MSF Application Advice

Hey all,

I would be applying for the class of 2017 and I would still like some advice.

I go to a top 50 school and am an accounting undergrad, but it is a top undergrad accounting program. 3.6 GPA. Decent extracurriculars: college athletics, humanitarian service in foreign country, ESL tutor, and club VP.

I have done internships with a local VC, a local HF, and a VC in the Middle East.

Goal is to do banking in San Francisco.

I am interested in doing a MSc in either the US or the UK.

Top choices are:
- US: MIT, Vandy, UVA, Duke MiM, CMC, USC
- UK: Oxford, LSE, LBS MiM, UCL, Edinburgh, Manchester

I just had a few questions:
1. Based on my other info, what kind of GMAT would I need for my top choices ?
2. Any ideas how these choices would place for IB in SF?
3. Other good schools to apply to as either first choices or back-ups?


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Comments (16)

Jun 8, 2015 - 8:48am

Id drop MIT and not waste the time on an app unless you have some super math background you didn't disclose. CMC seems to be the logical choice if you want SF banking.

Jun 11, 2015 - 1:22pm

Id drop MIT and not waste the time on an app unless you have some super math background you didn't disclose.

Why do people keep propagating this stereotype? :(
Look at the most recent class stats:
You definitely do not have to be a math whiz to get into Sloan....

Now granted, being proficient in LinAlg, Calculus, Probability/Statistics, and Stochastics will make life much easier once you are IN THE PROGRAM, but the amount of math you need to know to get through the classes is not that much. You'll learn on the way.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P) Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
Jun 8, 2015 - 9:34am

The obvious answer to your GMAT question is "as high as possible". If you want to be very competitive, aim for at least 720. If your goal is SF then I wouldn't bother with any of the UK ones, and pick more local ones like USC and CMC and maybe one or two others as back up.

Jun 8, 2015 - 11:24am

As a former CMC MF grad, I'd echo the earlier statements of forgetting the UK programs and focusing on the US MSF programs - primarily the Cali ones as MSFs tend to place regionally. I really only have stats on CMC, but I'm sure USC did fairly well too.

  1. CMC tends to have an average GMAT 710 and higher. A couple had lower, but had really high GPAs and extracurriculars. I'd aim for 720+ to make your app strong.
  2. CMC places well into SF IB. I'd say about 50% of the MA IB prospects placed into SF.
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Jun 10, 2015 - 12:59pm

The MSF degree is by nature regional. It's as simple as if you want a job in the US, get a US MSF; if UK, get a UK/European MSF. Why would you go to a UK school where it will be very difficult to network with people in SF?

Jun 10, 2015 - 2:30pm

To add to what imaseo said, you should choose your program based on the general region in which you want to apply. Now, it's a little different if you're aiming for London IB and go to WHU in Germany or HEC Paris, but I'd echo what the other posters said and go with CMC if your goal is SF.

Most importantly though, imagine for a second that you decide on Oxford. Come fall semester 2016, you will probably be interviewing for SA (or FT) positions. If you get called to superdays in SF, you will have to take a 14 hour flight, deal with an 8 hour jetlag, and possibly deal with delays/ random shit that life throws at you, all while preparing for the interviews on the plane/ missing more classes than if you had interviewed for London positions/ etc.

This past fall I had a couple assessment centres in London with students who had flown from Canada and the States (they were British exchange students) - and you could tell they were a tad bit disheveled and tired; the last 12-15 hours of their lives had taken a bit of focus out of them. Now imagine doing that multiple times (unless you can schedule your superdays very efficiently).

Jun 11, 2015 - 2:54pm

Do all of the people who want IB from CMC get into IB? Will be applying next year regardless but just wondering. I would like NYC but I'll take whatever location I can get at this point if its IB at a respectable bank

most don't place in NYC. As long as your definition of "respectable" includes boutiques, you'll be fine.
Jun 11, 2015 - 2:21am

@ChimpOnMyShoulder, I am a US citizen.

@imaseo & @Caribou_Slobber, you both made very good points. I was just wondering if having such an international brand as LSE or LBS would carry weight for SF, but I hadn't really thought about the process of networking and having to make trips for super days.

Thanks again for all the help!

Jun 11, 2015 - 5:31pm

Agree with Chica. MIT can be as quant as you want it, but it is still in the corporate finance vein of msf programs. You probably should have slightly more math under your belt than other msf programs, but it isn't an MFE or anything like that.

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