Wednesday, August 20, 2014

More information about the AIM program's new PE & Banking track


The following is based upon information that is also contained on the AIM web site and throughout this blog.

Q) What is the Private Equity & Banking Track?

Beginning with the Class of 2016, the AIM program is expanding and will include two tracks: Investments and Private Equity & Banking. The Investments track will continue to focus on asset management, while the Private Equity & Banking track concentrates on private or transactional finance.

The Private Equity & Banking track is dedicated to forging closer ties with the private equity and investment banking sector. Like the Investments track, it reinforces our commitment to linking theory with practice and by engaging alumni and leading industry experts.


Q) How does the curriculum differ between the Investments and Private Equity & Banking tracks?

The AIM program operates within the Department of Finance which means that students in the program must be declared as finance majors. In addition to fulfilling all of the courses required by the College of Business (i.e. FINA 3001: Introduction to Financial Management), an AIM student must complete the following:

AIM Program Requirements (Investments Track):
Students accepted in the AIM program must earn a BC or better in the following required courses:
ACCO 3001:   Intermediate Accounting
ACCO 4080:   Analysis of Corporate Financial Statements
FINA 3986:    Internship Work Period 
FINA 4001:    Advanced Financial Management
FINA 4011:    Investment Analysis
FINA 4065:    Fixed Income Securities        
FINA 4310:    Introduction to Applied Investment Management
FINA 4320:    Research and Financial Analysis
FINA 4330:    Valuation and Portfolio Management
FINA 4370:    Advanced Investment Management, Ethics and Society

One of the following:
ACCO 4020:   Advanced Accounting
ECON 4060:   Introduction to Econometrics
FINA 4060:    Introduction to Financial Derivatives
FINA 4081:    Investment Banking   
FINA 4082:    Alternative Investments         
FINA 4112:    Investment Management       

One of the following:
ACCO 4040:   International Accounting       
ECON 4044:   International Currency Markets         
FINA 4040:    International Finance 
           
AIM Program Requirements (Private Equity & Banking Track):
Students accepted in the AIM program must earn a BC or better in the following required courses:
ACCO 3001:   Intermediate Accounting
ACCO 4080:   Analysis of Corporate Financial Statements
FINA 3986:    Internship Work Period 
FINA 4001:    Advanced Financial Management
FINA 4310:    Introduction to Applied Investment Management
FINA 4011:    Investment Analysis
FINA 4340:    Private Equity, Society and Ethics
FINA 4350:    Applied Financial Modeling
FINA 4381:    Investment Banking

Two of the following:
ACCO 4020:   Advanced Accounting
ECON 4060:   Introduction to Econometrics
FINA 4060:    Introduction to Financial Derivatives
FINA 4065:    Fixed Income Securities
FINA 4080:    Entrepreneurial Finance         
FINA 4082:    Alternative Investments         
FINA 4112:    Investment Management       

One of the following:
ACCO 4040:   International Accounting       
ECON 4044:   International Currency Markets         
FINA 4040:    International Finance 


Q) What are some of the applied learning elements of the Private Equity & Banking track?

In addition to providing an academically rigorous set of private equity and investment banking courses (listed above), the Private Equity & Banking track also will add a strong element of applied learning including:

·         Summer internships within investment banks, private equity firms, and other financial service providers
·         Opportunities for students to learn from experienced professionals,
·         Incorporation of financial modeling and case studies into the curriculum
·         Interaction with Marquette’s growing finance alumni network who will continue to provide valuable assistance in preparing students for internships and entry level positions
·         Management of a micro-cap equity fund
·         Use of “in the trenches” guest speakers in the classroom to allow students to learn about real private equity and banking experiences,
·         Creation of a Private Equity & Banking Club which will provide opportunities for coaching and nurturing that are important in helping students accelerate their careers
·         Opportunities for students to assist in the monitoring and evaluation of the performance of private equity investments within various investment portfolios (i.e. university endowments, local and state public pension funds, family offices, etc.).


Q) When does a student accepted into the AIM program declare the track they wish to pursue?

During the enrollment process students will indicate whether they have a preference for the Investments or Private Equity & Banking track. Their response will not be a part of the decision process as to whether the student is accepted into the AIM program. The information is useful in determining future course offerings.

All students accepted into the AIM program will take a similar set of courses throughout their junior year. The curricular differences in the two tracks appear during the students’ senior year. Therefore, before a student chooses their courses for the fall semester of their senior year (usually during the month of March), they will be designated as either in the Investments or Private Equity & Banking track. The program director (Dr. David Krause) and co-director (Mark Zellmer) will advise the student as to the best track based on the student’s background and area of interest. Best efforts will be make to assign students to their desired track, while at the same time attempting to seek a working balance. Factors taken into consideration will be the students’ career interests, internship offers, and cumulative grade point.

