AMA: Reflections on 1st Semester at Columbia Business School

dabears92's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 238

I recently completed my first semester at Columbia Business School and wanted to share my experience thus far. I would also be happy to field any questions. The primary reason for writing this long-winded anecdote is to provide clarity into the actual experience at Columbia for prospective applicants and fellow WSO monkeys. I have also occasionally encountered a negative narrative around Columbia (don't know why) on this forum and would like to provide an insider's perspective. I, for one, have absolutely loved my experience at Columbia thus far.

On to the good, the bad, and the ugly about Columbia Business School.

1) Recruiting

Columbia has exceeded my previously established expectations around recruiting.

a. Sell-side investment banking: not as many students at top MBA programs are interested in investment banking these days. @OpsDude had a great post outlining how easy it is (numerically) to get into either a Bulge Bracket or an Elite Boutique investment banking firm from an M7 program. I would further differentiate that it is mathematically easier to enter a Bulge Bracket associate class (i.e. Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley) vs. an Elite Boutique (i.e. Evercore or Blackstone M&A). For example, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan sent out 45, 40, and 37 1st-round interview invites to Columbia students, respectively. And remember, this is only for NYC investment banking advisory positions; this excludes, for example, Capital Markets and Equity Research positions. At Morgan Stanley, the Capital Markets Group sent out an additional 13 invites and the Equity Research team sent out an additional 11 invites. Also FIG and Real Estate Banking had separate lists (I assume 8-10 invites for each of those groups as well). So just for Morgan Stanley, there were ~80 1st round interview spots for Columbia Students across various positions at the firm.

Comparatively, Evercore sent out only 26 1st-round spots, Blackstone M&A 14 spots, and Blackstone Restructuring 11 spots.

In conclusion, at Columbia, it is incredibly accommodating to start a career in either an elite Bulge Bracket firm or an elite boutique firm. There are just fewer spots at the boutiques (obviously, given the size of the firms and the lower turnover rates).

b. Investment management: Columbia has a very strong presence in investment management (i.e. mutual funds and hedge funds). The following firms recruit on-campus at Columbia (not off-campus; these firms actually have on-campus interviews and scheduled interview slots for Columbia students): Eaton Vance, Parnassus Investments, Fred Alger Management, American Century Investments, Citadel, Invesco, MFS, Mount Kellett, Columbia Wanger, Baron Capital, Ionic Capital, Appaloosa, Kingdon, Causeway, Sheffield Asset Management, Clearbridge, Franklin Templeton, T Rowe Price, Putnam, Fidelity, Glade Brook, PIMCO and Capital Group.

This list is also not all-encompassing (doesn't include all on-campus firms and excludes ALL off-campus firms that do have postings, i.e. Dodge & Cox, Davidson Kempner, Orbis). In other words, if you want to work for a prestigious mutual fund or hedge fund, Columbia is a phenomenal choice.

While investment banking recruiting seems to be accessible to MBA programs in the Top 15-20 range, investment management is extremely selective and prohibitive for prospective applicants, unless you go to a top 5-7 program.

For example, Clearbridge only recruits at Wharton, Columbia and Tuck. Eaton Vance only recruits at Harvard, Wharton and Columbia. PIMCO recruits for specific positions (i.e. portfolio management or credit / equity research) at the top 5-7 schools.

I would also note that investment management, relatively speaking, seems to be the "hottest" and most desired industry at Columbia. I believe this is driven by two factors: 1) top mutual funds and hedge funds don't interview people without relevant experience, so people that worked in industries outside finance (i.e. Consulting, Operations, Technology, Manufacturing, General Management) will not get interviews, even if they network extensively (caveat: some MBB consultants, for example, a female friend of mine who attended HYP and worked at MBB, do get interviews. Also, certain URM and Veteran applicants are offered some additional flexibility). My most impressive classmates (HYP undergrad, Goldman TMT, Mega-Fund PE) are almost exclusively interested in top mutual funds & hedge funds, and set an extremely high bar for recruiting. 2) the positions are extremely hard to get. For example, for 1st round interview slots, Eaton Vance has 13 slots. Also, whereas Goldman Sachs will hire tens of people from Columbia this year for internship positions, the elite mutual funds / hedge funds have an entire associate class of 2-3. MFS will likely hire 2-3 Summer Associates and recruit at all of the M7 (at least to my understanding, I know for sure they recruit at Harvard, Wharton, Sloan and Columbia). Just from Harvard, 100 people applied to MFS for a summer internship. Do the math - the numbers are quite daunting and competitive.

c. MBB consulting: I am not involved with MBB recruiting but to my understanding, it is analogous to sell-side banking recruiting. BCG, for example, handed out 70 first round slots to Columbia students. I also know that Bain handed out 132 first round slots to Columbia, which is a significant figure relative to the class size of ~500 (the 200 J-termers are excluded from summer internship recruiting because they (1) are not on campus yet (2) do not need summer internships and hence are enrolled in the J-term)

d. Private Equity: I am not involved with PE recruiting but relative to investment management, I believe that this is one of Columbia's weaker areas. However, a part of it, at least from my own research, is driven by self-selection and the alumni base of the school. The investment management club at Columbia has hundreds of members and extremely illustrious alumni that are active with giving back & recruiting at the school (including a small-time investor named Warren Buffett). The PE / VC club at Columbia is not as active (to my understanding and again, just relative to investment management) and it shows in our employment report. An impressive 13% entered investment management from Columbia (2014 graduates), but only 2.4% of these graduates went into PE.

That being said, Columbia certainly has a presence in Private Equity and Blackstone private equity does have on-campus interviews at the school.

2) Academics

The Core Curriculum can be a bit rudimentary in certain areas that you have familiarity with (i.e. Accounting / corporate finance; mbavsmfin had a nice post reviewing this) but the school allows you to exempt out of the class by taking an exemption exam.

Pros of Core: you are assigned to a "Cluster" of 60-70 students with whom you become very close, both personally and professionally. You spend every day in class with your clustermates and you are really able to form a distinct social bond with these classmates. It is great because this is, after all, what you pay for when you go to business school. One of my clustermate's father runs one of the largest hedge funds in Western Europe, another clustermate is a former U.S. Olympian, another clustermate used to manage the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, and another clustermate is the child of a Fortune 100 company in the U.S. I now have, at the very minimum, 60+ new friends and colleagues to call my own. Quick general point: Columbia does seem to attract a lot of Ivy League undergrad / wealthy international students. Perhaps it is driven by the school's location in NYC.

Cons of Core: you have to take certain classes that you may not be interested in (i.e. Marketing, Strategy, Microeconomics). Also, it can be annoying to work with classmates that are not very comfortable with the material (however, this is probably true for any business school).

I would add though, that Columbia has some really cool classes. For those interested in investment management / hedge funds, we have a class called Applied Security Analysis where we develop an investment idea over the course of the semester by collaborating / learning from hedge fund managers in the city, and at the end of the semester, we pitch the idea to Bill Ackman of Pershing Square. The winning team wins $100,000 (historically donated to charity).

