Cornell Hotel School or Notre Dame finance for undergrad?

Hey guys, I'm an international student trying to make this big decision so I'd love to know what people who actually know what they're talking about think about my options.

  • I got pretty much the same financial aid from both schools, so cost is not a factor.
  • My short-term goal would probably be to break into IB because I would love to work in PE eventually. Once I have some capital, my long-term goal is to buy (or maybe even start) small businesses, doing something similar to PE (for lack of a better term) at a tiny scale with my own funds.
  • From what I've gathered, Cornell seems to have a slightly better brand name, but that slight advantage over ND might be erased when employers read "hotel administration" in my resume instead of finance, economics, or anything less vocational. Should I be concerned? To be honest, I'm much more interested in finance and general business than hospitality itself, so I might even try to transfer internally to Dyson if it would provide better opportunities.

In short, I'm looking for some help gauging the reputation of the two options I have. Which one do you guys think would provide an easier path to achieve my goals and why?

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Comments (17)

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
May 1, 2021 - 7:20pm

ND junior here working in IB this upcoming summer.  I think that ND has done an excellent job in recent years with recruiting continuing to place kids at BBs and top MMs while increasing numbers at EBs (Our career center recently stated that the class of 2021 is sending ~120 students to IB/PE roles).  In addition, a lot of the top kids are now pursuing buy-side roles straight out of undergrad. Essentially, as long as you maintain a 3.8+ within Mendoza and do the relevant extracurriculars (SIBC, Wall Street Club, etc.) you will have interviews with banks.  I will say that it is important to get started your freshmen year and ensure that you pursue the right SIBC projects and network for tougher banks, but it is quite doable with effort.  

I would not definitively say that Cornell has a stronger "brand name" within the US as a lot of rankings place us higher, and I know several friends who chose ND over Cornell.  Personally, I would advocate for ND as a school where you can receive great opportunities within finance while simultaneously having a good college experience (lot of social opportunities provided by dorm community, athletics, etc.)  One thing to weigh in your decision is that ND does not have as big of an international community as other top universities, but I have found everyone here to be welcoming and friendly. 

Overall, I would recommend ND.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 1, 2021 - 9:11pm

Not really a target school IMO if you have to maintain a 3.8+ and be in very specific clubs. Cornell is much more of a target (regardless of school) and even top public schools like Michigan/UVA/UNC have better placement with less stringent requirements. 

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
May 1, 2021 - 10:24pm

how is recruiting at ND for chicago banks. Im assuming almost everyone wants to go to nyc, but is there a recruiting presence from chicago IB?

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
May 1, 2021 - 10:42pm

Recruiting for Chicago banks is less than NY I'd say but still strong since ND is ~1.5 hours from the city, and there are a ton of alums who live in that area.  Lots of kids go to the Chicago MMs like Blair and HL.  Regardless, ND has a super tight alumni network across major cities, so it largely comes down to location preference. 

I think it is quite absurd that people try to argue that ND is not really a "target" school when you consider the  number of people represented within financial services from ND.  Personally, I don't really care about the distinction, but I think it is somewhat misinforming.

Again, in comparing Cornell and ND I would recommend ND (I am biased as I chose ND over similar schools obviously), but it ultimately comes down to what you desire in a college experience as I do not think the difficulty in obtaining an IB job would vary much between them. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
May 2, 2021 - 5:08am

This is dogshit advice. This is why people hate people from Notre Dame

op - go to the Ivy

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  • Prospect in IB - Restr
May 16, 2021 - 3:57pm

Am a freshman at ND. Where did you get these career center stats? I obviously haven't worked intimately with them yet but only career/placement stats I've found are from 2019 and before listed for the whole uni?

  • Consultant in Consulting
May 2, 2021 - 2:01am

LMAO all things equal no one should choose ND over Cornell for NY IB. I don't go to either school but I know Cornell is much more of a target than ND is. That ND kid is deluded af

May 4, 2021 - 6:33pm

I'd say ND business school. If you're at hotel school Cornell, I wonder if you're pigeon-holed for real estate finance. ND keeps options much broader, and sets you up well for Chicago finance. This changes if you can transfer out of the hotel school - no clue how feasible that is. Then I'd go Cornell most likely. That's my take

May 4, 2021 - 6:44pm

Damn, this intern really showing me up! For OP's benefit: I'm basing my comment on several friends who went onto highly regarded PE MFs/MMs who spoke very highly of their experience. I don't think nearly as highly of the Cornell hotel school people I know. Again- I don't know how feasible transferring is and OP should look into that. But you can absolutely do well from ND ug business school program.

Jun 7, 2021 - 3:20pm

Cornell is a target and an Ivy, so much better than ND regardless of program. The hotel school is the gold standard at cornell and is known on the street very well.. very good for IB and probably even better for PE (especially REPE).

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jun 7, 2021 - 6:16pm

lol "gold standard" - if anything, the College of Engineering is the gold standard of Cornell (not an engineering grad so there's no bias there).

The Hotel School is great (recognition, recruiting, etc.) but don't kid yourself. It is not the gold standard of Cornell. And that's okay because it'll still provide you with some tremendous opportunities.

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