Any of you Bankers see UVA Alumni on the street? (Seeking advice)

Anonymous Monkey's picture
Anonymous Monkey

Looking for some tips and pointers from some of you who might be able to steer me on a better path.

I attend Northern Virginia Community College and am guaranteed admission into UVA; I am **NOT ** admitted to UVA McIntire. If I was to attend UVA it would be as an Econ student..

My other option is to attend James Madison University (alum database shows quite a few that have gone to goldman/JPM/bb etc from here) and attain a Quantitative Finance degree. I have heard that even Goldman has recruited at UVA and that it is a very good tier 1 semi-target, does this sound right?

Personally I feel that a quantitative finance degree should hold more weight to a BB as the course is much more rigorous and leaves me with more skills. However, is the prestige of UVA going to overpower that? Which one do you guys here think is more valuable, QF from a non-target or a simple Econ degree from a tier 1?

I can do math in my sleep and have taken some intro programming courses so QF wouldn't be a problem for me even though i'm pursuing an analyst role at a BB; being a quant doesn't sound bad either. Let me know.

Comments (60)

Mar 25, 2017

Not sure about James Madison, but my gut feeling tells me that the few people you found on LinkedIn are either in backoffice or black swans.

Between the two, Virginia for sure. Granted it's not McIntire, and if there's any remote possibility to transfer in, I'd start looking to do so immediately. But it's probably remote since I'm assuming you already did a year or two at the CC.

I'd be frank and say that at least for career placement and specifically in banking/other non-quant roles, the difference between QF and Finance degree are practically zero; For Econ at Virginia you might want to make sure you join/lead some banking/finance/investing clubs to demonstrate interest.

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Mar 30, 2017

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Mar 25, 2017

See the automatic generated hyperlink.

Essentially the back office of an investment bank is composed of administrative roles that do not directly generate revenue for the company, including, but not limited to, Operations, Legal, Finance, Treasuries, Accounting, IT, etc. It's often regarded as "lesser" role compared to middle office (e.g. Risk Management), and moreso to front office (IB, Sales & Trading). If you see any of the aforementioned keywords on a LinkedIn profile, chances are that the person is in a back office role. Also if you simply see "Analyst at Goldman",
"Business Analyst at JP Morgan", chances are that those are either back office or middle office positions (I may very well be wrong here).

For reasons relating to "prestige", pay, work variety, responsibilities, exit ops, etc., WSO users often look down upon back and middle office roles. And as such firms typically hire these roles from Tier2/3 schools, hence my guess that the people you saw on LinkedIn were back office.

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Aug 7, 2017

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Mar 26, 2017

bump. anything else?

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Mar 27, 2017

JMU placement is garbage, UVA is great but there is a ton of competition. Be ready for it.

Mar 27, 2017

I'd like to add - target banks like BB&T, Harris Williams (great MM shop), STRH, smaller regional banks around Richmond (there are a bunch), and some of the ADG groups (Houlihan, Raymond James, etc.) for a more realistic "in" to banking

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Mar 27, 2017

Hmm. Richmond is the last place I want to be(I just can't stand the filth of VCU's campus/the street life in richmond, i would only go if it was my only good option); would rather be in SLC or McLean/DC/MM in NYC if possible. I will def be doing extracurriculars and getting some good internships in, the rest is just being personable/networking hard.

Mar 28, 2017

Please do not let you coming out of community college deter you from pursuing investment banking. As soon as you transfer to UVA (the obvious choice), start networking immediately. Try attending business-type interest meetings and ask seniors who have locked offers in to explain their path.

It is 1000000% do-able. I've seen it done many times with my peers who have transferred from CC. Good luck!

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Mar 28, 2017

Thank you! Nothing can stop me from pursuing IB, I just now have a good idea of what I can fall back on. Will do.

Mar 28, 2017

PM if you need help! It'll be tough, but with hard work, you'll be fine.

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Mar 28, 2017

there is nothing wrong with econ at UVA, you just need to network a little

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Mar 29, 2017

bump. anybody else?

Apr 19, 2017

A friend and former colleague of mine did econ at UVA... go to UVA as econ and try to transfer although not the end of the world if you can't transfer.

Mar 30, 2017

Did he break into IB? Are you aware of what kind of offers he had? I definitely will.

Mar 29, 2017

Yes, we did IB. Multiple offers.

Mar 30, 2017

Dude: UVa. Period. JMU is a great school and I've seen a lot of really competent people come out of there, but it has very little presence in any front office, at least in NY/SF/London. The UVa brand is way better, and will open doors to you for the rest of your career. (Whatever job you get, it ain't going to be the only one you have until you retire...)
And who cares about McIntyre? Econ is at least as good a degree for the long term, and will position you better for a top tier MBA if you go that route. (A lot of b schools take a "what's the point?" view of people with undergrad business degrees wanting to spend two years learning basically the same stuff).

