Profile Evaluation - MSc Finance

Hi all,

I know that you probably got tired of all the posts around here that are similar to mine, but I am quite worried that the results that I obtained today on GMAT are not enough for the schools that I want to apply to in the following weeks, particularly those from the UK. I only hope that, having a complete presentation of my profile, you could give me your objective thoughts, including areas that I should work on, what should I emphasize most in my essays, and whether I should retake the GMAT.

Background. 22-year-old male from Eastern Europe, graduated in June 2021, currently in a gap year. I aim for a career in London, so I prioritize UK schools.

Target Schools.

  • UK: LSE MSc Finance, Oxford MFE, LBS MFA, Imperial MSc Finance, UCL MSc Finance.
  • EU: HEC, Bocconi, RSM (all MSc Finance).

GMAT.

  • 710 (91st) = 49Q (74th) + 38V (84th).
  • 6.0 in AWA (88th), and I really don't know what happened in IR but I scored an embarrassing 5 (48th).
  • I hope to God that my target schools don't care that much about IR. I am worried that 49Q is mediocre or not enough for my target schools.

Work Experience.

  • Internship as a Consulting Analyst in Management Consulting (think of Oliver Wyman, Roland Berger…not MBB) for two months, two years ago.
  • Will do an internship as a Financial Analyst in Tech (think of Amazon, Microsoft) for four months in 2022 but the role seems more like Management Accounting.

Education.

  • Bachelor's in International Business Administration from a top school in the Netherlands. First Class (GPA on a scale of 1-10 but mine translates to 4.0 International GPA) with good-excellent results in quantitative courses. Teaching Assistant for two second-year courses. Societies: management position in an Entrepreneurship club and member of a Finance club.
  • Summer School at a top EU school, course in Finance (VC & PE, specifically), obtained the maximum possible result.
  • Exchange Semester at a top US public school, concentration in Finance and Consulting, obtained a 4.0 GPA.

Others.

  • English, French (other than my native language).
  • R, C++, Python - I programmed a profitable trading bot in Python (not like anything you'd find on GitHub).
  • Good results in sports competitions, several concerts as a guitarist, although evidence for both hobbies is older than 2018.

Thanks guys, I appreciate any input.

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Comments (12)

Nov 24, 2021 - 12:37pm

Hey! You have a good profile (except the AWA). However, out of those you mentioned I would rank UCL and Imperial lower (a weaker reputation than the others in Finance). If you want to find a job in the UK and especially London, then I would really target LSE or LBS and Oxford to a lesser extent (even though it is a great program, just lower than the other two).

LBS has an incredible career service team, probably the best out of all the schools mentioned. LSE is good but way more academic than LBS (with Oxford). 

HEC is also a good option but you rather speak really good French because English jobs are rather rare in France and the level of English is not at the one of the Netherlands. And obviously, it would be less recognised by recruiters than the ones above (for London).

Finally, RSM is always a good option because of its price and it's very good ROI (if you are european). But I would place it behind the ones I just mentioned (for IB roles).

Hope it helps.

Nov 24, 2021 - 12:43pm

Hey, thanks for the feedback! Listed in order of preference: LSE, LBS, Oxford, HEC, Imperial, UCL, Bocconi, RSM. My goal is to end up in the UK in IB, so I'll definitely prioritize schools in the UK. I keep my head up for LBS, but with that GMAT score I am a bit worried for LSE, and for Oxford, I don't think I even stand a chance. Nevertheless, I'll do my best in writing the applications and I'll refer back to this post in February/March 2022 :)

Nov 26, 2021 - 3:50pm

Kudos to boib_1 on a very thorough rundown. The only point of contention is on recruitment from HEC. Relative to other schools, I'd argue that HEC has a near unrivalled alumni network with the critical clarification that this network is more than willing to help those looking to emulate their career path. Students have placed well into London historically, which only further perpetuates the strong placement in a positive feedback loop.

The above is based on my experience talking to HEC students, admissions team, and grads during my decision-making process of which school to apply to and ultimately accept. I did not choose HEC, so this endorsement is purely motivated by me trying to inform.

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Nov 27, 2021 - 8:03am

That's a great insight, thank you! I hope that I will have the chance to choose among more options, but I believe that HEC is indeed the best non-UK school in this area.

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Nov 27, 2021 - 9:19pm

Oxford is in no way lower than LSE and LBS, quite the opposite (obviously). Much harder to get into, smaller class size, and world renowned brand. The last part is key if you ever want to work outside of the UK (back home for example). For London, If you can go there go, but they are hyper focused on the GMAT and 710 is simply too low, average is around 740-750.

HEC places just fine abroad too, even for internationals. In terms of placement there will be no distinction between LBS, LSE, HEC.

The only places where you will actually learn something are Oxford and LSE, which can be a drawback to some.

Nov 28, 2021 - 5:18am

Thank you! I'll try my best given my 710 in GMAT - I know that this is a shortcoming for Oxford (average 740), but I am slightly below (?) LSE's average and slightly above or well above the average of all the other schools. So in this situation, I believe that the essays, recommendation letters, and CV will be more carefully assessed to decide whether they give me a spot.

Nov 27, 2021 - 8:00am

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