Deciding between Masters (1Y or 2Y)

I am currently debating between a one or two-year masters degree in Finance. My goal would be to land a SA 25 at a BB/EB in London and hopefully convert. I am currently considering the typical European business schools but have trouble in deciding between a one or two year degree (HEC vs Bocconi for example).
I studied a STEM major and did internships in MM M&A, Corporate M&A and T2 Consulting. I don’t know if this prior experience is sufficient to land a gig at a top firm as I have, as virtually anybody, a strong preference to start at a top firm. I would prefer a 1Y masters as I would have time to do maybe an IB OC if I am not able to land at a good firm, an MBB internship, or travel a bit before starting FT. Still most importantly my main goal is to land at a top firm.
Also my prior internships have all been in one specific sector (think FIG/Industrials/Healthcare) does this more hinder or help my applications?


When you're weighing the options between a one-year or two-year Master's in Finance, there are several factors to consider, especially given your goal of landing a summer analyst position at a Bulge Bracket or Elite Boutique bank in London. Here's a breakdown to help guide your decision:

  1. Prior Experience: Your internships in middle-market M&A, Corporate M&A, and Tier 2 Consulting have provided you with a solid foundation. This experience is definitely beneficial and should position you well for applications to top firms. It demonstrates a clear interest in finance and strategic operations, which is what top firms look for.

  2. One-Year vs. Two-Year Programs:

    • One-Year Program: A one-year Master's program, like the one offered by HEC, is intensive and gets you back into the job market quickly. Given your previous experience, a one-year program might be sufficient to polish your skills and make you a strong candidate for SA positions. It also allows for flexibility if you wish to pursue other internships or travel before starting full-time work.
    • Two-Year Program: A two-year program, such as Bocconi's, may offer more in-depth study and potentially more internship opportunities, which could strengthen your profile further. However, it also means a longer time before entering full-time employment.
  3. Specialization in a Sector: Having all your internships in one sector can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it shows depth of knowledge and a clear interest in a particular area, which can be very appealing to firms that are strong in that sector. On the other hand, if you're looking to diversify, it might require you to articulate your transferable skills and adaptability during the application process.

  4. Career Goals: If your main goal is to start at a top firm, consider which program has stronger recruitment ties to the firms you're targeting. Networking and on-campus recruitment can be crucial for landing a position at a top firm.

  5. Additional Opportunities: A one-year program may not offer the same breadth of networking and internship opportunities simply due to time constraints. If you feel that additional internships or networking events are crucial for breaking into a top firm, a two-year program might provide more opportunities.

In conclusion, based on your experience and goals, a one-year program could be a good fit, especially if you leverage your existing experience and the program's network effectively. However, if you feel that additional learning and internship opportunities would significantly enhance your profile, a two-year program might be worth considering. Remember, it's not just the duration of the program, but what you make of it that counts.

Sources: Does it matter what B-school I attend for investment banking?,,, graduated may 2019 and recently laid off first job, Can't land an offer. In need of advice

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

You already have good internships so you just need a good brand name for London BB.
I would then go for a 1-year Masters at a top institution, preferably in London (LSE/Imperial/LBS) to network and attend the banks events.

You could also target HEC MiF if you’re not French (French can only access the PGE). Wouldn’t advise Bocconi unless you’re Italian.


Thanks! I was just unsure if my profile is good enough for roles at the top banks, as recruitment seems to be getting tougher. Additionaly I don’t know how a STEM bachelor + Finance Master is perceived. I am even of sticking with the STEM Master to stand out even more


Yeah, your profile is really good, actually. You have more experience than most UK applicants. Regarding the specific subject to choose, you should stick to pure Finance if you’re targeting Corporate Finance roles (IB/PE), as you will benefit from large alumni networks.

However, if you want to apply to S&T, you could certainly consider more technical Masters such as ‘Finance & Mathematics’ at these universities.


Thank you for your advice, really appreciate it!
Always tough to tell how well you compare to other applicants, honestly recruiting is mostly also quite random.


You've got a breadth of internships, really what the 2yr program does is help with taking an internship 1st yr summer and then being able to re-recruit if you don't get a return. 
If you're confident in your recruiting ability (I think you should be), and have a plan in place if necessary (OC), the 1yr is fine. On the counter, a 2yr program doesn't necessarily limit you from your stated goals imo. 


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