EDHEC vs IE vs ESADE - MSc Finance (Financial Markets for EDHEC)

13GM13's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 42

Hi everybody,

I received an offer from EDHEC and will probably get one from both IE and ESADE.
I want to end up working in the Asset Management industry. Preferably a fund/hedge fund, or an investment bank. Eventually, I would like to fund my own company.
Concerning the workplace, I am not really sure about where I would prefer, maybe the US. Europe would make me able to stay close to my family, though, so it would not be bad either. Among these two, I would go where the best opportunity appears.

  • Edhec pros: is 4th in the FT ranking, has a great school philosophy (non-conformism, entrepreneurship...), seems to have increasing success in the job industry (last two job reports showed an upward trend), and very specific program in asset management.
    Edhec cons: apart from the MSc in financial Markets, it does not look like it is a top tier BSchool (only 15th EU BSchool in the FT), way greater than average female-to-male ratio (this is not a problem by itself, if I could have almost only ladies in my class I'd be definitely happy, but I think it inflates a little bit the ranking)
  • IE's pros: 90% of the faculty is composed by professional with an impressive CV (I saw a master class in Milan where the teacher used to be the CEO of Rothschild Spain, and Head of CIB EMEAP region for BBVA) I am quite good at networking so I value this aspect a lot, it is the 3rd MSc Finance and has a great 3-year-after-graduation salary (96000, cash is king in assessing graduates quality I think), has a lot of different and particular electives (such as war finance) which gives me the idea of open-mindedness, ranks greatly in a lot of different rankings
    IE's cons: I don't want to work in Spain/Spanish countries (too bad economy), I cannot find any other cons, maybe you can
  • ESADE pros: looks like it has a nice teaching approach (only 60% of the grade is made by the written exams so it seems like a broader approach), small classes, double degree program (I would like to double-graduate in HSG although I have a low GMAT so it might not be so plausible), it values a lot the candidate potential as a leader and gives lower attention to things such as the gmat score (I am not 100% sure that this is a pro, but even Harvard does not have a GMAT score limit so maybe it is not a bad strategy).
  • ESADE cons: only 6th finance program (FT), big fall from last year both in terms of position (from 2nd to 6th) and in terms of salary (does anybody knows why it happened?), instead of learning proper Spanish I would learn Catalan.

Let me know your thoughts about these programs and give grounds to support them, please. I saw too many "given facts" and am a bit skeptical.

Also, if you have questions, feel free to ask. I went through these programs (and others) a lot so I may be helpful, too.

Ah, and sorry for the English. It's late and I'm too tired to polish.

Best,
Gianluca

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Comments (16)

Mar 29, 2017

Hey Gianluca,
Great post. I only have something to offer on Esade and i'm afraid it's not too positive (!).
I'll start by pasting something i just wrote on a similar thread:

Your decision should be based on a number of factors, not just a quick look at ranking tables (very unreliable in my experience).
One warning specifically on Esade - quite a few smart people i know studied MSc in finance there and were VERY disappointed. The main feeling is that of course Barcelona was a nice place to be and the career service was quite good, but the teaching was very poor by international school standards. Program structure also badly organised. They think Esade got a high ranking a couple years ago to promote the program as it is relatively new.
(May not be a huge surprise that it is falling down the tables now...)

Have not heard anywhere near that many complaints from IE colleagues.

Be aware that the reality of these programs can be quite different to their websites which make them sound awesome!
Have you tried to contact alumni from either school?

NB: studying an MSc in Spain doesn't limit you to a career over there. None of the guys i know who studied at esade are still in Spain, and they can't / don't need to speak a word of Catalan!

Good luck!
AP

Mar 30, 2017

Thank you very much for your contribution AP.

I am trying to get some alumni contacts in these days, surely it is a great way to have a reliable insight.

Concerning ESADE, basically, you are saying that the school might have paid to get higher rankings. That would well explain the fall in the tables but it is a bit hard to believe, although absolutely possible.

Currently, rankings are helping me a lot in the choice. Nevertheless, I am sure that they are not the right way to choose. Apart from contacting alumni, how would you base your choice on?

Thanks again and my compliments for the hedge fund job you have!

Mar 29, 2017

Assuming you are Italian, have you considered Bocconi's Msc in Finance? It has a great placement (BlackRock, Pictet, PIMCO, etc.) and you will have plenty of networking opportunities as an Italian student. Moreover, most people in the msc focus on IBD, which will reduce the competition for AM roles.

Mar 30, 2017

Thanks for the feedback katuok.

