Sample of Top Target school outcomes

Inspired by a post on the IB forum - "where is your analyst class after 10 years", I'm posting this to give a slightly broader perspective than IB.  Below are the career paths of the 16 guys in my fraternity pledge class - 11 years out, graduated from top target (one of non Cornell/Brown Ivies). 

EDIT:  Since some people are commenting as to the purpose of this, here's a quick explanation.  I was inspired by that thread on the IB forum (link here:…) - it seemed people were quite interested as to where they might (or could) end up after choosing one of the most popular career paths (IB) here on WSO.  Similarly, I hoped to provide a view into where someone could end up after going to one of the schools that people endlessly post about here on the Bschool forum on WSO.  No weird flex - you could argue that my profile is one of the least "impressive" below.  

Details have been left a little bit vague to avoid outing anyone: 

1:  Me.  4 years in financial consulting (think Navigant/Huron/Alix/Alvarez/FTI), Cornell MBA, now work in marketing at large CPG 

2:  5 years in media (sports/network), Stern MBA, now works at a media startup 

3:  5 years trading at top BB (MS/GS/JPM), currently leads a team of 4 at multi-billion hedge fund

4:  Top architecture grad school, currently partner track at one of the top architectural firms 

5:  2 years doing nothing, T10 law school, few years in BigLaw, started VC fund w/family members, just raised second fund

6:  Masters in CS at top program (S/CM/MIT), currently SWE at a large healthcare tech startup

7:  2 years at BB, 2 years at UMM PE, Wharton MBA, currently at UMM PE fund 

8:  Med school, MD

9:  T10 law school, currently senior associate at top BigLaw firm

10:  3 years of various jobs, T10 law school, associate in BigLaw

11:  Med school, MD

12:  MM IB, MF PE, 6 years (to now) of FAANG finance

13:  Moved to S Korea, currently lives in Asia and runs an online school w/his wife 

14:  Various jobs for 3-4 years, started HC tech company w/brother, just sold to larger HC tech firm 

15:  Trading at MM bank for 5 years, quit and retrained as SWE, currently at unicorn Fintech as engineering manager 

16: prime brokerage at BB, 8+ years at FoF (just made junior partner) 

Comments (91)

Feb 1, 2021 - 7:46pm

Someone who reads these boards and sees that apparently that's what all of you under 25 call them because you're still obsessed with prestige.  If you think that ever enters into my vocabulary in any other context, you would be wrong. 

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Feb 1, 2021 - 8:16pm

Nah, was a way to be more specific without outing myself.  I could also add non-HYP either if that makes it better for you. If I cared about Cornell/Brown so much, why would I post it having gone to Cornell for bschool? 

  • 1
Feb 2, 2021 - 9:23am

CPG - consumer packaged goods - think chips, toothpaste, skin care, etc.  Sample companies would be P&G, Unilever, SC Johnson.  

Prime Brokerage - group at (generally) BB banks that provides brokerage services to large investment funds - usually hedge funds.  They usually arrange for margin loans, other financing & short borrows for those hedge funds and can be a primary point of contact for the banks' other services 

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Most Helpful
  • Prospect in AM - Equities
Feb 2, 2021 - 2:15am

As someone in an ivy with a similar size frat PC, interesting to read. Don't let the negative comments hurt. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 2, 2021 - 2:37am

Agreed, this is pretty interesting and I hope more people do the same.

  • Prospect in AM - Equities
Feb 5, 2021 - 2:56pm

One of Penn/Cornell/Dartmouth. 

Feb 2, 2021 - 9:14am

Someone who got to said target having no concept of what he wanted to do after school and didn't have a good understanding of how my GPA connected to those options.  I spent 4 years partying and paying little to no attention to school and therefore graduated with a pretty piss-poor GPA.  I probably had among the very lowest undergrad GPAs in my MBA class - had to make up for it in other ways.  

  • 3
Feb 2, 2021 - 9:35am

Silver banana. Cheers mate. Probably had a better time than everyone else than worrying about nonsensical stuff


  • 1
Feb 3, 2021 - 9:15am

Went to a coding boot camp - 8 week program out of which he got a job at a sizeable fintech startup and then jumped to one of the bigger unicorns (you've heard of it) 2 years ago.  He absolutely hated his trading job by the time he quit. 

