London School of Economics vs Kings College

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I have an offer from both LSE and Kings for an non-numerate undergraduate degree. Although I feel it’s a given due to the prestige and name LSE has compared to Kings, the course at Kings is more interesting, it has options for a year abroad that aren’t available at LSE and the social is generally known to be better at Kings so for that reason my preference is Kings.

My question is, how much more does the LSE name factor in than Kings when applying for internships and jobs later on?

End game for me is a job in commodity trading (Glencore/Trafigura, BP/Shell) or front office investment banking at a BB.

Comments (6)

 
Feb 21, 2018 - 1:24pm

Did my undegrad at King's and masters at LSE so I'm in some position to comment.

LSE as a name for IB is MUCH better. Perhaps not what you wanted to hear but thats the truth. When it comes to commodity trading, I'm not 100% sure but I would say LSE still has the name edge and because for trading you're still in the realm of finance.

If you want to try and land a job straight out of undergrad in these fields I would say LSE. If you think in 2-3 years time you could consider a masters (e.g. finance) then I would go for King's. This is because when it comes to applying to masters to other UK/London unis, King's still has a very strong brand name.

 
Feb 21, 2018 - 3:35pm

Can I ask why you chose a non-numerate degree if your end goal is commodity trading? Do you at least have a Maths A-level (or equivalent) as this will be the prerequisite for a lot of commodity trading/finance jobs.

Beyond that, LSE is a much better brand and places much better than King's in the area you want to work in. It is also important to understand that BB will recruit from both (and a lot of other schools) as their HR have the resources to do so. Commodity trading houses and IB boutiques will recruit from a much smaller pool simply cus they can't be bothered...

 
Feb 21, 2018 - 4:06pm

I chose a non-numerate mainly due to poor decision and, to some extent, poor advice just after GCSEs, I didn't take A-Level maths so my options were more limited. It just means I'm going to have to do a lot in the way of networking and internships as my main focus is on commodity trading. I’m under no illusion that it’s going to be immensely difficult to break into but the commodity space is by far my biggest passion career wise. Do you have any advice?

 
Feb 21, 2018 - 5:02pm

Whilst LSE is the better name, you would be competing with other Econs/ Acc+Finance etc grads for the same kind of seats on a society committee/internships/jobs. Everyone knows it's vastly more difficult to get an offer for Econs at LSE compared to, say, Anthropology. At King's, this distinction is much more blurred. Everyone just says they went to King's.

I would say LSE>>>King's normally but for your particular situation, consider the following:

  • Which programme allows you to take up at least some Econs/Finance/Maths modules? I think this is very important for your situation.

  • Consider taking A-level Maths during your first year at uni when grades don't count for much. It's really not that hard to study for. Later on, you can put it on your CV. If you get questioned, it sparks a conversation. What you are selling in these interviews is someone who is smart, interested in the field despite their non-quant degree and who can do maths. Even if you don't include it on your CV, at least you don't get auto-filtered out by those 'Do you have at least ABB at A-levels' and 'Do you have a Maths A-level' type of questions. Not to mention, it is good to do a bit of calculus and train your brain especially when your degree won't offer any quantitative training. Most people fail maths tests set by firms because they are just not used to it, that's all. I never looked into this but i can't imagine it's expensive to do.

  • While at uni, enter into those trading games and simulations. There is no barrier to entry. Open a PA account. A mock one is fine. This shows you follow the market. It doesn't have to be just commodity. Most students who say they want to do trading know they should have a (mock) trading account) but most don't because they can't be bothered. Join investment society etc but i guess that's quite obvious

  • Further down the line and this doesn't work out and you want to do a MSc as well then having a quantitative background (or at least interest) will still be important so all of the above would still apply

 
Feb 21, 2018 - 4:01pm

I chose a non-numerate mainly due to poor decision and, to some extent, poor advice just after GCSEs, I didn’t take A-Level maths so my options were more limited. It just means I’m going to have to do a lot in the way of networking and internships as my main focus is on commodity trading. Do you have any advice?

 
Feb 24, 2018 - 10:51am
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