Applied Investment Management Program
AIM Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I get added to the AIM program's newsletter email distribution list?
- What is unique about the AIM program and what is the Private Equity & Banking Track?
- Is the IAIM program still available?
- How relevant will what I learn in AIM be to the real investment world?
- What companies have provided internships or hired students enrolled in the AIM program?
- Can I double-major in the AIM program?
- How do employers benefit?
- How can I juggle working on my degree, interning at an investment firm, spending time with my friends, studying for the CFA exam, and still meet the obligations of the AIM program?
- For what types of jobs does the AIM program prepare me?
- What is the average starting salary for graduates of the AIM program?
- How do I know if the AIM program is right for me?
- Who is eligible for admission to the AIM program?
- How do I access application materials or more information?
- How many people apply to the AIM program each year? How many are accepted?
- When can I apply for admission to the AIM program?
- What are the AIM program admission requirements?
- Who should I use as references in the application?
- What part of the application is weighted most heavily?
- What if I am not admitted to the AIM program?
- What can I do in high school or my freshman and sophomore years in college to prepare for the AIM program?
- What are the major elements of the Private Equity & Banking track?
1. How do I get added to the AIM program's newsletter email distribution list?
Please email the AIM Program Director at AIM@marquette.edu. We would be happy to add you to the AIM information distribution list. Also stay in touch by subscribing to the AIM blog at http://aimprogramblog.blogspot.com
2. What is unique about the AIM program and what is the Private Equity & Banking Track?
This is really a two-part question. Since 2005, Marquette‘s AIM program has grown to become one of the nation’s top undergraduate programs in applied investment management. The AIM program has allowed a select group of finance majors to get hands-on academic and security analysis experience, including summer internships and an opportunity to actively manage equity and fixed-income portfolios throughout their senior year. Students study the core body of knowledge covered in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) exam – preparing them to take the CFA Level I exam upon graduation – and begin a career in the money management industry.
The AIM program has expanded and now includes two tracks: Investments and Private Equity & Banking. The Investments track focuses on asset management, while the Private Equity & Banking track concentrates on private or transactional finance.
There are a number of advantages to the AIM program. One important difference is the close interaction with both the faculty and Marquette alumni. Students in AIM generally track together throughout their time in the program, providing continuity and invaluable mutual support. The AIM student alumni network is active – helping current AIM students with career planning and advice.
Another unique advantage of the AIM program is the emphasis on ethics – which combines Marquette’s Jesuit-based values with modern business practices. Our emphasis on ethics enables AIM students to enrich their educational experience with practical ‘real world’ examples and cases so that they are better able to face the challenging issues encountered in today’s global finance industry. With an emphasis on the undergraduate student, the AIM program combines textbook learning with real-world experiences, producing a challenging, stimulating learning environment. It is recognized as one of the top applied finance programs of its kind in the nation.
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. The curriculum and applied learning elements are explained in detail on this web site.
3. Is the IAIM Program still available?
In short, yes. With the introduction of the Private Equity & Banking track, the formal IAIM program designation was dissolved. However, AIM students interested in double-majoring in International Business are still able to do so, and the coursework and expectations are much the same as the IAIM program.
4. 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 each in the program have solid academic track records and many have extensive real world experience. 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 investment professionals that also help link theory to application.
5. What companies have provided internships or hired students enrolled in the AIM program?
The College of Business Administration is proud of its ongoing partnership with area and national financial firms. To date, many of the leading investment companies and investment banks, both large and small, have sponsored internships and/or hired graduates of the AIM program. Take a look at a partial listing of the companies that have been involved with AIM go to the internships and careers section of this website.
6. Can I double-major with the AIM program?
Yes. Many students have successfully sought an additional major in addition to the AIM curriculum. You will need to discuss double-majoring with Dr. Krause. Please review the curriculum page on this website for more information.
7. How do employers benefit?
Providing an internship is an excellent way for investment banks, private equity firms, and asset managers to help students (who may become future employees) enhance their research skills and learn how to apply theory to actual practice. While the students benefit immensely from an internship, the firms also are rewarded through the networking opportunities that take place within the AIM program. Many companies find support for the AIM program to be a powerful tool in recruiting top employees and engaging their managers with academic leaders.
8. 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. 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.
9. 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).
10. What is the average starting salary for graduates of the AIM program?
To date our internship and career placement statistics have been excellent. AIM students’ starting salaries typically have ranged between $40,000 to $70,000 depending upon location and position.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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: Jessica Hoerres at 414-288-8024 or AIM@marquette.edu.
14. How many people apply to the AIM program each year? How many are accepted?
Marquette’s AIM program continues to grow in popularity. The last several years we have averaged nearly 50 interested students; however, less than this have actually submitted complete application packages. It is expected that about 20 students in each track would be admitted to the AIM program annually.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Who should I use as references in the application?
Select references that are qualified to evaluate your potential as a scholar and financial analyst. The people you select as references should have a good understanding of your abilities along with solid examples of your accomplishments. These individuals may include supervisors or managers, individuals from volunteer or community organizations, or others who can evaluate your work ethic and character. Former or present educators, who know about your interests in business and the investment profession, are also good references in the application process.
18. What part of the application is weighted most heavily?
The AIM application is looked at holistically. While we consider all parts of the application important, we look closely at the student’s quantitative ability, their level of interest in the investments and the private equity industry, and their work ethic and character.
19. What if I am not admitted to the AIM program?
Many Marquette finance students achieve successful careers in asset management and investment banking without going through the AIM program. Finance majors often opt to study many of the same courses and take the CFA exam following graduation. Marquette University has excellent career services support and many of our graduates have been highly successful in the investment industry.
20. What can I do in high school or my freshman and sophomore years in college to prepare for the AIM program?
It is recommended that prospective AIM students take an extensive amount of mathematics (i.e. calculus and statistics). Students should also do well in their accounting and economics courses. It is also advisable to follow the financial markets closely and get involved with the Financial Marquette Association (FMA) and other student clubs.
21. What are the major elements of the Private Equity & Banking track?
In addition to providing an academically rigorous set of private equity and investment banking courses, 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. the University’s endowment, local and state public pension funds, family offices, etc.),