DUKE MMS VS NOVA MSF

to_IBornot_toB's picture
Rank: Baboon | 101

Debating between the two.

Would the Duke MMS still be useful for someone with a business background? Is the pedigree worth retaking some of the basic classes? Or would Villanova's MSF program be a better tool to break into the market?

From what I see Duke has great placement, but it seems as though most of the students came from a liberal artsy or engineering background and just needed business classes to build a base. Villanova seems to have a much more of a focus however lack of recruiting.

Background:
Extreme Non-target, Finance & Acct major, 3.7
Accounting Internship, 2 IB Internships at regional MMs- Mainly M&A , Leadership & ExtraCurriculars

Objective:
M&A at Elite boutique/ top mm firms IBD in NYC

Thanks for all the help.

Comments (37)

Feb 14, 2012

Duke has a better brand from what I gather and with an extreme non-target, that's what matters.

Feb 14, 2012

I am in kind of the same boat as you as someone from a non-target looking at both of these programs. I posted something only with more schools the other day and here is the responded that I got from ANT so this should be helpful hopefully:

"Villanova's program is right outside Philly so you can intern there. Philly, like Boston is a decent finance city so you have networking and work opportunities as well. The program is established and has solid placements and alumni. The school is well ranked and has lots of alumni on the street. It is also the lowest cost of the programs listed. Placements in NYC/Philly.

Duke has the best brand, but it is a general management program. Not saying this is a bad thing, just saying it is kind of different. Placements and program have been improving. The MMS program is finding its sweet spot."

Feb 14, 2012

Yeah I saw that. But I feel like you have to get to either program and network your ass off either way. Would Duke's name trump Nova's location/finance focus?

It seems that doing a fellowship at Nova would really stand out on an app if accepted, not to mention the money saved. From speaking with people at Duke their seems to be a merit-based & need based scholarship, but nothing else to really make you stand out much. Since you would be competeing against undergrad from Duke for OCR, is the MMS really going to make you stand out especially coming from a finn/acct background?

Also, I've seen that there is a lot of finance related extra-curriculars at Nova vs Duke which just has a finance club. Any thoughts?

Feb 14, 2012

See your inbox.

Feb 14, 2012

Either school will require networking and effort to break into the job you want. Duke will have stronger OCR, but it will also have stronger competition. Duke UG's will have solid BB banking internships and will be geared up for the jobs on campus. Not a negative, just be ready to compete against these kids. Bigger pond, bigger fish.

I would go with Nova for a few simple reasons (and not because I went there).

1) You have strong internships. 1 accounting and 2 banking. Plus you could do one in Nova. Your resume will look relevant and you will have a leg up on your competition.

2) Your UG GPA is fine, you have good stats and Nova is a very good name, specifically in NYC and Philly. Duke is obviously more highly regarded or well known, but Villanova has a strong, NYC finance concentration. I've spoken with and continue to meet Nova alumni in every major bank, MD/VP, etc. You will have plenty of networking opportunity to get where you want.

3) Cost. Duke is ~45K. Nova is ~32K. Plus you have the fellowship. There is a real chance you might not have a job or your dream job from either program. Saving 20-30K in student loans is a real nice benefit.

I think with the fellowship, your previous internships and a strong showing at Nova you will get where you need to be. Factor in the cost savings and it makes my recommendation easy.

I love Duke and think their program is amazing, but in your specific case I would recommend Nova. But that is just my 2 cents.

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Feb 14, 2012

ANT, that's a very interesting point -- Nova doesn't make public their placement data, at least not on their MSF website, so I was kinda tepid about looking into it. Thanks!

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
- Oscar Wilde
"Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
- RagnarDanneskjold

Feb 14, 2012

http://www.villanova.edu/business/graduate/finance...
Placement stats are not easily found, but the website is being completely redone. If you go to the main Villanova.edu site you can see what the whole thing will eventually look like. It's going at a snails pace, but once it is done everything will look better and be easier to find.

