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Comments (52)

Feb 5, 2015 - 3:49pm

Hey! Same situation here!
I was accepted at RSM as well and I`m waiting for SSE`s decision. But as I think they will turn me down, I will probably stick with RSM.

Unfortunately I can't tell you anything about Bocconi and ESADE, but at least for me, I want to stay in the northern part of Europe. Subsequently I didn't apply at Bocconi.

But I think even if you stick with RSM, its a great school!

Can you share your profile? Are you Dutch?

Feb 5, 2015 - 4:46pm

Sure thing:

Economics Bachelor (I will graduate with a 2,0, I don't know whats that in GPA but, but surely top 15-20% at my school)
from the Free University of Berlin
Erasmus Exchange term in Oslo
Internship at UniCredit - Credit Research in the IB-divison
GMAT 650
Toefl 108

SSE will let you in before me. But anyway, maybe we meet in Rotterdam ;)

Feb 5, 2015 - 6:35pm

I can only speak for Bocconi's MSc in Finance (I am in the 2016 class).

- Trust me, Bocconi is a TARGET school in London (I got a summer internship offer at a BB) and every year it has something like 50-60 students (only from the MSc in Finance) doing a summer internships in IBs. To be more precise, this summer at least 20 people went to top BBs (GS, MS, JPM, BAML) and the same number to other banks. The remaining may end up to Asset Management companies and boutiques.
- It is basically the only school placing people in Milan for IB-division. Not the biggest market on earth, still there are some opportunities especially in banks such as Citi, DB, CS, UBS and italian banks (Mediobanca, Banca IMI) as well as italian boutiques.

- It is TOUGH, extremely challenging and it takes 2 years of insane effort to complete. By far too quantitative and poor on corporate finance subjects (in my opinion). Still, after doing the craziest shit on the Econometrics and Empirical Finance module everything you encounter in life will seem (a little bit) easier.
- The program director behaves like an asshole (some people say he is a great person and plays a role) and puts pressure on students on a daily basis.
- Grading is a bitch and it is difficult to obtain excellent grades (Gaussian out of 200 people who got the maximum grade in their undergraduate)

Personally, I will go to ESADE just for being in Spain, enjoy great weather and have fun. Note that, as far as I know: banks have a certain number of interview spots assigned to each school. Actually, you compete with other applicants coming from your school, to get an interview. Then at the interview your CV is almost useless and it is all about clicking with the interviewer.

So my advice would be: don't pick a school because of IB recruiting, rather look at the entire package and enjoy your best years.

Feb 7, 2015 - 6:21pm

Bocconi alumni of the MSc Finance program here as well.
I don't agree entirely on what CashFlo said, I didn't show up for 99% of my classes, only went for exams and graduated cum laude. Everything that was a Pro counts and note that Bocconi alumni are very helpful (generally).

Milan is also a pretty cool city to live in for 2 years. PM if you want more info or if you want to chat in general.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

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Aug 3, 2016 - 8:54am


If you had the opportunity would you pick LSE's MSc in finance over Bocconi's MSc in finance?

To make it short, I am a bocconi undergrad student (third year finance major) and I am not sure whether undertaking a postgrad course at LSE is worth the cost, due to Brexit, and as I would get into Bocconi's MSc Finance without having to take the GMAT. Also, a 2 year course provides me with better overall knowledge + multiple internship opportunities, in contrast to a 1 year course.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Mar 31, 2019 - 6:57am

Hi, I will study in Bocconi this year and I would like to know is that allowed to ask your nationality. Cuz I am a little afraid that I will be less competitive in getting in IB as an Asian in Europe.

Feb 7, 2015 - 6:49pm

I am sorry but I don't know much about RSM.

I completed the Bachelor in International Economics and Finance so I had some basics covered.

Coming from a Business backgroung I suggest reviewing some statistics but most of the things required for in the exams will be explained in classroom.