Mar 30, 2017

You're the first person that hasn't trashed JMU! & Yeah, I was really caught up on whether or not I should take a safer move with qfin but clearly at this point it'd be stupid to not go to UVA. You make a solid point and McIntire or not UVA still puts their students places. Appreciate the advice! +SB

Mar 30, 2017

No brainer - go to UVA

Best Response
Mar 30, 2017

jmu is great... for getting 3somes

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Mar 30, 2017

things that matter

Mar 30, 2017
Whiskey5:

jmu is great... for getting 3somes

graduated from there, can confirm

Mar 30, 2017

Have you considered W&M? I think transfers can get into the undergrad b-school, which has decent placement for front office BB/EBs roles. You'd be a finance major with access to the school's recruitment resources and competing with a smaller group of people. At UVa, the McIntire kids are sought after first, so econ would make it harder to get your foot in the door.

Either way, don't go to fucking JMU lol

Gimme the loot

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Mar 30, 2017

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May 2, 2017

W&M placement is actually pretty amazing. This summer alone sending 4 to JPM IBD, 2 to DB, 1 to WFS, 1 to GS, and many many more to solid MM like Jefferies, Guggenheim, etc. Full time they're sending 2 to JPM, 1 to GS TMT, 1 to MS, and a ton to solid MM shops too.

Keep in mind the finance class is really small - so the top 10-15 students have no problem getting offers at major names. W&M has decent connections at EBs too, if that's what you're looking for. Centerview, PWP, Evercore, etc.

As a transfer I'd recommend W&M - it would be way easier to distinguish yourself here than UVA. Realistically, how do you expect to compete against the 150 UVA students with near 4.0s and previous IB internships? Small fish in big pond vs. big fish in small pond...

Mar 30, 2017

UVA if not purely for the amount of on campus recruiting that goes on there. I was a very average econ student and got interviews with JPM, BAML, etc. just through networking at the info sessions and other events.

Fair warning though, a lot of the guys who do come back to recruit are very social/broey (certain banks will almost exclusively take kids from certain fraternities). So there's a large social aspect to the whole thing to watch out for, especially if you're going to be more focused on your technical skills and less on the soft networking side.

Also UVA is way more fun and Charlottesville is a special place.

Mar 30, 2017

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Mar 30, 2017

Yea I graduated last May and almost everyone I know who wanted IB jobs got them. Not to say those kids didn't work hard or didn't deserve them, but goes to show how big UVA recruiting really is. Best of luck.

Mar 30, 2017

plenty of UVA people across the street. again used LinkedIn... for east coast recruiting i'd say out of state schools UVA ought to be one of the top 3 schools for IB recruiting (behind Michigan, on par w/ UNC CH and IU Kelley). I think you're far better off being at UVA and doing well there than being at JMU with far less resources to network with and no OCR.

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Mar 30, 2017

As someone who graduated from JMU (finance major, econ minor) and has plenty of friends at UVA, I'm going to say that for what it sounds like you want to do, UVA would be the better choice in terms of brand and general job placement, although the quantitative finance route at JMU is very legit, but it is a very demanding, and like mentioned above very few end up graduating with that degree. A few of my friends that took it ended up also double majoring in either math or econ.
-As far as placement goes, UVA does obviously place better, but you are going to up against competition that's even better than UVA depending on the firms you'll be targeting (think Harvard, Wharton, etc.). Not sure about this but both JMU and UVA places very well in the overall DC market, and JMU does comparably as well, but there is more of a sense that that's for high achievers (know kids from my class at Carlyle for example). The JMU alumni base is more restricted to the DC market and NYC, as well as a small Bay Area pocket, which UVA's is more spread out nationally.
-The traditional econ major at JMU isn't bad either, but QFin is certainly going to be more impressive if you decide to go that route. Lots of great professors at both. Take Barkeley Rosser at JMU for any econ class if you're able to.
-Finally, the social scene at both is somewhat comparable, but I have to give the edge to JMU. The girls are significantly more attractive and the bar scene is decent, so don't discount that. Large amount of "bro-y" people at both schools, as is the case I assume at every business school across the nation, but while this seemed to be more confined to the business school and Greek life at JMU (which didn't dominate the social scene so you don't feel compelled to join but it's there if you want to), it's much more prevalent at UVA when I visited my friends.

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Mar 30, 2017

Interesting and very insightful. I plan to update this thread with where I end up. Thank you for the info! +SB

Mar 31, 2017

final bump i promise, any last impressions?

Apr 1, 2017

recommend UVA. I transferred into UVA econ and went straight to a buyside role, feel free to msg me and I can give you more info

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Apr 1, 2017

Pm'd

Apr 19, 2017

Incoming third-year UVA transfer here (hopefully). To anyone who attended: what is considered a competitive GPA for banking as an econ major? My GPA at my current school is solid but its a complete non-target for front office roles so it looks like ill be transferring in the fall.

Apr 19, 2017
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Apr 19, 2017
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Let me hear you say, this shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

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