Top Liberal Arts College vs NYU Stern in Wall Street Placement

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Hi, how does Williams College, the number 1 liberal arts college in America compete against NYU Stern in getting jobs on Wall Street, gaining positions in top firms, and advancement? From looking at online blogs or talking to people, I seem to get the following pros and cons for both schools.
Please offer me your views and don't hesitate to correct me if you believe I am wrong about the following assumptions, and please state your backgrounds. Thank you.

Stern
PROS
-in the middle of NYC and wall street, jobs and internships opportunities year round,
-guarantees high psaying jobs in mid level banks after graduation
-good chance of getting jobs in high level firms (goldman sachs, jp morgan) if you are in the top of your class
-NYC is fun
-Stern kids get the most benefits from NYU since they r the smartest
-undgrad b-school is in top 10 always, usually at number 4-6
CONS
-is in direct competition with schools that are more prestigious (Columbia, Harvard, Dartmouth etc)
-wall street firms view the stern curriculum as too technical and that commands less respect and prestige
-a columbia grad who majored in econ is more likely to get a job a bank than a stern grad
-stern focuses primarily on finance, but finance is basic and anyone can master it in a few weeks of training
-cut throat competition: applying for a spot at a top firm means competing against hundreds of Sternies, and a dozen will undoubtedly be smarter than you and that can mean losing that spot
-harder to go on to graduate school

Williams
PROS
-number one liberal arts institution in amierica, ranked on par with Dartmouth and above Armherst
-each graduating class is around 500, around each year around 30 graduates go into banking in nyc and all are offered high positions
-less competition
-Top WS banks such as goldman, stanley, and JP all heavily recruit from Williams due to the "prestige factor", banks seem to love dartmouth and williams for some reason
-easier to land interviews and internships with top wall street employers since less ppl there are fighting for interview spots
-tighter alumni network on wall street, highest chances of being hired
-top feeder to top graduate schools
CONS
-its not in nyc
-berkshire massechusetts is kind of boring
-internships will have to be done in the summer, instead of year round like at nyu
-its a different mindset than NYU, conservative, preppy, and elitist,

Comments (12)

Apr 13, 2011

So you put one of the cons for Williams as 'conservative, preppy and elitist' but you want to go into banking...interesting.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Apr 13, 2011

go to a nescac and get a 3.4 minimum. if you network, you'll get a good wall street job. so many people at stern want the same thing that i think it would actually be more difficult to get to wall street from there

Apr 13, 2011

Go to Williams, if you get good grades (3.6+) getting to Wall Street will be relatively easy and your fellow students will be a lot more entertaining. Wall Street loves kids from top liberal arts school it is just it is a self selected group that doesn't love the street back, but they are very well regarded :)

Apr 13, 2011

I go to a liberal arts school, a solid one but most certainly not on the same level as Williams or many of the other schools in the nescac. The biggest advantage you will have over Stern is the alumni network. Williams' enrollment is what? 2000? 1500? A school that small will have a tight alumni network, and I'm sure Williams alumni take care of their own. I can get in linked in and find some alumnus who works at Goldman that I've never met in my life, send them an email asking them for 15 minutes of their time over the phone and 80% of the time they'll email me back in the next week.

In addition, liberal arts kids are able to take on different majors, activities, etc, that will make them stand out during the recruitment process. Banks like hiring people who are intellectually curious. Not to say that people who major in finance at a place like NYU Stern are not intellectually curious, but liberal arts kids tend to be more so. Major in econ and minor (or double major) in something you really enjoy...like classical studies, history, philosophy, physics..fuck it....woman's studies. Banks get off to that shit.

If you have any more questions PM me.

Williams sends 30 kids to Wall Street every year? That alone speaks for itself.

Apr 13, 2011

At least for the Stern part I think you are pretty much hit the target, except for one point:

"a columbia grad who majored in econ is more likely to get a job a bank than a stern grad"

not too sure about that.. Any thoughts from others?

Apr 13, 2011

Williams/Amherst are two liberal arts schools that are legit targets. I'd definitely choose to go to either one of those over NYU... you can go to NYU and be in NYC for MBA or JD (*if you don't get into somewhere better!)

Apr 13, 2011

There's no question I would go to Williams for a whole number of reasons, but if you were to base it on nothing other than IB placement, my IBD SA class at a top BB had not all that different numbers of students from each school, despite Williams smaller size/student self selection. We also had at least one sophomore, which makes me think they probably consider it a top target.

Apr 13, 2011

I went to Williams and I'd say given the size of the school, the # of students that are fed into Wall Street each year is pretty impressive. I can't comment on the 30 # since I graduated back in 2002, but even in that terrible year (recruiting right after 9/11) a bunch of williams grads still got jobs at some top banks (15-20?)

Also, i have no clue about Stern so I can't comment - but I would assume networking while living in NYC would be much easier.

Apr 14, 2011

"-harder to go on to graduate school" (from Stern)

can anyone elaborate on this?

Apr 14, 2011

Definitely go to Williams unless you really, really want to be in NYC. You're going to college to do more than lock up a job in banking. No knock on Stern but the quality of education you get at a top liberal arts is tough to beat.

Apr 14, 2011

Went to a school similar to Williams, and Wall Street definitely recruits at these schools. You have a couple advantages if you go there:
A) The alums are likely to be responsive. There also aren't a ton of them; there is a good chance a random alum you contact will be doing ocr on your campus.

B) Lack of interest in banking in the general student body (at least at my college). These places pump out phds, public servants, some MDs, a few JDs, but not many bankers. However, relative to the size of the student body, you have OCR equivalent to many targets. Therefore, you are basically guaranteed first rounds, and it is really easy to stand out. Most kids don't go in with banking in mind, so if you go into senior year recruiting with 3 relevant internships, good ECs, etc. you will dominate.

C) You don't have to study business, because there is no business major. Study what you like. You are also less likely to get obscure tech questions.

NYU does have some redeeming qualities.
A) It's in the city. Williams is in the middle of nowhere; it makes Dartmouth look like a metropolis. This is a personal preference.

B) You get to study business. You might be looking for a more applied education.

C) Easy access to work experience. You can have school year internships. I am not even sure if there is a PWM branch in Williamstown. I saw way too many people at my college go into senior year with only study abroad and research "work experience". However, if you are proactive, you will be fine.

D) You have a few more options at graduation. If you go to Williams, you will be limited to firms with strong training programs until you get relevant experience through internships. Strong boutiques like BX, Qatalyst, Moelis, Evercore, Centerview, and Greenhill are much less likely to take a Williams student straight out of school. Of course, this isn't as bad as it sounds: these banks take miniscule numbers of students anyways.

Your call.

I would also look at finaid. Williams, like most top privates, will give you a ton of $$$. Be prepared to spend a ton at NYU, and even more if you want to do absolutely anything off "campus".

You seem to be under the impression Williams is WASP-y. This is not really true anymore. There are a few kids from prep schools, but they will be present at any decent college. Top LACs are more liberal than your average ivy, to the extent that (at least at my college) pre-finance guys were slightly looked down upon as having sold out intellectually. Also, like the ivies, NESCAC has been in full diversity recruiting mode for quite a while.

Apr 14, 2011
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