Comments (8)

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  • Associate 2 in PE - Growth
Jan 6, 2022 - 6:01am

LSE is arguably more dominant in London recruiting than any single American college is for NY recruiting - certainly better than its ivy equivalents (wanna say Penn and Columbia)

Williams, while a decent LAC target, just doesn't have as much of a placement presence or recruiting infrastructure compared to larger US targets. So if your goal is solely to maximize BB/EB recruiting chances by even a marginal amount, the answer in most cases is LSE

I'll presume you've already considered other factors? Like:

  • Weak pound, and hence materially lower London comp on FX-adj basis
  • Culture and academic environment. To each their own but I'd rather take my chances with the less robust BB/EB pipeline at Williams in exchange for what is probably a much more intellectually open, less pre-professional and more enriching student environment. At Williams you might even discover you want to do something else with life, and you are certainly not shutting out the banking path by any means
  • Cost of living, weather

One thing on immigration: if you're not American, Aussie or Singaporean (?) I think it is much wiser to go LSE. London recruiting is known to be kinder to foreigners compared to the OPT / H1B shitshow in the US

Good luck

  • Prospect in PE - Other
Jan 6, 2022 - 7:25am

I agree with most of this, but important for the OP not to infer that LSE = guaranteed placement. Placing from a US target, including those mid-tier Ivies, is much more certain. LSE is dominant in terms of the absolute number of people it places, but half the university is shooting for finance and when compared to people (placement ratios) trying it's behind Oxbridge and Imperial.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Comm
Jan 6, 2022 - 8:02am

Probably true, the name of the game these days is to stand out, not necessarily being the most well informed or equipped for a career in finance.

  • Associate 2 in PE - Growth
Jan 6, 2022 - 8:05am

Yes I agree with your sentiment, though I would be surprised if placement ratios from non HYP Ivies are more certain than LSE. Even at Wharton a surprising amount of people strike out on BB/EBs at the middle of the bell curve. 

I think for OP the main takeaway is that if he/she is tuned into banking recruiting in HS already (since they already know what BB/EBs are) then I think they have a decently good shot at banking recruiting whether it's at Williams or LSE. Places like LSE (or Wharton) are helpful to whip single-minded career motivation into you because of the peer pressure and environment, and not especially helpful for people who are already quite pre-professional from day 1. Those latter folks would probably benefit more from being in a top LAC / HYP / Oxbridge environment, where they could probably end up with best of both worlds if they play their cards right (enriching interesting college experience + good job).

In contrast I feel like there are some talented HYP or Oxbridge kids who would actually have had better placement outcomes if they had gone to Penn/LSE because there would be a more singular focus on recruiting from day one (for better or worse), and less exploration + choice paralysis

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Comm
Jan 6, 2022 - 8:11am

To an extent I agree: banking is explicitly not considered a prestigious career outcome from Oxbridge as it is from other UK targets. Honestly, if someone had an offer from Oxbridge or LSE they really shouldn't be using the opportunity to break-in as a metric to decide schools. Most would take oxbridge due to its history and perceived prestige but factors such as city living and social scenes should be factored in. If you're good, you'll break in from either place (eventually, London recruiting is quite random in fairness.)

EDIT: LSE placement spiel is likely more related to the fact that in the UK you can't do much to increase your odds of landing a spot once you submit the application. The alumni coffee chat --> referral process doesn't exist here so placing is a lot less consistent than it is in the states where more is in your control.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 7, 2022 - 1:54am

Hi, thank you so much for the detailed answer! Is Williams really that far off from other US targets though? From a very cursory LinkedIn search, it appears that they place 20-25 to BBs/EBs (might be wrong here) and that seems pretty decent for a LAC with a class size of ~500. Also, I have considered Visa/lower comp/weather.

  • Associate 2 in PE - Growth
Jan 6, 2022 - 9:53pm

To add, no - you will not be disadvantaged in a noticeable way by doing those LSE courses. Imagine there's a small barely noticeable halo effect with LSE Econ given its the flagship course, but LSE places mostly indiscriminately well, even for courses like Geography or Government. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 7, 2022 - 1:55am

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