Investment banking - A question about university preferences

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ColtTheWolf
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My A-Levels have come out somewhat less than desirable at AAB - of which, this does not contain mathematics which in my opinion, was a mistake. If it's any bonus, I did get an A for my GCSE math. The rest of my GCSEs were good (5A*, 3A, B) but I suspect these are largely irrelevant for IB.

My main question is if I do my finance degree at a slightly less prestigious university, such as Durham or Nottingham, and then pursue a master's degree at a more prestigious uni, would they see me as having come from the uni that I did my masters?

For example, if I did my BSc in Finance at Durham and then I did a Master's at LSE or Oxbridge, would I be seen as an applicant coming from LSE/Oxbridge?
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xx.2314
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what a levels did u take?
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EconomicsStud3nt
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I’m pretty sure your application will still be considered worth those A levels.
I did worse and I’ve progressed stages for banks and financial services, never got a placement though.
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ColtTheWolf
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(Original post by xx.2314)
what a levels did u take?
General studies. Jk - Chemistry, biology, and psychology. I'm not sure if I should take A-Level math during my gap year.
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ColtTheWolf
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(Original post by EconomicsStud3nt)
I’m pretty sure your application will still be considered worth those A levels.
I did worse and I’ve progressed stages for banks and financial services, never got a placement though.
What about unis?

I love the look of Durham but I really love the courses at LIBF (London Institute of Banking and Finance)

I'm just not sure if loving the course there is enough to warrant me leaving a name like Durham from my CV.
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anonuser99
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Go to the best uni you can. Study the course you'll most enjoy and see what happens from there. Why are you planning a masters that you may not even need?
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ColtTheWolf
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(Original post by anonuser99)
Go to the best uni you can. Study the course you'll most enjoy and see what happens from there. Why are you planning a masters that you may not even need?
Does best uni trump a favourite course?

I really love the look of LIBFs course for Banking and Finance.

As for the masters, I was considering it to bolster my application and also for personal development. The process of writing a dissertation is something that I would really enjoy to experience.
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anonuser99
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(Original post by ColtTheWolf)
Does best uni trump a favourite course?

I really love the look of LIBFs course for Banking and Finance.

As for the masters, I was considering it to bolster my application and also for personal development. The process of writing a dissertation is something that I would really enjoy to experience.
Yes, best uni trumps favourite course if job prospects in finance is high on your list of priorities. LIBF as far as I know is a non-target.

You can write a dissertation in undergrad.

If you want to do a masters, that's great, go for it. But if you're preempting a masters to boost an application which future-you has (and current you doesn't even know what it consists of) then it's way too early to be thinking about it. You should be focused on what you can do here and now so you don't have to shell out 30 grand for a MFin in a few years.

But to answer your question: yes your Masters school basically resets your undergrad school.
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username4218074
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(Original post by anonuser99)
Yes, best uni trumps favourite course if job prospects in finance is high on your list of priorities. LIBF as far as I know is a non-target.

You can write a dissertation in undergrad.

If you want to do a masters, that's great, go for it. But if you're preempting a masters to boost an application which future-you has (and current you doesn't even know what it consists of) then it's way too early to be thinking about it. You should be focused on what you can do here and now so you don't have to shell out 30 grand for a MFin in a few years.

But to answer your question: yes your Masters school basically resets your undergrad school.
does that mean the inverse is also true? i.e target undergrad --> non-target masters and seen as a non-target?
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EconomicsStud3nt
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(Original post by ColtTheWolf)
What about unis?

I love the look of Durham but I really love the courses at LIBF (London Institute of Banking and Finance)

