Bachelors in continental EU

Hello everyone,

Bachelors at Bocconi, HSG, SSE or RSM? 

Which one would you guys recommend and why?

Are there any more schools I should look into? (WHU? Mannheim? CBS?)

At first glance it seems that Bocconi and HSG are the clear frontrunners, however, after reading a lot of WSO it looks like whenever they are put above SSE the discussion usually concerns MSc, not undergrads. In the case of Bocconi, I’ve even read some rumours that their international bachelor program is a cash cow riding on the reputation of their flagship masters*, whereas other unis I’ve mentioned are near-free of tuition.


I'm a 17-year-old from Central-Eastern Europe. My grades are on the higher side as are the test scores so there shouldn't be any problem with getting into the schools mentioned. Apart from English and my native tongue, I speak German (C1+, high school in DE) and Spanish (B2-C1).  Slight point for HSG here, though I think due to many similarities, it wouldn't be hard at all to quickly pick up Italian or Swedish for better student life.


My ambitious/lucky goal is to do the masters at LSE / LBS / Said*  and pray silicon valley VCs will need someone from Europe and will look past the lack of an M7 MBA.

The more realistic one would be to land at MBB and work my ass off to one day jump to PE MF (preferably in London) or corp mgmt.

Sorry if that post was a bit too long, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave anything unclear / not addressed. 

Thank you for your time and advice!


*Disclaimer: I've never studied at Bocconi myself so I'm in no position to judge. It's just something I've read on forums and heard from an Italian friend of mine so if it's incorrect, sorry in advance.

*LSE / LBS / Said are the only ones that I saw on LinkedIn that had some placement in top SV VCs

Thanks! Could you please elaborate on why would you choose it over the other 2? Heard St.Gallen places incredibly in DACH but couldn't find much about London, whereas Bocconi (and SSE to a lesser extent) are known for exactly that. Also not gonna lie, I'm afraid that the student life in such a small town might be rather boring for teens. Do you have any experience with St.Gallens' social scene?

Was a bachelor exchange student there. Social life is fine, it is a university town so once you find your friends, there will be plenty of house parties to attend. There are some clubs too but usually too crowded, was not a fan. However, around the end of the semester as work load really picks up, you may find yourself in a small Swiss town spending a lot of time studying (considering you have high grades). Heard that the Assessment Year is especially like that as they like to cut the headcount significantly in the first year. Hope this helps!

the number of graduates in hsg bachelors is several times lower than bocconi and most will just work in Dach region because that is where most of them prefer to work in. This is the reason why the placing in London is not as high as bocconi. Not because it is a worse school or something.

Also the student life is not boring. It’s kind of an university town and most students live near the uni in their own rented apartments. There are a lot of student clubs, sports, and parties. It’s up to you to decide if you want to party every week but there will always be multiple parties happening every week.

There are a few really good investment clubs with regular on campus events with different finance firms. There is a decent number of students getting London placement from these investment clubs.

It would be difficult without being a french native (especially for social life). Their grand ecole system is also a complete mystery to me and tbh I think masters will always be more respected and competitive in european finance/consulting.

Most Helpful

HSG is a pretty good choice if you speak German. They accept quite a lot of kids for their bachelor but then cut more than 50% in their first year, meaning you really have to study hard. Placement in London is absolutely fine, lots of alumni at MF PEs etc in London. If you head elsewhere for a master, it's no problem anyway. In my view, Bocconi and SSE (and obviously LSE) might focus more on London placement given that Italy/Nordics (and imho France) offer significantly worse opportunities than Zurich/FFM/MUC. Students simply have to leave the country while the many DACH students at HSG often choice to work in DACH as there're plenty of attractive options available. Not exactly as in London, but good enough. I, for example, found a PE AN1 Position paying ~125-140k all in while paying 1k rent and being close to all my friends and family. Although I might could have earned more in London in the long run, it was a simple decision for me.

Congrats on your offer! 

