Profile Evaluation: LBS, LSE, HEC Paris, Bocconi

currywurst07's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 11

Hey all,

I'm planning on applying for the following programs this year. It would be great to receive some feedback about my admission chances.
1. London Business School (LBS): Masters in Financial Analysis (MFA)
2. London School of Economcis (LSE): Masters in Finance & Private Equity
3. HEC Paris: Masters in International Finance (MIF)
4. Bocconi University: Masters in Finance

My profile:
* Academics: Bachelors in Business Administration at a well-known continental European B-School, graduating with a First-Class Honours (top 15%)
* Work experience: Two off-cycle IBD internships at large European banks, and one internship at a boutique fund of hedge funds manager
* Extracurricular: Exchange semester in Singapore, participated in a university-wide honors program, freelance interpreter during university, member of a student-run investment fund, and 2 years of military experience
* International: Originally from Asia (not India/China), lived and worked abroad in 5 countries (inc. 12 years in Europe), speak 3 languages fluently

Unfortunately, due to the limited circumstances I currently have, I have only scored 650 (Q47, V32) on the GMAT.. I'm afraid that I don't have the time to take the test again, as I am aiming to apply during the earlier rounds. My top choices would be LBS and HEC, but I'm worried that my poor GMAT score would drag me down. Should I look into other programs as well or do I have a chance at the above-mentioned schools?

Many thanks in advance!

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Comments (7)

Dec 19, 2018

Can't speak for LBS but I know that LSE asks for the GMAT to prove numerical skills because the course is maths heavy. If you can prove you know your numbers through thorough description of your work experience (which I assume has a numerical component to it) you should be ok. I don't know weighting but if I were to guess I would say LSE values 40% grades, 40% work experience, 20% test scores. HEC and Bocconi are probably going to like your experience because if many people go to these courses straight after undergrad, there won't be many French/Italian kids with solid work experience. Again, guessing based on friends who went there and their CV I would say weighting is 40-40-20.

In summary, I would say your chances are:
LBS: decent
LSE: good
HEC: quite good
Bocconi: quite good

If you're still nervous/unsure pick another 1-2 schools that are seen well in the markets you want to work in (not sure if that is Asia, Europe or the US).

    • 1
Dec 20, 2018

Thanks for your input!
Interesting - didn't think that LSE would value work experience that much, as its finance-related M.Sc. programmes are rather theoretical when compared to the ones of LBS (MFA) or HEC (MIF).

Yep, targeting the European market (London). Given my non-EU citizenship, I thought it was only worth doing a Masters at tier 1 schools in Europe to even get a foothold in the city... but yeah I think I'd have to broaden my scope.

Dec 20, 2018

If your top choices are LSE and LBS, I'd definitely take the GMAT again and apply in a later round. LBS average GMAT for MFA is 716, which is quite far from 650, and I suspect LSE is at least as high if not higher.

Dec 20, 2018

Thanks! Yes, I am aware of that, but some schools tend to value the 'holistic' application package (e.g. work experience, international experience, etc.), while some primarily look at the GPA and GMAT. So, I was thinking maybe its worth applying to some of these schools because some will like other aspects of my profile and not put too much importance on the GMAT score.

Dec 20, 2018

I am in a similar situation as you. I genuinely think your profile looks great and that, looking at current class profiles, you would have a very solid shot at all the programmes you have mentioned if it wasn't for the weak GMAT score. My advice would be to re-take the exam and apply during the last round if possible.

LBS is probably the most unlikely seeing as the average is so high (716). LSE wouldn't be a problem if your undergraduate degree was quantitative, but seeing as you (like me) studied business administration, you would probably need a higher score. I can't really speak for Bocconi but you might still have a shot at HEC given your industry experience. If you definitely can't take the GMAT again, why not consider MSc Finance or Finance and Accounting at Imperial? That's a great programme too.

Hope that helps!

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Dec 20, 2018

Thank you for comment!

May I ask about your profile? Where are you planning on applying?

Regarding the GMAT - it was extremely difficult to find the time and resources to study for the test while being in the army.. So yeah I'm pretty sure that my score will be higher when I re-take it after finishing my service. It is just that I'll be done next year close to the deadlines of the last rounds ! So, I thought that it might be worth taking the risk of applying now with a lower score.

Imperial - yes I will look into its programmes as well, thanks. But supposedly, their programmes too have a median GMAT score of +700 haha.

Do you have friends/know anyone who got into LBS/HEC/LSE, etc?

Dec 20, 2018