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Economics or Finance Major for Consulting Careers

Zeglo's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 29

Yes, I know this topic has been beaten to death already. My situation is slightly different than other schools. Finance and economics are both in the business school.

I got to a top 50 non target (One or two kids make BB each year, and some make local IBD). A lot of kids go into top corp fin. These kids are typically finance majors, but not all.

There are three possible degrees which would work - accounting, finance, or economics.

Accounting is arguably the best, but the classes are significantly harder. Most accounting students have GPA's below 3.5. I eliminated this degree after learning of this.

Economics and finance are both business degrees. The difference is 5 or 6 classes taken at the end of college.

Basically, I find economics more interesting, and the degree proves critical thinking skills, but I would not have the detailed financial classes of a finance major. Since I go to a non-target, I am not sure how much recruiters would care.

Honestly I am not necessarily going to do IBD. I am looking to either do consulting, entry level corporate strategy., or an FLDP. The skillsets are slightly different, but typically people are knowledgeable of both.

Finance or Economics for Consulting Career Path?

For a student that is interested in consulting, our users shared that an Economics degree will make a great deal of sense as that will allow you to pursue regular consulting as well as economics focused consulting.

johndoe89 - Hedge Fund Vice President:

You gotta figure out what your end goal is here - if you're interested in IB, then by all means do finance as a major with an accounting minor. Think about it from a recruiter's perspective - assuming you do economics and then apply to the same IB job as another kid with exactly the same credentials but who is a finance major, who'll be more attractive to them? On the other hand, if you want to do economics related consulting (think NERA), obviously you'll stand out as an Econ major.

One small piece of advice - don't be obsessed with going into IBD if you genuinely are not that keen on finance, its too painful for someone who's only getting into it owing to a herd mentality. If you like econ more, just do it and life will figure itself out.

Investment Banking Careers: Picking Between Finance and Economics Majors

If you are interested in pursuing a career in investment banking, finance is the more straight forward path as it will help you develop some of the technical skills that you will use on the job.

econpty:

The difference between Finance and Economics is that the former is much more practical, while the latter can be very interesting yet abstract. I have a B.S. and M.S. in Economics and I can tell you with certainty that much of the modelling you will learn in economics will not be performed in most jobs, especially in the Financial Services industry-aka Wallstreet. I can give you a preview of what's to come in your Econ courses: you will start off by building simple S&D graphs, in Micro Theory you will learn about Utility Functions subject to Budget Constraints (basic calculus), in Macro Theory you will construct multi-variable models that represent "hypothetical" Economies (basic caluclus, basic algebra). Economics is more about building critical thinking skills and understanding economic variables.

On the other hand, the skills learned in Finance, particularly Financial Engineering or Quantitative Finance are highly practical. A lot of the modeling done from DCF's to Stochastic Calculus is exactly the type of work performed by professional in the field. Most of the financial modelling is done in Excel, you'll probably even learn Excel VBA which is one of the most valuable technical skills in Finance.

Learn more about finance vs. economics in the video below.

Read More about Majors on WSO

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Comments (293)

Nov 15, 2011

I think you are dealing with a very comon dilemma which is deciding between degrees that offer the highest return on your educational investment (employment offers upon graduation and starting salaries) and those that you find most interesting and appealing.
The difference between Finance and Economics is that the former is much more practical, while the latter can be very interesting yet abstract. I have a B.S. and M.S. in Economics and I can tell you with certainty that much of the modelling you will learn in economics will not be performed in most jobs, especially in the Financial Services industyr-aka Wallstreet. I can give you a preview of whats to come in your Econ courses: you will start off by building simple S&D graphs, in Micro Theory you will learn about Utility Functions subject to Budget Constraints (basic calculus), in Macro Theory you will construct multi-variable models that represent "hypothetical" Economies (basic caluclus, basic algebra). The most useful technical skill you'll pick up in Economics is Econometrics, which unfortunately is not covered in depth at the u-grad level. Economics is more about building critical thinking skills and understanding economic variables.
On the other hand, the skills learned in Finance, particularly Financial Engineering or Quatititative Finance are highly practical. A lot of the modelling done from DCF's to Stochastic Calculus is exactly the type of work performed by professional in the field. Most of the financial modelling is done in Excel, you'll probably even learn Excel VBA which is one of the most valuable technical skills in Finance.
Anways...you're right in pointing out that this discussion can go on forever but I think the best thing you can do is talk to people in the fields you are interested in and ask them what they believe, in retrospect, were the most helpful courses they took.

    • 1
Nov 15, 2011

I would do either Finance or Accounting for IB.

Nov 15, 2011

Okay, unusual edit: We do have an accounting minor, which is pretty hefty in accounting but with no audit or tax stuff.

Would an econ major with accounting minor work out?

Nov 15, 2011

You gotta figure out what your end goal is here - if you're interested in IB, then by all means do finance as a major with an accounting minor. Think about it from a recruiter's perspective - assuming you do economics and then apply to the same IB job as another kid with exactly the same credentials but who is a finance major, who'll be more attractive to them? On the other hand, if you want to do economics related consulting (think NERA), obviously you'll stand out as an Econ major.

One small piece of advice - don't be obsessed with going into IBD if you genuinely are not that keen on finance, its too painful for someone who's only getting into it owing to a herd mentality. If you like econ more, just do it and life will figure itself out.

Nov 15, 2011

Honestly I am not necessarily going to do IBD. To be honest, I posted the question here because of high traffic. I am looking to either do consulting, entry level corporate strategy., or an FLDP. The skillsets are slightly different, but typically people are knowledgeable of both.

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Nov 15, 2011

^in that case, econ alone should work out (you don't necessarily need an accounting minor) if you've got solid grades and decent extra-curriculars.

Nov 15, 2011

Do you have to do stats and metrics for econ? Cause if so, screw that.

Nov 15, 2011

Not so much statistics, just a general business stat class. It does go into econometrics.

Nov 15, 2011
Chef:

Yes, I know this topic has been beaten to death already. My situation is slightly different than other schools. Finance and economics are both in the business school.

I got to a top 50 non target (One or two kids make BB each year, and some make local IBD). A lot of kids go into top corp fin. These kids are typically finance majors, but not all.

There are three possible degrees which would work - accounting, finance, or economics.

Accounting is arguably the best, but the classes are significantly harder. Most accounting students have GPA's below 3.5. I eliminated this degree after learning of this.

Economics and finance are both business degrees. The difference is 5 or 6 classes taken at the end of college.

As a business economics major, I would still take a corporate finance class, just not classes focused specially on debt and equity. My major classes include intermediate micro/macro and some electives of my choice, such as game theory.

As a finance major, I would take debt, equity, and portfolio classes. The rest are limited electives.

Basically, I find economics more interesting, and the degree proves critical thinking skills, but I would not have the detailed financial classes of a finance major. Since I go to a non-target, I am not sure how much recruiters would care.

Thoughts?

Thank you.

P.S. No double major is possible, or even a minor, in one or the other.

I thought you were a kid at my school...then I realized your profile says University of Florida.

Nov 15, 2011

I'm not in Texas, but yes, I am in the south.

Nov 16, 2011

If you are gonna go econ...take a SHIT LOAD of math. Integral Calculus, Linear Algebra, Matrix Algebra etc. graduate and immediately get into a top tier PhD program with full funding- defend your dissertation and then become a quant. If you hate it you can go to academia and teach undergrads how to plot indifference curves and explain the concept of marginal using Big Macs.

I was in an econ program. I freakin' LOVED it.

Nov 16, 2011

It sounds like you go to UF. I do too, and I recently broke in. Message me.

