Duke MMS vs Villanova MSF vs NYU MA Econ for breaking into IB

Question for the gang in the B-School section:

What has the best chance of placing into an analyst level role in IB in the NYC area (no preference for MM/BB), the Duke MMS program, Villanova MSF program, or NYU MA Econ program?

I know Duke is relatively new, which is what worries me. But the Duke name (to me) seems like it has more pull than Villanova. But NYU is right in the middle of everything as far as Finance is concerned (heck its NYC after all), but its also an Econ Degree which seems to be geared towards academia rather than the real world.

How is the placement for these programs for someone looking to break into IB from a non-target, engineering background (who has been working for about a year).

And what would be some other schools that place in the NYC area (that are not too quant heavy, ie non MFE programs)

Thanks all!

Comments (9)

Oct 17, 2010

Duke MMS has some solid placements as their class enters their 3rd year. The site is updated with student profiles so check it out. The MMS might be a great option for you since it will give you the foundation of business which you lack from having an engineering undergrad. Do realize that you are in a program where everyone has differing career goals and only a few might want finance. This can work in your favor, but it is sometimes nice to have a group of like minded students who can push you to greater heights.

Also, make sure you get actively involved in finance groups on campus and strengthen up your finance skills. You will be competing with Duke UG econ majors or UG's who eat, sleep and breath finance. These will be your main competition and recruiters will hold you to that level.

The Villanova MSF is a program which I am intimately familiar with. Villanova has a lot of MM banks come on campus for FO IBD recruiting. Many of my friends have secured interviews and positions at other banks through some simple networking. The Villanova brand is well known in the east and there are tons of alumni on the street. The MSF will give you a great foundation of finance coursework and coupled with your engineering background you should be a good quant candidate also.

NYU MA in Econ. I have no clue. Here is the issue. Econ tends to be theory. MSF tends to be more practical. Not saying that you cannot spin it into whatever you want, but once again, you will be competing with NYU finance kids as well as other kids who eat, sleep and breath finance. An econ degree is not going to really prepare you for that kind of competition, IMO. Also, specialized masters tend to be great for people with UG work in those fields. I would think that an MA in Econ would really build on an UG in econ.

I would like to bring up what I think is a very valuable post. I have been on this board for a good amount of time and comment enough on things to get a good feel for how things are (I think). Everyone always wants to do banking for one reason or another. You really need a plan B. Why do I say this? The economy sucks and there are always great candidates. The fact that you are looking for a masters vs networking or trying to work your way in tells me you like the traditional OCR route. Suppose you don't land a position from the program. What is next? Can you afford to keep interning and milking it out? Are you going to be forced to work? These are all very valuable questions to ask. If you do not you may end up with another degree and still not your dream career. Food for thought my friend.

Oct 17, 2010
Anthony .:

Duke MMS has some solid placements as their class enters their 3rd year. The site is updated with student profiles so check it out. The MMS might be a great option for you since it will give you the foundation of business which you lack from having an engineering undergrad. Do realize that you are in a program where everyone has differing career goals and only a few might want finance. This can work in your favor, but it is sometimes nice to have a group of like minded students who can push you to greater heights.

Also, make sure you get actively involved in finance groups on campus and strengthen up your finance skills. You will be competing with Duke UG econ majors or UG's who eat, sleep and breath finance. These will be your main competition and recruiters will hold you to that level.

The Villanova MSF is a program which I am intimately familiar with. Villanova has a lot of MM banks come on campus for FO IBD recruiting. Many of my friends have secured interviews and positions at other banks through some simple networking. The Villanova brand is well known in the east and there are tons of alumni on the street. The MSF will give you a great foundation of finance coursework and coupled with your engineering background you should be a good quant candidate also.

