Profile evaluation: Bocconi MSF / LBS MiM or MFA / LSE MSc Finance

Hi all,
I'm planning to apply to several Masters and currently have narrowed the list down 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 of the best Russian universities overall. Research university + math and statistics/econometrics loaded + main feeder to Russian financial sector.
- GPA 3.5/4
- 720 GMAT (Q49, V39)
- Close to one year of work experience in a VC fund as an investment analyst

However, regarding the list of the programs above: I screwed things up at my first attempt on GMAT and got only 680 (Q48, V35) and sent these results to HEC, SSE and Imperial. Potentially, I can resend the improved GMAT to them.

My main worry is that my GPA is quite low. But that's because I was somewhat careless my first year and I improved during the years.

So anyway, what do you guys think of my chances and what can you recommend regarding program choice?


One of the downsides of LBS/LSE compared to Bocconi is the fact that their degrees doesn't allow to pursue a PhD. And I'm still open minded about getting a PhD. But not that crucial.

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Comments (28)

Jan 18, 2018

Soltan.b, way too quiet in here. What about these resources:

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  • More suggestions...

If we're lucky, the following pros may have something to say: @ajsoares @Siddhant @goldenathena

I hope those threads give you a bit more insight.

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Jan 20, 2018

You're competitive at all the schools you listed. Some are more of a stretch than others but you'll get in somewhere for sure. I doubt retaking the gmat will add substantial value.

    • 1
Jan 20, 2018

I guess i was not very clear, I meant that I applied to Tier 2 schools with 680 GMAT and to Tier 1 with 720, so no plans on retaking :)
Anyway, thanks for a reply and for your other comments on WSO, they were very helpful.

Jan 20, 2018

With a 720 gmat at bocconi id be surprised if they didn't offer you a merit scholarship for the first year.

Jan 20, 2018

If that happens, I'm pretty much sure that I will go with Bocconi despite the fact that LBS provides better future career opportunities. Given the cost of living in London and price for LBS/LSE, seems kind of irrational to do otherwise.
Also, is it hard to keep the scholarship for the second year?

Jan 21, 2018

Given your background I think you'd be most suited to study at LSE or Bocconi as opposed to LBS / HEC. The former two are much more research focused, whereas the latter are more practical "hands-on" business schools if that makes sense. I've heard good stories about Bocconi and it's supposed to be rather heavy on the quant side, this'd set you up really well for a PhD should you want to go down that route.

Jan 21, 2018

Yeah, I agree with you that background is more suitable for schools with focus and academical approach, but yet LBS and HEC (well, LBS more so) is very tempting given their placement stats and overall brand recognition. Even here in Moscow LBS is somewhat Holy Grail of business schools (on par with Harvard/Stanford/Wharton).
Strangely enough, I thought that LSE will carry the same "weight" but I heard of people here in Moscow who were not able to secure positions even in Big 4 audit after LSE.
So basically, it narrows down to three criteria: cost (important, but not crucial), brand and placement for LBS, more academically solid curriculum at Bocconi. I'm leaning towards Bocconi, but yet LBS is very tempting :)

Jan 27, 2018

Got accepted by both Bocconi and LSE with scholarship, rejected by Imperial. You've heard of people in Moscow who were not able to secure positions even in Big 4 audit after LSE. Have you heard of people doing great after LBS and Bocconi?

Jan 27, 2018

I didn't mean to imply that LSE can't contribute to success, just to note that brand doesn't give 100% guaranty of the success.
LBS -- not sure about MiM/MFA, but there are some people with MBA/MiF who are doing OK. Plus, if you check the LinkedIn page of LBS, you'll see that Sberbank (largest bank in Russia) tends to hire people from LBS for their senior positions.
Bocconi -- personally, I don't know anyone in Russia. LinkedIn is not very helpful in this case either. However, LinkedIn analysis does confirm a position mentioned on WSO several times: people who are hired from Bocconi in London are almost always Italian.

Also, congrats on being accepted! Do you mind if I PM you with couple of questions?

Jan 27, 2018

Feel free to text me!

Jan 28, 2018

Most people from Bocconi in London are Italian because around 75% of the MSc class is Italian. I wouldn't read too much into that. You'll have plenty of opportunities to work in London (in IB/S&T/AM/etc.) as a Russian student at Bocconi.

Good luck in any case!

    • 1
Free Consultation

We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from mbaMission’s Senior Consultant team. Learn more.

