4.0 in easy major vs. 3.6 in hard major at target
freshman at target, currently majoring in MechE.
realized I want to do IB and have 2 options:
a) stay in current major (have a 4.0 rn, although by the time i graduate this would drop to a 3.6/3.5 just being realistic)
b) switch to something piss-easy and get a 4.0
Unsure if the 3.6 would be a huge red flag on my resume, considering I've heard a lot of companies just auto filter.,Obviously I enjoy my major right now but idk if I'll love it when it actually gets harder, plus I could always just audit interesting classes to keep learning w/o affecting my GPA.
Or should I transfer to a top target (think Wharton/Harvard/Kelley)?
Thanks in advance
Easier major (econ, finance) all day if you ONLY want to do IB. If you're considering HF, quant, or other buyside roles that would have more value for a technical major I'd try and stick it out.
As a MechE and Econ Double Major from a Top Private University I think it is very inaccurate to say Econ is easier than MechE.
Finance is an absolute cake walk of a major but Economics (and not business economics, I'm talking true economic theory and application into global or social issues) can be extremely difficult depending on the rigor of the program you are in. I found MechE to be very comparable to the math and rigor of Econ. I was Pre-PhD Econ Track emphasizing in Social and Global issues which included a lot of econometrics and game theory which was wildly confusing at times.
Just saying, if you are looking for an easy degree I would steer clear of Econ
This is true - I was taken back when I discovered the level of complexity within my undergraduate economics.
Think it is important to note different schools majors are not comparable. Go to a target and our Econ major is agreed upon to be way easier than anything more STEM.
Econ at UChicago? Hard. Econ at Harvard? Lol.
Idk where you went to school where econ is an easy degree. My econ degree was entirely math. Tons of calculus and statistics - just econ focused problems.
I've seen lots of people with engineering degrees from non-targets in IB. If you enjoy the studies, definitely easier to break into IB with engineering degree than engineering with a business degree.
He said target. Will be fine as an art history major
3.6 isn't the end of the world but 3.3/3.4 does start to become a problem
Do you have interest in pursuing MechE or are you 100% finance? If you are fully set on finance I'd switch majors (4.0 isn't necessary, pick a different one that interests you) and drop the engineering to a minor or just audit classes. If you have interest in engineering, at least keep your grades up through next semester so you have strong grades for IB recruiting, it's okay if they drop after that - so push off harder classes to another semester if you need to.
Also Wharton/Harvard take only a small handful of transfers per year so if already at a target, not even worth filling out the applications imo
current CS major in a heinous engineering program (program has median ~3.2 GPA) at semitarget/target for some and had the exact same predicament last year when i was a freshman. definitely think my insight is valuable.
i knew right off the bat i wanted to go into investment banking, but i took on a computer science major because i thought business as a subject was useless and not a hard skill like cs that is, quite literally, taking over industries. however, the amount of fucking work i had to do to simply stay afloat in the major, let alone maintain a 3.8+ for a competitive IB gpa, was simply not worth it. every other night was sleepless, networking was the biggest pain in the ass i have ever experienced since i was always studying. the worst part, studying technicals for boutique level interviews was a time crunch while all of my business major friends had all the time in the world to do all these things. i ultimately decided to stay in the major because i figured i only needed to do this grunt work until my sophomore fall semester, since recruiting is sophomore spring (which is right now for me) and my gpa technically won't really be "seen" unless i have to re-recruit (fingers fucking crossed i don't)
the benefit you gain by staying in a STEM program, which i have realized through my one IB interview so far, is as follows:
- you gain a lot of respect in an interview and resume setting for having a high GPA if you can maintain it. every interview I've had so far has been, quantitatively, an absolute breeze. you would be shocked how impressed these bankers are that i can do accounting/valuation/whatever math in my head or really quickly. this is benefits you really only can gain by being in an engineering program since you learn applied sciences in, at least for me, mathematical contexts.
- you can position yourself within a specific coverage group. could be industrials/tmt etc.