NYU MA in Econ. I have no clue. Here is the issue. Econ tends to be theory. MSF tends to be more practical. Not saying that you cannot spin it into whatever you want, but once again, you will be competing with NYU finance kids as well as other kids who eat, sleep and breath finance. An econ degree is not going to really prepare you for that kind of competition, IMO. Also, specialized masters tend to be great for people with UG work in those fields. I would think that an MA in Econ would really build on an UG in econ.

I would like to bring up what I think is a very valuable post. I have been on this board for a good amount of time and comment enough on things to get a good feel for how things are (I think). Everyone always wants to do banking for one reason or another. You really need a plan B. Why do I say this? The economy sucks and there are always great candidates. The fact that you are looking for a masters vs networking or trying to work your way in tells me you like the traditional OCR route. Suppose you don't land a position from the program. What is next? Can you afford to keep interning and milking it out? Are you going to be forced to work? These are all very valuable questions to ask. If you do not you may end up with another degree and still not your dream career. Food for thought my friend.

Thanks for the in-depth advice, its appreciated. I think I am leaning towards Duke but I will throw out an application to Villanova as well.

As far as plan B, if things dont pan out in IB, I will have to take on a role in maybe corporate finance or something along those lines. And I figure I can always milk out 2-3 years and then go back for an MBA at a top 10 (Columbia and NYU preferably) and attempt to break into IB at the associate level.

If that does not pan out either, I can always come back to Engineering and attempt a higher level management position in supply chain/operations or something along those lines. I have some pretty respectable experience for someone one year out of graduation (3 summer internships, 3 winter internships, and 1 yr working part time plus almost 1 yr fulltime) and my network in this field is reasonably strong (for the state that i live in).

I have a few financial analysts who started consulting at my current employer, both of which are Duke MBA alum and they are willing to work with me as far as recommendations and support. Will this be beneficial during my application? Does alumni have any pull in regards to acceptance?

Oct 18, 2010
idragmazda:
Anthony .:

Duke MMS has some solid placements as their class enters their 3rd year. The site is updated with student profiles so check it out. The MMS might be a great option for you since it will give you the foundation of business which you lack from having an engineering undergrad. Do realize that you are in a program where everyone has differing career goals and only a few might want finance. This can work in your favor, but it is sometimes nice to have a group of like minded students who can push you to greater heights.

Also, make sure you get actively involved in finance groups on campus and strengthen up your finance skills. You will be competing with Duke UG econ majors or UG's who eat, sleep and breath finance. These will be your main competition and recruiters will hold you to that level.

The Villanova MSF is a program which I am intimately familiar with. Villanova has a lot of MM banks come on campus for FO IBD recruiting. Many of my friends have secured interviews and positions at other banks through some simple networking. The Villanova brand is well known in the east and there are tons of alumni on the street. The MSF will give you a great foundation of finance coursework and coupled with your engineering background you should be a good quant candidate also.

NYU MA in Econ. I have no clue. Here is the issue. Econ tends to be theory. MSF tends to be more practical. Not saying that you cannot spin it into whatever you want, but once again, you will be competing with NYU finance kids as well as other kids who eat, sleep and breath finance. An econ degree is not going to really prepare you for that kind of competition, IMO. Also, specialized masters tend to be great for people with UG work in those fields. I would think that an MA in Econ would really build on an UG in econ.

I would like to bring up what I think is a very valuable post. I have been on this board for a good amount of time and comment enough on things to get a good feel for how things are (I think). Everyone always wants to do banking for one reason or another. You really need a plan B. Why do I say this? The economy sucks and there are always great candidates. The fact that you are looking for a masters vs networking or trying to work your way in tells me you like the traditional OCR route. Suppose you don't land a position from the program. What is next? Can you afford to keep interning and milking it out? Are you going to be forced to work? These are all very valuable questions to ask. If you do not you may end up with another degree and still not your dream career. Food for thought my friend.

Thanks for the in-depth advice, its appreciated. I think I am leaning towards Duke but I will throw out an application to Villanova as well.

