A Finance Master in Switzerland: your ticket to your dream job
Marcel Judmayr-Konrad, Analyst for Goldman Sachs in London
“I knew relatively early on that I wanted to work in banking. My bachelor’s degree programme was in Business Administration, and I completed it within three years. During that time, which I also spent in St. Gallen, I got to attend a broad range of industry events organised at the University. The annual HSG Banking Days gave me my first impressions of the world of banking. I knew immediately: that’s where I was headed.
There are plenty of first-class master’s degree programmes in this field. I weighed up my options and eventually decided I would stay at the University of St.Gallen for the MBF. There were several good reasons for me to continue studying here. First of all, Switzerland is one of the world’s most interesting banking and financial centres. St. Gallen is only a stone’s throw away from Zurich and its excellent banking landscape. The MBF at St.Gallen is also extremely international: Not only is it taught in English and admits many foreign students. The University also offers a whole host of partnerships and double degrees with universities all over the world.
Applicants to the MBF programme at St.Gallen should bring a wide range of qualities to the table. Good results alone won’t do: the Admissions Team look for committed personalities. Extracurricular activities, such as voluntary work, also play a role. It helps to bear that in mind and get prepared ahead of time. Most MBF students come from a background in Business Administration, while some have studied Economics or interdisciplinary subjects such as International Relations or Information Management.
The degree itself was a fantastic experience. It is certainly demanding, but there was a great sense of camaraderie among us students. We went on field trips to Zurich and Lake Constance together, and even took some international courses in Singapore, London and Frankfurt. The atmosphere was very cordial and produced a lot of friendships.
I particularly appreciate how much flexibility MBF students at the University of St.Gallen are given. During my second semester, for example, I went to Zurich for a six-month internship in management and strategic consulting.
The University of St.Gallen offers excellent career support. Just like most of my fellow students, I received job offers long before completing my degree. There is also a mentoring programme and an active alumni network at the University. Both of these make it a lot easier to kick-start your career. And the HSG Banking Days are an absolute highlight: Every autumn, the top employers of the industry come to St. Gallen to present themselves and organise workshops. It’s an excellent opportunity for MBF students to put themselves on the companies’ radars and expand their skill set. The event results in quite a few internship and employment contracts concluded after an informal chat at a drinks reception.
Holders of an MBF from the University of St.Gallen are viewed as determined, hard-working and committed – perfect qualities for a successful career in finance or consulting. I would choose the programme again and again.”
Aleksandra Navilnikova, Analyst for UBS in Zurich
“My main reason for choosing the Business Administration programme at the University of St.Gallen was the vast network of partner universities worldwide and the international character of the degree in general. During my exchange semester in Singapore, I realised that every strategic business decision starts with a financial analysis.
The courses that make up the MBF at St.Gallen are challenging, and I learned an incredible amount. What is particularly unique about the programme: students get to choose from six individual MBF tracks, namely Financial Markets, Corporate Finance, Alternative Investments, Data Science, Banking and the Financial Economy, and Risk Management and Insurance. I even got to complete a double degree in International Management in collaboration with Bocconi University in Milan. So, after just two years of study, I now have two master’s degrees and a year’s experience of immersing myself in another culture.
The campus of the University of St.Gallen offers excellent infrastructure and plenty of societies. Some are industry-related (Investment Club, PECV Club, Consulting Club, Data Science & Technology Club, START Global), some focus on social and leisure activities (oikos, PIECES, IGNITE, Alpine Club).
Easy access to nature, lakes and the mountains was another great advantage. Of course, the students themselves are really nice, too.”
Christian Ketterer, Associate at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Düsseldorf
“I grew up in a village in Baden-Württemberg. After completing my bachelor’s degree in Mannheim, I applied for the MBF at the University of St.Gallen. Many things about this programme at the leading business university in the German-speaking world appealed to me, from the course offer to the location itself. I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to spend another couple of years living in a small, walkable town. After all, my future career is quite likely to take place in large cities.
The MBF is perfect for students who appreciate their freedom and like organising their degree flexibly and independently. At St.Gallen, you have access to a wide range of courses and other opportunities, such as semesters abroad, double-degree programmes or the CEMS Master in International Management. In short: you have every chance to make the most of your master’s degree programme.
As a graduate from a university outside of Switzerland, I had to sit the GMAT exam when applying to St.Gallen. I have two pieces of advice for future applicants: Firstly, make sure to submit the best possible GMAT or GRE result you can manage. Prepare by completing lots of sample tests. And secondly, really emphasise your motivation in your personal statement and don’t just use clichés.
Getting in touch with corporate partners is very easy for students of the MBF programme and of the University of St.Gallen in general. For example, I now work for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a close corporate partner of the MBF.”
Master in Banking and Finance (MBF)
MBF contact form
HSG Banking Days
HSG exchange programmes/student mobility
HSG mentoring programme
HSG alumni network
HSG Career & Corporate Services
Private Equity & Venture Capital Club
HSG Asia Term