UC Berkeley Undergrad for IB Recruiting

Hi all,

In response to my comment on the "UMich Undergrad For IB Recruiting Post", I am making this post to talk about recruiting for IB at UC Berkeley. Just some disclaimers before I start; I thought about posting non-anonymously but some of this information I will disclose is very revealing and I know some of my peers definitely browse this forum. Along with that, I will try to keep the information objective but will definitely add color to the description of these clubs based on my own opinions and public perception.

I will start with an overview of Berkeley and the recruiting environment. I can confidently say we are a target for all West Coast banks while being a semi-target for East Coast banks. Although there is a definite bias towards West Coast offices and tech groups here, there's not that much hindering you if you're shooting for NY. Historically we mostly place people into BB with a handful to EBs. The number of people going to EBs have definitely risen in the past few years though. Other than that we usually don't send many people to PE, mostly to MM PE shops if any but I do know a senior going to a MF. In terms of whether recruiting is dictated by the clubs you are in, I will say that the main benefit is having alumni pull for you with some clubs having a strong foothold in specific banks and groups. I will get more into that below.

Business Frats:
Pledge classes range from 6-14 people. Acceptance rate IB/Finance/Consulting recruiting. Honestly a lot of the people are kinda arrogant/dickish, but who wouldn't be when you got some of the best people in the Berkeley business community. They have a high percentage Haas acceptance rate, a famous reputation for placing lights out into GS TMT (5+ every year with some years being as high as 10), and are a pipeline to McKinsey. Along with that, they also have one of the strongest alumni network on campus that will go to bat for you. If all you care about is results and your career, this is the place to be. That being said there are some caveats. The recruitment process is pretty rigorous (like any other club) with multiple rounds of interviews, coffee chats, and networking events. They have a reputation for hazing hard and that lead them to disaffiliating with their nationals last year. Placement in the past year continues the trend of GS TMT, MS Menlo, Lazard, Moelis, McKinsey, etc.

AKPsi - With the decline of DSP in the public limelight, many would consider AKPsi to be the better org in the past few years. They definitely are known to prize fit and culture of their frat and that definitely shows through their strong brotherhood. There's also a much wider diversity of majors, interests, and career paths in AKPsi which could be a factor in the less "hardo" vibe. Don't let that fool you though cause the top members of AKPsi still get great exits such as GS, CVP, PE, etc. They also seem to place a lot of people to New York if that is what you're interested in. Recruitment is pretty similar to Rho, but they generally take a slightly larger pledge class on average.

BAP - The business frat I know the least about. They are comfortably considered the third best behind DSP and AKPsi. Tbh they're a bit similar to AKPsi with a strong brotherhood focus and diversity of people. They actually have a large amount of people going into tech so this may be the frat to rush if you're more tech oriented. Exits are decent but a bit below the other two. They have a pretty good representation across a lot of the different business clubs on campus.

Consulting Clubs:
Unlike some other schools, it feels like consulting clubs are a bigger thing here at Berkeley. As such, many of the students who place into top banks are a part of consulting clubs. GS, Mckinsey, Bain, JPM, MS, etc.

The Berkeley Group - Bay area pro bono non-profit focused consulting group. Obviously this lends itself to attracting people from a wide variety of backgrounds so placement may not always be in business. Have definitely sent people to decent banking and PE gigs such as Ares though. Strong alumni network and it seems people are pretty close.

Net Impact - Similar to TBG with its social impact focus but works with for-profit companies also. Honestly I don't know much about them because I don't have many close friends in the club, but they have a decent number of business frat kids. Placement is pretty good placement into consulting and banking. One notable exit in recent years is someone to CVP Palo Alto.

Berkeley Business Society - Pretty solid consulting club with a wide variety of consulting projects. The members seem pretty close with one another, and they build community pretty well. A lot of members are in business frats and other top ors so their placements are pretty good across the board. Would recommend it.

Voyager Consulting - I'm biased because I haven't had the best interactions with members of this club, but they are also pretty decent and similar to BBS. Decent placement in recent years to the likes of MS, CS, PE, etc. Low-key some people are arrogant/dickish though with hardo mentality/personality.

Others - I'm missing a bunch of other consulting clubs cause we have so many and it seems like a new one is started every semester. Some other more specialized clubs like Beacn, 180 Degree Consulting, and Valley Consulting Group are also pretty decent, but I didn't feel like talking about them due to lack of knowledge and they don't seem to have much IB placement. There are a bunch of lower tier consulting clubs that are newer which I wouldn't personally touch unless you're genuinely interested in consulting and enjoy the work rather than joining for the connections/placement.

