LBS vs Insead (some $) vs SDA Bocconi (full ride)

Advice urgently required. I am in a BIG dilemma as to which school to choose from. the money does tip the balance. LBS - Great Brand - Strong in Finance - Good recognition in Europe and Asia, somewhat in US Insead -…

Advice urgently required.

I am in a BIG dilemma as to which school to choose from.

the money does tip the balance.

- Great Brand
- Strong in Finance
- Good recognition in Europe and Asia, somewhat in US

- Some money
- Great brand
- 1 year
- Good recognition in Europe and Asia, somewhat in US
- Strong in consulting

- Free Ride
- Good brand, but not as well recognised outside of Europe
(Not sure about recognition in US and Asia though...can anyone comment?)
- 1 year
- M/B/B recruits there as the faculty is strong in strategic management
- Greater ROI in short-term

Decisions decisions have to be made.....

I have a background in consulting and banking and wish to go back to either of them after an MBA.

What are your advice my dear friends?:oops:

I am female =P so the drooling factor has to work the other way...

Intention is to work in Europe after school so any of these school does make sense. I think it is a matter of whether I want to take on debt to go back to school, and in this current financial climate whether one can repay the debt after school.

Is the debt going to be servicable by going to a better-ranked school vs. a school with free ride?

Bocconi is a good business school particularly if you can pick on the local language. A lot of Italian companies have set up bases in India. These are the companies which would hire you and at a fairly high position. For a few years you would be working in Italy and then they would send you back to India at a senior managerial position. So, you can look into Bocconi.
Also, are you very particular about a career in finance or consulting?

Hi there,

Thanks for all the great advice.

I am still not sure where I want to work after MBA. Ideally, if the market condition improves, Europe. However if I am able to accurately predict the world's economy, I will not even need to go to do an MBA.....i can be an economic forecaster! :w00t:

Since there are so much uncertainties, I will want to position myself to be best in the position to be flexible.

US$100,000 is rather a lot of money in this current economic climate where sign-on bonuses and big annual bonuses are almost non-existent, hence I have the money consideration.

I have 7+ years international consulting and banking experience throughout Asia. GMAT over 700+, lots of leadership extracurricular activities, quantitative undergrad degree

I am curious. Why do you say Bocconi have problems now? What sort of problems?

I have friends who have told me that Bocconi is a good regional school.

Nothing1954 was spot on ... and you ahve said urself
LBS and INSEAD are true top 2 European schools.. Bocconi is at best Regional Top school...

1.If you want to work in Italy.. Bocconi might be a good bet. but then Branding of Bocconi falls once you come out of Italy . As Nothing pointed out , although in current climate its tuf money when you will look at big picture of a 20-25 long career years coming ahead, this should not be decision breaker . So if Italy and living in Italy is what you want , then bocconi is an option .
2. if comparing LBS vs INSEAD . The only issue with INSEAD that is ofcourse personal to applicants is large size of your peers and shorter MBA format. You will spend many parties/ get togethers and yet you will not have had chance to meet all and possible bonding with many people would not take place as many large /small groups would be formed... Over the years maybe ofcourse the power of Alumni mite be effective thing. but tats again a very personal choice of being comfortable with such a large class size.

3. Personal Choice among those two schools depends on these factors. big city vs small place. Urban campus to rural. Large class to relatively small . Finance hub of London vs consulting haven of INSEAD+close promixity to Business hub of Paris , English vs French Language...and finally post MBA living working in UK vs Living working in Continental Europe on longer term...

If you think on these lines .. maybe then You can some easy time on this dilemma.. Again I will repeat Eitherwise you wont go wrong with both schools ... It will be lifetime of experience.. Have a great time wherever you go..
Final comment.. Think between LBS and INSEAD .For Boconni: will depend on you personal choice of whether u have personal liking for italy , italian langauge or Italian worklife and lifestyle .

and finally hearty congratulations.. many applicants would love in be position you are in . All the best with you decision.. and let us know where you are heading too

Between INSEAD and LBS .... are you enrolled for the full year program at INSEAD that gives you time for an internship??

If not then at LBS you will have a mandatory internship (which will mostly be a paid one) ... this will help you in getting a better or multiple job offer(s).

Out of the people who get placed in consulting at INSEAD ... 30% of them go back to there previous employers (M/B/B/) -- refer employment stats for this.

So at INSEAD you will be studying with people who are already from M/B/B and who will go back to M/B/B --- this will help you build a solid network -- if you wish to work in consulting post MBA.

However, the internship at LBS can make up for this.

For a one year MBA -- people are generally (though not always) sure about the target field of work and so they concentrate on that only.

The 2yr MBA (with an internship) will enable you to concentrate in multiple subjects/fields and so you can decide to switch your field if you wish to.

Indeed! All your comments are valid.

Nothing, I am not from any of the Big4 but from a niche consulting firm, however not M/B/B.

