A school is considered a target when a large number of Wall Street firms conduct on campus recruiting (“OCR”) for "Learn More" positions. A school’s status as a target may vary slightly from industry to industry, firm to firm, and region to region.
Frequently Asked Questions
In short, no. There are many non-target success stories that we hear about on WSO on a regular basis. To read some of these, go to our WSO Success Stories forum to get inspired! Although the probability of your success is largely determined by the school you attend, there are non-targets that break into very reputable positions each and every year. Learn More
This is a very personal decision that only you can answer. There are a wide range of factors that determine whether a school is right for you. Learn More
Your Learn Moreis an important screening mechanism used by many firms on Wall Street to filter the thousands of resumes that have to be processed each year.
If you have a low Learn More(under a 3.3), it will be an uphill battle getting into a Wall Street position. There are always exceptions, however. Don't let anyone tell you it is impossible.
Majors & Minors
When choosing a major (and a career) you should always choose something that interests and excites you. However, if your ultimate goal is obtaining a job on Wall Street, majoring in something other than business, finance, economics, or mathematics may make things more difficult come recruiting season. Learn More
A minor alone will not help you land an offer, however, it can help pull your story together. If you decide to major in chemistry, picking up a minor in business can help highlight your relevant background to finance recruiters. Similarly, if you are a business major who wants to work for a boutique IB focused on medicine, having a minor in chemistry could also help your case. Minors can also work in your favor by allowing you to connect with a larger group of people. Learn More
Whether or not a specific certificate will help you as a candidate for finance careers obviously depends on the specific certificate in question. A certificate will be looked at much the same way as minor would. It won't necessarily help you, but it can help demonstrate an interest in and round out your candidacy. Learn More
Whatever classes you take, in order to be competitive for top Wall Street jobs you should aim to keep your Learn Moreover 3.5. After that consideration, you should try to take a mix of business, economics, accounting and finance courses to show a strong interest in relevant concepts to Wall Street careers.
Organizations & Activities
For those pursuing a career in finance, there is some controversy as to whether one should take the Chartered Financial Analyst (Learn More) program or go through a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.
This question is very vague. It is almost impossible to predict your chances without looking at your essays and knowing what you have done. It also depends largely on the applicant pool and what schools you apply to. The best way to find out how you stack up against the competition is by posting in the Business School Barrage forum. Learn More
An MBA is still one of the most respected and the most traditional degree to help you get promoted in the world of finance (and/or switch careers within or into finance). How important the MBA truly is, however, depends largely on what type of career you are looking for on the Street. Learn More
Despite being somewhat new in terms of degrees, a Master of Science in Finance (MSF or M.Fin for Master in Finance) are generally well-accepted in the finance world. Whereas an MBA gives a general business education, an MSF [or M.Fin] is focused solely on finance. Learn More
This is highly dependant on the firm and industry. To be straightforward a JD will usually not set you up nearly as well as an MBA. Learn More
This is highly dependent on the firm and industry. To be straightforward, a PhD or MD (Doctor of Medicine, not Managing Director) will usually not set you up nearly as well as an MBA for a position in finance. If you’re applying for a job at a financial services firm, they may see you as overqualified. They may also think that the work they have for you won’t fulfill your intellectual interests. There are of course, some exceptions. Learn More