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Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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Investment Banking Target - Universities + Courses

Hi guys,

Wondering what's best to take in my situation, with hopes of going into IBD:

- Durham - Business Management
- Durham - Finance
- Notts - Industrial Econ
- Notts - Management

Thanks.
Reply 1
I think you stand the best chance with Finance/Industrial Econ. I'd lean towards Notts but neither are exactly TARGET target yk? i know quite a few that have gotten into IBD from there tho. and the industrial econ course is good i've heard
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
Investment banks don't care what course you studied. You can get into investment banking having done classics or geology. You should aim to go to a target uni, not a semi-target or anything else, if your goal is to go into investment banking.

You should also choose a subject you will actually enjoy and do well in, for the likely situation that you don't get an analyst position and then you won't regret wasting your uni years doing something you hated for a job you didn't get.
Reply 3
Original post by timoye
I think you stand the best chance with Finance/Industrial Econ. I'd lean towards Notts but neither are exactly TARGET target yk? i know quite a few that have gotten into IBD from there tho. and the industrial econ course is good i've heard

Hey,
Yeah considering Durham. Wondering mainly what the remaining factors are like (brand image etc.) as I feel Durham > Notts brand, but want to know if I'm wrong or not tbh.
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
Investment banks don't care what course you studied. You can get into investment banking having done classics or geology. You should aim to go to a target uni, not a semi-target or anything else, if your goal is to go into investment banking.

You should also choose a subject you will actually enjoy and do well in, for the likely situation that you don't get an analyst position and then you won't regret wasting your uni years doing something you hated for a job you didn't get.


Hello, to clarify these are the only universities I could've got offers from with my grades.

I'm interested in Finance, but can naturally get a better grade for Management where there are no exams and just essays too.

Thinking to do Finance to challenge myself at least and get into debt for something useful; but I'm also wary that a better overall grade in something like management might end up looking better - thoughts?
Original post by dcb3
Hello, to clarify these are the only universities I could've got offers from with my grades.

I'm interested in Finance, but can naturally get a better grade for Management where there are no exams and just essays too.

Thinking to do Finance to challenge myself at least and get into debt for something useful; but I'm also wary that a better overall grade in something like management might end up looking better - thoughts?


It's unclear if you have already applied and these are the offers you hold, or you're still planning to apply. If you already applied and these are your options, I just pick whichever you prefer - I'm not really sure there is a great difference between them. Your experience is going to be rather different at Durham from Nottingham as well.

If you've not applied and are just considering options, there are plenty of courses you could do at target unis like LSE, UCL, and Warwick with AAB.
Reply 6
Original post by artful_lounger
It's unclear if you have already applied and these are the offers you hold, or you're still planning to apply. If you already applied and these are your options, I just pick whichever you prefer - I'm not really sure there is a great difference between them. Your experience is going to be rather different at Durham from Nottingham as well.

If you've not applied and are just considering options, there are plenty of courses you could do at target unis like LSE, UCL, and Warwick with AAB.

I've applied yes, Warwick rejected for foundation with A*AC due to missing english gcse grade requirement by 1 (achieved grade 5/5). Can't find many other courses as I miss the gcse requirements which is unfortunate. UCL is the same situaiton, but do make me aware of any similar courses if you are able - I would appreciate it.
Original post by dcb3
I've applied yes, Warwick rejected for foundation with A*AC due to missing english gcse grade requirement by 1 (achieved grade 5/5). Can't find many other courses as I miss the gcse requirements which is unfortunate. UCL is the same situaiton, but do make me aware of any similar courses if you are able - I would appreciate it.

Why don't you retake your GCSE English? That would give you many more options.

Also when I referred to those unis I didn't mean specifically finance related courses. I mean literally any course - investment banks don't care what you studied. You could just as well do anthropology at LSE or the archaeology of Egypt and Sudan at UCL and still have as much chance as anyone else provided you actually made a point of getting relevant internships in investment banks during the course.

The thing that matters is whether you go to a target uni, not what you studied there. Hence you can (and if your aim is investment banking, should) do any degree at a target uni, and as noted before you should do a degree you actually have an intellectual interest in.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 8
Original post by artful_lounger
Why don't you retake your GCSE English? That would give you many more options.

Also when I referred to those unis I didn't mean specifically finance related courses. I mean literally any course - investment banks don't care what you studied. You could just as well do anthropology at LSE or the archaeology of Egypt and Sudan at UCL and still have as much chance as anyone else provided you actually made a point of getting relevant internships in investment banks during the course.

The thing that matters is whether you go to a target uni, not what you studied there. Hence you can (and if your aim is investment banking, should) do any degree at a target uni, and as noted before you should do a degree you actually have an intellectual interest in.

Unfortunately if I was to retake it and still apply through UCAS - I was told I would still not be guaranteed an offer despite that, at either warwick/ucl. Outside of this, my gcse profile isn't very strong (majority 5/6, 2 7s).

I've seen anthropology and Law at LSE, which is one of the lowest requirements - but:
- It isn't something I'm interested in.
- Nor would I enjoy.
- Would not know what to do if I didn't land IBD.


