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Master in Finance - which programmes are realistic?

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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 14-09-2014
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    Hey!

    I was wondering whether I've got any chance in Top-B-schools in Europe?

    There are two main concerns:

    1.) My GPA is low compared to GPAs in other countries. However, in my school (WU, Vienna) there are rankings.
    With my GPA of ~1,8 I'm ranked as 21st + plus GPA combined with duration of studies I'm ranked 13th right now (out of ~1700)
    Do those B-Schools take that circumstances into account?

    2.) I've got no extracurriculars... I used to play soccer and volleyball where I won federal state championships - after a bad injury I stopped doing sports (in clubs) at all. Virtually I'm in a Management Club, but I dont participate at all...


    Other achievements + infos about me:

    - Used to visit a technical school (instead of high school, so i received no degree), where I had a bad GPA (2,4 - best in class had 2,0)
    - had a couple of interns some technical and some business related + I aim to make, after finishing my degree, one year of interns to finally recognize the field I'd like to work in.
    - I'm about to do an semester abroad (UCF, Orlando)
    - Haven't done the GMAT yet, but in school we had logical tests everyone had to make and i finished 3rd or something in my whole federal state. So a GMAT-score of about 700 is realistic, verbal could be a problem (but not a too big one I think)
    - In B-school I visit the most competitive specialisations: Strategic Management and Management Control (well known in Austria, Top-Companies contribute to classes a lot e.g. McK, BCG, ATK, Booz, Austrian Companies), Entrepreneurship & Innovation ( Consulting Project with mediumsized company w/ 100 employees, where we had to renew the innovation process + Innovation Project with Airbus - "Cabin of the Future"), and Accounting


    OK... that's pretty much it - would be really nice to let me know what you think about my chances on B-schools (LSE, LBS, Ox-bridge, Imperial)

    I think my profile is above average, but not really outstanding... So I'm afraid of not getting admitted at top schools...

    Rgds lil' A
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    Die Wu Wien hat einen guten Ruf, wodurch die Lehre auch recht angesehen sein sollte. Wenn dein GMAT Score um die 700+ Punkte liegt, solltest du bei 1,8 und einigen Praktikas kein Problem haben, dich für LSE, Oxford, Imperial etc. zu bewerben.

    GPA of ~1,8 I'm ranked as 21st + plus GPA combined with duration of studies I'm ranked 13th right now (out of ~1700)
    1.8 is ranked as an upper second class degree in the UK (64% ca. 1.8) and that is average even if it is hard to reach at university. Anyways I'm wondering about the rankings at WU. Does the uni really calculate and publish information how good one student is compared to another one? Anyways B-Schools don't care about stuff like that, that's why you have to take the GMAT... well that's my opinion and experience.

    Viel Erfolg!
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    Yep! Publishing is not really correct, since the student can only look up his own rankings.

    So you think they aren't taking the university's rankings into account?


    Do they recognize "mit Auszeichnung bestanden" - as it's the highest honor?


    Otherwise it's pretty unfair...I'm afraid admissioners don't know that those low GPAs can be tracked back to the political situation in Austria (everyone's allowed to study e.g. at WU, so exams are harder and only ~20% finish their degree)

    Rgds
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    those rankings are digitally certified btw... so the university could check whether that ranking is "real" ...
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    Hi,

    I agree with Emperiator that you will have extremely good chances.

    Just one comment (or question?): I have read a bit about it, and if I understand it correctly, the distribution of 1sts or 2:1 depends on the university you go too.

    For exampe, 30% of all economics undergraduates in Oxford might get a first, but only 15% of Manchester undergraduates (numbers are just examples) as Manchester is a bit easier to get into etc.

    So I don't think you can simply say GPA 1.8 = 2:1 and would argue that someone like you who is from a more than decent university + top 3% in his class easily has the equivalent of a 1st and shouldn't worry about his grades at all.
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    (Original post by lilA01)

    Otherwise it's pretty unfair...I'm afraid admissioners don't know that those low GPAs can be tracked back to the political situation in Austria (everyone's allowed to study e.g. at WU, so exams are harder and only ~20% finish their degree)

    Rgds
    That just means that a lot of people who are in college should not be in college. And it also means that being #20 out of bunch of incompetent people is really not much of an achievement, sorry. I guess it also explains why being one of the top few is possible with mediocre GPA.

    That said, though, I think you have a reasonable chance for some good Finance programmes, probably not LSE and Oxford, but may be Cass or something like that?
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    Well I dont know whether I should take that post too seriously...

    Pretty much everybody who wants to study business in Austria has to go to WU - so you kinda say that all Austrians are "a bunch of incompetent people" or Top-2% in Austria would be that bad.

    I agree that there are a lot of people who aren't capable of finishing their studies! However, a couple of friends who made exchanges or went to summer schools abroad (e.g. LSE) usually wrote straight As even though they used to write 3s or 4s at WU....


