Master in Finance: HEC Paris vs Bocconi vs St. Gallen

j.max0027's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Hello everyone,

I have been admitted to HEC, Bocconi and St. Gallen for a master in Finance, and I am struggling to know which School to choose.

About me: I am from Belgium, I speak French, English, and Dutch, this will be my first master, I ve just turned 21 years old. Gmat: 760, I love maths.

My areas of interest are: Financial Markets (not really interested in Corporate Finance), Asset and Wealth Management, Investment Funds

Later, I would love to work in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, or in Russia (Moscow or St Petersbourg). However, this is not a necessary condition, I love London and other more common destinations for Finance Jobs too.

The amount of the tuition fees is not relevant for me at this stage, I am more interested in the placement opportunities, reputation and teaching quality of the schools.

What would you guys do if you were me? and why?

My main concern about University of St. Gallen is that their placements are almost always in Switzerland or Germany, and this school seems to have less international recognition than HEC, would you say the same?

Thanks for your precious answers!

Comments (23)

Mar 1, 2019

In order to work in London, I would say Bocco >= HEC => St. Gallen
But, these 3 schools are target (top tiers in Europe).
HEC is near to London.

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Most Helpful
Mar 1, 2019

HEC is the clear winner. Not really close.

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Mar 3, 2019

Debatable. I think in their respective markets, HEC and Bocconi outshine each other but I feel that in the eyes of UK recruiters they can be on par. Where I would highlight a difference is that I think the Bocconi MFin is seen better than the HEC MFin, but the HEC MiM is seen better than the Bocconi MiM.

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Mar 1, 2019

Can you tell me why? why not even close?

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Mar 2, 2019

Bump

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Mar 4, 2019

Bocconi and HEC are in my opinion on par reputation-wise - maybe a very slight win for HEC. So in the end, try to choose according to your personal preferences. HSG is in my view a par below outside the German speaking regions.

Some aspects you might want to consider:
Bocconi
* 2-year programme with possibly additional international opportunities (including HEC). This can be a good thing, but there's also an opportunity cost to consider for the second year.

  • New language. You'll have to learn some Italian. Even though it's not a widely spoken language and certainly won't be useful considering your prospects, it's still an asset. Yet it might be a burden if you're not into learning a new one.
  • City campus

HEC Paris

  • Shorter program
  • Countryside campus - About 45 minutes from Paris
  • If you're a native French speaker, which seems to be the case, you'll develop an elite French speaking network. The downside, if it is one for you, is that you remain in a certain comfort zone by choosing a place where your mother tongue is spoken.

My main point is that, in the end, either school is top and the opportunities won't change much after grad, especially as you don't want to work in the local markets. Try thus to choose based on how long you want to study and where your think you'll enjoy the experience most.

A Belgian fellow

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Mar 4, 2019
alradax:

Bocconi and HEC are in my opinion on par reputation-wise - maybe a very slight win for HEC. So in the end, try to choose according to your personal preferences. HSG is in my view a par below outside the German speaking regions.

Some aspects you might want to consider:
Bocconi
* 2-year programme with possibly additional international opportunities (including HEC). This can be a good thing, but there's also an opportunity cost to consider for the second year.

  • New language. You'll have to learn some Italian. Even though it's not a widely spoken language and certainly won't be useful considering your prospects, it's still an asset. Yet it might be a burden if you're not into learning a new one.
  • City campus

HEC Paris

  • Shorter program
  • Countryside campus - About 45 minutes from Paris
  • If you're a native French speaker, which seems to be the case, you'll develop an elite French speaking network. The downside, if it is one for you, is that you remain in a certain comfort zone by choosing a place where your mother tongue is spoken.

My main point is that, in the end, either school is top and the opportunities won't change much after grad, especially as you don't want to work in the local markets. Try thus to choose based on how long you want to study and where your think you'll enjoy the experience most.

A Belgian fellow

he said that he is interested in financial markets/asset management. Bocconi, imho, is way stronger than hec in those fields. (I've talk to plenty of hec guys who told me how the programme was lacking in that aspect of finance. I ve heard positive comments on other finance-related topics though).

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Mar 4, 2019

You might be right, I'm not familiar at all with the content of the programs! I was just considering the brand names assuming roughly equivalent courses. I just know that Bocconi's one is reputed to be highly quant focused and theoretical, which might be a factor to consider as well. And then Bocconi is a winner since (s)he loves maths.

My overall view is simply that both schools are top and going to one instead of the other won't really change future opportunities, especially in a few years after some professional experience.

Array

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Mar 5, 2019

I'll just throw my 2cents.

Background: BSc in Economics and Finance at Bocconi MFin will do HEC MIF next year and know/have talked to many students in both programs.

I'd say that only a fool would claim that HEC and Bocconi are on par, especially at the graduate level. HEC is clearly the best option.

Given that each program has some unique features designed to best satisfy your interests.

HEC: 1-year program - if you have previous experience the placement is unmatched: in London, it will lag slightly behind LSE/Oxbridge but if you learn French during the program you can apply to Paris and Benelux too.

Bocconi: 2-year program - great if you have close to zero working experience. The course is great, maybe better if you are interested in Capital Markets rather than Corporate Finance. Placement in Milan is great, but you will still have to compete with Italian students that went abroad and still apply in Milan. Placement in London is great, due to both the huge Alumni network and the Bocconi Brand.

Long story short: both are great programs. Feel free to send me a PM if you need more info.

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Mar 23, 2019
404 offer not found:

HEC: 1-year program - if you have previous experience the placement is unmatched: in London, it will lag slightly behind LSE/Oxbridge but if you learn French during the program you can apply to Paris and Benelux too.

I agree with a every bit of information disclosed here:
- About the [better] London placement given previous industry experience;
- About the [slight] lag behin UK's Tier 1 programs: LBS, LSE, Oxbridge;
- About opportunities in Benelux.

Be assured though, getting into the program with no previous finance experience is perfectly okay. A female italian student from the 2019 class with no previous finance experience secured 11 internship and/or full-time FO interview last fall. So don't panic.

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Mar 24, 2019

Why is the HEC MIF ranked so high? I'm from a nordic country, and here I would probably be better off going to Imperial since very few of the recruiters actually have heard about HEC.

Mar 30, 2019
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