Top Business Schools in Europe without GMAT

Hi everybody. I'm italian, I'm 24 (took 2 gap years after high school) and I graduated last July from a non target university with honours in my country (Bachelor in Business Economics).
I'm now taking a gap year and I just accepted a job offer from Unicredit bank where I will start working on February 18th.
My goal is to enrol in a MSc (probably Management) next September, but I only have the IELTS test (no GMAT).
Then, I'd like to work in consulting, ideally in the US (my gf is american).
I'm considering applying for Warwick, Copenaghen, Manchester and UCD Smurfit (Dublin).
Which one of these business schools has the best reputation in the consulting field and is well known in Europe as well as in the US? Are there any other excellent universities where I could be accepted without GMAT?

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Comments (27)

Jan 24, 2019

Hi! I can't help you rank these schools in terms of brand awareness in the US, but you should definitely add other schools on your list. Imperial would be a top school to include for example.
Among your list, I would personally argue in favour of Copenhagen and UCD because of the CEMS, especially as Cornell has recently joined the network. If you can do the CEMS and secure your exchange spot at Cornell, that'd be the perfect entry for you in the US imo. But it's going to be a very competitive exchange spot.

Or you can try to take the GMAT. You still have time before the last rounds to do that.
Btw, does Bocconi require the GMAT for students holding an Italian Bachelor?

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Jan 25, 2019

Oh i didn't know about Cornell, that's an interesting idea!
Copenaghen is very good but it's a 2 years master and I am already 24 (almost 25) so I have to take it into account.
The same is for Bocconi but compared to Rotterdam or LSE, it doesn't only require the GMAT, in fact I could take the Bocconi test in March.
I could try, but I'd like to take a one year master programme because of my age.

Alessandro

Jan 25, 2019

If you're really leaning towards a 1y degree, then the CEMS at UCD or MiM at great UK schools (which will require the GMAT) seem to be the most appropriate choices to me. But the combination of 1y - No GMAT - Well-known school is a criteria that will drastically lower the number of possibilities you have. Overall, if you aim at going to the US through an European school, the brand awareness of these schools there should be among the top factors to consider. And it's certainly worth it to study two more years in case you can't get into a 1y program that's recognised there.

And why not checking programs in the US btw? Even though Americans don't value mims as we do, this can still help you open doors there. With a GMAT you could consider the Duke programs for instance.

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Jan 25, 2019

You're absolutely right, everything would be easier with a GMAT but deadlines are coming and I don't know if I'll have time to get it with a high score on time. Anyway, I'll try.
I didn't consider US schools because they're so expensive, maybe I can have a decent education in Europe, then working a year somewhere in the EU and finally going to the US.

Alessandro

Jan 25, 2019

Yes I totally understand for the fees, I wouldn't spend that much either. But regarding the deadlines, honestly you have time. Apply to the schools that don't require the GMAT, take it and then apply to the others as soon as you have your score. All you can lose is this ridiculous GMAT cash cow fee. The GMAT may just be an administrative formality for some schools and you can get in some programs without a top score (I mean I believe it's used as a - imo stupid - selective tool only for the most demanded programs); these programs just won't be their flagship programs. And overall, the school's brand name is more important than the program itself (especially if you're applying elsewhere).

Example: you're at a top school and got into the program called "strategic management", but got rejected from their flagship "management" program because you applied late and had not enough to prepare the GMAT properly. Content is quite similar, the main difference is the GMAT average between the two programs. Do you really think foreign employers give a shit about which program you are enrolled in? I personally don't (that's just my opinion). They'll just have heard it's a great school. Point.
So my point here is that you can target great schools without having a top GMAT, you'll just need to have it.

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Jan 25, 2019
Alessandro__21:

Oh i didn't know about Cornell, that's an interesting idea!
Copenaghen is very good but it's a 2 years master and I am already 24 (almost 25) so I have to take it into account.
The same is for Bocconi but compared to Rotterdam or LSE, it doesn't only require the GMAT, in fact I could take the Bocconi test in March.
I could try, but I'd like to take a one year master programme because of my age.

