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Comments (51)

Apr 5, 2021 - 5:50am

By virtue of its proximity and reputation - LSE has deep connections into the city and has an exceptionally high placement rate into IB that eclipses either Oxford or Cambridge. That being said - no firm would be closed off to you for choosing Oxbridge. Oxbridge does rank higher than LSE and if you're a fan of the tutorial system could educationally be a better fit. Basically - these are both great options: don't overthink it. You will have every opportunity attending either.

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Apr 5, 2021 - 7:10am

Ceteris paribus in terms of course, choose Oxbridge. This forum significantly overestimates LSE's placing power; yes, it has the most alumni in London, but the actual placement rates (compared to people gunning for it) are lower than Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial. At the end of the day, only just over 10% of students end up in FO finance (and a further 10% in "finance and accounting" jobs more generally). LSE is expensive, lacks a proper student community, lacks a "real" campus and generally has pretty miserable students. The Oxbridge college experience is worth something, although I would add a small caveat and say that it is much easier to end up "accidentally" jobless from Oxbridge than the London targets as the career side of things is pushed in your face a bit less by the universities; however, given that you're asking the question at this stage, assuming you stay on top of things like spring weeks etc. then I don't see that being a problem for you. 

Backdoor connections don't really exist in the same way that they do in the US. You might get PE/HF placements out of some OCR that aren't advertised publicly, but you'll need to be really, really good to even be in contention. For the banks, everybody applies through the same mechanism online and the targets are treated pretty equally (minimal difference between Warwick and Oxford, the perceived difficulty of the actual subject is more important). If your CV is decent, you'll get interviews from both Oxbridge and LSE - although neither are guarantees of the job itself. 

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 5, 2021 - 7:24am

Question for both if you would

Exams are cancelled here, and not entirely sure if Oxbridge offer can be met. If resat though, confident it will be met. 

So ultimately Q is - is it worth taking a year out for Oxbridge or go LSE?

Apr 5, 2021 - 11:11am

In your year out, would it mean that you would lose your place at LSE? If not, I personally would take the year out to take the chance at Oxbridge - it will truly be a worthwhile place if you can make the grades. Good luck!

Apr 5, 2021 - 5:52pm

MCSquared

In your year out, would it mean that you would lose your place at LSE? If not, I personally would take the year out to take the chance at Oxbridge - it will truly be a worthwhile place if you can make the grades. Good luck!

Thanks a lot

Apr 5, 2021 - 2:50pm

Given that you'd have to reapply for both in a very competitive year, would say a strong no to this. There are currently people being rejected without interview at Oxbridge/Imperial with 43+/45 predicted on the IB. LSE obviously doesn't interview, but unless you are uber confident in your own abilities and have stellar (not A*A*A, but A*A*A*A*) grades to justify that you think you'd be admitted again by default, I wouldn't do it. 

Despite my earlier recommendation, which was mostly based on student experience rather than recruiting, Oxbridge only confers a very marginal advantage over LSE for graduate recruitment in finance. It's maybe a little more advantageous in consulting (and a lot stronger in say law), but not enough to justify taking a year out. If you fail to meet the offer, be happy that you'll be at one of the leading econ institutes in the world. You can always do an Oxbridge MSc/MPhil later if you want the name. 

*Slight caveat that this is for "good subjects" at LSE. If you're planning on doing one of their joke degrees with AAB entry requirements, then reapply for Oxbridge instead. Getting into finance with a soft degree from Oxbridge is still just about possible, getting in from other targets for non-finance/econ/management/philosophy/STEM degrees is pretty difficult. 

Apr 5, 2021 - 8:38am

anecdotal but i've met more people in MO, BO and Accounting jobs from Oxbridge than I have from LSE

either way it will really depend on your internships.

if I were in your shoes id chose oxbridge, just for the fact the finance industry is in secular decline and Oxbridge will hold more weight for tech and other corporates IMO.

Apr 5, 2021 - 5:50pm

TommyGunn

anecdotal but i've met more people in MO, BO and Accounting jobs from Oxbridge than I have from LSE

either way it will really depend on your internships.

if I were in your shoes id chose oxbridge, just for the fact the finance industry is in secular decline and Oxbridge will hold more weight for tech and other corporates IMO.

