In 2001, when Sorin Codreanu, MSIE ’01, MSF ’04, traveled to the United States from his native Romania to enroll at Suffolk University, he brought with him an undergraduate education, a few years of work experience, and some ambitious career goals.

“I wanted to be CFO of a private equity company or hedge fund,” Codreanu says. “I wasn’t sure how long it would take, but I knew it would take a lot of hard work and some luck.”

Another obstacle stood in his way: the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Without it, the prospect of achieving his career goals would be that much more daunting. Codreanu credits his Suffolk education for giving him the confidence he needed for the rigorous exam process.

“I was still in the MSF [Master of Science in Finance] program when I signed up for the Level I CFA,” Codreanu says. “What I learned at Suffolk was right on—I didn’t have to study too much for the exam. It was very fresh after just getting my master’s degree.”

More than Just the Letters

Many Suffolk alumni and current students, including Adam Savage, a product development associate at John Hancock Financial Services, echo Codreanu’s sentiments about the importance of the CFA for your career and the effectiveness of Sawyer Business School’s finance programs in preparing for the exam.

“It’s not just about having the letters after your name. You have to walk the talk,” Savage says. “I know the Suffolk [MSF] program will make me better prepared and more well-rounded for the next level of the exam.”

The curriculum for Suffolk’s BSBA in finance and MSF—closely aligned with the 10 core areas of the CFA—sets up our students to successfully earn the CFA designation.

As a nod to that alignment, both finance programs recently were accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. It’s an important designation for business schools that offer a strong foundation of financial knowledge and readiness for a range of relevant careers.

The Boardroom and the Classroom, Minutes Apart

The classroom experience is enhanced by our proximity to the center of Boston’s Financial District. In fact, many of our graduates who have earned the CFA designation now work at highly competitive companies, including Fidelity, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and more. Flexible options allow students to take courses part- or full-time, day, or night. In addition, Suffolk offers a 4+1 option, which allows BSBA graduates to earn their MSF degree in as few as 10-12 months..

Like Codreanu, Pushpa Kumari, MSFSB ’13, asset management analyst at UC Funds, came to the U.S. to advance her career.

“I got my CFA before my master’s, but there was a gap in what I knew,” says Kumari. “I wanted real-life experience. Plus, Suffolk’s courses were more flexible in nature, and it helped make my decision to enroll here easier.”

Get to Where You Want to Be—Faster

Beyond Suffolk’s core finance curriculum, a wide range of electives such as real estate, insurance, and investment banking allow students to pursue areas of special interest and expertise. “The curriculum definitely relates. It certainly helps you choose the right career, as well,” Kumari says.

No matter what career path you choose, the CFA is just one important milestone on the journey to a career in finance, perhaps one that includes a job as a CFO.

“The [CFA] designation has given me the credibility I needed, and it has played a fundamental role in my career development,” says Codreanu, who is now CFO at Geode Capital Management. “I reached my goal sooner than I thought I would.”