SMU in Dallas

I’ve been recently looking at SMU as a student in high school. I really want to break into IB but I know I have to have the right connections and all that stuff. SMU seems to be a cool school. Although, I am concerned about their presence in Dallas and Houston. I am wondering if anyone can give some feedback on if SMU feeds kids into IB.


If you wanna do IB in Dallas or Houston SMU’s placement is just as good as a top target placing in NYC. You will get interviews basically anywhere in Houston, OCR for every bank that has an energy office. If you wanna do NYC IB SMU has a growing alumni base but it wouldn’t be my first choice over NYC targets/semi targets.

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If you manage to get into the alts program it's a target. Every single kid in that program goes to IB in LA/SF/NYC/Houston/Dallas. 

As for Dallas in IB = I am an analyst at an IB in Dallas (MM) and went to SMU. There are only about 20 or so spots total from all the shops for Dallas (HL, Cowen, Lincoln, Goldman Regional Group. I have numerous classmates at EBs/BBs and MMs all across the country.

I had a fantastic experience at Cox and a tremendous amount of fun in Greek Life at SMU. If you want a fun southern college experience but not at a large state school do it. Also, (not a reason to choose a college) but you will certainly develop an insane network. SMU is also generous on scholarship if you are a strong applicant. 

I also grew up in Dallas and had friends go to A&M, Baylor and UT/Rice. If you want to do investment banking, do not touch A&M or Baylor or Rice (great schools but not for IB). At SMU if you are in alts, you would truly have to mess up not to break into IB. IMO in Texas, it's only between UT and SMU for investment banking. 


UT Business Honors Program > SMU Alts Program > UT McCombs Non-BHP > SMU Cox Non-Alts 


This is a bit inaccurate when it comes to Rice especially - agree with TAMU and Baylor not being targets though.

Rice has every single Houston investment bank coming to campus, with the intention of taking several interns (out of a very small pool, given the size of Rice, and for example, GS Houston had 3 out of 6 summer analysts from Rice), as well as more and more heading to NY/SF, and even MF PE roles out of undergrad.

Given both the per-capita chances of getting an IB offer from Rice, as well as Rice's school ranking amongst the T20s, I feel like it would be unwise to choose any Texas school aside from maybe McCombs over Rice, if goal is IB/PE.

This is likely true but just want to point out that Cox still is competitive to choose with the pipeline of the alts program. No doubt rice is fantastic but the Alts program at SMU consistently sending ~100 kids each year to banking as well. My apologies on the inaccuracy, just have not ran into many Rice grads yet! 

Also to your point about T20s those rankings don't really matter IMO - I have seen what's more important is junior alumni pulling for you, so go where there's a strong alumni pull. As you know from being an AN1, we interview kids from Ivy as well and they truly have no distinct advantage unless our MD went to their school / personal connection.

Another caveat - most students aren't choosing between Rice & SMU..Rice is way harder to get into and I believe more engineering focused? Additionally, this is also an experience decision and these are very different schools from a social POV as well. I think the type of kids that go to Rice is super different than McCombs/Cox. Also have to choose between Dallas/Houston and I think we can all agree Houston is the last choice after Austin/Dallas


Like above posts say - extremely strong presence in Texas IB (Houston, Dallas). Alts program is well renowned and many banks recruit directly from it.

Outside of Texas it's definitely tougher to recruit for a city like NYC compared to H/S/W/P but that's to be expected. SMU has placed ppl at top NY banks though, and that number is growing every year. If you want it you can go get it but it's def a grind (need an extremely strong GPA, network your ass off, know your techs cold, etc).

What everyone says about connections at SMU is completely true and then some. Everyone is extremely well connected and it is a huge positive about the school. Beyond IB/Finance, Dallas itself is great and social life is strong as well if you're interested in doing greek life. Very much a club scene and pretty much limited to greek orgs tho.

Bottom line: if you're looking for smaller Texas school with good IB prospects, SMU is going to undoubtedly be your best bet. If you're wanting a bigger school experience, UT is for sure the better choice. Outside of these 2 nowhere else in Texas really compares. (A&M is huge and does have some good placements but on a per capita basis it's not impressive, Rice is still kind of unproven, and Baylor sucks beyond just chances of breaking into IB).


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