Best B-school for Equity Research

I'm applying to b-schools this fall for next and I want to do ER post-grad. What are the best schools for giving me the most ER opportunities after getting my MBA? Are any schools particularly well-known on the street? Any additional info related to ER and business schools is also a big help!

Thanks a ton, Mossy.

Comments (61)

Jul 29, 2010 - 2:47pm
aleph, what's your opinion? Comment below:

A Masters in Ethics by the CFAI. Seriously though, beyond the top 5, I would look for a program which has a similar program to the CFA (or a partnership), and have at least level 2 passed by the time the program is over.

Jul 29, 2010 - 3:05pm
mossy695, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I just wrote LIII for CFA and will have that passed before matriculating, so CFA tie-ins, are not a factor for me.

And as a follow-up, obviously if you go to H/S/W you can write your ticket pretty much anywhere. I also assume that Chicago, Columbia and NYU are very strong. Beyond that, however, are there any other schools known for ER placement on the street? Maybe Kellogg, Yale, Cornell, UM Ross, etc? Beyond the "obvious" schools, I'm not quite sure where the major ER players are.

Are any schools particularly strong in ER relative to their overall ranking? Visa versa, are any schools particularly poor (relative to their overall ranking) at ER placement -- ie you would expect them to be generally strong everywhere but recruiters shy away from these schools particularly? Any tips are a big help! Please be specific!

Jul 29, 2010 - 4:47pm
aleph, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you did that well on the CFA, doesn't it make sense to transfer into a team as an associate, and not even bother getting the MBA? If I were you, I would call every senior analyst of every coverage sector in all the BB+OPCO/SN/SCB and ask for an interview. In terms of grad schools, I have no idea, you're probably much better versed than I am. Good luck regardless, an MBA/CFA combo is a knockout punch.

Jul 29, 2010 - 6:03pm
IlliniProgrammer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

One of the things that I noticed was that we had a higher proportion of U Chicago grads in research- both equity and fixed income research- than from other schools.

It seemed like a good cultural fit. Chicagoans tend to be quiet, conservative, frigging brilliant, and love to talk numbers and have an informed/friendly debate. That was how research tended to work at the BB I worked in analytics for before we capitulated.

Naturally, for any position involving financial analysis, UPenn is also in the running. Northwestern and Harvard are excellent schools for management, but when you get to an area more towards the Capital Markets side, their MBAs have a reputation for being a little more fluffy than Chicago or UPenn- that's a perception you will have to overcome in an interview.

Jul 30, 2010 - 12:48am
aleph, what's your opinion? Comment below:

^^^^Yep....sorry for the acronyms...... just out of curiosity, what is it about getting an MBA that you feel is worth the opportunity cost? coming out of an MBA, I would think you would have to start as an associate any way.....CFA level 3 should hypothetically get them to roll out a red carpet....

Jul 30, 2010 - 9:37am
mossy695, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Went to a very non-target undergrad and therefore have some insecurities over my pedigree due to a lack of alumni support, wall street network, etc. I think that for me to go far in the ER field and to also maximize my exit opportunities that an MBA will really help. Also, I'm in a back-office investments role right now at a fortune 100 firm, and I think that the regular recruiting cycle that MBA schools offers will help as well.

If you think this isn't the case, I'm willing to hear out why I'm an idiot!

Jul 30, 2010 - 10:33am
IlliniProgrammer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My take, Mossy, is that you should apply to the MBA programs. But at the same time, you need to start applying for research positions at banks- it might save you a hundred grand. ER doesn't require an MBA, let alone a finance/econ undergrad. (Some knowledge of Accounting is probably required.) Tell them about your situation- if you've gotten any interview invitations from the MBA programs, be sure to mention that, too. But you don't need a target-school degree to get into the front-office at a bulge bracket. (I speak from experience on this.)

It's ok to be insecure about your background- you just have to leverage that insecurity constructively. Every day for my first two years out of school, I told myself that I was up against kids from MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton, and I had to do a better job than them. And my story for the past three years has always been being the youngest guy in the room- being the youngest pricing application owner in the firm's history; being the youngest chief quant developer by about a decade for any trading desk at the firm. And if you get hired in at JPM without a target-school MBA and keep staying insecure about your background, there's a good chance you'll be the youngest MD in ER one day.

