Need help with Msc in Finance choice: HEC Paris MiF or Bocconi Msc in Finance

Hi all,

I am facing a decision to pick a master's in finance program and would really appreciate your experience and insights. In short about me, I am Croatian with a non-target bachelor's degree in Economics with high GPA, 9 months M&A internship in UniCredit CEE team in Vienna and student exchange at NUS in Singapore. My ambition with the Master program is to first land a summer internship in IBD in London, and then hopefully an FT role.

I got admitted to HEC Paris Master in International Finance (#1 in FT ranking) and Bocconi Msc in Finance which I both see as very good and well-regarded programs and the choice is not clear-cut.

Below are some pros and cons of the programs from my current point of view based on inputs I received so far:

HEC Paris MiF
+ international reputation and top rankings
+ exclusivity (class size of 50-100)
+ top-notch student cohort ("like Harvard MBA adjusted for age")
+ supposedly very good placement in London (50% of class) with focus on IBD
- costs (around EUR 35k altogether)
- short 10-month program (more risky - one shot for summer internship, less time to prepare etc.)

Bocconi MSF
+ arguably best London IBD placement of all continental Europe schools
+ large alumni network in London (representation in all big banks, and in large numbers)
+ 2-year program is less risky
+ affordable (full scholarships available, total costs around EUR 10k)
+/- less international, but very good reputation in Europe
- massive and very competitive (class size of 250)

In my view, what this comes down to is whether an investment of extra EUR 25k in an HEC Paris degree could somehow pay off in terms of better placement opportunities. Right now it seems to me that this would not be the case and that actually the return potential would not be commensurate with the risk of going for a quick one-year program and starting a career with a debt burden. Especially when you take into account my profile coming from a non-target bachelor and with a non-UK and de facto non-EU passport in Britain (and who knows how the Brexit situation will roll-out) and a small market where none of the big banks have presence.

What do you guys think? I would really appreciate your comments and if possible, challenging my current view.

Thanks a lot!

Comments (10)

Finger-painting, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Definitely HEC Paris. It has a much better reputation than Bocconi, which is no tier 1 university in Europe (it definitely is to be seen below SSE and HSG).

I will also start my MSc in September and only applied to LSE, HEC, and Oxford. Although I chose the LSE, I would have been very satisfied with HEC, as well. Their placement in London is very good.

  • 3
elfie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Congrats on your admission to LSE!

I used to think like that too until I started talking to people. I got insights from HEC Paris graduates working in London BBs themselves that HEC and Bocconi on paper are actually regarded the same. So I am trying to find a way to rationalize the price tag of HEC.

Nicholas-Tan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just saw this and am in a similar position having just received an offer from LSE and awaiting a response from HEC - was just wondering what your thought process was in choosing LSE and how you are finding the course there so far?

Best Response
cruel3a, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How can you say that Bocconi MSc in Finance is not a Tier 1 program to get into banking? I have in front of me right now the list of schools that sent people to my training program some years ago (tier 1 american bank) and Bocconi ranked 3rd, just after LSE and HEC, for placement. Ahead of SSE and HSG. If we are talking about placement, Bocconi MSF is a Tier 1 program. And I talk by facts.

If money is not a factor, I would go for HEC.

I'm grateful that I have two middle fingers, I only wish I had more.
  • 4
  • 1
cruel3a, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You put this in the from forum. You should have placed it in the Investment Banking one.

I'm grateful that I have two middle fingers, I only wish I had more.
Ezio Auditore, what's your opinion? Comment below:

When I looked at MSFs in general and Bocconi MSF in particular 2 years ago, the most sounding caveat was that it would be quite hard to get London IBD from Bocconi if you are not Italian as banks almost exclusively hire from Bocconi to have Italian coverage. I'm sure that is not 100% the case, but in this kind of market with the whole Brexit going on, HEC would be a better choice if you can swallow the cost.

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.
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  • Anonymous Monkey
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Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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