BA from Cornell vs MBA from Pepperdine (for IB)

I have been debating for a while whether I should transfer to schools like Columbia-Barnard, Cornell and Vandy to study Econ, since they have a bigger name than Pepperdine (I suppose so). I am currently a first-year studying Business Administration at Pepperdine, and I should be able to graduate a year early with a Bachelor's degree in Business Admin and probably will do the accelerated MBA program, which only takes a year and half. Does MBA help a lot in terms of landing an IB job?

However, my pride doesn't allow me to just stay at Pepperdine, plus going to a prestigious school(like the Ivies) has been my dream since high school. I didn't do so well in high school, so I didn't even bother applying. Now I am doing great in college and should end up with a GPA of above 3.9, so I am really thinking of applying to Barnard, Cornell, and Vandy for their Econ major. At the same time, I'm worried about being too far from home and if the weather there would be too cold for me.

I am so lost and seriously debating. I don't know if I should go for the MBA at Pepperdine or shoot for the "big name" schools (which may be helpful in getting a job initially because of the name). Which option will be more beneficial in terms of getting a job in the finance industry? 

Any suggestions or career advices will be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much in advance :)

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Comments (7)

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 5, 2020 - 1:12am

Despite what some people say on here, the name of your undergrad carries a lot of weight throughout your career. Transfer to the Ivy, fuck the weather/debt, it'll be worth it if you get a high paying job. MBA will be useless, especially non-M7

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 12, 2020 - 8:39pm

Agreed 100%. Your undergrad is basically your primary network for the rest of your life. Definitely helps to have a smarter (or at least better connected) network. No reason to not try to transfer to a better school if you aren't at a top one. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Dec 5, 2020 - 2:13am

^ I agree with the above. I'm originally from the west coast so even though I work in NYC, I know what the recruiting scene is like for IB out west. All this is to say I know the name Pepperdine has and it will be extremely hard to get into high finance on the west coast and especially New York. Even the small lower middle market shops in LA get their kids from UCLA/USC/Berkeley and other regular IB target schools. If you are worried about debt and weather, I would strongly consider transferring to Berkeley or UCLA. They place well into IB and I think they are somewhat easier to transfer into. With a 3.9gpa and a little effort in your transfer apps you should be able to do it. These are also UC schools so if you're from CA it will be much cheaper. And the weather will still be nice. Make the switch!

Dec 5, 2020 - 11:07am

No top MBA program is going to take you directly from college. You can either:

1) Do an MSF after undergrad, think MIT, Vandy, Columbia, Yale. 

2) Transfer to one of the schools you listed. It's going to be very hard to transfer into Columbia College/SEAs, if you can land Barnard, Cornell or Vandy I'd do it now.

Where you go to college shapes your entire career. Sure you can offset this via a masters and such, but it's hard enough to get ahead in finance, why make it even harder? Apply for a transfer, get a few options then reevaluate. 

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Dec 5, 2020 - 11:16am

Do not do the MBA. It is only useful from top 7/top 15 schools, and even then you need to have several years of work experience.

Pepperdine is a non-target, but given the location you will still get looks for west coast IB. Get involved on campus, network early, get a few internships, and you should be competitive at all of the BB/EBs in California. Transferring is fine, but it can be difficult with how early IB recruiting is since you won't have any connections on campus or a GPA, plus you're competing against many more people at your school. 

Stop focusing solely on the name and prestige, this is not high school anymore and it seriously will only hurt you. Look at your best options for the future, whether that's grinding it out at a non target or transferring.


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