Duke v. Cornell (Dyson) v. Dartmouth

I am a senior who has been accepted to all 3 of the colleges above. My goal is to work in IB and eventually PE. I wanted to know which of these colleges would put me in the best position to accomplish my goals. Please offer any suggestions regarding the placement and on-campus recruiting presence for Duke, Cornell (Dyson), and Dartmouth. Also, if any of you have any insight into the alumni relations and connections of these schools, it would be greatly appreciated. Best, golf123!

Comments (54)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 21, 2020 - 3:17am

Duke. Cornell and Dartmouth are great schools, but Duke's alumni network on the street is unparalleled. Dartmouth is a close second though.

to my understanding, pretty much most BBs and EBs recruit at these three schools so you should be fine anywhere

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 21, 2020 - 3:25am

duke is not only the best school academically out of the 3, but will give you the best college experience. in terms of recruiting all somewhat similar but I would say Duke still beats out the other 2 - cornell might have raw numbers on wall street but its bc theyre undergrad population is much larger than the other 2. duke alumni are much more responsive as well. would say dartmouth is similar to duke as far as recruiting goes

Apr 21, 2020 - 12:54pm

It's hard to choose between these three. That's what I was initially thinking. It seems awesome how at Dartmouth the students can get internships during the winter when every other school is still going on.

Apr 21, 2020 - 12:47pm

Thank you for taking the time to comment. If you have time, could you provide info on what makes Duke a clear choice over the other two?

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 21, 2020 - 1:11pm

There are hardly any differences between any of these schools when it comes to job recruitment, especially since you're in AEM.

Choose the school you vibe with the most. If you want to join Greek life and have a good time in college, don't join Cornell. Coming from a current Cornell student our president has destroyed any fun left in the school. Dartmouth and Duke will give you a much better college experience.

  • Intern in RE - Res
Apr 7, 2021 - 2:15am

Think he's saying the president has rlly been cracking down on greek life. My current school saw a 41%->21% decrease in greek participation over a few years cuz the admin started kicking houses off for the smallest things and I"ve heard the social life hasn't been the same since here, prob like what hes saying about Cornell

Apr 21, 2020 - 1:22pm

Congrats! I hope you know that you really can't go wrong.

That being said: Duke. Ranked the highest, best academically, will get you the recruiting you're looking for, the environment and experience are incredible, and the alumni are hyper loyal.

Dartmouth is very similar, and admittedly this is splitting hairs, but knowing what I know now 5 years out of undergrad, Duke would be my strong recommendation. Some of my closest friends went to both.

I wouldn't base my decision off this--but nearly 2/3rds of cross admits pick Duke over Dartmouth, and more than 80% pick Duke over Cornell:


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  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 21, 2020 - 1:28pm

"Not sure why others have a different opinion than me. Here is mine"

  • Intern in ER
Apr 21, 2020 - 2:42pm

At Columbia so no abundance of love for Cornell lol, but Dyson has insane recruiting. It's easy to get good grades there and I don't know anyone who's in Dyson and doesn't like it. I know many kids who were doing internships their sophomore year at hedge funds, KKR, TPG, etc. I don't know a single person who struggled to do banking if they wanted it. Duke is great and I have friends there too but going to an Ivy has its perks. Cornell honestly gets too much hate on this site because I don't know anyone who attends and hates it.

Apr 21, 2020 - 3:16pm

Cornell is an awesome, top tier school and Dyson crushes recruiting.

With all due respect (and I genuinely mean that), the reason it gets flak on this site and elsewhere can be perfectly exemplified by you stating "but going to an Ivy has its perks."

Cornell is hyper-obsessed with being included in the Ivy league, its nauseating. It is meaningless. Somebody shouldn't pick Duke/Stanford/MIT (etc.) over Cornell because it's a member of the Ivy League? Andy Bernard agrees. It consistently tries to draw benefits from this abstract association with other prestigious schools.

Even at the MBA level their marketing is hilarious #IvyMBA. Can somebody please describe said perks that come with going to this Ivy league school that don't also apply to top tier institutions who are not members?

When 80% of cross admits choose Duke over Cornell, clearly the "Ivy" perks have lost their luster.

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  • Intern in ER
Apr 21, 2020 - 3:42pm

Yes, Duke has higher rankings but that is just splitting hairs. When it comes down to any of these three schools it comes down to fit and my original point was that Dyson has great recruiting, light grading, and the Ivy brand helps. Just telling OP that the Cornell hate is honestly bullshit - that's all. The school has great engineering, business, and science. For what it's worth, I feel that all Ivy League schools except for Harvard are obsessed with being in the Ivy League.

Apr 21, 2020 - 3:24pm

For NYC/Boston/NE recruiting, Dartmouth, no contest. The best alumni network on the Street (Duke is admittedly just as good, but is hurt slightly by the geography). Every firm does OCR at Dartmouth, including firms like Audax, Bridgewater, KKR, etc. In addition, due to the D-Plan and the ability to do winter internships at Dartmouth, firms like Morgan Stanley and Cinven have specific Dartmouth only winter internships.