The course catalog for the 2015-2016 academic year will contain the specifics on the AIM program application and the process of assigning students into one of the two tracks.


Q) How relevant is what I learn in AIM to the real investment and private equity world?

As the name implies, AIM is an applied program. The instructors who teach in the program have solid academic track records and have extensive real world experience. In short, they know both financial theory and business practice. One of the major benefits of the AIM program is that students are also able to learn in their internships and in the classroom from finance professionals that also help link theory to application.


Q) Can I double-major while being enrolled in the AIM program?

Yes.  Many students have successfully sought an additional major in addition to studying the AIM curriculum (and obtaining a finance major). You will need to discuss double-majoring with Dr. Krause and advisors in the other department you see a second major.


Q) How can I juggle working on my degree, interning at a finance firm, spending time with my friends, studying for the CFA exam, and still meet the obligations of the AIM program?

There is no denying that the AIM program requires a serious commitment. In addition to actual class time, you should expect to spend at least 15 hours a week researching investments and studying for the CFA exam (Investment track). This is intended to be a rigorous program and there may well be some activities you will need to postpone while pursuing your degree. On the other hand, you are not alone in the AIM program – you will be enrolled in many of the same classes as your program colleagues and will have an opportunity to travel through the AIM program as a cohort.  In addition, the comparatively short duration of the AIM program means the rewards for all the hard work involved are never too far from sight.


Q)  What types of job will AIM prepare me for?

It is clearly very difficult to predict the path that a person's career will take. However, the thread that unites students in the AIM program is their interest in investments, private equity and investment banking. Some students may be more interested in equity or fixed income investment research, while others will have a greater interest in the transactions side of the investment banking and private equity industry. Quite a few students have stated their their goal is to work for an investment firm, obtain their CFA charter, and then attend a top tier graduate school. Others are interested in working at a bulge bracket or middle market investment bank and someday becoming a partner in a private equity firm. Others are interested in working in hedge funds or working as a financial consultant. Starting positions in the finance industry are naturally dependent on previous work experience - and may range from an associate analyst position to a management trainee program to a mid-office credit analyst position (also see the see internships and careers section).

Q) How do I know if the AIM program is right for me?

That’s a decision you’ll have to arrive at independently. From our perspective we view the successful applicant to the AIM program as having a strong intellect, an active curiosity about the investment banking and asset management industry, a demonstrated record of academic achievement, a well-conceived plan for their future, and good communication and analytical skills. Candidates will have the opportunity to demonstrate these traits through their academic record, resume, letters of recommendation, personal application essay, and a program interview.

Q) Who is eligible for admission to the AIM program?

Students applying to the AIM program are finance majors; however, some are also majoring in other business areas, such as accounting and international business. What the students accepted into the AIM program share is a sincere desire to succeed in finance, graduate from Marquette, and obtain their CFA charter or MBA degree. All of the students display a willingness to work hard toward achieving that goal. Most students enter the AIM program with a proven academic record and a passion for a career in the industry. Students submit their applications during the fall semester of their junior year – and if accepted into AIM, take their first AIM course in the spring semester of their junior year. To learn more, please visit the application information area of the AIM web site.


Q) How do I access application materials or more information?

You can access application material on the AIM web site. For specific inquiries regarding the application process, please contact: Lee Hovorka at 414-288-8024 or AIM@marquette.edu.


Q)  When can I apply for admission to the AIM program?

Students may apply to the AIM program during the first semester of their junior year. The AIM program is a three semester, junior-senior program. Students interested in the AIM program must submit their application to the AIM Director in September.


Q) What are the AIM program admission requirements?


Students interested in the AIM program will be required to submit a formal application to the Director of the AIM Program near the beginning of the fall semester of their junior year. Unlike other offerings in the College of Business Administration, the selection process will be competitive due to the limited capacity of the program. Applicants will be evaluated by the AIM Admissions Committee, which is composed of the Director of the program, investment company representatives, and members of the Finance faculty. The selection of students for the program will be made by the Committee based upon the following: 1) overall academic performance (3.00 GPA minimum); 2) performance in courses relevant to investment management (e.g. finance, accounting, economics, statistics) ; 3) an application essay that articulates why you want to be in the AIM program and why you should be selected; and 4) experience and career objectives as demonstrated in your resume, letters of recommendation and interview.


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