Plan B- get into Ross or Wharton. (Don't worry- your non-target background won't be a hindrance at Chicago if you've got a strong math background and solid recs; I speak from experience on this.)Plan A- get hired into ER as an associate directly, stay insecure about your background but channel that insecurity effectively, and kick the target school kids' butts. (Just be nice about it.)

Jul 30, 2010 - 1:32pm
mossy695, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Illini -- Why did you narrow the B-school's in "Plan B" to Ross or Wharton? Penn is obv well known in finance, but does Ross also have a good reputation? Just found those two schools to be a curious mix.

BuysideCFA -- Understood that CFA is not a golden ticket, which I why I hope that the networking and regular recruiting cycles that a top MBA program offers would, with a CFA, experience, and busting my butt, be a "golden ticket." Is there a better way to break in when you don't have much if any of a network in place. I'm not from the NY/Chicago/Boston/London/financial hub cities and so networking will probably be tough.

Jul 30, 2010 - 2:31pm
IlliniProgrammer, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Illini -- Why did you narrow the B-school's in "Plan B" to Ross or Wharton? Penn is obv well known in finance, but does Ross also have a good reputation? Just found those two schools to be a curious mix.
Sorry. Meant to say Chicago Booth. Two midwestern schools with single-syllables that use the same vowel. Ross is also a good MBA program, though.

In any case, plan A is to try and save yourself $100K by getting hired in directly rather than out of an MBA program.

Jul 30, 2010 - 6:40pm
aleph, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Illini is young and wise give his advice some thought .........try doing both, it can't hurt (worst case scenario you develop some contacts for once you graduate).......there are more non-targets on the street than this site will lead you to the same time that insecurity is your "edge"....Ill probably be one of the youngest analyst at a bulge when I graduate(19/CFA1), but I have reoccurring night mares about ending up in an F500 because I chose to go non target at 16... hope you succeed....IMO some one who works that hard deserves it.....

Aug 3, 2010 - 8:38am
lbs, what's your opinion? Comment below:

thanx for you post

Aug 3, 2010 - 8:39am
Osric, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Is MBA a good way to get equity research at a decent shop? (Originally Posted: 12/03/2013)

I did a long-short hedge fund internship in college and got an offer but it went out of business right when I graduated. I've been doing random stuff since then and currently work at a digital media company. My undergrad degree is in the humanities.

If I did a decent but likely non-M7 MBA--I think I'm competitive for Stern/Darden/Ross and maybe bottom half of M7--would I be able to get a good equity research position, or would I be screwed because of my lack of finance work experience? I don't want to spend money on b-school and then get slaughtered at OCI.

Aug 3, 2010 - 8:52am
mbaer2012, what's your opinion? Comment below:

MBA to Break into ER (Originally Posted: 08/16/2011)

So this is my plan to break into ER, can someone tell me if feasible:

Currently working in Internal Audit at BB as manager, up for promotion this year, have CPA, I plan to get into a top 10 MBA program (currently almost done with Columbia application then will work on other top schools; applying to Columbia, Harvard, Wharton, MIT, and NYU).

IF i do get into one of those schools, with no ER experience, what are my chances of breaking into ER? Im actually not making terrible money in Audit and if anything, will be taking a sizeable paycut at least fo the first few years if I start at ER from the bottom (from what i've read on this forum). Im still willing to do that because i'm unhappy at audit and I think i can seriously be happy in ER, i feel like im young enough to still try a career change and be happy at work (currently 26, 27 at time of b-school entry if accepted, and 29 at graduation).

If it makes any difference, im also planning on taking CFA level 1 next june (i'll be done with applications by october/november this year and then i'll start studying.

This all started when I started actively investing a couple of years ago. Im totally in to it and i figured i would be happy at a job that had more direct ties to following the market, and ER seemed to match my personality.

The way I see it, I either break into ER or worst case I have an MBA from a top program for the rest of my career. And I can always go back to audit and make ok money, though unhappy.

