LBS vs INSEAD : The B-School Application
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13 Jun 2011, 05:24
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Hello Everyone!
Could anyone please briefly describe to me the pros and cons of studying at LBS and INSEAD. Both are on my short-list, just don't know on which one to focus.
I understand the basis differences, such as London vs. Fonty/Singapour, or Finance vs Consulting angle, but am more interested in such things as atmosphere in the class, quality of courses taught, employers' ratings, etc.
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13 Jun 2011, 12:46
I think the pros and cons would largely depend on what your post-MBA goals are. From what I've loosely heard, INSEAD seems very strong in consulting and LBS in finance. Both of these schools are also in my top choices and my focus is innovation and entrepreneurship. Why not apply to both??
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15 Jun 2011, 06:24
Pandora05 wrote:
Hello Everyone!
Could anyone please briefly describe to me the pros and cons of studying at LBS and INSEAD. Both are on my short-list, just don't know on which one to focus.
I understand the basis differences, such as London vs. Fonty/Singapour, or Finance vs Consulting angle, but am more interested in such things as atmosphere in the class, quality of courses taught, employers' ratings, etc.

Here are few thoughts on your topic

-LBS enjoys a higher prestige in the financial circles, whereas INSEAD may have slightly higher prestige within consulting/industry
-If you're staying in Europe, I think both schools will offer you the (roughly) equal amount of brand name recognition/prestige. INSEAD on the other hand holds a significant advantage once you move to Asia.
-You will spend at least 30k EURO more in LBS and, as it has been clearly stated, graduates from both schools are equally (highly) recognized, specially in Europe.
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18 Jul 2011, 22:43
LBS 2 years -> More time to enjoy your MBA, less pressure, more internship opportunities.
INSEAD 1 year -> Less expensive, can study in 3 continents!, faster ROI since you enter the job market a year earlier, if you start in January you can even do an internship in the summer.

Atmosphere, classmates, faculty etc. I would expect both to be equally good.

Personally, the idea of studying in Asia and doing an exchange with Wharton in the USA and maybe finishing in France sounds very interesting to me. Also, its a lot better for my cashflow!

So, I vote for INSEAD. Of course, LBS is pretty damn good as well. Basically if you are from Europe or America, INSEAD I think is the best choice, if you are from Asia and can afford the extra year then LBS might sound better. Also, it has a lot to do with your goals. If you want to do IB in London then its a no brainer!
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25 Jul 2011, 07:05
INSEAD is one of the best schools in the world and is a unique in its combination of an intensive and challenging 1-year program; a general management, strategy and entrepreneurship focus; and an incredibly diverse student body where no one nationality has more than 10%.
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09 Aug 2011, 18:43
INSEAD by far is better than LBS. INSEAD now is compared only with Harvard..and many students select INSEAD over MIT Sloan, Stanford, and Wharton.. just look into their placement this year with these tough economical conditions, its amazing !! INSEAD is the next dominant bschool after harvard.
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11 Aug 2011, 03:40
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oneyearmba wrote:
INSEAD by far is better than LBS. INSEAD now is compared only with Harvard..and many students select INSEAD over MIT Sloan, Stanford, and Wharton.. just look into their placement this year with these tough economical conditions, its amazing !! INSEAD is the next dominant bschool after harvard.

I'm not sure if it is as clear cut as this.

Yes many people select INSEAD over MIT, Stanford and Wharton, because it is a great school - but I also know many people that selected LBS over Chicago Booth, Columbia, MIT, Wharton and even Harvard (I met two current students that were Harvard admits at my first LBS info session). Both programs attract students of the same calibre. In addition, quite a few people choose LBS over INSEAD - of course, quite a few people also select INSEAD over LBS. The point is, I don't think there is much difference between the two, and it boils down to personal preference (1 vs 2 years, Finance vs. MC, London vs France/Sing). Neither is "by far" better than the other. Some people, myself included, don't even apply to INSEAD because of its length and location.
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13 Aug 2011, 11:48
If you want to get a feel for the difference between INSEAD and LBS, you have to look at areas that are super competitive even for top MBA grads (not typical recruiters such as MC/ IB), such as PE funds or HFs. Have a look e.g. at big buyout funds (almost all have employee profiles online), and you will see that only one of the two schools above is on par with very few US schools in that field...
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15 Aug 2011, 01:31
As the above poster rightly notes, LBS enjoys much higher prestige for PE,HF later in your career.

