Profile evaluation Masters in Europe

Dinar90's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 20

Hey there!

I wanted to ask more experienced colleagues to help me with the evaluation of my profile.

  • European, graduated less than a year ago from a non-target university (Finance major)
  • 6 months at Big4 as an Analyst
  • 9 months as an Analyst in the leading PE in my country
  • More than a year in an IT company in Analyst/Product Manager positions
    • 2 more FT internships in Finance (6 months total) - so yes I worked a lot during my studies :)
      EC: 6 months volunteering in NGOs, several finance challenges won, took part in organizing several student projects.
      Had 2 international exchanges
      CGPA 90%
      IELTS 8.0
      Native in Russian, Latvian, C1 level in German (but forgot the language already :)).

However, very low GMAT: 620...

I would really want to start MSc in Management/MSF programme in Fall 2019 but I know that for many schools my GMAT is too low and as first/second rounds in many top schools already finished I won't have enough time to improve my score + submit a decent application.

My goal is to land a well-paid and intellectually challenging job within Consulting/Finance/Corporate Development (so probably London/German-speaking countries but not committed to any specific city though).

Schools I'm considering:

- LBS/LSE/HEC/Oxbridge - I think there is no chance of getting admitted to me at least this year.

- ESADE (MSc Finance/management programmes) - my GMAT is too low but I can possibly improve my score until the end of April. However, sometimes they accept with lower scores (avg. is 660-670).
- St. Gallen (SIM/MBF programme) - there is a programme where no GMAT is required (Accounting & Finance and also Business management taught in German)
- Warwick (MSF/Management) - they don't require a GMAT.

RSM (Finance & Investments, Strategic Management) - I think I just need to submit my application.

So the questions:

1) What is your evaluation of my profile? Do I stand a decent chance with a current profile at any of these schools for Fall 2019 (except RSM)?
2) Which schools of the competitive ones would you recommend to concentrate on to maximize my chances?
3) Should I wait until the next year trying to improve my GMAT score and try to get into top ones (LBS/LSE etc.)?
4) If I'm not admitted to any of the schools, should I go with any programme at RSM? What would be my chances in the Netherlands/Europe?
5) Any ideas and comments are welcome. :)

Sorry for a long and complicated post (as complicated as my thoughts ATM) and I am extremely thankful for your time and answers! :)

Comments (18)

Jan 3, 2019

I'd Say that with a higher GMAT you have good chances of being admitted at your Dream schools. I know for sure that LBS value work experience more than anything ( I'm referring to the MFA program and not MIM) and having 2+ internships and 2:1+ will give you an edge compared to the pool of applicants, considering your PE experience.

What were your results for Q and V for your GMAT? I do know that some schools offer you a conditional offer, which means that if you have <650 GMAT they give you a deadline and if you manage to get >650 (it's a random number) by that date you still got the offer, otherwise they'll rescind it.

Take into consideration that most of the European schools have 2 years max work experience policy, but at the same time, I am pretty sure that if you just avoid listing all your experiences and makes sure that the total months of working experience are <24 you should be fine, and plus you can decide which one to pick and leverage it.

Even if round 2 is almost over for many schools, round 3 and 4 are still viable, and I know it for sure as many friends of mine got into HEC/LBS/LSE with the last round. Given that there is usually more than 1 month between two rounds, so you should be able to retake the GMAT for Round 3.

    • 1
Jan 4, 2019

Thank you a lot @404 offer not found !

GMAT: 45Q 30V.

I took my GMAT in December 2017 and didn't study for the test afterwards. I took a mock test recently and got a dissapointing 590. I think that I need at least 2 months to improve my score to 650. then it will be early March already and I'm afraid that it could be too late for Round 3. I know that the competition gets very intense in the last rounds thus I'm concerned with my chances. But maybe it is just me trying to avoid additional effort.

Jan 4, 2019

2 months for the GMAT seems a little too much, even taking into consideration that for a non-native speaker like you, which I presume given that you stated that you are native in Russian and Latvian and looking at your "poor" verbal score.

That said, for the quantitative part I think that it will take you 4/5 days at maximum to boost that 45 to 48+. You have to practice lots of questions with the goal to understand the reasoning behind the errors, and also remember that most of the answers will be based on trial & error, unless you have a depth knowledge of algebra, trigonometry... and it will be faster for you to calculate the exact result (I'm referring to DS questions). Regarding the Verbal part, unless you get less than 40% on the sentence correction, you should be fine with 1-2 weeks of practice.

Given that the schools look at both the Q and V scores, your aim is to have a decent Q, but most of your efforts should be put into improving the Verbal. Increasing your V from 30 to 40, boost your overall score to 690

    • 1
Jan 4, 2019

The Msc you consider as Competitive should reasonably within reach. I know people studying there whith much less (both in terms of quantity and quality) job experience and similar GMAT score.
Even Dream ones can be accessible.

Of course, focusing on GMAT would be a key, also beacuse it is the only one "improvable" element.

