LSE is Paradise

April 29 hits. Your alarm clock, which you thought was a hot high-pitch voice Romanian girl riding you in your dreams, interrupts your soon-to-be-top-Target slumber.

Checking your emails for the 49th time after your Oxbridge rejection (which you never wanted to go to anyways) since January, you receive the dreaded UCAS email: You have an update. Please check your Application Tracker.

‘This is it’ you think to yourself, having sat on a UCL Stats & Economics offer since late December with your 4A* grades (which you did not even sit exams for due to COVID). Your time has come and must now face the daunting reality of whether you wanted to go to your dream school (or, in the case of a rejection, the school for Oxbridge rejects anyway – UCL Economics has a far better track record to the top banks, and is ranked far higher on the league tables – think no.8, such as Oxford/Wharton/Colby etc.).

Butt naked for maximum wind exposure, you ferociously tumble out of bed to your messy desk – one you never bother to even spend 5 minutes cleaning; as you know, genius people are often messy. Eliminating the thicket of your 14 tabs consisting of Youtube videos of Friedrich Hayek, ‘thestudentrooms’ forums, and your Rothschild & Co Sixth Form Insight Day application status, you reticently load up the UCAS email. You are sweating faster than a man who fails NoFap every 2-3 days trying to talk to women in a casual social setting.

‘Here goes nothing!’

Your eyes sift through the colourful UCAS background text, quickly getting down to the decisions tab faster than a brown hardo can recite EBITDA down to FCF

As you barely process the word ‘Congratu…’ you SHRIEK in joy, pissing off your upstairs neighbour, who has terminal hatred of you from all the times you’ve tried to convince him that London universities are just as good as American ones (his son is going to Wharton Class of ’27). You call your mother immediately, explaining how you’ve just entered the most prestigious target school for investment banking/CEO/finance/world politics recruiting. Your mom (likely Asian since we’re talking London unis), is confused at your exclamation as she was only mentally prepped for you attending UCL, after all a top-10 global university.

Eyebrows-raised, maintaining a half-hearted and skeptical expression, she utters: ‘LSE number 38. So bad. UCL higher. Qing Qing why go LSE?’ In a fit of your own uncontrollable excitement, you ignore her non-financial-services/non-target/non-male-parent opinion – ‘pfft, what does she know. Everybody knows Goldman Sachs hires pretty much only from LSE. It’s as good as Oxbridge if not better (for finance in Europe)!.’ Besides, having breezed through months-worth of Quora forums confirming your biases that LSE is as superior as the top global targets (think MIT/Princeton/Oxbridge/Stanford) whilst UCL/KCL/anything else would be the functional equivalent of UVirginia/Idaho/Penn State. You lie on your bed like a starfish thinking: ‘God. It’s time to be an investment banker! Fuck yeah!’. Life is good.

After undergoing all the formalities of a prestigious pre-LSE student, such as updating your LinkedIn to ‘Incoming Undergraduate at the London School of Economics (LSE)’ and sending connection requests to every LSE student at a NatWest+ bank, being placed on ‘pending’; you’re ready to embark upon your journey to become an investment banker Economics student at one of the top institutions at Europe.

Walking into library the first time, you are presented with a scent of refreshing rubber and construction dust residue. You are confused why there is a literal ketamine party of homeless people at the entrance of the library, to which you see the cheerful African-British security guards having great rapport with the whole lot. You omit these details, still in awe of your own Targetness and the scent of true Incoming financial freedom, owing to a lengthy career in financial services (think winning lottery/CEO position at Apple/LSE BSc Geography w/ Economics). Isn't this university meant to be the richest in London? 'Whatever', you think to yourself. You enjoy the bigger picture of life anyway (you're at a top Target!).

Blessing, a South London BA Economic History student, who you stalked had just posted her gratitude post of having done the Barclays Insight Week on LinkedIn, approaches you. Making some highly sophisticated conversation with a similarly positioned soon-to-be intellectual/financier, you recall seeing ‘AAB’ on her LinkedIn, a range of academics not typically suited or frankly befitting of an omega-Target such as Harvard/NASA/LSE. Your face turns slightly sour, and you shiver with goose-bumps as you think to yourself ‘how did she make it to a school such as the LSE?... must have been diversity I guess.’

Months pass by, and as your friends Tim (Converted Rothchild for 2024, AAA, State school), Indians with names beginning with A (multiple of these, AAAAA(EPQ), all MS/GS/Lincoln (from Spring) type banks), but WORST of all, even the girl you scorned most wholeheartedly, Blessing, had just posted her gratitude for joining the next summer as an Incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Morgan Stanley. Your face turns red. You are truly infuriated!

‘How did I, a top-target race, top-target background, top-target school doing a top-target degree (think Cambridge BSc Maths/Oxford BA E&M/LSE BA Economics & International Social Public Policy with International Relations & Political Gender Theology), not getting any Spring Weeks?!’

Avoiding this daunting self-realization that you could not even answer basic questions such as ‘why Investment Banking’ on the Barclays Hirevue without profuse sweating and stuttering (maybe you should have learnt how to talk to a camera for 60 seconds rather than watching rareliquid’s DCF guide), you realized the issue all along; finance was never for you, and it’s a dying industry bound to be replaced with web3 and Crypto. Besides, surely with the advancement of OpenAI and the like, ChatGPT can replace the brain-numbing work of ‘investment banking analysts.’ After all, what’s so prestigious and charming about crunching PowerPoint slides?