    Here's a statistic how grades at WU are distributed:

    http://www.oeh-wu.at/images/download...ach%20WS09.pdf

    Hope it's not too hard to understand (because its German)
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    (Original post by lilA01)
    Well I dont know whether I should take that post too seriously...

    Pretty much everybody who wants to study business in Austria has to go to WU - so you kinda say that all Austrians are "a bunch of incompetent people" or Top-2% in Austria would be that bad.
    If you have 80% failure rate it does make you think that perhaps many people are not very competent, yes. Usually these people are weeded out during the application process, but you yourself said that it is an open enrollment, so they do get in. If you accept everyone than you naturally will have some people who are incompetent. I am not sure why one would make exams any tougher, though, seems like the point should be to find out who understands the material, not to make people fail?

    Let me ask you this - if you are in top 2% and have 2.1, how many people/what percentage get First? does anyone get First?


    I agree that there are a lot of people who aren't capable of finishing their studies! However, a couple of friends who made exchanges or went to summer schools abroad (e.g. LSE) usually wrote straight As even though they used to write 3s or 4s at WU....
    It may very well be the case, but you will not be able to enter this information in your application. Your friend's performance has no bearing on your performance, and vice versa.


    Here's a statistic how grades at WU are distributed:

    http://www.oeh-wu.at/images/download...ach%20WS09.pdf

    Hope it's not too hard to understand (because its German)
    I do not understand this statistics, what is Note 1,2,3?
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    Note 1 = A
    Note 2 = B
    *
    *
    Note 5 = E (fail the exam)

    there's the percentage of the grades achieved.

    E.g. Accounting & Management Control II:

    1st line: how many attended the exam (1187)
    2nd line: how many did actually come to exam (1139)
    3rd line: how many wrote a 1(A) (=in this case 0.18 %; 2 out of ~1100)
    7th line: how many failed (590 = 51.8%)
    8th line: average grade (4.21)

    Hope its understandable now.


    Well the reason why they want so many people to fail is, that they want to grant a certain level of education, but they only have limited money (there are no tuition fees + everyone's allowed to study). As a result the first year there is the "common body of knowledge". In this stage of studies there are very few classes with about 400 people in one class.

    After that year it gets better...


    I got 1.8 ... First isnt awarded by GPA, but there are different subject with exams belonging to it (e.g: English business communication has 4 exams/classes)
    All in all there are 12 subjects. You arent allowed to have any C and at least half of the sucjects gotta be an A. Thats passing with distinction. I do not have a number how many really get firsts, but since its going to be close for me, it wont be more than around 20 in my year... I know very few people who actually received firsts, even if they have very decent grades its very easy to receive a C in one subject.


    Hopefully I could explain the situation at WU a little bit...
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    (Original post by janjanmmm)
    Let me ask you this - if you are in top 2% and have 2.1, how many people/what percentage get First? does anyone get First?
    Hi,

    you probably know more about this than I do, but won't the admission offices know how to compare grades between different universities?

    It would be pretty foolish to simply have a scale and say 1.0-1.4=1st etc. because there is a difference between the best public universities like Mannheim and the worst ones (studying in Germany, not Austria.) - and its far more difficult to get a 1.4 in Mannheim than elsewhere.

    Even the worst British university has people getting 1sts, so certainly the most prestigious Austrian one should also have a few and a decent admissions office should be aware of that and interpret it correctly?

    Edit: I'm of course talking about what would be the equivalent of a British 1st.
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    (Original post by poorstudentguy)
    Hi,

    you probably know more about this than I do, but won't the admission offices know how to compare grades between different universities?

    It would be pretty foolish to simply have a scale and say 1.0-1.4=1st etc. because there is a difference between the best public universities like Mannheim and the worst ones (studying in Germany, not Austria.) - and its far more difficult to get a 1.4 in Mannheim than elsewhere.

    Even the worst British university has people getting 1sts, so certainly the most prestigious Austrian one should also have a few and a decent admissions office should be aware of that and interpret it correctly?

    Edit: I'm of course talking about what would be the equivalent of a British 1st.
    Leaving aside the question of fairness, the admission does not say "minimum requirement is 2.1, unless you come from a very hard university..." For better or for worse it is the same for everybody, be you from Harvard, Oxford or from a middle-of-nowhere university. This is my impression, anyway. I might be wrong.

    For each country there is equivalent GPA and they usually go by it.
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    Hi,

    thanks for your response; obviously I can't say for sure either, so you could very well be right. Please also know that I'm not trying to argue with you as I found some of your older posts very helpful and competent.

    I disagree in this case because the British grading system does account for a university's difficulty, while others do not. As I said, a higher percentage of people will get a first at Oxbridge than at some worse institution, but the same is not necessarily true for other countries' GPAs.

    To give the original poster some hope, a link to Warwick's page - they claim to recognise "significant variance between institutions" and education systems of international students. So maybe they will know how to interpret your GPA (and if they do, so will Oxbridge/LSE).

    http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/i...-requirements/

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