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two best degrees for me...cant decide need advice watch

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    Actually there are uni's offering courses with big 4 firms and ACA bundled together.

    However be wary - I think this is a ruse to keep students locked into the firm for the long term - there may well be pay-back clauses etc - KPMG/Durham Uni and there are similar ones for PWC and EY with other unis...

    If your goal is to get the ACA than cut and run to the nearest bank - it may not be best.

    The important thing for you know is to go for a degree with the most exemptions from the ACA - you can get up to 12.

    Apply to the big 4 in the last year of UNi - if at all possible to a sandwich degree and a placement with one of them.
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    (Original post by davidr123)
    Actually there are uni's offering courses with big 4 firms and ACA bundled together.

    However be wary - I think this is a ruse to keep students locked into the firm for the long term - there may well be pay-back clauses etc - KPMG/Durham Uni and there are similar ones for PWC and EY with other unis...

    If your goal is to get the ACA than cut and run to the nearest bank - it may not be best.

    The important thing for you know is to go for a degree with the most exemptions from the ACA - you can get up to 12.

    Apply to the big 4 in the last year of UNi - if at all possible to a sandwich degree and a placement with one of them.
    thanks a lot for your help.. I think Ill doa degree then find a placement for ACA with the big 4
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    (Original post by davidr123)
    Actually there are uni's offering courses with big 4 firms and ACA bundled together.

    However be wary - I think this is a ruse to keep students locked into the firm for the long term - there may well be pay-back clauses etc - KPMG/Durham Uni and there are similar ones for PWC and EY with other unis...

    If your goal is to get the ACA than cut and run to the nearest bank - it may not be best.

    The important thing for you know is to go for a degree with the most exemptions from the ACA - you can get up to 12.

    Apply to the big 4 in the last year of UNi - if at all possible to a sandwich degree and a placement with one of them.

    you know ACA... with that do you have to have a degree first then do an ACA?
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    No you don't -

    But the ACA>bank transition really only happens if you train at a Big 4 firm in London - and most go in with degrees.


    Doing an accountancy degree with ACA exemptions will help you get a foot in the door and then you are guaranteed a job with them.

    This is all good if you don't have contacts or aren't great at interviews.

    -

    However you could go AAT fast-track to ACA Big 4 - check icaew.com and ask them about that option as well as the Big 4 themselves.

    AAT is basically like a mini qualification - the basic elements of ACA done whislt doing basic book-keeping or accounts jobs - gives you a few exemptions from the ACA exams.

    You'd be just as likely to get a Big 4 job with the AAT as a degree.


    -

    The practical training must be done at a top firm with big clients or the ACA will be useless to transition to the banks...its the experience that counts - and the Big 4 is a badge like Oxbridge...

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    It would make most sense to avoid the degree - but be warned you are then in the trenches on the ACA exam policy - a bad fail and your contract is terminated.

    I can't re-iterate enough how much harder these exams are compared to a-level or Uni.

    If you are taking a gap year - you could self-study the first 6 ACA exams - or even self study 12. You CANNOT begin the trainign though with anyone else though - as then the Big 4 will not take you - the idea is they lock you in for 3 years training to do their grunt-work...

    -

    In fact it actually makes more financial sense to skip uni and do the ACA self-study at Kaplan financial...the trainign college where your firm will send you.

    Speak to your parents and see if they can support you to achieve this or look at AAT.

    I can't imagine a Big 4 would turn down any 19/20 year old who self-studied the first 12 exams...you'd probably have a pick of the best training jobs...providing you can evidence social skills and team work - easily done...

