LSE or HEC - help much appreciated

Hello!

I am very fortunate to have been accepted to the finance master's at both HEC and LSE, but I cannot make up my mind about which to choose. Below are my profile, ambitions, and personal perception of the schools. All input would be much appreciated. Please share your thoughts and let me know if I can do anything to return the favor.

Profile & ambitions: From the Nordics, currently in undergrad (Nordics, target), ambition to do IB or something related abroad (really anywhere, not necessarily London, but London seems most likely), done two internships (regional EB and local shop), only speak English beyond native tongue

LSE:

    • Seems to be more known around the world
    • Personally, it strikes me as it would be easier to recruit to London when stationed in the same city, but HEC's statistics seem good. What are your thoughts on recruiting from HEC to London?
    • The UK is currently much more successful with vaccinations
    • Brexit, though difficult to assess 
    • Got my LSE admission after the deadline for making the deposit for HEC, so accepting LSE would mean a sunk cost of EUR 5,000, which is a lot to me. I have a decent chance of receiving scholarships, but I cannot rely on them.
    • I have heard that LSE has a reputation for being "boring" with little social life and an introverted atmosphere

HEC:

    • Seems to have placing statistics on par with LSE's, but of course very difficult to know how that translates to my case
    • Good reputation regarding social life, campus etc.
    • Wouldn't lose my deposit, and I have already received a partial scholarship from the school
    • The program includes a 4 month period for work, which could benefit me 
    • France currently in full lock-down
    • I don't speak French, so working in Paris seems quite unlikely
    • not as well known

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Comments (13)

Apr 3, 2021 - 1:53pm

I thought HEC was usually quite cliquey. Also as a rational financier, we know that we should not be influenced by sunk costs in our decision making ;) 

You'd probably be fine with either but I think LSE would be a safer option.

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  • 2
Most Helpful
Apr 3, 2021 - 5:45am

If you're definitely looking for a « fun » student life on campus and everything related, you definitely have to go to HEC.

All courses are in English and it is obviously well know for UK HR since it's the best school in France and target in Europe.

Apr 3, 2021 - 6:00am

I know 5K seems a lot when choosing a MSc if your budget is tight but just put it on perspective...  gonna work in a sector where 5K is nothing. HEC is the best continental school and it has a very good placement in London but LSE is LSE. Also, LSE may give you an edge in terms of visa if you don't have the pre-settled status.

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Apr 3, 2021 - 11:09am

If it was me in the same exact situation - I would've chosen LSE
It's kind of a no-brainer that you want to be in London and you have a target London School. Like they say - attend the college where you want to live afterwards. Atleast in the short-term. 
HEC is great, and no doubt this is a tough choice to make. But a lot of people from HEC will be fighting for a slot in London, and you need to be ready to put in the work. 

5,000 EUR may seem a lot now.... but it will not matter in the long run. Unless the difference was 20,000+ or close to it, I wouldn't even worry about the investment. 

Only way I will pick HEC in this scenario, is if I put 50%+ weight on social life when making a decision. 

  • 1
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 3, 2021 - 3:15pm

Congrats on the acceptances. Will let someone with more knowledge about the courses comment. Did you consider LBS as well while applying? Asking as I am planning on applying to all 3 in the next month. Thanks

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Apr 3, 2021 - 4:11pm

I think if you want to position yourself best for London LSE is the clear winner. Look at costs but it think even then LSE carries the day for other offices you might be interested in outside of London. HEC's campus is nowhere near Paris just FYI, it is deep in the countryside so I'd wager just the experience is much better living in London as a student (pandemics notwithstanding ofc). Congrats on the admissions.

Apr 4, 2021 - 3:47am

Thank you all for your replies! 

Very interesting to see how overwhelming the support for LSE is. A lot of what you say makes perfect sense. What's holding me back the most is that deposit I won't see again, and my personal perception of LSE as a less social place. But as you say, this shouldn't be too much of a problem in the long run.

I think I'll pay the deposit to LSE to confirm my seat (£3,000), and wait with deciding till later on. Hopefully one of the two will have an open campus by the start of the semester, so I guess there's some value in hedging yourself with two slots.

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Apr 5, 2021 - 9:16am

Sunk cost fallacy, you have to look at it at LSE for xxxPs and HEC for xxxPs (where you can deduct the deposit and also potential scholarship money). I think the difference in LSE's brand value/location/network will easily make it the better choice but you have to see for yourself.

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Apr 5, 2021 - 9:54am

I don't think getting a solid IB placement will be a big issue with your profile no matter if you end up at LSE or HEC.

Have in mind that MIF is the flagship finance program at HEC (alongside MiM) whereas LSE is mostly famous for its bachelor programs. HEC network in London is very strong and people seem to be more willing to help each other (collaboration culture is strongly encouraged by the program directions). Finally, campus experience at HEC is something remarkable (in terms of fun and networking) even during the pandemic. Yes, it's in the outskirts of Paris but I can assure you that most of the people don't really care (you'll spend all your banking years in the city anyway). 

 I don't really know how Brexit will influence recruiting from HEC but I know that this year was quite good (a lot of people going to top BBs). 

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