3) Social / community

Admittedly, Columbia's biggest negative in the past has been its characterization of an aloof / cut-throat community. I would say that this couldn't be farther from the truth. The cluster system is great and our cluster went to the Caribbeans mid-Semester to just unwind and have fun. We also have weekly happy hours on Thursdays and weekly social events at clubs / bars in the city. And this excludes, the plethora of clubs on campus that have separate / constant social events. Honestly, even if I didn't sleep for one second, I wouldn't be able to attend all of the social events that we have accessible to us.

Also, the Columbia community is actually quite strong, from my own personal experience. I was able to secure a school-year internship at a $1.0BN+ AUM long / short fund in the city because of a Columbia connection. The PM is a Columbia alumnus and he sent a job posting to the Columbia Business School student community. I am not exaggerating when I say that I am frequently bombarded by internship opportunities at prominent funds in the city. This internship allowed me to get first round interviews with the major mutual funds / hedge funds.

However, living in a big city is not for everyone and Columbia (and NYC) is not cheap (to say the least). Mbavsmfin is right in this respect - the city is very expensive. But hey, NYC provides some incredible amenities.

4) Campus

This is Columbia's black eye. The Columbia University campus is breathtakingly beautiful (I went to a top 5 university and I actually prefer Columbia's campus) but Uris Hall, where the business school is housed, is old and decrepit. Honestly, it doesn't fit Columbia's image or that of any top-tier university. Space can be limited, and you sometimes find yourself sharing space with undergraduates (I imagine Wharton experiences the same inconvenience).

However, thankfully (seriously, thank God), Dean Hubbard has been working on this for a while and finally broke ground on the new campus. Some people don't love Dean Hubbard (he's a conservative with certain political ties) but you can't fault him for his incredible fundraising ability. He received $100 mm from Kravis (CBS alumnus) and $100 mm Ronald Perelman (a Wharton alumnus but a good friend of Hubbard) and the new $600 mm Columbia Business School building is under construction. You can see it being built (along with a new Neuroscience institute) a couple blocks from Columbia's existing campus. The new Columbia campus will cost $7 bn + (over its lifetime) and will also include a new arts building and a new medical school building (among others). To my understanding, Columbia is flush with cash and recently completed a record-breaking fundraising campaign ($6.1 billion raised, a new record for the Ivy League).

Wow, that was long.

I would be happy to field any questions.

Comments (112)

Dec 27, 2014

Great, informative post. +1

Dec 27, 2014

I gave you a SB as well. Very informative and helpful post for those considering CBS.

Touching upon the IM theme, I think people underestimate how tough it is to get IM. You are competing against people with very strong relevant backgrounds, most of whom work like crazy to refine their stock or credit pitches. Having said that, I know that Fidelity hired 2 from CBS class of 2014, and 2 second-years are heading to Capital Group after b-school.

Without getting too specific, what was your background before CBS?

Dec 27, 2014

Thanks for the kind words @"mbavsmfin".

Yes, IM is incredibly competitive.

Would be happy to share - attended top 5 undergrad, average GPA of ~3.5, strong GMAT 750+, restructuring advisory experience at top boutique firm

    • 2
Dec 27, 2014

SBed, great thread. Do you have any insights regarding early stage VC recruiting at CBS?

Dec 28, 2014

Early Stage VC recruiting - great question. Relative to more traditional investment management paths (i.e. long only / hedge funds), my knowledge of the intricacies of VC recruiting is very limited. However, I do know that Greycroft Partners (a prominent early stage VC fund that has invested in Huffington Post, Buddy Media, Maker Studios, Babble, Collective Media, Trunk Club, AwesomenessTV, Plain Vanilla, and Braintree) actively recruits at Columbia, and historically, Columbia has organized and sponsored West Coast treks to visit investment management firms on the West Coast. Although I have only seen trips specific to targeting long only funds and hedge funds in California, I am sure that there is a similar trek organized by the PE / VC club for Venture Capital firms.

If you need any more info, you should definitely reach out to one of the current officers at the PE / VC club (cbspevc dot com; they won't allow me to post a direct link). They would be more than happy to help.

    • 3
Dec 27, 2014

How are the J-term students viewed/treated within the CBS community? Do they all hang out with other MBA students from the traditional 2 year program and the other students are receptive, or kind of stick to themselves?

Dec 28, 2014

J-term students: great inquiry and something that I was curious about as well, prior to matriculating at Columbia.

For applicants / WSO members that are not as familiar with the program, Columbia provides an option for students to complete an accelerated MBA program in 16 months (as opposed to the traditional 24 months). Out of the Class of 2016's total size of 743, 544 students entered this past fall (I was one of them) and ~200 students will enter in a couple of days (January-term). We will collectively graduate in the Summer of 2016.

It creates an interesting dynamic because my entire first semester revolved around a student body of ~500 students; students that I have formed significant friendships and relationships with. And when we return from winter break, we will have 200 "new" students joining our class.

I have obviously not had the opportunity to meet any of the incoming January-term students yet, but to my understanding, they are absolutely enthusiastically welcomed into the Columbia community and students do not differentiate between "Fall term" and "January term" students amongst each other. I previously mentioned that we had a Fall-break trip to the Caribbeans but there will also be a Spring Break trip with fellow students for the very reason that you mentioned. It provides another forum for Fall term and January term students to continue to mingle / interact. We will also take elective classes together.

J-term students (when reviewing 2nd year J-term student resumes) seem to be predominantly either sponsored by elite consulting firms (MBB) or family businesses (a large number of wealthy international students). There are also exceptions (one second year J-termer is sponsored by a mega hedge fund in NYC), but this is my general perception.

In terms of the quality of their profile, I would say that they are indistinguishable. Same average GMAT, same average GPA, and similar number of years of work experience. The J-term students simply do not need a summer internship (they are sponsored by their employers).

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Dec 28, 2014

SBed, love reading posts like this. Out of curiosity, what is the social scene like outside of your "cluster"? If you're broken up into those smaller groups, how do your interactions work with your broader MBA class?

What is your feeling on Columbia being a "commuter school". Do you find that you meet lots of people who already have established friend networks in the city and are prone to doing their own things or is it more cohesive than people think?

Did you apply to any other Bschools?

Thanks.

Dec 28, 2014

Good point on the cluster system - i.e. if you're broken into smaller groups, does this create a disjointed larger student body.

I wondered the same, but it actually doesn't affect student body unity whatsoever. The cluster system was created so that regardless of your social background or social skills, you are able to easily meet new people and make new friends. So, for example, in the extreme case that you consciously decided to join zero clubs (no one does this) and take zero electives (you obviously need to take electives to graduate), you would have, at a minimum, 60-70 colleagues and a sizable social network.

In reality, the cluster system becomes merely one component of your social network, and a great one at that. In addition to your clustermates, you become extremely close to peers in the clubs that you are interested in (in my case, investment management and microbrewery), as you spend a lot of time with these classmates. Most (if not all) students join a specific professional club on campus, in order to facilitate their recruiting process. And I personally chose to also attend microbrewery club events and some other athletic club events (i.e. sailing, golf, snow sports). So, you get plenty of interaction across the entire MBA class. And one last point - the cluster trips (to the Caribbeans, to Western Europe, etc.) are always grouped with multiple clusters, so you are able to travel with different clusters and meet new people.

