Duke MMS or Vandy MSF

rcc_91's picture
Rank: Monkey | 36

Whats up everyone. I'm pretty sure I've read all the msf threads on WSO, but could use some input on my situation.

I'm accepted at both the Duke MMS and Vanderbilt MSF programs. I'm hoping to break into IB, and would be very satisfied with a strong middle market firm. Slight preference to end up in NYC. Background: non-target econ/finance, decent gpa, a few internships, SA at a small boutique in the south.

Which program do you guys think would be better? I think I'm leaning towards Vandy, but am afraid it would be stupid to turn down Duke coming from a non-target. Thanks for any help, especially any current placement info if anyone has it.

Comments (55)

Dec 20, 2012

As someone in a similar position, I say don't go for just the Duke name. Yes, prestige helps, but also know specifically what industry you want to go into and where you want to work.

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Dec 20, 2012

Personally I don't think you will have a major advantage going to either Vandy or Duke. They're both great schools for what you are trying to do (and have very similar placements/prestige) and you should pick the one you feel most comfortable at.

Dec 20, 2012
brutalglide:

Personally I don't think you will have a major advantage going to either Vandy or Duke. They're both great schools for what you are trying to do (and have very similar placements/prestige) and you should pick the one you feel most comfortable at.

This is pretty much what I think too. And I'm much more interested in the finance curriculum at Vanderbilt, which is what's driving my decision. I think NYC is doable with some additional networking.

As far as my stats, 710 gmat, 3.3 cumulative gpa, 3.7 major gpa, non-target, SA at boutique

Thanks for the input guys

Dec 20, 2012

Congrats on the admits.

What brutalguide said is true, both are up there. So it should come down to where you want to work (Duke = NYC, Northeast. Vandy = South, Texas), and who gives you the most $$$.

Would you mind sharing your stats with us? (GPA, GMAT, ECs, WE).

Thanks.

Dec 20, 2012

I don't know much about Duke, but I do know the Vandy MSF program places very well into IB, even in NYC. I know a recent Vandy MSF alum that is at GS and another at Barclay's.

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Dec 20, 2012

I would say Vandy, if you are completely dedicated to pursuing a banking career. The education is obviously more focused on finance in comparison to the MMS curriculum. Plus, I have heard the placement at Duke is not as great as it is at Vandy. On the contrary, I have heard the the alumni network at Duke is far superior to Vandy, making your networking possibilities fare greater out of there.

Feb 22, 2013

Anybody know anything else on the placement in Duke and Vandy?

I am an international student strongly considering the Duke MMS program [liberal arts undergrad that wants a re-brand/restart but more oriented towards consulting/corp dev. or strategy than banking, so the MMS as opposed to MSF] and as an int'l student, getting placed is a doubly complicated process as I'd need to get sponsored for a visa too.

So any insights/thoughts, even tips and suggestions would be of great value to me -- I am trying to ascertain my odds of getting a job post MMS and whilst this aspect is probably only 20% of the entire process i.e. the rest being networking, networking, preparation and persistence, it still is a vital 20%.

Feb 22, 2013
sshereef13:

Anybody know anything else on the placement in Duke and Vandy?

I am an international student strongly considering the Duke MMS program [liberal arts undergrad that wants a re-brand/restart but more oriented towards consulting/corp dev. or strategy than banking, so the MMS as opposed to MSF] and as an int'l student, getting placed is a doubly complicated process as I'd need to get sponsored for a visa too.

So any insights/thoughts, even tips and suggestions would be of great value to me -- I am trying to ascertain my odds of getting a job post MMS and whilst this aspect is probably only 20% of the entire process i.e. the rest being networking, networking, preparation and persistence, it still is a vital 20%.

Duke's placement for the past three years is right on their website. Vandy's is out there as well, but it looks like it hasn't been updated since 2010-2011.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

Feb 22, 2013
BepBep12:

Duke's placement for the past three years is right on their website. Vandy's is out there as well, but it looks like it hasn't been updated since 2010-2011.

Vanderbilt's placements records are pretty good, but the school itself does a poor job at advertising them. This past year, a few students placed into Stephens, while one placed into Raymond James. Before this year, they had three years in a row where a student placed into Harris Williams. One of the current students I spoke with said he received all first round interviews that he applied for. Vandy also has alumni at most banks.