Nov 16, 2011

Chef,

I am a senior finance major at your school, and I obtained my full time IB offer earlier this semester. From undergrad, there were only four guys to break into banking. Three of them are finance majors and one is an economics major. The economics major is a very suave and intelligent guy who has competed on multiple international case competitions and did EXTENSIVE networking with some banks. He actually orchestrated a meeting with his student group and a tailgate with the bank he accepted his offer from.

The rest of the students that broke into banking from our school came from the MSF program (roughly 8-10 of them). Basically, the Finance major will give you more tailored classes towards IB versus economics. Coming from a non Ivy, I would say the best majors are Finance and Accounting, but like you said, it is rather difficult to make the GPA cutoff for accounting. Majoring in Econ isn't inherently bad, however you do not get the more practical theory exposure as you would as a Finance major. The Econ major who broke in is pretty much a boss, so I think he would have broken in regardless of major.

If you TRULY want to do IB, then I would highly advise the MSF program at our school. The course load is rather rigorous, but it will give you the most practical application to IB that you will find at our school. The overseer of the MSF program is also very good at her job and really helps the MSF students network with banks through info session, luncheons, and connections.

As an undergrad Finance major you will still need to stand out from the other plethora of finance majors. So if you don't want to do MSF due to cost or personal preference then start building that resume NOW. Join Student Finance Group, become a Finance TA, and do some case competitions. Also focus on landing that summer internship. You will also have to network unbelievably hard if you want to break in as an undergrad from our school (trust me, I know from experience).

Best of luck!

Nov 16, 2011

I would choose finance, safe bet for investment banking.

Nov 19, 2011

Did you guys notice how I said on a post above that I am not necessarily interested in IB? Just a corp fin, consulting, strategy, or biz dev job focused on finance.

Nonetheless, I really appreciate the advice. Right now I am leaning towards the business economics degree. Based on responses, if I am not doing ibanking, I can leverage myself through leadership and GPA.

Nov 19, 2011

Econ works from a good school. Most top private targets don't have undergrad business anyway, BB's just look for smart people.

Nov 19, 2011
Arcanne:

BB's just look for smart people.

Very true. I know some banks are actually trying to recruit more liberal arts majors.

FYI: The top analyst in my group majored in Environmental Studies.

Nov 19, 2011

if your school has a top business school (wharton, umich, etc) an econ majoy may be a signal to banks that you got rejcted from the business school

regardless, i know many smart kids who are econ majors working at BBs

Nov 19, 2011

I think a decent majority of people are econ majors. Banks like the fact that econ majors have analytical, written communication skills, and arguably quant skills.Unless you're from Penn, NYU, Mich, UT, or UVA, you're not expected to be a business major.

Nov 19, 2011

Most Econ majors do well in recruiting. if anything I think banks prefer to mold you during training with their "finance and accounting" rather than what you learned in a 4 year Business program.

Nov 19, 2011

See, I really like these three schools, but the two year business program really scares me. I would have to apply to the College of Arts and Sciences, and if I would get in, I would then apply to the business program after two years. I'm just a little worried that I would be rejected by the b-school and have to settle with being an economics or finance major. Wouldn't I-banks or any other companies feel that I'm just a business reject and wouldn't want to hire me?

Nov 19, 2011

bump

Nov 19, 2011

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Chicago, Stanford among others do not offer undergraduate Business majors.
I would assume that most of the graduates that go into IB are Economics majors.

Nov 19, 2011

bump

Nov 19, 2011
fcastig0220:

I'm just a little worried that I would be rejected by the b-school and have to settle with being an economics or finance major. Wouldn't I-banks or any other companies feel that I'm just a business reject and wouldn't want to hire me?

Chances are if you can't get into the bschool at whichever university, which admits 100+ kids where a good chunk will be going for ibanking, you won't be able to beat them a semester later for internships/full time. Say you went to a school that starts the bschool right away. You'd just be 100th someodd best person anyways and I don't think banks want the 100th best person. Not saying you are that but I'm just putting it in perspective for you.

Nov 19, 2011

Thanks VermontCheese. It almost seems like it would be safer for me to go to a school like Indiana, where I could not only be guaranteed a spot in the B-School, but I would be one of the top kids there. Although Michigan and Emory and better schools than Indiana, there is no guarantee that I would get into there B-School. I might also want to go to a school like Vandy or Rice, where I would major in econ.

Nov 19, 2011
fcastig0220:

Thanks VermontCheese. It almost seems like it would be safer for me to go to a school like Indiana, where I could not only be guaranteed a spot in the B-School, but I would be one of the top kids there. Although Michigan and Emory and better schools than Indiana, there is no guarantee that I would get into there B-School. I might also want to go to a school like Vandy or Rice, where I would major in econ.

There is no guarantee you'll want to be banking, or even finance in two years. So choosing Indiana just because you might be one of the top kids in the business school seems idiotic at best.

Emory, Mich, Vandy, and Rice are great schools that have a lot to offer, and I wouldn't pass those up just to have a 1% greater chance of getting into IB. Take a look at all the campuses and see where you fit in best. It would be a shame to throw away 4 years of time and money just for a potential job that you may not want in a few years (especially since all of the above-mentioned schools send dozens of kids into banking every year). Also I guarantee the girls at Emory and Vandy are 10x better than the ones at Indiana...and smarter (fortunately or unfortunately).

Nov 19, 2011

But, I do know that many economics majors from Penn CAS (for example) do apply and get accepted to BB's. I don't think that going the liberal arts direction at a Univ. w/ a B-School means you couldn't get into the B-School. It usually just means that you want more out of your college experience then just business.

Nov 19, 2011

If you go to a school that doesn't have a business school I would almost say don't major in econ, major in something harder like engineering/math. There will be a limited number of accounting/finance courses you can still take - so take those, and really get to know the technical stuff for your interviews.

This way, your GPA will look better since you have a harder major, they will say wow, this guy must be smart since he is an engineer or whatever, and they will also say, wow, look how motivated he is since he knows all the tech stuff without really taking the classes and as a completely different major.

Nov 19, 2011

If you go to an Ivy or top LAC I'd say don't bother econ majoring unless that is your thing. Be confident that you can major in whatever you want (Art History, English) and still learn your finance/interview stuff to be competitive for an interview.

Nov 19, 2011

Going to Indiana wouldn't be a bad idea of you want IB. They have some investment banking track or something that seems to place nearly everyone. They have a website, check it

Nov 19, 2011

The only strong edge goes to top Wharton students-otherwise it makes no difference.
Considering all else is equal.

Nov 19, 2011

I would disagree. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/coll... lists other top 10 undergraduate business programs. From what I have seen, if your school has a highly respected business program and you are not in it, you are guilty of not getting in until proven innocent. As such, given the option it would probably be best to go business. Not to mention it will help you to hit the ground running as opposed to having to learn basic finance and accounting.

Nov 19, 2011

I had a moment of tunnel vision and forgot about some of the other good programs.
Although, I personally prefer to hire well rounded undergrades. Not that finance majors can't be well rounded, but sometimes focus is narrow.
Guesss I am old school eclectic.

Nov 19, 2011

Relax. Take a deep breath. You are where you are.

Econ vs. Finance is more or less a wash. Honestly, you probably wont learn enough for it to make a difference in either classes. Also, it probably wont make a difference to any bank from a resume perspective.

If you were going to do finance/ acct however, thats pretty cool.

I'm a finance turned econ major ps.

Nov 19, 2011

Thanks dazedmonk, I hope I don't sound too grumpy... :)

ACCT/FINA seem like good options, but ECON courses seem more engaging and challenging. But I can see how ECON and FINA would be looked at similarly..