    You'll also be able to coast in the job and be availabel for more work as you are not in college - giving you a massive edge on all other ACA's for promotion.


    anyway - visit ICAEW and get all the info about the ACA - but remember for the bank transition aim for London top tier audit or corporate finance - you must apply early as this is what everyone wants to be doing...
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    (Original post by davidr123)
    <ACA Info>
    This actually looks quite interesting although I guess I wouldn't be able to go this route as I haven't done A-Levels but it is interesting none the less and wish I had known about it before going down the UnderGrad/Masters (or Gradscheme) route
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    (Original post by greenford)
    yes you are correct... ive looked into the courses and got in contact with the admissions... these uni's dont require maths...
    Birmingham
    Nottingham
    City
    Leeeds
    Sheffield
    Liverpool
    sessex
    mancheter
    newcastle

    Economics at AS/A2 is not really hard without Maths..also all the uni's above consider URDU language as an A level and an A in it is counted a a proper a level.
    I think if you go somewhere like Nottingham, even if you do the BA in Economics, you'll struggle without an AS level in Maths. I think Nottingham do an Industrial Economics degree though, which is less quantitative. You should look into that.

    IMO if you go to a decent university for a BSc in Management or Business Management you can't really go wrong, but you should consider degrees in Business Economics.
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    There is no point in doing a BSc in management or business management.

    these are just watered down versions of the ACA or worse.

    The only thing worth doing at university is a degree that gives you exemptions from a professional qualification that leads to a career, this quickly dawns on you when you graduate and enter the job market...

    -

    Hopefully at some point the government will have a structured careers website to help young people - at the moment studentroom and wikijob do more for young people than any school, university or careers advisor - the public sector blaggers who need you to keep buying their courses/using their "services" to get their funding...

    it would be great to see more bright young people avoid Uni and start careers without debt - if you go the school leaver route - you'll be on £45k at a Big 4 aged 21.

    To me that is social mobility - not leaving uni aged 21 owing £10 - 30k and being out of work - but leaving with a £45k a year guaranteed job and having earned £75k.
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    (Original post by davidr123)
    There is no point in doing a BSc in management or business management.

    these are just watered down versions of the ACA or worse.

    The only thing worth doing at university is a degree that gives you exemptions from a professional qualification that leads to a career, this quickly dawns on you when you graduate and enter the job market...

    -

    Hopefully at some point the government will have a structured careers website to help young people - at the moment studentroom and wikijob do more for young people than any school, university or careers advisor - the public sector blaggers who need you to keep buying their courses/using their "services" to get their funding...

    it would be great to see more bright young people avoid Uni and start careers without debt - if you go the school leaver route - you'll be on £45k at a Big 4 aged 21.

    To me that is social mobility - not leaving uni aged 21 owing £10 - 30k and being out of work - but leaving with a £45k a year guaranteed job and having earned £75k.

    how can I apply for ACA programme.... is it like KPMG school leavers programme?
    also will work expereicne with a CA be beneficial with my ACA application? and what kind of degree will be helpful with ACA

    really appreciate the help
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    (Original post by greenford)
    im not really sure what an ACA is ...... is it hard to get into with the big 4... also should I even do the ACA as im not interested in accountacy? thanks.....

    I am planing to take a gap a year... do you think I should enrol in KPMG gap year programme also this is what im planning to do....
    do a degree
    work for 3 years
    then do masters

    what do you think
    The Big4 ACA programme is what I wish I had done.

    And I'm about to graduate with a BSc Economics from a top15 Uni and have AAB at A-level.

    Bare in mind you will be paying £9000, and a masters and a top tier is what £20,000+?

    Completely not worth it unless you have rich parents to back you all the way.

    Unless you are going for Oxbridge/LSE or maybe UCL I really wouldn't waste three years and a ****-tonne of debt for a 1/1000 chance of landing a FO grad scheme.
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    Im sorry davidr123, but I do not understand why you are hammering the ACA so much as a route into banking. If the kid wants to go into IB he shouldn't really be looking at doing an ACA. He has 3 years at Uni to prepare for a banking job and you are already telling him to give up and take the "easy route".

    To the OP, if you want to get into IB, make sure you get at least AAB, get involved in a lot of extra curriculars, maybe a sports team and the investment society or whatever. You have 3 years of uni to really research what you want to do and how to get there.

    Seriously doing the ACA as a way into banking is one of the most stupid suggestions I have heard on this site. Seriously why would banks recruit an ACA guy at associate level when they have people with MBA's from Oxford and banking experience going for the same role.

