Hi! I'm looking for some advice regarding master choice after my gap year that intend to do next year. I'm a final year Bocconi undergrad student with a mediocre GPA (26/30) but quite good CV. During my gap year I have planned two internships - one is M&A in a quite well-known boutique in Europe with offices in Paris/London/Munich, health&tech, still planning the second one. However, I'm already thinking about my masters and where I can get with a good GMAT and my GPA. I'm considering:

  1. LBS MiM (because it's London + network)

  2. INSEAD MiM (Singapore is nice but the degree is new and the sample is not big)

  3. HSG MacFin masters cannot get to MBF because my GPA is too low (good prospects of working in Switzerland and DACH later and probably pretty respected in the German speaking world)

  4. HEC MiM (don't know if my GPA + good gmat would be enough)

I'm not super set for London but would like to have the chance of going there so don't want to go to a school which is a complete non-target. In general I'm looking for a career in banking/pe/vc (still exploring stuff), but would like to have plenty of doors open so I am not sure which one of these universities would be a good choice. Internships during my gap year will hopefully get me a good understanding of IB and allow to break into BBs + masters. Would like to hear some opinions on these choices + answers to these qs:

  1. Do other masters at HSG (e.g. MacFin) still get good placement in the industry (Zurich) and what is HSG's placement in London and other European financial hubs in general and for this particular course? I'm seriously considering HSG and would be great to here some opinions here

  2. Thoughts on INSEAD MiM? 

  3. What are the entry requirements for HEC and do I have any chances? + what is HEC like for non-French

Thanks !

Comments (5)

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  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen

Luxury choice here... Did my studies at Bocconi and know plenty of people who attended all the schools you mentioned. I'll bite:

  • LBS: has the best brand recognition globally of the pack, but the "London factor" is definitely oversold as you can easily land a LDN analyst gig from the others as well. Would probably make the most sense if (i) you want to immediately build out a larger friends network in the city and (ii) you are strongly set on banking & co given it's just 1 year
  • HEC: good school, but (i) MiM/GE will be 2 years (assuming you don't take another gap year, then it becomes 3 years total), (ii) the first year will be a toned down version of what you already learned at Bocconi (if it matters at all for you) and (iii) campus is in the middle of nowhere. However, flexibility is a big perk given room to do summer internships & one potential further gap year if you realise M&A isn't for you, + double degrees & exchanges in year 2 if that can be of interest
  • HSG: remove the "probably respected" as they are uber-elite everywhere in DACH. Don't know the school well enough to opine on MacFin vs MBF, but unless you are deadset on DACH, I wouldn't pick it over the others
  • INSEAD: this is the wild card I guess, given programme is new. I have the perception that INSEAD has always been more of a consulting school and indeed I don't know any alumni in my bank (while there are tons of LBS/HEC/etc), but it's still a top school and you'd definitely progress through any CV screening. Imho you should see this as a twin program to the LBS MiM, with additional positives (life experience - living in Singapore is super cool and not something easy to do later in your life unless you are from SE Asia) and negatives (program is smaller as you said, so placement track record is yet to be proven to an extent... but we are really splitting hair here given it's INSEAD)

Unless you want to target DACH specifically, a sensible decision tree would likely look like:

  • You realise during the gap year that M&A is what you want to do? Pick the 1-year master at LBS or INSEAD. Amongst the two, decide if you want to prioritise (i) already being in London and attending a known programme (LBS) or (ii) the life experience, while being fine with having to do some slightly additional legwork (INSEAD)
  • Your gap year only further confuses your ideas on what to do after school and you're fine with taking your time before starting to work full time? Go with HEC

Re your Q1-Q2-Q3, don't think I'm positioned well enough to opine on any of them unfortunately. Hopefully someone else will be able.

The above is clearly only my 2 cents. You should try to get as many views - and at the end of the day, be relaxed in your decision, as they are all top schools.

B_unia123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks a lot. Really appreciate the effort. What's your call when it comes to value for money? 

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Gen

Cheers! Value for money is always tricky ground to opine on, as heavily dependant from personal situations.

Wasn't familiar with numbers as I did my MSc a few years ago, but had a quick look and three seem quite aligned (LBS @ £44.9k, INSEAD @ €49.5k, HEC @ €49.3k). 

HSG instead isn't very clear - if I read it correctly it'd be CHF 3,329 per semester so CHF 13.3k for two years? If that's indeed the case, the gap with the others is way larger than I thought and something worth considering.

I do believe education should be the first investment priority in the first 25 years of your life or so, and remain of my view that HSG should be bottom of this list unless you want to pursue DACH, as it doesn't offer the distinctive benefits of neither LBS/INSEAD (12 months programmes in global alpha cities) nor HEC (flexible program that can be customised).

Furthermore, if you plan to get into M&A you'd quickly breakeven from the higher fees (the extra 30k could be your post-tax 1st year bonus if the economy recovers). Same if you decide to pursue other "high achievers" path à-la MBB consulting and the likes. Obviously if you decide to get into no-profit or start-ups it can be different.

However, I don't know your story and if the extra money is a dealbreaker. That's up to you to know. Rest assured that HSG is a top school and I'm sure you'd be able to find a nice gig afterwards, if you decide to go there.

Whitney Wen, what's your opinion? Comment below:

hi I'm in my final year of undergrad study, recieved offers from INSEAD MiM and HSG MBF recently.

Can't comment on these programs regarding your career path cuz I'm from mainland China, not familiar with the European job market

But perhaps one piece of advice is don't give up on MBF so early if that's your preferred program, GPA only accounts for 30% in its admission criteria, you can try and get a high GMAT score and there's still plenty of time for preparation.

My GPA isn't outstanding either, approximately 60% in ranking.

Boib21, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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