It s extremely difficult to get into IM in Bocconi without the GMAT.. Their test is cash cow to fill up minor courses such as marketing/ management(ita) etc
However management (not international, the normal one in eng) and AFC(eng) > wbs imho (especially considering ur nationality)

Jan 25, 2019
Alessandro__21:

Hi everybody. I'm italian, I'm 24 (took 2 gap years after high school) and I graduated last July from a non target university with honours in my country (Bachelor in Business Economics).
I'm now taking a gap year and I just accepted a job offer from Unicredit bank where I will start working on February 18th.
My goal is to enrol in a MSc (probably Management) next September, but I only have the IELTS test (no GMAT).
Then, I'd like to work in consulting, ideally in the US (my gf is american).
I'm considering applying for Warwick, Copenaghen, Manchester and UCD Smurfit (Dublin).
Which one of these business schools has the best reputation in the consulting field and is well known in Europe as well as in the US? Are there any other excellent universities where I could be accepted without GMAT?

Ciao Alessandro! It depends a lot on your GPA/Work experience. Can you pls give us a bit more details (school, average weighted etc.)? Btw bear in mind that the best schools all require gmat (If I were you, I d take it)
(And the universities you listed are not excellent.. warwick and copenhagen are prolly the best in the list, but cbs hasn't a strong reputation in LDN, imagine in the us).
Warwick is a target uni for Bsc not for their msc (except the economics one), consider that LBS/LSE/Imperial/oxbridge and maybe cass (just for the location) are better.

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Jan 25, 2019

Warwick MSc still places quite well depending on previous work experience. For people that have been applying to IB/S&T/ER previously should have no problem getting in. I know someone that had 4 BB offers for SA ER and he was able to negotiate FT for some of these firms.
However it is true that the massive number of asian students that Warwick takes to make them pay hefty fees have problems recruiting but usually due to lack of EU experience as the office culture is completely different.

Jan 25, 2019
Pan European Monkey:

Warwick MSc still places quite well depending on previous work experience. For people that have been applying to IB/S&T/ER previously should have no problem getting in. I know someone that had 4 BB offers for SA ER and he was able to negotiate FT for some of these firms.
However it is true that the massive number of asian students that Warwick takes to make them pay hefty fees have problems recruiting but usually due to lack of EU experience as the office culture is completely different.

I am not stating that the programme is absolute trash. I ve just asserted that it is a tier 3 programme, with a not so good placement and a 35k tuition fee (and a tremendous location, a little bubble near Coventry).

Most Helpful
Jan 25, 2019

oh yeah, just providing some lights on how candidates within the program do not have similar opportunities. For EU students I'd say its a strong semi, for asians a non target.

Also they give many bursaries for EU students.

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Jan 25, 2019
Pan European Monkey:

oh yeah, just providing some lights on how candidates within the program do not have similar opportunities. For EU students I'd say its a strong semi, for asians a non target.

Also they give many bursaries for EU students.

Agreed

Jan 25, 2019

I would do a master in business with consulting or a master in management.
Do you think that Warwick is well known in Europe as well?

Alessandro

Jan 25, 2019

Ciao Merlo! I graduated in Perugia, GPA 27/30 with a final score of 110/110 cum laude.
I had a couple of non relevant internships in the past and I'm going to start an entry level position at Unicredit working at the cash register and do a bit of financial consulting as well.
I know that those unis are not the best, but they are the top ones considering my situation.

Alessandro

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Jan 25, 2019
Alessandro__21:

Ciao Merlo! I graduated in Perugia, GPA 27/30 with a final score of 110/110 cum laude.
I had a couple of non relevant internships in the past and I'm going to start an entry level position at Unicredit working at the cash register and do a bit of financial consulting as well.
I know that those unis are not the best, but they are the top ones considering my situation.

Your GPA is quite average for an Italian candidate... I d take the gmat honestly
All the italia guys I have met that went to WBS had a gpa > 28.5 (no gmat)
I believe that, if you score 660+ On the gmat, you could improve ur chances

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Jan 25, 2019

Definitely, but let's assume that I could get in WBS.
I wonder if it's worth it to spend all that amount of money if I don't want to work in the UK. I mean, maybe I will stay in UK/Europe just a year after my graduation but my plan, as I said before, is going to the US.
If WBS is not known out of UK, at this point I could enrol to a cheaper university like Manchester, UCD or CBS (free, but 2 years programme and high living costs).