Feb 6, 2015 - 7:05am

I think purely based on employer reputation, the order of universities is Bocconi > SSE > RSM > ESADE.
Without a doubt, all are good schools but it's known how tough Bocconi is and people in finance respect that. It might be that some firms have assigned slots but I would be surprised if they all got the same allocation. Plus, it's easy to say "I'll surely be top 3% at RSM but maybe won't make it into the top 10% at Bocconi" but usually there are always some smart kids everywhere and you just can't base your decision on that chance. Therefore I'd always go for the best school and face the competition - it helps you grow.

You find alumni from all those schools in London/European banks and I was even surprised about the number of RSM people you meet in finance but if you have a chance for Bocconi, I'd take it. If you get SSE, it's probably time to weigh the tuition and living cost, I think there is not much that separates them from RSM academically and reputationally.

Feb 7, 2015 - 6:21pm

Very good summary!

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

Best Response
Feb 6, 2015 - 1:57pm

I would make a decision between Bocconi and SSE if I were in your shoes. True, Bocconi might be tough, but it is not rocket science. Apart from the traditional targets such as Oxbridge, LSE and HEC, I think Bocconi and SSE are quite strong. Our firm has a university "bucket system" for applicants with the traditional targets in bucket 1, and the likes of Bocconi and SSE in bucket 2 with RSM. Our bank doesn't consider ESADE as a real target, if that helps. I think it also depends on your prior experience. In your case, I would play it safe and take a two year course so that you can complete internships which should convert into a FT offer. I don't regard your profile as strong enough for FT apps right out of a 1yr MSc without any additional internships.

When it comes down to Bocconi vs. SSE, I don't see much difference. Keep in mind that SSE is free for EU nationals while you have to pay quite some money for Bocconi. I'm not sure if the additional $ is worth the difference. I'd make a decision based on cities, course content, money, whatever in this case.

Feb 18, 2015 - 8:56am

do you think that this: "In your case, I would play it safe and take a two year course so that you can complete internships which should convert into a FT offer. I don't regard your profile as strong enough for FT apps right out of a 1yr MSc without any additional internships." happens with above-mentioned profile often? I am curious, because I am also thinking about whether to accept offer from SSE (Finance) or RSM (Finance & Investments). If this was no problem, I would choose RSM, because as I read several discussions, there is not a huge difference between quality of SSE and RSM and RSM is only for one year (can work earlier and also financing only one year).

Feb 6, 2015 - 1:48pm

Thank you @above_and_beyond!

This basically means that one has equal chances studying at RSM, Bocconi an SSE.

Thats great news. Usually you don't get such insights.

Feb 7, 2015 - 6:24pm

I wouldn't necessary summarize it that way, because, believe it or not, in the financial services industry, prestige and alumni networks count when it comes to recruiting and Bocconi and SSE beat RSM in that regard. Unless of course you are Dutch and participate in the yearly banking trip to London with 10 of your closest friends, then it will be breeze to get a job in London with a very good firm.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

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Feb 8, 2015 - 5:50am

I wouldn't go as far as you and say one has exactly equal chances coming from RSM, Bocconi, or SSE. The system (at our firm) works as follows: Basket 1 is strongly preferred over other applications and is usually extended an invite as long as the profile is halfway decent. We also care about relevant experience though, so for a FT application you won't be invited even if you are coming from Oxford History, as long as you don't have prior experience. Basket 2 is most of the times preferred over non-targets, so when it comes to RSM / SSE / Bocconi, they are extended an invite rather than the non-target, if both have similar experience. When directly comparing the three, SSE and Bocconi still beat RSM, although not by much. But anyway, firms don't just decide with your uni name. It is at least uni name, experience, and grades that is taken into consideration.

Feb 8, 2015 - 7:46am

Question on Bocconi: They have like 6 deadlines to apply. Do I have greater chances to break in if I apply early?

Ist it worth a shot with an 2:1 economics bachelor degree and a 650 GMAT (+exchange semester and a relevant internship - luckily at the most known bank in Italy?)

Because I haven't found anything on the average GMAT of the Finance program.

Feb 8, 2015 - 8:14am

Fox, bear in mind that once you have applied for a round, if you are not selected, you can no longer apply for the next rounds so be sure about your gmat score. It is always worth a shot so apply now if you don't plan to sit another time the GMAT. IMO Torturing your mind about when to apply is a waste of time. You can think about rounds strategy when applying for US top MBA but not for European MSF. Your score is probably below average at Bocconi but you have already been accepted to another program, you have nothing to loose. Just my two cents. Good luck !