Duke's placement statistics are a bit skewed. For example, they do not distinguish between BO and FO for the investment banks they list. I cannot remember which bank (think it was Piper), but they listed that, but the student who received the offer went to the BO, not IB FO. From reading the student blogs, it seems like most MMS students want consulting, though.

Feb 22, 2013

I'd be interested to hear from a Duke guy because I wonder if the result that many of the MMS people trying to do consulting results in an easier way to get into IBD because there isn't as much competition compared to Vandy or if there isn't much OCR and you just have to network with alumni.

I'd be interested to hear what type of OCR is available to MMS students and if they can compete with Duke undergrads or if they are restricted to other stuff.

Feb 22, 2013
sporthenry:

I'd be interested to hear from a Duke guy because I wonder if the result that many of the MMS people trying to do consulting results in an easier way to get into IBD because there isn't as much competition compared to Vandy or if there isn't much OCR and you just have to network with alumni.

I'd be interested to hear what type of OCR is available to MMS students and if they can compete with Duke undergrads or if they are restricted to other stuff.

There is even more competition at Duke. You will be competing with the UGs. There are far less UGs interested in IB at Vandy.

Feb 23, 2013
KKS:
sporthenry:

I'd be interested to hear from a Duke guy because I wonder if the result that many of the MMS people trying to do consulting results in an easier way to get into IBD because there isn't as much competition compared to Vandy or if there isn't much OCR and you just have to network with alumni.

I'd be interested to hear what type of OCR is available to MMS students and if they can compete with Duke undergrads or if they are restricted to other stuff.

There is even more competition at Duke. You will be competing with the UGs. There are far less UGs interested in IB at Vandy.

True, but this also probably results in companies actually visiting that probably don't visit Vandy. So you probably get more access to companies from Duke but you have to compete for interviews with UG's but once you get to the interview process, I feel like you are competing against everyone so this competing against others from the school gets a bit overblown.

But I would be interested to see if an MMS guy can talk about what type of career resources are offered. I know Fuqua doesn't have undergrads so if they have any specific recruiting events that MMS students can take advantage of or if it is mostly open competition with the undergrads.

Feb 23, 2013

Dunno if ANT or someone would agree with this, but it's certainly relevant.

http://dealbreaker.com/2012/03/duke-mms-student-ch...

Best Response
Feb 23, 2013

Wow is all I can say.

The kid is pretty insulting and not very smart for posting this online. Considering dealbreaker picked this up I would worry about his consulting offer. I wouldn't want to hire someone with an ego like this who goes online and basically trashes his fellow students.

Feb 23, 2013

so basically duke sux?

    • 1
Feb 23, 2013

Uh, no. Most of the people I met while visiting already had offers by the time I visited (late January). So they're basically taking it easy for Spring 2012.

"All I've ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work."

Feb 23, 2013

I'd recommend Vanderbilt. The MSF program is definitely good and recruiters from banks do come down to recruit from there (although you might have to sneak into some undergrad OCR too which is possible). The other big reason in my opinion is the alumni network. You'd be surprised at how many Vandy alumni are on the Street and most are willing to help. Having said that, the key at either of these is networking (same old song I know). If you don't start networking extensively and soon neither of these programs will do any good.

Also Vandy campus life and girls are way better.

Feb 23, 2013
analyst-therapist:

I'd recommend Vanderbilt. The MSF program is definitely good and recruiters from banks do come down to recruit from there (although you might have to sneak into some undergrad OCR too which is possible). The other big reason in my opinion is the alumni network. You'd be surprised at how many Vandy alumni are on the Street and most are willing to help. Having said that, the key at either of these is networking (same old song I know). If you don't start networking extensively and soon neither of these programs will do any good.

Also Vandy campus life and girls are way better.

Do/did you go Vandy? If yes, can you comment on the companies that come down for OCR?

Feb 23, 2013

Interesting...but here's the issue:
https://www.fuquaworld.duke.edu/cmcfiles/DukeMMSFi... This doesn't even include BCG, Bain, and Mck...Still looks like a pretty good list. I don't think the trash talk is justified.

Nonetheless, he's a moron for trashing his program like that.