Interesting and I'd agree - seen loads more at EY/PwC etc

Good point, and very inclined to taking a year out - but again, no guarantee I'll get offers 

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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Apr 5, 2021 - 5:39pm

And with reason - if your decision making ability is so poor that you pick LSE over Oxbridge its hard to argue with autoding

Apr 6, 2021 - 7:50am

Multiple people at Oxbridge (and all four other targets) end up with no spring week offers... there's still effort required and the recruiting power of the top UK targets isn't as strong as say Harvard or Stanford in the US because of the lack of proper OCR. And it's not entirely unusual to choose LSE over it at UG for some subjects - I know two people who did for Econ and it's worked well for them. Same with Warwick Maths, Imperial Engineering, Edinburgh CompSci, etc. 

Per my advice above, I'd take Oxbridge over LSE ceteris paribus. But it's not a completely outlandish decision, and if it were say LSE Economics versus Cambridge Land Economy, I'd probably take the former. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Apr 8, 2021 - 6:43am

idk. lots of people from LSE Econ bomb out even with strong grades/exp. Camb for even Land Econ is something else. Look at incoming ctv

Apr 9, 2021 - 1:56pm

Spot on - I feel like this isn't really understood by people in the US. People at Cambridge/Oxford who apply to 20+ spring weeks regularly get 0 offers (some don't even get a single interview)

Apr 6, 2021 - 8:24am

Nowadays connections won't really help you for getting a job in the city.

Either of them are great places to go to and will get you looks from all firms across the city. The rest is up to personal preference / what kind of academic or career driven environment you want to be in.

Array

Apr 6, 2021 - 11:11am

There are definitely more LSE grads in London IB positions than Ox grads.
However, having said that, a solid chunk of the LSE analysts are master graduates with 3+ internships in their pockets. Comparing the undergrad population would result in a much more even split. 

I would definitely pick Oxford or Cambridge over LSE, let alone for the experience.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 6, 2021 - 2:33pm

I'm only an undergrad and currently at one of Oxbridge/LSE so a bit biased so definitely take this with a pinch of salt but if the offers are for two similar courses I would argue that the difference in terms of finance recruiting is so minimal that it probably shouldn't be a major factor in the decision. Oxbridge and LSE are very very different in terms of the student experience you get so that might be something to consider too

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 6, 2021 - 4:00pm

Choose Oxbridge. It is more favoured for MBB consulting or Big Law in case you become interested in that. However, LSE is probably as good as Oxbridge when it comes to finance so if you're dead set on finance, then I'd go with LSE because it is easier to do well in your degree there.

Apr 7, 2021 - 5:02am

Somewhat. I gave an earlier example of LSE Economics versus Cambridge Land Economy, I'd probably take the former and I reckon a significant portion of cross-admits (but probably still a minority?) would do likewise. Course does significantly matter for recruiting, but I believe there's more of a "minimum" level of subject required and above that the difference is marginal. To pick two courses that are not directly relevant to finance but would both get strong looks from recruiters, would an Imperial Aeronautical Engineering student (one of the hardest UG courses in the world) be preferred to a general Cambridge Engineering student that probably has a weaker academic pedigree but has the Cambridge name? Probably not - they'd both get lumped into "engineering from a target," with the Cambridge student if anything having a slight leg up on the Imperial student for general prestige of the name. Imperial's specialised engineering courses would generally be considered more rigorous by academics and industry than Cam's general course, but they'll lose more cross-admits to Cam than they'll win - and, I would expect, lose out to Cambridge engineers in finance recruiting, ceteris paribus. LSE is in a very similar position to Imperial, albeit social science specialised rather than STEM specialised. 

But Oxford and Cambridge are the only universities really where FO finance recruiting from soft subjects is still feasible - without significant EC achievements or a serious amount of hustling. Not saying UCL Geography is impossible (it's not, especially if quant/econ heavy), but it's a lot harder than recruiting from Cam Geography. LSE Social Policy, on the other hand, would be near-impossible, whereas Oxford Classics is still just about feasible. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 8, 2021 - 6:46am
:

But Oxford and Cambridge are the only universities really where FO finance recruiting from soft subjects is still feasible

I know a girl with a B.A. in English from King's College who got into a very good MM in London. She may have an advantage being a girl, but still got a FO role with that degree.

Apr 8, 2021 - 4:45am

No person in their sane mind should choose LSE over Oxbridge. Do you want an A or an A+? Whatever connection LSE can offer, Oxbridge have it better.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

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