NYU Stern Recruiting Club Culture

I'm a rising sophomore at Stern. I didn't join any IB clubs this year because I wasn't deadset on IB at that point and wanted to enjoy the city without stressing over my career too much my first year. However, doing research now, it seem as clubs are a huge part of OCR and almost a prerequisite. I'm set on IB and have a decent search fund internship, but I'm seriously concerned about my lack of club membership. I was wondering what stern peoples experiences were with this and if anyone has any recommendations, seriously concerned over if I'm too late. Also, is it necessary to be on the selective teams (portfolio teams etc) or do general members enjoy benefits? Any input is appreciated

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I just graduated from Stern, so can provide you with some insights. Clubs are basically OCR. If you're not part of the major organizations (Finance Society, EHS, etc.), you're at a considerable disadvantage when it comes to recruiting for IB/consulting (unless you're URM or have family connections). The Wasserman center is pretty useless and OCR on Handshake is legitimately terrible. During my junior and senior years, I think the only well-known banks that posted OCR positions on Handshake were CIBC, HSBC, Greenhill, Oppenheimer, and Citi MO/BO. The main problem with Stern is that it's really cliquey. If you're not part of the in-group early on (freshman year), then it's extremely hard to break in later. Like people won't want to help you or even talk to you if you're not part of a frat/club. However, if you want to pursue more unconventional paths like I did (VC, fintech, PE, etc.) then clubs are fairly useless. Just network like a mad man, and you should land something. Also, the PE club was created only a couple of years ago, which is shocking for a target school. Lastly, general members don't enjoy anywhere near the same benefits. It's as if you're not even a member at all. Honestly, I think school-driven OCR is only a thing for top targets like Wharton and some of the Ivies. At most targets (NYU Stern, Michigan Ross, Duke, etc.), you shouldn't really depend on traditional OCR.  


The last sentence is taken out of your ass? Don't talk about schools you know nothing about, I'm a Duke grad and the clubs (aside from BOW) play virtually zero role in recruiting


I went to stern a couple of years ago and got a ton of interviews with no networking, no clubs, and an average gpa. As long as your GPA is >3.5 and you have decent internships on your resume you should get looks. It's good to work harder/network more/etc. but stern kids are super try hard and you can feel like you're falling behind if you're not president of clubs while networking with 20 people a week. So don't get too stressed out about it.

As a side note to the comment above, I thought OCR was fine? Had looks from BB, VC's, HF's, prop trading firms, LO, etc. just from dropping resume on Wasserman. YMMV


Don't get me wrong, Stern is a fantastic school. Indeed, if it wasn't for a Stern alumnus, I wouldn't have gotten my current job at a kickass fintech startup. However, I would never advise students to rely on 'traditional' OCR, unless they attend a select number of schools (Wharton, Stanford, etc.) or already have great connections.  It's just a fact that at schools like Stern, Fuqua, Ross, etc., the students who are part of frats/clubs have a huge advantage over those who aren't. That doesn't mean you can't get a good job if you're not part of an organization. You just have to exert a lot more effort. 


Some banks don't even recruit outside of specific clubs. For example, Barclays/WF connected to BAP, EVR/MOE/PJT/GS connected to FS. Most of this is a result of strong club alumni connections. Joining a club is like passing a preliminary vetting process so the banks know that the people in the club are strong candidates. I would advise you to try and join something like FS ecomm at best at BAP IBD workshop at least. Both will be very difficult to get into and you will have to kill your technicals because they will expect a lot from a sophomore as compared to a freshman. This isn't to say getting an offer without a club is impossible. I did it but I was fortunate in that I had a ton of personal connections. 


Went to Stern years ago and got plenty of interviews even though my GPA wasn't great and wasn't too involved in clubs. It feels that way because the club kids are most visible and showcasing their positions but plenty of kids got interviews and offers through regular OCR when I was there. They interview a lot of kids so chances are decent if you have something to differentiate you (one of strong internships, high GPA, campus position, strong relationship with someone at the bank). 

To the posters above points, there are certain banks that have strong relationships to some clubs. For example, Rothschild primarily hired from one club with maybe 1 straggler from outside that club some years. 


find like-minded people at the banks (you can usually tell from linkedin if they were a hardo or not) and network a lot with them, they'll try to pull you in. also obviously have a good GPA and relevant experience, and have a good set of extracurriculars outside of finance clubs since the question will be what did you spend your time outside of class doing.


Don't delete your post unless there's something highly sensitive that makes it easy to dox you. Others will have the same questions later

Completely agree

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Went to Stern and had 0 involvement with finance clubs. Didn't like the culture of the Stern finance clubs in general. It was useful being a general member freshman year to learn practical finance, but after that it was pretty useless (learning-wise). I did well in recruiting just by networking. The school is in the heart of nyc, so use that to your advantage. Cast a wide net and reach out to people. Stern is a great school for landing the job you want, just have to make sure to use all the resources available.


Update: almost a year later. I made this post extremely nervous because I wasn't in any clubs at Stern and believed everything that's said about not being able to get a job without being in a selective club etc. and thought I was screwed for recruiting. Ended up not joining any clubs - the cultural aspect was way off and I chose to stick it out myself. Recruiting ended well, signed to an EB/Top 3 BB bank. Everyone I know at clubs or not in clubs that actually wanted it and was willing to work ended up with a good offer. To future students reading this that are in the same shoes I was in believing comments like the ones above saying its almost impossible to get an offer without a club and that certain banks only recruit from certain clubs (lol), don't believe the hype. Don't be afraid to be yourself, work hard, and if you're willing to do that no firm is going to care that you weren't in Finance Society.


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