‘A Financial Education Takes Your Potential to a New Level’
The admission campaign for the fully online Master of Finance programme is underway. The programme is affiliated with CFA Institute (USA), an international organisation that confers one of the most authoritative titles in the field of finance and investment: Chartered Financial Analyst. Kyung Se Park from Seoul, student of the online Master of Finance programme and co-founder of the LUOES Cosmetics Company, shared his learning experience with the HSE News Service.
The Master of Finance at HSE University is a unique online master’s (MSc) programme designed for recent graduates and young professionals who are looking to apply innovative approaches to financial analysis and financial technology. Its distinguished teaching staff includes holders of CFA, FRM, and ACCA certifications. The study process involves intensive online interaction between students in project groups, as well as master classes with leading industry experts.
Kyung Se Park
— What is your educational background? Why did you choose the Master of Finance programme?
— My educational background is a BA in English Literature and Language from a well-known Korean university. Going from linguistics to finance was quite a leap. I chose the Master of Finance programme because of my strong passion for the financial field. I also wanted to major in a specialty which demands expertise and practical usage. While it is one thing to have a sense of money, I realised that having a financial education takes your potential to a new level, both in terms of running a company and entering financial fields.
— Was it difficult to adapt to the financial courses?
— At first, I had to adapt to doing calculations again, but the reasonable learning curve helped me to settle in without any major challenges. For example, I had to refresh my knowledge of matrix calculations during the first module. But by the end of the year, I found myself doing complex stochastic calculations without any problems. I also received full marks during my first master's year. I managed to do this by closely following lectures and dedicating extra time to sharpen up on advanced math.
— What are the benefits of the programme?
— HSE University itself is recognised as a top-tier university in Russia, especially in economics and finance. Each subject in this programme is carefully curated by professors who are experts in their field and/or CFAs. I benefited from this lineup of professors and familiarised myself with the quantitative side of finance, capital market finance, corporate finance, and even project/venture finance. This programme is also flexible, which is perfect for those who are passionate about learning but require more flexibility in their learning schedules.
The Master of Finance programme is based on the syllabus of the CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) programme. It reflects the content of all three levels of preparation for the CFA certificate exam, which allows students enrolled in the programme to gain sufficient knowledge in finance and investment to successfully prepare for the CFA certificate exam.
— What are the staff like? Who is your favourite professor?
— Our programme manager Ulyana has been most helpful, from the admission stage to managing and scheduling all components of our programme. I feel at peace knowing that if there are any problems or questions, they will be attended to and resolved. My favourite professor is Elena Dimova—I completed the term paper under her supervision. She is a great professor who gives extremely helpful lectures with calculations based on real-life analogies and I have the highest respect for her.
— How do you like the practical part of the programme? What knowledge have you applied during your working processes?
— As this is a ‘Master of Finance’ programme, the practical part often involves quantitative calculations, excel worksheets, and analysing financial statements. We often put our knowledge to the test with projects that are proxies of real-life projects and transaction cases. My favourite part has to be building calculation worksheets in excel as part of preparing financials.
All of these skills have been applied to my working processes: I implemented company financial statements in accordance with IFRS, optimised leverage in corporate capital structure, and prepared financial strategies for potential exit. Everything I have learned from the programme can be used practically and has been essential in my work.
— You achieved a great result in the Vienna Asset Management programme this year. Could you tell us about the event and the secret of your success?
— The 2022 Vienna Asset Management programme was hosted by FH BFI Wien in coordination with Raiffeisen Bank, which has branches across Russia. The programme was hosted onsite with around 20 master's students from 5 different partnered universities. Upon arrival, we were tested on our overall portfolio theory and equity pricing calculation skills. Then, after a week of additional lectures from Raiffeisen bank experts, we were tasked with building the optimal Chinese equity ETF.
As a result, I received a top mark of 1 (‘excellent’ in the Austrian system) and my team placed second in the construction of the optimal Chinese ETF product. It was a great chance to confirm that the practical skills learned from the Master of Finance programme have helped me to excel in an international setting.
— What do you want to wish our prospective students?
— I wish you all good luck on joining HSE University and the beginning your journey as financial specialists in the Master of Finance programme!
On July 28 at 19:00 (Moscow time), the HSE Banking Institute will hold the webinar ‘M&A and Сapital Raising in 2022: Key Challenges, Uncertainties and Opportunities’ for prospective students of the Financial Analyst and Master of Finance master’s programmes (CFA Institute University Affiliation Programmes).
Sergey Zakharov, Lecturer of the Master of Finance, CFA, Managing Director of Corporate Finance at Gazprombank, will talk about the transformation of the mergers and acquisitions market and the prospects for raising capital in 2022. Vasily Solodkov, Director of the HSE Banking Institute, Academic Supervisor, will present the master's programmes and explain the benefits of their affiliation with the CFA Institute. Svetlana Makeeva, student of the Master of Finance programme, FRM consultant (ex-PwC), will share her learning experience.