Alex Kivali (MSF ’21)
Relocating from the city of London, England to Ypsilanti, MI was a large transition made significantly easier by the close-knit cohort of Eastern Michigan University's MSF program along with its supportive faculty and staff. Prior to the jump, I had come to a crossroads in my career, looking for an intellectually stimulating path into research either through academia or in the industry.
I understood that either path would require a reentry into education and EMU’s MSF program stood out to me for a number of reasons. I was initially attracted to the previous research topics explored by the faculty - from Dr. Jodonnis Rodriguez’s paper on Institutional Investment Patterns in Gender Diverse Firms, to Dr. Karen Craig’s exploration of the January Sentiment Effect on the U.S. Corporate Bond Market. Additionally, LinkedIn pointed to a wide Alumni network from the College of Business in a variety of finance and economics disciplines, that I could reach out to as I headed towards graduation.
More specific to the MSF program, I was reassured of its rigor from its CFA Institute affiliation. Having passed the CFA Level 1 exam, I was excited by the challenge of embarking in a curriculum that closely matched, particularly given my plans to sit for the Level 2 exam. Finally, the cost of the MSF program presented a great value proposition as an international student with no access to Federal aid.
Looking back at my two years in the MSF program, I am thoroughly pleased with the leap of faith taken. I was fortunately awarded a Graduate Assistantship with the Accounting and Finance department where I had the pleasure of working on a riveting project with the College of Business in putting together its student-managed investment fund and gained valuable skills through the newly launched Bloomberg Terminals. A supportive alumni network assisted me with interview preparation, and combined with the extracurricular student fund work, I landed an elite Equity Research summer internship with a bulge bracket bank UBS. Additionally, I managed to work closely with Dr. Jodonnis Rodriguez on my own research thesis and felt significantly better prepared for the CFA Level 2 exam in May 2021.
I left Ypsilanti with nothing but fond memories and have endless gratitude for the tireless effort that everyone involved made to enrich my experience. I’m honored to have been a part of the inaugural MSF cohort and would happily recommend it for anyone considering a comprehensive and advanced financial curriculum.
Equity Research, Associate Director