Nov 19, 2011

Is it just me or are all the women on this site utterly insufferable and unprestigious? I mean excuse me if I'm being rude here....

Nov 19, 2011

You're not being rude. You're being a complete cocknugget.

Nov 19, 2011

1stYearBanker,

Not that I'd look your way, but perhaps you should spend less time looking for datable women on WSO and join Match.com - with a FACE pic.

Nov 19, 2011

dude get some more pride in your school. Just by your attitude I can tell your not going to make it.

KICKIN ASS AND TAKING NAMES

Nov 19, 2011

How does having pride in my school determine whether I'll make it into I'Banking? The school sucks. Period. Admiting that won't change a thing. I'm a realist and I know I'll have to work harder to get into I-Banking. That's real talk, not a poor attitude.

You don't know my personality.

Nov 19, 2011

I know a couple of UH grads that made it in the BB and smaller shops. It's poor attitude and lack of knowledge on your part. I'm sure they were not on WSO saying UH is a crap school.

UofHGirl:

How does having pride in my school determine whether I'll make it into I'Banking? The school sucks. Period. Admiting that won't change a thing. I'm a realist and I know I'll have to work harder to get into I-Banking. That's real talk, not a poor attitude.

You don't know my personality.

Nov 19, 2011

First, cut the shit, Houston with the oil and gas there is massive amounts of I Banking. Don't have that attitude, I would take finance, second do a quick look for alums in the Houston IB scene, there has to be at least one. With great grades and any school (relatively) can break in with solid networking.

Nov 19, 2011

I didn't say I couldn't do it, but it's a lot harder. IBanks here in Houston still like to hire Ivy grads. They would pick an English major from Penn over a Finance major at U of H.

But, I know great grades and good networking will help. I'm working on looking into the Alumni network and I've also joined a few professional organizations in Finance and International Business.

I know I have some options...

Nov 19, 2011
UofHGirl:

I didn't say I couldn't do it, but it's a lot harder. IBanks here in Houston still like to hire Ivy grads. They would pick an English major from Penn over a Finance major at U of H.

But, I know great grades and good networking will help. I'm working on looking into the Alumni network and I've also joined a few professional organizations in Finance and International Business.

I know I have some options...

Dear god, you sound exactly like my ex gf, having to quantify every fucking thing. Listen, I broke in from a absolute non target state school, you don't need to do this and that masters. Network, leverage what you have so far, & I'm sure you could at least get a job at a boutique. If not there's a couple other wanna be ball busting skank's posting on her that are headed towards Boston, maybe it'd be worth checking out...http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/boston-for-b...

Nov 19, 2011

Stop assuming that Ibanks in Houston has lots of Ivy grads. It's not true at all. 90% are from UT. The rest are Ivy grads, TCU, SMU , etc.

Bear Energy now JP Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation does have a high population of Ivy but that's not investment banking. And that's about it. Banks in the North got the Ivy concentration.

UofHGirl:

I didn't say I couldn't do it, but it's a lot harder. IBanks here in Houston still like to hire Ivy grads. They would pick an English major from Penn over a Finance major at U of H.

But, I know great grades and good networking will help. I'm working on looking into the Alumni network and I've also joined a few professional organizations in Finance and International Business.

I know I have some options...

Nov 19, 2011

u of houston person: look into getting a masters in accounting from UT-Austin after you graduate. it is only a one year long program and not terribly expensive.

also, it is the top ranked masters of accounting program in the country, and from what I hear, all the top houston energy IB groups (virtually all BB's and elite boutiques) recruit students from there. even McKinsey, bain and Boston Consulting group recruit from the program, if you are interested in pursuing consulting.

so, what i would do: prepare for the GMAT and try to score a 700+ (the mean score for the class is about a 670, but if you can get above a 700 you will position yourself nicely for some sort of scholarship)

good luck

Nov 19, 2011

Thanks Affirmative... I haven't thought of that, but I'll definitely look into it. :)

Nov 19, 2011

Here's my opinion on Econ vs Finance

If you go to a strong school, pick econ. Top targets don't even have a finance major (not sure about Wharton).
If you go to UofH, I'd recommend Finance because it gives the impression that you have more concrete and applicable skills.

Nov 19, 2011
TheRapist:

Here's my opinion on Econ vs Finance

If you go to a strong school, pick econ. Top targets don't even have a finance major (not sure about Wharton).
If you go to UofH, I'd recommend Finance because it gives the impression that you have more concrete and applicable skills.

Good points. I have some friends from Wharton. You can major in just about anything. A good friend of mine majored in Finance, Real Estate and Economics..

And yes, he had a hefty social life and graduated in 4 years.

Nov 19, 2011

hmmm... u got to UofH u must be hot? I'm guessing UofH is a close relation to Arizona State, but in Texas? Interesting, please tell me you are blonde.

Also I'd say go Finance b/c it's what you're looking to do. While there is financial economics and whatnot you wont learn as much related to your job at hand.

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Nov 19, 2011

UH has a great business school in my opinion I would do Finance. I attend UHV, finance major
and work for JPM on the retail side. At the end of the day its about grades and how you decide to apply yourself.
I see a lot of analyst/IB positions open up in Houston. I've been looking into Dallas and their market seems pretty good as well if you want to stay in state.

JPM has internship try to appy: www.jpmorganchase/careers

Good Luck

Nov 19, 2011
investin925:

UH has a great business school in my opinion I would do Finance. I attend UHV, finance major
and work for JPM on the retail side. At the end of the day its about grades and how you decide to apply yourself.
I see a lot of analyst/IB positions open up in Houston. I've been looking into Dallas and their market seems pretty good as well if you want to stay in state.

JPM has internship try to appy: www.jpmorganchase/careers

Good Luck

Thanks Investing. :) Yes, Dallas is a good city.. I think what makes Bauer interesting is the GEM Program, esp. in Finance. Although, I don't want to be limited to the Texas/Gulf Coast region or energy, I don't mind gaining the experience I need in order to branch out.

And I agree, it is how I choose to apply myself. There are some good professional org. here that help you get in touch w/ the right people. I worked for a bit at Merrill Lynch's Private Wealth Managment group and made some decent contacts. However, I've noticed that the IB's in Houston (and Dallas) still like Ivies, but there's always a way to connect.

    • 4
Best Response
Nov 19, 2011

Finance/Accounting or even just straight up accounting is most useful for i banking. You could probably just buy a used copy of Principles of corporate finance off Amazon and skim through it - that'd do you fine for the finance stuff. Accounting stuff is a lot harder to learn and a lot more important not to screw up.

Regarding your school. Yeah U of H isn't exactly a target, but beyond realizing that you'll probably have to seek THEM out rather than the other way round, there's no point in telling yourself over and over that "I'm going to have to work SO SO hard to make this happen." Shit, EVERYONE works hard to make shit happen - as a general rule that's the kind of people that i banking attracts. But the "boy oh boy do I go to a shitty school" stuff just knocks you off your game. And ironically, coming from U of H, that is just what you can least afford to have happen.

Don't be thinking about all the reasons that some imagined recruiter might have against you and go into interviews pre-apologizing for them. Don't say shit like "coming from a school like UofH" just talk about what you can add to the bank. As to the bullcrap spouted by the idiots on this forum like 1st Year Banker - don't apologize for being a woman trying to break into a male dominated industry. Don't even go there, just talk about how there's no one that will work harder than you. Just go about your biz and kick ass.