Finance Clubs:

Berkeley Investment Group - Oldest investment group on campus that manages over 100k. Very structured club with a training program for first semester members. Again a lot of overlap with other top orgs. They're pretty lowkey though and you don't really hear much about them compared to the consulting clubs. Placements are great with a mix of banking, PE, and asset management. Obvious leaning towards banking with placements at GS and others.

Berkeley Finance Club - Lots of overlap with other orgs, especially consulting ones. From what I know from friends, this is more of a networking club. They run some kind of finance training program for new members that involve equity research I believe, but nothing robust cause they don't manage money. Due to lots of overlap with other clubs, placement have been pretty good.

Undergraduate Finance Association | Undergraduate Management Consulting Group -
Combined club for those interested in finance and consulting. Extremely hard to get into and very exclusive in that regard. Like BFC, it is definitely more of a networking club. Absolutely great placements though and alumni go to bat for you.

Capital Investments at Berkeley - Probably the least known/prestigious of all these finance clubs. They manage $20,000 I believe, but for the most part they're pretty lowkey and don't advertise themselves much. Spoken to some members and they seem alright. Exits are surprising with people going to GS, CVP, JPM, asset management firms,and even had a sophomore place into a BB diversity program this year.


With all of this being said, I can definitely speak from personal experience that while these clubs and organizations can be of great help to landing an IB offer, the ultimate responsibility falls on you and your ability to land the offer. I have seen more than my share of people not in a top club still being able to land offers at GS, CVP, MM PE, etc so nothing is impossible. What I do suggest though is making strong connections with upperclassmen and finding mentors. Along with that, big hustle earlier on will definitely pay off. Leave any questions you have in the comments, and I will do my best to answer.

Comments (37)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 11, 2020 - 1:48am

Can't edit my post but something I stupidly neglected to talk about is Haas. If you don't know Haas is UC Berkeley's undergraduate business school that you have to apply to get into during your sophomore year (unless you get in through one of the special freshmen programs). Definitely lots of debate over advantages of Haas for banking recruiting. Tbh while Haas does provide a lot of great resources for recruiting and beyond, I genuinely believe you don't need to be in Haas to be successful in banking recruiting. I know a ton of people going to great places like GS, PE, etc. that didn't get into Haas and are majoring in econ. That being said, if you want to get into Haas, being in any one of these clubs will help. Historically business frats have had pretty high Haas acceptance rates.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 11, 2020 - 2:02am

Less than 5% I'd say. Their pledge classes are on the smaller size at 5-10 with probably 120+ people applying. Recruiting is definitely difficult if you are not good at interviewing/networking.

  • Prospect in IB - CB
Jun 12, 2020 - 2:46am

Social fraternities are also a good option. Our alums are fiercely loyal and are always willing to help. Also if anyone plays on an athletic team it is a huge plus. Employers love to see it.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 12, 2020 - 3:07am

Depend on which frat tbh. They can be hit or miss. Yes I agree that I have seen quite a few athletes have success in finance recruiting.

  • Prospect in IB - CB
Jun 12, 2020 - 3:44am

Definitely, my fraternity isn't well liked by the school since we aren't affiliated with ifc or cal but much of our alums in business do networking events with us.

Most Helpful
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jun 26, 2020 - 11:25am

Aside from the DSP -> Goldman Sachs pipeline I think the importance of clubs is overplayed. There are people in AKPsi who can't get IB jobs. There are people in "low tier" consulting clubs (or even not in any club) who network hard and get jobs at BB banks. Just from my experience, the people I've seen get top jobs (not just banking, PE out of undergrad as well) are the people who are smart, passionate about finance, and work their ass off not just the members of "elite" clubs.

Edit: this isn't to say being in a club won't help you, give you direction on how to prepare/when to start, etc. But it's not the end-all-be-all at the end of the day. What club you join is very much a mater of luck and circumstance, but the people who succeed are the ones who make the most of what their given.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 11, 2020 - 1:39am

Agreed, but from the perspective of a Berkeley student, I think that there is a large drop off in banking recruiting success between DSP & AKPSI. DSP's GS TMT pipeline has already been discussed, but they also sent several to MS, as well as kids to Moelis LA, Evercore, and Laz this past cycle...

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 26, 2020 - 11:36am

From the sound of it Haas sends 15 kids to Goldman TMT a year? Are we sure that not a little high....

I'm curious what a UC Berkeley views other west coast targets like? Opinions on Stanford, USC, UCLA (I doubt ur a fan)?

I personally have always felt that Berkeley has a strong lead in total placement- I could just be wrong.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Aug 11, 2020 - 1:34am

Connect with upperclassmen but that is hard now cause everything is online.

  • NA in Consulting
Aug 18, 2020 - 4:40pm

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