Alessandro

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Jan 25, 2019
Alessandro__21:

Definitely, but let's assume that I could get in WBS.
I wonder if it's worth it to spend all that amount of money if I don't want to work in the UK. I mean, maybe I will stay in UK/Europe just a year after my graduation but my plan, as I said before, is going to the US.
If WBS is not known out of UK, at this point I could enrol to a cheaper university like Manchester, UCD or CBS (free, but 2 years programme and high living costs).

You won't get to the US with that degree.

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Jan 25, 2019

Got it.
The only way to solve the problem without taking the GMAT seems to be enrolling either at UCD or CBS (both with CEMS).

Alessandro

Jan 25, 2019
Alessandro__21:

Got it.
The only way to solve the problem without taking the GMAT seems to be enrolling either at UCD or CBS (both with CEMS).

No mate... it s basically impossible from any of the programme you ve listed. It is not to be harsh or sth like that, it s just the reality. It s hard to go to the us even if you have a degree from LSE, try to imagine with CBS/UCD.
Do the gmat!! (I am an Italian candidate applying to MIM/MFin in Europe, I know the drill)

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We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from MBA Vantage Point team. Learn more.

Jan 25, 2019

Don't worry, I appreciate the honesty.
I'll try to do the GMAT.
Thanks for the support!

Alessandro

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Jan 25, 2019
Alessandro__21:

Don't worry, I appreciate the honesty.
I'll try to do the GMAT.
Thanks for the support!

No problem dude. It s just to be realistic. Feel free to pm me if you have more questions, good luck with the application process!!

Jan 25, 2019

Talking about options apart from the US, which is the best choice to work in management consulting in Europe?

Alessandro

Jan 25, 2019
Alessandro__21:

Talking about options apart from the US, which is the best choice to work in management consulting in Europe?

Of the list you mentioned? it mainly depends on where you d like to work

Jan 25, 2019

Yes that list.
i'm afraid i won't achieve the GMAT score required, but of course I will try hard to get it.
I mean I don't need to go to the US right after my graduation, that is the final destination.
Moreover, I don't have to work only with MBB, there are other good management firms where I can start my career.
I saw many people's LinkedIn profiles where they started working in consulting and only after some years they joined MBB.
Regarding the European country where I'd like to work, I don't really have a preference.
I just don't want to be limited to work in only one place.

Alessandro

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Jan 25, 2019
Alessandro__21:

Yes that list.
i'm afraid i won't achieve the GMAT score required, but of course I will try hard to get it.
I mean I don't need to go to the US right after my graduation, that is the final destination.
Moreover, I don't have to work only with MBB, there are other good management firms where I can start my career.
I saw many people's LinkedIn profiles where they started working in consulting and only after some years they joined MBB.
Regarding the European country where I'd like to work, I don't really have a preference.
I just don't want to be limited to work in only one place.

Pm me, I ll try to shed some light!

Jan 26, 2019
Alessandro__21:

Yes that list.
i'm afraid i won't achieve the GMAT score required, but of course I will try hard to get it.
I mean I don't need to go to the US right after my graduation, that is the final destination.
Moreover, I don't have to work only with MBB, there are other good management firms where I can start my career.
I saw many people's LinkedIn profiles where they started working in consulting and only after some years they joined MBB.
Regarding the European country where I'd like to work, I don't really have a preference.
I just don't want to be limited to work in only one place.

Btw everyone is afraid, especially if they are not native speakers, to fail the test. Just go through the Official Guides and platforms like Gmatclub (especially for the quant section). Than take a mock test on the official gmat website and you ll see roughly what score you can get (eg in the mock test i scored 680/730/690 and 710 and in the real one i got a 700, pretty disappointed tho, I can get 720 with a bit more preparation and a better time management).

Jan 26, 2019

Alessandro

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Jan 26, 2019