5/6/10

Alright everyone.... reading these comments on this major Columbia blog surprised me. This is why CU doesn't have good rep on Wall St. as compared to HYP, Wharton, and sometimes even Cornell.

If you have 10-20 minutes to spare (it'll take you that long to read), go here now:
http://bwog.net/2010/05/05/senior-wisdom-michael-m...

BACKGROUND:
Basically their Class of 2010 is graduating and every year they do "Senior Wisdoms"...surveys to interesting seniors of interest. This kid Mike (subject of the survey) said he would be graduating then doing nothing and have no plans other than to make films.

WHAT HAPPENED:
Someone started this whole 100-comment argument by saying that the admins need to pick more accomplished guys to survey, and not this "kid with no ambitions or future". What happened next was MAJOR BASHING of investment banking kids, prelaw kids, pre-med kids, engineering kids, biology kids, and basically anyone who has an ounce of ambition.

WHY AM I POSTING THIS? Could you ever have imagined that an Ivy League school would have SO MANY guys who just want to slack off their whole lives? I had NO IDEA so many of Columbia's students never cared about landing a job after college. After reading that page, I wouldnt be surprised if only 10 guys APPLY to ibanking/law/medicine from the entire Columbia University!

Comments (34)

5/6/10

ps: many of the comments that started it all are hidden due to excessive "thumbs downs" so you'll have to remember to click "View/Hide"

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5/6/10

so basically the general consensus at Columbia is that everybody hates finance/law/engineering/biological sciences/cutthroat medical guys.

unbelievable. I have no idea how these guys are gonna pay off their student loans, unless they all happen to come from rich families.

5/6/10

You're typically a little more articulate, Logan.

5/6/10

columbia is a great school. They have gotten insanely selective and only lag harvard,princeton,stanford,yale, when it comes to selectivity. Most people who go there turn down the second-tier ivies and some of them even turn down yale and stanford (very few say no to harvard and princeton). Having said that however, columbia is a tier below the other elite schools when it comes to finance recruiting. It does very well in law school and grad placement though.

5/7/10
jjc1122:

columbia is a great school. They have gotten insanely selective and only lag harvard,princeton,stanford,yale, when it comes to selectivity. Most people who go there turn down the second-tier ivies and some of them even turn down yale and stanford (very few say no to harvard and princeton). Having said that however, columbia is a tier below the other elite schools when it comes to finance recruiting. It does very well in law school and grad placement though.

The truth about Columbia is that it's impossible to get in unless you make every effort to look like a brainwashed Columbia zealot. Columbia- and actually, MIT, have this sort of inferiority complex about getting turned down by students and make every effort to ensure that an acceptance will translate into an admission. This also helps prop up their rankings, since most rankings formulas look for acceptance-admission conversion ratios. I am still waiting for a personality cult to form sort of like what you see at a firm whose name rhymes with Quitadel.

In other words, somebody with a 680 GMAT can probably get in if they show up in NYC every week, mail in poems about how they want to go to Columbia, and go to all of the Football games. Columbia will accept that person and reject someone with a 740 GMAT who got into HBS because the guy who got into HBS won't convert into an admission.

It's a great school that competes well with any MBA program (including HBS), but comparisons get awkward if the school is subtly trying to play the rankings game. In any case, if you want to work at a BB in NYC, a Columbia MBA is a perfectly good degree- particularly for research or IBD.

As a liberal arts students, my parents would not allow me to apply to UPenn, their argument was that it was "below me". I did not understand that at the time, but I do now. The Wharton undergrads are a pretty smart group, the UPenn undergrads are the kids who could not get into another Ivy or the Wharton program.

Your post is a perfectly good example of the foolish elitism that tends to evaporate when the people who survive hit the street. Some of the smartest kids in my analyst class- which included folks from Princeton, Yale, Harvard, etc, were from non-Wharton UPenn.

Wharton's a strong program, but there are smart people everywhere. Sometimes, people who aren't smart enough to recognize other intelligent people have difficulty understanding this concept.

5/7/10
IlliniProgrammer:
jjc1122:

columbia is a great school. They have gotten insanely selective and only lag harvard,princeton,stanford,yale, when it comes to selectivity. Most people who go there turn down the second-tier ivies and some of them even turn down yale and stanford (very few say no to harvard and princeton). Having said that however, columbia is a tier below the other elite schools when it comes to finance recruiting. It does very well in law school and grad placement though.