Jan 21, 2018

Got rejected by Bocconi: American, 3.82 GPA BS in Electrical Engineering & BA in Chinese. 690 GMAT. Apparently, there were soooo many more qualified candidates. That's BS.
It was either a Trump hater or Bocconi is Anti-American. I think its both.

    • 2
Jan 21, 2018

If they are anti-Trump, then they might also be Anti-Russian lol. But seriously though given your higher GPA we have similar profiles and your rejection is also bad signal for me, I guess.

Jan 23, 2018

Got accepted at EDHEC right away and that's what makes this thing with Bocconi all the more suspect. Capricious process for sure.
Also got accepted to Frankfurt right away. They seem genuinely happy to have me an now I am leaning toward there.
Still waiting on LSE and LBS.
Good Luck to you, Soltan.b.

Jan 23, 2018

Thanks, and good luck to you too. Also, Frankfurt is a great option if you are ok with Germany.

Jan 24, 2018

Do you speak german mate?

Nicest haircut than Bateman

Best Response
Jan 24, 2018

Ja, meine Mutter ist Deutsche. My English is better than my German but considering that my mother has been yelling at me in German for 22 years, I think I'll do ok.

    • 3
Jan 29, 2018

Alright then

Nicest haircut than Bateman

Feb 2, 2018

Bocconi has a VERY strong placement in London/Europe. Apart from the standard routes IBD/S&T, I know some guys who went directly into HF/PE/AM and some who found jobs in the US.
Your profile is very very strong, I agree that you probably qualify for a scholarship.

LBS of course is a great school. The MiM has a phenomenal placement in finance, but I wouldn't stand studying management (personally). The MFA is new, so I can't help about it.

LSE same, very strong in the UK/Europe. HEC as well. SSE is strong in London but I think it is not as strong in Europe as the others (just my perception, might be wrong though!). Imperial very strong in London.

You will fall on your feet with every school listed. I would take Bocconi with a scholarship, LBS/LSE/HEC otherwise. If you want to do a PhD Bocconi will prepare you extremely well. You can also decide to take the last year at Yale in a PhD-exchange. I've seen people doing so and finishing their PhD at Yale/Harvard/Wharton.

Feb 2, 2018


I've seen people doing so and finishing their PhD at Yale/Harvard/Wharton

This part sounds very tempting, actually :)

Feb 27, 2018

Maybe this will be helpful for somebody:

I got rejected by Bocconi, so probably they changed their requirements. Don't know what exactly was the reason. To be honest, I was sure that I will be accepted and thought that the question is whether they will give a scholarship or not.

If anyone was accepted to Bocconi this year, it will be helpful if you share your profile.

Feb 28, 2018

Sorry to hear that mate.
My 2cents as Italian with few friends there: nowadays Bocconi's MSc Finance is more competitive than a lot of other MSF worldwide cos a lot of Italians graduated there go for one year MSc in UK/US and so on. Furthermore, the school has been ranked very well, and their network connections are growing faster compared to normal business schools.
2/3 of Bocconi graduates go in the UK.

Nicest haircut than Bateman

    • 1
Mar 1, 2018

Your GPA may be low for Oxbridge, perhaps LSE but not the others. Don't know much about the MSc Finance but having done my MSc at LSE, its a great uni with a solid brand name all over the world.

Watch out about the Tier of schools. Imperial belongs to Tier 1 (its a target for lots of banks and consulting firms in the UK), Bocconi and HEC are considered Tier 1.5 as they're strong in their country, pretty good in Europe and lesser known in Asia/USA. If you're considering others for Tier 2, I would add CBS in Copenhagen and perhaps ESADE or IE Madrid in Spain

Apr 4, 2018

Accepted at LSE - Global Masters in Management. Now I have some decisions to make. Still favoring Frankfurt because of the chance to get practical experience. The LSE acceptance is some vindication. Don't quite understand what's up with Bocconi.

Apr 4, 2018

Hey man,

I did the LSE GMiM and if you end up choosing that I would advise to pick carefully between the 3 tracks they offer (CEMS exchange, MBA exchange and LSE specialisation). For IB I would pick the LSE specialisation (which is where you stay at LSE for both years and the 2nd year you do about 7-8 finance modules) or (as 2nd choice) the MBA exchange as you can do finance modules in your term abroad and they've added pretty good schools like Yale, Booth, Duke, Northwestern and Cornell

Jul 30, 2018

Which offer did you end up taking? Did you apply to Goethe or Frankfurt school? Thanks

Sep 7, 2018
Sep 22, 2018