    • 3
Nov 19, 2011
jhoratio:

Finance/Accounting or even just straight up accounting is most useful for i banking. You could probably just buy a used copy of Principles of corporate finance off Amazon and skim through it - that'd do you fine for the finance stuff. Accounting stuff is a lot harder to learn and a lot more important not to screw up.

Regarding your school. Yeah U of H isn't exactly a target, but beyond realizing that you'll probably have to seek THEM out rather than the other way round, there's no point in telling yourself over and over that "I'm going to have to work SO SO hard to make this happen." Shit, EVERYONE works hard to make shit happen - as a general rule that's the kind of people that i banking attracts. But the "boy oh boy do I go to a shitty school" stuff just knocks you off your game. And ironically, coming from U of H, that is just what you can least afford to have happen.

Don't be thinking about all the reasons that some imagined recruiter might have against you and go into interviews pre-apologizing for them. Don't say shit like "coming from a school like UofH" just talk about what you can add to the bank. As to the bullcrap spouted by the idiots on this forum like 1st Year Banker - don't apologize for being a woman trying to break into a male dominated industry. Don't even go there, just talk about how there's no one that will work harder than you. Just go about your biz and kick ass.

Many thanks, Jhoratio. Yes, it's hard work for everyone. Although, I'd never say "coming from a school like UofH" hahaha... I really appreciate your advice.

Nov 19, 2011

Ever consider working for an OG or Energy company in a finance role, then either lateraling, or going to bschool, then banking? if you have a 3.8ish gpa, you got a shot whereever you went; just network your butt off...every bank has a group in houston now, so would guess they have non-targets, you can be one of them

Nov 19, 2011
eiffeltowered:

Ever consider working for an OG or Energy company in a finance role, then either lateraling, or going to bschool, then banking? if you have a 3.8ish gpa, you got a shot whereever you went; just network your butt off...every bank has a group in houston now, so would guess they have non-targets, you can be one of them

I could easily get a Finance job at an energy company, but I'm not really interested in it...

Thanks for the advice, though..

Nov 19, 2011

You girls are too easy. Keep it up :)

PS: How's the trader assistant job search going?

Nov 19, 2011
1styearBanker:

You girls are too easy. Keep it up :)

PS: How's the trader assistant job search going?

aw sorry dude. I would let you know how it was going if I were looking for one. Will definitely keep you posted though since you seem to have a special interest in what my career aspirations are.

    • 3
Nov 19, 2011

1 week 16 minutes ago

"hey everyone,
got an interview call for a trader's assistant position and wanted to know if anyone has had any experience or heard about this company. it is a small proprietary trading company but rapidly growing. comp is pretty standard (65k) with opportunity to eventually start trading on one's own
would appreciate any input from any of you! thanks"

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/nico-holdings-llc

Nov 19, 2011
1styearBanker:

1 week 16 minutes ago

"hey everyone,
got an interview call for a trader's assistant position and wanted to know if anyone has had any experience or heard about this company. it is a small proprietary trading company but rapidly growing. comp is pretty standard (65k) with opportunity to eventually start trading on one's own
would appreciate any input from any of you! thanks"

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/nico-holdings-llc

"Got a call" as opposed to "I'm really interested in a TA position and actively searching for one"
Jerk. It would help to know some English.

Nov 19, 2011

"Hi everyone,

Can anyone provide me with some insight as to what type of questions should be expected for a risk interview in a prime services team? What type of risk do they manage and how? What specific skills (apart from the generic) do they look for in an analyst? Should brainteasers be expected? Again, this is for a prime services group whose clients are mostly hedge funds

THANKS!!!
"

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/risk-interview-ques...

Nov 19, 2011
1styearBanker:

"Hi everyone,

Can anyone provide me with some insight as to what type of questions should be expected for a risk interview in a prime services team? What type of risk do they manage and how? What specific skills (apart from the generic) do they look for in an analyst? Should brainteasers be expected? Again, this is for a prime services group whose clients are mostly hedge funds

THANKS!!!
"

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/risk-interview-ques...

okay, and??! you obviously have no point to prove. I think it's established you're pretty much a retard and from this point onwards I'm done wasting my time on your absolutely pointless, sexist posts. Wow, you have been so frickin annoying it's ridiculous haha

Nov 19, 2011

1st Year Banker

I don't like you at all, but you got Buttercup pretty good there.

lol at the reading of her posts from last week back at her

Nov 19, 2011

Wait, I saved the best for last.

" buttercup (Monkey, 50 Points) on 1/7/10 at 9:56pm
Hey everyone,

I've got an interview at AXA advisors for a "Finance Professional" position.. any input on the company/pay/culture/position? Thanks!!"
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/axa-advisors...
I mean come on are you serious? Is this a game of how many shitty jobs you can come up with in your stupid formatting? Here let me try:

"Hey everyone,
I recently got an interview at Abercrombie and Fitch folding clothes. Its a good growing firm with a good chance of me moving to sales register after 1 year. What type of clothes do they fold and how?! What kind of cloth folding employees are they looking for? Any input on company/pay/culture/position? Again, this is for a position where I fold clothes. THANKS!!!"

  • Future buttercup thread
Nov 19, 2011

So much monkey shit....life is good again.

Nov 19, 2011

lol poor buttercup

Nov 19, 2011

buttercup must be hot and blonde - my type o girl

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Nov 19, 2011

1yearBanker, why do you give a shit what interviews she has?

Nov 19, 2011

It doesn't matter in regards to economics vs finance.

Nov 19, 2011

Not to get too into this shit throwing contest (which is absolutely hilarious btw), but I'm confused about UofH's situation.

You worked at a "very small" BB in New Orleans? What's a small BB? Comps?

What did you do at said "very small" BB? Did you get a return offer?

If your experience at this BB was even semi-legit and you have a good GPA you should be able to get interviews in IBD even through online applications (I landed several BB ibd interviews this way).

It's good that you realize you have to chase what you want and grab it but judging by what you've said thus far, it really doesn't sound like you've fully exhausted your resources. Email EVERY alum in IBD whether it be though an official university alum list or LinkedIn.

Deciding between finance and econ is the least of your worries.

Nov 19, 2011

I think the OP doesn't have a problem in getting interviews at IBD because she mentioned that she got friends from targeted schools and she knows someone that got a job at JPM.

I think she feels that she's at a disadvantage because she attends a non-target school-- and is asking what would give her a legs up: fin or econ.

Nov 19, 2011

There is no "small BB". There are 10 and they are all huge. Maybe she misunderstood that BB = Bulge Bracket?

Nov 19, 2011

Deciding on a major is not the least of my worries, since I plan to use it as leverage while networking.

However, I worked at an investment boutique (right, BB4life) that focused primarily on M&A. I was just a part-time research analyst for the summer and the rest of the summer was spent working on a summer fellowship. I don't plan on returning, as I plan to take tons of classes this summer so that I can graduate sooner.

And you're right, I haven't exhausted my resources. However, I do much better meeting people in person. I'm not sure I sound like a strong enough candidate on paper, but I'm not ruling out cold emails. However, I've joined more organizations where I can meet potential contacts and make connections. I'll also give LinkedIn a try..

Nov 19, 2011

Wow... never seen a banana count in the negatives before. Hey Patrick, we should have a category below chimp. Maybe ticks or parasites that live on chimps.

This is obviously a troll... I hope so anyway, you're making the other girls on this forum look bad

Nov 19, 2011
Vz:

Wow... never seen a banana count in the negatives before. Hey Patrick, we should have a category below chimp. Maybe ticks or parasites that live on chimps.

This is obviously a troll... I hope so anyway, you're making the other girls on this forum look bad

^^^^^

Completely pointless.

