Help on which MSc to choose (Finance-related)

Derapage's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 16


I'm a Bocconi student (undergrad, BSc in International Economics and Finance) and I will hopefully graduate in september. I'm considering applying for a few MSc programmes for 2019-2020. I want to do a MSc in Finance and have a preference for the corporate aspect; my target would be to work in PE or something related to M&A (PE preferred).

This is my current background:
- Current GPA: 27.2/30 (missing 3 exams grades). I expect to get a total of 101-102/110 as a final grade.
- IELTS: 8 overall (reading & listening: 8.5; writing: 8; speaking: 7.5; BSc was entirely in english anyway).
- 5 weeks internship in a family office company here in Milan (mostly secretarial work though).
- Next year, starting mid-september, I'll do a 6-month internship in PE, again in Milan.
- GMAT: 660 overall, high verbal and quite low quant (39; 40%).
- Additional experience such as volunteer experience in Peru for a 1-month period in high school, a couple of other volunteer projects but nothing major.

I was looking at these MSc Finance programs:
- HEC (tough)
- LSE (tough)
- Warwick
- EDHEC (interested in MSc in Corp. Finance & Banking)
- IE
- SKEMA (altough I'd prefer a 1 year MSc)
- ESSEC (same as SKEMA)

Would I be (realistically) eligible for these programs? What would be the best, aside from LSE and HEC which will be hard to get into? Any additional advice?

Thanks a lot.

Comments (22)

Jul 10, 2018

Well, let me start saying that you can easily do remove Skema from your list.
Really, no one cares or knows that Universities outside France, and in France is mainly known for its structured products sales employement.

Again, with your CV you could try a shoot for accounting and finance or other programs at LSE, finance at Imperial, MiM at LBS, and Oxford's MFE (tougher one).

I am speaking considering London as target city, though

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Jul 10, 2018

Have you consider doing the GMAT again? you have time and you could build a strong cv for LSE/LBS/HEC/Imperial

Jul 10, 2018

Thank you,

I don't think I have time to take the GMAT again, but I'll see.

I will be inspecting each programme thoroughly during these days, altough I really like EDHEC's one which is specific on the topics I enjoy the most.

About LBS, would I be able to get in with my background or is a higher GMAT mandatory (is it even mandatory at all?).

Thanks again.

Jul 10, 2018

Glad to help. I believe the minimum is 650 for the MFA. However the avg of MFA is above 700, so maybe the MIM would be more realistic. You have a lot of students from Bocconi at LBS masters maybe you should try to reach out to them

Jul 10, 2018

I will certainly get in touch with them.

What do you think of EDHEC in the mean time?
I saw diverging opinions online, but in the last couple of years I saw it really climbed the ranks for MSc Finance (which however is quite similar to the one I would pick, on Corp Finance so I guess it could be used as a benchmark for it as well).

Wouldn't the MIM in LBS be a bit too far from the Finance world? Especially in light of what I want to do in the future?

Thank you, very helpful.

Jul 10, 2018

Your predicted isn't enough for LSE and Warwick, they require >105 unfortunately. You could have a chance at LBS MiM and HEC MiM maybe, even though I am unsure about their grade requirements.
Anyway, retaking the GMAT would definitely increase your odds.

Honestly, leaving Bocconi for IE or EDHEC would be foolish imo. These schools are decent, but nowhere near LBS HEC or Bocconi.
With your GPA you should be able to do acc & finance at Bocconi easily.

Jul 11, 2018

I really don't know a lot re EDHEC. And rankings only give you an overall picture, e.g. IE and Imperial are both great but few would say that IE is better (assuming you want London), I wanted to study in the UK hence never really looked to french Business schools besides HEC (which in my opinion is one of the best for M&A in London).

You can go to the LBS MIM employment report or to linkedin and confirm that LBS MIM places quite well in IBD (BB and EB), with 1/3 or 1/4 of the class going to finance related jobs

Jul 10, 2018

Finance at Bocconi is just too competitive, a friend of mine with a 28.5 GPA and a better CV than mine still got rejected, plus it's a 2-year programme.

Also, I saw that in 2017 EDHEC actually ranked higher than HEC.

I really want to go abroad to add internationality, and focus on a 1-year MSc.

By the way, aren't MiMs too far from Finance (especially the subjects I like such as corporate)?

Jul 11, 2018

They are not, MiM places well just everywhere.

Mate, I have one tips for you: stop basing your school decision on the FT ranking. You people are too amazed from that kind of ranking.. Unis like Skema, Vlerick, Kozminsky... And EDHEC better than MIT.... Bloody hell what we talking about!

