London School of Economics vs Columbia University?


Hey fellow monkeys,

I'm a senior attending a Non-Target School in the west looking to rebrand and prepare better for banking interviews and hedge myself in some manner. (My undergrad was not in finance)

I got a few offers for Fall 2017 at:

London School of Economics ( MSc Accounting, Organizations and Institutions COA: ~50k)

Teachers College, Columbia university ( MA in Economics and Education COA ~70k - 36k Scholarship = 34k)

Relevant experience: Goldman Sachs Ops Internship (SLC), Equity Research Analyst for Student Investment Fund.

Goal: Break into FO roles, as IB, AM, ER... (Preferably regional offices like TX, FL)

So my question is, What would you do considering the school brand and the cost of attending ?
Note: I have zero debt from undergrad.


Comments (8)

Mar 25, 2017 - 5:33pm
  1. Please just say you worked at a student fund for privacy
  2. Both offers aren't great, because they don't seem related both geographically AND in major. What you can do is a few things below

  3. think where you want to go - LSE will have pull in London, Columbia with *some in NYC

  4. Access, will you get peers who want Finance too, or are they from a different world?
  5. Will you be completely devastated for just a little bit, if you didn't get a job AND choose no grad school offers?
  6. Where else could you get a hedging offer now?
Mar 25, 2017 - 5:48pm

Thank for the feedback @whattherock" .

3.- Will the MA in Economics and Education at Teachers college (Graduate School of education of Columbia) be looked down to, because is not related to finance?
4.- In regards to access, at LSE I will definitely be surrounded by peers who want finance too, while at Teachers College ) my peers will be more focused on getting into economic research and social policy jobs.

5.- Yes, in some manner I don't want to be unemployed or out of school.

6.- I have a few offers in OPS at a BB and financial advisor at a Boutique (Nothing close to what i'm pursuing or interested in)

Thanks for your time!

Mar 25, 2017 - 5:50pm

Not really looked down, but if I was a banker, I'll ask - why Columbia Ed school for your IB goal? Isn't business school better suited? -loss of words.

  1. it's a question for you to decide, and you'd need to move to London, far from North or West
  2. Yeah nobody wants to do it, but it's always a card you CAN play with a bit of cash
  3. BB isn't bad even if it's Ops. Every career starts somewhere. I would suggest via Victor Cheng's advice that a big brand helps (but it's for consulting, take it with a grain of salt)
Best Response
Mar 25, 2017 - 6:20pm

You're in a tough spot. The Columbia program isn't ideal and LSE is going to give you limited traction in the US.

I will answer this two ways.

1) Within the framework of your question; and
2) Suggestions outside this framework.

1) Columbia.

- MA in Econ (econ is close enough to finance)
- NYC - you can intern and network 24/7
- Cost - cheaper

- MA in Econ AND Teaching
- Not where you want to work/live

LSE is going to cost you more, you'll have difficulty networking in the US and it is accounting and organization which just sounds weird. Columbia will be known across the US, whereas you will have difficulty with LSE outside of say NYC/Chicago/SF/Boston.

2) What other programs did you look at? What were your stats? Why not try and work in something business related for a year and take another swing next year? None of the programs are optimal and both will cost tuition as well as time and living costs. NYC isn't where you want to be and if you don't want to be there, it will suck. If you are getting into these programs, I could see you getting into Duke's MMS, any number of west coast MSF's, etc. Those would be more in line with what you want.

UTA likes non business UG's. SMU would be great for Texas. My most honest advice would be to take a breath and don't rush into anything.

Mar 25, 2017 - 6:35pm

Thanks @TNA"

2.- I did not look for any other programs since I applied late and did not take the GRE/GMAT. However, there's a high chance of getting sponsored by a Fulbright scholarship covering Tuition + living costs if I attend Columbia. On the other hand, LSE has been my dream school and the program can be adjusted to cover my interests.

In regards to my background: GPA is 3.75 in Economics and ECs : Semi-Pro Baseball Player and holding executive positions on campus.

I have many doubts on trying to work for something business related. I do not feel prepared in any matters, because my lack of coursework in (Accounting, Finance....). (I was a Chemistry major until Junior year).

Thanks again for your help!

Mar 25, 2017 - 7:48pm
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