Booth or CBS if Targeting NYC PE with pre-MBA PE Experience

Lads and ladies: curious on your thoughts of Booth vs. CBS if I already have pre-MBA PE experience and want to return to the industry (or growth equity) after my MBA. I want to be in NYC long-term, but don't mind going elsewhere for two years. As I see it:

  • Booth:
    • Might be slightly more respected in PE generally than CBS, though it's probably a toss-up when it comes to NYC PE in particular. If we were talking public market value investing, I'd give CBS the edge.
    • Planning to return to NYC eventually, but I'd get to experience a new (and cheaper) city for two years and try something different.
    • PE/VC Lab, though candidly that seems geared at people without pre-MBA experience (maybe I'm misinformed here).
  • CBS:
    • It's in NYC and that's where I want to be afterwards. Pretty straightforward.
    • Easier to network in-person with NYC buyside firms.
    • New Manhattanville campus - always nice.
    • I'd get to keep seeing my NYC friends... but the flipside of this is it'd probably be at the expense of forming stronger bonds with my classmates. I don't live close to the UWS (and don't REALLY feel like moving up there) so it'd be harder to set up a spontaneous hang than if we were all living in Millennium Park Plaza in Chicago.

Obviously buyside recruiting will be a grind from anywhere (particularly outside H/S/W), but curious about your thoughts.

Comments (5)

Dec 4, 2021 - 4:09pm

I'd personally go to Booth here. It sounds like that is where you are leaning for the chance to try a new city, expand your horizons, etc. Given your pre-MBA PE experience, you should be able to get a NYC PE job from either Booth or CBS with enough hustle.

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  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Dec 5, 2021 - 12:12am

You should make sure to talk to the PE clubs and students themselves to get a sense for placement and fit, as I have found that the internet isn't always the best representation of credible buyside views..

That said, I went to CBS and work in public markets not PE, but if you want to stay in NYC PE, I would easily choose Columbia. Booth is a good school, but it doesn't make sense to turn down CBS for a couple of reasons.  For one, just many more of your classmates, friends, friends of classmates, ex-colleagues of classmates, professors, class speakers, etc. will have worked/will be working on the buyside in NYC.  Plus, there is enough hands-on stuff with some of the PE programs they run and interning with funds in the city that you'll meet a lot more people than you would in Chicago if you make the most of the time.  If you're going to work with credible people on the buyside, I don't think CBS is looked down upon or anything (going to Columbia was a massive plus for me on public side, and in PE, you can just quickly google to see how many of the reputable funds were founded by CBS grads to get a sense that Columbia is definitely in the mix.)  Similar to Booth though, there isn't going to be on-campus megafund recruiting, but if you worked in PE already, your background is going to matter the most anyway and you'll land fine 

One thing to keep in mind too is that the PE stats for Columbia's employment report are also slightly biased low because in my experience, a higher proportion of the finance people in the class at CBS are there for value investing/public markets, so it's not necessarily as good of a proxy for who was in PE before. That said, if you can get into W, I do think the math is a little different because my impression is that there is more UMM/MF PE (though I'm not sure how much with more optional MBAs these days) and you'll just have a large PE network with a bigger school and bigger proportional emphasis on the industry 

Columbia is far from a perfect school, but I genuinely loved it and the people I met were the best part. I would try to talk to the students and see for yourself, as the internet is full of misinformed opinions that no one cares enough to correct 

  • Intern in Consulting
Dec 5, 2021 - 9:03am

Imo CBS. Booth and CBS are a wash in terms of PE recruiting (esp in NYC where CBS has the home field advantage). As you said, PE recruiting is going to be really tough outside of HSW so might as well make it a bit easier on yourself by networking in the same city as where you go to school.

Dec 5, 2021 - 2:16pm

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