As far as plan B, if things dont pan out in IB, I will have to take on a role in maybe corporate finance or something along those lines. And I figure I can always milk out 2-3 years and then go back for an MBA at a top 10 (Columbia and NYU preferably) and attempt to break into IB at the associate level.

If that does not pan out either, I can always come back to Engineering and attempt a higher level management position in supply chain/operations or something along those lines. I have some pretty respectable experience for someone one year out of graduation (3 summer internships, 3 winter internships, and 1 yr working part time plus almost 1 yr fulltime) and my network in this field is reasonably strong (for the state that i live in).

I have a few financial analysts who started consulting at my current employer, both of which are Duke MBA alum and they are willing to work with me as far as recommendations and support. Will this be beneficial during my application? Does alumni have any pull in regards to acceptance?

you need to have a clear back up.. not a something along these lines... i see time and time again people ending up with nothing for not getting a back up in plan

Oct 17, 2010

BTW, I'm quite positive you won't have access to Stern OCR as a MA Econ student. You could probably go to info sessions, career fairs and such though..

But shit, you have to apply for FT roles the first month of your Master's course. How will you have time to network and do everything?

Oct 18, 2010
New Yorker:

BTW, I'm quite positive you won't have access to Stern OCR as a MA Econ student. You could probably go to info sessions, career fairs and such though..

But shit, you have to apply for FT roles the first month of your Master's course. How will you have time to network and do everything?

no stern wont let you into anything unless youre full time MBA or whatnot, they check IDs before you even enter the info sessions from what ive heard

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Best Response
Oct 17, 2010

Key to success for everyone thinking about doing an MSF:

1) Pick the program you want and when you get in start networking that very minute

2) First week make sure you know who comes OCR, make sure your profile on the career site is completely filled out and check the career section daily

3) Get access to the schools alumni database and start emailing people. Make sure your linkedin is updated. Work your UG network, etc.

4) Before school starts know the lay of the land. Know what firms are in the area. Know of places to possibly intern at. Know the societies around that you can join, etc.

5) Rock out that first semester. Get above a 3.5.

6) Buy the WSO guides, M&I guides, whatever. Know your shit going into the program.

7) Pay to have your resume professionally done or post it on here for an evaluation. Your resume is your brand, make sure it pops.

If anyone does all this they will stand a much better chance at getting a job. In my experience and in talking with other kids this is stuff that many of them do not do and stuff that would of helped them. It is too easy to get wrapped up in being back in school. This is not a year off, it is not a year to have fun. You couldn't get the job done with 4 years, this is time to shine. Pull your pants up, put your game face on and do not fuck around.

Oct 17, 2010
Anthony .:

Key to success for everyone thinking about doing an MSF:

1) Pick the program you want and when you get in start networking that very minute

2) First week make sure you know who comes OCR, make sure your profile on the career site is completely filled out and check the career section daily

3) Get access to the schools alumni database and start emailing people. Make sure your linkedin is updated. Work your UG network, etc.

4) Before school starts know the lay of the land. Know what firms are in the area. Know of places to possibly intern at. Know the societies around that you can join, etc.

5) Rock out that first semester. Get above a 3.5.

6) Buy the WSO guides, M&I guides, whatever. Know your shit going into the program.

7) Pay to have your resume professionally done or post it on here for an evaluation. Your resume is your brand, make sure it pops.

If anyone does all this they will stand a much better chance at getting a job. In my experience and in talking with other kids this is stuff that many of them do not do and stuff that would of helped them. It is too easy to get wrapped up in being back in school. This is not a year off, it is not a year to have fun. You couldn't get the job done with 4 years, this is time to shine. Pull your pants up, put your game face on and do not fuck around.

This is the Truth...should be a sticky.

if you ain't first, you last

    • 1
Oct 17, 2010

PM me and I can give you a contact to reach out to at both Duke and Villanova.

Oct 17, 2010
Comment

if you ain't first, you last