Profile Evaluation: MSF/MIM's 2021 (LSE/LBS/INSEAD/DUKE/UVA/VANDY)


If anyone here has experience applying to grad programs and could could chime in on whether or not they think I'd be a fit for these programs it would be appreciated. I am looking to break into an FO role in LDN or NYC- indifferent about location, will just target based on school. Applying this fall and graduate from ug in spring '21.

- Asian Male/22/US Citizen
- Undergraduate degree in philosophy from an elite american university (Cal, GU, NYU)
- GPA: 3.0 (upward trend, failed a lot my freshman year)
- GMAT: 720 (Q48/V40)

Work Experience (Altogether 9-12 months XP)
- Big 4 Transaction Advisory/Transaction Services (Valuation)
- F500 Corporate Finance Rotational
- Tech startup (mildly successful, got accepted to Y Combinator and raised 7 figs)

- Leadership in two campus orgs

Goals (in order of preference)
1. Investment Banking (Understand this is uphill coming from master's)
2. M&A Consulting (Deloitte S&O, EY-Parthenon, Strategy&, Kearney, LEK, Oliver Wyman, etc.)
3. Corporate Strategy

Programs I'm considering
Euro Programs:
1. LSE MiM
2. LBS MiM
4. ESADE MSc Finance
5. Bocconi MSc Finance
6. Imperial MiM
7. Warwick MSc Management

American Programs:
1. Vanderbilt MSF
2. Duke MMS
3. UVA MSc Commerce
4. University of Southern California MSF

Any & all advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Comments (13)

Most Helpful
Mar 18, 2020 - 3:39pm

Hi consulting intern. I previously worked at LBS leading admissions for Early Career Programmes, most recently as Admissions Director, and am currently a consultant with Accepted.

You sound like a well-rounded candidate. Your humanities background combined with your business experience will be seen as an interesting combination, and the ad com will be keen to know about this dual skill set/mindset you've been developing. Despite your professional experience, however, you will need to connect the dots for them as to how your philosophy degree links to the MiM, and how both degrees, combined with your experience, will help move you into a FO function. It's good to have a plan A, B, and C as you do, though I'd consider these stepping stones in the sense that they should all help you progress to your ultimate aim, so do explain that in your application.

The main area that will be flagged, as I'm sure you're aware, is your GPA. The upward trend is positive - this demonstrates you took the time to reflect and learned from any past missteps. But, when you say you failed a lot, what do you mean by 'a lot'? And was the poor performance in MiM-relevant coursework, coursework that you later excelled in? Your GMAT score is good for the schools you're considering, though I would say the verbal is slightly on the low side. There are other ways to demonstrate your language skills through the application, so that's an option to help balance that score.

Jamie Wright Admissions Consultant, Accepted l Contact me
  • Intern in Consulting
Mar 19, 2020 - 12:46am

Thank you so much for the reply! This advice is extremely insightful and will help me better prepare a more well-rounded application.

But, when you say you failed a lot, what do you mean by 'a lot'?

I actually fell ill during my freshman year and failed an entire semester due to missed classes. I did not withdraw from the semester in time and as a consequence, my university did not let me retroactively withdraw (I actually have an entire file documenting this ordeal, and think that this would greatly help adcoms in evaluating my background holistically).

And was the poor performance in MiM-relevant coursework, coursework that you later excelled in?

The courses I failed were STEM and unrelated to MiM course material (computer science). I excelled in school every year after that. My electives throughout the Philosophy major were related to some MiM coursework, however (finance, markets, investing, etc.); which I also excelled in.

Your GMAT score is good for the schools you're considering, though I would say the verbal is slightly on the low side.

I actually was scoring much higher on verbal on my diagnostics and am pretty confident I can achieve 42V- would you say that is worth retaking to help tip me over the edge?

+SB! I will PM you to get in personal contact when I am ready to apply later in the year. Could surely use your services.

Mar 19, 2020 - 12:27pm

Hi there. You can absolutely work to incorporate the information you've provided above into your application. They key will be to do it succinctly, and in a way that demonstrates responsibility and self-awareness.

Please do PM me when you're ready to chat and we can talk through how to do all of that. And thanks for the SB!

Jamie Wright Admissions Consultant, Accepted l Contact me
Mar 30, 2020 - 7:40am

Hi vashdun. It depends on the programme. Theory-focused, research-based masters may be less flexible when it comes to the academic requirements. Programmes focusing on practical application may more willing to use your GMAT and relevant experience to offset lower academic marks. Though it would depend on your academic performance. Are you hoping to compensate for one bad semester or is there something else about your academic history you're particularly concerned about? While GMAT gives some evidence as to raw skills, your undergraduate grades give the ad com an insight into your potential to succeed in the classroom. If you'd like to PM me with any personal questions/information, please feel free to do so.

Jamie Wright Admissions Consultant, Accepted l Contact me
Mar 19, 2020 - 12:43am

Hey man. Have had a word with various people across IBD and LBS, LSE, Oxbridge from UK. If IB is your main goal, I would suggest you should also consider, LBS MFA. It is better suited that LBS MiM for breaking into IB. Also, the general view around this forum, and with the people I've talked is, that Oxford MFE places the best into IB in UK (even though it's slightly research oriented). So do give these a shot. Best of luck. Pardon the formating, the WSO application doesn't work very well.

  • Intern in Consulting
Mar 19, 2020 - 12:47am

I too have gone through those same rounds.. the problem is that I lack the prerequisites for the MFA (my undergrad degree in humanities disqualifies me); otherwise I would totally apply.

Same case with the Oxford MFE & many other MSc Finance programs like LSE and Imperial. I unfortunately must find a suitable MiM.

Mar 19, 2020 - 5:57am


I would not consider Esade for IB as it does not place well in London from their MSc and you would not be able to apply to Madrid.

Any reason why you're not applying to HEC MSc Finance? It places very well in London and I believe you would get accepted with your background. - I'm currently there, PM if you need to know more.
The MIM at HEC would also allow you to do one gap year of two 6 months internships, typically people do Paris IBD (some banks don't require French) and then they go to London at the end of their masters.

  • Intern in Consulting
Mar 19, 2020 - 5:01pm

Hey! I heard as an American that can only speak English that I would have a hard time recruiting out of HEC; I'm assuming that must be wrong then? I'd love to consider their MSc Finance/MiM if I had a realistic shot.

Mar 20, 2020 - 4:59pm

That's not necessarily true. Most of the class, and almost all of the internationals end up in London. At least in the MIF.
As for the MIM, typically the first internships are in Paris, where French does help. But the French banks still take internationals with no to little notion of French every year.
I wouldn't underestimate the opportuninity that the MIM offers with the gap year, as you basically have time for 3 internships. It maximises your chances.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

September 2020 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (17) $704
  • Vice President (46) $325
  • Associates (258) $228
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (37) $203
  • 2nd Year Analyst (144) $154
  • Intern/Summer Associate (135) $141
  • 1st Year Analyst (568) $129
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (548) $82

Leaderboard See all

LonLonMilk's picture
Jamoldo's picture
Secyh62's picture
CompBanker's picture
redever's picture
Addinator's picture
Edifice's picture
frgna's picture
NuckFuts's picture
bolo up's picture
bolo up