Best Schools In Europe

I'm applying to go to university in 2015 and I have been searching for good colleges in Europe (Im from Europe)

My criteria is as follows:

Decent reputation
Not impossible to get into
In a good city
Good teaching
Must have 3 year degree in finance, or finance & economics.

I plan on moving to the US after but can't attend college there, id like to attend a college here which is somewhat known stateside.

So far I have started applying to universities in London but my grades apparently don't cut for the better universities they want AAAABB I have ABBBCD

I have also looked into Bocconi university anyone have any experience with it ?

Id love to go college in any capital European city with the exception of the cold northern ones.

Thank you

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Comments (59)

Nov 29, 2014 - 3:59pm

Well with average grades you can look at rotterdam and maastricht. It is my understanding that they admit a lot of folks and just let people quit on their own through tough competition if they feel like they have to get rid of some kids... Bocconi is another school you mentioned but italy is certainly not the best place to be in right now!

Dec 1, 2014 - 6:54pm

If location is a big factor (and I agree, it should definitely be a deciding factor), you aren't left with many choices. The only tier 1 target schools that are still located directly in a capital/big city or close to it are LSE, Bocconi, and ESADE (please add if I forgot one). If tier 2 is fine, your choices are broader obviously, including Imperial, UCL, Sciences Po, etc.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

  • 1
Dec 1, 2014 - 6:54pm

Btw, feel free to PM me if you want to know more about Bocconi

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

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Dec 2, 2014 - 9:55am

I would look in to the following - I have no idea how hard they are to get in to though:

- Bocconi: Good city, great alumni base in finance, well known, though my impression is most recruiting for London is done at the MSc and not the BSc
- St Gallen: From what I hear not the most fun place to be, but well known and decent recruiting
- ESSEC: Not exactly in Paris but close, not sure if it's 3 or 4 years, require you to do internships and abroad during your degree, has decent recruiting
- ESADE: Great recruiting, great city

SSE also has great recruiting, but it sounds like that's too cold for you. Which languages do you speak? I imagine recruiting would be a lot tougher at each of these unless you speak the local language.

I doubt any of these are known in the states though - likely only Cambridge, Oxford and LSE will have any weight there. Do you have US citizenship? If not, you can pretty much drop any plans of moving to the US without a US undergraduate degree - highly unlikely that someone will sponsor your H1B without OPT. The investment in a US degree will be worth it if you want to move to the US.

Dec 2, 2014 - 11:41am

The problems with the above colleges:

ESADE: They only have bachelors degrees in Law, Business Administration
ESSEC: Same as above, doesn't have finance or economics bachelors degree
St Gallen: Only have an economics degree Im looking for finance on its own or with economics, not economics on its own.
Cambridge, Oxford and LSE: Require AAAAA I have ABBBC

Thank you for your suggestions, so far all my eggs are in Bocconi and a few london colleges nobody in the US would ever know about.

Dec 2, 2014 - 11:45am

OP, why does it matter whether you get a finance degree or business administration? Do you think someone would forego University of Chicago or Harvard just because they don't have a business school in undergrad?

Second question, why not US colleges? Majority of the schools mentioned have little to no presence in the US, so you would have a very difficult time moving there.

Dec 2, 2014 - 12:11pm

TwoThrones:

OP, why does it matter whether you get a finance degree or business administration? Do you think someone would forego University of Chicago or Harvard just because they don't have a business school in undergrad?

Second question, why not US colleges? Majority of the schools mentioned have little to no presence in the US, so you would have a very difficult time moving there.

I want to learn about finance not business administration.

The fees are far too high. I don't plan on moving to the US immediately after I graduate, maybe after 2 or 3 years.

Best Response
Dec 3, 2014 - 3:56pm

If you are interested in finance, you should be concerned with getting a degree at a school that places in to finance jobs. You are making a big career mistake by going for a finance degree at a school with no placement versus a well-rounded business degree (including finance) at a target school. If you wanna learn finance, pick up a book. The main reason for getting a degree should be to get the job you want.

Dec 4, 2014 - 1:00pm

TheSanchize:

If you are interested in finance, you should be concerned with getting a degree at a school that places in to finance jobs. You are making a big career mistake by going for a finance degree at a school with no placement versus a well-rounded business degree (including finance) at a target school. If you wanna learn finance, pick up a book. The main reason for getting a degree should be to get the job you want.

Oh ok I see what you mean, so is there really no advantage in having a finance degree vs any other degree ?

I agree in saying if you want to learn about finance pick up a book but would an investment bank of hedge fund really hire a person who studied philosophy at some ivy league school over some finance grad from god knows where ?

