MSc in Finance: LSE, Bocconi, HEC or SSE?

pedromdabreu's picture
Rank: Chimp | 6

Hello guys!

I am applying to some MSc in Finance programs to start in September 2019 and I believe I could use your help to make a better final decision.

My profile:

BSc in Management at Nova School of Business and Economics (Lisbon, Portugal)

Exchange: Korea University Business School (Seoul, Korea)

GPA: 17.1/20 - First Class Honors (top 5%)

GMAT: 720 (Q49 V38)

Relevant work experience:
Summer Analyst at one of the MBB (secured FT offer to start after completing the master program)

Other activities:
University clubs (consulting and trading)
Sports (former federate football and judo player)


So, I've applied already to HEC (Master in International Finance), SSE (MSc Finance) and Bocconi (Msc Finance). Also considering applying to LSE (MSc Finance and Private Equity).

I believe all of them are top schools. Would say that LSE and HEC are clearly top tier, Bocconi lies between top and second tier, and SSE is second tier.

However, besides reputation there are some other issues that will play a big role on my decision:
- Tuitions + Living Costs (SSE is a free tuition program since I am a EU citizen; Bocconi I heard I may have a chance of getting a scholarship)
- Program Length (I would go for 2 year programs since I'm not sure about what I would like to do next - both PE and IB are solid options, however I would need to reject the MBB, which is clearly a difficult decision, and also would give me the chance to do an internship in Finance, something that lacks in my CV)
- Fun (this is surely not the most important factor, however as a party lover I would struggle having a purely academic experience so this is something I would like to consider as well)

I feel tempted to go for Bocconi especially if I get a scholarship (what do you think guys? Based on my profile what are my real chances?). LSE and HEC are just unaffordable for me (would need to ask for credit to my bank) and I believe it would be extremely difficult to have a scholarship. SSE is a solid option as well but I feel it is still quite below Bocconi when comparing reputation, placement, program structure, etc. However, since it would cost literally 0EU (not considering the living costs), if I don't get a scholarship at Bocconi I'm not sure Bocconi is worth more 24kEU (tuition cost) than SSE.

Do you guys have any advice for me? Thank you very much.

Comments (5)

Feb 3, 2019

Hi pedromdabreu, any of these discussions helpful:

  • Profile evaluation: Bocconi MSF / LBS MiM or MFA / LSE MSc Finance to: Tier 1: Bocconi MSF, LBS MFA or MiM, LSE MSc Finance Tier 2: HEC, SSE and Imperial, NES (Russian ... school) My profile:- Bachelor of Science in Economics (Finance track) from #1 Russian university in ... Economics, Finance, and one
  • Msc Finance; Bocconi, HEC, IE or RSM for a second master? Finance in addition to my engineering master in industrial economics which I will complete in the coming ... Hi, I was wondering which school you would recommend me to apply for? I want to pursue a master in ... spring. Profile, Age: born 92 Nationality: Swedish Education: Engineering Master in industrial
  • Need help with Msc in Finance choice: HEC Paris MiF or Bocconi Msc in Finance to prepare etc.) Bocconi MSF + arguably best London IBD placement of all continental Europe schools ... internship in IBD in London, and then hopefully an FT role. I got admitted to HEC Paris Master in ... International Finance (#1 in FT ranking) and Bocconi
  • Is target MSc Finance still possible in my situation? (Bocconi, HEC, LSE, HSG....) above) I will apply to: Bocconi MSc Finance HEC MIF LSE Finance (?) + Acc&Fin HSG MBF + MaccFin FSFM ... get hired out of school like Bocconi to London are usually Italian for their respective country desks. ... before the start of my bachelor, in the last year of high
  • Msc Finance SSE vs ESADE vs HEC vs Bocconi vs Others position in London but I would rather prefer not to study in UK... I was more propense to choose SSE ... Hello guys! I have to choose which Msc Finance programs to apply. I have double citizenship ... Italian and Spanish and speak fluently both languages. I have a Bsc in Economics from a public italian ...
  • Need help: Msc in Finance at HEC Paris or Bocconi to prepare etc.) Bocconi MSF + arguably best London IBD placement of all continental Europe schools ... internship in IBD in London, and then hopefully an FT role. I got admitted to HEC Paris Master in ... International Finance (#1 in FT ranking) and Bocconi
  • Bocconi vs SSE- MSc Finance preferably in London. I recently got accepted to the master in finance at Stockholm School of Economics and ... last year of the BSc in Finance at Bocconi. Short-term career goals: start working in Asset Management, ... I'm also pretty sure that I can get into the
  • More suggestions...

Hope that helps.

Feb 8, 2019

I would suggest to restructure your post and making more clear what insights you are trying to get from the forum as it is quite confused to understand as it is now.

You say that LSE and HEC (your top choices) would be quite overwhelming on the financial side yet you still applied to HEC - from this I take it that, at the end of the day, you'd still either be willing to get in debt or hoping for a scholarship (which makes perfectly sense as your profile is very strong imho).

Then you're torn between a 2-year program, which would give you better chances to experiment IBD and PE, and re-joining your MBB - very tough decision, I agree.

I can't really see what are the questions you're looking to get an answer to.

Does it make sense to renege a MBB FT offer to get an MSc? Imho absolutely not, as:

a) these programs exist to place people in the very firms you already have an offer from

b) you know what you're giving up, but not what you'll get from the MSc (you may just get bumped by all top banks and funds)

c) in 2-3 years from now you could get your firm to sponsor an MBA

d) if 2-3 months down in your consulting gig you understand that you want to switch to IBD or PE asap, it is fairly doable to find a FT position coming from MBB (especially in the 2nd tbh, as banks may ask you to start again as analyst 1)

Does it make sense to pick a full tuition LSE/HEC/Bocconi over an SSE (in the lucky scenario you get admitted in all of these)? Probably not, unless you're gunning for ultra-competitive positions i.e. MF PE - and even then we could make an argument that being an MBB consultant is a good starting point to get these jobs.

Take into account that, if I'm not mistaken, both LSE and HEC classes will end by half June, hence you could finish classes, do your summer intern in a bank and by July-August you'll know which field is for you - and you'd still be on time to re-join your MBB if as I think you're scheduled to start in Sept 2020. You could do the same also at Bocconi (not sure about SSE) but you'd have to take 2nd year classes as non attending student and it's going to massively mess up your life imho.

PS) for fun I'd say London > Milan (lovely nightlife imho) > Jouy; never been in Stockholm so I can't tell. Although if you enroll in any of these you probably won't have much time to party haha

    • 1
Feb 9, 2019

Thank you very much for your inputs! I understand my post seems confusing. Thus, I'll make clearer what are the key takeaways I'm looking for:

  • How would you compare these 4 programs in terms of reputation, placement and academic quality?
  • Based on my profile, how likely is getting a scholarship at Bocconi?
  • Would you prefer going to SSE or Bocconi (assuming I don't get a scholarship at Bocconi)?
  • I heard SSE and Bocconi have both strong placements in London however it is mainly focused in native students as top recruiters hire them for the regional desks. Is it true? Would I, as a foreigner, find a much more difficult path to get into London?

PS: I already accepted the MBB offer, however I am demanded to take a Masters berore joining FT (it's a demand of this specific office). However, my main goal on taking a master in Finance is to deep my knowledge and try to understand if IB or PE would be suitable options for my future career (whether I join straight away after the Masters or after the MBA working 3 years at the MBB firstly)

Feb 13, 2019

Have you ever thought about HSG MBF program? Top tier and waaaaayyyy cheaper. Take a look