HSG/LBS/ESSEC to break into Europe

Thanks for your time reading this post, I'm crying for help and I would really appreciate any advice! My goal is to work at BB/EB in Europe, ideally in London, but would kill for IB/SnT/ER anywhere. Don't speak any other European languages. 

Current preference: HEC>>St. Gallen=LBS>ESSEC. Put EU programs so high because they have more time for me to intern in Europe.

I understand it's tough to master a new language, but I have a strong willingness to learn and have seen average Asian students reach French/German C1/C2 level within 2 years. HEC is a no-brainer in my situation, but they are very picky on Chinese candidates from China/HK, so it is the only program I am not sure about my chances.

Coming from a top APAC target, doing a master's is all for working in Europe. My undergrad also qualifies for UK HPI visa. Did 3 relevant Internships in Asia: M&A at a decent US MM boutique, IBD at the top Chinese IB, CVC at a Chinese internet giant. Not sure whether these experiences even matter at all in London recruiting.


Uncertainty about landing jobs in London: Nearly all the Chinese students got summer offers in HK offices, but only very few got London offers with US/UK bachelor's degrees. The fact that it has only one year is painful. 


The top brand in DACH, high flexibility to do internships

Downsides on Swiss working permit policies: it is close to impossible for me to do even internships in Switzerland. The program enables me to do more enough internships in Germany or the UK, which can offset this. I can also move to Switzerland after years of work more easily with HSG networks.

ESSEC MiM (GE) is one tier lower than above.

I don't consider Bocconi because, as a non-EU student, visa issues, together with the program length and flexibility, are my primary concern. I read through Linkedin and came to the conclusion that they mainly send native or bilingual Italians to London banking. 

Comments (11)

boib_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As you don't speak any european language, i would put it like that:


LBS is top to find a job in London.

  • 1
Most Helpful
CNRunAway, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can gain the most from LBS, but London recruiting is much harder for Asian students with no experience in Europe. I got the info that nearly all the Chinese students got summer offers in HK rather than London. Coming to LBS and going back is a bit of a waste of time. One more thing is that if I fail to hire for London, graduating from LBS, I still have the PSW visa. It seems nice allowing me to stay in the UK but I don't think any banks would hire graduate interns normally. Plus my undergrad qualifies for UK HPI visa. Thanks for your reply!

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen

I see Asians in my firm every year who just came to Europe for their masters, no issue there. If you apply in London you'll recruit in London. 

  • 2
boib_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

But switzerland or france can be even harder not speaking the language.

CNRunAway, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It is true. So far, weighing between the length of LBS and the language barrier, I am leaning toward challenging myself on languages, as those programs have a really long time. If so it is a trade-off between time and better offers, but I don't know if I am right on this.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen

Ok, so:

- I have never heard of HSG, so don't go there. Only Swiss school I know is St Gallen. Even though it was St Gallen, it is below LBS in London and below ESSEC in France so no point 

- LBS vs ESSEC: LBS is way better anywhere else besides France, ESSEC way better in France. 

Why not work in London? Career opportunities are better.

With regards to ESSEC, if you really want to go to France then go for it, however the only way you could possibly work in France is to speak native level French (even though, you will also need to match the culture which is another hurdle as you won't be "one of theirs ». That said it's possible though and I know someone who did it but he feels very Parisian and speaks perfect french). So if it's your dream and you are absolutely certain you can reach native French in 1-2 years go for it, otherwise I would say LBS

  • 1
  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen

Ah ok, so then still very good school but below LBS in UK and ESSEC in France

Restless, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How often do Asians get sponsored for London? Asking because you may want to consider that between LBS vs. EU universities, the first may improve your chances of getting interviews in London as you already have a visa.

Also, DACH countries are more friendly to foreigners, so I wouldn't put French universities as my #1 destination.

CNRunAway, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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