Chances at Oxford/LBS/LSE/HEC

I am currently applying for finance masters programmes in Europe, with the aim of having an IB career in London. At the moment I am targeting the following schools:
- Oxford: Financial Economics
- LBS: Financial Analysis
- LSE: Finance
- HEC: International Financ

About myself:
- GPA: 4.98 / 5.00, degree in Finance and Accounting with specialization in Finance (CEE target university, no-name for UK)
- GMAT: 770 (Q: 49; V: 49)
- Previous experience: valuation and M&A advisory internship at Big 4, MBB consulting internship with full time offer.
- Most important extras: Won several case competitions and CFA Research Challenge in my country, two research projects focusing on empirical finance, headed my university's consulting club.

What do you think about my chances of getting in, particularly Oxford MFE? Which school do you think would give me the best edge to get an SA role? I know that Oxford is academically more demanding, but wondering if that would be much of a hurdle given that I'd like to pursue a degree with a decent curriculum. Also wondering if the curriculum at LBS would be satisfactory, since I would like to develop professionally as well besides landing a job. Thank you for your inputs!

Comments (15)

Most Helpful
LazardLizard, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yes. Very solid chances

Oxford and LSE focus mostly on academics. You have a very strong GPA and GMAT. Average GMAT for Oxford MFE is around 740 and for LSE in the range of 700 - 720

LBS focuses mostly on experience, which you have: MBB + Big 4. Plus you are considerably above the average GMAT 680 - 700

Cannot comment on HEC

Source: Myself. Was accepted to the first 3 programmes with a 740 GMAT and a EB internship in a non-EU/UK country

IMO LBS is way too career-oriented. From I've heard , modules are easy, and most kids there go with the sole purpose of networking and getting a job.

Oxford, quite the opposite, it's the most academically demanding. Some friends who went there spent most of their weeks studying + applying to jobs and little time for leisure/partying. Bear in mind that it's not a Finance programme, but rather a Financial Economics course, so higher emphasis on theoretical foundations of finance. Ideal if you want to have your options open to academia in the future.

LSE is somewhere in the middle.

pluto_6000, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you!

Do you think someone with my profile would need the career support of LBS to recruit successfully or Oxford's support would do the job? Tbh, I do not really mind sacrificing leisure for a year, my only concern if I am not as successful at recruiting.

pluto_6000, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you!

Do you think someone with my profile would need the career support of LBS to recruit successfully or Oxford's support would do the job? Tbh, I do not really mind sacrificing leisure for a year, my only concern if I am not as successful at recruiting.

  • Intern in IB - Gen

once ur at LBS/Ox/LSE, all very much depends on you and how you network/interview, all should get you interviews at the top firms, honestly no point splitting hairs

source: recently graduated from one of the three

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen

Yeah , you should be fine as long as you understand how the London recruiting works: The randomness, importance of applying early, having practiced similar tests/HVs before applying, the graduation date, etc

LBS career support is really good with this stuff, but you can learn it by yourself by having coffee chats/zoom calls with people. If you are willing to do this by yourself, go for Oxford

However, one thing you should consider is that most people who attend these MSc programmes recruit for SA positions, given that getting a FT with no previous SA in London is extremely hard. There's an issue here as most banks hire penultimate year students for SA and Oxford/LSE MSc programmes are one-year masters. Most people just state on their CV/Application form that they will graduate one year later (which is of course untrue). LBS/HEC however are 1.5- 2 year programmes so they don't have issue with this.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov

Personally I would go for LBS.

1) Recruiting takes up a lot of free time. I attended a different academically-intensive MSc program in Europe in order to get into IB and in hindsight I wish I had gone for a chiller program. Especially since Financial Economics / Econometrics / Quantitative Finance are useless if you want to do M&A.

2) The differences between Oxford, LSE and LBS brands will be miniscule. I would actually argue that LSE and Oxford are better known for their BSc programs rather than the MSc whereas for LBS Masters programs are their bread and butter.

3) Know people who attended LBS and their career services are top notch. If you want to do a MSc to get a job I'd say LBS is the best way to do it. Huge alumni network and strong emphasis on recruiting / professional advancement.

quackdudey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My interview isn't even scheduled yet, so we'll have to see how that goes. I think I'm a rather weak applicant though, all things considered. I was honestly suprised when I got the email notifying me that I was shortlisted. DM me and I'll keep you updated.

  • Intern in IB-M&A

I'm a student at one of the 3 (not Oxford) and I can tell you that your profile would be one of the strongest of my class

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

You are very solid, you should get in all of those schools. I would pick Oxford out of these, just a more elite brand and program overall with fewer places and slightly better profiles on average

Broketree Capital, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Oxford every day of the week. If you (somehow) don't get in then LBS - much better for recruiting than LSE overall (IMO). Can't go wrong with any of these 4 schools, but HEC doesn't make as much sense unless you're a native french speaker & also seriously consider working in Paris.

As for your GMAT, 770 is pretty damn incredible - but you're the first very high score that I see without a perfect Quant, which (again IMO) speaks volumes about how good your verbal reasoning is.

  • Intern in CorpStrat

I don't think its possible to have a better profile mate. Exceptional scores and exceptional work experience rounds it out well for all programs. 

  • Intern in PE - LBOs

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