I have never thought that Columbia is a "commuter" school - in the past, I think that this has been a prevalent gross generalization but the school has made significant progress towards eradicating it. For example, I think the cluster system is a relatively new introduction (I don't think it existed 20-25 years ago) and the school has made a conscious effort to create more "Columbia" pride. The students definitely foster a cohesive community and I can tell you that as someone who lived and worked in New York for a number of years, I haven't had the chance to even spend much time with my existing friends in the city. I'm either on campus, at recruiting events, or at school social events 99% of the time, and I have had to skip out on certain school functions in order to hang out with people in the city. In other words, the school and your classmates will keep you very, very busy. Obviously, people who have wives / husbands in the city will have to balance their time commitments, but this will be true at any school.

I applied to Harvard, Columbia, Wharton and Chicago and was admitted at each school except Harvard (dinged by HBS).

I didn't apply to Stanford (amazing school but I was a career switcher into investment management and wanted to be in NYC), didn't choose Wharton (another great school but again, I wanted to be in NYC) and skipped on Chicago (without giving away too much information, I have already spent enough time there).

    • 2
Dec 28, 2014

Wow. Shocked that you actually turned down Wharton and Booth for CBS. Aside from the location, what did you not like about Booth?

    • 7
Dec 28, 2014

Great post, thanks for taking time out to do this.

A few questions:

1. Is it essential to do the value investing programme to recruit for the funds? Are there many cases of people successfully finding jobs in the field who did not participate in the full programme but rather, only took some of the classes open to all students?

2. Do many of the internships during the semester at funds end up translating to full-time offers? If so, is this not a massive advantage for CBS students? Or are students hanging out to land a gig at one of the larger shops that don't typically offer internships during the semester and use the semester internship to gain experience/enhance resume?

Thanks.

Dec 28, 2014

Happy to be of any help.

1) Unequivocally no - you do not need to be in the value investing program to successfully recruit for mutual funds or hedge funds. summer internship recruiting for investment management spans from December of 1st Semester to February / March / April of 2nd Semester during your first year. You apply to the Value Investing Program during the latter half of 2nd Semester during your first year, so this implies that you will finish summer internship recruiting PRIOR to knowing whether you were admitted into the Value Investing Program. So that covers summer internship recruiting during the first year.

In terms of full time recruiting during your second year (if you want to re-recruit or you were not able to land your desired buyside internship), being in the Value Investing Program neither guarantees you a spot at a top buyside job nor precludes you from succeeding. It's all up to you. I know of a 2nd year student that summered at Sanford Bernstein (top, if not the top, sellside research position), did not get accepted into the Value Investing program (the program accepts ~40 out of 100 applicants and prefers buyside internships) but recruited again 2nd year for a great full time position at GAMCO. Value Investing students also competed for the position but this person won out. Investment management recruiting seems to be a pretty meritocratic process.

However, if you get into the Value Investing program, you are able to join a pretty cool brotherhood / club of investors. I know that there are certain job positions that are sent to only Value Investing students.

2) Great q - funds that offer school-year internships vary greatly in size. From $85mm AUM (small) to $1.0BN+ AUM. You can certainly choose to continue to intern at the fund during the summer, and hope for a full time offer upon completion of the summer. However, most students choose to recruit for summer internships anyways because you want the optionality of being able to intern at a larger and more reputable firm (i.e. the mega mutual funds or monster hedge funds). From my experience, the students that complete school-year internships are able to utilize that internship to jump to a bigger fund for the summer (i.e. from a $500mm AUM long / short to a $5BN AUM long / short). There are instances where students can't land a larger internship and continue to intern at the fund during the summer (nice fall-back option). This, indeed, is a competitive advantage for Columbia and a very important reason why I chose the school over others. I was a career switcher from investment banking advisory and I wanted to complete a school-year internship in NYC so that the first firm that recruiters / firms see is a buyside long / short firm vs. a sell-side role.

    • 2
Dec 28, 2014

@"dabears92"

Great rundown, thanks for doing this.

In regards to sell-side banking recruiting, was it difficult for students with no finance background to receive offers from the Capital Markets or REIB groups at BB banks, or were these students more likely to receive offers from generalist type groups?

Also, It looks like you spent some time in Chicago- did anyone accept offers for groups there (or other regional offices) or was the placement focused mostly on NYC?

Dec 29, 2014

No problem.

1) Not difficult to get offers from specific industry groups or product groups (relative to generalist offers). I would simply advise that from an early stage, you target a specific group (if you are interested in Real Estate, for example) and continue to network with the professionals in that group. If you make the effort to craft your narrative as to why you are interested in a specific industry and you network extensively with the relevant coverage group, you will have a great chance at landing an internship offer. One tip - join the Real Estate club, if you want to aim for Real Estate banking. It just makes your story seem more genuine and not disingenuous.

2) Mostly NYC. I would note that aside from major buyside firms that are based in Chicago, most elite boutiques and nearly all elite bulge brackets are based in NYC. You probably want to summer in NYC (vs. Chicago; and this is specific for Chicago vs. NYC for elite boutiques and bulge brackets. I'm not talking about SF - SF is a different story) in order to solidify a full-time offer. One of my former colleagues shared an anecdote about his recent experience at Booth and that he decided to summer at Lazard Chicago (vs. NYC) and didn't get a Full-time offer at the end of his internship in 2014, because the Chicago office was a regional office and didn't have the capacity. If you were to intern in NYC, you wouldn't have had the same issue with Lazard.

That being said, Chicago is obviously home to a number of great buyside firms / sellside firms, and Columbia does offer opportunities to recruit for Chicago.

    • 2
Dec 29, 2014

Could you explain the story behind SF for BB/EB? Do they typically not have any headcount issues? Also, is it common/possible to move from summer in SF to FT in NY within the same bank?

Dec 28, 2014

1. Do you think CBS finance electives are too focused on equity value investing and real estate? There seems to be a dearth of courses on fixed income, credit, macro, Asset Management, derivatives.

2. Aside from school-year internships, how advantageous is the NYC location in terms of recruiting? Wharton and Booth send roughly the same % of its students to IM and HF as CBS despite not being in the "center of business."

    • 5
Dec 29, 2014

1) Frankly, I haven't completed enough courses at Columbia to give you a holistic or comprehensive review of the courses that are available to students that are interested in investment management, but I would say that the school (specifically, the Heilbrunn Center, or the team that runs the Value Investing Program) has historically been very open to suggestions and has been flexible in bringing in adjunct professors / speakers that can supplement historical strong suits (i.e. equity value investing as you mentioned). I know that, for example, students wanted a course on how to value digital companies (difficult with a typical value investing framework as a lot of tech companies have negative cash flow / earnings etc.) and the school introduced a Digital Investing course for the first time this Spring semester and will teach students on how to value tech / digital companies with a value investing framework. Guest speakers include Vikram Pandit (the former CEO at Citi) and the CEO at Gawker.

