.

Courses: Took some CS and statistics classes. Might take actual grad classes in senior year. Nothing impressive.
Experiences: NO RESEARCH AT ALL. However, landed quantitative summer position in top hedge fund.

Looking to apply to Applied Math programs. Should I be looking at top 5-15 schools or is that too ambitious?

verysweetjuices
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: No Research with Top Hedge Fund Internship (Profile Evaluation)

Postby verysweetjuices » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:48 am

edwood wrote:Hello, I have been stalking the decisions thread on here for a long time and next year it's finally my turn to apply. Most people seem to have a slightly different background than mine so I was hoping to get some feedback and reality checks. Here's my profile:

Undergrad Institution: Lower-Tier Ivy
Major: Mathematics (Was engineering before switching in sophomore year)
GPA: ~3.7/4 (~3.8 Math)
Demographic: Domestic white male

Test scores: Haven't taken but should be decent to good.

Courses: Took some CS and statistics classes. Might take actual grad classes in senior year. Nothing impressive.
Experiences: NO RESEARCH AT ALL. However, landed quantitative summer position in top hedge fund.

Looking to apply to Applied Math programs. Should I be looking at top 5-15 schools or is that too ambitious?


Far too ambitious. Look more like 50-100.

mathgeek
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:11 pm

Re: No Research with Top Hedge Fund Internship (Profile Evaluation)

Postby mathgeek » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:10 pm

Hedge Fund internship will not matter to most applied math programs unless you are applying to computational finance programs (could look into those depending on how much financial coursework you have). At its current state your profile is seriously lacking research. Without research you can't hope to get into a PhD program at a Top 20 school.You might be able to get into a place which accepts a lot of people like the UCs. Masters might be doable. You really should do research this summer/next fall so that you at least have some hope of getting into top 20.

korobeiniki
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: No Research with Top Hedge Fund Internship (Profile Evaluation)

Postby korobeiniki » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:47 pm

I don't think undergraduate research is as essential as you make it out to be. For example, there's at least one person in the 2017 admissions thread that got admitted to top places (including University of Chicago) with no research experience (granted, that candidate is international so the scale may weigh differently there).

Research for sure is helpful, but unless you're in the running for the Morgan prize I would guess that what you will personally gain from it plus possible rec letters from your research supervisors is more important than the actual research.

mathgeek
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:11 pm

Re: No Research with Top Hedge Fund Internship (Profile Evaluation)

Postby mathgeek » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:43 pm

korobeiniki wrote:Research for sure is helpful, but unless you're in the running for the Morgan prize I would guess that what you will personally gain from it plus possible rec letters from your research supervisors is more important than the actual research.


This applicant doesn't have graduate coursework in mathematics, so research does matter (for applied math programs--he/she seems better suited for a stats type program). The places that I got accepted to say that the ability to do research while still maintaining grades in intense grad courses is their biggest concern during admission. You need to show you can handle that in your application--what better way than to actually do research.

Recs do matter. But applied math departments will want to see recommendations from people in the math/cs/physics department from your school. Strong Recs are usually from people who can say more than the generic 'so and so was a great student in class'. So yes, when I recommended doing research I didn't mean the research itself will matter. It's the process and the connections you build that matter. And not many applied math departments have enough connections in finance (unless they have strong computational finance program) to actually care a ton about a rec from a hedge fund.

You mention a person who got in with no research experience-- was this to an applied math program? Having talked to many professors and grad students, research matters more than grades for applied math programs.

korobeiniki
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: No Research with Top Hedge Fund Internship (Profile Evaluation)

Postby korobeiniki » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:46 am

Ah, I see what you mean. I was only thinking of Pure Math when I was typing my previous answer and the applicant I mentioned is also Pure Math. Applied Math is way out of my field so I'll take your word for it. From my own experience and from asking professors in pure mathematics, most of them don't really care a lot about undergraduate research in and of itself, unless it is truly exceptional.




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