Among the hustle and bustle of downtown Milan, you’ll find Bocconi University, one of Europe’s top five business schools and home to one of the best Masters in Finance (MiF) degrees in the world.
The two-year Bocconi MSc in Finance is recognized by many of the world’s most prestigious institutions. Each year, the program helps talented students land positions at top investment banks, asset management firms, and consulting firms.
But what is it like to study in one of the best MiF degrees in the world? Here’s what you can expect from the Bocconi MSc in Finance.
Bocconi MScFinance | Who is it for?
Combining deep theoretical learning with a focus on practical expertise, the Bocconi MSc in Finance targets students who have the potential to excel in a rigorous curriculum.
Quantitative theory is an important part of the program, so students with previous experience and degrees in subjects such as mathematics and statistics are welcome. But program director Cesare Conti points out that students from less quantitative backgrounds can also apply.
“We’re not looking for students with a particular background, but we encourage students with a strong quantitative background as well as students with a strong CV that isn’t necessarily quantitative in nature,” he explains.
“We are looking for extraordinary students, because the selection process is very difficult,” he adds.
Anastasia Gamanilova graduated from the program in 2018, she says the MiF offered different levels of accessibility to students based on their previous financial experience. What brought everyone together was the desire to succeed, she adds.
“Everyone wanted to get the best jobs, and to get a good job, you need good grades. Of course, this made people spend more time studying.
Bocconi Master in Finance | Terms
The cost of admission to the Bocconi MSc in Finance is approximately $15,600 (€14,340) per year, or a total of approximately $30,000 for the two-year program. There are a variety of financial aid programs available to help with funding, including merit-based scholarships and student loans.
To land a place in the prestigious MiF, you will need to follow the typical application steps of providing academic transcripts, your CV and GPA, letters of recommendation, and providing a GMAT or GRE score.
Applications from all backgrounds are encouraged and you do not need to have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a similar related field.
Your past school grades and test scores are important, but Cesare stresses that it’s also important to show that you’re motivated and dedicated to a career in finance.
“We want students who are dynamic, eager to learn and ambitious,” he says. At the same time, Bocconi values collaboration and seeks students who can work side by side.
“Students should be ambitious, but not aggressive in nature,” he adds. “We want students to interact with each other when they come here, so that’s something that adds value to an app.”
READ: How a master’s degree from Bocconi University can boost your employability
Bocconi Master in Finance | Curriculum
As a two-year program, the Bocconi MSc in Finance offers students the opportunity to delve into complex financial theory and gain hands-on experience before specializing in a particular area of finance.
The first-year curriculum covers core topics such as financial modeling, financial analysis and reporting, and derivatives pricing; give students a solid foundation in financial theory.
As the foundation for everything that follows throughout the program, the basic program can be difficult, says Anastasia. “The level of teaching and the type of material you cover is very high, so you really have to spend a lot of time studying.”
The second year is much more customizable for students, who can choose to specialize in areas such as investment banking, asset management, and insurance management. There is also the option of a free track including elective courses from all the different majors.
Bocconi offers a range of hands-on and extracurricular experiences throughout the program, including guest lectures, company visits and business simulators as well as a summer internship. This helps students to put their theoretical knowledge into practice.
Students can undertake a second internship in the second year or embark on an exchange program with one of the various Bocconi partner schools, including the Rotterdam School of Management and Keio University in Tokyo. At the end of the program, students must write a master’s thesis on a subject of their choice.
“During the second year, the main objective is to provide real-world applications through both a personalized path and an internship,” explains Cesare. “We try to complement solid academic knowledge with practical application of that knowledge.”
The end result is that Bocconi students are comfortable in the work environment as soon as they graduate, he adds.
Bocconi MSc in Finance | Career Opportunities
As one of the best MiF degrees in the world, the Bocconi MSc in Finance offers many career opportunities for students. Over 88% of roles land before the end of the program, and the average student receives two offers.
Less than a year after graduation, more than 95% of students are employed and more than 70% land a position outside Italy. Top destinations are the UK, Switzerland and Germany, while the program’s top recruiters include world-renowned institutions such as JP Morgan, Barclays, HSBC Group, Deloitte, UBS and PwC.
With such a prestigious employer pool, Bocconi Masters in Finance graduates earn impressive salaries, averaging around $115,000 three years after graduation.
As an intensive and highly demanding program, it’s no surprise that Bocconi Masters in Finance students continue to excel once they enter the workforce.
Anna Repetto graduated from the Bocconi MSc in Finance and currently works as a Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Over the past, it has regularly hired graduates of the program.
“When you hire a Bocconi student right out of the Masters in Finance, he has a very good mix of theoretical and practical knowledge,” she explains. “For me, this has always been a big differentiator for hiring Bocconi students compared to other universities.”
While the program provides students with the tools to excel, the career service gives them exposure to earthly employment opportunities. Anastasia got a summer internship at Goldman Sachs which she was able to turn into a full-time job offer after graduation.
She believes that the extensive exposure to investment banks and other large financial firms she gained during the program was key to securing her role.
“They have recruiting events on the weekends and they constantly have guest speakers from all the banks and financial companies,” she says. “Invited speakers could come from Italian financial firms, from the UK or from all over the world.
“As a non-European person, I wouldn’t be exposed to a lot of those kinds of people, so Bocconi is doing a great job.”
The Bocconi MSc in Finance offers an excellent launch pad for a career in finance, and at around $30,000 for a two-year degree, it’s reasonably priced given the strong salary prospects after graduation.
Bocconi highlights the intensive nature of the program, so you should be prepared for a challenge if you apply. But it adds to the strong reputation of Bocconi graduates with employers who appreciate the preparation the program offers for a demanding career in finance.
If you are a hard-working and ambitious student looking for a career among the best financial companies in the world, look no further than the Bocconi Master in Finance.