I didn't take the local economies into account when studying the placements. If adjusted it seems more or less that after St.Gallen you should have the same opportunities in London as the other 2 mentioned, while also providing the amazing safety net of DACH. I'd assume everyone needs at least a few german speaking representatives. Thank you so much for your insight!

The family factor is more or less the same for DACH and London since they are staying in my native country. 

About your analyst PE offer, was it in CH or DE? The comp for analyst you've mentioned seems London level.

Have you done the usual 2-3 year stint at an IB / MBB or, since its analyst, you got it directly after Msc? Is direct PE placement the norm in DACH?

Unfortunately the majority of info I could only find was about Londons PE scene. I'm very curious about the situation in DACH. I know a few funds like Partners in Zug or EQT in MUC but have absolutely no idea about the comps, deals or WLB and would love to learn more :)

Thx! Yeah, guess so too, placement opportunities seem fairly similar. In CH, HSG opens basically every single door as almost everyone in CH business is from the HSG. In DACH, the reputation is excellent but not as crazy good as in CH.

PE offer is in FFM straight out of HSG (Msc), however, it's not directly PE but a different private market area, but don't want to go into detail as otherwise I'd be super easy to identify.

About PE landscape in DACH:

There are a few PEs in CH, but it seems they are due to tax reasons often not directly located in Zurich, rather in Baar / Zug / whatever. Big names are Partners Group (but they only pay 100ish CHF from what I've heard), Capvis is a big name (but apparently performing bad, usually rather looking for associates), Waterland (excellent performance) has a office there and from what I've seen always an open analyst position posted on their website, but I've heard first hand that they're super picky. Ufenau is a smaller fund in CH, also paying around 100k CHF and also looking for analyst.


There's a common perception that banks are in FFM and PEs in MUC, but actually, mostly German midcap PEs are in Munich, while the majority of the big (foreign) players are located in FFM (KKR, Advent, Permira, Ardian, Triton, PAI, you name it).

PE placement straight out of university is difficult and usually a gamble, and from what I've seen mostly ex-interns who performed very well AND were at the right time there, i.e., most funds don't look for analysts every single year and so it's not guaranteed to land an offer. The best bet by most is to convert a BB internship and afterward do a PE internship, if you can't get the offer (likely) you can go to IB first.

Funds which from what I've seen somewhat regularly are looking for analysts (no guarantee, market changed, could translate into fewer headcount): Advent, Ardian, DBAG, Armira, Afinum, Invision, Main Capital, IK Partners (apparently are open now for analysts), Waterland, Verdane, Quadriga.

That list is non-exhaustive but like I said, also no guarantee. As you can see, there's actually a solid number of PEs looking for analysts, but keep in mind that probably several hundred people are trying to land a job in PE straight out of university each year, so competition is definitely hard and it comes down to luck.

Hope that helps.

Thanks a ton! It was insanely helpful.

Do PE funds hire also from MBB as much as they do from IB like they do in the US or is there a preference towards one or the other?

Was actually looking to jump into Zurichs' MBB instead of IB, if I couldn't go directly into PE. Strategy consultancy seems like a pretty sweet job for 23/4 year old kid with no ties and hella energy.

Secondly, you've mentioned that while HSG is the king in Switzerland, its not as much so for Germany. Did you have some particular schools in mind that open more doors in FFM / MUC than HSG (WHU / Mannheim?) or just meant that the reputation university, while helpful, doesn't have the same power as in Switzerland? Wherever I look I always got the feeling that HSG is in a league of its own compared to the other 2 German schools.

Lastly, how does it work with internships at HSG? Do students usually apply in winter and intern each year for the whole summer or does HSG provide a dedicated time for it?

Is there any usual order to those? You've mentioned something about "converting BB internship", so I assume it meant interning at a BB after your 2nd / 4th semester to be eligible for PE internships in the summer after 4th / 6th semester etc. Have I understood correctly?

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