How to get to a target uni for Masters coming from BA non-target (UK)

As the title suggests, I am currently in a UK non-target university for my Bachelors degree and I would like to do my masters in a top uni (INSEAD,Bocconi,Oxbridge, LBS, M7 etc).

I am in my second year and I am on track to get a First class degree or a high 2.1. I have been a WM intern for 6 months and I plan on sitting CFA Level I in December, 2019. After I gradute in 2020 I will have to work for 2-3 years to save up which gives me plenty of time to improve my odds to get into a target uni. Eventually, I want to break into IB but I also want to get a masters degree for personal reasons.

My questions are:

1) Which universities and specific courses should I consider? I would prefer a 2 year course because it would let me apply for internships. If I go for Bocconi, do I have to learn Italian?

2) What can I do in these 3-4 years until I begin applications that will help me? Extracurriculars? Charity/Volunteering?

3) How important is your work experience when you apply for masters? I do not think that I will end up in a well-known, prestigious firm upon my graduation even if I graduate with a First & CFA Level I.

4) Is there anything else I am missing?

Thank you a lot in advance.

P.S Enjoy New Years Eve!

Comments (4)

Dec 29, 2018

1) Courses MSc Finance/MFin are the course you should look at. MSc Accounting and Finance are fine as well. Universities in the UK are LBS/Oxbridge/LSE > Imperial > Warwick > UCL/Cass. You can add to that list the top 1/2 universities in each European country (ie HEC/ESSEC for France, Bocconi in Italy, Sankt Gallen for Switzerland etc).
If you are going to Bocconi you don't need to learn Italian, unless you'd want to work in Milan.

2) Smash your GMAT to get into a top Msc, Volunteering, reading about the industry, Investing... Many things to do. You could even try to work for the Big4 in a role similar to IB such as TAS, many Banks/EBs are recruiting people with ACA or similar qualifications after 2/3 years without doing a masters.

3) There are pre and post experience masters. In most cases the weight will be 40% academics 40% work experience(CV) and 20% test score or something like that. Work experience is not only about the brand name of the firm but also abut what you do. If you got double promoted fro 3 years in a row that's impressive.

Dec 29, 2018

Thank you, I'll try contacting people who are currently doing their masters in some of these unis to get more information.

Dec 29, 2018

Personally, I don't think that it is worth working for 2-3 years after graduation to be able to afford the masters for a CHANCE of breaking into IB (~40k loss in earnings + 30k in masters fees and this is just for 1 year on its own). You would probably better off getting into a corporate finance boutique or big 4 after you graduate and try to break in from there.

If you really want to do a masters, make sure you prioritise your undergrad grade and make this as high as possible - especially if you are from a weaker university. Internships are good but mainly come into play when you are applying for jobs during the masters.

If you want to work in London and can only speak English then you might want to look at LSE A+F, Imperial F+A, LBS financial analysis, Warwick Finance (only if they offer a discount), possibly UCL finance (it's new so I'm not sure how well this recruits), Oxbridge is hard AF to get in because it's more academically oriented.

Places like Bocconi/HEC appear to recruit very well but probably because London wants so many people that speak European languages. If you cannot speak multiple languages then I would stay clear.

Dec 29, 2018