I think you're alluding to whether the "value investing" approach to investing is ubiquitous and overwhelming throughout Columbia courses (i.e. does it get to be a bit much) and in my opinion, that doesn't seem to be the case. Obviously Bruce Greenwald will have a different approach to markets vs. Eugene Fama, but I don't think the two theories are mutually exclusive and in fact, can co-exist. Random tangent - D.E. Shaw (started by a former Columbia professor) has obviously been successful in more quantitative strategies, but for the first time this year, they started recruiting at Columbia (and other select MBA programs) for fundamental, long / short summer positions. In short, the firm is supplementing their quantitative strategies with more bottoms-up investing.

In talking to my former friends at Booth, similarly, while the school is associated with EMH, it would be a gross generalization to say that all students and all courses simply reflect EMH.

2) I tried to touch on this above.

Dec 28, 2014

@"dabears92"

Hi,

Have you felt that "Affirmative Action" candidates bring down the quality of the student body?

    • 3
Dec 29, 2014

Hi, thanks for the question.

Absolutely not - and even if true (it isn't), it would be true across all top MBA programs.

Columbia is extremely welcoming to the LGBT community (Cluster Q!), the Black Business Students Association is one of the best clubs on campus, Columbia Women in Business runs some pretty sick events (also, CBS Follies' Bitch in Business video was obviously legendary), and there are countless clubs that celebrate the community's diversity. I am thankful that the admissions committee crafted a diverse and fun student body.

Obviously, it is a fact that certain firms have accelerated recruiting avenues for certain demographics, but this is completely unrelated to the quality of the overall student body and a necessary (and very much welcomed, in my opinion) addition to firms' recruiting efforts. I'm from an over-represented demographic but I've never considered it a deterrent in my recruiting effort.

    • 2
Dec 29, 2014
dabears92:

Obviously, it is a fact that certain firms have accelerated recruiting avenues for certain demographics,>

I have a URM friend who had 6 offers by early October. Was impressive.

Dec 29, 2014

Hi dabears92, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences at CBS, especially in light of all the CBS bashing that goes on in WSO. I have some questions below:

1.) Could you shed some light on restructuring recruiting / academics at CBS? Specifically on how many MBA students are generally interested in RX, how CBS generally places in RX to top shops (ex. BX, Laz, HLHZ, EVR, Moelis, Rothschild etc.) and are CBS MBA students allowed to take courses in the law school?

2.) What were some of the things you did not like about working in restructuring advisory? Were the hours still grueling even when dealflow was relatively light (like the current economic environment)?

3.) In your RX shop, did associates generally stay in for the long term or did they usually leave after a couple years?

4.) For general investment banking recruiting, were majority of them career switchers or did you see a lot of ex-banking/PE analysts as well?

5.) Did you feel that your RX experience worked as a competitive advantage in investment management recruiting, or did you feel that it was weaker compared to those who worked in traditional BB IBD roles? (I'm assuming this is for general IM instead of distressed IM)

Thanks again!

Dec 29, 2014

No problem - happy to help.

1) As restructuring is a idiosyncratic focus within investment banking advisory, naturally not as many MBA students are interested in the field relative to industry coverage groups / generalist M&A offers. There are also fewer restructuring specific job openings (simple microeconomics: supply / demand). I would say that if you have an interest in restructuring, you shouldn't only focus on "restructuring only" advisory jobs. This is because, many generalist offers (i.e. at Moelis or Perella Weinberg and even at Bulge Brackets) include M&A and restructuring work. That being said, if you want pure restructuring, the Columbia network will provide an opportunity to interview with the most elite restructuring firms. And that's all you can really ask for from an MBA program - the opportunity to be able to interview with countless elite firms, that otherwise would not be eager to interview you. Here are the numbers for 1st round interview slots at the most elite restructuring firms. You can see that if you are at Columbia, you can make it happen:

Blackstone Restructuring (not M&A; that's a separate list. I already gave the # above) - 11
Lazard (generalist; encompasses restructuring & M&A) - 16
Houlihan Restructuring - 12
Evercore (generalist; encompasses restructuring & M&A) - 26
Moelis (generalist; encompasses restructuring & M&A) - 22
Rothschild (generalist; encompasses restructuring & M&A) - 10
Perella Weinberg (generalist; encompasses restructuring & M&A) - 25
Greenhill (generalist; encompasses restructuring & M&A) - 13

And yes, you can take courses at Columbia Law School (i.e. bankruptcy related courses).

2) Hours were incredibly brutal. In talking to my peers from school, hours at any elite restructuring firm are going to be soul crushing. However, I learned a lot, gained great professional experience on my resume, and allowed me to develop a really sound foundation in financial analysis.

Also vs. traditional generalist programs, it can be daunting to work on one restructuring project after another. The legal intricacies that are involved and the esoteric nature of each specific transaction makes it seem like you are always on a very steep learning curve.

3) Most analysts (if not all) left prior to being promoted to Associate (to the buyside). I was one of the very few that stayed on as a 1st-year Associate. I left in order to go to business school and switch to investment management. From my experience recruiting, a number of the firms that I was interested in required a top MBA.

Post-MBA associates definitely stayed at the firm for a longer period of time. I think post-MBA hires are generally considered long term hires.

4) Nearly all career switchers - either from completely different industries (i.e. consulting or technology) or from specific product groups in investment banking (i.e. from Debt Capital Markets or Equity Capital Markets to Investment Banking advisory)

5) For general IM (i.e. mega mutual funds, or long / short) I don't think that my restructuring experience was a huge positive or a huge negative. Investment management recruiting is really predicated on your investment idea or stock pitching. Once you get the first round interview, it is all about how well you articulate your investment thesis and how sound your investment methodology is. Everyone that recruits for IM typically can model the shit out of anything (we all did banking of some sort) so the differentiating factor is really your intellectual capability in unearthing variant investment theses.

Dec 29, 2014

thanks for doing this, will post on frontpage several times this week so you'll see more questions coming in

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Dec 30, 2014

Thank you for the shout-out. Awesome - that would be great.

Dec 29, 2014

Very interesting post, thank you. I wish someone would do this for HBS.

Dec 30, 2014

Not as extensive as this post, but this thread was similar: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/thoughts-on-...

Dec 31, 2014

Right, almost forget about this one ... thanks!

Dec 29, 2014

Just what I needed. SB goes to you my friend.

Dec 29, 2014

Thanks for sharing all of this, really helpful info.

Dec 29, 2014

I know you covered mutual funds and hedge funds in general, but what is the recruiting like for more specialized hedge funds, i.e. distressed/restructuring investment firms?

As a follow-up question, if you have any familiary with people who ended up at the above funds, what was their pre-MBA experience like? Is prior restructuring experience a prerequisite for ending up at a distressed fund, or do you see a pretty broad range of pre-MBA finance backgrounds landing internships/post-MBA offers at distressed shops?

Dec 29, 2014

1) recruiting for specialized hedge funds is no different. You have to have a relevant resume, a believable story as to why you are interested in the field, and a sound investment idea (i.e. stock or credit pitch). I can't emphasize this enough - IM recruiting is almost 99% predicated on your investment idea. People do outrageously committed things to flesh out their investment theses (i.e. fly out to a company in the middle of nowhere to meet with the CEO / CFO, do hardcore primary research and channel check suppliers / purchasers). People spend months on their pitches.