The truth about Columbia is that it's impossible to get in unless you make every effort to look like a brainwashed Columbia zealot. Columbia- and actually, MIT, have this sort of inferiority complex about getting turned down by students and make every effort to ensure that an acceptance will translate into an admission. This also helps prop up their rankings, since most rankings formulas look for acceptance-admission conversion ratios. I am still waiting for a personality cult to form sort of like what you see at a firm whose name rhymes with Quitadel.

In other words, somebody with a 680 GMAT can probably get in if they show up in NYC every week, mail in poems about how they want to go to Columbia, and go to all of the Football games. Columbia will accept that person and reject someone with a 740 GMAT who got into HBS because the guy who got into HBS won't convert into an admission.

It's a great school that competes well with any MBA program (including HBS), but comparisons get awkward if the school is subtly trying to play the rankings game. In any case, if you want to work at a BB in NYC, a Columbia MBA is a perfectly good degree- particularly for research or IBD.

As a liberal arts students, my parents would not allow me to apply to UPenn, their argument was that it was "below me". I did not understand that at the time, but I do now. The Wharton undergrads are a pretty smart group, the UPenn undergrads are the kids who could not get into another Ivy or the Wharton program.

Your post is a perfectly good example of the foolish elitism that tends to evaporate when the people who survive hit the street. Some of the smartest kids in my analyst class- which included folks from Princeton, Yale, Harvard, etc, were from non-Wharton UPenn.

Wharton's a strong program, but there are smart people everywhere. Sometimes, people who aren't smart enough to recognize other intelligent people have difficulty understanding this concept.

Yeah, I agree with this. Columbia is obsessed with their yield, and applicants have to show that they REALLY want to go there. This is especially true for the business school. It's a great school though, and I have nothing bad to say about it.

I had no idea citadel was cultish. But due to the difficulty of getting in, prestige, and high pay, I guess it's understandable why the employees there feel that way.

5/7/10
jjc1122:

I had no idea quitadel was cultish. But due to the difficulty of getting in, prestige, and high pay, I guess it's understandable why the employees there feel that way.

Seriously, I've seen a few people who were desperate to get out of there. Their recruiting sessions kept focusing on the CEO and had lots of weird trivia about him. And I spoke with two of my friends after they had worked there for several months and they were... err, different...

It's an amazing firm, but I'm not sure I'd want to work there. If their employees consider showers and bunk beds an "amenity", the place starts to remind me of the "Join The Saturn Family" spoof commercial that was on Mad TV about about 10 years ago.

5/7/10
IlliniProgrammer:
jjc1122:

I had no idea quitadel was cultish. But due to the difficulty of getting in, prestige, and high pay, I guess it's understandable why the employees there feel that way.

Seriously, I've seen a few people who were desperate to get out of there. Their recruiting sessions kept focusing on the CEO and had lots of weird trivia about him. And I spoke with two of my friends after they had worked there for several months and they were... err, different...

It's an amazing firm, but I'm not sure I'd want to work there. If their employees consider showers and bunk beds an "amenity", the place starts to remind me of the "Join The Saturn Family" spoof commercial that was on Mad TV about about 10 years ago.

How did they change by working at citadel? did they become more arrogant? In Chicago, there are very few places that are more prestigious to work at than citadel. Of course you don't care about that sort of thing.

5/7/10
jjc1122:

How did they change by working at quitadel? did they become more arrogant? In Chicago, there are very few places that are more prestigious to work at than quitadel. Of course you don't care about that sort of thing.

One thing they did not become was more arrogant.

They did become different- I think the term is "drinking the Kool-Aid". Their eyes would get wide when they would describe the firm and talked about how it was so awesome to work there and how the firm paid for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and numerous midnight snacks. It was also so convenient to only have to commute three or four days a week because you were working overnight on really cool projects. The building has this amazing view, but that doesn't really matter because everyone is always focused on CEO Ben Trippin and every word he is saying. Oh, and the firm had its own 24/7 barrista for serving up coffee, so you can stay up 24/7 if you want!