But class, atmosphere and quality of students is mostly the same.If you want asia foucs, then INSEAD is the schools for you. Also if you are an international, you may have preferences based on the UK/France post MBA work visa policy.
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15 Aug 2011, 01:59
It's actually arguably the other way around. You'll find plenty of INSEAD grads in that field but hardly anybody from LBS...
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06 Sep 2011, 21:14
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Let's also not forget that LBS is well, in London, and INSEAD is well, in Fountainebleu!

Looking at graduation statistics means that if you graduate from LBS you'll likely stay in the UK, and from Fountainebleu from INSEAD. (although oddly enough we have a client who graduated from INSEAD and who is currently doing his internship in the UK!). Other than that, I think LBS is indisputably the stronger finance institution.INSEAD has great strengths in European consulting, and is quite strong in industry and the indisputable leader in Luxury goods and retail. The one and two year difference has been noted, and this can tend to make INSEAD a better ROI for your B-schools. Other than that, the Singapore campus is a big differentiators for those who want that link to Asia.
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23 Sep 2011, 20:49
I won't answer all your questions, but I'll touch on employer rating's a bit. Employment stats are really important, because this is a show of where the employers are putting their money. In the end, if an employer says "this is a great school" but would not hire student en masse from that school, then that says something about how that school is really perceived. Employment numbers speaks loudly, imo.

INSEAD isn't only "slightly" stronger in consulting. INSEAD is a jauggernaught in MC of its own right. When it comes to MBB placement, no school in the world surpasses INSEAD. In 2010, INSEAD placed 24% of it's class into MBB (44% into MC generally, if you begin including Booz, AT Kearney, L.E.K., Roland Berger etc...). INSEAD's representation in management consulting is not "slightly" stronger than LBS, it's quite a bit stronger. To put this into perspective, by pure numbers, INSEAD easily places more students with MBB than Columbia, Tuck, Berkeley, Chicago, Duke, and Michigan... combined.

Disclaimer: this dominance is quite substantial and can be misleading, and that is why I feel compelled to say this: in Europe only. So if you want to do MC in the US, you're definitely fishing in the wrong pond. Also, it's impossible to figure out whether the dominance is because the school makes mediocre people into great candidates, or the school admit people who are great candidates for MC to begin with, but that's the stats as they stand. This phenomena might also be a function of the student body's interest generally. But still, it could also be a function of great on-campus case-interview training and alumni connection. The problem? You'll never know why, but if MC is your dream, better safe than sorry, and nothing safer than INSEAD in Europe.

For finance, LBS is definitely stronger than INSEAD. In 2010, LBS placed 6 students with Barclay Capital, INSEAD placed 8. LBS placed 4 with Goldman Sachs, INSEAD placed 6. LBS placed 4 with UBS, INSEAD placed 6. LBS placed 5 with Credit Suisse, INSEAD placed 5. LBS placed 5 with Deustche Bank, INSEAD placed 3. INSEAD doesn't place many with BAML, whereas LBS placed 3. LBS, on the other hand, doesn't place many with Morgan Stanley, whereas INSEAD placed 5.

NOTE: INSEAD is a little under 3x the size of LBS. So though some of the numbers on the INSEAD side are larger, if it's not at least double, it's not matching by percentage. That is why I would say LBS dominates, at least in terms of industry representation.