Feb 21, 2015 - 6:20am

Ildreep: you raise my hopes! If you get an offer with only "680" , maybe i do have a shot with my 650. We will see. But to be honest, i strongly prefer sse over rsm, because i feel like 2 more years of studying would be great.

If i were you, and you want to work as soon as possible, i would definitely choose RSM, because i dont think you learn anything special at sse.

Feb 24, 2015 - 1:02pm

Can anyone please explain to me why you guys here believe that ESADE is less reputable than Bocconi, RSM and SSE? This does not make any sense to me - especially after having a close look at the Financial Times pre experience Finance ranking, factors such as "salary today", "placement" and "aims achieved" make ESADE's Finance master look very appealing (additionally to being located in Barcelona).

Moreover, Bocconi's class size is at least twice as large as ESADE's - so it's clear why there are more people in IB in absolute terms. Does anyone here have relative numbers? Or are these just opinions of people who have never worked in IB or are defending their home school?

Feb 25, 2015 - 3:17am

As someone who worked at a BB I can tell you that I have seen less ESADE alumni in London than from RSM. I would say probably a 1:2 ratio, though it's a small sample and maybe it's biased due to my national background. That also might disregard that ESADE could theoretically be the better program but it takes time until that actually manifests in a change in recruitment patterns. Also, it's also a numbers game, so a small elite program is nice but it will take even longer to gain a widely acknowledged reputation.

Having participated in the FT ranking myself, I can tell you that there are no checks and balances whatsoever. Thus, if I want to boost my school, it just takes a group of alumni to make a significant impact on at least some of the indicators (salary in particular).

Mar 3, 2015 - 5:27am

Thanks for your helpful answer. I am actually considering going to ESADE for their double degree program, I will probably have to pick between HEC, LSE and ESADE. I am tending towards ESADE due to personal reasons.

Will it make a significant difference for recruiters in London if I chose ESADE over LSE/HEC when I already did my bachelor at a target school in europe?

Nov 20, 2015 - 7:47am

Hi guys! I currently have to decide between IE and ESADE master in finance so if someone could help me that would be great. I also would like to ask why do you say Bocconi is better than esade? I got 720 on my GMAT exam and I did not apply to bocconi only because I knew it was not really a "top" business school. No high GMAT is required, the classes number is bigger, low rank in ft.

Sep 30, 2016 - 4:31am

Between IE and ESADE, I would choose ESADE simply because of better career prospects, also if u want to have a look at the IB profile, here is a link ...…
Bocconi's program is highly valued and considered more rigorous as compared to ESADE, RSM or SSE, they have a better reputation and higher average package as well. See the stats in their respective websites, you'll get a good idea

Nov 23, 2015 - 7:27am

But does RSM help non dutch or non EU chaps get into IB in London that too in BB or elite boutiques? Most profiles i saw on linkedin were of Dutch people. Guess they are specifically hired to cover the benelux region. Would it be helpful if I learned German?

The thing i noticed on RSM's job board is that , there are quite a few good jobs/analyst roles in corporate finance/corporate development/Private Equity in the benelux region and Germany that too in big companies like BASF,Glaxo,Phillips. So if one does not get IB , these options arent bad as back ups. Plus many of these roles do not have language barriers though learning one european language apart from English would open tonnes of doors,which is a positive as against ESADE or IE where if you dont get into IB , there are not many backup roles within spain since those would require spanish speaking ability.Plus Dutch people are probably the best amongst non natives when it comes to English speaking hence their economy is slightly more open to hiring foreigners who speak english as compared to Spain and Italy.

Plus in the Netherlands non Europeans after completing their masters can stay in the country upto 1 year on a search permit which is useful to improve language abilities and networking. Dont know how long it is in Spain and Italy but im guessing it is a few months.Recruiters can often take time for processing the paper work for foreigners so Netherlands is a better option from this perspective.

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