St Andrews vs LSE vs Middlebury

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post on WSO. I am looking for advice on what university I should pick in order to work at a BB IB firm in London or New York (no preference on which city). I currently have an offer from University of St Andrews for Financial Economics, LSE for International Policy and Economics, and Middlebury for Economics. I currently am almost locked in on St Andrews due to growing prestige in the past couple of years and general quality of life that LSE can not match. Middlebury is almost out of the picture as tuition is 80k a year vs LSE and St Andrews which is only 30k. I understand that most people on here would tell me to choose LSE in a heartbeat if I want any chance at a BB, but could I get there from St Andrews too which is ranked higher for economics in the uni tables this year?

Thank you all for your help!

Which University?

St Andrews
5% (4 votes)
63% (47 votes)
32% (24 votes)
Total votes: 75

Only competing against like 20 dedicated kids

are there really 20 kids gunning for finance at middlebury

in a sense - prolly like 70-80 that are interested, but only 20 that really put the time in and are qualified


How much debt will you have to take for Midd. vs. UK options (keep in mind St. Andrews is 4yrs)? You mentioned tuition but how much of your parents/college funds will fund that?


Midd's GCM placements are pretty strong, but not as strong for coverage IB. The placement numbers for coverage are more like 1 or 2 each for Barclays(a bunch of the Midd kids end up in either extremely niche groups or GCM), Goldman, and BoFA. Usually, this means like 3-6 coverage IB offers a year for those BBs. Midd has also placed well into Moelis Boston and Evercore Houston, but those are niche groups with even less interest. Midd will also place randomly into other BB/EB's once in a while like Lazard and Evercore. Overall, maybe 6-15 kids(roughly 1-3% of graduating class) at Midd depending on the year will get solid MM/BB/EB coverage offers, which is good but not phenomenal. The number of kids who apply for IB jobs or at least tangentially recruit for it is not 20, it is closer to maybe 60-70 a year. However, the number of kids who put in actual effort is probably closer to 20-30. Overall, you have a very solid shot of getting an offer from Midd, but it's not nearly guaranteed and every year some candidates do everything right from Middlebury that end up receiving no offer, and seemingly random candidates that receive top offers.


The only reason you take St. Andrews over LSE if for the ‘better quality of life’. League tables have no impact on IB placement and LSE is a strong target compared to St. Andrews which is a semi target. Benefit of LSE societies and recruiting culture is also useful, albeit toxic. Ultimately you need to decide if you want a better university experience or a better chance of placing in IB. I don’t know about the American uni.


Like another said, the rankings don't matter as much as you think. LSE is a clear winner if you're looking for the highest chance of getting recruited


Lmao I thought this was a shitpost at first cause I literally had no idea what middle bury was and assumed it was some shitty uk midlands uni (as did everyone else who voted for it probably haha) but yeah this is a no brainer, do not even consider middlebury. Pick LSE to completely minimise the risk of no ib placement. only pick St Andrews (a top semi target) if you have relatively good experience already or the drive to try harder with increasing your recruitment profile (participate in finance society, have perfected applications etc). If you back yourself save that 50k and go to St Andrews, if you dont want toe exhaust yourself then save the hassle and go to LSE.


middlebury bc england sucks, london finance recruiting sucks, and you will make 20-30% less which kinda evens out the extra tuition cost. also would not underestimate the difficulty of academics at lse in particular relative to an american school 


i mean they could always recruit in America since they have no visa issues there. LSE is recognised across the US (the people who need to know it know it). I'm at LSE and some of the US kids I know end up interning in the US. 

Academics are difficult but do you really want to learn nothing through your uni experience lol. the bar is consequently quite low for lse students, a 2:1 is all you need. 


UK student here- if you pick LSE over St.Andrews then that is like shooting yourself in the foot. LSE is the creme de la creme for finance (at least in the UK). 

I'm sure it is also very well regarded in the US and would match as well as a top uni there


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