LSE MSc A&F vs HEC MIF - Admission Decision

Hi everyone, I've been accepted to the LSE MSc Accounting & Finance and HEC MSc International Finance programs. I'm a non-EU citizen with a few years of finance-related experience (but not in banking). Which program would give me the best shot of getting a BB IB job in London?

HEC placement in BB IB in London seems to be really strong. I'm just worried my lack of experience in banking means placement won't be as good for me. Haven't spoken to any LSE students and didn't find much people on LinkedIn from the A&F program who went into IB

I'm leaning toward HEC mainly because of the lower cost and placement seems to be strong, but the LSE brand name is really making me think twice. If I don't get a job in London I'm thinking I'll try for Singapore so the name will help. But I'm also concerned of the competition from other MSc Finance students at LSE who will also go for IB, knowing that the A&F program can be seen as a tier lower

Any thoughts or advice? Which program should I go to?

Comments (11)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 14, 2022 - 4:24am

That's bullshit. The only reason that seems different is because finance is more competitive to get in->people have better profiles->they get more interview. But if you have a good profile it doesn't make any difference. I'm studying in the programme and all of my friends have landed crazy internships, including me. Stop spreading misinformation 

May 5, 2022 - 12:09pm
flickcredit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Having studied at both, I can tell you that the approach is very different. LSE has a far more academic approach, so expect more theoretical content, deep-dives into financial theory, and a generally more thorough approach. HEC, on the other hand, focuses more on practical skills. In all honesty, the course content is easier and you'll be working on more group projects, mock pitches etc specifically designed to show you how it's done 'in the real world'.

I would infer from your post that you are more concerned about job prospects, so I think HEC is the best choice. In terms of the brand name, HEC is pretty much just as strong as LSE in finance, and HEC MiF places very well into IB in London (although I don't know much about LSE placement).

Both schools are great in any case, so this is a good problem to have! Congrats

May 6, 2022 - 7:26am
InterestedParty99, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am assuming you know this but the LSE A&F program is run out of their Accounting department and not their Finance department.  Plus the intake for A&F is normally over 200 while the intake for the other four LSE Finance majors is under 100. So as another commenter stated the A&F program is not in the same tier while HEC MIF is a top program and places well in London.

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in ER
May 6, 2022 - 9:50am

LSE A&F alum

Can't talk about HEC but know it has a good reputation.

As someone said, A&F is run out of accounting department but it is a cross department course, (i.e. you have same access to all the Finance modules as the MFin guys, half the people in all my classes were from the finance department). For what its worth, the lecturers in the accounting department from my experience were far better than the equiv in the finance department but MFin has the "better" prestige (I dont think it does, recruiters will see the LSE and Finance name and you tick that box, but I'm sure you can make a case it does).

Can concur that course content can be academic but there is still a good practical mix (lots of Harvard case studies, presentations, projects etc.).

Networking and career events are great (also with London location you can attend insight days / network in person etc.)

I would say that if your goal is ER/AM/HF then LSE A&F is a great choice. This is because a bunch of the professors are ex ER analysts and teach you valuation and modelling methods they used in their BBs. These skills are useful for M&A etc. but particularly stands out for ER.

In terms of recruiting, I think the answer will be the same for both. If you have no work exp going into the MSc then you'll struggle. From the people in my year, those without struggled to place in IBD/AM etc., while those who had some experience (even if it was big4 or a bucket shop corpfin) were fine and got BB/PE placements etc. As you have work exp you should be fine. I know a couple in my year who had several years FO exp, recruited for AS1 roles after graduating rather than grad role

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 14, 2022 - 4:39am

Good old Ken Lee ahahah. Nice to see an alum here, I'm just about to finish the programme and landed an IB internship at a big bank with no previous experience of any sort (no I'm not diversity of any sort, just killed the interviews). It's really up to you after you get the first interview. Absolutely agree with the fact that Accounting dept courses are faaar better. Finance dept is a joke, grading is very random in all assignment (no for anyone wondering I got 1st in everything so not complaining because I'm a low performer) exams are most of the time disconnected from everything done in class. In terms of the prestige as I said in the other comment it's extremely overrated. There are two reasons why it seems to place better:

1-Finance is more competitive and people have better profiles to begin with. Obviously they get more interviews but that's because they have work exp not because of the Finance vs A&F

2-It's bloody hard to find alumni on LinkedIn for A&F and I think it has to do with the name of the course (very long, & vs and etc). For example I've never seen and ER associate from my programme but apparently this guy is. I once connected with an alum and filtered his contacts and found a bunch of people from the programme in all BBs

Don't stress too much about it. The only thing finance does better are the networking events which we can argue in London are fairly useless. For bigger banks the only useful contacts are seniors which rarely come to these events/if they do they will not refer 230 people

That said, HEC is in a shitty town and you don't get the graduate route once you graduate. Placement is great and strong but I would NEVER personally trade that for the overall experience I have had here (and again, I've landed an amazing gig with no exp). This has by far been the best year in my life, studied hard, partied hard met tons of people and experienced so much. throwaway023 Opportunities sometimes come up in less conventional ways. I met bankers at clubs, while randomly chatting at the pub, friends of dates. This can only happen when you are where the market is, which is not Jouy-en-Josas. I might be biased but If I could go back I would do again everything that I've done. But this is my personal experience, now it's up to you. If you want to know anything more happy to answer your questions 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 8, 2022 - 2:55pm

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