How well known is Imperial College London in the US/Wall Street?

Aphalleon's picture
Rank: Monkey | 34

I'm currently a first year Physics student studying at Imperial College and want to pursue a career in Investment Banking. I know compared to LSE Imperial College is almost unheard of to the general public in the US. I was wondering, however, amongst top investment banks in America and on wall street, is Imperial College also unheard of? Will I be disadvantaged if I apply for a job on Wall Street/Investment Banks in America?

Will My British Education Be Recognized on Wall Street?

It's harder to get a job, in the US, if you aren't a citizen, not only because it's harder to get your foot in the door for interviews, but also because you would need a work visa which presents challenges which present its own set of challenges.

Imperial College is not well known in the United States but is considered a top school in the United Kingdom. You would have a lot of opportunities over there assuming your marks were high and you placed competitively. Your best chances would be to finish school in the UK and get a job at one of their international banks. After a few years, you may be able to get a transfer to an American office.

User @GoodBread:

The real problem is that most of the hiring on Wall Street at an undergrad/grad level is done through on-campus interviews. Your best bet would be to get a job at a US investment banking London and then try transferring in a few years if the US is really where you want to be. Physics at Imperial is a great background if you want to work in the City as a trader in any case.

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Comments (24)

Jan 24, 2012

The real problem is that most of the hiring on Wall Street at a undergrad/grad level is done through on-campus interviews. Your best bet would be to get a job at a US investment bank in London and then try transferring in a few years if the US is really where you want to be. Physics at Imperial is a great background if you want to work in the City as a trader in any case.

Jan 24, 2012
GoodBread:

The real problem is that most of the hiring on Wall Street at a undergrad/grad level is done through on-campus interviews. Your best bet would be to get a job at a US investment bank in London and then try transferring in a few years if the US is really where you want to be. Physics at Imperial is a great background if you want to work in the City as a trader in any case.

This. If you are really interested it should be fairly easy to get a job at any BB from Imperial in the City, and from there move to NYC or wherever. Getting the job directly in the US is hard because of what GoodBread said and also bear in mind that if you are European you need Visa sponsorship, so it's next to impossible to get a job there.

Jan 24, 2012

banks in the States dont take ppl from the UK regardless of the uni. why dont u apply for these banks in the City? Imperial is highly respected if u apply in the UK. It's a first-tier target.

Jul 31, 2012

Bullocks. Where do you work, in a vending machine company? Stupid Yank.

anamerican

Jan 24, 2012

Imperial College is top tier in the UK.

It is pretty unknown in the US. Don't bother applying to the US, they will think it is some community college.

But in the UK, everybody has heard of it. It is like the MIT of England, ahead of Oxbridge for the quanty stuff.

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Jul 31, 2012

It places well, and is a top school and programme. I can't speak to competitiveness off the top of my head, but it's bound to be fairly stiff. The reason is simple: in the UK, Oxbridge, the LSE and Imperial are the best universities.

The placements is going to be comparable to the LSE. Imperial is in South Kensington, which is Zone 1 of London. It's easy to interview for jobs in London, and you're going to be at a target school doing a master's in finance--of course you'll get interviews.

That's IF you get in, of course. Like I said, it's bound to be tough to get in, but it's definitely worth applying.

If you're looking at British degree courses, consider Oxford 's Master's of Financial Economics, Cambridge MPhil of Finance, Cambridge MPhil Economics, LSE MSc. Finance and Economics, LSE MSc. Finance, Imperial MSc. Finance.

Jan 24, 2012

thanks everyone for the replies. I also have an offer from LSE for Maths and Econ. This means that i will start over again (only for a year), but i don't mind and money really isn't an issue. Does everyone think that this is worth it? As in will wall street/American investment banks more likely give me interviews/headhunt me?

Jan 24, 2012

LSE is much more well known here in the US than Imperial College. If it's only a year, do it.

The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.

-V. S. Naipaul

Jan 24, 2012

Stick to Imperial, it's got a huge brand name in the UK, I know a hell of a lot of people at BBs that went through Imperial. As for getting into Wall Street, concentrate on getting into the City first then try and make the transition - you really shouldn't be worrying about the final job yet, you're a first year, apply for some spring weeks, try and get a summer internship then worry about the job. As a wise man once told me, its not a sprint, its a marathon.

I went to LSE myself, and trust me when I say there isn't a big difference between Oxbridge/LSE/Imperial - as long as you're at one of these and you smash your interviews you'll be chilling.

As far as masters go, fuck it off because it's just not worth it.

Jan 24, 2012
MA Magician:

Stick to Imperial, it's got a huge brand name in the UK, I know a hell of a lot of people at BBs that went through Imperial. As for getting into Wall Street, concentrate on getting into the City first then try and make the transition - you really shouldn't be worrying about the final job yet, you're a first year, apply for some spring weeks, try and get a summer internship then worry about the job. As a wise man once told me, its not a sprint, its a marathon.

I went to LSE myself, and trust me when I say there isn't a big difference between Oxbridge/LSE/Imperial - as long as you're at one of these and you smash your interviews you'll be chilling.

As far as masters go, fuck it off because it's just not worth it.

Agreed! there is no difference btw Oxbridge/LSE/Imperial in the UK banking industry.

Jan 24, 2012

From the way the question is phrased, I get the impression Aphalleon wants to work in the US. Agreed, he should stay the course if he wished to do IB in the UK, but I believe he (she?) is pursuing opportunities here in the US. If that assumption is correct, I believe he will have a much easier time breaking into the business here with a degree from well-known LSE. If your heart is really set on working in the US for the long term, why not give an M7 MBA a crack?

