LSE vs LBS

I have been accepted in the MSc Finance at LSE and the MFA at LBS.
Which one should I attend? I want to secure a SA position for the next summer at a top BB, but I only have one internship in M&A at a big 4 and a spring internship at a large French BB. Which of these two provides me the greatest chances to achieve this goal? I have heard that LSE's program is more competitive so I am feeling inclined to LSE. Any thoughts?

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Comments (64)

Apr 25, 2020 - 6:11pm

Brand name: LBS > LSE
LBS got private networking class probably the best carrier team and at LSE you are competing with undergraduates. All banks have headcount and competiton is higher at LSE.

Think it depends a lot on yourself, but for me LBS is better without hesidation.

Apr 25, 2020 - 6:14pm

It's interesting that you mention that point, because when I look at previous year's employment reports LSE's MSc Finance looks better. So not sure I can rely on that reasoning

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Apr 26, 2020 - 4:32am

Personally, I believe that the value added of a Masters programme is the professional opportunities it opens, not the education. So from what you told me, it would make more sense to go LBS. However, I feel that the brand name of LSE's MSc Finance looks better on your CV than MFA's (probably because it is newer)? Would you agree?

Apr 26, 2020 - 3:57am

LSE is the more established institution and definitely have more alumni around the city, since it has always converted multiple undergrads going to work straight in the city. However, as mentioned above LBS is more exclusive as it offers only MSc's and MBA's. Therefore, on paper you should be able get a better response rate and build some meaningful connections. One other thing which can be overlooked is the broader quality of the people who graduate. Sure, LSE have rigorous entry standards, however the number of people attending it are definitely much more and a lot of 18/19 old kids, would just figure out that they want something else. LBS on the other hand gets applicants who already have done their BSc and graduated with at least a solid 2:1, and have done GMAT/CFA and for post-experience courses/MBA's have solid experiences. Hence, you would contact/meet people who already established what they want.

I think LBS are doing a lot of career workshops, events, guest talks which help shape your overall skills and knowledge and justify the 35K fee. However, strictly for entering banking LSE is probably still the place to go. In either case, both programmes should get your foot in the interview room.

P.S do you mind sharing what was your GMAT and when did you apply to LSE and after how much time they've sent you the offer (as their website does not provide such info). Thanks and best of luck!

Apr 26, 2020 - 4:37am

Indeed, that is one of the points in favor of LBS. LSE has much larger number of applicants towards banking. Do you think that MSc Finance students have an edge in comparison to undergraduates? I would like to go to IB or a PE but have been told that for PE, probably LBS is the best place due to its close network. Any idea on this?

Sure! Portuguese; GMAT: 700; top of class from one of the best unis in Portugal; LSE's response took approximately 3 weeks

Apr 26, 2020 - 6:39am

Depends on your undergrad. If you already done one in Finance, the MSc will probably not make a big difference. However, the institution where you do it, will matter. If I am to do an undergrad in finance at a non-target and just do a MSc in finance at the same place, simply because it is the easiest thing to do, not much will change. Doing CFA lvl 1 will give you the same knowledge as the LBS/LSE modules (not the same leg in recruitment, hence why you pay 35K). Again, brand and reputation.

P.S Do you mind sharing when did you sent you application to LSE?

Apr 26, 2020 - 12:10pm

I partially agree with your answer.
LBS programme begins in mid-August while LSE only in the beginning of September.
However, all the important LSE exams are on the last term (April-June) and there are almost no group projects in the first term (September-December) while LBS has some group projects/exams in the first term.
What time (months) do you think it's the most chaotic in terms of recruitment?

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Apr 27, 2020 - 2:18am

The program at LBS is structured to be lighter in the recruitment period, plus the LBS team prepares you in advance of recruiting for what to expect. It is a more practical and careers focused program, whereas LSE is more academic in nature. Really can't go wrong with either choice, but the program with LSE would be more intensive during the recruitment period I believe. You should look into the culture at both schools too and whether students at both schools are more collaborative or competitive with regards to helping each other out in recruiting.

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