    Admittedly it is possible to got from ACA to IB but it is not easy and I wouldnt suggest it when this guy has 3 years and hasnt even attemted to get into banking yet. Keep ACA as a backup if you dont get into banking the traditional way.

    Such bad info on here sometimes.....
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    okay:

    1. The ACA is a professional qualification - read about it here - www.icaew.com - ICAEW is the body that awards it.

    2. The ACA is the qualification - but the firm you train in is the experience part which you need to get and which is what counts for your career - so its nto a case of "i'll do the ACA anywhere" - its WHERE you train that counts for where you want to end up. IF you want big banks, big money etc - you must go for top 10 firms - ideally big 4.

    Firms are ranked here:

    http://www.accountancyage.com/static/top50-this-year

    What I suggest you do (keeping all option open) - I've numbered these - some you do at the same time:

    1. Get AAA a-levels or the very best you can

    2. Speak to your dad's friend and anyone at KPMG/PWC etc about hwo to do interviews and what the firsm are lookign for - this is all over WIKIJOB - big 4/internships etc - lots of people on there.

    3. Get a part-time job in a golf-club or even volunteer - golf is important for step 4.

    4. Apply to all school leaver programs at top 10 accountancy firms - it is critical your application stands out - so get work experience at your dad's firm and lie about some crap that shows you can team work.

    4. Apply to all local firms for AAT trainee accountant jobs - here you will be dealing with people like your dad's friend who will be more interested in talking about golf and football than accountancy. You will stand out as someone they want in the office...DO NOT tell them you wnat to join the Big 4 - simply use them to do AAT DO NOT do the ACA with them - otherwise you will not be able to do it with a big firm.

    If you get the AAt - then you can apply to Big 4 ACA with exemptions.

    4. Apply to Uni - select courses which offer exemption from 12 exams of the ACA - the reputation of the university does not matter - but they must offer exemptions - the more the better - maximum is 12.

    - This is your fall back plan if you can't get onto AAT or nothing is happening elsewhere.

    Once on teh uni course - you can now keep applying for internships at Big 4 or banks.

    -

    Keep applying to firms every 6 months until you get in - the more times you go through the process the more times you';ll work out why you failed then eventually get in..


    Peopel often get in on 3,4th attempt.

    What gets people in is having inside knowledge of the recruitment process - this is where WIKIJOB is invaluable.
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    (Original post by giorgio1712)
    Im sorry davidr123, but I do not understand why you are hammering the ACA so much as a route into banking. If the kid wants to go into IB he shouldn't really be looking at doing an ACA. He has 3 years at Uni to prepare for a banking job and you are already telling him to give up and take the "easy route".

    To the OP, if you want to get into IB, make sure you get at least AAB, get involved in a lot of extra curriculars, maybe a sports team and the investment society or whatever. You have 3 years of uni to really research what you want to do and how to get there.

    Seriously doing the ACA as a way into banking is one of the most stupid suggestions I have heard on this site. Seriously why would banks recruit an ACA guy at associate level when they have people with MBA's from Oxford and banking experience going for the same role.

    Admittedly it is possible to got from ACA to IB but it is not easy and I wouldnt suggest it when this guy has 3 years and hasnt even attemted to get into banking yet. Keep ACA as a backup if you dont get into banking the traditional way.

    Such bad info on here sometimes.....
    Hmmn - why not try and be constructive instead of spout off? Are you a high flying rich kid in a top uni perhaps? Or have relatives in finance jobs?

    So what do you suggest for him going on his original post - a Bsc in economics at a top 20, join their investment club and then apply for internships? How much is that going to cost him? What is that going to guarantee?

    What happens when he STILL doesn't get in? A Masters perhaps - or wait for it - settling for doing the ACA...

    Let me guess your suggestions hinge on contacts to ace the interviews or a degree from the elite universities?

    How can you honestly compare the cost/benefit ratio of doing the ACA over spending £1000's on uni?