That kind of different. (OK, I'm exaggerating a little, but I got a very serious Kool-Aide vibe when I spoke to them after a few months.

5/7/10
IlliniProgrammer:
jjc1122:

How did they change by working at quitadel? did they become more arrogant? In Chicago, there are very few places that are more prestigious to work at than quitadel. Of course you don't care about that sort of thing.

One thing they did not become was more arrogant.

They did become different- I think the term is "drinking the Kool-Aid". Their eyes would get wide when they would describe the firm and talked about how it was so awesome to work there and how the firm paid for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and numerous midnight snacks. It was also so convenient to only have to commute three or four days a week because you were working overnight on really cool projects. The building has this amazing view, but that doesn't really matter because everyone is always focused on CEO Ben Trippin and every word he is saying. Oh, and the firm had its own 24/7 barrista for serving up coffee, so you can stay up 24/7 if you want!

That kind of different. (OK, I'm exaggerating a little, but I got a very serious Kool-Aide vibe when I spoke to them after a few months.

I'm being completely serious when I say that I would love to work there. Aside from the money, it would be an amazing experience.

5/7/10
jjc1122:

I'm being completely serious when I say that I would love to work there. Aside from the money, it would be an amazing experience.

Don't get me wrong- it's a great firm. But when I speak to folks there- all of them incredibly smart folks- I sometimes get this vibe that gives me a few reservations. If they got brainwashed, how long would I last- assuming I could get hired in.

5/7/10
IlliniProgrammer:
jjc1122:

I'm being completely serious when I say that I would love to work there. Aside from the money, it would be an amazing experience.

Don't get me wrong- it's a great firm. But when I speak to folks there- all of them incredibly smart folks- I sometimes get this vibe that gives me a few reservations. If they got brainwashed, how long would I last- assuming I could get hired in.

It's so fucking tough to get in there. They hire like 15-20 at most out of undergrad and even at top MBA programs like HBS and wharton, they'll hire no more than 3.

5/7/10
jjc1122:
IlliniProgrammer:
jjc1122:

I'm being completely serious when I say that I would love to work there. Aside from the money, it would be an amazing experience.

Don't get me wrong- it's a great firm. But when I speak to folks there- all of them incredibly smart folks- I sometimes get this vibe that gives me a few reservations. If they got brainwashed, how long would I last- assuming I could get hired in.

It's so fucking tough to get in there. They hire like 15-20 at most out of undergrad and even at top MBA programs like HBS and wharton, they'll hire no more than 3.

IlliniProgrammer will be happy to hear this - Citadel loves University of Illinois graduates.

5/7/10
jjc1122:

It's so fucking tough to get in there. They hire like 15-20 at most out of undergrad and even at top MBA programs like HBS and wharton, they'll hire no more than 3.

It's tough, but it's probably easier to get hired in if you have more of a technically-oriented background (either technical meaning technology or technical meaning quantitative stuff). And there's other firms like Citadel- like DE Shaw and DRW. Citadel recruits few MBAs from Harvard because most of their seats are for more math or technology-related stuff.

IlliniProgrammer will be happy to hear this - Citadel loves University of Illinois graduates.

Haha, true. That said, I hear Citadel recruits from a lot of other good engineering programs, and the short driving distance is a bit of a factor for us. I didn't bring this up for fear of getting accused of over-promotion of IL and all things Midwest, but the two brainwashed folks I spoke to were CS majors in my year at UIUC.

They were arguably two of the best programmers to graduate in my year. One of them literally developed a portfolio optimization system overnight for Engineering Open House and a prop trading firm offered him a job as a quant developer on the spot (without yet even knowing he did it overnight); the other graduated with an BS/MS in Algorithms in 3.5 years.

If you're a programmer who can get hired as an architect at Google or Amazon but want to join a cult and make lots of money, you go to Citadel instead.

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10/6/11

..

5/6/10

makes me regret applying to columbia. as well as the fact that i have 0 chance anyway.

5/6/10

lol Penn vs. Columbia? This is seriously personal preference. I think if you are non-Wharton, living in NYC beats Philadelphia.

5/2/11

Hm.

5/7/10

As a liberal arts students, my parents would not allow me to apply to UPenn, their argument was that it was "below me". I did not understand that at the time, but I do now. The Wharton undergrads are a pretty smart group, the UPenn undergrads are the kids who could not get into another Ivy or the Wharton program.