INSEAD rules management consulting in Europe. LBS is strong in finance. But going to INSEAD won't kill your dreams for finance. Neither will going to LBS kill your dreams for management consulting (11% of LBS get jobs with MBB, which is, on a percentage basis, stronger than Columbia, Wharton, Chicago, and Tuck).
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24 Sep 2011, 00:03
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LBS is nothing to scoff at, but I haven't met anyone who swears by and raves about it the way I have with INSEAD, which has legions of followers (I include Brits in this assessment!). The rationale for choosing LBS is that you want to get a finance job in the City of London or Canary Wharf, or that you want the internship to experiment - in these cases, it is a wiser option over INSEAD. Otherwise, all other paths point to INSEAD as being the more rational choice, with the caveat that US employers still haven't quite figured these two schools out and therefore their US placement doesn't live up to the caliber of their student bodies (on a separate note, I see this as indicative of how 'international perspective' truly ranks in the pecking order of US priorities - LOW).
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24 Sep 2011, 00:40
Good to meet you osborncox

@topcan
I'll stir the pot a little. When you measure MC jobs as a yardstick for how good a school is for placing people in MC, you need to be careful of three things:
1) How many of these people were ALREADY in MC
2) How many of the student body even bother applying to MC
3) How many of them are placed IN a head office (e.g. London or NY or Paris) and how many were placed in satellite offices

Reason 1 is fairly self evident. 2 is important because it is a self selection argument . 3 is interesting and I did not know about this until I joined b-school and interacted with folks interested in consulting. Comprehensive statistical analysis conducted over beers at a pub suggest that it is a lot easier to get placed in an smaller office of any consulting firm than in the major centers. London office in particular is very high in demand; most LBS folks tend to apply to London office (or say Munich office for Roland Berger) and placements here should be given a higher weight. I believe the NY schools have this problem too.

Anyway the original question was around the student body and environment of the school. So let me start with a few quick differences :

1. Size (as someone mentioned earlier INSEAD is 3x the size of LBS). Do you want a tight knit community or do you want to lost in a crowd
2. Location - self evident in terms of busy city v/s quiet city and also in terms of opportunities you have to self recruit and reach out to interesting industries (that would never come to recruit at b-school normally)
3. Time frame - Would you have time to explore career ops beyond consulting at INSEAD ? Probably not in 1 year. Furthermore will you have enough time to have fun / bond and study and find the dream job in 1 year ?
4. Exchange - INSEAD does only Wharton and has a campus in Singapore I believe(I could well be wrong here). LBS does well most of the world.... (including Wharton and Singapore)
5. Expenses - LBS WILL be more expensive period
6. Work permit - If you are non EU and wanted to work in UK, you will, going forward have some interesting times trying to obtain tier 2 sponsorship from UK employers. The cap doesn't apply to UK graduates
7. Other programs - LBS also has a large contingent of other programmes running simultaneously such as the Masters in Finance, Masters in Management (catered to fresh graduates), Executive programmes such as EMBA and Sloan which is offers along with MIT and Stanford). This makes LBS campus a great networking and social hub.

These are some quick differentiators to answer the original question. I'm sure there are more. But at the end of the day everyone has a different priority set which determines which school they apply and go to. Doesn't mean that school a is better than school b etc. This thread has become a pro/con discussion to a A > B discussion more often seen on b-week threads.

osbornecox wrote:
LBS is nothing to scoff at, but I haven't met anyone who swears by and raves about it the way I have with INSEAD, which has legions of followers (I include Brits in this assessment!). The rationale for choosing LBS is that you want to get a finance job in the City of London or Canary Wharf, or that you want the internship to experiment - in these cases, it is a wiser option over INSEAD. Otherwise, all other paths point to INSEAD as being the more rational choice, with the caveat that US employers still haven't quite figured these two schools out and therefore their US placement doesn't live up to the caliber of their student bodies (on a separate note, I see this as indicative of how 'international perspective' truly ranks in the pecking order of US priorities - LOW).

