Help me choose: UMich Ross vs. Duke University

I was fortunate enough to get into both great schools. In terms of breaking into IBanking or other wall street careers, which school would best suit me for getting access to these opportunities?

Thank you!

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Comments (19)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 6, 2021 - 10:50pm

Ross junior so take that into consideration.

I have a good friend at Duke and she told me how their placement is often not as great as she was thinking. Of course, Duke is an amazing school but if you do a quick LinkedIn research you will see how many more analysts at EB, for example, are from Ross compared to Duke. On the other side, I think that Duke has better relationships with BB

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 6, 2021 - 11:19pm

I honestly think Ross has better placement on average. But I personally would find Duke to be alot more fun. You will be totally fine either way, don't overthink this too much

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Apr 7, 2021 - 12:12am

Weather is nicer at duke and personally think it's a slightly better experience (though Michigan from my friends seems like a great social experience too). If you're thinking solely IB Ross probably has slightly more connections, but Duke kills it for consulting and has better cache overall than Mich.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 7, 2021 - 1:03am

Didn't go to either, but Duke is a pretty solid place from both an academic / social perspective. Definitely a step above in terms of general perception and I'm sure placement is fine. Wouldn't optimize your college decision around placement between these schools.

Most Helpful
  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Apr 7, 2021 - 1:40pm

Duke student that secured FT IB. For what it's worth, I had to make a similar decision and chose it over a large Southern state school with really solid placements (think U/V/A) that I actually preferred at first. I thought I'd give some insights followed by a recommendation that you can completely ignore.

First thing you'll notice is our alumni are very receptive to networking (like 75% hit rate in my experience) and extremely loyal when it comes to batting for you. If someone doesn't respond right away it's because they're working 90 hours a week so don't take it personally. I'm typing this up for you because you're a potential student, if that indicates anything. Don't hesitate to start reaching out on LinkedIn early freshman year after doing a little bit of legwork yourself to ask educated questions.

The Duke Investment Club (DIC), along with an ex-Wall St Professor, manages the established pipeline into IB. Join the DIC your first semester, complete the 10 week training program, pitch a stock, pass the final exam, and then you're certified as a member at the end of the first semester and have an extremely solid foundation on IB technicals and the financial services industry. Then your spring semester apply to be an analyst and maybe continue up the leadership chain. Lot of great placements for DIC members and officers (seeing is believing so check LinkedIn). The professor to know is Emma Rasiel, who was formerly a senior banker at Goldman Sachs. Get to know her once you're knowledgeable about the industry and have made a little progress. There's plenty of opportunities to take finance oriented courses but you'll figure this out on your own.

Unless you're intending to jump off a bridge if you don't get a Centerview offer, you will get the job you want coming out of Duke. We've even people go directly into FT MF PE analyst positions. General grade inflation makes it easy to get a high GPA compared to many comparable state schools that are way more academically rigorous/competitive (I'm gonna get shit on for this one but it's just what I've experienced).

A lot of students are very wealthy yet also down to earth. We pull a from a diverse pool of candidates including many international students. Everyone I've met here is either really smart, really rich, really lucky, or really athletic. At the end of the day people in all of these categories are fun to be around and good to know. I don't identify as particularly smart or successful so my peers inspired me and still do. Don't forget that at a school like Duke most of these people are pretty much nerds in the best sense of the word. 

You're comparing a school with 50,000 students to a school with 7,000 students. If it's clear that you want the big state school experience, go Mich and don't look back. Otherwise, my biased opinion - go to Duke, make the most of your time, and enjoy the brand name recognition and sports team hatred for life.

  • Intern in HF - Other
Apr 7, 2021 - 2:39pm

Duke and it's not even close if you want to work anywhere other than Chicago. Prestige, brand, academics, and network all trump Ross. 

I'm going for my MBA and haven't even stepped foot on campus but I've been able to set up about a dozen conversations with people running multi-billion dollar portfolios and CEO's of billion dollar companies in the past two months through cold reaching out on Linkedin saying I'm going to Fuqua next year. The people that go to Duke or attend Fuqua are incredibly loyal to the school and that will help you as you try to break in. The buy-side network that they have is incredible especially if you're interested in credit and will trump Ross. Going through LinkedIn you'll see that kids from Duke even during UG are going to and interning at MF PE in NYC

Ross is a solid school but the opportunities that you can achieve outside of IB out of UG won't be comparable. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 10, 2021 - 5:15pm

I graduated from ross and I would probably have chosen duke had I got in

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 28, 2021 - 1:29pm

Know more than one person who took Ross over Duke and killed it during recruiting and had fun too... just listen to your heart.

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