Santander IBD vs Cambridge MPhil Real Estate

Hi All,

I accepted an offer at Santander to join their IBD team in September but have received an offer to study at Cambridge for a 1-year Masters. 

For context, I attend a semi-target atm and have studies a BSc in Finance, and the goal is to ultimately work in Real Assets (Infra/RE) PE.  What would your advice be regarding what to take, with the knowledge that I'd have to renege on Santander.

Many thanks in advance!


lol i wonder if any of the earlier comments really worked in ib. Santander just received 150+ CS bankers, ranging from junior to senior, including group heads. While other banks are laying off people, Santander is growing its teams. Apparently, their profit is also soaring last year. Not sure which group op is joining, but now it's a good time to join Santander. Historically CS levfin is top of the street, and Santander's levfin is almost entirely comprised of ex-CS bankers now. Levfin is great for infra PE.

On another note, IBs don't value master's degrees. Oxbridge, ivy leagues whatever. The only degrees that's gonna move a needle are MBA and JD, mostly MBA. If you get a chance to join an IB right out of undergrad, why would you do a master's? Recruiting from masters degree is not a tried and true path, so you'd have to put in a lot more efforts as well. Also, you can always lateral very easily after a year at Santander.

Of course, this only applies to the US offices. Not sure about the UK.  


As you pointed out this is for UK and here plenty of people have pre-experience master's degree.

While senior bankers matter to some extent, clients hire banks that can offer the full suite of products and services they need. Santander is not playing in the same league in that regards. Maybe in a few years yes, but one shouldn't bet their careers on that, especially when it is common to leave after 2 years


The people suggesting masters... have you worked a day in your life???

Whilst Santander may have a terrible rep in the U.S., in Europe it's not the worst shop. Also in today's market, having a job secured is 10x better then betting on recruiting next year...

Importantly, understand the masters is an MPHIL. Not an MFin or MSc, where it sets you up for research, rather than industry knowledge.


Alum of the master, do it. If hiring is normal you’ll get interviews at every bank in London if you can interview well. 


Take the masters offer (I’m on the waitlist at Santander lol)


As someone who did the MFA, absolutely take the Santander offer. Not sure how your masters ranks, but in the MFA most people would be super happy to get an offer like Santander, with the majority being unable to get any IB offer in LND at all.
Don't see the point of doing a master's when you already got the desired outcome (IB offer), especially as I think that master's is not really considered "top".
If you don't like Santander just work there for a year and then lateral, you will be a much more competitive candidate with one year exp than someone just finishing their master's anyway.


I mean it does but nothing is guaranteed. Not everyone doing LSE's MSc Finance / PE will end up with internships at BBs or EBs (even if they are good). 


Santander definitely has the ambition to grow in CIB so not a bad option. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t end up in Milton Keynes with them.

As for Cambridge, RE is top but check if you get into a decent college (think: Downing, Trinity, John’s etc.) before deciding. The college experience will be decisive for your overall experience.


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