Brown vs. Columbia

I'm aware Columbia's finance recruiting edges out Brown's, but is the difference that large? I think I'd fit in better at Brown and would enjoy my experience there more (everyone I speak to at Columbia hated their time there - citing burnout, lack of community, bureaucracy etc). Brown is more socially relaxed and less cut-throat. I've heard that Brown's student body suffers from a lack of interest in finance, but will this really impact job prospects? 

I'm not dead-set on IB, and am open to exploring options (particularly in STEM), but Columbia's core would also kinda force me to know what I wanna do from day one.

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Columbia by a mile in terms of "prestige" on your resume for finance, but you can make up the difference with networking. Columbia is probably one the most academically rigorous of the Ivies (core and general competitive student body), but recruiters also know this and is partially the reason the name is so well-respected in professional careers.

In short, yes, the difference is clear between the two. Columbia is top-class, especially in finance, and its also located in NYC. But, if you're looking for a relaxed culture and a tight community, and you want to explore other options outside of finance, I would go with Brown. It's a matter of priorities. In the case you want to pursue finance, there is still a network you can reach out to if you put in the effort.

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