    • 3
Nov 19, 2011

UofHGirl, does that mean you have investment banking experience? This is a great boon to your application if you can show that, even if it is a research position. Have you considered applying to other boutique investment banks? Coming from a non-target, a good option for many is to go to a so called no name boutique and lateral to larger banks later. The most important part is getting that experience.

Oh and by BB most people mean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulge_bracket

Nov 19, 2011

Thanks, BB4life, I did work at a small investment boutique and although, the environment was ideal, the pay was very low.. I also worked in PWM at Merrill Lynch, but most of what I did there was cold calling.

I have looked at a few other boutiques (and hedge funds) here in Houston, but not that many. Thanks for the heads-up, it's appreciated.

Nov 19, 2011

I think finance would be a better option and heading up all the alum you can. If you choose to go the law school route they both are considered equal in my eyes

Nov 19, 2011
monty09:

I think finance would be a better option and heading up all the alum you can. If you choose to go the law school route they both are considered equal in my eyes

I'm not as familiar with the high finance/law industry as some people here (so don't neg me lol), but I've heard that law schools typically don't like "vocational" majors like nursing, business and its concentrations, accounting, etc. They prefer academic majors like econ/math, so I'd say that if you really do want law, then go with econ while taking some math classes to impress i-banks.

Nov 19, 2011

Clearly none of you idiots works in Houston if you think 90% of bankers here are from UT. Rice University grads run Houston, period. UT is second. SMU is third. There are a few Aggies here and there. There aren't that many Ivy Leaguers, although they are definitely around.

Don't pull random facts out of your ass unless you can back them up.

Nov 19, 2011

MFin.

M econ is a bogus degree by a lot of schools. A token for phd drop outs. No lie, look it up.

Nov 19, 2011
GutShot:

MFin.

M econ is a bogus degree by a lot of schools. A token for phd drop outs. No lie, look it up.

This is reasonably accurate for economics as well as many other disciplines such as English; you can typically leave a PhD program after two years with a masters after a dissertation and defense. Definitely go MFin.

Nov 19, 2011

Maybe econ degree gets you more cred going into a macro HF sort of deal or trading, but if you are looking for IB then I think MFIN would be the best option BC of the heavy level of quantitative modeling involved

Nov 19, 2011

depends on schools you are heading to.

Economics from Columbia or Princeton can get you far than second tier MSF program

Nov 19, 2011

NYU MA econ?

Nov 19, 2011

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/weekend-wars-s...
Do what you enjoy the most. Possibly double major. A degree from an ivy/target university would help you earn the biggest salary.

Nov 19, 2011

yea i understand that but one i cant afford an ivy league ed but clermson is ranked 23 nationally for public school so a degree from here has some weight right?

Nov 19, 2011

Yeah, there is usually some finance courses in an economics major and vice versa. Personally I would choose economics, will give you a wider breadth of knowledge.

Nov 19, 2011

I don't think either major will make too much a of a difference but from what I've heard, definitely take your accounting courses seriously - they will help the most (ex. Financial Statement Analysis etc.)

Nov 19, 2011

Doesn't matter. Some say Finance will bring you more career opportunities, but I have yet t see a company turn its nose up at an economics degree; in fact they are actually impressed usually.

I would choose the major you're more interested in. Look @ the class descriptions and see what you think you would enjoy most.. if you take classes you don't enjoy, you are bound to not do as well. For me, economics was a no-brainer because I'm interested in Macro news & movements, currencies, international finance, etc.

    • 1
Nov 19, 2011

I was a finance major during undergrad, so my economics was limited to the basic macro/micro classes. Having said that I would probably start off with econ as in today's environment macro events influence security prices much more than any micro valuations.

It seems as if though you are not very sure what type of career you want to have (not buying the 'modest salary' crap, if you want modest salary why the hell would you subject yourself to the pains of office labor?). I would recommend starting of with economics, and spend first year or two learning about the industry on your own and hopefully you can decide on what classes/major are the best way to get to the sector that you want.

Nov 19, 2011

I spent a while deciding between the same two majors and went with economics. One thing I learned as I made the decision was that finance relates more to what you'd actually do in a finance job, whereas econ prepares you for postgrad academics and a wider array of job opportunities.

The pitfalls of each are clear: econ has a greater number of jobs available, but you need to learn the finance skills (accounting, biz stats, valuation, etc.) either on internships or on your own.

Nov 19, 2011

Another thing - a lot of people won't even choose their major till middle of sophmore year, so it's no rush. Actually I chose my major 1st semester junior year, which is really late, but I managed to finish on-time (+ a few summer classes). Take a finance class & an economics class and see which you enjoy more.

Nov 19, 2011

@rothyman- Sorry I didn't mention it but I'm a transfer student so I'm in my last semester of my soph. year and will be beginning UF at the start of my Junior year. Also, how hard was your job search for internships/after senior year?

Nov 19, 2011

i would personally go with econ ( mainly because i majored in it). The thing about economics is that you can definitely go into finance with it and at the same time enjoy taking a more liberal major. finance is sort of boring and very narrow. also with being a econ major i was able to take certain finance and accounting classes that gave me a solid foundation to those fields as well ( the rest i learned through internships, and doing my own personal readings). the way i see it is like this: a econ major's knowledge is 80% econ , 20% finance coming out of college, while a finance major's is 80% finance and 20% econ. remember that both econ and finance majors take the same core requirement classes ( atleast in my college). if you want to pm me and ill tell you which classes to take that are more interesting and enjoyable to learn.

    • 1
Nov 19, 2011

major in econ, minor in finance

Nov 19, 2011

benefit to econ is there are things you can do besides working at a bank - if you value lifestyle then economic consulting, management consulting, etc. are option that econ opens up, and you like it more anyway

honestly, if you decide to do hard for a banking job later, you can always get TTS or something and read up on CapM over a break

Nov 19, 2011

Overwhelmingly the response has been to go Economics it's what my main plan was but I just questioned the long run benefit of it. Thanks to everyone who gave me advice and feel free to post some more!

Nov 19, 2011
  • Major in econ over finance, you're an incoming freshman with no idea what banking or finance is like so there is no sense in committing to a finance major that's going to pigeonhole you to career's you know nothing about. You're interests/path is probably going to change a few times before college is over...
  • Most undergrad econ courses are of little worth and have little to do with graduate level economics (which is all math). If you're majoring in econ then you should take the micro/macro theory courses, Applied Economics courses, and non-econ math courses. Your econ department advisors/website should have more information about it, look for something along the lines of 'advice for those looking to pursue econ grad school or mba' on the department website.

Some better options for you:
econ/math double major
econ major with finance minor
econ major with math minor

Nov 19, 2011

The way the undergraduate business school is set up is you take a bunch of core classes and then are given SOME elective credit hours (IE: 3-4 elective classes). So therefore I can't minor in finance/math/etc. Does this effect change the overwhelming response of Economics over Finance?

Normally I'd just go with what I know I enjoy or do well in but I'm honestly split in the middle.

Also- I'm about to be a junior.

Nov 19, 2011

Coming out of Florida, Accounting will provide you the most safety as far as getting a job. Add Finance/Econ as minor maybe.

Nov 19, 2011

Yes you really cannot go wrong with an Accounting degree. Provides job security. As long as you are an outgoing individual, banks will also favor accounting degrees.

The only downside is that sh!t can be so boring..

Nov 19, 2011

I don't see how an undergraduate econ degree prepares one for graduate econ studies, which is heavily math-driven. This is from a U.S. perspective, where Econ is basically a liberal arts degree with graphs.

Still, I would recommend Econ.

Nov 19, 2011

Never knew graphs could be so tough though..