Actually, Bocconi does not attract me that much. I know it has a great placement but:
1. one year is better than two (Bocconi MSc is two-year long)
2. I have been living in Milan for three years now and would prefer to change country (if I were to go to France or Spain I would also learn a new language which is valuable)
3. I don't know how much international Bocconi's class is, but Milan is definitely not very international and I value meeting people from the most diverse nationalities
4. Nepotism is big in Italy; therefore, I think that, all things being equal, I would be more likely to meet people who are in a competitive Bschool because of other reasons rather than their skills. I think abroad it would be different
5. I regard networking as highly important (I do not have any problems with networking in English so that does not play as a disadvantage in my view). Italian professors are way less prone to interact with students so it might be harder to get a "useful" relationship with them. I studied in Australia for a semester and was astonished by the fact that I could have easily asked a professor to go out for a beer (never ever happened in Italy)
6. Regarding the rankings, it seems to me that the programs I cited are better placed than Bocconi's one

Apr 1, 2017

The FT rankings aren't entirely accurate from what I've seen. They're useful to get a general list of schools to consider but I wouldn't use them to actual make a decision about which school to attend. Bocconi definitely places better than IE/ESADE/EDHEC. Out of curiosity, why did you apply to so many Spanish schools if you have no intention of working in Spain? Also, have you considered LSE MSc Finance/Oxford MFE/HEC Paris International Finance/SSE MSc Finance/Imperial MSc Finance?

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Mar 30, 2017

Wanting to go abroad for the MSc makes sense and the 2 vs 1-year duration should definitely be an important factor to consider. But what I meant when I mentioned networking is that being Italian will help you connect with more Bocconi alumni in the industry (both in London and Milan) whereas at a French/Spanish school you will probably be at a disadvantage with respect to the nationals.

Moreover, I would not focus too much on the FT rankings. Some of the elements they consider (diversity, % female professors, etc.) are probably not very indicative of the quality of each school and lower-ranked schools on the list (Oxford, Imperial, Warwick) tend to place better than the 3 schools you mentioned.

Mar 31, 2017

I understood and see your point about networking. But I think that in my case that disadvantage is outweighed by my desire to go abroad, the potential for learning a new language, and the fact that I would broaden (in terms of internationality) my network.

It is true that some of the elements considered by the FT are not ideal in determining the school's quality, I agree. But how can you tell that Imperial and Warwick place better than the one I mentioned? For example, if I look at IE I see a staggering 96k salary 3 years after graduation which is way above the one of those you mentioned. Taking also into account that IE is in Spain, which is definitely not the best country where to look for high salaries (unlike the U.K.), I am brought to think that this BSchool bakes very sought-after graduates.

PS: just received ESADE's offer! The choice is getting tough...

Apr 12, 2017

From your list, IE is by far the best choice.

    • 1
Apr 15, 2017

I've been accepted there, too. Why would you say that it is better then ESADE?

Apr 17, 2017

Much more prestigious

    • 3
Apr 13, 2017

Can speak Italian and have been applying to similar programs. Feel free to PM me Gianluca

May 31, 2018

Hi Gianluca,

Thanks for putting this post up back then, I'm sure a lot of people, including myself, have similar questions.

What did you ultimately decide to go with, and are you happy with the choice?

Cheers,
Ben

May 31, 2018

.

"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of its behind."

Jan 22, 2019

In the end, I was lucky enough to get admitted to HEC's MIF, and I went there.

I was quite undecided between IE and HEC. IE seemed to use technology to teach students, which is important, especially for those aiming for a markets career (as I am). HEC seemed more prestigious and enstablished.

After the year at HEC, I can tell you that my view was confirmed. Though, what I realised is that the competitiveness for applications in Finance is extreme. Getting to a top 10 FT ranking school does not guarantee you at all a place in a top 10 ranking financial institutions. Especially at the beginning of your career (I am sure that later in life it is much more a matter of how good you are, rather than the school you went to), the prestige of the items include in your CV is the main thing that will make you visible among thousands of applicants.

Therefore, aiming for the prestige is definitely a good idea. HEC has tons of it. Just to give you guys an arms length measure, from my perspective, in the western world every Finance school apart from the Ivys (and other top ranked US school outside of the League) and Oxbridge, LSE/LBS lags significantly behind. Maybe Bocconi is a bit of an outlier, though still less prestigious than HEC.

This was a bit of an offtopic, given that HEC is not in title of the discussion, but I don't know enough about the other schools to give you guys useful and truthful comments.

Jan 23, 2019
13GM13:

In the end, I was lucky enough to get admitted to HEC's MIF, and I went there.

I was quite undecided between IE and HEC. IE seemed to use technology to teach students, which is important, especially for those aiming for a markets career (as I am). HEC seemed more prestigious and enstablished.

After the year at HEC, I can tell you that my view was confirmed. Though, what I realised is that the competitiveness for applications in Finance is extreme. Getting to a top 10 FT ranking school does not guarantee you at all a place in a top 10 ranking financial institutions. Especially at the beginning of your career (I am sure that later in life it is much more a matter of how good you are, rather than the school you went to), the prestige of the items include in your CV is the main thing that will make you visible among thousands of applicants.

Therefore, aiming for the prestige is definitely a good idea. HEC has tons of it. Just to give you guys an arms length measure, from my perspective, in the western world every Finance school apart from the Ivys (and other top ranked US school outside of the League) and Oxbridge, LSE/LBS lags significantly behind. Maybe Bocconi is a bit of an outlier, though still less prestigious than HEC.

This was a bit of an offtopic, given that HEC is not in title of the discussion, but I don't know enough about the other schools to give you guys useful and truthful comments.

How much did you score on the gmat?

Jan 22, 2019