Gtown vs. Vandy vs. UVA vs. Wake Forest vs. Emory

Gtown vs. Vandy vs. UVA vs. Wake Forest vs. Emory

The college experience itself aside, how is each school (undergrad) viewed by recruiters from top investment banking firms on Wall Street? If I am able to get solid grades and ECs at every school, how would each look on a resume? How would they help (or hurt) me in terms of getting highly competitive internships at places like Goldman, Morgan, etc in NYC?

Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Comments (41)

Jan 7, 2014 - 11:50am

The college experience itself aside? I'd say that's the most important thing to consider for the ages of 18-22. Look you're on WSO as a high school senior. If you apply the things you learn here, attend any of these schools, and make a 3.5+, you'll be well on your way to getting an IBD SA gig.

That said, of your listed choices, I'd say Vandy and UVA offer the best OCR opportunities. All the schools have a pretty solid alumni base on wall street though.

Jan 7, 2014 - 12:01pm

For IB I would go Gtown > UVA > Emory > Vanderbilt > Wake Forest. Gtown does incredibly well on the street- particularly at JPM, MS, and GS. UVA also does well, though to be honest I have seen more Darden students than UVA undergrads. Can't go wrong with either. After those 2 a big drop- as for Wake Forest haven't seen anyone represented in NY, though I'd imagine they have placement at Wells in Charlotte and some of the other southern banks.

At the very least it would be super close between Gtown and UVA, not a "UVA end of discussion" by any means.

Jan 7, 2014 - 12:20pm

Georgetown is great for undergrad recruiting into IBD, merely okay for graduate. I think UVA and Georgetown are both solid choices so pick between the two based on money and how you like the schools.

Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."
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Best Response
Jan 7, 2014 - 3:38pm


There are quite a few wake forest alums at JPM, GS and Barclays -- not quite sure what Black Jack was talking about. Of the BBs, JPM, GS, Barclays and Citi actively recruit wake students and most others have taken students recently for IBD/S&T. Very loyal alumni base.

Thanks Wake Forest student.

In terms of purely IBD placement, Gtown and UVA tower above the others. I would say Gtown if similar costs and UVA if instate (even if you are making a decision ignoring the experience, there are pretty real differences - UVA will be more fun/southern, Gtown more intellectual/New England vibe).

Jan 7, 2014 - 3:49pm



There are quite a few wake forest alums at JPM, GS and Barclays -- not quite sure what Black Jack was talking about. Of the BBs, JPM, GS, Barclays and Citi actively recruit wake students and most others have taken students recently for IBD/S&T. Very loyal alumni base.

Thanks Wake Forest student.

lol so true

Jan 7, 2014 - 4:04pm

I have no clue about Vandy and Wake Forrest, and Gtown/UVA has been covered pretty extensively.

However, RE Emory. They're a strong target for Lazard (takes 2-3 kids a year from what I remember) and the king of southeast if you're not obsessed with NYC. You'll live like a king making 100k in any southeast city as a first year analyst, and my friends there definitely work less on a whole.

Also, the kids from my high school who went to Emory were honestly not that bright. I don't think it'll be hard to shine there relative to your classmates. They have a decent alumni base, and if you network, I don't see why you wouldn't have a shot at most of the BB's (not as much of an alumni base regarding EB's).

Plus, if finances are an issue, Emory has the best financial aid program out of these schools from my recollection.

Disclosure: got into emory and turned them down.

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Jan 8, 2014 - 12:28pm

The survey indicates that 36 people from the class of 2012 graduating from the undergrad business school accepted FT offers in "Investment banking". This is definitely less than the actual number who were exposed to investment banking at Georgetown to account for people who didn't get return offers after their summer and people who decided that IBD wasn't for them after their summer, or people who didn't respond to the survey.

In terms of talking to my friend about recruiting this year they have serious representation from all the BB's with a decent number of MM's and boutiques coming to campus as well. Any other school on his list would have to offer some serious OCR to out do Gtown

Jan 7, 2014 - 6:30pm

Georgetown will have the best placement into NYC.
UVA (if McIntire) places very well also. Not as strong in NYC as Georgetown.
Emory will place well in the Southeast, but simply isn't as finance oriented as the others.
Vandy struggles because of its location (Nashville is fun, but not a finance hub). I still know a good amount of guys from Vandy that ended up in banking, though (Atlanta, NYC, Charlotte).
WF (if Calloway, or whatever it is called now) places very well in Charlotte (B of A, Wells, Jef real estate, some boutiques) and has some people scattered at the BBs in NYC.

All of these are great schools. It's weird that a high school senior would already have their heart set on IB in NYC, but if that's the case I think Georgetown and UVA are your best bet. The other 3 will offer great opportunities, but primarily south of the Mason Dixon.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."
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Jan 7, 2014 - 9:44pm

OP keep in mind this is regarding how much of a target a school is for IBD vs. academic/educational quality and the overall prestige of the school.

With that in mind, in terms of IBD recruiting it is easily: Georgetown > UVA > Emory > Vandy > WF

While these schools are pretty much on par in academic quality more or less, banks do not come to all of them equally. The main part here is location. Although UVA is located in the south it still has a strong presence from the street as its MBA program is top notch (easily best MBA program in this list) and the UG program benefits from this.

I am familiar with Emory OCR and the only BBs/elite shops that actively recruit there for IBD are Citi (capital markets origination) and Lazard. Other banks that consider Emory a target are BMO, HLHZ, SunTrust, Robert W. Baird, Raymond James, and few other regional banks. To make it up to NYC you really need to network and land interviews without ocr if you are looking at shops like JPM/MS/GS. Not a lot of people from Emory end up at GS/MS but JPM/BAML/WF are well represented.

Jan 7, 2014 - 10:41pm


“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”
Jan 8, 2014 - 6:39pm

Not sure why everyone thinks Emory recruiting doesn't have good access to top banks in NYC. Did my undergrad there, and its like 80/20 for bankers who end up in NYC vs. everywhere else, including Atlanta (I am included in the 80% who ended up in NYC after graduation). OCR is very active for banking; I was even on the other side of the table, interviewing [and hiring] numerous Emory students (FT and internships) to my former team. Can't say I knew many people who wanted banking and didn't get it (well, I suppose some went into BO/MO roles). Consulting recruiting, on the other hand, was surprisingly more scarce. All that said, if you don't go to/get into Goizueta, it becomes a serious uphill battle without networking.

And Atlanta seriously kicks ass. I'd take it over any of those locations, but could justify Nashville or DC (though ATL is much cheaper and easier to live in that DC).

Bottom line, go to the school you are most comfortable at, in the city you'd most enjoy. It's 4 of the best years of your life and a major financial investment, so you damn well better enjoy it. Just work hard, prepare for interviews, get engaged on campus, and network. If you're committed to putting in the work to stay towards the top of your class, you can land an analyst role from any of those schools.

Jul 26, 2017 - 8:00pm

Georgetown without a question is the best of those.
UVA/Vandy take a not too far but definitely not close second.
Emory right below UVA/Vandy.
Wake Forest is way down here. Sorry, compared to these four schools, Wake Forest doesn't stand a chance.

Jul 27, 2017 - 9:04am

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