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Imperial vs Cass vs QM (with a scholarship) - interesting twist

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    Hey guys,

    I've almost completed a 12 months off cycle internship in Global Markets outside London and am going to be applying for CIMA schemes at ibanks this fall for September 2013 intake.


    I have an offer from all 3 for a MSc in Finance.

    QM have given a 7000 pound scholarship which pays 50% of the tuition. Imperial costs 28 k and Cass 22.5

    Will the Imperial brand give me a better chance than QM to secure interviews for finance schemes at ibanks? I'm not sure if it will since I already have a good 2.1 from a top 10 economics school in UK along with AAA at A levels. My motivation behind doing the masters is I want to keep busy for the next year until september 2013.

    If I went to Imperial I'd be stressing a lot on doing well on the course because it's very expensive and the schedule is more intense than QM as there are exams at the end of october and december. My focus for the next year is focusing on interview prepping/making job apps. Going to QM will allow me to focus solely on these two aspects since the exams aren't until May.

    Am I right in thinking doing a Masters, even at an average college like QM, is better than sitting at home for the next year and just applying for graduate jobs?

    Could you guys give your opinion?
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    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    Hey guys,

    I've almost completed a 12 months off cycle internship in Global Markets outside London and am going to be applying for CIMA schemes at ibanks this fall for September 2013 intake.


    I have an offer from all 3 for a MSc in Finance.

    QM have given a 7000 pound scholarship which pays 50% of the tuition. Imperial costs 28 k and Cass 22.5

    Will the Imperial brand give me a better chance than QM to secure interviews for finance schemes at ibanks? I'm not sure if it will since I already have a good 2.1 from a top 10 economics school in UK along with AAA at A levels. My motivation behind doing the masters is I want to keep busy for the next year until september 2013.

    If I went to Imperial I'd be stressing a lot on doing well on the course because it's very expensive and the schedule is more intense than QM as there are exams at the end of october and december. My focus for the next year is focusing on interview prepping/making job apps. Going to QM will allow me to focus solely on these two aspects since the exams aren't until May.

    Am I right in thinking doing a Masters, even at an average college like QM, is better than sitting at home for the next year and just applying for graduate jobs?

    Could you guys give your opinion?
    Not sure, as I understand doing a Masters just for the sake of a Masters does not add much if your aim is to work at an IB. And your university is quite good in getting people in IB roles in general (as far as I know due to the epic career services). So no, I don't think it's worth it just to keep you 'busy'. Even doing an extra few internships would be better (IMHO), for instance, to explore the buy-side or just to get some extra money, unless you really fancy being a student.
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    (Original post by TomasK)
    Not sure, as I understand added Masters just for the sake of a Masters does not add much if your aim is to work at an IB. And your university is quite good in getting people in IB roles in general (as far as I know due to the epic career services). So no, I don't think it's worth it just to keep you 'busy'.
    Won't interviewers care I'll be sitting at home chilling till I start a job in september 2013 since I couldn't apply for jobs september 2012 intake as I was outside the country? Also, will a substantial scholarship covering 50% of tuition not impress interviewers? I would've thought that might be a lil impressive since not everyone can readily spend 28 grand on a masters funded by their daddy?
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    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    Won't interviewers care I'll be sitting at home chilling till I start a job in september 2013 since I couldn't apply for jobs september 2012 intake as I was outside the country? Also, will a substantial scholarship covering 50% of tuition not impress interviewers? I would've thought that might be a lil impressive since not everyone can readily spend 28 grand on a masters funded by their daddy?
    All of those are true, yeah, a 1 year gap is a lot for a recent grad; and yes a scholarship is impressive in itself. But what I'm saying is that maybe you could look in to doing say an extra qualification (if you're interested in just doing 'something') that might prove useful for your career, which would still turn out a hell of a lot less expensive than an unnecessary masters if you're not interested in doing it. Or my above mentioned option of doing some extra short-term internship/insights in to e.g. buy-side stuff. Both will let you of the 'didn't do anything for a year' hook.

    EDIT: Even part-time internships are possible if you're going to be based in London throughout next year, if limited time is an issue for something more massive.
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    Internships/insights are all useful If I can actually get one. I'll be looking for jobs through agencies but agencies hardly have any graduate level entry jobs these days - the market is dry.