Dec 4, 2014 - 3:22pm

Especially in London or the US, there is no advantage in having a degree in Finance. There are enough people from Oxbridge, LSE or whatever with degrees in Geography or Philosophy that are now working in IBD for a good bank.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

  • 1
Dec 5, 2014 - 2:08pm

FundLord:

Oh ok I see what you mean, so is there really no advantage in having a finance degree vs any other degree ?


It's negligible.
FundLord:

I agree in saying if you want to learn about finance pick up a book but would an investment bank of hedge fund really hire a person who studied philosophy at some ivy league school over some finance grad from god knows where ?


Yes, 100%. In my opinion, the most important things to get hired at an investment bank are in order of importance:

1. School you attend
2. GPA
3. Work Experience
4. Extra curricular activities
5. Major

Neither Oxford nor Cambridge have a finance undergraduate degree yet they are by far the most well represented schools at BBs in London at the undergraduate level.

Dec 5, 2014 - 2:51pm

In the U.S. if you don't attend a target school and you have to go to a state university (or non-target) then your major is a big deal when it comes to recruiting. Not sure where the above persons are getting that your major doesn't matter. If you can only get into a non-target then your major and GPA are everything. I attended a non-target in the U.S. and had zero chance at high finance without my finance degree.

If you can get into a target school then your major doesn't matter. I think your problem is that other than Cambridge, Oxford, and LSE, there are zero European schools that are known in the U.S., other than maybe St. Andrews in Scotland.

That's actually not a terrible idea. St. Andrews and I believe the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, USA have a reciprocal degree program where you spend 2 years at your home school and then 2 years at the reciprocal school. William & Mary is a semi-target in the U.S. That could be your foot in the door into American finance. And William & Mary has a pretty solid finance curriculum. It's worth looking into.

Array

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Dec 5, 2014 - 6:58pm

@Matrick - Which other schools would you say are better represented? LSE maybe has about as many alumni, but many (inclined to say the majority) come from the master's program. Same story with Bocconi.

@Virginia Tech 4ever - I believe you are better off with an engineering degree and a 4.0 than a finance degree and a 3.5 even at a non-target, all else equal, thus my ranking. That's just my opinion though - as soon as you don't have the school brand you really have to have the complete package to be considered. If you can tick off all the other boxes - previous internship experience, president of the finance club and stellar GPA - you can make it, even if you are not a finance major. It just rarely happens because it's a weird combination - if you're that interested in finance you're probably not studying marine biology. I don't think recruiters care, though - it's all about the passion and the smarts, intelligent kids can pick up finance concepts easily. The phrase "it's not rocket science" is over used, but very true.

@cujo.cabbie - true, but there's a huge selection bias. I don't know the numbers, but I definitely wouldn't be shocked if the % admits from other programs is as high as econ and PPE.

Dec 5, 2014 - 8:13pm

You're better off with a 3.8 in finance. If you're at a non-target then you have to get a finance degree, finance internships, and leverage any type of business school recruiting. The few investment banks at VT didn't grant access to non-business majors; in fact, they didn't grant access to non-finance majors.

Array

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Dec 7, 2014 - 7:12am

Strong alumni network, they pull for their own.

As for BSc vs MSc it's possibly true that Oxbridge is more represented on the BSc level with LSE/Bocconi being more represented on the MSc level.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

Dec 7, 2014 - 4:49am

Normally best to stick around the geography where you ultimately want to work. In terms of the UK - any of the following will/would work:

Oxford
Cambridge
LSE
UCL
Warwick
Imperial

As for the major vs. university discussion. At least in the UK, it is ALWAYS university > major. People get in by majoring in things you wouldn't even think have dedicated programmes.

Dec 7, 2014 - 7:27am

Let's not overlook the high ranked business schools in Spain - Esade, IE, and IESE Business school, all rank higher than Oxbridge (with regards to business, for what its worth) and always appear to be in the top 10 Business Schools in Europe.

Dec 7, 2014 - 8:25am

Nicho-Breeze:

Let's not overlook the high ranked business schools in Spain - Esade, IE, and IESE Business school, all rank higher than Oxbridge (with regards to business, for what its worth) and always appear to be in the top 10 Business Schools in Europe.

This is not about academic ranking but placement into finance. Those schools are good but Oxbridge dominate London.

Dec 8, 2014 - 7:49am

In fairness, this line blurs.

Purely from personal experience, Boc is very well represented in LDN - Tier 1.

