The London School of Economics is an extremely popular masters in finance program. I’ve been lucky enough to receive a number of student reviews, this being number two. I hope it helps!
1) Why an MSF and why LSE?
The primary reason that I chose to do an MSF was that because of my non-target undergrad, I was not exposed to investment banking until the very end of my junior year. The MSF option gave me an extra year to prepare for recruiting, network, participate in a SA program, and to participate in classwork that actually pertained to investment banking.
I kind of chose LSE by default. MIT conflicted with my SA program. Cambridge felt too much like a pre-PhD program, so my choices came down to Vanderbilt and LSE. I spoke to many of my contacts and every single person said LSE hands down.
2) Describe the program. What did you learn, experience, etc
I would divide the program into two parts: classwork and recruiting (each has an equal emphasis placed on it by the LSE). Classwork is typical MSF stuff. What I like about the LSE program is the many options that one is presented with in terms of choosing classes. Whether you want to get into IBD, ER, S&T, etc. you will find classes that cater to your interests. I have not been overly impressed by a handful of the teachers. All have impressive pedigrees, however, many care lass about their teaching than their research. But, I have learned much more at the LSE than I did in undergrad (finance major).
The recruiting at the LSE is very solid. Every bank/company/you name it comes on campus. There is no shortage of opportunities. Because of LSE’s proximity to the financial center LSE’s students place better than Cambridge/Oxford, although those programs probably have a stronger focus on the academic side of things. One thing I have noticed is that a strong command of the English language give you a distinct advantage over everyone else.
3) What are your goals and can this program help people with similar goals?
My goal was to join an IBD analyst program at a BB bank after graduation, which I have been successful in achieving. People with similar goals should have no problem doing the same thing.
4) Anything else you want to say. Voice your opinion.
Doesn’t matter which MSc program you are in one bit. I have met people from like Development Studies and Philosophy MSc’s and they are going to work at BB banks. Of course it helps to be in a more related course. I would say MSc Finance for S&T and MSc Accounting & Finance for IBD.
People place all over the place I know people going to NY, London, HK, etc. Obviously London is the easiest, but definitely possible, and at least several do it every year, to place NY/HK.
I think LSE is best for finance focused people. If you want to get into consulting is tougher. LBS has a MiM program that places kids better in finance, I would go that route if you were sold on consulting.
Incredibly diverse class. Be prepared. Has its positive, but negatives are definitely there as well.
London is quite expensive. This program will cost more than you think.
Every BB I interviewed with loved the fact that I was going abroad for a year to do this. Several ppl said they wished they had done the same thing. I would have had more fun at Vandy, but this is hands down better for a career in finance.
Here is a link to the London School of Economics Master in Finance program