Investment banking background; Does the degree matter, or 'elite target prestige > all' during recruitment?

MonkeyMoo5's picture
Rank: Baboon | 105

Hey guys,

My goal is to work in bulge brackets investment banking post Masters, and I am faced with a big internal struggle. If I got a choice of offers between an Area Studies subject at Oxford vs. a MSc in Finance at Imperial Business School vs Economic History at LSE, which one should I choose? Does the extra street cred from Oxford/LSE outweigh the more practical degree from Imperial? Further, would the global reputation of Oxford outweigh LSE's prime location/slightly more related subject?

Background:

Got two M&A internships (one at big 4 corporate finance, one at Dutch MM bank) and one DCM internship on my CV.

Also got excellent results from my undergrad major in Finance (from a non-target) and an academic exchange in another continent.

Any advice on this decision of education would help me a ton.

**PS; I am a poor dude, will have to borrow in order to pursue the Masters, with Imperial being (by far) the most expensive one **

Comments (8)

Aug 25, 2018

Hey MonkeyMoo5, I'm the WSO Monkey Bot and I'm here since nobody responded to your topic! Bummer...could just be unlucky but one of these topics will help shed some light:

Or maybe the following pros can chime in... @bbb_banker @Brianna-Conway @April'sPromise

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Oct 16, 2018

Might help you stand out, but as an FYI, fairly rare to see anyone with a masters at the analyst level in a BB. Granted, if your masters is from a very well respected institution and your undergrad is not, it may give you the boost you need to get the interview.

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Oct 16, 2018

That's absolutely incorrect, in London is very common, especially if you are from continental Europe.

To answer to your question, I'd probably go with Imperial

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Oct 16, 2018

Surprising, since in the states it's the opposite and fairly rare here.

Oct 16, 2018

From what I have heard and seen, this is more common in Europe than in the US.

Also, from my experience, I know people that got their Master's degree at Rotterdam School of Management and received offers from top EB/BB in London. I would say the difference between LSE, Oxford or Imperial would be quite minimal.

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Most Helpful
Oct 16, 2018

American perspective here, but in the States, a random degree like history from a target beats a relevant degree like finance from a non-target. When banks are hiring, all they see is "TARGET" and your foot is in the door. With a non-target, not only do you need to have a relevant degree, but there will also be fewer doors open to you.

My gut feeling is that Oxford is going to open more doors for you overall. LSE has a great brand and would be a fine second choice. Imperial also isn't too shabby, but I would check recent alumni outcomes to see how and where they've been placing.

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Oct 16, 2018

Right - and if Imperial adds a lot more debt for you as you mentioned, Oxford seems like a much better choice.

Oct 16, 2018
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