Did I make the right choice? (undergrad)

I'm feeling a little worried about if I choose wrong for undergrad.

I did early decision to my top choice (a non-HYP ivy) and got in. I still think it's the best place for me but worry that I made the wrong choice concerning potential social capital and opportunities. I don't come from a connected family so I have to build my network independently.

Will I miss out by not going to HYPSM? My friends (who are all going to T5s) and I have similar profiles so I think I would have gotten into one, especially if I did REA/SCEA.

For context, I want to end up in VC/startups/tech via ibanking or consulting.

Comments (26)

May 5, 2022 - 11:46pm
wsouser41, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the reply. Came into high school wanting to go to a T5 and seeing classmates actually going makes me question if my fit/prestige calculus was correct.

Also heard about stuff at Stanford/Harvard concerning VCs that is giving me FOMO.

I know I should be grateful that I landed an Ivy at all in this admissions cycles

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 23, 2022 - 10:20pm

>this app

the fuck

May 6, 2022 - 12:14am
InfidelCashFlow, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Even the "lower" tier Ivies like Cornell, Dartmouth, and Brown place well into fields such as banking and consulting.  I think your social capital will be just fine.  If you're really concerned, try to transfer.  It's going to be hard to pull off but you'll stack up favorably compared to most I'd imagine.


  • 3
May 7, 2022 - 4:09pm
wsouser41, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the comment. I don't want to transfer for social reasons and if I don't get into HYPSM, I think I'd burn a lot of bridges by even trying to do so. I do really like the school I'm going to after all.

May 6, 2022 - 12:39am
Vampire, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Don't worry too much my guy! You're on here so clearly you have finance oriented goals and are driven enough to know that. What other people aren't telling you is that a lower tier ivy school lowers your shot at a top banking/PE/consulting firm. BUT, and that's a big but, you are so ahead of the game that you are in complete control of what happens - if you know what you wanna do (and aren't doing it just for money) study and network and you'll kill it and be my boss someday. Reality is every firm is gonna hire more Harvard/Yale/MIT/UChicago than a brown or similar. But they are also gonna hire kids from brown and similar schools. If you're qualified for those other schools clearly you have a shot to be a huge standout at whatever school ur at. Best of luck

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
May 9, 2022 - 1:24am

I'd be surprised if you've actually worked in PE. The number of Dartmouth / Duke / even non Wharton Penn grads at top funds dwarfs the number of MIT / UChicago kids (true in banking too). Part of this is selection bias but network is also key. Not only because of favoritism or alumni loyalty but more so because having a good network is essential to getting properly prepped for interviews

  • Analyst 2 in PE - Other
May 6, 2022 - 1:00am

People saying troll definitely went to a shit school and happened to be the outlier to land a sick finance job

May 6, 2022 - 1:37am
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

People saying troll definitely went to a shit school and happened to be the outlier to land a sick finance job

haha interesting perspective

"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

  • Intern in AM - Other
May 6, 2022 - 11:17pm

No, more like it's ridiculous to be stressing over going to Columbia/Dartmouth instead of Princeton if your goal is to get into banking

Source: I went to HYP and went into banking

  • Intern in IB - Cov
May 7, 2022 - 7:51pm

I wish I had this problem. You're going to an Ivy, I'm sure you'll have more opportunities then 99% of people. I go to a complete non-target, and was still able to land gigs in Tech and IB.

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
May 7, 2022 - 8:41pm

I know how you feel. I'm guessing you feel like people think you're not smart enough for HYPSM. Went through the same thing and it took years for me to get over it. 

You'll be fine. There are extremely successful people from all sorts of schools you've never even heard of. Even at BX and the other megafunds, despite people on this site saying you have to go to H/W or you're fucked.

May 7, 2022 - 9:09pm
wsouser41, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You hit the nail on the head honestly.

Seeing the reactions my friends get compared to the ones I get when telling people where we're going just doesn't feel great, especially since we've been peers since freshman year and haven't been demarcated like this before.

The people who helped me navigate the college process also "managed my expectation." While I likely would still have picked the same school without their advice, I can't say for sure which leaves me wondering "what if."

I know I need to focus on what I'm doing and guess this feeling just fades over time.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
May 10, 2022 - 1:49am

This will definitely subside. If you do decently well at whatever ivy you're headed to you'll do as well or better than large swathes of HYP grads out of college and if you go into finance you'll work with all stars from state schools and duds from Wharton. Undergrad brand is a helpful proxy but no one sees it as a real meritocracy

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 23, 2022 - 1:12pm

I get where you're coming from (I went to Columbia/Brown/Dartmouth ~8-10 years ago, when a bunch of my friends were going to HYPSM) but get over it now, it's in your best interest. 10 years from now, you will be deep into your career and people will look 10x more at your job accomplishments than the school you went to. Your odds at landing a great job are almost precisely the same from another Ivy vs. HYPSM so if you didn't land one, it's much less on the school you went to and more the individual.

There will always be someone who does better, and the grass is always greener elsewhere. If you went to Harvard and studied econ, there will always be someone who studied CS and landed a higher paying tech/quant role. Or maybe you apply to a deferred MBA and they get into H/S and you don't. Maybe someone lands GS and you "only" get MS/JPM out of school. Then they land BX/KKR/TPG and you "only" get UMM.

Just be happy with your accomplishments. You're already in the top 1% of people, and while you can always make comparisons, focus on your own path.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 23, 2022 - 10:22pm

You're fine, but also use this as a lesson. If you really wanted to gun for a certain level of school, you should have gone for it instead of doubting yourself and choosing a safer option to hedge your bets. You don't want to be left wondering, what if? Go for what you truly want

Jun 24, 2022 - 12:41am
wsouser41, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Jun 24, 2022 - 12:56am

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