I'm inherently interested in Finance; fields like advisory, m&a, consulting are my main targets and I would love to learn and understand it before entering, if that makes sense. Also gives me the safety net of other jobs in advisory, consulting if IBD doesn't work. I'm not sure what other course I would want to willingly get into 30k+ of debt for.

I've seen business management, and feel it is much easier. But I'm wondering what you think of it - as i'm sure I can do much better in that than Finance overall as I find it naturally easier and have overlooked the specs. But I may miss a lot of the technical aspects of finance (financial modelling, more mathematics, understanding economic influences in more detail perhaps). What are your thoughts on this - i.e. if I got a 1:1 in business management at X semi-target compared to 2:1 in finance at same X semi target uni?
Original post by dcb3
Unfortunately if I was to retake it and still apply through UCAS - I was told I would still not be guaranteed an offer despite that, at either warwick/ucl. Outside of this, my gcse profile isn't very strong (majority 5/6, 2 7s).

I've seen anthropology and Law at LSE, which is one of the lowest requirements - but:
- It isn't something I'm interested in.
- Nor would I enjoy.
- Would not know what to do if I didn't land IBD.


I'm inherently interested in Finance; fields like advisory, m&a, consulting are my main targets and I would love to learn and understand it before entering, if that makes sense. Also gives me the safety net of other jobs in advisory, consulting if IBD doesn't work. I'm not sure what other course I would want to willingly get into 30k+ of debt for.

I've seen business management, and feel it is much easier. But I'm wondering what you think of it - as i'm sure I can do much better in that than Finance overall as I find it naturally easier and have overlooked the specs. But I may miss a lot of the technical aspects of finance (financial modelling, more mathematics, understanding economic influences in more detail perhaps). What are your thoughts on this - i.e. if I got a 1:1 in business management at X semi-target compared to 2:1 in finance at same X semi target uni?

You're never guaranteed an offer - you just need to aim to meet whatever minimum requirements there are and the standard A-level offer. Most universities don't consider GCSEs much beyond minimum requirements (granted LSE is a known exception). I'd note also anthropology and law at LSE requires AAA unless they've changed their criteria recently, and is still one of the more competitive courses there (~10% success rate last time I looked). They also get a lot of people applying who aren't really interested in the anthropology side who get rejected for insufficiently motivated personal statements from what I've heard/seen anecdotally on TSR.

In any event, I'd note there's no such thing as a "1:1" - 1st class results aren't subdivided like 2nd class results are. In any case, a 1st vs 2:1 makes no difference as far as I've heard, as it's just a tick box - do you have a degree, in any subject, at 2:1 or above, from a target uni? That is the question they ask when filtering applicants, if you tick that box then you go on to the next stage and if you don't, you won't. There might be some content from the course which you may leverage in an interview but equally some motivated person on another degree could most likely figure out how to understand the relevant basic concepts ahead of an interview anyway (which itself is probably a more valuable skill too, as businesses are more often hiring people for their ability to for out and figure out something, rather than for what they already know).

At the end of the day from what I've heard the case would usually seem to be that someone doing Assyriology at Cambridge or Viking and Old Norse Studies at UCL who did a summer internship at GS or some other comparable bank is going to get a position ahead of someone who did "Finance For Investment Banking Wannabes" at a semi-target or non-target who did an internship at an accounting firm or some obscure boutique bank in most cases. Also most people do jobs unrelated to their degrees and most graduate schemes (including investment banking roles) do not care whatsoever what you degree subject is. Doing finance rather than social policy or whatever is not going to change your grad scheme prospects assuming the degree is from the same uni.
Reply 10
What if you studied business/finance at a semi target and did a summer internship at GS or some comparable bank? What are the chances as compared to someone who did Norse Studies at UCL for example?
What is a "target uni"? Are there only specific unis which IBD's will recruit from or something?
Original post by Costajambo
What is a "target uni"? Are there only specific unis which IBD's will recruit from or something?


They are the ones that investment banks sand management consulting firms primarily recruit from, and usually those with a degree from a target uni will pass the first sift by virtue of that I gather. There are lots of debates over some unis which may or may not be marginal target unis but conventionally I gather it's Oxbridge, LSE, Imperial, Warwick, and UCL, +/- a couple others.
Original post by artful_lounger
They are the ones that investment banks sand management consulting firms primarily recruit from, and usually those with a degree from a target uni will pass the first sift by virtue of that I gather. There are lots of debates over some unis which may or may not be marginal target unis but conventionally I gather it's Oxbridge, LSE, Imperial, Warwick, and UCL, +/- a couple others.

Thanks for that. Do you have any thoughts where Durham might sit in the grand scheme of things?
Original post by Costajambo
Thanks for that. Do you have any thoughts where Durham might sit in the grand scheme of things?

Not hugely, I'm vaguely aware it's often debated as being a semi-target. There are innumerable threads debating such matters in the investment banking and finance forum, although also probably at least 50% of the posters in that forum are 6th form students..

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