How common is it for non-EU students from top MiF programs to land an IB job in London? (Employer reports do not help much)

Hi everyone.

I am a senior economics student from a non-EU country, and I will be applying to Finance Masters programs soon. I am considering applying to LBS, Warwick, HEC Paris, ESSEC, Bocconi, and RSM.

I have the highest gpa in my department. I worked as a corporate banking intern in a bank and as a treasury intern in an F500 company. Besides English and my native language, I have intermediate proficiency in German.

My main goal is to land an investment banking job in London. My standards are not so high because anything in London will probably compensate better than the jobs here. The thing I fear the most, however, is the scenario in which I find no jobs in London despite completing my masters in Europe. This might lead to returning to my home country with 1-2 years of missed chance for experience and a huge amount of money spent. I can also consider other fields in finance rather than going back to my home country, but I am already terrified by the possibility of not finding a job there.

How probable is it for someone like me, an internation student, to be employed in London after completing my masters? Considering the tuition fees of the mentioned schools, I really need to have a certain degree of clarity on this issue.

PS: You can also compare the schools if you know. I have doubts about the non-UK schools' London placements, but I lack the necessary info.

 

Thanks for this informative reply. I believe I may have messed up an interview for an OC role at a BB coverage in my home country. That could have changed things a bit, but here we are.

Unfortunately visa issue will effect me. However, I will definitely apply to Big4 and econ-man consulting jobs during my masters. I know that no one can guarantee anything but will my chances for employment in UK significantly increase when I apply to these jobs? How competitive are they compared to IB?

I also included Bocconi for possible SA opportunities. It is a 2-year program but their employment report contains no information and there are varying opinions in internet about their London placements. Since Italy is not the best place for internationals seeking for finance jobs, it also seems risky.

On the other hand, my professor suggested that I let go of my IB in London obsession and choose RSM for cheaper tuition and easier employment (Netherlands doesn't have strong language barriers and is not as competitive as London). This advice made me feel less confident about my plan. Of course, no one can guarantee anything, and success really depends on several factors. But maybe I should choose the less risky option. It is still better than working here.

 

If you don't have any previous IB experience, I would look at some of the two year masters programmes such as Bocconi and SSE. As the person above mentioned, summer internships are key and these programmes will give you two opportunities to apply for summer internships. 

Also, I'm not sure if you know this, but RSM have already closed applications for their MSc Finance and Investments programme beginning in 2024. It closed like a week after it opened, crazy

 

Wow I didn't know that. Last year applications were closed on 9th of December so I was planning to apply this week. 570 applications in one week, it really is crazy. Maybe I can try Erasmus Uni Rotterdam - Financial Economics, but they seem more academic. Thanks for the tip, Bocconi became a priority now. I don't know much about SSE but will definitely consider it.

 
Most Helpful

I'm in the same boat as you i.e. non-EU national looking to get into IB in London. I am however much further along the process; got an invitation to interview from LBS and currently waiting to hear if I got in (which should be in 2 weeks). 

Based on discussions with other non-EU nationals that went to UK targets (albeit at the Bachelors level and not Masters), entry is extremely competitive with very few seats vs. applicants. My friends did end up in IB but not necessarily their target firms and they had to apply to hundreds of firms to get a spot in banking. I don't think going to Warwick is going to be particularly useful. Within the UK universities, your only realistic shot (at a job) is LBS in my opinion and 30% of the MiF class does end up in IB consistently. After LBS, I'd look into LSE/Imperial and not below that. For practical reasons, you also want to be in the city so you can network extensively. 

I wouldn't worry about not getting a job for the duration of your post-study work permit although ofcourse it is possible that you don't get into IB. I'd suggest having a back up plan and I'd also stress geniunly looking into alternative careers that may be more fulfilling anyways (asset management, equity research, L/S hedge funds, private credit etc.) 

You can implement your Plan A and Plan B simulataneously by applying to internships in two industries for e.g. IB and asset management. 

You can also do quite a bit to improve your chances of getting into IB and mitigating the bad odds. Have a list of potential firms to apply to beforehand, apply early for internship positions and cast as wide a net as possible. Capitalize on being in London by networking aggresively as well. 

Also important to consider what the hiring climate is like when you apply for SAs and/or graduate. I saw some other thread on wso for example that William Blair was hiring even inexperienced candidates into IB post-COVID but now even people with multiple internships are getting rejected. If you are planning on going to university next year or the year after that, an improved economic climate could result in your graduation date and hiring pickup coinciding. That being said both my interviewer for LBS and my mentor (also from LBS) graduated in 2008 and found it very hard to find jobs in London. So the hiring environment does matter alot. 

Lastly, I can't say much for applying to the other top European schools because I don't know much about them or what is required to get into IB in those countries (if that is what you want to do). I am assuming getting hired into London from continental Europe would be much harder than if you went to university in London given that you are a non-EU national and will not be able to be in the UK before you get a job (since you won't have a work visa).  

I hope this helps. Best of luck! 

 

I have a similar background and attended one of the Continent's European schools. 
It's almost impossible to land a job in the UK if you are not based there (Many big firms will screen you out if you are not getting it through specific recruitment events) 
Depends on your family background, but if you are not wealthy then either LBS or nothing (if you only wished to land a job in the UK)
If you are open to non-Ibank related jobs, I think RSM is a good option (Tuition fee, length and probability in landing a job to secure EU citizenship)

 

If you are looking to stay in the NL, all the Dutch Uni are roughly the same 
UvA/VU might give you a bigger chance to land an internship
RSM will give you a bit of an edge (really a bit) as a non-dutch speaker 

 

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