    I was a bit harsh in saying I am doing a masters for the hell of it. It would be nice to learn something useful I guess since I haven't done any accounting/finance in my ug degree. However I know a masters degree doesn't get you a job, or even interviews. If I did not do the masters and tried finding an internship/temporary employment and if I don't find anything, I risk after 12 months having a massive gap in my CV and also potentially no graduate job lined up!
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    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    Internships/insights are all useful If I can actually get one. I'll be looking for jobs through agencies but agencies hardly have any graduate level entry jobs these days - the market is dry.

    I was a bit harsh in saying I am doing a masters for the hell of it. It would be nice to learn something useful I guess since I haven't done any accounting/finance in my ug degree. However I know a masters degree doesn't get you a job, or even interviews. If I did not do the masters and tried finding an internship/temporary employment and if I don't find anything, I risk after 12 months having a massive gap in my CV and also potentially no graduate job lined up!
    When's the deadline you have to respond to your MS offers? And esp. for QM as I understand that is your preferred choice.
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    (Original post by TomasK)
    When's the deadline you have to respond to your MS offers? And esp. for QM as I understand that is your preferred choice.
    End of next week! Do banks really care where you've done your masters if the rest of your education history is good? I mean surely HR people must know that doing a masters, at say Imperial, costs a bomb and therefore secludes the majority of the student population from applying for one? I think only 5% of the student intake for MSc Finance at Imperial is British.
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    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    End of next week! Do banks really care where you've done your masters if the rest of your education history is good? I mean surely HR people must know that doing a masters, at say Imperial, costs a bomb and therefore secludes the majority of the student population from applying for one? I think only 5% of the student intake for MSc Finance at Imperial is British.
    I would hope not, so if you finish your BA at Oxford and then do a masters at London Met (no offence to London Met people) hopefully that would not effect you badly, but at the end of the day it's all about the 'first impression' when someone picks up your CV. But yeah, I'm not the best person to answer this question, so I'd rather not send you the wrong direction with a potentially skewed opinion.
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    Anyone else want to give their two cents?
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    if you can manage to pay the fee at imperial then definitely go to imperial


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    (Original post by math1234)
    if you can manage to pay the fee at imperial then definitely go to imperial


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    I think he's not particularly keen on Imperial for 2 reasons:

    1) Harder course, hence will need to put more time in to it
    2) Very interlinked with the above, since he won't have as much time, it won't leave as much time for grad apps, interview prep and the like, which is the priority.
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    queen mary is hardly different to nottingham (if that's where you did your undergrad from)
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    (Original post by bmqib)
    queen mary is hardly different to nottingham (if that's where you did your undergrad from)
    Numbers disagree.
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    (Original post by TomasK)
    All of those are true, yeah, a 1 year gap is a lot for a recent grad; and yes a scholarship is impressive in itself. But what I'm saying is that maybe you could look in to doing say an extra qualification (if you're interested in just doing 'something') that might prove useful for your career, which would still turn out a hell of a lot less expensive than an unnecessary masters if you're not interested in doing it.
    This is a good point. You could for example do CFA level 1 in December and level 2 in June and so already be 2/3 of the way to the qualification by the time you apply.
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    (Original post by sj27)
    This is a good point. You could for example do CFA level 1 in December and level 2 in June and so already be 2/3 of the way to the qualification by the time you apply.
    Yeah, but the thing is. There is a reason why I said 'some qualification', because I'm not entirely sure what kind of qualification would be most beneficial in terms of better recognition, faster career development opportunities with the firm etc etc. Because if the OP is looking in to Capital Markets, a CFA won't do much good unless he's thinking of doing ER (at least so I've heard/think).
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    (Original post by TomasK)
    Yeah, but the thing is. There is a reason why I said 'some qualification', because I'm not entirely sure what kind of qualification would be most beneficial in terms of better recognition, faster career development opportunities with the firm etc etc. Because if the OP is looking in to Capital Markets, a CFA won't do much good unless he's thinking of doing ER (at least so I've heard/think).
    Not familiar with OP's ambitions - but I know plenty people in capital markets with a CFA too.
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    I've heard from current students at Imperial that the Finance course is taught quite badly and is overall quite ****ty. Some even suggested going to Warwick over Imperial for MSc Finance.

    I'd probably still choose Imperial over Queens and Cass.

    Imp > Cass > QMUL

    I'd take a Masters if you're goal is to work for a BB over sitting around for a year.
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    To everyone suggesting Imperial (except TOM and a few others) have you read through my posts?

    Are investment banks as picky with the university you went to for the Finance division as front office?

    I'm currently working for a BB - if I've already got a Front Office internship, will they really filter my CV for not going to a "top 5" university?

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Updated: June 25, 2012
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