Goal IBD in London: LSE A&F vs. HSG MBF

Hi guys, 

I'm currently making a choice between LSE A&F and HSG MBF. My goal is to eventually work in London for a tier-1 IB

Although LSE is definitely the bigger brand, particularly in London, I wouldn't have to do any extra internships. 

HSG would allow me to do a SA and an OC before applying to London in 2022. 

So ultimately the question is: LSE with current profile vs. HSG with 2 more internships in M&A. 

For context, this is my current profile: 

  • Grew up in London, went to a German school with Abitur 1.8

  • Non-target uni in Netherlands with 8.0 GPA (3.5 equivalent) 

  • Exchange to Bocconi

  • 720 GMAT

  • Internships: Big4 Advisory, M&A Advisory for Grant Thornton, Startup, Founded own startup, VC part-time

I appreciate all the advice I can get guys. Let me know if you need more info

Comments (8)

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
May 18, 2021 - 4:05pm

To cut it short: it does not make any difference at that level - both are excellent. LSE has an advantage in reputation (internationally) but it won't matter much for IB recruiting in London (only network would really make a difference) where going to a target university is more of a tick the box item at the tier 1 school level. Internships weigh stronger in the application process. HSG might offer chance to do two internships given length of program which could be very helpful. HSG will also cost less but difference to LSE could be offset (although unlikely!) if you factor in that you could possibly enter employment earlier from LSE. However, FT recruiting is essentially impossible if you are a straight white male (i.e. non-diversity background), so you will likely need to go through SA 2022 roles for 2023 FT employment irregardless of whether you choose LSE or HSG. 

May 18, 2021 - 4:31pm
tigerbelly404, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks a lot for the advice! I really appreciate the help. Just to confirm I understood the last part correctly, I would have to do a 2022 SA in London either way to get an FT offer? Presuming I get an SA in 2022 after LSE, wouldn't I be able to get a FT offer right after the summer in 2022 as well (assuming I do the internship well)? And if I chose to do HSG, couldn't I also just apply to a SA in London in Autumn 2022 and do it in 2023 (and hopefully get a FT offer that way)? 

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
May 18, 2021 - 6:27pm

Just to confirm: you have offers from both schools to start summer / fall term 2021, right?

What I am trying to say is that getting a spot during FT recruiting is very unlikely as most spots are filled with previous year's summer interns - if there are any roles left over, they are filled through diversity candidates in many cases. Please don't hesitate to apply of course - it is possible to land a spot, just less likely than the SA process which is very competitive to begin with (maybe 10-15 SA spots for German speaking candidates for most BBs, of which 50% go to female candidates, even disregarding additional diversity quotas).

Hence, you will be best positioned if you apply for 2022 SA roles. If you get an offer, this usually is for start next summer. If you have finished your studies you sometimes can start earlier (e.g. January instead of July) but rarely ever directly following your SA stint (I tried it back in the day and it did not work quite simply because the new analysts just started so there would only be a vacancy if more people than usual quit on the Analyst 2 level). An early start in January 2023 could make sense to get some cash in but please note that you will be Analyst 1 for 1.5 years instead of 1 year in that case (i.e. no promotion benefit whatsoever from starting early).

If you choose HSG you would have another shot a year later, i.e. apply in 2022 for 2023 SA roles (FT start in 2024). Alternatively you can also use the additional time to fit in a PE internship and possibly convert into FT role and ideally skip IB entirely.

May 21, 2021 - 6:28am
tigerbelly404, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yes exactly, I have offers from both to start this fall (2021). Thanks so much for the advice!

My last question would be: Which IB would be a realistic destination given my CV? In other words, where would a typical graduate with my CV end up at in London? 

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
May 21, 2021 - 7:16am

You can land a job absolutely anywhere based on your profile - the above was just really more of a background information, i.e. recruiting is somewhat random and hence hard to predict / plan.

May 21, 2021 - 9:02am
StonksAlwaysGoUp, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't agree with that entirely. An IB SA coupled with a target postgrad which LSE A&F is, you won't struggle that much to secure a FT position given you secure a FT offer and are actually a strong interviewer. Seriously there is soo much movement from SA->FT that spots always open up and every year you do a certain number of guys that successfully shop their offer.

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
May 22, 2021 - 7:20am

I agree but this not the scenario here, or am I confusing something? Once you have done an IBD SA stint and manage to convert, you of course have much more leverage for FT recruiting given your offer but many candidates (such as the thread owner) are going into a 1y master program without having a FT secured for when they will graduate. In this case, applying for SA programmes instead of FT is usually the better choice. 

It is possible, and by all means try it, but I'd still recommend to at least diversify and not put all of your eggs into the FT basket. Look at GS: SA class is approx. 70 people, o/w 10-15 spots are relevant purely based on country / language quotas, o/w 5-8 remain factoring in gender quota. Now there might be 10-15 FT spots in total, o/w some will not be applicable because a) they require a certain language (i.e. FIG has country desks at GS, so does ECM etc) and b) FT spots are often available in less popular groups (perhaps more niche financing group related), maybe leaving 5 interesting spots max, o/w 2-3 remain after factoring in gender quota. You are effectively competing for 2-3 spots when you hand in your FT application at GS

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
May 18, 2021 - 8:19pm

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