Western Ivey or Waterloo Finance + CS

I've recently been admitted to Ivey and Waterloo's CFM program, and my goal is to recruit for buy-side jobs in the US. From my understanding, Ivey is #1 in Canada for finance recruiting, and students there get jobs at US firms like Evercore, Silverlake, BX, KKR, etc. Considering that Waterloo is less of a "target school," will the co-op structure help me recruit for these types of jobs, or is it primarily good for STEM careers?

I've also noticed that Ivey students tend to work in more client-facing and less quantitative roles than students at Waterloo (e.g., IB/consulting vs. quant/SWE). Will attending Ivey make it harder to pursue quant-focused roles like being a trader, or will Waterloo make it harder to pursue positions in PE? In terms of spirit/culture, I like both. I also don't mind studying something quantitative along with finance (my pre-Ivey major is statistics).

I'd really appreciate any advice. Thanks :)

Western Ivey or Waterloo Finance + CS

87% (20 votes)
Waterloo Computing and Financial Management
13% (3 votes)
Total votes: 23

Based on the most helpful WSO content, here's a detailed comparison to help you make an informed decision between Ivey and Waterloo's CFM program, especially with your goal of recruiting for buy-side jobs in the US:

  1. Target School Status and US Recruitment:

    • Ivey: It is indeed one of the top target schools in Canada for finance. Ivey graduates have a strong track record of landing positions in prestigious US firms like Evercore, Silverlake, Blackstone (BX), and KKR. The school's extensive alumni network and career guidance significantly boost opportunities in high finance, including client-facing roles in investment banking and private equity.
    • Waterloo CFM (Computing and Financial Management): While not traditionally viewed as a "target" for core finance roles (like PE), Waterloo is highly respected for its quantitative and technical training. The program's co-op structure is beneficial, providing practical experience that can be attractive to employers, including those in the US. However, it's more aligned with roles in quantitative finance, trading, and technology.
  2. Role Suitability and Program Focus:

    • Quantitative Roles: If you're leaning towards quant-focused roles, such as trading, Waterloo's strength in math, computer science, and technical skills makes it a compelling choice. The program's focus on both computing and financial management equips students with a unique blend of skills that are highly valued in quant roles.
    • Client-Facing Finance Roles: Ivey's curriculum and networking opportunities are tailored more towards traditional finance roles. Attending Ivey might make it slightly more challenging to pivot to highly technical quant roles but is ideal for positions in investment banking, consulting, and private equity.
  3. Cultural and Academic Fit:

    • Both institutions offer robust academic programs. Your interest in studying something quantitative along with finance could be well-served at Waterloo due to its technical emphasis. However, if the culture and network of Ivey appeal to you, especially with your background in statistics, it could also be a good fit, provided you are proactive in seeking quant-focused opportunities.

In summary, your choice might depend heavily on where you see yourself fitting better in terms of career aspirations. If you aim for more quantitatively driven roles, Waterloo's CFM could provide a stronger foundation. Conversely, for more traditional finance roles with a possibility of working in the US, Ivey's strong finance recruitment track record should not be underestimated.

Sources: Here are the Target Undergraduate Schools in Canada, Q&A: 3rd Year PE Associate ($10bn+ AUM, MBO/LBO, equity, mezz, distressed debt), Canadian Target Schools Ranked By Detailed Global Placement Data, Canadian Target Schools Ranked By Detailed Global Placement Data, Do Engineers/SWE’s irritate you guys as much as they irritate me

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

I think co-op is what you make of it. But it definitely trends more stem and I think Ivey would be not only the better choice but more chill. 
If you've got the stats background, I'm sure some self study for whatever while in Ivey would prove just as productive. 


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