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24 Sep 2011, 10:35
Quote:
@topcan
I'll stir the pot a little. When you measure MC jobs as a yardstick for how good a school is for placing people in MC, you need to be careful of three things:
1) How many of these people were ALREADY in MC
2) How many of the student body even bother applying to MC
3) How many of them are placed IN a head office (e.g. London or NY or Paris) and how many were placed in satellite offices

1: A typical class at INSEAD has 26% of its class coming in with an MC background. About 44% of INSEAD end up with MC jobs upon graduation. Meaning, at minimum, about 18% of INSEAD students that end up in MC do not have any previous MC background. 24% of LBS walks in with a MC background and 25% walk out into MC. If people walking in with quality MC background should facilitate greater hiring rates at MBB, then LBS should do just as well, assuming there is interest. INSEAD is not a MC school because it accepts a larger cohort of consultants than LBS (only a couple percentages more), it's considered an MC school because it can place so many people into MC, year after year. That's where it's reputation comes from. But of course you have a point, student body interest might be a factor, but without much more, all I have to go on is the data. Like I said before, of course it can be a function of greater interest. But it could also quite easily be a function of better case-interview training services, or resume screening services etc... who knows, we don't have the data.

2: Of course interest is important, but lets try to frame it another way. Typically, at any given school in the world, the hiring rate for any number of applicants is 10% (for the TOP MCs, like MBB). Even at top US schools, this is the typical success rate of applicants from a good school. We don't really know how many INSEAD students actually bothered applying (or LBS for that matter), but even IF EVERY SINGLE STUDENT applied, INSEAD would have a minimum of 24% success rate in entering MBB in 2010 (minimum success rate is 24% of course, and would be higher every time you met an INSEAD student that didn't apply). This is really quite impressive, regardless of student body interest.

3: This is definitely a good point and I don't have the numbers for this. But with 127 McKinsey hires in 2010 alone (LBS had 18 that year), I'd wager that at least some of these are jobs in London, Paris, Moscow, Munich etc... (I doubt many landed in NY, and I have the same doubt about LBS for MC in the US). I wouldn't doubt that this was at the expense of other students from other MBA schools either. Though of course I have no way of verifying this, and like i said in my disclaimer, this dominance is in Europe.
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25 Sep 2011, 01:27
@bsd_lover

I appreciate reading various points of views. However, I must say that your post clearly shows that you have not done an elementary research on INSEAD as evidenced by this claim:

". Exchange - INSEAD does only Wharton and has a campus in Singapore I believe(I could well be wrong here). LBS does well most of the world.... (including Wharton and Singapore)"

1. In addition to Wharton, INSEAD also offers and exchange with Kellogg.

2. You believe that INSEAD has a campus in Singapore? I hope I misunderstood that statement because anyone who has done an elementary research on INSEAD KNOWS that it has a campus in Singapore. In fact, this is one of its many advantages and really sets it aside from other top b-schools. This is especially noteworthy for someone looking to relocate to Asia.

I don't mean to be rude, but such a claim needs to be clarified urgently!

Also, please note that INSEAD also has various programs other than the MBA (executive education, EMBA and PhD).

I agree with your other points and especially about the fact that each individual has his/her own priorities and at the end of the day when choosing between these two top schools, those priorities will determine the best choice of school.

bsd_lover wrote:
Good to meet you osborncox

@topcan
I'll stir the pot a little. When you measure MC jobs as a yardstick for how good a school is for placing people in MC, you need to be careful of three things:
1) How many of these people were ALREADY in MC
2) How many of the student body even bother applying to MC
3) How many of them are placed IN a head office (e.g. London or NY or Paris) and how many were placed in satellite offices

Reason 1 is fairly self evident. 2 is important because it is a self selection argument . 3 is interesting and I did not know about this until I joined b-school and interacted with folks interested in consulting. Comprehensive statistical analysis conducted over beers at a pub suggest that it is a lot easier to get placed in an smaller office of any consulting firm than in the major centers. London office in particular is very high in demand; most LBS folks tend to apply to London office (or say Munich office for Roland Berger) and placements here should be given a higher weight. I believe the NY schools have this problem too.

