Durham PPE? (For IB) Or gap year?

Hi Guys
Currently I have got an offer for Durham PPE but, although I’m sure it’s a great course, I’m not sure if it’s good enough to land a top IB job, or perhaps it is? If I can get 2 or (hopefully) 3 A*s at A-Level this year do you think I should take a gap year and reapply to a more ambitious course (would most likely be econ and econ history at LSE and econ at Warwick Durham and UCL if I were to reapply) or just stick with Durham PPE as a bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Most Helpful

Current Durham student here! 
Durham is an OK Uni for IB recruitment and Barclays & Bofa hire heavily from Durham (the youngest Bofa MD in euro region graduated from Durham). The finance society consistently hosts events with some top tier MM and we got a few EB and BB come over for career fairs. I've constantly seen students land offers for top consultancy firms and BB firms. 

Personally I think durham isn't a bad place to start as long as you're willing to work hard to get into IB recruitment. Personally, I believe if it's possible to get into target uni then it's worth giving a shot and Durham can stay as a nice backup option. If you're able to get work related experience during your gap year and get into a decent target then the sky is the limit.


Thanks for your help! If I were to take gap year, I would definitely try to get work experience but I have two questions about this: Firstly, would contacting small boutique firms by email be a good idea, or something else? Secondly, if I’m applying for IB, would asset management or PE work experience for example still be worthy of putting on the CV, or would it give the impression that I’m not focused on IB?


Many smaller boutique firms around the UK have informal processes and hence no structured recruitment process. Emailing these firms your CV and CL is the best way to let them know your intensions. Personally haven't been successful when I was cold emailing in my first year but seen a few land work experience that way. I ended up working online at a startup PE/search fund.

If you're applying for spring weeks then ANY relevant work experience will help. Not sure about summers and graduate, for the most part I only ever ended up getting interviews and offers because of my PE internship in my first year. I did occasionally get asked "Why IB and not just stay in PE" and a good answer satisfied them. 



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