MSc Finance @Imperial - How good is it?

I'm interested in careers in either consulting or banking. For the former, I've gotten in to RSM MSc Strategic Management and applied to LSE MSc International Political Economy. For the latter, I'm considering applying to Imperial MSc Finance.

The issue is I don't have relevant experience in banking, with only a short finance internship at Deloitte under my belt. How hard would it to break in to London banking without much experience coming out of Imperial MSc Finance? What about UAE (I speak Arabic)?

Comments (7)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 22, 2020 - 6:50am

MSc Finance at Imperial is a target programme, but you'll definitely struggle if you don't have previous IBD/PE experience. With the Deloitte internship you may get interviews at good MM/lower BBs depending on the rest of your CV, but for top BBs it's more uncertain.

Arabic is useless in London, but I wouldn't recommend doing IBD in the Middle East because most deals are O&G, dealflow is not that great and there are not many EU/US banks in the region (I know Moelis and JPM are there).

Now based on your options you should definitely go with Imperial, but maybe take a gap year after your undergrad to do a longer internship in corporate finance, valuation or even IBD/PE if you can. Depending on where you're from, you may want to target boutiques in your home region. Heard there are some boutiques in Cairo for instance. They face the same issues explained above related to IBD in the middle east but look good on paper.

Nov 22, 2020 - 7:20am

I can probably get another (short) internship at a Big 4 in financial advisory. I am completely unfamiliar with how IB recruitment in LDN works - how much of a challenge is it to get my foot in the door given my profile and assuming I attain an MSc Finance @Imperial? To give you an idea:

  • Undergrad:
    • semi-target continental EU university, specializing in economics
    • 8-month research internship in international macroeconomics
    • Equivalent to first-class GPA
  • Experience:


  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Nov 22, 2020 - 7:28am

Definitely doable. You may want to try to get an internship at the "Valuation" division of Big 4. If you can, then definitely do that next summer and start at Imperial after.

If it's just traditional financial advisory, you still have a shot, but you should evaluate whether it shouldn't be more beneficial to your profile to do several finance-related internships during a year and then start at Imperial.

Nov 23, 2020 - 5:18am

As the others said, try and do an internship this summer in something more finance related (some of the London banks are still recruiting to be fair). The MSc Finance generally has a good reputation - and you get an amazing party in the first week in the Natural History Museum haha - although the Business School is much less of a target than the College's STEM programmes. Still, you should be able to place relatively well out of it but I'd say that Imperial's non-STEM programmes are well behind LBS, Oxford, Cambridge, and LSE. I understand that the Business School's MSc courses do still tend to be considered full target courses (as opposed to the MBA, which is definitely only a semi-target) but they're towards the lower end and treading that target/semi-target line. They're also horrendously expensive and you're by no means guaranteed scholarships - although better courses, for example Oxford's MFE, are even worse.  

Re. recruitment, it's much more structured than the U.S. (not sure about Europe). Apply online, psychometric tests, telephone interview, assessment day is the usual pattern. Imperial will have a lot of networking events though - and you can also access the College's (as well as the Business School's) Finance and Investment Society events. Pretty much every major bank does on-campus sessions but you'll also get exposure to opportunities (esp. HFs) that do not have structured online recruiting/don't formally advertise internships. 

Most Helpful
Nov 23, 2020 - 6:42am

Not sure where both people got their information but you don't really HAVE to HAVE IB/PE experience going into your MSc at imperial - sure it is a nice to have but every year people do get jobs without having done any of the above (I have friends that went through the programme and now work at a BB with me and friends in the programme currently getting interviews and neither of them had IBD/PE experience going in).

You definitely should be able to break into London but you can also apply to Dubai as a backup given your language fluency.

At this stage though I suggest you figure out what you want to do between consulting and IB.

Nov 23, 2020 - 7:42am
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