Fuqua v Darden v Stern v LBS

Curios as to the strength of these programs for MBA associate recruiting from a non-IBD / Big 4 transaction advisory background. Looking to work long term in Europe but MBA Associate hires are decreasing yearly from what I see in London. Seeking to do 2 years in IBD NYC and lateral to London before attempting to make a move into PE / HF / Cord Dev. How do these programs place MBAs on the street relative to one another excl. LBS?

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Comments (12)

  • Summer Associate in IB-M&A
Oct 22, 2021 - 12:07pm

I'd say Darden and Fuqua are on par or the reverse order that you have.

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  • Summer Associate in IB-M&A
Oct 22, 2021 - 11:59am

You will get looks from them all. Stern is the best here obviously, proximity wins out. Both Darden and Fuqua place well at the BB's and decently at the EB's (numbers wise clearly less than Stern, mainly because of the sheer number of people recruiting for IB at those schools vs Stern). 

Ultimately, assuming you're a personable, regular human being that can small talk, has a confident reason for why IB, understands what you're signing up for, you'll get looks. Up to you to convert into offers.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 22, 2021 - 12:07pm

From a location-agnostic standpoint, Stern > LBS > Fuqua > Darden

If you want NYC, Stern > Fuqua > Darden >>>>>>> LBS

If you want to go straight to London, Stern >= LBS > Fuqua > Darden

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 22, 2021 - 12:20pm

First, if you want to be in the US then drop LBS. Second, the common advice will be Stern and then either Fuqua or Darden. Personally, I would much much rather be at Darden or Fuqua than Stern. While the point of an MBA program is career-oriented you will be spending 2 years at this location. I'd say Stern will give you a shot at recruiting for any and every group but not necessarily with the highest odds of placement whereas Darden or Fuqua will close you off from some EB groups but will have higher placement odds given the smaller cohort that is recruiting. I anecdotally saw better placement by Darden but that could just have been a function of the groups/banks that I was speaking with and subsequently joined.

Oct 22, 2021 - 1:00pm

Thanks - appreciate the feedback. Consensus is that NYU trumps Fuqua/ Darden (they are both relatively interchangeable and choice will come down to school and community fit) given the proximity for networking and access to Tier 2 BBs and EBs.

I guess two follow on questions are:

i) Has anyone seen first hand the diminishing opportunities MBAs are seeing in recruiting for Associate positions in London BBs?

ii) How difficult is it to lateral to London from NYC after 1-2 years if I perform well / generally impress those I am working for?

Reiterating my long term goal is to work in Europe but personally would like to work and study in the US for 4-5 years before re-locating back here.

Oct 22, 2021 - 1:31pm

As someone who graduated from Darden/ Fuqua/ T15 outside of NYC, it is actually easier to recruit NYC IB in my opinion from one of these schools. There are probably 200+ candidates applying from Stern who have strong finance backgrounds for the most part. In comparison there are probably ~50 applying from Darden/ Fuqua with very mixed experience.

If you are a somewhat competent and personable candidate at these schools your placement is pretty much guaranteed. And your quality of life/ bank account is dramatically higher during those 2 years.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Oct 27, 2021 - 6:12pm

The LDN offices of most banks no longer hire MBA associates. The few that do hire in the low single digits.

You would have better chances with an internal transfer from NYC > LDN. Any global bank with a large LDN office would normally be open to that if you are a strong performer.

Oct 22, 2021 - 1:00pm

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