Nov 19, 2011

It may have changed from when I was doing my UCAS years ago, but I think accounting and finance degrees are easier to get into than economics. So you could go to a better uni if you took A&F , and it seems a better uni is better than a better course in the UK.

Nov 19, 2011

I would do economics just because it's very interesting, but that means you'll have to learn accounting once you leave school....that will suck.

Nov 19, 2011

A&F

A is key even tho its shit dry.

Nov 19, 2011

Finance/accounting is much more relevant for IBD.

But the truth is, do whatever major you enjoy more which also gets you the higher GPA.

Cheers.

Nov 19, 2011

Major in Economics and 2nd concentration or minor or double major in accounting

Econ is much more broad and everything in finance that applies to IB always comes back to accounting.

Nov 19, 2011

also depends on the school you're going to... if you're going to a school like UMich where the Econ career center isn't nearly as good as the bschool, you should probably do finance/accounting

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Nov 19, 2011
scottj19x89:

also depends on the school you're going to... if you're going to a school like UMich where the Econ career center isn't nearly as good as the bschool, you should probably do finance/accounting

even so you can major in BusAdm and Concentrate in Business Econ and 2nd concentrate in finance or accounting

Nov 19, 2011

Do comparative ethnic studies

Nov 19, 2011

Exercise Science

Nov 19, 2011

I recommend finance and/or accounting. Depends also on what you are interested in and the schools reputation in that area. Career wise finance/accounting is better for banking. Economics would be more research and I think econ majors go for phd most of the time.

Nov 19, 2011

I don't think they have that at UMich, but I could see that working out at other schools that do offer it

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Nov 19, 2011

Honestly, at the end of the day it doesn't make a difference what major you pick. GS and ML are filled with Harvard History majors. Every BB interview i've been too, they always say "we can teach you finance, we can teach you modeling thats the easy stuff..."

Pick a major that your really going to have fun with and get a 4.0 in and use your electives to learn econ/acct/fin cause when your interviewer asks you to run through your resume those electives are your "spark" as to why you want to be there.

its all about selling your self and proving you belong

Nov 19, 2011

This really depends on your school, programs, etc. To be honest, any of the three will be relevant; however, finance or accounting will be more helpful for you. But really...what matters the most is that you enjoy what you are studying, get a high GPA, and Network, Network, Network

Nov 19, 2011
slader23:

I go to a target Canadian University ( Queen's) and I am just pondering the relativity of my Applied Economics degree in the current/future job market. I have read mixed results on other forums, so I thought why not bring this to WSO where I actually value the opinions and advice I am given! Although I do not go to the BSchool (Queen's School of Business) at my university, I will get an immense amount of exposure to BB's and the top 5 Canadian banks through recruitment fairs and information sessions so I am not worried about internships (going into 2nd year) I just want to know how the degree is regarded by professionals in the areas of profession that I am interested in.

Regardless of information fairs (lol), most banks couldn't care less about non-commerce Canadian students.

Nov 19, 2011
seedy underbelly:

Regardless of information fairs (lol), most banks couldn't care less about non-commerce Canadian students.

I think it'd really depend on his particular major, since, well, nobody who matters knows anything about Canada to begin with. Is it extremely math-intensive? How competitive is it? He simply isn't giving us enough information.

That said, people are usually far more impressed by a math/physics/eng. major than a "business" major, especially for undergrad. The only top-tier school that even has an undergrad finance track is Wharton.

Nov 19, 2011

I took multi-variable calculus 1st year, and linear algebra is a class that is optional but highly recommended later on, I will probably take it next year. Thanks for the help man, appreciate it.

Keep it together and you will go far..

Nov 19, 2011

They don't hire for the jobs you're looking at out of college. You probably forgot to read through the entire list of requirements for the positions - near the end they'll usually say "X years of Y-related experience preferred/required."

On the topic of your major: it doesn't really matter unless you eventually want to do quant work, in which case you're going to have to do a grad degree anyway, so try to get into a solid grad program.

Also, a hedge fund and an investment bank are two completely different animals. I suggest you figure out what they are before asking how to get hired because the fact that you're looking at jobs at both and trying to figure out if you're "quant" enough shows that you haven't figured out the industry well enough to target your job search. Your major won't matter for an investment bank out of college as long as it's halfway relevant and you know the work. For quant work at a hedge fund you're looking at getting at least a MS, or working in industry for 2-4 years, a PhD, or being a genius. Pick one.

Finally, you're supposed to use game theory in every facet of your life. The point of the course is to change your way of thinking about negotiating optimal solutions.

Nov 19, 2011

For IB any type of semi relevant major is fine provided you have a solid GPA and networked effectively. You won't need a quant heavy background; a rudimentary grasp of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and perhaps exponents will suffice.

Hedge Funds, however, cover a broad range of firms and funds that require skill-sets ranging from sales to idiot savant. A bachelors in econ/finance will very rarely be enough for you to land a position straight out of undergrad.

Somewhat related: game theory was one of my favorite classes and is basically the mathematics behind strategy. Still to this day philistines will ask me how I was able to "take a class playing games" for one of my electives. To which the proper response is "everything is a game."

Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art - Andy Warhol

Nov 19, 2011

Abarrage, looking through your post history it is quite apparent that you're asking all the wrong questions. You're majoring in the BA Economics and Financial Management program at Laurier, a program whose banking placements consists of bank teller positions and the like. It would be wise for you to spend most of your time striving to escape destiny opposed to putting forth some of the most naive questions. For starters, given the reputation of your school's program, you should be the least bit concerned about the courses offered and much more concerned on leveraging the other areas that can potentially help you break in. None of the courses you take at university will be directly applicable to the buyside. Programming, econometrics and time-series help to an extent for quantitative macro, but beyond that experience and knowledge you gain confronting markets on a daily basis are by far the most important factor. University courses won't teach you how to derive alpha or even survive in a zero sum game, but it will teach you how to think. I'm not apologetic for being so forthcoming as it was about time you faced the truth.

    • 1
Nov 19, 2011
Macro Arbitrage:

Abarrage, looking through your post history it is quite apparent that you're asking all the wrong questions. You're majoring in the BA Economics and Financial Management program at Laurier, a program whose banking placements consists of bank teller positions and the like. It would be wise for you to spend most of your time striving to escape destiny opposed to putting forth some of the most naive questions. For starters, given the reputation of your school's program, you should be the least bit concerned about the courses offered and much more concerned on leveraging the other areas that can potentially help you break in. None of the courses you take at university will be directly applicable to the buyside. Programming, econometrics and time-series help to an extent for quantitative macro, but beyond that experience and knowledge you gain confronting markets on a daily basis are by far the most important factor. University courses won't teach you how to derive alpha or even survive in a zero sum game, but it will teach you how to think. I'm not apologetic for being so forthcoming as it was about time you faced the truth.

At first glance you may consider his advice harsh, but he is stating truths that you probably haven't considered. You should take his council seriously, being an economics major myself it was not easy to come to grasps of how people value our degree in Canada....but people like him on WSO have given great advice on how to position myself in a way that makes better use of what I have to offer and to maximize its value to better my recruitment chances. With that said you should probably consider switching into Ivey, I know I will be....and If you have the EC's and GPA I would not see any better way out of your degree its either that or switching to a better Faculty of Economics at a different university i.e Queen's, McGill, UT or UBC...all will get you decent OCR even if your a BA. Anyway heed his warnings and really look into leveraging yourself in areas that will help you break in and really think about whether or not your University has enough to offer to you in succeeding because if not..it's definitely not the right place for you...