PS know i could very easily get dinged from all of the MBA programs above, but dont really have a plan B right now.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

Aug 3, 2010 - 9:04am
mba_im, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Equity Research Recruiting in Business School (Originally Posted: 03/19/2011)

I will be enrolling in a top business school this fall and looking to transition to an investment/Asset Management role. My first choice is to recruit for buyside roles, but my plan B is to recruit for equity research at a large BB.

Can someone let me know how the recruiting process works for equity research in business school? Is it independent of the investment banking process/timeframe? I know the i-banking recruiting process starts very early in the fall whereas most IM positions don't begin recruiting until early spring....but not sure about ER.


Aug 3, 2010 - 9:07am
ILOVENYGUY, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Same presentations, find the team captain tell them you are interested in equity research. If there are no equity research people present ask to be but in touch with the right people. Some banks will recruit for research as part of S&T process, some will have a separate team. Banking and research are limited in their ability to communicate, so the I-banking recruiting team will be of limited help to you.

Aug 3, 2010 - 9:05am
dangei1994, what's your opinion? Comment below:
[Comment removed by mod team]
Aug 3, 2010 - 9:06am
qangeruion, what's your opinion? Comment below:
[Comment removed by mod team]
Aug 3, 2010 - 9:09am
ZBov82, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm currently an MBA at a top b-school in the midwest. At most top schools at the MBA level, BB banks will come to recruit for investment banking, but not for research. You can get recruiter information by going to the IB presentations, but oftentimes research recruiters will not come to campus. However, schools like NYU and Columbia might get more ER recruiters to come because of geographic proximity. There will be some job postings for internships / ft ER jobs, but for the most part you're going to be on your own. You'll need to network and do most of the work on your own whether its buy side or sell side. Also, it can be difficult to get into a BB for ER at the MBA level. For example, Morgan Stanley will do first round phone internship interviews with qualified students, and then bring about 15 students to NYC for final rounds. Of those 15 students, they'll hire one. Keep an eye on the boutique firms as well, many of them will offer good opportunities and they might be easier to get into.

As ILOVENYGUY mentioned, recruiting for Asset Management does start later. However, sell-side research tends to be a little later in the cycle (later than corporate finance and investment banking), and buy-side recruiting is even later than that. As a result, many students recruiting for buy or sell side research wind up taking IB jobs due to the recruiting cycle.

Hope this helps, and best of luck with b-school admissions. It sounds like you already have an offer, and congrats if that is the case.

Aug 3, 2010 - 9:10am
StanTheMan87, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Where does Equity Research recruit? (Originally Posted: 02/24/2010)

I know IB and consulting goes to top liberal arts schools (Ivies, Chicago, etc) and top undergrad business schools (Wharton, Ross, etc) but I never heard about Research doing On campus recruiting. Do they do OCR?

Aug 3, 2010 - 9:11am
bertcamel, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Some do come to the schools you mentioned, check Baird's website they got a posting for ER SA/FT

Aug 3, 2010 - 9:12am
didi2008, what's your opinion? Comment below:

i don't think they always have regular recruitment events every year. they sometimes hire experienced ppl in certain industries

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.——William Shakespeare
Aug 3, 2010 - 9:13am
didi2008, what's your opinion? Comment below:

i don't think they always have regular recruitment events every year. they sometimes hire experienced ppl in certain industries

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.——William Shakespeare
Aug 3, 2010 - 9:16am
sunnyrollen, what's your opinion? Comment below:

B-Schools with a strong track record for ER recruiting.. (Originally Posted: 10/15/2009)

I am planning on joining an MBA program in 2011 and I am also pursuing a CFA charter in parallel. Would like to know if there are specific schools (please exclude H/W/S for a sec.) that have strong recruiting track record specifically in ER. Can be buy side or sell side.. either way. Just trying to make sure that I enter the right program as I am inclined towards ER and not IB (M&A etc..). And for those of you who are curious as to why an MBA when I can live with a CFA..??? I am a career switcher from Tech to Investments so I absolutely need a brand.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Aug 3, 2010 - 9:17am
Stringer Bell, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Any top program will serve you well. Wharton, NYU, & Stanford would all be great, just due to their very solid finance/quant resources.

