INSEAD vs Booth, Wharton, NYU, Columbia

So basically I'm admitted to INSEAD January intake. I have 1.5 years of finance experience in transaction and debt between boutique banks and Big4 (got laid off because of Covid).

Can I get BB IB while doing INSEAD? I have a preMBA internship coming up fund or debt IB. A bit confused 30M

Pros INSEAD: insead short and sweet
Cons INSEAD: non finance specific school

Pros US schools: sure to get IB BB
Cons US schools: long and expensive program

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Comments (15)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 10, 2021 - 12:19pm

I would take any of Booth/Wharton/CBS/Stern over INSEAD, unless cost is a significant concern. Much better finance reputation, higher quality student body, and stronger international brands

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 10, 2021 - 2:19pm

US schools are just far better set up to be a pipeline into IB. US offices have established associate pipelines from the top 15 business schools (although I would not say it's guaranteed), while EU/UK offices really don't hire associates out of MBA the way US offices do. Obviously *some* do, but I just don't think that you'll see the same 25+ banks recruiting associates that you see at W/B/C/S.  So while you may be able to land an offer, I have to imagine it's less of a formalized pipeline. 

At this point in your career, it doesn't make any sense to me why you would do anything except absolutely maximize your chances of getting into IB (assuming that's your goal), no matter the cost. You pay down that debt incredibly fast as an associate (my *signing* bonus was 70k) - that means going to one of the core 4 finance MBAs. 

Oct 10, 2021 - 11:07pm

Thx for the solid advice:

1- as an international, what worries me is the visa sponsorship in the US

2-70K is awesome as a sign in bonus, I guess it makes sense

Educate the kids it will all payback one day.
Oct 11, 2021 - 3:48pm

I agree with this post. 

You do not state where you want to pursue IB (US/UK). If you want to pursue IB in US - you have to go with an US T15 B-school. INSEAD is a great "consulting" school, but the name struggles to makes its mark in the US. If you wanted IB in the UK - you really shouldve went with LBS instead of INSEAD. LBS places extremely well in London for Associates in IB. INSEAD sends some individuals to IB in UK/Singapore - but compared to the whole class, they are a very small number. INSEAD can help you network your way for IB, but they do not have a streamlined way like LBS does for UK IB or any T15 for US IB

If IB is your main goal no matter what, you need to go to US school. If IB in UK is your main goal with consulting as your plan B, you need to take your chances with INSEAD and network REALLY hard or aim for LBS

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  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Oct 10, 2021 - 11:56pm

Sorry for hijacking the post, as an american who wants to relocate to Europe, should I look primarily at European schools like INSEAD for my MBA? 

Oct 11, 2021 - 7:36am


If you're absolutely certain of what you want to do post MBA then go INSEAD since its a 1 year degree but you will be living in the middle of no where at Fontainebleau. If you know an European language even better.

Though I think if you want London LBS is the better option. LBS I would say is more "prestigious" and places not only well in London but also in continental Europe.

  • 1
Oct 11, 2021 - 3:53pm

Depends where in Europe.

LBS - Can place you mainly in UK and anywhere in Europe - given you know the regional language

INSEAD - Mainly consulting for anywhere in Europe/Middle East/Asia. You need to know 3 languages to graduate anyway.

HEC-Paris - Regional school. Places somewhat in UK - but need to know regional language of the country you want to go to.

IESE - Same as HEC-Paris with somewhat of expanded network in LATM and Middle East

Oxbridge - U.K Regional Schools. 

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Oct 11, 2021 - 9:07pm

My goal is to hopefully get 2-3 years in Europe before I can get back in the states.

Oct 11, 2021 - 6:30am

No necessarily top US programs place well in Europe t15 m7

Educate the kids it will all payback one day.
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Oct 12, 2021 - 10:12pm

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