I'm just not sure if loving the course there is enough to warrant me leaving a name like Durham from my CV.
Prestige matters A LOT. Imo. I can’t stress that enough. Durham is a fine choice
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anonuser99
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(Original post by Levi.-)
does that mean the inverse is also true? i.e target undergrad --> non-target masters and seen as a non-target?
I have no idea why or how this scenario would even happen but to be honest I don't know.
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username4218074
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(Original post by anonuser99)
I have no idea why or how this scenario would even happen but to be honest I don't know.
is this like not a thing that happens? xD I thought people getting into like LSE then going to like Bath for a ph.D was kinda normal
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anonuser99
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(Original post by Levi.-)
is this like not a thing that happens? xD I thought people getting into like LSE then going to like Bath for a ph.D was kinda normal
If you're going for a PhD, I highly doubt IB or anything in high finance (except maybe SS Research or economic research which is a slightly different ballgame) is on your agenda.
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username4218074
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(Original post by anonuser99)
If you're going for a PhD, I highly doubt IB or anything in high finance (except maybe SS Research or economic research which is a slightly different ballgame) is on your agenda.
Masters then, like is going to a worse uni for a master's uncommon?
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username19412
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(Original post by Levi.-)
Masters then, like is going to a worse uni for a master's uncommon?
You've been told before by the same user anonuser99 I believe that semi-targets exist. I think this was a post to do with Bristol university. My point is semi-targets exist, and Bath is a semi-target so it should be fine. Semi targets are targeted by fewer banks but are still targeted. Even if you go to a target for your undergraduate, and then a non-target for your master's I think it should be fine, as long as you got a 2.1 or above in your first degree.
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anonuser99
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(Original post by Levi.-)
Masters then, like is going to a worse uni for a master's uncommon?
I don't understand why or how anyone would do this if their goal was to recruit into high finance (and not for intellectual purposes).

I've never seen anyone go to a worse uni for an MFin (that might just be selection bias though).
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username4218074
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(Original post by username19412)
You've been told before by the same user anonuser99 I believe that semi-targets exist. I think this was a post to do with Bristol university. My point is semi-targets exist, and Bath is a semi-target so it should be fine. Semi targets are targeted by fewer banks but are still targeted. Even if you go to a target for your undergraduate, and then a non-target for your master's I think it should be fine, as long as you got a 2.1 or above in your first degree.
Should've specified by bath i mean *generic uni that isn't a target*. So the best place you went is the default?
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username4218074
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(Original post by anonuser99)
I don't understand why or how anyone would do this if their goal was to recruit into high finance (and not for intellectual purposes).

I've never seen anyone go to a worse uni for an MFin (that might just be selection bias though).
I understand that but say someone went imperial, got really good grades but failed to secure springs/internships and so don't have a job offer wouldn't they try to do a masters? And so due to competition they might end up at a non-target
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anonuser99
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(Original post by Levi.-)
I understand that but say someone went imperial, got really good grades but failed to secure springs/internships and so don't have a job offer wouldn't they try to do a masters? And so due to competition they might end up at a non-target
I don't know what would happen in this case and I don't really care. It's pointless making logic trees about unlikely and uncommon hypotheticals like this.
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BenRyan99
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Uni prestige >>>>> uni course for IB recruiting. A target master's can help reset your undergrad but I think some people are sniffy about this as it's seen as buying your way in, depends on the difference in quality between UG and PG.

I feel like you're missing so many things here though. You assume that it would be easy to go from a completely irrelevant uni like LIBF to a target master's, this is rarely successful due to the lack of continuation in course difficulty. Why would someone go from a target uni at UG to a non-target for PG if they wanted to go into IB? You don't even need a master's for IB.

I also find it pretty confusing that you're already thinking about a master's dissertation..... 😑 Firstly, you can just do a dissertation in UG. Secondly, you're literally school-level, how on earth would you know whether you'd like doing a dissertation? You've never written anything vaguely academic yet.

I would recommend to just keep things simple. If you want to go into IB, then definitely go to the semi-targets you mentioned like Durham and Nottingham over LIBF. From here, work hard and apply for spring weeks in the autumn of your first year. Then aim for summer internships at the end of your second year. By this point you'll start to know whether you even want to work in IB, you might have a return offer, you might have nothing. This is when you decide about master's too boost your CV, not while you're at school 😅. Then if you go to somewhere like Durham and then get a target master's they'll probably see you as a target student.

Even if you do get into a target MSc, the odds of getting into IB are still very low given the high proportion of spaces being allocated due to returning interns. Then even if you do get in, you'll be working 80-100 hour work weeks on Excel and PowerPoint with a bunch of other IB monkeys while you all get paid a bit above minimum wage (due to the hrs).

Not to say you shouldn't be proactive in shaping your future career but just remember to enjoy school, your gap year and university. Most people that get into IB generally realise it's not the dream they thought it was and leave after 1-2yrs.
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