Columbia has summer internship postings and active recruiting from the "ultra-elite" hedge funds: Elliott, Davidson Kempner, Mount Kellett and Appaloosa.

I would note that due to the fewer job openings for distressed-specific funds, there will obviously be fewer opportunities. I do know that Davidson Kempner loves Columbia graduates, but has historically recruited Columbia JD / MBAs.

2) I know that Davidson Kempner likes Columbia JD / MBAs and Appaloosa hired a Columbia MBA that did Goldman IBD / CD&R PE.

Dec 29, 2014

Incredibly helpful. Thanks for doing this

Dec 29, 2014

Thanks for the AMA. Could you talk about why M7 students these days are not as interested in sell side investment banking?

Dec 29, 2014
BlueShirt:

Thanks for the AMA. Could you talk about why M7 students these days are not as interested in sell side investment banking?

And are Investment Banks reacting to this trend? By raising the base salary or more importantly by at least trying to improve working conditions?

Dec 29, 2014

Honestly, MBA recruiting is just like any other industry - it's cyclical. Investment Banking was the rage pre-2007 with outsized bonuses. Technology (start-ups) and Consulting seem to be more popular these days. IM and PE have always been desired (although PE is obviously a more recent industry).

Yes - banks are reacting. Many of the bulge brackets have protected Saturdays (you can't work on Saturdays) and unanimously raised base salaries.

I would say that elite boutiques do not have protected weekends and while they pay more, they do not give a fuck about "protected" weekends.

Dec 29, 2014

Yes, banks are aware of the talent drain. Most banks (both bulge bracket and middle market) have raised base salary from $100K to $125K and signing bonuses are around the $50K range. Some of the elite boutiques offer even slightly higher. As for improvements in lifestyle I'm not sure I buy it. Who knows if the Saturday rule will actually be enforced, but nonetheless you should expect to regularly work 70-80 hour weeks if not more during the busy season. It is banking after all.

Dec 29, 2014

Whats the quality of reports written in the Security Analysis/AVI programs like?

Dec 29, 2014

Widely variant - some reports (you form groups of three for the class) are written by students with not much investment experience, so their reports will definitely be a little lighter in terms of investment depth.

Some reports (the ones that win the Pershing Square challenge) are ridiculously deep - i.e. they do incredible primary research, talk to senior management (CEO/CFO level) at the company they're pitching, and senior management at competitor companies.

If you want to watch a recent winning idea, here is a link:

http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/valueinvesting/events...

    • 1
Dec 29, 2014

Thats super, thank you.

Dec 29, 2014

Thanks for doing this! Do any CBS students intern/go to work at funds like Pershing, Greenlight, etc either during or after business school? If so, are they vetted through competitions like the one you mentioned or is it pure networking?

Dec 29, 2014

Yeah the team that won the 2014 challenge with the Hertz pitch did INSANE amount of primary research. They went to auto conferences, talked to senior level executives, talked to car dealers, etc. Impressive pitch, and they are all super bright. Two of them are at Fidelity and the other is at Koch Industries.

Dec 29, 2014

Thank you so much for the insightful post.

I am also trying to break into investment management, coming from completely unrelated background. If MBA candidates with no prior relevant experience are not getting interviewed by firms, am I wasting my time even trying to break into the buy-side?

Thank you.

Dec 29, 2014
vanillathunder:

Thank you so much for the insightful post.

I am also trying to break into investment management, coming from completely unrelated background. If MBA candidates with no prior relevant experience are not getting interviewed by firms, am I wasting my time even trying to break into the buy-side?

Thank you.

They aren't getting 0 interviews but you will get significantly less than students with relevant finance experience. What this means is your pitches have to be perfect as you will have less opportunities to convert interviews into offers. That said, it is absolutely possible and there are a handful of people each year who do it. It won't be easy but if it is what you really want to do then you can do it. Just commit 100% and don't get distracted by all the other opportunities when you get to school.

Dec 30, 2014

@MilitarytoFinance,

Coming from a non-finance background, did you learn financial modeling and advanced accounting methods in class or through your own reading/classmates/clubs/etc?

Thanks and Happy New Years to you and all who have helped contribute to this topic!

Dec 30, 2014

MilitaryToFinance, thank you for the insight, really appreciated it

Dec 29, 2014

As MilitaryToFinance said, it will be VERY hard but certainly doable if you're at a M7 program. Clubs such as the investment management club are helpful in terms of 2nd year mentors, interview prep, stock pitch prep etc. CBS, Booth, and Wharton also have mock stock pitches where your classmates critique your pitches. Then there are the investment competitions where MBA students from various schools compete. Simply put, there are a lot of opportunities for those hungry about IM to stand out and make their voices heard so to speak. If you don't have relevant experience, getting interviews at the elite long-only mutual funds will be tough. But there will be plenty of smaller shops, long-short equity funds, etc., that are open to "non-traditional" applicants. You just gotta wow them with your pitches (have 3-4 really good ones ready that you can discuss at any given point and answer in-depth questions about them).

Dec 30, 2014

Thank you so much for your response, mbavsmfin. My takeaway from your elaboration is to continue perfecting pitches and adding value to myself as a student of the investment world. It's reassuring to know that it is not absolutely impossible.

Happy holiday to you!

Dec 30, 2014

As previously stated, it is not impossible and if you are determined and driven to succeed, you can absolutely obtain an internship / job in investment management. Obviously, getting a summer position at the Capital Group or Fidelity will be incredibly difficult without relevant finance experience (because there will be 100s of qualified applicants from Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia and Chicago) but there are numerous funds that would be eager to hire an intelligent and motivated Columbia student.

mbavsmfin highlighted a number of great opportunities to enhance your resume and illustrate that you're serious about investment management. You can (1) complete a school-year internship at a hedge fund in NYC (a competitive advantage for Columbia), (2) participate in other schools' stock pitch competitions (i.e. at Cornell, UCLA, UVA, UNC), (3) be extremely active in CSIMA (Columbia Student Investment Management Association, the club for IM; you can sign up for a 2nd year mentor, stock pitch workshops, other educational events), (4) participate in Investment Ideas Club, which is an incredible forum where CBS alumni come to campus and allow current students to pitch them stock / credit ideas in a risk-free and very helpful environment. I know of 1 Columbia student that even obtained an internship at Och-Ziff through an IIC event

It won't be easy coming from a non-finance background, but you can do it at Columbia.

    • 1
Dec 30, 2014

dabears92, thank you so much for the detailed suggestions. Could you talk about what I can do now to continue adding value to myself as a student of the investment world, while I prepare for applications for business school? Happy holiday!

Dec 29, 2014

Great post. I am considering Columbia more seriously now. SB'ed!

Dec 30, 2014

Good to hear the money and oppertunities are vast. I'm all down for sell-side IB.

Dec 30, 2014

How competitive is the IM recruiting process for lesser-known, boutique HF/MFs at Columbia?

For those without prior experience, what is the general backup plan if they don't convert with IM? ER?

Thanks again for this awesome thread!

Dec 30, 2014

For those who can't break into IM, usually ER or IBD are the backup options. I know some who just opted for MBB consulting as well.

