The EMFin has a more interactive and applied curriculum than the CFA.
What made you decide to do a Master in Finance?
I had been with my current employer for more than 10 years, mainly in the field of credit analysis and corporate finance in Japan and in the US. I was happy in my job, but in order to aim at more senior roles in a global bank, I felt that I needed to broaden my knowledge and skills in finance. This made me decide to pursue a Master in Finance.
Why did you choose the INSEAD EMFin amongst all other available Master programmes worldwide?
The INSEAD EMFin was unique and the only programme for me. With more than 10 years working experience in the banking industry, an MBA or another full-time master programme was not for me. The INSEAD EMFin on the other hand promised a modular format, so I could study while I continued to work.
Has the programme met or exceeded your expectations?
The programme has brought me more insights than expected. It was well structured and included a lot of case studies and simulations, which enabled me to not only understand key concepts but also learn the importance of leadership and interpersonal skills.
What are your thoughts on the quality of the professors?
The quality of professors was excellent. They first provided key finance concepts in a well-organised and methodical way, and then made us apply them to real cases. This helped us to think deeply and better understand the concepts.
What was your classroom experience like?
I really enjoyed my classmates’ quality and diversity. Their cultural background, personality, and communication styles were very different but at the same time I believe we all shared common values – integrity, diligence, and respect for others.
Which course(s) did you particularly enjoy, and why?
There are many courses that I enjoyed: Global Financial Services, Accounting, Private Equity & Venture Finance, Project Finance, Advanced Corporate Finance, and Data Science for Executives. The reason is that these courses not just dealt with academic theories but also included up-to-date and applied topics under the current market environment.
As a CFA Charterholder, how would you describe the similarities and differences between the CFA and EMFin? What would be your advice to other CFA Charterholders who may be considering the EMFin?
The EMFin and CFA programme cover similar topics including accounting, economics, corporate finance, equity, bond, derivatives, portfolio management etc. You might be able to study the CFA more flexibly than the EMFin programme because the CFA doesn’t require you to attend on-campus lectures. However, both programmes are very intense and require a significant commitment of your time.
However, the crucial difference is that the EMFin has a more interactive and applied curriculum than the CFA. You have a lot of opportunities to discuss relevant topics and case studies with excellent professors and diverse finance professionals. The CFA programme is about reading books and taking exams. If you just want to develop basic knowledge and skills in investment management, it might be adequate. The EMFin also enables you to learn leadership and communication skills with people from diverse backgrounds. I feel that it is one of the most important skills when looking to becoming an effective leader in the global finance industry, so I would recommend the EMFin for CFA Charterholders who aspire to be a better leader in the finance industry.
Can you share more about the Leadership Capstone – how did it benefit you?
The Leadership Capstone Module was the final module and I learned a lot in both on-campus lectures and the capstone project. Fair Process and Board Management and Leadership in Finance provided me with time for self-reflection and I could better understand my strengths, weaknesses, and what actions were necessary to be an effective leader. In addition, the capstone project was a great opportunity to deepen my knowledge in a specific topic. My classmate and I chose to analyse the banking industry in Asia which was quite interesting.