The line blurs because of linguistic expertise. Want to work in/ cover benelux? best believe you have the language skills. Same for CE/ EE/ Nordic/ Southern. So, it is a much more blurred line than the US in terms of schools. That said; if London is your target, I will be real, your grades are shit. Go to a UK/ English language taught uni, get a 1st, then do a target finance/ fin econ masters. For this you need a finance/ econ/ quanty undergrad (or have to do an extra course). If possible make the Russel group/ red brick first time - if not possible, you know where to aim next round. Also, something less mentioned; nationality is important, though no one wants to admit it. This will arguably make a significant difference in uni (esp. master's) applications. China/India/Ger/It --> Tough competition, Pacific Islands --> Less so.

Regarding other 'majors' aka degrees: PPE, Classics and Nat Sci are probably the most preftigious courses and consequently place well into, well, everything. Your grades don't cut these institutions, let alone their most competitive courses - so follow above.

Dec 8, 2014 - 12:55am

Curious, are there a lot of Bocconi grads in London? Most of the London bankers I've met came from British schools. From experience, I was at a target school in Europe (on exchange) during recruiting, and with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 info sessions, the rest were held in the local language. Of course there are still some that get placed in London and that's great, but most of them end up in the regional office, where you sort of need to know the language.

If you're looking for rep in the US, again the Oxford/Cambridge/LSE/LBS are probably the best choices, unless you've met people who've studied in Europe or actually bothered to look up European bschool rankings. Otherwise all the schools that are named in abbreviations are just lumped in one "good school" group...

I don't know why someone threw TheSanchize MS for his ranking... that's what I've seen (and heard) quite often too, though I'd prob place major and work experience higher up the list. If you go to a non-target or semi-target, having the finance major is an obvious must. Harvard (Oxbridge) history or philosophy majors wanting to work in IBD on the other hand would get just as good of an opportunity, maybe even better, than someone at a school where campus recruiting isn't very accessible. This doesn't apply to every school though, like doing geography at UPenn or Cornell or something probably won't open you up to the same opportunities (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

Sometimes there's also that odd team where the MD hires from his non/semi-target alma mater lol.

Dec 9, 2014 - 12:26pm

Aquitaine:

Curious, are there a lot of Bocconi grads in London? Most of the London bankers I've met came from British schools. From experience, I was at a target school in Europe (on exchange) during recruiting, and with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 info sessions, the rest were held in the local language. Of course there are still some that get placed in London and that's great, but most of them end up in the regional office, where you sort of need to know the language.

Tons of Bocconi bankers, one of the most well-represented schools in London. Further, the majority of bankers in London are from outside the UK (and non-UK schools) - I don't know if you've been talking the UK coverage teams exclusively or what.

OP, make sure when you pick your school that the program you are applying for have the necessary pre-requisites for the well-known master's in finance programs if you want to work in banking down the road.

  • Associate 2 in CorpFin
Dec 8, 2014 - 6:12pm

FundLord:

moneytrail:

With your grades I'd check out City University London.

I already did infact I emailed them, they told me they require AAAABB,

I got into med school with those grades :P

Hmmm I'd say look into Sheffield Birmingham Cardiff Durham (Stockton camous) but I don't quire understand your grades ( those aren't a levels are they?) And requirements seem to have skyrocketed since 07 when I applied

Dec 8, 2014 - 11:00am

I'd think twice about HEC...they say its in Paris...but it's really in the sticks...one road in and out! google maps that bitch!

Also...Boconni is in Milan. I went to Milan thinking I was going to spend a couple of days there...walked around for 2 hours and left! The whole city is a ghetto...and not cheap!

Dec 8, 2014 - 12:18pm

You walked around in Milan for two hours...how can you call then entire city a ghetto?

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

Dec 8, 2014 - 12:19pm

I agree on HEC though. Biggest marketing scam in the history of business schools.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

Dec 8, 2014 - 11:28am

I'm doing BSc Banking & Finance at BPP University in central London. The university has good reputation in London law and accounting circles due to the professional exams they offer. The course lets me sit the CFA Level 1 in my final year, so that's a big bonus. No reputation in finance because I'm part of the second cohort to do the course at this university.

Cardiff Uni also do the course with an extra placement year and their girl's lacrosse team was voted hottest in the country. What are you waiting for...

PS. I failed all my alevels.

'Corruption? Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. That's Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize.'
  • 1
  • Associate 2 in CorpFin
Dec 8, 2014 - 4:50pm

Snow:

I'm doing BSc Banking & Finance at BPP University in central London. The university has good reputation in London law and accounting circles due to the professional exams they offer. The course lets me sit the CFA Level 1 in my final year, so that's a big bonus. No reputation in finance because I'm part of the second cohort to do the course at this university.

Cardiff Uni also do the course with an extra placement year and their girl's lacrosse team was voted hottest in the country. What are you waiting for...

PS. I failed all my alevels.