    I did ask him if he was rich/poor - we all know the answer for any competitive field is: "Go to oxbridge"

    Friends/family of mine from LSE and Imperial failed to get into banking and corporate law - one teaches, the other works for the local council - both would have been better off with an ACA than a degree.

    They had no contacts in these fields and struggled against all the competition who did.

    Please - I'm interested as to what your suggestions are - it will help him work things out.

    Maybe you can give him some advice on getting into the banks first hand?

    Because of course everyone who gets AAB a-levels and a 2:1 gets in...


    -

    I can't see how how Big 4 > banks in 3/5 years is any different from uni > banks in 3/5 years.

    I"m also a bit taken aback you think the ACA is the "easy route"

    How can you say a degree is worth doing over the ACA?

    -

    Anyway there is enough on here now for him to think about and ask family/friends about - I was concerned it was geting one-sided with me posting
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    (Original post by davidr123)
    Hmmn - why not try and be constructive instead of spout off? Are you a high flying rich kid in a top uni perhaps? Or have relatives in finance jobs?

    So what do you suggest for him going on his original post - a Bsc in economics at a top 20, join their investment club and then apply for internships? How much is that going to cost him? What is that going to guarantee?

    What happens when he STILL doesn't get in? A Masters perhaps - or wait for it - settling for doing the ACA...

    Let me guess your suggestions hinge on contacts to ace the interviews or a degree from the elite universities?

    How can you honestly compare the cost/benefit ratio of doing the ACA over spending £1000's on uni?

    I did ask him if he was rich/poor - we all know the answer for any competitive field is: "Go to oxbridge"

    Friends/family of mine from LSE and Imperial failed to get into banking and corporate law - one teaches, the other works for the local council - both would have been better off with an ACA than a degree.

    They had no contacts in these fields and struggled against all the competition who did.

    Please - I'm interested as to what your suggestions are - it will help him work things out.

    Maybe you can give him some advice on getting into the banks first hand?

    Because of course everyone who gets AAB a-levels and a 2:1 gets in...


    -

    I can't see how how Big 4 > banks in 3/5 years is any different from uni > banks in 3/5 years.

    I"m also a bit taken aback you think the ACA is the "easy route"

    How can you say a degree is worth doing over the ACA?

    -

    Anyway there is enough on here now for him to think about and ask family/friends about - I was concerned it was geting one-sided with me posting

    Its irrelevant but I go to a standard red brick uni and dont have any family in finance. You seem so bogged down in the cost of a degree when you pay it off over a long period of time and it really isnt that much of an issue if you are earning £45k 3 years out of uni in the case of Big 4 or £45k straight out of uni in terms of banking.

    Indeed a degree wont guarantee him anything but with decent a levels and a bit of desire Im positive he could get some interviews, I mean there are hundreds of investment banks in London, not everyone has to compete to get into TMT at GS.

    I think your views on how hard it is to get into banking are a bit over exaggerated. He has 3 years to prepare. If he actually has the motivation he could read a ton of books, go to a ton of interviews, learn how to do modelling or valuations basically tailor himself to what the banks are looking for.

    I cant believe you are comparing the ACA to a degree, seriously. YOu talk about your family members would of been better doing the ACA but we can all say that in hindsight. A guy who gets a 2:2 from a uni could trun round afterwards and say oh id have been better off doing the ACA.

    All this stuff about contacts in the field is rubbish. If you dont have any contacts you can make your own. Again THE GUY HAS 3 YEARS in which to make contacts. If he learns how to network through events and linkedin etc im sure he could have at least 1 solid contact at a small firm by the time he graduated.

    Ill tell you why Uni > IB is better than Big 4 > IB, how about because the big 4 are accounting firms not investment banks. At least if he went straight to IB from uni, after 3 years of research, work experience, internships he could say he had always wanted to work in IB, not that he thought he wouldnt get in so took on a job in a different field, studied for a qualification far from related to banking and now wants to switch to where the money is.