Feb 14, 2012
ANT:

http://www.villanova.edu/business/graduate/finance...
Placement stats are not easily found, but the website is being completely redone. If you go to the main Villanova.edu site you can see what the whole thing will eventually look like. It's going at a snails pace, but once it is done everything will look better and be easier to find.

Wow they hid those really well! Considering that they're pretty darn good, Nova ought to post them prominently.

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
- Oscar Wilde
"Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
- RagnarDanneskjold

Feb 14, 2012

Thanks guys, lots of help

Feb 14, 2012

^Agreed.

Anyone have stats for the year before that?

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Feb 14, 2012

I know the programs placements really well. I don't have the list right now, but I can tell you we have a lot of MM IB placements (couple at Stifel, bunch at BMO). People are doing PhD's at a bunch of schools, law degrees, MS in Biotech.

PE placements are picking up as MSF graduates get work experience. Bunch of people have CFA's. VP at BNY Mellon, people in ECM, ER, trading, etc.

Program placements are getting better because the program is maturing the the UG business school is consistently ranked well. I know, I know, UG business school rankings are BS, but it is still better to be high on the BS list than not on it.

There is a dedicated career person for graduate programs, which is MSF,MACC and MBA. MSF and MAcc are the only ones really using it.

Placements shift year to year. Some years are all about banking, some are about F500, just depends.

Feb 14, 2012

Interesting...In your opinion would you say not having a terribly strong MBA program helps or hurts the MSF/MACC students?

my view: One hand is that you don't have quite the alumni and on the other you can perhaps meddle in MBA recruiting if you have previous work experience.

Feb 14, 2012

It is a toss up. If MSF students had substantial and relevant WE, the lack of an MBA program would be a slight negative. Since most MSF students have little or no work experience, you will be relying on the strength of the UG program.

Also, since the MSF is the preeminent Wall Street feeder grad program on campus you don't really compete with anyone else. I'd imagine that MMS students compete with MBA students for upper level jobs and UG for lower level jobs. Being monkey in the middle is not always envious.

Feb 14, 2012

MMS students competing with MBAs?

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
- Oscar Wilde
"Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
- RagnarDanneskjold

Feb 14, 2012
UncleMilty:

MMS students competing with MBAs?

If you had 2-3 years experience I could see there being competition. MSF students get associate roles if they have relevant experience.

Feb 14, 2012
ANT:
UncleMilty:

MMS students competing with MBAs?

If you had 2-3 years experience I could see there being competition. MSF students get associate roles if they have relevant experience.

Makes sense. I had thought the bulk of MMS/MSF folks had no more than a year of experience.

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
- Oscar Wilde
"Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
- RagnarDanneskjold

Mar 4, 2012

Sorry to reopen this thread but I too am contemplating between both of these programs. I would like to see what everyone else has thought. With all due respect, every villanova thread i have seen has Ant. Even though I respect ANT and the MSFHQ website, i think i have become unfairly swayed. I would just like to get other peoples thoughts. I am also looking to break into a boutique or MM banking role. Thanks in advance.

Mar 4, 2012

Subscribed. I too am interested.

Mar 4, 2012

If you maintain a high GPA during the program and get some IB experience under your belt prior to the start of FT recruiting, I dont think BBs or the elite boutiques are out of reach.

I haven't had a carb since 2004.

Mar 4, 2012
DunderMifflinCEO:

If you maintain a high GPA during the program and get some IB experience under your belt prior to the start of FT recruiting, I dont think BBs or the elite boutiques are out of reach.

I think this is true -- I know some people from the MMS program who are going to BBs, but they did have IB internships during the summer before starting the program. I'm doing the same, and I will say that I didn't get my SA position thru Duke...the summer positions they posted were very numbered (1 IB position...) which made me a little skeptical of the whole thing.