Apparently, the only one limiting thing could be represented by being graduated from an unknown countryside Latvian uni...

    • 1
Jan 4, 2019

Thanks! Yep, I understand the point about the no-name school completely. I hope my working/international experience and EC will compensate that.

What is your opinion about the safe/competitive schools I listed? Maybe you know what area should I enhance in my application considering the mentioned schools?

Jan 7, 2019

ESADE is good and gives great opportunities for international jobs, Warwick is good if you hope to work in UK (if you want to work in UK, studying there is fundamental and Warwick is a very good place for finance). I do not know very well S. Gallen.

Consider also ESSEC and Bocconi MiF (2 years though), which do not entail high expenses as living in London and are well recognized in Europe, and Cass BS.

    • 1
Jan 4, 2019


First, you have a great profile overall. It's a pity for the GMAT, you'd have been a great candidature at any school. Imo, you still have decent chances at great schools who don't only focus on this (imho) stupid GMAT cash cow!

  • If you have the money to pay UK tuition fees + the cost of living in London, I would strongly encourage you to consider Imperial: they have great programs (eg. MIM, Economics and Strategy for Business) that don't require the GMAT and that place very well. Plus you still have the Imperial brand, even though management and finance are not the primary disciplines they are recognised for.
  • Regarding RSM, I wouldn't be overconfident regarding the MSc Finance & Investments: they require the GMAT, and I think they don't accept GMATs below 700 (or 680 maybe?; anyway, there is a threshold). You may consider the other programs however as the school is great and some of them should be easier to get in.
  • Warwick seems a good option to me as well.
  • I wouldn't consider HSG for programmes other than SIM and MBF, and I think you won't get in with this GMAT.
  • ESADE is a good option, for on of their MIMs (the MIF will be more GMAT focused) - though it's doesn't compete with imperial considering equivalent tuition fees, but that's my opinion.
  • Consider lower tiered schools that have the CEMS. For instance, UCD Michael Smurfit is a great school and doing the CEMS there is a good option imo (small classes, CEMS experience, CEMS exchange - which could be at HEC, LSE, Bocconi, RSM, and so on).
  • You may also consider the Bocconi MiM. Your chances might be reduced for international management, but they have a "management" curriculum which is pretty similar, just a bit less prestigious.

In your shoes, I would mostly focus on the schools/programs that don't require the GMAT.
If you want want to take it again and apply next year with a good scores, I believe you could get into any European MIM of MIF. The only issue is that you might be seen as too experienced to undertake that kind of degree, so be very careful and check the maximum work experience requirements of several top MIMs or MIFs before choosing this option.


    • 1
Jan 4, 2019

Hey there thanks for your comment and support :)

I think I will give my best shot applying to Imperial, Warwick, ESADE and other second tier schools. I think I will also contact admission offices at LSE/LBS/HEC asking if they would provide a conditional offer.

Regarding RSM Finance & Investments (simple, not the Advanced one), I am pretty sure it is 600 GMAT requirement and when you meet the minimum you are settled.

As I understood, you are studying Management masters in Bocconi is that true? Can you share your view aboht this school?

Jan 7, 2019

I have a couple of questions:

1) Is there a maximum work experience to be admitted in one of these finance programs?
2) ESADE vs SSE vs RSM, which would be the best? In terms of value for money, placement and curriculum.

Thanks in advance!

Jan 8, 2019

Hey, @Starfall I saw you commenting quite a lot on MSc related topics. Therefore, your opinion would be very much appreciated. Could you provide a quick evaluation of my chances at top schools?

  • Mainly, up to what score should I improve my GMAT to be able to compete in the late rounds ar my dream schools (LBS/LSE) - if according to you it is not too late ofc. With which programmes do I have the biggest chance?
  • Do you think the profile is good enough for Imperial/Warwick and some non-UK targets such as Bocconi (Management programme, Finance is too far).
  • Do you think it still makes sense to try 3rd round?

Thanks A LOT in advance!

Jan 10, 2019

Hey man, if its any consolation, I applied to HEC Paris for round 2 with a GRE score of just over +310, which converts to a GMAT score of <600. Took it twice, spent over $2200 on test prep and private tutors, studied for over +6 months, +300 hours and still screwed it up.

After my test results, I sent through my CV to one of the admissions consultants and she arranged a Skype session with me after she had a look at my CV. I told her about my concerns with my GRE score and she told me to not re-take the GRE and to instead focus on other aspects of my application. She said my CV was good and that the school looks at the application process holistically.

I think you should still apply to your dream schools, I read about someone who got into the LBS MiM with a 620 GMAT(she wrote a blog post about it) and some people at HEC seem to get in with a 650 GMAT, which is not far off from what you have.

Simply put if you don't apply you will never get it, if you apply at least you stand a chance. If it doesn't work out then there is always next year :)

Best of luck

    • 1
Jan 10, 2019

Thanks a lot for encouraging comment! Will definitely try my best with the applications. Best luck to you too!

Jan 16, 2019