Columbia J-Term vs UChicago Booth: Job Prospects

lbo13's picture
Rank: Chimp | 2

I work across a boutique technology investment bank and venture capital fund in New York (2 years experience) and previously worked in consulting for KPMG. I have been admitted to Columbia J-Term and UChicago Booth. I currently live in New York and don't wish to relocate to Chicago for personal reasons(girlfriend, family and friends, existing connections).

I am seriously considering attending Columbia's J-Term over Booth but am concerned about the lack of summer internship. Do you think that I will be able to network aggressively and land a full-time offer at a BB in NYC despite the lack of internship? I want to work in Energy PE long-term and feel I have the right skill-set to land a BB job. However the lack of internship at J-Term makes it a harder route than Booth, but I am willing to put in the effort if I opportunities at BB are realistic without an internship.

United States - Midwest
United States - Northeast

Comments (16)

Jul 2, 2016

Tough call here, since it sounds like you already work in IB. If you were a pure career-switcher, you'd have to do a traditional two year MBA program hands down. I would reach out to as many J-termers as possible to see if anyone had a similar path as you. Also directly ask the career services people if they know of anyone in this situation.

What was your motivation in applying to CBS J-term instead of the traditional two year program?

Booth is an outstanding opportunity and will give you a very, very good chance of NYC IB over the summer. If you absolutely have to be in NYC for school, I would wait a year and apply to the two-year programs at CBS and Stern for the class of '19. If you can't wait a year, then Booth would be my choice.

Best Response
Jul 6, 2016

Booth student here (not banking). Of my classmates, 90 something recruited seriously for IB internships this past year and only 2 of them did not receive offers. The list is overwhelming prestigious banks. I can possibly share some data points privately that I have if you PM me.

In addition, full time allows you the incredible opportunities that a structured full time program provides outside of coursework. I would not discount how awesome a two year MBA experience can be. The GF piece is tough, I'm not going to lie. You've got once shot at this experience though, no other graduate path is like a top 10 full time MBA. I also would see if you can take leadership roles in student groups at Columbia if you're J-term. These are an awesome way to get involved, great exposure on campus and highly rewarding when you're working with such a talented student body.

Finally, from a comp perspective, in my opinion the extra few months in school is largely offset by the $$ earned over the summer (I hear of people getting extra bonuses for internships etc). I don't know the exact math to compare but I wouldn't consider that a factor for J-term vs full time (which you don't really seem to be doing anyways).

Another thing to think about - full time away from your network is a great way to add a few hundred people to your network, even in NY (there are 100+ in my class interning in NYC, another 100+ returning there that graduated and then you get the people in the class behind you). You'll probably spend most of your time with current connections/your girlfriend in J-term which means you won't be adding nearly as much to your network.

It's your life, I hope that all didn't come off as too pro-bschool and preachy. Either way, you have an awesome opportunity ahead of you!

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Jul 6, 2016

I heard Columbia has great PE networks - it would be a huge advantage in addition to Booth's location handicap (partially offset by OCR), and that's worth investigating.

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Jul 6, 2016

I heard Columbia has great PE networks - it would be a huge advantage in addition to Booth's location handicap (partially offset by OCR), and that's worth investigating.

Dude, Booth definitely does not have any location handicap for IB recruiting in NYC. Scores of bankers from every major BB and boutique fly out to Chicago in droves, constantly, all through recruiting season. I don't know where you're getting your info from, unless it's Columbia's literature that touts the NYC advantage over and over again. It's way overblown for banking/consulting. To the point where my Columbia recruiter told me he didn't know why anyone would ever take HBS over Columbia, because Columbia has the NYC advantage. Please. It's an incredible school with a fantastic program, I'm not sword fighting over program quality or recruiting opportunities. Your claim just seems highly exaggerated if not plain wrong. And OCR hiring is so structured for networking that it will never be an issue at a top 5 school for regularly scheduled recruiting. If he was targeting some middle market regional boutique this might be a different story.

OP, I will happily try to give you guidance on people to talk to about this on the Booth side if you want, just PM me.