    You cant compare a degree to the ACA they are different things altogether. Also imagine all the other ACAers that are trying to move across to banking who have the ACA and a Uni degree, he would be competing with them?

    OP if you want some advice about getting into investment banking then do some research, there is plenty of info on this forum, also look at mergersandinquisitions and wallstreetoasis

    But I will say if I was in your position I would go to uni and prepare myself for investment banking and work hard, rather than join the big 4 ACCOUNTANTS straight out of 6th form.
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    I'd have to agree with Giorgio1712. This is the first post I have seen that has mentioned that it is better to do the ACA after 6th form/college than to actually go to univerisity. I have never heard of that before & I think David might be wrong in that sense

    Most individuals interested in IB's usually go to a Russell group/1994 group university and then that way they hope to secure internships in the big 4 which I think is more reasonable. Although, it is extremely competitive to actually get one. I do not know anyone who is or will be taking the ACA route after college to work in IB. It sounds ridiculous to me anyway. The ACA route sounds interesting aswell (that is if it's true), but I can bet all the people that want to work in IB will never go that way, they will want to do a good degree at reputable universities.

    Also, what do you think will be the best course to study in university in order to join IB? I am going to start BSc Economics in October but I am now wondering if the Accounting and Finance course could be a better route. I really hope Economics is a good enough way to achieve this as I really love it & wouldn't want to change for any other course/s.

    Thanks
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    (Original post by giorgio1712)
    Its irrelevant but I go to a standard red brick uni and dont have any family in finance. You seem so bogged down in the cost of a degree when you pay it off over a long period of time and it really isnt that much of an issue if you are earning £45k 3 years out of uni in the case of Big 4 or £45k straight out of uni in terms of banking.

    Cool the only reason i asked was to guage where you were looking at this from.

    i am looking back as a lower-middle class grad thinking about "was it worth it" - as in I paid for it all and had no help from parents - And the answer is no. There are several others I talk to who all feel the same.

    You are looking forward - you are at Uni now, at the time we were all also very optimistic about being at a red-brick and career prospects.

    Rich kids should go to Uni - I think however for anyone of humble beginnings £45k is a huge amount of money + 3 years of missed earnings - that can get you on the property ladder as a landlord and guarantee you independence and flexibility for life...you can also have climbed the career ladder for 3 years


    Indeed a degree wont guarantee him anything but with decent a levels and a bit of desire Im positive he could get some interviews, I mean there are hundreds of investment banks in London, not everyone has to compete to get into TMT at GS.

    I completely agree with you

    I think your views on how hard it is to get into banking are a bit over exaggerated. He has 3 years to prepare. If he actually has the motivation he could read a ton of books, go to a ton of interviews, learn how to do modelling or valuations basically tailor himself to what the banks are looking for.

    In the curretn climate I don't think it sa n exaggeration- my flatmates brother was made redundant from JP Morgan and it took him 2 years to get another banking job - everything you describe does not need to take place at uni and is only worth it if its the right uni

    I cant believe you are comparing the ACA to a degree, seriously. YOu talk about your family members would of been better doing the ACA but we can all say that in hindsight. A guy who gets a 2:2 from a uni could trun round afterwards and say oh id have been better off doing the ACA.

    What I am comparing is 3 years spent studying:

    Degree: costs £45k no guarantee of anything
    ACA: Earns £60k, guarantees £45k+ for life




    All this stuff about contacts in the field is rubbish. If you dont have any contacts you can make your own. Again THE GUY HAS 3 YEARS in which to make contacts. If he learns how to network through events and linkedin etc im sure he could have at least 1 solid contact at a small firm by the time he graduated.

    I agree on the 3 years but this does not need to be done at Uni and UNi offers no more contacts than being in a professional firm dealing with banks - funnily enough a 6th former emailed me asking about gerneral stuff I;ve been posting and he informed me he just did a month on BarCap trading floor as he babysits for an MD at the bank in his local village - there is 1 of him for every position available at a bank at any one time

    Ill tell you why Uni > IB is better than Big 4 > IB, how about because the big 4 are accounting firms not investment banks. At least if he went straight to IB from uni, after 3 years of research, work experience, internships he could say he had always wanted to work in IB, not that he thought he wouldnt get in so took on a job in a different field, studied for a qualification far from related to banking and now wants to switch to where the money is.