  • 1
Feb 3, 2021 - 9:10am

The first two are more obscure, the last 3 you should ask someone in RX at your bank when you're not busy trolling 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 2, 2021 - 12:21pm

Dude, that guy is a total fucking boner. I've seen him get defensive about his age:title in other posts so he's clearly battling his insecurities on an online forum like a real champ. Ignore him.

Good thread. I think these are super helpful and give both students an idea of how careers are not linear and current people in finance an idea of what's possible if they no longer want to continue down "the path."


  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 2, 2021 - 8:04pm

It must be nice in the US where there are so many options to make a lot of money. In the UK there are only 2 or 3 options that make good money, everything else is £30k starting salary at best

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 2, 2021 - 8:50pm

and we still have socialist fuckwads over here who don't appreciate it and want to simp all over AOC

Feb 6, 2021 - 6:37pm

Yes, salaries are lower, but we have the NHS (so no major healthcare costs). Not to mention that graduate schemes are a form of an internship in their own right. They hire you for 2-3 years and then place you somewhere else in the business where you begin to make the real money. We also have stricter labour laws as compared to the US, so while I agree that the salaries are shit in comparison, it isn't all that bad on our side of the pond. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 3, 2021 - 10:47am

what?? a version of all of these exists in the UK.

Feb 3, 2021 - 9:31am

No, only two did.  They both went to PE (see original post) - one did the classic PE/MBA/PE track, the other hated PE and quit to take a finance job at a FAANG company. 

Feb 3, 2021 - 9:13am

Not sure if you've noticed, but we've had a global pandemic for the past 11 months where lots of people have been working from home.  You watched another episode of Bridgerton, I spent 15 minutes writing a post some people might find helpful.  One could ask why you took the time to read it and respond if you didn't.  

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  • Intern in HF - Macro
Feb 5, 2021 - 12:47pm

Not sure why this thread is getting so much shit. All OP did was share some data points on his network and where they ended up. Which is helpful to know when beginning to think about your 5-10 year career horizon. 

Feb 5, 2021 - 3:39pm

The types of comments you're getting on this thread are what is wrong with WSO allowing anonymous comments to boost engagement. There is no skin in the game anymore and hating ass kids can attempt to cut you down without recourse.

I always appreciated these threads to see anecdotal career arcs and remember them as context for making my own moves. Thank you for posting this.

Feb 6, 2021 - 6:01pm

Interesting post. Thanks for sharing. There is inherently a lot more value from this post compared to the countless threads asking people to force rank banks. I guess the flak might have stemmed from using "top target".


  • Business School in IB - Cov
Feb 8, 2021 - 9:11am

I was curious about my own fraternity pledge class (semi-target) and did a similar analysis. There were 24 of us. 2 of us got MBAs and only 8 of us have not pursued school after the Bachelors degree. Overall, the outcomes are impressively diverse though.

5 years out

7 people in business (outside of healthcare), I am in the only one in IB. 1 is in corporate banking. 2 in tech. 2 in Big 4. 1 in Marketing.

More surprisingly, there were 5 people enrolled in medical school. Another 2 in dental school.

2 in other clinical healthcare professions (ie Nurse or Physical Therapist)

4 in healthcare administration/public health

3 in law school or graduated law school

The last guy is an artist.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Feb 9, 2021 - 12:31am

Besides #14 did any other of your mates seriously consider starting a company (excluding joining a start-up)?

Only 1/16 by the looks of it - so few with the risk appetite?

Feb 9, 2021 - 9:17am

I'd actually say 2/16 - starting your own VC fund after 3-4 years of work experience is highly risky (and qualifies as starting a new business).  

You have to remember the context - we graduated in the midst of the great recession & before the rise of endless VC money.  Even "big tech" wasn't really as prominent a career path (FB was still only 5 years old).  A couple of my friends had full-time offers rescinded because the company they were going to went on a hiring freeze/were laying people off/went under (one of my friends had interned at Lehman).  In that atmosphere, no one was really looking to take on more risk.  Then, after 4-5 years of success in a more traditional career path the opportunity cost went up quite a bit. 

There are a couple of small things that I didn't mention above - #3 took 1.5 years off between BB and HF to work on some app ideas he had.  He had some moderate success - he ended up developing a back-end risk system for HFs that sold a few licenses but never really went anywhere and which he wasn't interested in continuing.  #7 started a business while he was at Wharton but decided not to continue it after school.  

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