Dec 30, 2014

If you are serious and committed to getting a job in IM, you will obtain an IM summer internship. While it is mathematically difficult to obtain an internship at a top mutual fund (and it will be just as difficult at a different school like Wharton or Chicago, because the number of applicants is just massive), it is very doable to obtain an internship at a boutique long only or hedge fund.

For example, I was a career switcher from investment banking advisory and I obtained three different school-year internship offers from three different "smaller" hedge funds during this past Fall semester. One was sub $100mm AUM, one was ~$500mm AUM, and the last was $1.0BN+ AUM. I have the opportunity to complete a summer internship at any one of these funds - it is the mega mutual funds and monster hedge funds that are more difficult to obtain due to the numbers working against you.

Now, it wasn't easy. I did a ton of reading (the Intelligent Investor, Security Analysis, Value Investing, Margin of Safety) and a ton of prep-work (I was extremely active in the investment management club and worked on my stock pitches daily. In fact, I've worked on my stock pitches nearly constantly for the past four months). But it can be done and Columbia has a ton of job postings for IM.

Backup plans range from sell-side research to investment banking advisory to MBB.

    • 2
Dec 30, 2014

@"dabears92" I was wondering whether you could speak to what appears to be misinformation regarding CBS.

mbavsmfin:

if you get into Wharton or Booth, you should not even consider Columbia because I think the school is in serious systemic decline and has fallen far behind Wharton and Booth. Those 2 schools have stronger reputations in finance, better career services, more prestige, higher caliber of students, and a socially more cohesive student body. And of course, living in NYC as a student sucks monkey's balls. It's super expensive, and CBS students have no social prestige or clout in NYC since the city is packed with finance ballers. It's nothing like the respect that Wharton and Booth students get in Philly and Chicago respectively.

mbavsmfin:

Finance OCR at CBS was weak this year.

mbavsmfin:

CBS' Early Decision and J-Term greatly dilute the quality of the student pool.

mbavsmfin:

I too have talked to finance people about this, and almost all of them regard Booth as a higher caliber school than CBS.

mbavsmfin:

Booth is in a Midwestern city that is a frozen tundra for much of the year but continues to dominate CBS in finance placement and reputation.

mbavsmfin:

CBS has declined significantly in finance and even loses out to Kellogg in PE. CBS USED to be a strong finance school, but its decline has been systemic and dramatic. My CBS friends deeply regret going there and admit that they should have gone to Booth.

Lastly, do you regularly hear CBS students complain and regret choosing CBS over other top schools? Do they frequently complain about their "low quality of life" in NYC?

Dec 30, 2014

Hi, thanks for the question.

General point on Wharton vs. Booth vs. Columbia. I was accepted to all three schools and chose Columbia (I detailed my rationale above). I am sure other people choose one school over the other for equally personal reasons. They are all great schools, as are all schools in the M7 (and across the top 10).

To your last question - no, CBS students do not complain or "regret" choosing CBS over other top schools. Once you're in a top MBA program, you realize that all of these top schools are merely peer schools. I have friends across the M7 and they are all extremely happy. I also have classmates at CBS that attended Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Wharton and Chicago undergrad (including myself) and have nothing but positive things to say about the school. And frankly, if one complains about the "low quality of life" in NYC, it will be difficult to find happiness anywhere! NYC is an amazing city with incredible people, culture and energy.

Hope that helps.

    • 2
Dec 30, 2014

For the avoidance of doubt dabears, do you say it is possible (likely) to land an internship and full time offer in IM /HF small funds coming from a non-traditional (read: non-finance) background, if you put a lot of effort in it?

Wasn't sure whether your reference to getting an internship / full time offer in IM was aimed at people with relevant (prior) finance experience.

Dec 30, 2014

@"LiamNeeson" - thank you for the clarification and great point.

It is certainly not likely and it is probably uncommon to land an internship and / or full time offer from even a small long only or hedge fund coming from a completely non-finance background (i.e. technology or consulting or general management).

I would say that it is unlikely only because it will be difficult for the person on two fronts:

(1) it is unlikely that the person will have the basic technical and financial skillset to complete effective Security Analysis. For example, it will be difficult for the person to construct a full, circular 3-statement model with a full debt tab, a full revenue build with unit economics and a full cost driver build. Why? Because the person has probably never done it before. It will also be difficult to understand advanced accounting concepts.

(2) it will be difficult to convince a fund that you are passionate about finance and investing if you don't have any previous relevant experience. It's very hard to convince someone that you love investing if you have don't have something tangible on your resume to show for it. For example, many people seem to irrationally be interested in private equity or investment management (specifically, hedge funds) these days because of the outsized pay. It is very easy to say that you are interested in IM - it is one thing to be able to make others believe that you are genuinely passionate about it.

So it won't be easy.

However, it can be done (and who am I to say that it can't be done! Fuck - people do amazing things everyday).

I would recommend for someone from a completely non-finance background to seriously consider Columbia because it is a school that can help you overcome both deficiencies.

(1) Multiple clubs at Columbia (CSIMA and Investment Banking club) sponsor Training the Street to conduct financial modeling sessions. You can also build models on your own free time. You can take a bunch of classes that are relevant to your areas of interest.

(2) Join every single club that is related to investment management on campus and get a school year internship in NYC, even if it is unpaid. It will show that you are serious and passionate.

Jul 14, 2016

What is the process for recruiting for school-year internships? And how hard are these to get?

Dec 30, 2014

@dabears92 thank you for doing this, you really sold me on Columbia, especially the school year internship bit. As someone looking to break into IM post-mba, this discussion has really been helpful.

In your experience, do funds care about the CFA designation at all? (speaking generally, obviously this would vary from fund to fund). I would think at minimum it would help mitigate difficulties (1)(2) above, but just wanted to know your thoughts given your experience so far.

Jan 4, 2015

Happy to help.

The CFA designation absolutely helps. As you surmised, it helps mitigate any concern over one's technical / financial skillset, and it underscores your sincere interest in investment management.

That being said, it is not enough, by itself, to get you an interview. If you have the CFA charter and are looking to apply to the top MBA programs, you are obviously more than intelligent to do the job. Unfortunately, so is everyone else around you, and everyone else at the top programs.

If you want to switch into IM post-MBA, locking down that school-year internship + a CFA charter should put you in great position vs. your peers. I also know that a recent Columbia graduate obtained a T Rowe equity research summer analyst position, and the firm actually paid for him to complete levels 2 and 3 prior to the start of his full time position.

Jan 5, 2015

Great stuff @dabears92

Dec 31, 2014

I'd make it rain SBs on @"dabears92" if I could, this is the single most accurate thread on IM/HF recruiting I've seen over the past five years on WSO.

As someone who works at a large L/S equity HF, decent academic credentials are generally the price of getting a look and after that it is all about having 2-3 excellent write-ups. I honestly think if you can have 2-3 on file at any given time with decent credentials its not that hard to get a look several places.

Dec 31, 2014

@dabears92 Great post, out of curiosity, one thing you didn't mention, how is General Management recruiting there?

Dec 31, 2014

Great post +1

Jan 1, 2015

Great post @"dabears92". As I have recently applied to CBS this post is very relevant for me. Can you provide insight into how has recruiting been at CBS for trading opportunities on the sell side?