And if your still stuck after 2-3 years... consider grad school.

Keep it together and you will go far..

Nov 19, 2011

Stay at Mendoza and try to get an i-banking job. Mendoza is already a non-target, if you lose that, you pretty much forfeit any chance at landing a decent job. Why do you want to study Econ at grad school? Get an MBA from an M7 after a couple years in banking.

Nov 19, 2011

Finance > Economics any day. There are a lot of applications in finance that you can utilize in the real world. Economics' price theory and relationships exists only in an ideal world -- there are some practical applications sure -- but finance practical applications fare much better...this includes in the workforce.

Nov 19, 2011

Since money isn't an issue, and you're intelligent (You got accepted into Brandeis), you should apply to targets that you have a shot at. It is very important if you want to get into banking.

Nov 19, 2011

Without getting into specific pros/cons of each, at face value I'd say the econ guy is going to have slightly better odds with I-banking opportunities.

To be 100% honest, undergrad majors mean so little to banks when hiring. It's more pertinent that you're at a top school and have a solid GPA. If you have made strides there, and show a genuine interest, you'll be in a better much better position.

My vote goes for the econ degree from the better liberal arts school.

Nov 19, 2011

Are you an econ major? If so you're screwed.

.. it doesn't really matter what your major is

Nov 19, 2011
Ace6904:

Are you an econ major? If so you're screwed.

.. it doesn't really matter what your major is

Were you asking me or the original poster? I dual majored in undergrad (finance/economics).

Nov 19, 2011

7 applications is way too little IMO. unless your CV is wicked sick, you should be applying to everywhere rather than restricting yourself to your dream companies. are you in first or second year?

Nov 19, 2011

First year at the moment. Many people I've spoken to before applying only applied to 3-4, some 10. Maybe they lie, I cannot say.

Offshore liffe

Nov 19, 2011
postman:

7 applications is way too little IMO. unless your CV is wicked sick, you should be applying to everywhere rather than restricting yourself to your dream companies. are you in first or second year?

I honestly haven't heard the word 'wicked' used in years, since I moved from my home town. I hope it makes a comeback.

Nov 19, 2011

I don't know you and I don't mean this in any way as an insult or putdown, but having read this, let's just say that I would not need you to tell me you were socially awkward before ascertaining it myself. You strike me as the type of guy who likes to overanalyze...out loud. I could be wrong. But were I in your shoes I'd continue to work on my social skills. Lighten up. You're a freshman. Your grades/classes are impressive. Work experience good. I have to assume that you had some issues at the recruitment events. Put it this way...all of the names you dropped in your apps...would they vouch for you? remember you? Sometimes you do everything right and things still don't work out.

You also mentioned applying a month later(!) than you should have. That's no bueno given how highly competitive an industry you're trying to break in.

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You don't need to start treating this process like "work" for another year. you've checked all the right boxes, now just try to enjoy meeting people. Give yourself some interesting stories/experiences. Your story came off 100% academic. Not that hard to add some charisma if you're out there living and taking genuine interest in other people. you'll be fine

Nov 19, 2011
TheGrind:

I don't know you and I don't mean this in any way as an insult or putdown, but having read this, let's just say that I would not need you to tell me you were socially awkward before ascertaining it myself. You strike me as the type of guy who likes to overanalyze...out loud. I could be wrong. But were I in your shoes I'd continue to work on my social skills. Lighten up. You're a freshman. Your grades/classes are impressive. Work experience good. I have to assume that you had some issues at the recruitment events. Put it this way...all of the names you dropped in your apps...would they vouch for you? remember you?

Yes, in some situations I revert back to my old self and get scared to do anything. Usually I'm fine. It's all dependent on my mood and something I'm trying to iron out. You really did hit the nail on the head with over analytical (in some situations) but I'm sure I'm not 'that socially awkward guy'. [Aside: the first post was mostly me whilst in a down, reflective mood]

Every name bar one would vouch for me. There are some background processes with these people which I'm hoping will come through. The biggest issue is that these are mostly contacts I made before uni and as such, due to my location, are not in IB/ST but more PE/AM/PWM.

I've known for a while that the area I need to focus on is the self. I just find it difficult and it's something I'm trying to overcome. The initial buzz of freshers week helped, but once the workload kicked in I found it hard to maintain the momentum. Going to have to pick myself up by the boot straps and get back on track!

Offshore liffe

Nov 19, 2011

Apply for Spring weeks next year so you can get the fast track from that bank for Summer Analyst role in your final summer then either do a Masters or a gap year

Nov 19, 2011

bro, you're only in fucking first year. screw spring weeks, they may help you get a fast track for proper summer internships later but other than that you learn next to nothing. focus on getting first class honours and be active in clubs and societies. join like the finance society and take on a leadership position to show that you're really interested even though you don't do a econs/finance degree.

Nov 19, 2011

ps. Im a native Spanish speaker, proficient in English ( 2nd language) and have an intermediate level in Portuguese.... even if this might not mean anything to smaller firms who don't really conduct business internationally.

Nov 19, 2011

Economics is, I think, seen as a suitable degree for financial services, particularly some types of research and sales and trading. I say that as having an economics degree, and going back for seconds with a masters in a few months' time.

The knowledge of macroeconomics is useful obviously, and many of the quantitative techniques you learn from more advanced economics and econometrics are the same used in finance.

That said, non-target school and mediocre GPA might be an issue. You'll definitely want to push that GPA up as high as you possibly can, try and network and maybe consider grad studies at a target school, if you can get in.

Nov 19, 2011

that's my major as well and internship wise it did not bring anything in. I did not use any econ knowledge. Only my accounting courses came in handy. Overall it can get you a job but useful wise it just gives you analytical thinking.

Nov 19, 2011

Honestly, I would go into accounting at a non-target. I don't want to go into specifics, but I too studied economics from a non-target (3.93 cumulative GPA) and had a very hard time. I'm not saying it's impossible--people make it in finance all the time with economics backgrounds--I'm just saying that it's relatively difficult.

Nov 19, 2011

generally speaking, an econ degree is 100% fine.
the problem you're going to encounter is coming from a non-target and having a mediocre gpa, in which case even if you had an accounting and/or finance degree you'd run into difficulty. i'm not saying this to discourage you, just assume you're going to have to get your internships and jobs through networking moreso than just throwing your resume into your school's OCR pile

Nov 19, 2011

For Fortune 500 recruiting, most finance departments want to see accounting, finance, or economics. Maybe 20--30% of them only look for accounting or finance.

Nov 19, 2011

Thank you guys :)

Nov 19, 2011

Edited.

Nov 19, 2011

I would switch. Accounting is probably the most boring subject in the known universe. Is that how you want to live your life?

To the starving man, beans are caviar

Nov 19, 2011

Exactly, I would dread being an "Accountant" for a long time. However, I do like knowing the various financial aspects of a business. I definitely don't have a passion for Accounting, but at the same time I don't dread it as much as I suspect others do. If I don't go into some sort of investing relating profession, I want to start my own business. For that reason, I thought Accounting may be useful, but like you said it's boring. I want to stop looking at school as a ticket to a job but rather an opportunity to learn and grow.

Nov 19, 2011

You know what's worse than being an accountant? Being unemployed. Accounting, at a non target, is without a doubt your best option. Not only will it give you tangible skills that are highly marketable, but it will also allow you to transition into finance once you acquire relevant experience. Getting an MBA or an MSF at a target, where you will gain access to their network/OCR, will facilitate this transition (which you can easily do with an accounting undergrad degree). So to answer your questions:

1. Neither. Accounting >>>>>>>>>>>>> Finance >> Economics (at a non target). It's not impossible to get into high finance with a finance degree or or an economics degree from a non target, but it's difficult. You need a very high GPA, solid internships and you need to network.
2. No, it wont be repetitive, but who cares even if it was?
3. Yes.
4. Yes, before your MBA. It looks good on your application and shows that you're serious. At the same time, it's only really useful for Asset Management positions.