Anyway the original question was around the student body and environment of the school. So let me start with a few quick differences :

1. Size (as someone mentioned earlier INSEAD is 3x the size of LBS). Do you want a tight knit community or do you want to lost in a crowd
2. Location - self evident in terms of busy city v/s quiet city and also in terms of opportunities you have to self recruit and reach out to interesting industries (that would never come to recruit at b-school normally)
3. Time frame - Would you have time to explore career ops beyond consulting at INSEAD ? Probably not in 1 year. Furthermore will you have enough time to have fun / bond and study and find the dream job in 1 year ?
4. Exchange - INSEAD does only Wharton and has a campus in Singapore I believe(I could well be wrong here). LBS does well most of the world.... (including Wharton and Singapore)
5. Expenses - LBS WILL be more expensive period
6. Work permit - If you are non EU and wanted to work in UK, you will, going forward have some interesting times trying to obtain tier 2 sponsorship from UK employers. The cap doesn't apply to UK graduates
7. Other programs - LBS also has a large contingent of other programmes running simultaneously such as the Masters in Finance, Masters in Management (catered to fresh graduates), Executive programmes such as EMBA and Sloan which is offers along with MIT and Stanford). This makes LBS campus a great networking and social hub.

These are some quick differentiators to answer the original question. I'm sure there are more. But at the end of the day everyone has a different priority set which determines which school they apply and go to. Doesn't mean that school a is better than school b etc. This thread has become a pro/con discussion to a A > B discussion more often seen on b-week threads.

osbornecox wrote:
LBS is nothing to scoff at, but I haven't met anyone who swears by and raves about it the way I have with INSEAD, which has legions of followers (I include Brits in this assessment!). The rationale for choosing LBS is that you want to get a finance job in the City of London or Canary Wharf, or that you want the internship to experiment - in these cases, it is a wiser option over INSEAD. Otherwise, all other paths point to INSEAD as being the more rational choice, with the caveat that US employers still haven't quite figured these two schools out and therefore their US placement doesn't live up to the caliber of their student bodies (on a separate note, I see this as indicative of how 'international perspective' truly ranks in the pecking order of US priorities - LOW).
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30 Sep 2011, 15:12
Hdim wrote:
@bsd_lover

I appreciate reading various points of views. However, I must say that your post clearly shows that you have not done an elementary research on INSEAD as evidenced by this claim:

". Exchange - INSEAD does only Wharton and has a campus in Singapore I believe(I could well be wrong here). LBS does well most of the world.... (including Wharton and Singapore)"

1. In addition to Wharton, INSEAD also offers and exchange with Kellogg.

2. You believe that INSEAD has a campus in Singapore? I hope I misunderstood that statement because anyone who has done an elementary research on INSEAD KNOWS that it has a campus in Singapore. In fact, this is one of its many advantages and really sets it aside from other top b-schools. This is especially noteworthy for someone looking to relocate to Asia.

I don't mean to be rude, but such a claim needs to be clarified urgently!

Also, please note that INSEAD also has various programs other than the MBA (executive education, EMBA and PhD).

I agree with your other points and especially about the fact that each individual has his/her own priorities and at the end of the day when choosing between these two top schools, those priorities will determine the best choice of school.

[/quote]

Hdim,

Bsd Lover obviously was not saying he could be wrong about whether or not INSEAD has a campus in Singapore, he was saying he could be wrong about the fact that INSEAD doesn't have any other exchange possibilities other than the Singapore Campus and Wharton. So now we know there is also an exchange at Kellogg, that's great.

Before I got to B-school I thought this kind of discussion comparing the minute differences in recruitment stats between top B-Schools was important. Now that I've started my first Term I know how pointless they are. At the end of the day it is YOU and YOUR CV that will get you a job. If you have a strong CV, it will not matter if you are at INSEAD or LBS - both are top schools that these companies want to hire from. If you have a good CV and network well, they will give you an interview at both schools. If you just can't crack a case at your consulting interview you simply won't get the job, regardless of whether your CV says INSEAD or LBS. These are both top schools, but once you're there, it is still YOU that will have to get the job, not the school. I think this is important to keep in mind. Once you realise this, it will be clear that personal fit with the school is far more important than comparing stats, especially when we're talking about two undisputed top schools like LBS and INSEAD.
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30 Sep 2011, 23:32
Chambax,

I think we can all agree that if your CV is not up to par, if you mess up an interview and if you don't take the necessary steps to put your profile forward to your target employers, it won't matter which b-school you graduate from, you'll graduate empty-handed.