And what huge advantage in PE recruiting? Booth sent 4.8% of it's full time recruits to PE last year and Columbia sent 4.1%. Internships were 5.7% for Booth and 5.1% for Columbia. Same median salary of $140k (though that doesn't mean anything for PE, since comp is so 'cloudy' in employment reports). If you're arguing that recruiting for PE off campus during your MBA for NYC might be easier from Columbia than Booth, I wouldn't argue with you. I still don't agree with "huge advantage" though - especially considering the immediate goal is IB, I'd say the huge advantage is going through internship OCR at a school that places everybody at a major bank for the summer that wants to be at a bank.

OP, the only factors I would be considering in your shoes are:
Benefits of internship/OCR (which means getting to try the BB lifestyle in addition to a foot in the door) vs benefits of larger post hiring network in NYC - might be similar in energy PE in general, Columbia almost certainly has better local network
Developmental benefits of full time MBA/interaction with program vs accelerated program on an off 'cycle'
Personal reasons including difficulty of long term relationship
Your interactions with the school on admit days. I was surprised at how differently things felt between the two programs once I got on campus. My initial impressions of Booth (people are down to earth, relaxed, casual and there is a huge pay it forward culture, both within a class and from second years to first years) were proven true. I can't speak to Columbia, you'll have to talk to students there to see what stood out the most to them. You're spending $200k. EIther program can accomplish your career goals, make sure you enjoy the experience.

I would not worry about these 'massive advantages' of one program over the other. I wouldn't worry about rankings, the schools are in the same tier and have the same opportunities. I wouldn't worry about quality of the academics, unless there is a particular aspect that stands out to you (for me, it was the 100% flexibility at Booth - the trade off is less of a cohort experience). If you think you have one of those features, talk to recent grads. Often people come to campus with blown up expectations (mine was wanting to take Richard Thaler's course as a fan of behavioral economics - until everyone told me you essentially just read his books over again - I saved a lot of course points there). I wouldn't worry about Columbia's crappy MBA facilities - OK, I'm allowed one minor dig at the end :)

Text explosion over. Congrats on two fantastic opportunities, let us know where you end up.

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Jul 6, 2016

I think it's just tough to say those things when none of us attended Columbia. With all due respect, I only heard Columbia has better PE networks... it's why I ask OP to investigate with the industry alumni contacts he/she has.

Besides, like you said, M7 is essentially on the same tier for OCR access... it's easier for recruiters to say Yes to Chicago, IL for both Booth & Kellogg; but It's obviously more convenient for them to interview Columbia, because often times NYU Stern gets interviews for that same reason.

I agree that doing Booth to earn a summer internship AND conversion is optimal, and Booth's performance has been rising up the ranks since the $300mm donation. On the other side, Columbia has started to look a bit like a cash-for-degree school (MS Financial Economics / Marketing in business school, MS Statistics type of stuff in other units), but Columbia still is an ivy, M7 opportunity with significant cost/time savings.

So all in all I'm just asking OP to take an objective view by asking both schools' alumni..

Jul 6, 2016

Chicago over Columbia by a mile, J-term or not. It's not even close. Columbia is in a death spiral with its reputation imploding. You would have to really prefer NY to choose otherwise.

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Jul 8, 2016

Columbia is in a death spiral with its reputation imploding.

There is no metric that supports this claim.


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Jul 8, 2016

usnews rankings only mean so much but CBS dropping to 10 below yale is not good for their reputation

Jul 8, 2016

I would personally go for the full b-school experience at Booth and develop a larger new network. You only do it once, so you might as well do it right. I was considering a 1 year program and the J-term and I'm really glad I went with a traditional 2 year program and had an amazing experience.

Jul 8, 2016

to echo what's already been said by several posters, this really isnt close. Booth full time >>> CBS J-Term. BBs do the great majority of their hiring through internships and you'll be at a severe disadvantage by not being able to do one.

Jul 13, 2016

by forsaking internship, you are literally asking the employers to take a leap of faith in you for a full time offer and THE most elite employers don't do that since they already have enough talent from their internship pool to pick unless you have MIT level credentials at Undergrad level then its a diff case. I would give second thoughts on booth and get as much as counter facts from career service & direct recruiters.

Jul 14, 2016

Jterm doesn't make sense for someone wanting to be in banking. 95% of hiring is done through the summer internship process. Go to Booth (did you apply to CBS regular admission?).

Nov 10, 2016