I think ultimately I have to think about whether the brand name + flexibility of working elsewhere rather than Italy is worth US$100,000.

From what I have gathered from all you guys (big thanks to all!) is that of a "Yes", it is worth more for the brand name + flexibility of not confining myself to working in Italy afterwards...


First off - congrats on the admits! That's pretty amazing, and I'm sure a lot of us would love to be in the spot you're in! Nevertheless, curious, given your background, what school are you looking at (INSEAD vs LBS) and why? Any insights you have about either would be a huge help here on the forum - your own or alums you've talked to.

Right on, and as Mayank has so signigicantly stated , you should also consider the "drooling factor" 😛 All the best x

Nobody leaves an LBS or an Insead for a Bocconi... whatever the costs..

Decisions were made to apply to these schools based on my personal experience and also through my contact with their alumnus.

Ultimately I applied to schools that valued and have a high level of international diversity within its intake.

I will like to continue working internationally and I believe that the MBA is a means to help me further my career as such.

Why LBS, Insead, Bocconi?
I don't know how I could possibly add value to another person's application as I believe that we all have our own unique stories to tell when we apply to a certain school.

The MBA application is not all about statistics, it is all about the complete package. How good you are at conveying yourself as a "real" person in your application is what I believe to be key to the application success.

Just my 2 cents!

coolmayank123: yup....bragging right's all yours! Nothing beats the Harvard alumni internationally.....

I didn't apply to US schools as I wasn't a terribly organised applicant and left my applications to R3 and R4. Thus, I missed most US schools deadline already!

Hi Nothing,

I made my decision based largely on personal choices as each school does have its own merits and advantages.

My partner prefers to be in London hence I have decided on London Business School as my choice even though financially it is the toughest. Will have to take on a significant level of debt.

Secondly, as my post-career direction will most likely in either consulting or PE/VC, being based in London will hopefully be useful for networking.

Hopefully things will pan and the economy will improve.

hi mbagogogo,

congratulations and all the best! I feel that you have made the best choice( u have rest of ur life to earn back the money )


Hi..I was reading through all the posts..amazing to get through LBS..INSEAD...congrats mbagogogo...
i know it might be a little off topic on this thread to post my q but if anybody here (as I see there are lot of helpful and brilliant minds here)may answer it will be is 1 yr mba helpful in career switch?
I am from IT background with 4+years of exp and want to switch to consulting...
1. is 1 yr mba a good option..will i have good prospects in getting myself a job with a top firm...
2. will the firm be as interested in me despite my past work ex in a different field as in another candidate who might have worked in the same field as that of the firm

I agree with Nothing1954. Find the best fit and the best programme for yourself.

At the end of the day, it's all about you and how you fit in.

1 year or 2 years will depend on yourself and how much you can learn.

Some can learn better in 1 year, others in 2 years. Ultimately it's how you position yourself and differentiate yourself from other candidates.

Continuing on the topic of trying to land up with an opportunity in consulting, which are the better business schools in Europe or Asia for consulting ? INSEAD is one which comes to my mind. I have experience in business development and planning in the IT sector (five years) and a decent GMAT score of 710.

Wrt Europe INSEAD is only Global/Pan European top school for consulting .. LBS also is good bet although LBS is traditionally good for Finance placements considering London.. But neverthelese.. all top consulting firms come for UK recruitment... Other schools are more or less regional schools.. Firms come for thier local offices... like RSM. HEC.. IESE. SDA for respective. amsterdam, paris.. milan, barcelona offices... So it all comes to down tio where you want to head to post MBA... if ur not sure.. stick to GLobal Schools like INSEAD/LBS else you can narrow it down based on your personal preferences..

Same wrt Asia.. INSEAD again will prolly lead the pack for its Global position.. Rest others like ciebs. isb.. aim.. hkust.. agsm will cater to their local country offices...
All top consulting firms come down , it depends on where u want to go..
I hope that helps ..



I sounded low....gosh! Thanks for the reminder coolmayank! And thanks for the well-wishes....

I am just being cynical about the current green shoots sprouting....

I see the economy contracting, albeit at a slower pace, probably til the end of this year or 1Q10. There could be possible upswing possibly only at the end of 2010, and even then the recovery will be slow.

This will be of a concern at the time you graduate. The recent Business Week article cited some studies suggest those that those launching careers an economic downturn may face years -- or a lifetime -- of lower earnings.

It's a grim economy for new grads - MSN Money

Coolmayank: Apax partners were not recruiting for their European offices. In fact, when they came over to meet the class, they specifically asked us not to bother applying. However, they were looking for people with transaction experience for their India office. So if you are keen on coming back, you might want to tap into your PE club and find out the latest dope.
Carlyle in the US might be a better option, though. With their deeper pockets and the bigger names on their roles.

MBAGOGOGO: Have fun at LBS. The classmates could be a bit on the boisterous side (guilty of generalising), but if you are the type-A variety, you'll fit in fine. Good luck.