‘What chumps’ you think to yourself. ‘They don’t even realise there’s so much more value in academia and Crypto. Besides, my dad told me that finance is for losers who couldn’t break it into a good Master’s program. Who would take Goldman Sachs IBD SA (0.02% acceptance rate) over Cambridge Postgraduate Diploma in Economics (62% acceptance rate) anyway? Higher education is what separates the bachelors (functionally scum despite making £120k out of undergrad) and global intellectuals (think Hawking/Einstein/Zizek).

You assume this defensive stance every interaction you have with Blessing at the Psychological Sciences Department common room, who is increasingly confused by your outwardly hostile behavior. ‘I thought you were first round with the Houlihan Lokey spring insight day? Weren’t you telling me how they were a top EB like Evercore, Lazard, and CVP? how did that go?'

‘Nah, was never interested in LMM banks… besides, I think traditional finance is too simple. I picked up on Crypto trading recently and have bolstered returns that even hedge funds can’t match. Think (82% Y-o-Y/0.8%/-59%/Margin Call)’ you respond. Blessing, with her usually encouraging and optimistic outlook on things, gives you an awkward nod of approval, coupled with a slight smile. You think to yourself: ‘who does this b**** think she is? Just because she is an Incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Morgan Stanley London does not make her any way, shape, or form, superior to me. Plus, my A-Levels were way better and I didn’t get into LSE through diversity.’ Your soft-racist self adamantly refuses to accept that you most clearly are losing the career game to a diversity female (who is actually just a very nice human being).

On a rainy day, you are at home contemplating the meaning of your existence, seeing your web3/Crypto/majority-ARK Invest portfolio down 39% due to a single Goldman press release saying 1 sentence about how Crypto is ‘at best, questionable.’ You open up LinkedIn, returning 38 search results of ‘Summer Analyst’ in London, United Kingdom. In your flurry of neurotic and un-targeted applications, you stumble across a strange crypto start-up named detX (a no-track record LinkedIn page with 7 followers and a 360pixel logo); you quickly receive an email from the founder, a 2nd year Management student at the university of Bristol. You are confused by his ultra non-target background (non-LSE/Harvard/Goldman), but you quickly confirm that he was one of the good ones. After all, he was a prestigious former Spring Intern on the PIMCO Prep program, an internship you were unexplainably rejected by. You delightfully respond to confirm your acceptance into the Prestigious ‘detX’ virtual summer analyst program on offer.

In a wave of joy, you update your LinkedIn to reflect your recent accolades. Debating on whether to put ‘Incoming Private Investments Summer Analyst’ or ‘Incoming Financial Investment Associate Intern’ to truly reflect your prestigiousness, you boast to all your friends at school about how impressive detX (pro forma, that is) is, and how it’s ‘set to disrupt the generative-AI field,’ repeating your newly minted Bristol CEO’s overinflated upside estimates (whose clearly doing this for CV fodder), citing numbers such as $1.2 million equity upside by 2025, seed funding from big investors (Sequoia/MCD Capital/Fortress) and the like. Your Indian friends, most of which have names beginning with A for some reason, with their esteemed top BB offers (GS/MS/JPM/DB) in the Investment Banking Division, look at you as if you were that kid who was never invited to the second ‘secret’ group chat back in Highschool. They are disgusted. But, given your newly sourced superiority to be on the Buyside out of undergrad, you scorn them with their pretentious sell-side offers at ‘investment banks’, institutions for rejects who couldn’t make buy-side out of undergrad.

With your newfound summer analyst role at a top investment analysis shop, and your analyst position at a budding, entrepreneurial position at a top student investment fund (think GPS/Blackelm Equity/Oxford Alpha Fund), you revel at your own apparent prestigiousness.

Life is good. The future is bright. You open up Moodle.

LSE is paradise.

 

If you went to a mega Target you could be a top-targ seat (think Barclays P&U/Blackelm Equity Sector Head/KKR Corp Buyout). 

 

As an intern from Bristol this is hilarious. Also started two failed start-ups (although i did secure angel investment for one of them) and have seen first hand some target school kids react negatively when they find out I have secured better internships than them. 

Suprisingly accurate post HAHA

 

The bit on the homeless hanging in the library’s entrance area and chatting with the British-African security guards is the most randomly specific and accurate thing. Enjoyed the read - thank you.

 

Is this actually accurate? Is LSE actually like this?? 

 

Blackelm Equity is clearly a second-tier rip-off of Harvard Black diamond/Oxford Alpha Fund/WHFS go compare the judges that OAF/CAMSIF/WHFS have and the judges that Blackelm brings. Blackelm has second-year uni students with no finance experience except males with ''PWC women's insight day'' judging their pitches.

 

back when i used to be at Warwick we had a bunch of societies all under the WFS "umbrella". i had a look now and it seems WFS is simply "the" society? or how does it work these days. Looks like WHFS isnt part of WFS? is it a case of everyone wants to put "founder-co-founder" lol...remember everyone used to be a President/VP back then hah.

 

WFS and WHFS are both great societies to join, but in different ways. Objectively WFS is the main general finance society for students at Warwick, with over 2000 members. WHFS is more selective and geared towards AM/ER; all other finance societies at Warwick are either dormant or have no track record yet. 
WFS does mainly informative Intro speaker events. WHFS is the OAF/LSE MBP equivalent of Warwick; they are mostly known for pitching to the founder of Greenlight Capital and competing against the Ivy League investment clubs. If you're looking to learn about finance generally and get your CV checked for spring weeks, go to WFS. If you are looking for something more demanding and to learn technicals and pitch to industry buy side PM's every term, go to WHFS. 

 

The prestige of this post is unreal. Crypto is the future!

 

In my opinion, it is a conscious decision to participate in the toxic culture. There are a lot of people that do better than the uber-hardos career wise while remaining “normal” - whatever that may be to you.

 

Ive heard the guy who wrote it is a GS analyst from LSE lol

 

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