- you bring the "diversity of major" edge, which some banks respect. some are more traditional and would probably look for a business major, but if you are able to demonstrate in your interviews that you are not only just as strong (if not stronger) as finance students within financial technicals, which is really not hard to do if you read out the guides and practice hard, you put the icing on the cake by having a standout analytical mindset within your engineering major. people in IB finance aren't smart - if you can get through engineering with a high gpa, you're sure as hell smart and can walk through these interviews like they're nothing.
- you hedge against not getting into IB. another reason i didn't do a pure finance major is i already saw how fucking hard it was to get into competitive colleges as a non-diverse candidate. i knew the job market would be similar, so i took on CS since i always had a fallback of going into software or a field where CS is in high demand, which is not too difficult to come across.
cons, which i have had to bear for the last two years:
- you sacrifice your college experience. at least i did. to maintain a competitive gpa for IB, network, study technicals, and have some time to yourself, your time in college isn't going to be that fun. i don't even think godly time management can fix this.
- there will be many nights you regret it. only stay in the major if you're gonna commit to it. there were many days i would feel hopeless and absolutely trapped as every week just got worse and worse with workload. you feel an IMMENSE amount of pressure taking exams and studying, as, at least for me, i felt every exam could determine the outcome of banking recruitment for me.
- you need a coherent "why IB" because you can't just say you have a passion for finance - interviewer will want to know wtf you're doing in meche.
- on top of all this, you need to spend extra time having some financial curricular activities on campus to show relevant experience on your resume. if you simply apply as a meche with no real context/experience in finance, it's gonna be harder to break in.
TLDR; only stick in STEM if you're 100% committed. if you don't care about having an analytical edge and want to take the route that gives you a more "guaranteed" route into IB, take it. i pulled my hair out to get an extremely high GPA, but it was at the expense of my college experience, social life,and health. also, take what i say with a grain of salt, as i am literally recruiting right now and hope to god i can get something good after the amount of hell I've went through.
to me, unless you have some overwhelming passion for engineering, you're a genius and can manage, or think you'll have second thoughts about going into IB: DO NOT DO STEM. the marginal benefit you gain by being a different major that's more analytical is NOT outweighed by the sheer amount of stress, time, and risk of fucking up your gpa. as a side note, you may get burnt out. at least most engineers who go through the hell of 4 years of college graduate with cushy 40/hr work weeks making several hundred thousand. rather, you'll go through the hell of college and then graduate with more hell as a slaving analyst. i'm personally ok with this since i have a long term vision, but keep your future in focus.
incredibly accurate. did not go to a school with an insanely difficult CS program, and would say I'm naturally pretty good at CS/math, and still did a lot more grinding than my econ major friends who were chillin. am in the middle of SA recruiting so will see if it pays off, but from the looks I've gotten so far (especially bay area tech groups) personally believe it was worth it
been focussed on nyc, haven't really heard much back yet, but from my one EB interview experience so far, they sememd to appreciated it. will see if a SD comes out of it lol
Good insight here
This should be pinned to the top of the IB forum - perfect answer to the question asked weekly here.
Easy major 4.0 hands down
You recruit during sophomore spring semester so you should be fine continuing the MechE major.
If @ target, easy major. Also, the Kelley comment was based.
The Kelley comment makes me question what kind of target OP goes to
was supposed to be a joke albeit a terrible one
Take the 4.0 and don't look back
So if you're a freshman with a 4.0, you only have 2 more semesters where grades matter (freshman spring and sophomore fall) before recruiting kicks off. If you think you can reasonably keep like a 3.7+ then, I would stick with meche.
Even better, get a 3.7 in history at a target and you'll be fine.
Agreed with all the above saying take the easy major and high GPA. Only point I'd add is that if you're interested in buyside recruiting, GPA matters, perhaps more so than banking recruiting. I think having a "difficult major" matters less for buyside recruiting since the assumption is you get most of the technical skills / training on the job during your stint in banking.
GPA just gets you in the door. Your story is a million times more important. If that means you need more time to get work experience, though, then choose the easier major.
Just do what makes you happy.
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