The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.

-V. S. Naipaul

Jan 24, 2012

I'm a He. I do want to work in the US and my heart is set in working in the US in the long term.

The impression i'm getting is that, even if i come from Oxbridge, wall street/amerian BBs can pull plenty from Ivy Leagues, MIT, Stanford etc. and so even if i come from Oxbridge, my chances are slim. If you can't beat them, join them. I think its better if i finish my Physics bachelors and head over to M7 for MBA. Do you guys think this is a good idea?

Jan 24, 2012
Aphalleon:

I'm a He. I do want to work in the US and my heart is set in working in the US in the long term.

The impression i'm getting is that, even if i come from Oxbridge, wall street/amerian BBs can pull plenty from Ivy Leagues, MIT, Stanford etc. and so even if i come from Oxbridge, my chances are slim. If you can't beat them, join them. I think its better if i finish my Physics bachelors and head over to M7 for MBA. Do you guys think this is a good idea?

I see nothing wrong with that.

The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.

-V. S. Naipaul

Jan 24, 2012

If you don't have american citizenship, I honestly think your chances are close to 0. You won't be able to get a SA, so a FT job will be very hard to pull off. I've seen people with incredible CVs who get interviews at every bank in the City and they don't get called for the NYC office. They have more than enough applicants to fill the spots with qualified people without going through all the crap required to get someone from Europe.

Jan 24, 2012

If you really want to work in the US, the easiest way to do it is to graduate from Imperial, do your analyst training at a US BB in London and then make the swap to the US offices. Like Maximus said, it's crazy hard for you to go straight from University to America. You have to understand that these banks are global hence if you're good enough you'll be able to switch office.

Regarding the MBA, doing it straight after Imperial is a daft idea, and personally an MBA doesn't really offer that much. In the years you waste doing it you could be working and gaining actual experience that will boost your CV. Sure doing an MBA say when you become an associate is fine, but I'd stay clear of anything earlier than that.

Jan 24, 2012
MA Magician:

If you really want to work in the US, the easiest way to do it is to graduate from Imperial, do your analyst training at a US BB in London and then make the swap to the US offices. Like Maximus said, it's crazy hard for you to go straight from University to America. You have to understand that these banks are global hence if you're good enough you'll be able to switch office.

Regarding the MBA, doing it straight after Imperial is a daft idea, and personally an MBA doesn't really offer that much. In the years you waste doing it you could be working and gaining actual experience that will boost your CV. Sure doing an MBA say when you become an associate is fine, but I'd stay clear of anything earlier than that.

Thanks for the reply. Do you think it would be worth it if i went to a US ivy league to do a graduate degree in say economics/finance? Or do you think i should go straight into the city and get some experience?

Jan 24, 2012

Go straight into the City and get some experience, it's invaluable in compared to a masters. The only reason you should pursue a masters is if your jobless after you graduate or if you're truly interested and consider yourself am academic.

Jan 24, 2012
MA Magician:

Go straight into the City and get some experience, it's invaluable in compared to a masters. The only reason you should pursue a masters is if your jobless after you graduate or if you're truly interested and consider yourself am academic.

Thanks again for the reply on my post. Was wondering, because i have an offer from LSE to do a bachelors in Maths and Econ, do you think i should quit Imperial and go LSE. Or do you think that even if i do come out of LSE, my chances wouldn't be any better in America than if i stuck with Physics at Imperial?

Jan 24, 2012

To be honest it depends on whether you're enjoying Imperial or not. If youre not happy it's going to be a tough ride and physics isn't exactly an easy degree, then again neither is Maths & Econ at LSE, there's a lot of proof involved so it's rather dry in your first year. Imperial is the MIT of the UK so reputation wise, the people that ought to know will know about Imperial in the US. Obviously, LSE has more of a brand name you could argue, but the differences are thin. Having studied at LSE myself, I realised that BBs have a fairly even ratio of Oxbridge and LSE, closely followed by Imperial. Just be lucky you're not at UCL!

Jan 24, 2012

Top MBA programmes require 3-5 years experience generally, but I think the Mfin at Princeton or MIT accept less experience graduates. Have you thought of finishing your Physics degree at Imperial and then pursuing an MFin at MIT/Princeton immediately after Uni or after a year or two in the City?

From an academic point of view, how much do you like Physics at Imperial? Why go to LSE and study maths/econ if you have enough of an interest in Physics to be a 1st year at Imperial?

Whatever you choose, try to get internships during your undergraduate degree even if you are set on going to the US. The process will help you define your interest.

Jan 24, 2012
Relinquis:

Top MBA programmes require 3-5 years experience generally, but I think the Mfin at Princeton or MIT accept less experience graduates. Have you thought of finishing your Physics degree at Imperial and then pursuing an MFin at MIT/Princeton immediately after Uni or after a year or two in the City?

From an academic point of view, how much do you like Physics at Imperial? Why go to LSE and study maths/econ if you have enough of an interest in Physics to be a 1st year at Imperial?

Whatever you choose, try to get internships during your undergraduate degree even if you are set on going to the US. The process will help you define your interest.

Yes i have indeed thought of going pursuing MFin at US grad schools. I like Physics at Imperial as much as i like Maths and Econ. I would go to LSE if it meant that it would be easier for me to get employment at BB's/Wall Street. Question is, if i do decide to take up the LSE offer, will it be easier than Imperial for BB's in the US? I don't want to go to LSE and find out that it i will have as much of a chance of getting into Investment Banks in America as Imperial.

Jan 24, 2012
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Jan 24, 2012