    Employers are looking for is commercial awareness, common sense etc. I can't imagine any employer would look at someone who did an ACA over a degree with anything more than admiration that they did their sums and commited to completing a far far more rigorous and demanding professional qualification that involved many disciplines related to the field whilst gaining practical workplace skills at the highest level - it is highly relevant - the whole investment field revolves around financial reporting. valuattions etc

    You cant compare a degree to the ACA they are different things altogether. Also imagine all the other ACAers that are trying to move across to banking who have the ACA and a Uni degree, he would be competing with them?

    Each year only 4000 ACA training contracts are awarded - of which less than half are in the right firms to transition to banks. Its a by-word for quality - just like Oxbridge grads > the other 300,000 graduates every year

    OP if you want some advice about getting into investment banking then do some research, there is plenty of info on this forum, also look at mergersandinquisitions and wallstreetoasis

    yes, those are good sites to look at and he shoudl look around everywhere

    But I will say if I was in your position I would go to uni and prepare myself for investment banking and work hard, rather than join the big 4 ACCOUNTANTS straight out of 6th form.
    <<sighs>> they are not just accountants -plenty of threads on here discuss the corporate finance divisions and other services they are involved in and plenty of the people discussing them apply for big 4 and banks at the same time.

    So many people pin their hopes on the dream job at the bank or the magic circle law firm - but it simply is not guaranteed by going to a russell group uni, joining the right student clubs and having good a-levels along with everyone else..
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    Davidr123 you're unfortunately just telling the OP how to live his life, university isn't just a sum or an amount you pay. You gain many life skills, contacts and you have the potential to go onto graduate jobs. Yes the ACA is a great qualification to have, however starting with the AAT to go into IB is rather ridiculous, going from degree to ACA then IB does however seem plausible not to mention the AAT route pigeon holes you into one direction. The uni route allows you to mature and make a decision and in that time you can apply for internships at banks.
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    Couldn't have put it better myself yoyo.....
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    (Original post by davidr123)
    &lt;&lt;sighs&gt;&gt; they are not just accountants -plenty of threads on here discuss the corporate finance divisions and other services they are involved in and plenty of the people discussing them apply for big 4 and banks at the same time.

    So many people pin their hopes on the dream job at the bank or the magic circle law firm - but it simply is not guaranteed by going to a russell group uni, joining the right student clubs and having good a-levels along with everyone else..
    You are way too biased towards the ACA.

    Firstly ACA --> Banking is still very difficult. Firstly you can forget getting into S&T. Yes it may help in IBD and ER but the ACA applicant will still be stained with Accounting and would have to prove his/her enthusiasm for Banking and demonstrate what he/she has specifically done in terms of experience and skills to make them worthy of the job. Alot of people after the ACA, go into Corporate Finance of Big 4 and then into Banking Why? Because they all got rejected from the banks and Corporate Finance at Big 4 is IBD on a smaller level, so it satisfies the skills for the job part I mentioned before.

    Secondly, **** these bull**** Big 4 leaver schemes. Only do them if you want to stay in Accounting for the rest of your life. Once you entered those, you have signed your soul and life to Accounting. NO Investment Bank will take on someone with some Newcastle Flying Headstart PwC Course or whatever. The reason why Banks do not care what you study is because they just want to know your intelligent. And how do they judge that? By looking at your university... Didn't you ever wonder why the decent unis don't offer these leaver programmes.

    Keep your options broad. Aim for a subject that you enjoy; a quantitative one would be good and more importantly aim for the best rep uni possible. Oxbridge (Gap) LSE, IMPERIAL (Very Small Gap) UCL, Warwick etc.
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    Get a degree, do the one with economics in the name - sounds better than straight mgmt. You will end up doing nearly the same modules anyway.
 
 
 
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