That being said, George Mason University has a top notch economics program that I find very appealing due to its ideological slant (extremely conservative). At the same time, it isn't highly ranked or even highly regarded, maybe because of this slant. There were a few Nobel laureates there (Vernon and Buchanan) and there still are serious people in their faculty (Garrison, Caplan, White, Williams and others).

But again, I would only study economics there if I was interested in getting a phD in economics (with a focus on public choice theory or monetary theory).

Tommy-Wilson:

I realize most people in my situation will not make it into a top finance position, but I rather pursue what I love and fail than do something I would not enjoy.

This is retarded. Please don't repeat this.

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Nov 19, 2011

Thanks Esuric for the fantastic reply,

I've been thinking Accounting is the best for my situation, but have just been reading into it too much on various forums with countless differences of opinions, from people in countless different circumstances with different ambitions. For the scenario you laid out, should I do the 5th year masters in Accounting for my CPA? With my grades i'm confident I can get into the Big 4, which is decent work experience. If I get my CFA designation with a CPA and Big 4 experience, will I be a serious candidate for top notch programs?

Nov 19, 2011

Depends on how much course work you have in Accounting so far. Really, a good thing to do would be to add Finance as a double major and then worst case you can have the hours required for the CPA. Best case, you get the investments level job instead.

Money Never Sleeps

Nov 19, 2011

Lehman,

I was considering a double Major in Accounting/Finance as well, since that would give me hours for the CPA designation. But I believe Accounting firms prefer the Masters in Accounting. After doing well in my Finance Class my professor recommended I make it my major or make it a double major. We had a chat about what I wanted to do and he recommended I do Accounting, because from my school specifically the connections to Big 4 is just a more clearly defined route. He said it would be good experience for a decent grad school, but wasn't positive how the transition would be from doing that to going the finance route. He got his masters in Finance from Wharton so I took his words of wisdom as reasonably credible.

Nov 19, 2011

Yep that is very common. It'll depend on the school for which route is most common to get the 150 hours. From my experience I have seen probably 40% of the future CPA's take another B.S. degree route. It also could be more common for those who go the corporate accounting route but still want to get the CPA. Either way, just depends on what you want. Basically I just would not fully switch the major in your final year, which is what I suspected your original case to be implicating. Either double it up, or do your Masters in ACC route.

Money Never Sleeps

Nov 19, 2011
Tommy-Wilson:

I've been thinking Accounting is the best for my situation, but have just been reading into it too much on various forums with countless differences of opinions, from people in countless different circumstances with different ambitions.

I'm not an expert and I don't know the optimal path for you. You have a few options available to you, though, depending on what you want to do.

For example, you might decide that you love accounting and you may pursue a specialized MAcc (like Vanderbilt's valuation program) or a general MAcc at a top university (like McCombs). You could realize that you hate accounting and want to get into corporate or quant finance. From there, you could attend a top-tier MSF program (MIT, CMC, WUSTL) and make the transition that way. If your work experience is strong enough, you could (and should) obviously go for an MBA in finance at a top 15 program. You could transition into an MBA after you finish a specialized masters degree. In other words, you have good/feasible options.

Also, the CFA is very serious. I think completing the CFA before you apply to business schools would look good, but I'm not entirely sure. Good luck.

Nov 19, 2011

Regardless of what caliber of college you go to, the best option is almost always to work for a few years (a MINIMUM of 2) before going for a MBA. If you go for a MBA directly after college, you're basically saying that you fxcked up and picked the wrong major in undergrad. That's my impression, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one who thinks that way. Unless you had a great scholarship for a 5 year BA/BS + MBA program, it's not going to look good, and you're just going to end up with the same jobs that you'd get with a straight bachelor's.

Don't pick a major because it's "safe;" pick it because it's interesting to you and (MORE IMPORTANTLY) because the career prospects are interesting to you. A lot of people nail the first part, but they end up with a shxtty degree that won't get them work.

Business Economics is a pretty sweet major...emphasis on "business." I'm not very interested in the political policy side of it, but a business-focused economics major combined with another business major (accounting or other) is very strong.

Nov 19, 2011

Thanks everyone for your input,

Lehman, I actually haven't taken the senior level accounting courses yet, so IF I were to do finance it would take me roughly just as long (1 1/2 years from now). That said, I think if I pursue Accounting getting my CPA is a must, so going that route I will have to choose (and thankfully have some time to consider) between the MAcc or doubling up with finance.

Esuric, I completely agree that Accounting from my 2nd tier school is the best path, and the fact that I have so many options tells me that if I work hard I can find a path to the success I want from where I'm at. Future MBA or Master's in Finance are viable options, and if I work on Accounting now I won't have to currently worry about the specific path just yet.

Vinsanity, I definitely am going to work before getting an MBA, assuming I still even want to at that point. I believe from where I'm at that's the path i'll have to go, but that's 7 steps ahead of where i'm at now so it doesn't make sense to stress over it. Of course, I will get the best grades/work experience possible so that I can keep as many doors open as possible. You say most people nail picking their major, but end up with a degree that won't give them work. That sounds about right, but I feel like my situation is the opposite. Accounting will get me work, with economics i'm not as positive (at least, not the same level of work I know I can off the bat w/ Accounting from my current school). I do enjoy economics quite a bit, which is really why I am considering a major in it. I can't say I like Accounting as much, but I don't by any means hate it, and I do enjoy aspects. Accounting is very useful, and I believe the career prospects with it are really in line with what I want (although I'm not 100% positive about that, which is why I made this thread to begin with). Being a number cruncher for 30 years would kill me, but if doing Accounting work (I'm thinking Audit) for several years opens up corporate finance/investing relating options then I see that as a good, and probably my most, viable option.

Nov 19, 2011

George Mason's economics program is fairly well known because it is one of the few schools who's economics departments is dominated by Austrian economists. Whether this is good or bad depends upon your own school of thought, but this may result in their department being stigmatized by other schools.

Nov 19, 2011

stick with accounting man. People in finance love accounting backgrounds because they know all the technicalities. especially if you want to go into IB or investment management.

Whats your end goal? sorry if you said it above, just easier to read if written in short succint points. work backwards from the end goal. maybe the mba isn't needed at all, im a nontarget and even I feel its a waste of time

Nov 19, 2011

and uh if your profile picture is you, please change it...for your benefit

Nov 19, 2011

Go read the Marginal Revolution blog by Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabbarok. Just an example of some of the economists at George Mason. I don't know what the best career track would be, but economics at George Mason would be damn interesting (if you like economics to begin with that is).

Nov 19, 2011

So you are a rising senior with a major in accounting and are thinking about changin majors in your last year? This sounds like a huge setback and I don't really think that changing now would really be that beneficial. It's not like you're an art history major that just figured out you want to do finance.

Changing from accounting to finance/economics just doesn't seem worth it to me when you're in your last year.

Nov 19, 2011

Agree with the above comment. Probably not practical to switch.

Nov 19, 2011

Bernanke: The economics program, for the reasons you stated, I think is pretty well known. But does that necessarily correlate to being a top economics program, with good job offers? I'm thinking from other responses probably not, but no doubt it would be an interesting curriculum.

Fetter: I'm not certain I want to do IB specifically, but investment management one way or another. IF I don't go that route, i'm fa