In terms of culture, Dartmouth and Duke are very similar.

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  • Intern in 
Apr 21, 2020 - 3:27pm

I go to Duke and everyone I know here who has wanted to go into banking/ or finance has succeeded. There's alumni at almost any bank you would be interested in, and most are super willing to help and loyal to the school. Recruiting won't be a problem at all!
One note is that I wouldn't pick a school based only recruiting opps-- Duke is also known for its student experience and culture which is very different from other schools (big on "work hard, play hard" mentality, basketball, being in the South, etc.) that you should look into and see if it fits what you're looking for!

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 21, 2020 - 3:47pm

All 3 schools are great…there is no wrong choice.

Current student at Cornell. I had no problems with recruiting. Pretty much all firms recruit at Cornell and some mega funds recruit too (BX, KKR). AEM & Hotel are easy and have a leg up over Econ/ILR IMO. Huge network on wall street, which is really helpful.

If you are interested in a traditional college experience/greek life, I would choose Duke or Dartmouth. Our president massacred Greek life and basically killed the entire social scene on campus. To be determined if her regulations will be scaled back.

I had a couple Dartmouth students in my group, and they all complained about how they did not like Dartmouth (econ major was difficult, weather was really bad, quality of girls, etc). Dartmouth alum might be able to shed some light on this.

If I were you, I would go Duke > Cornell = Dartmouth

Apr 21, 2020 - 6:58pm

Would give my left nut to go to Duke, be a Cameron Crazy.

Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.
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Apr 21, 2020 - 9:01pm

You can work at any bank in the world with a good academic record at any of the three. Pick the one that fits you best from a personal / experiential standpoint. Love college sports and / or the South? Duke. Into greek life and a smaller, tight-knit undergrad experience (and maybe skiing)? Dartmouth all the way. Want a bigger school, huge / beautiful campus, and a legit college town? Cornell's your play.

Apr 21, 2020 - 9:06pm

^ Don't make your decision based on finance recruiting, all 3 offer the same opportunities. Pick where you want to live the next 4 years, based on the other aspects of the schools.


  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 22, 2020 - 12:05pm

Current student at Dartmouth so I'm biased -

Absolutely love the school and we crush it in recruiting if you're serious about finance. Great alumni network that will go to bat for you, and off-cycle internships that let you get opportunities not available elsewhere. Also tons of fun if you're interested in Greek life and there's a great community/culture.

Not sure about Duke or Cornell, but to be clear not all BBs do OCR at Dartmouth and we send relatively few kids to EBs. Will have to do a bit of networking depending on what firms you're targeting. Would 10/10 recommend though

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 22, 2020 - 12:12pm

Does pretty much everyone who wants IB at Darthmouth get a BB or EB internship?

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 22, 2020 - 7:23pm

No it's not possible for a liberal arts college to send 50-100 kids all to BBs and EBs. That said, if you're serious about IB and can get an off-cycle IB internship before recruiting then you should have no problem

Apr 22, 2020 - 2:30pm

To be fair, most schools send few to EBs, but Dartmouth usually send at least 1 to every EB

Jan 23, 2021 - 8:53pm

Go with Cornell Dyson - it's highly underrated here for some reason but has crazy recruiting. 

Overall class size is small, very easy, you are best positioned out of all the schools for the consulting / IB jobs, and pretty much all firms come and recruit. 

Honestly can't go wrong with any of the 3 but Dyson goes under the radar as a powerhouse on the street. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jan 24, 2021 - 12:49am

I actually picked Dyson over both Dartmouth and Duke, although that goes against the advice of most people on this forum. New York state residents get tuition that is discounted by $15 to $20k a year (pretty good value IMO) relative to most of the other programs at Cornell. Consulting recruitment for MBB has improved over the years and investment banking recruiting is objectively pretty strong. I also felt that people were genuine and friendly (lacked the more cutthroat vibe that Stern, or even Wharton, gives off).

I don't think you can go wrong with any of the choices here. If money didn't factor into my decision, I probably would have decided differently (toss-up between Duke or Dartmouth) but I definitely have no regrets about my decision (I also know multiple people that made the same decision).

Jan 24, 2021 - 6:12pm

I think folks on WSO are more US News rankings focused but yea you're right on the money. Cornell is in the top 5 of schools on the street for recruiting (ahead of Duke & Dartmouth). I believe the Dyson program though brand new is really small in addition taking a disproportionate amount of athletes (which actually works to their advantage) - class size half as large as Stern / Wharton and still has similar # seats at banks plus an overall strong network from the Cornell namesake. While they still compete with Econ / ILR / Hotel kids, the Dyson kids go to the top of the pile to get an interview. 

I went to NYU which had great recruiting but I'm not really not sure there's another program or school out there that has the same dynamics of Cornell Dyson (small class, not as competitive, abundance of opportunities, etc.). 

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Jan 25, 2021 - 12:12am

Your options are clear its cornell for the win you're 30 mins from Syracuse and an hour from nyc.
Dartmouth is in the middle of nowhere bro
Duke is just Duke basketball

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Jan 25, 2021 - 12:14am

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