"Cowards die a thousand deaths, but the brave only one," Bill Shakespeare

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Aug 3, 2010 - 9:20am
formerMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

ER recruiting is an odd beast. Banks really only recruit for those positions when there's a need, which typically does not coincide with recruiting season. Any of the top MBA programs would make you a reasonable candidate, but backgrounds of Associates can vary greatly from MBAs, to industry career switchers, to former IB analysts that moved into ER. You'll need to have the right background, which varies depending on what the analyst is looking for, for an opportunity when it materializes.

Buyside firms more consistently recruit out of MBA programs, although the numbers are typically small.

From a top MBA program, you're likely to have a few former ER associates and certainly a number of former IB analysts. They can be key people to advocate for you at the firms they came from.

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Aug 3, 2010 - 9:22am
Bodhis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

From my understanding regarding ER, it is more important to get the CFA first and focus on an MBA after you've been an associate for a while. That's just some advice a MM recruiter told me. Either go to school part time or leave the firm for two years for the degree. CFA/MBA at the same time? You're going to have your hands full.

Aug 3, 2010 - 9:23am
gamenumbers, what's your opinion? Comment below:

i did the b-school to ER recruiting thing. my school was not a core school for any ER divisions, but i was able to get in anyway.

I know for a fact these schools have ER which is recruited by Bulge Brackets: CBS Stern Wisconsin has an excellent ER program Wharton

i'm sure there's more but those are the ones i am certain of. yes, each bulge bracket ER will take interns each year. these BB recruit at "core schools" and will take a few talented people from each school year after year.

Aug 3, 2010 - 9:24am
Raz'alghul, what's your opinion? Comment below:

MBA for ER (Originally Posted: 12/15/2016)

I applied to MBA programs this cycle and didn't do as well as expected. For background sake, I went to a top 50 school (closer to the top), did banking and now do corp dev at a large company ($10B+ rev.). The job is great but my eventually goal is to make it to a hedge fund via ER and ER via B-School. Grades are above average/average for all schools (i.e. 3.5+) and GMAT is 700+ (but always room for improvement). I ended up only getting into Ross out of the 5 schools I applied to and got no scholarship.

I'm still early on in my career (will be 3 years of WE if I go to school in the fall) and am trying to decide if I should pull the trigger on Ross now or wait another year and reapply. Would Ross be able to get me a job at a BB ER department? How would funds look at Ross on my resume down the line? Will my results be meaningfully different next year with an additional year of WE, higher GMAT (hopefully), and more leadership stuff (volunteering and at work)?

I know I might be able to make it to ER without the MBA but I feel like it'll be easier if I go back. Would love some thoughts/advice.

Best Response
Aug 3, 2010 - 9:25am
models_and_bottles, what's your opinion? Comment below:
I'm still early on in my career (will be 3 years of WE if I go to school in the fall) and am trying to decide if I should pull the trigger on Ross now or wait another year and reapply.

3 years work experience isn't that short. I don't think that's your problem. More likely problems: not telling a compelling story, poorly written essays, bland work experience, bad recs, not convincing the program that you actually want to go there, etc.

As to whether you should reapply, it depends upon your likelihood of being admitted next year and whatever holes exist in your app. You might hire an admissions consultant just to give you an opinion on this and see what they think.

Keep in mind if you turn down Ross you can forget about reapplying there, so you better be sure you can get into one of the other four programs, or have some other good alternative.

Would Ross be able to get me a job at a BB ER department?

Yes. A traditional finance school such as Columbia, Chicago, Wharton, or Stern would probably be best, but you can absolutely get a job in ER if you apply yourself at Ross. The school has a good national brand.

How would funds look at Ross on my resume down the line?

First thing any fund is going to look at is your ER experience, your investment philosophy, and whatever ideas you pitch. The MBA program might help your resume stand out but won't do much beyond that.

Will my results be meaningfully different next year with an additional year of WE, higher GMAT (hopefully), and more leadership stuff (volunteering and at work)?

Really hard to say without seeing your whole app and schools you applied to. Some schools will always be longshots for the vast majority of candidates, so don't drown in pity if you're talking about HBS or Stanford. If you're talking about the other top 10 programs, I recommend talking to an admissions consultant to get their opinion. It shouldn't cost more than $200-300.

Aug 3, 2010 - 9:26am
Raz'alghul, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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May 10, 2022 - 3:40am
kemivahnie40, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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