From what I've heard, the program isn't very rigorous, so you should be able to maintain a high GPA. It's all going to come down to explaining your story and networking (which I'm sure you already know), but I think BBs are doable from Duke. If you're open to Charlotte's top MMs, I get the impression that Duke kids are the best of the best in terms of recruiting there.

Mar 4, 2012

Vontropnats - do you know much about the winter/summer internship thing through the duke alumni? That's probably the biggest selling point for me if it allows me to do a quick 5 week internship at the New York boutique before school starts and a couple more weeks during the Christmas break. Is the summer internship doable?

Mar 4, 2012
Specialxknc22:

Vontropnats - do you know much about the winter/summer internship thing through the duke alumni? That's probably the biggest selling point for me if it allows me to do a quick 5 week internship at the New York boutique before school starts and a couple more weeks during the Christmas break. Is the summer internship doable?

I'm honestly not sure of how to best answer this question. The internship listings I have access to as a future MMS student are rather barren, and basically have a generic post for each major industry (IB, marketing, consulting, gov't stuff). Is there a separate program or system of finding internships that you're referring to? It seems really difficult to find an internship this late in the game, especially when you need to leave mid-July...

And yeah, there are a ton of UNC kids at Charlotte MMs, but as mentioned by a previous poster, Duke is still the top target for them...it's just that Duke is also a target for a bunch of other regions, and not many people actively want to live in Charlotte when NYC and LA are also options.

Mar 4, 2012

I completely forgot to mention a huge factor:

Will an MSc Management degree make explaining my need for a top 10 MBA almost impossible In a few years? Will addmission committies question my MBA ROI?

Mar 4, 2012

The only thing I get from that article is the con that you might have to deal with kids with that attitude.

Mar 4, 2012

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Mar 4, 2012

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Feb 14, 2012

What is your goal with both of these programs? Your pro/con analysis is pretty good. I'd say that if you want to do F500, Nova probably makes more sense. Where do you want to work when you are done?

Mar 4, 2012
TNA:

What is your goal with both of these programs? Your pro/con analysis is pretty good. I'd say that if you want to do F500, Nova probably makes more sense. Where do you want to work when you are done?

Ant have seen people from Nova or MSF programs in general break into banking without any prior finance internships?

Mar 4, 2012

I can't take any credit for the pro/cons. I've poured through your msfhq site endlessly and read just about every post there is on these two schools but still can't come to a conclusion.

Goal is Investment banking, and asset management as a Plan b. I think my best shot is with MM firms at this point. (harris william, bmo, cambridge associates... I think both programs are strong enough to get me into these types of companies) Location wise I would be happy in NYC/Charlotte. I can live with Durham and Philly for a year :)

Specific question for anthony maybe you can help me with. I read that BMO recruited 3 from villanova I believe. Were these for FO BMO capital markets positions?

I wish I was able to get some info on:
1) villanovas alumni network's influence and reach
2) dukes MBA alumni network willingness to help students from the lesser MMS program

Mar 4, 2012
Specialxknc22:

I can't take any credit for the pro/cons. I've poured through your msfhq site endlessly and read just about every post there is on these two schools but still can't come to a conclusion.

Goal is Investment banking, and asset management as a Plan b. I think my best shot is with MM firms at this point. (harris william, bmo, cambridge associates... I think both programs are strong enough to get me into these types of companies) Location wise I would be happy in NYC/Charlotte. I can live with Durham and Philly for a year :)

Specific question for anthony maybe you can help me with. I read that BMO recruited 3 from villanova I believe. Were these for FO BMO capital markets positions?

I wish I was able to get some info on:
1) villanovas alumni network's influence and reach
2) dukes MBA alumni network willingness to help students from the lesser MMS program

I am sure ANT can chime in on Nova alumni helping out...

I go to a non-target and will graduate next month and most likely go for my MSF. When I was cold-emailing I emailed a Duke alum who was an analyst and was very helpful in giving advise and such...

Mar 4, 2012
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Feb 14, 2012
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