It's preatty easy:
You want to work in London? Then:

Top tier: Oxbridge/LBS/LSE/Imperial and WBS
Strong semi: Cass, Edinburgh, St. Andrews

Schools like EDHEC, HEC, ESCP, RSM definitely help you to land a job in London, but they're mainly Paris/Dam oriented. I spent six month in one of these, thus I know how the process works

Others are not considered

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Jul 11, 2018

Prospective business school students (MBAs, MScs) should take this advice. Most of the rankings on the internet are out of whack to increase controversy and their popularly.

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Jul 12, 2018


The name of the game, moving the money from the client's pocket to your pocket

Jul 11, 2018

Unfortunately I have to work with what I've got.
Imperial requires 106, LSE 105: grades I'll never mathematically achieve at this point.
I'll try LBS and Warwick, but something in my league would probably be a bit lower than that, like ESADE, IE or EDHEC.
But thanks everyone for your precious help.

Jul 11, 2018

What will be your average final GPA?
If <105 consider that:
LBS requires 101/110
WBS 104/110
Cass 105/110

LSE and Imperial are strict about that, while UCL and Oxbridge want 108/110 though

Jul 16, 2018

From where did you get those minimum required grade figures? I wasn't aware schools were so specific about them.

Jul 16, 2018

HEC is as great as LSE and they send tons of grads to London IB every year. So leaving that because getting in there is a little hard, I think ESSEC>IE/ESADE>EDHEC. I personally like IE, it's 1 year whereas the others can be extended cause of internships. It's straight forward and very practical. But it's very expensive for a 1 year program. A cheaper option would be ESADE.

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Jul 23, 2018

I thought about the same thing a lot, and conducted a lot of research. The ft rankings, while indicative of something, should not be taken as important.
In France, you have a really easy tendency:
People apply for HEC, ESSEC, and ESCP. If that does not work, then they try the others. That means, that the people that end up at EDHEC are at best those that were rejected at the three better ones.
Then, besides those three universities, you are f*cked without speaking French. The French are even worse than the English when it comes to a second language. So drop EDHEC, and also SKEMA.
With your GMAT (and Maybe GPA) LSE and HEC are not achievable.

Also, the other guys have a point: If you want to work in London, studying in London (or at least in England) is worth shit tons. So if that is the goal, you should try your best for those.

What you could also check is for instance the master at RSM in the Netherlands. They have quite a good reputation, and from what people there have told me do not place that bad towards London (ofc this is just based on other peoples reports).

But in the end, try to retake that GMAT. From a 660 it's not that far to a 720 (people claim it is, personal experience is I improved 80 points with about two weeks of extra study).

Jul 25, 2018


Have you considered working for a few years to get relevant experience and then apply for the MSc Financ (part-time) at the LSE? Pre-requisites are lighter than for the regular programme.

Jul 27, 2018

Unless you are gunning for a PhD, get work of whatever kind instead of more bookworm hours

HEC, LSE won't hurt. Bocconi is also not to look short at

Sep 27, 2018

Good evening everyone, I have a few updates:

  • I managed to get really high scores on my last exams and will probably get 104/110 on graduation.
  • I gave the GMAT again today, after taking extremely high grades on the GMATPrep simulation (720-750) I took a 690 on the real test:
  • first take: 660, Q:39 (35th %) and V:41 (93%).
  • today's take: 690, Q:42 (43rd %) and V:42 (96th, for a total of 85th %).

Quant is low but honestly I was very disappointed with the toughness of the questions and the low amount of time (this year they reduced time and questions, it's now 1 hour for 31 questions on quant and 65min for 36 on verbal). I have rescheduled for the 16th of october but to be honest I am sick of studying for this test after 1 month spent appositely for it, at an average of 3h a day. I seriously doubt I'll do any better on the 16th, and I will revise maybe 30min a day and do 1-2 practice tests during weekends, also because I'll be working and I've already spent too much time on the GMAT. This would just be another attempt whereI'm supposedly more "relaxed" given that I already have a 690 (altough low quant).

Meanwhile, I have considered applying to MiMs as well as the requirements are lower than finance and I honestly gave it everything I had, and this seems to bemy limit in this ridiculous, unrealistic exam.

Do you think I stand a chance at LBS's MiM with (hopefully):
- 104/110.
- 6m internship in PE, Milan.
- GMAT 690 (class avg. is 681, but I bet quant grades are higher than 42).
- The rest remains unchanged from my original post.

Thanks a lot.

Sep 30, 2018