Is London School of Economics worth losing networking opportunities?

Hi everyone, I've been lurking this website for a while and I have a question for all you knowledgeable monkeys. I apologize if I am too long-winded. I've included a short version for all those interested.

Background:

Essentially, I'm at a non-target school for the top three consulting firms. I'd say my school is ranked top 20 for overall undergraduate business schools in U.S., but specializes and is known for entrepreneurship. However, it's isn't very well known nationally and I know it does not carry the same weight as more competitive schools. Fortunately, at least the big four accounting firms like our school, especially since some professors were partners.

Now, I have an interesting opportunity to study abroad for a whole year at the London School of Economics my junior year. I'm not sure how much of a brand name LSE is, but I know it is a more competitive well-known school than my current college. However, if I take this study abroad opportunity, it might make it harder for me to network. My current school is relatively small and it's alumni bases are NOT in London.

I fear that going to London will make it harder for me to land an internship for my junior year internship. However, at the same time, there is one networking advantage if I decide to study abroad. For our school study abroad programs GPA is frozen, I only need to get above a C equivalent in my classes there. This means, I won't have to stress so much about keeping my GPA high and I could possibly spend more time networking.

Academically, I think I'm strong enough for the big three consulting firms. I have a 3.8+ GPA after freshman year (average at school is around 2.9, no grade inflation) and I'll probably concentrate in Finance. My SAT scores are 780 CR and 770 Math. Not the best, but I don't think I have to be too concerned. Now I'm trying to bolster everything else in my resume.

So, essentially, do you think studying abroad for a year at LSE will help me break into BCG, McK, and Baines because it is more well known than my current school?

TL:DR short version

- I have decent academic performance after freshman year: 3.8+ GPA, 1550/1600 SAT
- School is non-target, small alumni base mainly around school
- I can study abroad at the London School of Economics my junior year and my grades won't matter (only need to get a C)
- I desperately need some "big" names on my resume
- Must land internship as a junior

Will studying abroad at LSE help my chances at breaking the big three?

I'll be grateful for some good advice.

Region: 
United Kingdom
United States - Northeast

Comments (11)

Aug 20, 2014

This is only slightly relevant to your case but just saying, a friend from non-target was able to score interviews at elite boutiques after doing an exchange at LSE. However this was continental EU not sure how LSE is perceived in the US

Aug 20, 2014

LSE is one of the best schools regarding business undergrad in the UK.

Aug 20, 2014
randomnumbers234238324353:

Will studying abroad at LSE help my chances at breaking the big three?

I don't know the answer to this specifically, but from a 'life experience' perspective, you absolutely should do the study abroad. You will regret not doing it.

While you are out there, why not network for an internship in Europe? Like previous posters said, LSE has a strong brand name in the EU.

    • 1
Aug 20, 2014

LSE has a strong name here in the U.S. too, especially in S&O. If I were you, I would take that experience and cold e-mail partners at the big three, stating what you're doing. That may not be face-to-face networking, but you can always set meeting them in-person as a goal for you to accomplish in your Senior year.

Aug 22, 2014

Thanks for the advice guys. I'm certainly leaning more towards going to LSE next year.

Yeah, I've thought about trying to intern in the U.K. I would prefer to intern in U.S. mainly just for comfort, but I'm open to the idea. Do you guys know how well firms are linked from different countries. I have a few professors at my college who were partners at the Big 4 auditing firms. If they wanted, would they be able to help me get my foot in the door, even though they worked in America?

And as a side question: do my academic credentials seem good enough MBB (i.e. they won't throw out my resume immediately)? It seems to be a daunting task competing against so many people from top schools.

Aug 23, 2014

came from similar background and just completed year at the LSE - PM me if you want to talk

Sep 2, 2014

Within Europe LSE is one of the best schools there is, not sure how it's regarded in the US. But just do it, it will probably be one of the most amazing years of your life, don't compromise that for possible a higher chance of networking/getting an internship.

Sep 2, 2014

2 Consulting Fairs p/ year + mentoring program + standard alumni reach out = LSE will probably be of net benefit compared to spending an unexceptional year at an unexceptional school in the US.

FYI. For full-time you can interview for overseas offices (for at least 2 of MBB) from London, if you get a good relationship going maybe you can do the same to land an internship back home.

Sep 2, 2014

As long as you're okay with being in London at least for internship it seems like it would increase your MBB chances to go to LSE. I also did a year at LSE so PM me if you want too.

If you were at a clear target and wanted to be in the US, this answer would be different and it wouldn't be as clear cut.

Sep 2, 2014

Hey Rando, sounds like you go to my school. PM me

Sep 2, 2014
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