LBS MFA vs. HEC MIF with scholarship

Hi all. 

I have an offer from HEC for MIF with an 8k scholarship and I'm currently awaiting an answer from LBS for MFA. Currently with the scholarship LBS is almost 20k EUR more expensive and I am trying to decide between these two programs and schools. I have the opportunity to go to LBS but I am wondering if spending the additional money is worth considering that the schools are probably equivalent. 

I am mostly curious to know how choosing HEC will impact my hiring options - I don't have a UK visa but I am an EU citizen and most likely I would like to work in London. This seems the biggest minus comparing HEC to LBS simply that the school is not based in London and I will have fewer opportunities to recruit for top banks/PEs etc. However, going through LinkedIn I have seen many excellent profiles from HEC. I have heard some people being happy with LBS and some people being quite disappointed. 

For context, Im European (Eastern), Bocconi undergrad, female, I'm currently doing my gap year and just finished my internship at an okayish boutique and joining a European large cap fund for an internship in Frankfurt in April. 

Looking forward to hearing what people here think about both schools! Seems to me a bit like it's splitting hairs since both schools are good but it's still tough to choose for me. 

 

Based on the most helpful WSO content, the decision between LBS's Masters in Financial Analysis (MFA) and HEC's MSc in International Finance (MIF) with a scholarship is indeed a nuanced one, especially when considering the significant difference in cost. Here are some points to consider that might help in making this decision:

  1. Location and Networking Opportunities: LBS, being located in London, naturally offers more direct access to the city's vast financial sector, which could be beneficial for networking and recruitment opportunities, especially if you're aiming to work in London. The proximity to top banks and PE firms in London can facilitate in-person networking events, company presentations, and internships during the term.

  2. Global Brand and Recognition: Both LBS and HEC Paris have strong global brands, but LBS might have a slight edge in terms of global recognition, particularly in finance. This could be advantageous if you're considering opportunities not just in Europe but also in Asia or the US. However, HEC Paris is also highly respected and has a strong alumni network, especially in Europe.

  3. Scholarship and Financial Consideration: The €8k scholarship from HEC is a significant factor, making the program substantially less expensive than LBS's MFA. It's important to weigh the financial aspect against the potential benefits of studying in London. Consider the return on investment and how much the location and network from LBS would benefit you compared to the savings from the scholarship at HEC.

  4. Alumni Success: You mentioned seeing many excellent profiles from HEC on LinkedIn. It might be useful to reach out to some of these alumni to get their insights on how HEC helped them in their careers. Similarly, try to connect with LBS alumni to understand their experiences and whether the investment in LBS's MFA was worth it for them.

  5. Personal Fit and Program Content: Beyond the brand and location, consider which program aligns better with your career goals and interests. Look into the curriculum, specializations, and the type of projects or practical experiences each program offers. Since you have a background from Bocconi and experience in finance, think about which program would complement your existing skills and where you could gain new insights.

Given your background and aspirations, both programs could serve as excellent stepping stones for a career in finance, particularly in London. The choice might ultimately come down to personal preferences regarding location, financial considerations, and where you feel you'll have the best opportunity to grow professionally and network effectively.

Sources: LBS Masters in Financial Analysis vs HEC MSc in Finance, LBS MFA vs Cambridge MPhil REF, LSE vs LBS, MiM vs MIF?

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

I am also Eastern European, with an undergrad from Trinity College Dublin and going to HEC. I haven’t applied to London schools, and I do regret it- although I would have preferred LSE to be honest. I personally think that €20k is not worth it, but I guess it depends on how much this sum means to you. If it’s somewhat significant, I would stay with HEC.

I did an exchange in France already and like the country, so maybe I am a bit biased. I also think it’s easier to make friends and network in HEC, and I would honestly like a campus experience as I never had it.

 
Most Helpful

LBS alum here, a lot of the disappointed LBS alums are students who came in with unrealistic expectations (i.e. unknown undergrad, less recognized geo (emerging markets), no relevant work experience, etc.) who expect an IB offer at a MM/BB/EB.
 

For you, as a woman with a target undergrad and relevant experience, you’ll have no problem breaking in no matter which programme you choose. Just go where you think you’d have a better time. FWIW, I found LBS highly social and made a lot of great friends, and my colleagues who went to HEC say the same.

 

There’s no exact calculus on who gets an offer and who doesn’t. London recruiting is always a bit random. Having IB experience is always #1 most important, then probably geo, then probably undergrad. I think my point was more geared towards applicants who strike out on all 3 rather than those who have 1 or 2 boxes checked

 

Hi thanks a lot - I have learned today that LBS also awarded me with a 20k scholarship (women's merit) - I was wondering if at this point the choice to go to LBS is already clear.

 

Hi - incoming MIF student at target school. I'm a female PE professional from an emerging economy (+ EU citizenship). Unknown bachelors + Summer+FT internship in S&T at a top BB bank and 2+ years as an investor at a regional PE firm. Do you think my professional exp. (all ex-EU/UK) will be taken into consideration to break into UK/EU PE firms right after MIF? I'm open to Internship positions, despite having enough exp. for Analyst/Associate roles. Need honest advice!

 

Another consideration is that if I will go to HEC I won't have a UK visa which is probably important for some PEs or smaller firms. If I go to LBS I'll probably have a visa which will make things a little bit easier. Any opinions on the visa situation?

 

The safest option here is LBS (London + Visa) however HEC placement is probably on par with LBS. My guess is recruiters see it as a "super target" so they won’t have any problem in sponsoring you. To be honest, choose the program you like the most (curriculum, campus, social life). With your profile you’ll have interviews coming from both programs. Good luck!

 

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