Need help: Msc in Finance at HEC Paris or Bocconi

elfie's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 41

Hi all,

I am facing a decision to pick a master's in finance program and would really appreciate your experience and insights. In short about me, I am Croatian with a non-target bachelor's degree in Economics with high GPA, 9 months M&A internship in UniCredit CEE team in Vienna and student exchange at NUS in Singapore. My ambition with the Master program is to first land a summer 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 Msc in Finance which I both see as very good and well-regarded programs and the choice is not clear-cut.

Below are some pros and cons of the programs from my current point of view based on inputs I received so far:

HEC Paris MiF
+ international reputation and top rankings
+ exclusivity (class size of 50-100)
+ top-notch student cohort ("like Harvard MBA adjusted for age")
+ supposedly very good placement in London (50% of class) with focus on IBD
- costs (around EUR 35k altogether)
- short 10-month program (more risky - one shot for summer internship, less time to prepare etc.)

Bocconi MSF
+ arguably best London IBD placement of all continental Europe schools
+ large alumni network in London (representation in all big banks, and in large numbers)
+ 2-year program is less risky
+ affordable (full scholarships available, total costs around EUR 10k)
+/- less international, but very good reputation in Europe
- massive and very competitive (class size of 250)

What do you guys think? I would really appreciate your comments and if possible, challenging my current view.

Thanks a lot!

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Comments (6)

Jun 29, 2016

Reg. the 10-months duration of the HEC program: Courses are September - June, most students actually then do a SA, write their master thesis afterwards and join either the following january (early start) or summer on a FT basis (making it effectively a 2-year program). Placement IMHO is definitely better from HEC than from Bocconi

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Jul 2, 2016
ILikeDistressedStuff:

Reg. the 10-months duration of the HEC program: Courses are September - June, most students actually then do a SA, write their master thesis afterwards and join either the following january (early start) or summer on a FT basis (making it effectively a 2-year program). Placement IMHO is definitely better from HEC than from Bocconi

This

Jun 29, 2016

I am finishing up my MSc. Finance at Bocconi, so here's what I can tell you about the program based on what you have written.

  1. "Best London IBD placement" - not sure if that's 100% true, but the majority of people I know in the program have gotten at least a banking internship since the first year. You may not get an SA internship after the first year, you may have to complete a longer off-cycle internship, but most likely you will get at least an internship.
  2. Correct about alumni network, however my experience has been that the network caters to Italians a lot more, which is understandable. This is not to say that if you're German or whatever, that the alumni network can't help you at all, but it is geared much more towards helping the Italian-majority student body.
  3. less risky - sure, I guess.
  4. Affordable - I'm not sure if you're counting scholarships or whatever in the "total cost of 10k", but for my MSc. Finance it costs 12K per year, so 24K euros in total. Room/ board averages around 600-750 per month for your own room (with housemates, not roommates), and most other costs are pretty normal for an average metropolitan city in Europe. Night clubs and the like are pretty expensive.
  5. Definitely, it's not as international as other schools I'd say... probably about 70%/30%. Other thing is what I like to call the "Milanese factor"... a lot of the students are not only Italian, but from Milan or surrounding areas, and are cold/ not very easy to befriend. They normally like to stick together with their childhood friend groups, and many of them go to their respective home towns on weekends. That being said, there will be some very chill international kids, and some pretty awesome warm-blooded Italians from outside of Milan. Lots of erasmus kids you can get to know as well.
  6. Extremely competitive. The MSc FInance students have a reputation for being overly competitive... some to the point of crying over grades (yes, this is in fact true). Majority of professors are not helpful, some will even demean/ make fun of you for asking questions they think are too "elementary". Some of the core classes in the first year require a lot of hard work and studying, to the point where the majority of students (including me) have to take at least 2.5-3 years to finish the degree due to the workload. Be prepared to compete with students who literally have 0 lives from September to January and Feb-June, who sit in the library almost every day studying, and who will have all course material memorized by the time of the exam. That being said, along the way you learn a lot about yourself, how to prioritize, and how to live a balanced life (hopefully).
Jul 2, 2016

both are pretty good. I think everyone who studied in italy and is working in IBD in LDN is from Bocconi. Crazy
But the HEC programme is obviously also very good. I think it really comes down to your preferrences (1y vs 2 yr etc) as stated before 1yr programmes normally will let you do an internship at the end, where you can get a FT offer as well at the end.
but congratz both programs are very good and have a stellar placement for outside the UK.

Make Donald Drumpf again

Jul 2, 2016

HEC of course u chimp !

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Dec 25, 2016
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