Jan 1, 2015

S&T recruiting for MBA is virtually dead. This is true at ALL schools, not just CBS.

At my school the only banks that even did OCR for S&T were BMO, Barclays, BAML, BNP, maybe one other. And each of those banks hired very few. The S&T club at my school is pretty much dead; the first meeting of the year had like 10 people show up, and interest in S&T has waned considerably in response to the decline in recruiting. I was recently at a BAML emerging markets S&T networking event on campus, and only 3 students including myself showed up. This should give you an idea of the landscape.

Jan 1, 2015
new_trader:

Great post @dabears92. As I have recently applied to CBS this post is very relevant for me. Can you provide insight into how has recruiting been at CBS for trading opportunities on the sell side?

This is probably the only time I will agree with mbavsmfin. Trading is a dead end career these days and it is obvious in recruiting. I know 1 person from CBS who went sell-side S&T at a bulge bracket bank. He was the only MBA intern and there were 5 or 6 undergrad interns. The experience was so depressing he turned down his full-time offer and is currently trying to decide what he wants to do now. There is little recruiting and even if you land one of the few positions available you really don't want to take it anyways because 5 years later you'll be out of a job,

Jan 2, 2015
MilitaryToFinance:
new_trader:

Great post @dabears92. As I have recently applied to CBS this post is very relevant for me. Can you provide insight into how has recruiting been at CBS for trading opportunities on the sell side?

This is probably the only time I will agree with mbavsmfin. Trading is a dead end career these days and it is obvious in recruiting. I know 1 person from CBS who went sell-side S&T at a bulge bracket bank. He was the only MBA intern and there were 5 or 6 undergrad interns. The experience was so depressing he turned down his full-time offer and is currently trying to decide what he wants to do now. There is little recruiting and even if you land one of the few positions available you really don't want to take it anyways because 5 years later you'll be out of a job,

Agree that trading is a dead end career these days and it offers very little transferable skills. I know people in trading who realized this with the writing on the wall and sought their way out. If you're going for your MBA, you should aim for other fields.

Jan 2, 2015

Thanks for the reply guys, I feared as much.

Jan 2, 2015

@dabears92

Thank you so much for this write-up!!! Super helpful. Especially your comments on community at CBS.

Could you comment on recruiting outside of finance and MBB? What about general management positions, leadership rotational programs, healthcare, tech, and startups? What does this typically look like for a CBS student?

Also, how are classes outside of finance, especially the general management and soft skill type-courses?

I am interested in general management and healthcare, and am deciding between CBS and Kellogg. NYC location is super attractive, but I could make the sacrifice of living in the midwest if Kellogg is superior for the things I'm interested in.

Thanks!

Jan 2, 2015
bullmetaljacket:

@dabears92

Thank you so much for this write-up!!! Super helpful. Especially your comments on community at CBS.

Could you comment on recruiting outside of finance and MBB? What about general management positions, leadership rotational programs, healthcare, tech, and startups? What does this typically look like for a CBS student?

Also, how are classes outside of finance, especially the general management and soft skill type-courses?

I am interested in general management and healthcare, and am deciding between CBS and Kellogg. NYC location is super attractive, but I could make the sacrifice of living in the midwest if Kellogg is superior for the things I'm interested in.

Thanks!

I attend Kellogg, feel free to PM me any questions. I plan to do a write-up in February on Kellogg. It's been extremely positive thus far, but I feel like I can't give a truly accurate picture until internship recruiting finishes.

Jan 2, 2015
bullmetaljacket:

I am interested in general management and healthcare, and am deciding between CBS and Kellogg. NYC location is super attractive, but I could make the sacrifice of living in the midwest if Kellogg is superior for the things I'm interested in.

Kellogg has a pretty strong healthcare program. Not sure about Columbia. Something to keep in consideration.

Jan 2, 2015
bullmetaljacket:

Could you comment on recruiting outside of finance and MBB? What about general management positions, leadership rotational programs, healthcare, tech, and startups? What does this typically look like for a CBS student?

I am interested in general management and healthcare, and am deciding between CBS and Kellogg. NYC location is super attractive, but I could make the sacrifice of living in the midwest if Kellogg is superior for the things I'm interested in.

Thanks!

General management, rotational programs and tech are all pretty strong. Unfortunately healthcare is really weak. Not many courses and not much recruiting. The only person I know recruiting for healthcare said the only positions any healthcare companies are trying to fill at CBS are marketing related. Although they probably are recruiting at Kellogg for marketing too.

Jan 2, 2015

Hello All,

I want to begin by thanking all contributors for breadth, depth, and level of detail pertaining to insight on attending CBS.

I myself am currently highly interested in attending CBS. One question I have regarding the #s for the interviews that have been given out to CBS students for IB is in regards to quite possibly a breakdown of what the backgrounds of these individuals are. One concern I have are that many individuals who are receiving internships are actually past IB analysts looking to level up to the associate level or are career switchers from extremely reputable firms (i.e. MBB).

I myself have no IB experience (Big 4 Accountant with Transaction Advisory Services) and thus would not want to commit to an MBA program if most internships are awarded to past bankers and consultants. Can anyone comment on this?

Jan 2, 2015

Big 4 accounting is highly relevant to post-mba IB, and they do fairly well in recruiting. I know a CBS 2nd year who did big 4 before school and is heading to Goldman IBD after school. There are more just like him.

Jan 2, 2015
ask2010:

One concern I have are that many individuals who are receiving internships are actually past IB analysts looking to level up to the associate level or are career switchers from extremely reputable firms (i.e. MBB).

I don't believe a single person going into IB post-MBA was in IB prior to school. This should not be a concern.

Jan 3, 2015

Thanks for your perspectives. What do you think of Columbia's EMBA?

Jan 3, 2015

Thanks for your perspectives. What do you think of Columbia's EMBA?

Jan 4, 2015

good read, thanks a lot.

Jan 5, 2015

Generally speaking, are most people done with recruiting after their internships (assuming they secured an offer and liked the job) ? If so, are there many "spots" still available when full time recruiting comes around? For example, if an IB/MBB hires 15 people during the internship period are they coming back for full time recruiting only for 2-3 spots?

I know you aren't interested in MBB (hopefully you have a rough idea of this however), of the ~50 people who ended at McKinsey (going off the 2013 employment report) how many of them were actually sponsored students? In your experience, are the number of sponsored students generally consistent across all the top programs? I assume the employment reports are across the schools are all consistent and include sponsored students in their final placement percentages?

Thanks

Jan 6, 2015
MBA8717:

Generally speaking, are most people done with recruiting after their internships (assuming they secured an offer and liked the job) ? If so, are there many "spots" still available when full time recruiting comes around? For example, if an IB/MBB hires 15 people during the internship period are they coming back for full time recruiting only for 2-3 spots?

I know you aren't interested in MBB (hopefully you have a rough idea of this however), of the ~50 people who ended at McKinsey (going off the 2013 employment report) how many of them were actually sponsored students? In your experience, are the number of sponsored students generally consistent across all the top programs? I assume the employment reports are across the schools are all consistent and include sponsored students in their final placement percentages?

