Johns Hopkins - Breaking into IB

Recently committed to JHU undergrad but I've been reading some comments about how it's a total non target. Could someone comment on this? On a recent post, I saw that this has been changing the past 3-4 years with higher numbers of students becoming interested in IB. Will JHU close any opportunities, and should I be thinking about transferring at all?

How would it compare to Amherst, UVA, etc?

Also, relatedly, from my search on Linkedin, there seems to be a good number (10+?) of incoming IB SA and analysts.

Comments (43)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 12, 2022 - 5:53pm

Great to hear! Would you say that it's difficult for JHU to get interviews at your firm/ do they tend to do well?

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Feb 14, 2022 - 4:01am

Do you also take cold calls from USC students? Just trying to gauge the perception of USC now.

  • Prospect in IB - CB
Feb 15, 2022 - 12:10pm

Doubt it, usc and jhu is a pretty massive difference both academic-wise and location wise

Most Helpful
Feb 12, 2022 - 9:37am
Telemachus, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's going to be tough, but its doable. 

I have limited interaction w/ JHU students, but can comment on a friend's son who is an upper classman there. He had to grind hard to land a seat in finance. His parents were fairly well connected (HBS dad, Ivy mom) but he ended up hustling extremely hard. The word I heard from his parents was very limited on campus recruiting meant he had to go the extra mile to get facetime with companies. 

Regarding the other schools you mentioned, UVA is a powerhouse in finance placement and has a fairly structured approach to placing students. JHU is a fantastic school, but there isn't really a long history of placing students in these roles. Amherst is a great LAC, super strong alumni base, unsure how much of a finance school it is though. I do run into more Amherst ppl on the street than JHU.

I'm sure you can land a good IB / other finance role from there, but it's going to take a bit of effort on your part. Obv you'll have to do well in school, but also grind it out in terms of interview prep and networking. The interview prep is probably going to be very challenging as there isn't a institutionalized process in place to train students to land these jobs. I'm sure you can get good facetime w/ banks from JHU, but getting trained to ace these interviews without a strong finance club and peers at school is going to be very hard. 

If you take the JHU offer, you may want to combine some sort of HC/biotech/science major (play to JHU's strength) with econ or something. That would set you up for the HC groups in IB or ERStill, the interview prep is going to be the challenge. 

Best of luck! 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 12, 2022 - 5:52pm

I see. I'm not too worried about interview prep since I know a few people in the industry, but would getting interviews be an issue?

Feb 12, 2022 - 2:53pm
sparemethetrash, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you are driven and smart, you'll land at a top firm. It's a top ten school

Feb 13, 2022 - 12:10am
wsomaster, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You need to look at this curriculum and professor:

Inside the Johns Hopkins finance class that's 'guaranteed' to get you a job on Wall Street

https://www.businessinsider.com/johns-hopkins-wall-street-guarantee-finance-course-2015-5?r=US

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 13, 2022 - 6:41pm

Do you happen to know if freshmen/sophomores can take his class? I imagine it would be most useful for recruiting then?

  • Senior VP in Consulting
Feb 13, 2022 - 2:39pm

Echoing this. I went to JHU (graduate school) and sat in on these classes. Professor Hanke is the real deal and this class is very targeted to getting students jobs.

Side note: It's been said, but JHU can feed to local finance firms (e.g., Legg Mason or Franklin Templeton I guess, T Rowe), but I have seen folks go to BB and places like BDT. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 13, 2022 - 6:41pm

Do you happen to know if freshmen/sophomores can take his class? I imagine it would be most useful for recruiting then?

  • Incoming Analyst in PE - Growth
Feb 13, 2022 - 4:23pm

I go to a similar top-10ish school that also doesn't have a significant presence in IB.

Generally speaking, going to JHU won't necessarily close doors for you, but you'll have to put in work to open them up for yourself. What I mean by this is that while you won't be able to just hit up alums from JHU at firms you're targeting, you'll have far more ease getting bankers on the phone than a bona fide non-target student would, because you're at JHU and hence assumed to be smart/polished. A strategy I employed was to focus on networking with analysts from schools that weren't core recruiting schools, both actual non-targets or from schools like JHU, such as Northwestern, Wash U, etc., since they probably had a similar experience trying to break in. I would also reach out to upperclassmen who were successful, and try to get them to mentor you/follow their model of breaking in. Definitely will have to put in far more work during networking than kids at true target schools but that's just how it is.

Plenty of resources online to learn about finance and it would be surprising if JHU didn't have investment banking or finance clubs where you'd be able to learn about the industry and get interview prep resources.

Keep your grades up, have good on-campus involvement and internships, focus on being personable, knowledgeable, and polished during networking calls and interviews, and you shouldn't have a problem breaking in from JHU. At the end of the day, you're at a top 10 school, so if you can't break in from there that's more on you than the school.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 13, 2022 - 6:14pm

That sounds like a solid plan! Would you say you had any difficulty getting alum from those schools to talk with you/refer you to interviews since they didn't go to your school?

Also, are you going into PE FT judging from your title?

  • Incoming Analyst in PE - Growth
Feb 13, 2022 - 9:11pm

Nope, generally found people pretty receptive and helpful when we had a good conversation, even those from targets.

Another thing worth considering is that firms structure their recruiting processes differently; some firms let core school analysts help pick non-core school resumes. Don't see why a kid from Wharton wouldn't think you're qualified/worth speaking with.

Yup, went straight to buyside.

Feb 14, 2022 - 3:26am
Hayek, what's your opinion? Comment below:

UVA and especially Amherst would be better but you should be fine from JHU if you put in the work.

On another note -- I lived in DC for years and I don't think I met a single person who went to JHU undergrad, even though it's the strongest school in the region along with Georgetown. Where do JHU folks go other than med / bio jobs?

  • 1
  • Economist in Research - Other
Feb 14, 2022 - 10:19am

A lot of them get into economist or finance jobs in Baltimore, Boston, New York, Cali, or Chicago. Some even try to get MFin at top 3 schools instead of going straight into the workforce. Rarely anyone wants to work in DC if they want to head into an economics major.

Feb 14, 2022 - 1:14pm
Hayek, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 8, 2022 - 3:13pm

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