Rejected from LSE - what next?

Today I was rejected from LSE. It has been my dream university for years and I don't like any of my backup plans: I have an offer to study BSc History and Political Economy at Kings College London and an offer to study Economics and French at Warwick. The third option would be to take a gap year, then reapply to LSE and various other universities.

I want to work in Investment Banking in a front office role, and I am concerned that going to Kings/Warwick (especially for a course that isn't straight Econ or maths) will severely inhibit my chances of breaking into the IBD. However I am apprehensive to throw away two University offers and risk not getting into LSE again next year, and wasting a year of my life doing it. Another idea would be to go to Kings (or Warwick, but I really dislike the idea of living in Coventry), and then doing a masters at LSE - however I am concerned with my BSc being in "History and Political Economy" there are limited options for masters degrees.

I would appreciate any input from those in the industry/with knowledge of the recruitment process

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Comments (29)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 15, 2021 - 10:31am

Have you thought about applying to target schools in continental Europe like Hec or Bocconi?

Apr 15, 2021 - 10:47am

Warwick will do you fine. If you can become fluent in it, then the French will actually be an asset - especially if you're a native Brit. For finance, there isn't a huge difference in placement between LSE and Warwick, although it does make consulting much harder if that matters to you. Don't go to KCL; it's a distant fourth place among London unis, as much as they like to play up their "rivalry" with UCL. 

Rejecting Warwick for a chance to reapply for LSE makes no sense recruiting wise. If you really hate the campus/location then reapply for LSE (or Oxford, Cambridge, UCL). How confident are you that you'd get it, though? 

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Apr 15, 2021 - 2:39pm

Thank you for your advice. I already speak French fluently by the way - which I hope will be a valuable asset.

I have just found out that the course at Warwick is a 4 year course - so I am thinking that in the same time, I could go to Kings then do a MSc in Management at LSE or Imperial. Does this change your standpoint or do you still think Warwick is a better option? Thank you

Apr 15, 2021 - 5:54pm

Four year course isn't particularly fun, although it gives you two shots at recruiting. Going to KCL is the worst possible outcome in your situation - and getting into LSE/Imperial is by no means guaranteed after it. Warwick will be more than competitive enough for UG recruiting. Go there, or have another shot at LSE/UCL/Oxbridge - but recognise that it's by no means guaranteed and recruiting wise, there's barely any difference between them and Warwick.

If you're a Brit who attended a private/grammar school, you may have a perception that Warwick isn't especially prestigious. Warwick is criminally underrated by secondary schools across the UK and by the lay person too. In finance, however, it's treated on pretty much the same level target wise as Oxbridge/LSE/Imperial/UCL. My advice, as someone whose alma mater is another one of those targets, would be to take Warwick. 

Apr 15, 2021 - 11:45am

Either take Warwick and get good at French or reapply to LSE/Oxbridge next year.

There's NO rush to go to university, especially whilst COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (AKA SARS-CoV-2) is circulating

Apr 15, 2021 - 2:37pm

My impression is that Warwick has a very rigorous Economics and Finance training + French is going to be a really good asset during recruitment. I did MSc Finance at LSE, and I had a few classmates from Warwick, they're all pretty much working at BBs/EBs now.

Apr 15, 2021 - 3:42pm

I would say MSc Finance will be a much better idea. Another good programme is MSc Financial Economics at Oxford or MFA at LBS. However, Warwick has a strong reputation in City and many get into top firms during undergrad. You won't be making a mistake by going to Warwick for bachelor's if IB is your ultimate goal.

Apr 15, 2021 - 3:20pm

If you haven't yet received your grades and believe you can achieve grades that could get you into LSE (or other top targets) then take a gap year - there's a lot of things that you can do in this year to make yourself more employable. You're still young.

Apr 15, 2021 - 6:16pm

I studied at LSE years ago and my twin sister and my older brother went to Warwick. I know that this year top schools like LSE & UCL are rejecting students that would have been a shoe in in previous years. It's awful. I loved LSE but it's a very different vibe - being in central London - and some people hate it. Warwick is a great school although I hear you about Coventry. It does however recruit very heavily into the City. I'm not sure why taking a year out would change things much. What are your predicted grades?

Apr 16, 2021 - 10:05am

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this you can attend uni and reapply at the same time - means you even get to apply to spring week again

It goes a bit like this - attend Warwick (personally would take it over KCL cos brand name matters a bit more than the actual degree) and whilst yorue there reapply to econ or stem at Oxbridge, LSE , Imperial (find a degree suits your profile), and UCL + any other European targets you fancy

Worst case reapplying fails then you can think about a masters (Same list above plus LBS) but in all honestly I have met people on internship from Warwick doing philosophy to be FO BB and converted

KCL is decent feeder too although it's less consistent than Warwick - both would give you a fair shot at FO BB

Apr 16, 2021 - 5:49pm

I think treat masters/ reapplying as last resort - if you reapply and get into oxbridge/LSE it's a no brainier to switch but the rest is debatable 

yeah all of those masters will work (went to one of them) but your goal isn't to upgrade your education it should be extracurriculars and work experiences that demonstrate a passion for the FO field that you're interested in. Worst case should just have some Professional experience even if at no name firm. If you do all this and still don't get any summer internships that's when you start thinking about masters

Apr 22, 2021 - 6:33am

True - obviously an option for if you can afford to do it

personally think the time time and stress of reapplying without a backup (potentially losing out on 2+ years of youth) is worse than the extra year of student loan I would've taken

but then again if financials don't allow them don't do this strategy

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