Feb 23, 2013
EngBanker:

Interesting...but here's the issue:
https://www.fuquaworld.duke.edu/cmcfiles/DukeMMSFi... This doesn't even include BCG, Bain, and Mck...Still looks like a pretty good list. I don't think the trash talk is justified.

Nonetheless, he's a moron for trashing his program like that.

you don't know what their actual jobs are. maybe majority of them are mo/bo type work

Feb 23, 2013

With dealbreaker picking this up things are going to get real interesting for him. Sad he trashes his program this bad. Lots of really smart kids there, include many with UG's more prestigious than Duke.

Feb 23, 2013

hes gonna get his offer rescinded hahah game over :|

Feb 23, 2013

Wow, that kid is certainly going to do something to the MMS reputation - and I'd wager he improves it...

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Feb 23, 2013
Feb 23, 2013

CaliAnalyst, I met with people in the program. Most of them are FO, though there are a lot of people who aren't even in finance. One guy's going to Apple.

"All I've ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work."

Feb 23, 2013

There's two kinds of people at the MMS program that I met:
- people going for finance and trying to leverage the Duke name
- people who're from technical backgrounds trying to break into the business side

"All I've ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work."

Feb 23, 2013

s2b Vickram

Feb 23, 2013

I know a bunch of Duke guys, all in FO. People need to remember that even BO/MO jobs are not always easy to get.

Feb 23, 2013

So let's take the focus away from the kid and focus on the OP's question boys ;)

    • 1
Feb 23, 2013

They might be one in the same. I think Duke has the stronger brand, but also more competition from UG's. Vanderbilt is an established program, with a focused subject and history of placements. If you want to work in finance you might say it is 50/50 between the programs. if you want to have a broad option base you would want to look at Duke.

Just because a school has better OCR doesn't mean you will get a job.

Feb 23, 2013

so suddenly the program turns heaven from hell

Feb 23, 2013

and op should go?

Feb 23, 2013

The program is relatively new. The first few years there were a lot of Duke undergrads going, one guy who was on Duke bball team. Now it seems the program is picking up steam and getting competitive. I didn't get in for class of 2013... but I think the program looks good from the outside and especially if you talk to the people in the program.

"All I've ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work."

Feb 23, 2013

Oh, I interviewed with the program too.

There is some mentorship by 2nd year MBA students and MMS alums, on top of the great name and network associated with Duke.

"All I've ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work."

Feb 23, 2013

LOL, Vickram Patel's LinkedIn profile was taken down or made private.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1317181

"All I've ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work."

Feb 23, 2013
Linfone:

LOL, Vickram Patel's LinkedIn profile was taken down or made private.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1317181

lol F.B is down as well..Hes a cache of his linkedin profile from google.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cac...HL=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

If thats the only work experience he had and got a offer from BCG. I am impressed what Duke can do..

Feb 23, 2013

embarrassed to say this guy graduated from a HS in my area and I probably have friends who know this kid...

Feb 23, 2013

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. It seems like the general perception is that the programs are similar in prospects. (in which case I'd choose Vandy just based on the more interesting curriculum). I'll do some more research and report back if I find anything new.

Feb 23, 2013

I had a similar question as you. Duke or WUSTL MSF. I chose WUSTL MSF because (like you) I come from a non-finance background and I wanted a curriculum that was challenging and more related to what I wanted to learn.

I say go with Vandy.

Feb 23, 2013

Now I wanna go to Vandy. Maybe I will...

Feb 23, 2013
EngBanker:

Now I wanna go to Vandy. Maybe I will...

?! They also have a May 15th deadline left so you should get your stuff ready to apply soon.

Feb 23, 2013

I think something you should consider is the difference between Durham and Nashville. That alone should tell you that the social scenes are "on par" with one another.

Feb 23, 2013

Blake is the bomb. Vandy has one of the best msf career service out there. Accept vandy and don't look back.

Feb 23, 2013

is Fuqua MMS just orphaned or something? or is it because Fuqua MMS stays in China too long? @TNA

Feb 23, 2013

is Fuqua MMS just orphaned or something? or is it because Fuqua MMS stays in China too long? @TNA

Feb 23, 2013

If your goal is IB I don't see how this is even a question.

Feb 23, 2013
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Feb 23, 2013