We also share the idea that the fit of the school (when comparing top schools) will be the main factor that determines a candidates choice.

Not all comparisons between top schools are futile though. One needs to make such comparison, not to determine that school A is better than school B but rather to determine which one between school A and school B is a better "fit".

This is why I want to insist that the fact that INSEAD has a campus in Singapore is a great advantage for someone who either wants to work there post-MBA or plans in one way or the other to do business there.

Having a campus onsite is different than having the possibility of doing a simple exchange there. It implies a much more developped network between the school and local recruiters, a much more developped network of local alumnis that can help one's career or business in the region and a much higher name recognition in the region, just to name a few perks.

The discussion regarding recruitment strengths is also valid. Of course graduating from INSEAD does not entitle anyone to a job in consuting, but assuming you work your butt off, work on your CV and profile, practice cases and perform well in interviews, your chances do seem to be higher at INSEAD.

Likewise, someone who is hell-bent on finding a finance job in London would most likely increase his chances of attaining his/her goals by going to LBS.

chambax wrote:
Hdim wrote:
@bsd_lover

I appreciate reading various points of views. However, I must say that your post clearly shows that you have not done an elementary research on INSEAD as evidenced by this claim:

". Exchange - INSEAD does only Wharton and has a campus in Singapore I believe(I could well be wrong here). LBS does well most of the world.... (including Wharton and Singapore)"

1. In addition to Wharton, INSEAD also offers and exchange with Kellogg.

2. You believe that INSEAD has a campus in Singapore? I hope I misunderstood that statement because anyone who has done an elementary research on INSEAD KNOWS that it has a campus in Singapore. In fact, this is one of its many advantages and really sets it aside from other top b-schools. This is especially noteworthy for someone looking to relocate to Asia.

I don't mean to be rude, but such a claim needs to be clarified urgently!

Also, please note that INSEAD also has various programs other than the MBA (executive education, EMBA and PhD).

I agree with your other points and especially about the fact that each individual has his/her own priorities and at the end of the day when choosing between these two top schools, those priorities will determine the best choice of school.

Hdim,

Bsd Lover obviously was not saying he could be wrong about whether or not INSEAD has a campus in Singapore, he was saying he could be wrong about the fact that INSEAD doesn't have any other exchange possibilities other than the Singapore Campus and Wharton. So now we know there is also an exchange at Kellogg, that's great.

Before I got to B-school I thought this kind of discussion comparing the minute differences in recruitment stats between top B-Schools was important. Now that I've started my first Term I know how pointless they are. At the end of the day it is YOU and YOUR CV that will get you a job. If you have a strong CV, it will not matter if you are at INSEAD or LBS - both are top schools that these companies want to hire from. If you have a good CV and network well, they will give you an interview at both schools. If you just can't crack a case at your consulting interview you simply won't get the job, regardless of whether your CV says INSEAD or LBS. These are both top schools, but once you're there, it is still YOU that will have to get the job, not the school. I think this is important to keep in mind. Once you realise this, it will be clear that personal fit with the school is far more important than comparing stats, especially when we're talking about two undisputed top schools like LBS and INSEAD.[/quote]
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04 Oct 2011, 21:08
You are very right about CV and prior work experience are very important and it is not important where you go LBS or Insead but can you say the same is correct for oxford mba? If somebody goes to Oxford, with hard-work and networking, can he get excellent jobs in finance in london as well, like lbs mba?
thank you,
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07 Oct 2011, 14:16
hfiratozturk wrote:
You are very right about CV and prior work experience are very important and it is not important where you go LBS or Insead but can you say the same is correct for oxford mba? If somebody goes to Oxford, with hard-work and networking, can he get excellent jobs in finance in london as well, like lbs mba?
thank you,

You probably should start a new thread.

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