Thanks

I actually asked me 2yr IPG leader this (2nd year student who interned at MBB). She said it was actually marginally easier to get in during FT than internship. Whereas there are possibly fewer spots, your competition is both smaller and less talented (since all the most talented people would've got an internship).

Jan 6, 2015

IPG?

Jan 6, 2015

Great insight all around. Thanks!

Can you speak on the rise of IM? Is it the compensation or lifestyle benefits?

mbavsmfin:

I don't wear watches bro. Because it's always MBA BALLER time!

Jan 7, 2015

You mentioned that you are doing a school year internship at a NYC based fund. A few questions about that:

1) Is this a paid internship? Can you comment on how much you could expect to make based on other people's school year internships? This is highly relevant to me as I haven't saved nearly as much as I would have liked to (blame the strong dollar/depreciated Chilean peso or my spendthrift ways, as you wish).

2) How much of a time commitment is your internship? How badly does it eat into getting the full experience of the school, in social, networking, academic, recruiting, etc aspects?

3) Do you know anybody doing a corporate or real estate private equity internship? My goal is to continue in the PE industry post-MBA, either in the US or in Chile, so an internship in PE would be the most relevant.

4) Beyond internships related to the MBA have you seen anybody successfully employed part time or getting some income from other sources without interfering too much with getting the full benefits of the MBA?

Thanks!

Apr 15, 2015
greengohome:

You mentioned that you are doing a school year internship at a NYC based fund. A few questions about that:

1) Is this a paid internship? Can you comment on how much you could expect to make based on other people's school year internships? This is highly relevant to me as I haven't saved nearly as much as I would have liked to (blame the strong dollar/depreciated Chilean peso or my spendthrift ways, as you wish).

2) How much of a time commitment is your internship? How badly does it eat into getting the full experience of the school, in social, networking, academic, recruiting, etc aspects?

3) Do you know anybody doing a corporate or real estate private equity internship? My goal is to continue in the PE industry post-MBA, either in the US or in Chile, so an internship in PE would be the most relevant.

4) Beyond internships related to the MBA have you seen anybody successfully employed part time or getting some income from other sources without interfering too much with getting the full benefits of the MBA?

Thanks!

I know I'm bumping a thread that is a few months old, but I'm really curious about these questions -- specifically how you landed the school year internship. Was it facilitated by CBS or did you find it yourself?

@dabears92

Apr 15, 2015
SuperNonTarget:
greengohome wrote:

You mentioned that you are doing a school year internship at a NYC based fund. A few questions about that:

1) Is this a paid internship? Can you comment on how much you could expect to make based on other people's school year internships? This is highly relevant to me as I haven't saved nearly as much as I would have liked to (blame the strong dollar/depreciated Chilean peso or my spendthrift ways, as you wish).

2) How much of a time commitment is your internship? How badly does it eat into getting the full experience of the school, in social, networking, academic, recruiting, etc aspects?

3) Do you know anybody doing a corporate or real estate private equity internship? My goal is to continue in the PE industry post-MBA, either in the US or in Chile, so an internship in PE would be the most relevant.

4) Beyond internships related to the MBA have you seen anybody successfully employed part time or getting some income from other sources without interfering too much with getting the full benefits of the MBA?

Thanks!

I know I'm bumping a thread that is a few months old, but I'm really curious about these questions -- specifically how you landed the school year internship. Was it facilitated by CBS or did you find it yourself?

@dabears92

I'm about to become CBS student so I gonna share my knowledge here: school year internship is pretty common so I'd image it not too difficult to obtain.

School doesn't "facilitate" school year internship. You either apply online via CBS job board or networking yourself. Various clubs also forward intern opportunities from industry connections. It is easier than you think since most jobs are unpaid. For most small buy side shops, it doesn't hurt to get a MBA to come up with fresh ideas/research projects.

Jan 8, 2015

Thanks @dabears92 appreciate your input. In addition to the questions above regarding internships, I was curious if the school year internship is something encouraged/facilitated by Columbia? I know applicants are generally discouraged from mentioning their intent to work during the school year in essays, interviews, etc., but if these internships are common, I would think including this in the "why Columbia" bit wouldn't hurt. And we all know how much Columbia likes to sell its New York advantage.

Did the student who got T Rowe have relevant experience? From what I've heard, T Rowe is very pro CFA so I'm curious how much points the designation could score there.

Jan 12, 2015
MokeAnalyst:

Thanks @dabears92 appreciate your input. In addition to the questions above regarding internships, I was curious if the school year internship is something encouraged/facilitated by Columbia? I know applicants are generally discouraged from mentioning their intent to work during the school year in essays, interviews, etc., but if these internships are common, I would think including this in the "why Columbia" bit wouldn't hurt. And we all know how much Columbia likes to sell its New York advantage.

Did the student who got T Rowe have relevant experience? From what I've heard, T Rowe is very pro CFA so I'm curious how much points the designation could score there.

I don't know where you get the idea that "applicants are generally discouraged from mentioning their intent to work during the school year ". I did mention it in my "why CBS" essay and got in

Jan 12, 2015
youayou:
MokeAnalyst:

Thanks @dabears92 appreciate your input. In addition to the questions above regarding internships, I was curious if the school year internship is something encouraged/facilitated by Columbia? I know applicants are generally discouraged from mentioning their intent to work during the school year in essays, interviews, etc., but if these internships are common, I would think including this in the "why Columbia" bit wouldn't hurt. And we all know how much Columbia likes to sell its New York advantage.

Did the student who got T Rowe have relevant experience? From what I've heard, T Rowe is very pro CFA so I'm curious how much points the designation could score there.

I don't know where you get the idea that "applicants are generally discouraged from mentioning their intent to work during the school year ". I did mention it in my "why CBS" essay and got in

@youayou my mistake I must be getting some bad advice. Thanks for straightening it out it's definitely something I'd like to incorporate into my CBS essay, esp being a career switcher.

Jan 14, 2015

Got it. Thanks for the clarification, makes a lot of sense.

Apr 15, 2015

@SuperNonTarget , the school does facilitate a lot of internships. Many opportunities for school year internships are posted through the CMC job board. Some in tech or retail you might have to go out and network for more aggressively as they don't really typically think about interns or MBA's. Also a lot of internships are paid, at least the finance ones are for pay probably 85% of the time.

Apr 17, 2015

Thanks for the info. Do you get access to the job board once you're admitted or is it when you start classes? Would be awesome to get an internship set up before you even start classes.

Apr 17, 2015
SuperNonTarget:

Thanks for the info. Do you get access to the job board once you're admitted or is it when you start classes? Would be awesome to get an internship set up before you even start classes.

You are not allowed to do an internship your first semester so getting an internship before classes start would not be necessary.

    • 1
Apr 16, 2015

just stumbled upon this, and want to bookmark it.
@AndyLouis is there any way for users to create a folder of threads written by business school students about their experiences? I've passed around @CompBanker's outstandingBooth writeup, but I'd like to have on hand all the good ones, like this one. Can you advise?

Betsy Massar
Come see me at my Q&A thread
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b-school-qa-... Ask away!

Apr 22, 2015
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