Master in Finance with no work experience - What to choose?

After having read the whole forum for profile evaluations/master chances, I am curious about my chances.

I want to apply for the following masters this year (2022):

  • Bocconi: MIF
  • Oxford: MFE
  • LSE: Finance
  • LBS: MFA
  • Might consider HEC, HSG, Vienna, ...

About my profile:

  • UG in Economics & Finance with high GPA (First Class - 4.00 according to scholaro)
  • exchange at a BeneLux target with high GPA
  • GMAT mid 700's (high quant) - however I have a low AWA (relevant for MFE)
  • EC: in uni sports clubs, language geek
  • NO relevant work experiences (I only worked summer jobs)

I think the weakness of my profile is pretty obvious.

I want to work in London after my masters, and not stay in my country. I believe I have a chance to grab the tuition waiver for Bocconi's MIF, however, my top choice would be above all MFE.

How do you see my chances? I would love to hear your opinions guys!

Comments (10)

Most Helpful
Mar 8, 2022 - 2:47pm
LifterJ-101, what's your opinion? Comment below:

By this year do you mean starting Fall 2022 (assuming you're a final year student now)? If so, I would have to say your chances aren't that strong for the UK schools (not too familiar with Bocconi so can't comment there) given that most of these are approaching their last application rounds (if not done already).

If you're targeting to start Fall 2023, I would say that you have a decent shot if you can land an internship this coming summer. LBS specifically values professional experiences a lot, so an internship would strengthen your strong academic profile. Oxford and LSE are more on the academic side but still very competitive with candidates coming with strong internship experiences. Thus, I would strongly encourage you to try to look for an internship this summer and target Fall 2023 entry so you can apply to the earliest rounds at each school. Just in case, I would also slip in some safety schools given these are all very competitive. Good luck!

Mar 8, 2022 - 4:15pm
troywei, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you for your reply!

All application rounds are still open as of right now. I will definitely apply to Bocconi and the Oxford MFE, however I am not sure about the others as the application fee is significant.

I am worried that I am not able to secure an internship at a good firm just yet since my university is not targeted by large banks. I had trouble finding any internship last year. Moreover, in Italy they are generally unpaid or lowly remunerated, making relocation to Milan more difficult ;(.

Mar 8, 2022 - 5:39pm
LifterJ-101, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You don't necessarily need a large name brand internship on your CV (although it would help) to get into a Masters program (otherwise you wouldn't need the Masters). I would still suggest trying to get experience at regional boutiques/MM shops as some experience is still better than none.

However, time is really not in your side at the moment for Oxford as their deadline is in a few days. It would be pretty unlikely for you to secure something by then. I'm not trying to discourage you, but I have received feedback that the later round applications are especially competitive. You would be competing against applicants with similar if not better academic stats who have multiple internships on their CV. If application fees are an issue for you, then I would especially suggest looking at other programs (Still very competitive, but I believe you can apply to multiple programs at LSE (some are less competitive to get in than others) with a single application but not sure how that works for fees).

Without internship experience, unfortunately unless you have something else that's stellar about your profile, it would be difficult to get into a top program. So I would suggest casting a wide net keeping your expectations in check. Feel free to PM me, wrapped up my applications a few months ago, so I know what you're going through

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 8, 2022 - 5:47pm

Oxford MFE does not care a lot about experience (if at all), they mostly care about academic prowess, and you have decent stats: your gmat is at the average of 750, and 4.00 GPA would obviously be converted to a first class degree so you are good there. Your school being a semi-target is also ok. I can see you having a decent shot there, so I would still throw in an app. The comment about Round 3 deadlines being more competitive is very true, but it is not something you can influence at the moment.

Can't comment for the others, I feel like LBS would care a whole lot more about you having proper experience.

In any case it is good and healthy to start building out your resume with relevant internships, does not have to be M&A directly but roles tangentially related to finance (asset management, accounting, private banking, whatever...) as prospective employers will care a lot about these in any case.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 10, 2022 - 12:59pm

If applications are still open for the unis you're applying to, you shall be fine. 

At LSE, the CV of people doing a master there really wasn't impressive. Basically regular people with decent academics (not necessarily from good schools, CVs were not stellar either). Believe Oxford shouldn't be much more competitive so both OK. 

LBS values exp but loads of friends went there with just 1-2 internships (or none) so could work. 

you should Definitely apply to HEC, which in my opinion is on par with LSE/LBS and probably a notch above Oxford for placement.  Bocconi is weaker than these for postgrad, and probably below ESSEC / St Gallen and on par with Imperial / ESADE / IE etc. 

overall good academics + GMAT = you should be fine. 

EDIT: noticed you said "what to chose" so my personal ranking would be: LBS = LSE = Oxford   = HEC > ESSEC / St Gall > Bocconi / Imperial / ESADE > etc  

(I think LSE/LBS push you more to IB but the Oxford cool name factor would probably make me take Oxford first actually independently of academics or placement)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 10, 2022 - 1:00pm

Btw, at LSE A&F is much less selective and recruiters have no clue either way besides school name

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 11, 2022 - 7:59pm

Oxford is half the class size of LSE MSc Finance + MSc Finance and Private Equity and significantly higher GMAT average, so it is more competitive

HEC placement is also lower than Oxford/LSE/LBS for obvious reasons

Bocconi is not below ESSEC

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 12, 2022 - 3:24am

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