Imperial vs. Bocconi

Hey everyone, 

I just received offers from Imperial MSc F&A and Bocconi MSc Finance. Would really appreciate any help on which program to choose. I'm an American who graduated from a US target school who is looking to work in Europe (preferably London). I did several PE internships and worked at a VC fund for around a year before getting let go because of the pandemic. I'm really interested in asset management/research (don't want IB). These are my thoughts:

Imperial Pros: 

  • Located in London, which makes networking and interviews a lot easier than traveling back and forth from Milan. 
  • The new UK post-study work visa grants me two years after graduation to find a position. This should be enough time to secure a position. 
  • Imperial is a little more well-known than Bocconi in the US. If the worst-case scenario happens and I have to return to the States, Imperial will likely open a few more doors. 

  Imperial Cons:

  • MSc F&A is not Imperial's flagship program. Not sure how much of a difference that makes.
  • The program is only one year, so I have one chance at campus recruiting. Very little margin of error. 
  • Imperial is known for science and engineering. I'm worried that the Business School gets overshadowed by these departments and isn't as prestigious.   

Bocconi Pros:

  • I was awarded a full tuition waiver. Although, finances aren't a big issue for me, this is definitely a positive.
  • The program is two years, giving me a chance to do an internship in London. I'll also have two cracks at campus recruiting.  
  • The program seems to be ranked higher than Imperial MSc F&A in Europe. I also heard from an American friend working in London BB that Bocconi is only below Oxbridge and LSE in representation in the City. 

Bocconi Cons:

  • I don't speak any Italian, which likely makes it difficult for me to make friends and live in Milan. 
  • I heard rumors that London firms only hire from Bocconi to fill Italian quotas (not sure how true that is). 
  • The coursework is apparently very difficult and competition incredibly fierce. This may not leave enough time for me to recruit. 

Would leave to hear all of your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

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Comments (5)

  • Prospect in PE - Other
Apr 28, 2021 - 3:49pm

Very recent and very similar thread here:…. Given the difference in costs and the Imperial programme not being its flagship, I'd err towards Bocconi in this case. You're right that Imperial's Business School is not as strong as the College (although its a lot stronger for MSc than for MBA) and Bocconi should place just as well - if not better - at the PG level. My biggest concern for you with Bocconi while targeting London would be the visa situation. Not entirely sure if firms will be willing to sponsor an American from there, it might be tough - for reference, visa sponsorship at UG is pretty much limited to (top students at) HYPSMW. 

Apr 30, 2021 - 11:45am

Can you explain why? I definitely won't be able to work in Milan, and I heard that London firms almost only hire Italians from Bocconi to fill quotas. Also, Imperial gives me a two-year post-study work visa, which should give me enough time to get a desired job.   

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