5/7/10
B-School Bound:

As a liberal arts students, my parents would not allow me to apply to UPenn, their argument was that it was "below me". I did not understand that at the time, but I do now. The Wharton undergrads are a pretty smart group, the UPenn undergrads are the kids who could not get into another Ivy or the Wharton program.

Plenty of non-wharton upenn kids had other ivy options. Granted, they didn't get into harvard, princeton, yale, but that holds true for the rest of the non-HYP ivies.

5/7/10
B-School Bound:

As a liberal arts students, my parents would not allow me to apply to UPenn, their argument was that it was "below me". I did not understand that at the time, but I do now. The Wharton undergrads are a pretty smart group, the UPenn undergrads are the kids who could not get into another Ivy or the Wharton program.

I don't think it was necessarily that they don't think UPenn is a good school (though this is probably just my own bias). In my experience, Wharton is basically a trade school; I met parents from there who bemoaned how their formerly intelligent children could do nothing except for recite accounting after spending $200k to send them there, and I know top CEOs and fund managers who really dislike the idea of narrowly focused undergraduate business degrees. Now, I know kids from there who have genuine personalities and mutli-faceted intelligences and knowledge bases, but I think that is because they are that way intrinsically, not because of anything Wharton did.

I realise this is not directly related to the OP, and that the thread has already gotten side-tracked enough (with jjc's ridiculous implicit suggestion that you should want to work at Citadel, even if you know you won't like the place, because it's really prestigious), but to bring this post back on point, I think the sort of focus on banking you see at Wharton is emblematic of the sort of viewpoint the OP and some others are espousing. Who cares that kids at your school don't want to do banking (or law, or consulting, or something professional)? Are you really going to look down on them become of that? That's just a ridiculously normative and judgemental opinion on your part. Are the Columbia students who don't want to go in the corporate world somehow "not as good" because of this? This reflects the same sort of judgement that the people who look down on bankers, simply for being bankers, are making. Please, try to think objectively, rather than using your own life choices as a self-reinforcing validation mechanism.

5/6/10

As an actual Columbian, this post is far from the truth.

The career center is fkn packed with aspiring bankers and consultants. How can you use one example to assess the rest of the college?

Columbia actually has a large role in wall st. Shit, if you look at blackstone, they only recruit from harvard, upenn and columbia. I think that says something in itself.

Not to mention the current CEOs that are columbia alumnis....MS and Citi just to name two...

5/6/10
alwayshere86:

Columbia actually has a large role in wall st. Shit, if you look at blackstone, they only recruit from harvard, upenn and columbia. I think that says something in itself.

Lol Blackstone recruits at Cal and a number of other schools as well :)

5/6/10
PussInBoots:
alwayshere86:

Columbia actually has a large role in wall st. Shit, if you look at blackstone, they only recruit from harvard, upenn and columbia. I think that says something in itself.

Lol Blackstone recruits at Cal and a number of other schools as well :)

correction, you're right, there are a few more. I just only remembered the ivies.

sorry about that.

5/6/10

There are plenty of Columbia grads on the street and plenty of students who want to work in finance, it's just that the typical Columbia student is a fire-breathing socialist who'd rather work in non-profit, government, academia or media.

5/6/10

So... 100 comments on an internet site represents however many students there are at Cornell? Really? Bit of a leap of faith?

5/6/10

-

5/7/10

This thread is asinine.

5/2/11

Hm.

5/7/10

Columbia isn't really interested in improving yield for marketing purposes - every school is focused on only admitting people it believes will matriculate. This is how you ensure you have an appropriate amount of students in your class. Every school does it. It is certainly true that Columbia STUDENTS have an inferiority complex wrt HYP, but that isn't the case with the administration whatsoever.

5/7/10

citadel dropped over 50% in 2008. Inexcusable. Their is nothing magial about a fund that can post that type of draw-down.

5/7/10
Bondarb:

citadel dropped over 50% in 2008. Inexcusable. Their is nothing magial about a fund that can post that type of draw-down.

A lot of hedge funds got crushed in 2008. But citadel recovered nicely last year. Working there is still a great opportunity, and very few people turn down job offers from citadel.

5/8/10
5/8/10
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