That's Bullshit. BPP offers lessons on how to pass exams for a prestigious qualification....In itself it is in no way prestigious. The fact that they let you in after you failed all your a levels speaks for itself

Dec 8, 2014 - 8:21pm

What I'm saying is there's two very different sides to BPP. Post grad/professional studies side with good reputation, where you find oxbridge students doing GDLs and such, and you have a brand new undergrad side (i blagged my way in tbh, it's not rubbish) that sponges of its reputation. Unless that A you have is in maths, good luck, Mate.

'Corruption? Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. That's Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize.'
Dec 8, 2014 - 6:45pm

After all this discussion the only viable choices are still Bocconi :P and the following London universities:

Kingston
Birkbeck
Greenwich

Previously I had City University London, Queen Mary but had to cross them out due to grade requirements.

The only place in the UK I'm interested in is London. Places like Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham etc are a no go.

  • Associate 2 in CorpFin
Dec 8, 2014 - 10:56pm

FundLord:

After all this discussion the only viable choices are still Bocconi :P and the following London universities:

Kingston

Birkbeck

Greenwich

Previously I had City University London, Queen Mary but had to cross them out due to grade requirements.

The only place in the UK I'm interested in is London. Places like Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham etc are a no go.

Those are awful for undergrad. I'm guessing these days soas requirements are too high too?

Dec 9, 2014 - 9:22am

moneytrail:

FundLord:

After all this discussion the only viable choices are still Bocconi :P and the following London universities:

Kingston

Birkbeck

Greenwich

Previously I had City University London, Queen Mary but had to cross them out due to grade requirements.

The only place in the UK I'm interested in is London. Places like Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham etc are a no go.

Those are awful for undergrad. I'm guessing these days soas requirements are too high too?

Any suggestions in the london area, like i said one of the criteria is that its not impossible to get into

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Feb 24, 2015 - 11:03am

European schools (Originally Posted: 08/12/2006)

Hi, I'm from Europe.
I wanted to ask you all which of the following European schools are known in the USA, and might be good for a job over there (especially in business, banking, IB, etc.)

Bocconi in Italy
Sciences Po Paris
Mannheim in Germany
Koblenz in Germany

thanks a lot

Guest86

Feb 24, 2015 - 11:09am

Honestly, if you want to work in the US, you should go to school there. As a foreigner, it is infinitely more difficult to get a job in NYC if you haven't gone to school there (Especially since a lot of foreign students in the US have to go back home to work since they can't get a work permit). That's for various reasons: 1) Visa situation (if you go to school there, OPT bridges your gap until you get an H2B Visa) 2) most (90%) of recruiting in the US is done via OCR (vs. Europe), so that people who go to a non-target, nevertheless a school outside of the US, have to apply online and it's VERY hard to get in through that process 3) Interviewing will be difficult, as they will want to meet you in person, but won't pay for intercontinental flights (rarely happens) 4) Fewer alumni from European schools there who would go bat for you (specifically finding someone from your school will be more difficult).

In terms of the names, few people know any Continental European universities besides Bocconi and maybe Sciences Po/HEC (INSEAD for MBA might be a different issue). If they do know of a university, it would be a British one, so Oxbridge and LSE are the safest bets there. The University of St. Andrews has also been gathering more attention, mostly because a lot of New England prep kids go study there and then come back to work in banking (although they will most often find a position through prep school or family connections on Wall Street).

Feb 24, 2015 - 11:10am
IB010:
You shouldn't take any American talking about European education too serious. If you've never heard of any other business school in Europe outside of Insead and LSE (which isn't even a business school), you're an idiot who clearly has no idea what he's talking about. Same for people saying that St. Andrews is among the best in Europe for business, complete bullshit.

Of your list, Bocconi is defenitely best. But there are many more alike, London Business School, St. Gallen, Stockholm School of Economics, Rotterdam School of Management, Esade, etc. All world-class education on par with American top schools (even though no American on earth would ever agree with that).

But in terms of job prospects in the states, LAgrad09 is probably right. If you go to Europe, you can focus on getting a job in London an try transferring to NY after some time.

Just to clarify, I'm not American, so yes I do know about the ranking of European universities!! But, the question here was how European universities are perceived in the US, so actually it would be wise to take the advice of an "American who knows nothing about European education" because they are the ones who pick and interview you. Second, I never talked about good business schools, but universities that place well into banking (specifically). Obviously LSE is not a business school, but they still place (relatively) well into Wall Street. And while St. Andrews might not get the credit, plenty of people there go into banking in the US (although partly through different channels).

If you really want to work in the US, but maybe can't afford the tuition of a US college, study in Oxbridge, that's your best bet (probably even better than LSE).

Feb 24, 2015 - 11:11am

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