Q&A with a Dual MBA/MSF Student

In a field that’s as dynamic and cross functional as business, it’s no surprise that employers seek professionals who possess depth of knowledge, strong analytical skills, and functional expertise. Read what one student, Robert Mullen, has to say about his decision to pursue a dual MBA/MSF degree, just one of the nearly 20 dual-degree programs offered by Boston College.

What led you to pursue an MBA and MSF simultaneously? I became interested in a dual degree when I realized it was an opportunity to deepen my knowledge of finance, parallel to the MBA program. As I met more MSF graduates, I believed that combining the two programs would help broaden opportunities with the alumni network. I started learning about the benefits of attaining a dual degree and the overlap between the two programs. Going back to school full time was a big life decision and I thought the MBA/MSF would be a great way to maximize my investment with a dual degree.

What did you look for in a school, and what drew you to Boston College?

As an undergraduate alum of Boston College, I was already very familiar with the strong reputation that the Carroll School of Management carries, so when I began my search for MBA programs, BC felt like a natural choice. As a graduate student I was looking for the same amazing experience that I had as an undergraduate, both personally and academically, and I knew that Boston College’s courses, professors, and student body had this to offer.

Were you at all hesitant about getting a dual degree?

Initially, I was hesitant because I did not think I would have the time or the money required to complete a dual degree; however, once I started the MBA program, I thought hard about the benefits of a dual degree and prepared myself for the option of eventually applying by lining up my courses. I ultimately came to the decision to go for it in my second year, and am very happy with my choice. I look forward to graduating this May with two highly regarded degrees that I was able to earn in less than two years.

Is the Carroll School set up in a way that makes it easier to pursue a dual degree?

Absolutely, the MBA and MSF programs share a lot of coursework, and taking on the MSF in addition to the MBA only required me to take four extra courses. Essentially, the dual MBA/MSF program allows you to complete two degrees in significantly less time than it would take to pursue each program separately. BC is flexible, and the Dean will work with you to make sure that you are taking the classes that fit best with your chosen career path. Ultimately, this flexibility is the reason I was able to pursue the dual degree.  

Have you had a favorite course or experience so far?

Our program’s Curriculum for Investment Management (CIRM) has been invaluable for my chosen career path. CIRM is a three-course curriculum taught by investment management professionals. Students learn how to analyze stocks, develop a portfolio strategy, and eventually have the opportunity to manage a fund for the Boston College endowment. This hands-on experience is an excellent transition to a working environment in the investment management field. 

I am also taking a London Financial Markets course where the class spends a week in London, meeting with management at leading companies. I did not take advantage of study abroad opportunities while I was an undergraduate so I am very much looking forward to this interactive experience in London. 

What are your plans post-graduation, and do you feel well prepared for them?

This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern with the international investment management team at Victory Capital Management. I have been very fortunate to be able to continue my internship with Victory this academic year, and I hope to join the team full time in a quantitative specialist role after I graduate. Given both my time with Victory so far and my experience at Boston College, I feel very well prepared for this next step.

What’s your advice for prospective students considering a dual degree at Boston College?

If you are passionate about finance and want to maximize your investment while you are taking the time off to go back to school, I would encourage students to pursue a dual degree. I have found that the courses are directly applicable to a career path in finance, and will be useful far beyond graduation. In addition, there is a good deal of overlap between the MBA/MSF curriculum and the curriculum for the Chartered Financial Analyst Program, a qualification many financial professionals are encouraged to obtain. Boston College even offers a preparatory class for the Level I exam.