Academic Director of the MSF Program
Graduate School of Business, Nazarbayev University
Dear potential applicant to the MSF Program,
On behalf of Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business I welcome you to the Master of Science in Finance admission portal. You are just steps away from making an important, life-changing decision: To apply for the MSF Program at Nazarbayev University!
Our graduate program in finance opens an exciting new world of career and business opportunities: careers in finance are prestigious, intellectually stimulating, varied (there are many different career paths, sectors, industries and jobs which a financial expert can pursue), and satisfying (provide interesting work as well as good compensation). Kazakhstan’s financial sector has a great growth potential stemming from the country’s continuing commitment to economic reform and globalization. Successive waves of privatization, establishment of the AIFC (Astana International Financial Center), and continuing banking and legal reform will lead to an increased demand for finance professionals in the near future.
The core of finance is to understand value creation. Successful companies create value through good investment and financing decisions. Investment decisions are about how (on which projects) to spend money; financing decisions about how to raise this money. Finance experts can work in a company as a CFO, treasurer, chief accountant etc., thus focusing on Corporate Finance; such person evaluates a company’s projects and financial consequences of managerial decisions from the inside. Or, they can work as asset managers, investment bankers, or consultants, focusing on Investment; they evaluate other companies and their projects from the outside. Apart from these two main fields of finance, one could mention complementary fields such as risk management and financial engineering, mathematical finance, banking, and specialty fields such as insurance and real estate. Besides working in the private sector, there are finance jobs in the government and public sector, supranational organizations, and quasi-government organizations. One can also aspire to set up a business and become a private investor or financier.
Finance is not only about numbers, but inevitably deals with numbers. Good quantitative skills and sound logic and intuition (on the level of GMAT/GRE) are prerequisites to understand the mathematics behind finance. Calculations are performed in a spreadsheet (Excel) or in specialized software (Matlab, STATA, SAS, R). Other “hard skills” of a finance graduate are quantitative methods, statistics, econometrics, accounting, and economics. We also pay attention to “soft skills”: team work, communication, presentation skills, entrepreneurship, and leadership – qualities that set people for success and enable them to pull others with them. Finally, we care a great deal about ethics, which is a key to make sure that our graduates not only benefit themselves, but contribute to the society.
The MSF Program at Nazarbayev University is partially sponsored by the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The National Bank’s role is to facilitate the upbringing of a new generation of financiers, finance experts and innovators, who will become the leaders in the field and will contribute to the country’s economic reform. The students who are selected for the National Bank scholarship will have a unique opportunity to work at the National Bank, at one of its departments, with the potential of a fulfilling career in an institution which is central to economic and financial regulation in Kazakhstan.
Our ultimate goal is to provide world class financial education comparable to the best MSF programs globally. The top quality international faculty and the resources of Nazarbayev University, together with you, a highly-motivated candidate seeking intellectual challenge in the program and an exciting career afterwards, will make it possible. We look forward to see you in the classroom!