High School Senior Here -- Where should I ED? (Early Decision)

Currently, I'm looking into going into consulting or some sort of finance job -- forgive me, I honestly am not too well-versed in the technicalities of these fields. I'd like to work in the Northeast (or at least East Coast) if possible after graduation, but obviously that's easier said than done, so I'm very flexible about career locations in the future (plus, this is way too early to really pinpoint that down, anyways).

I'm debating between ED'ing (applying binding early decision) to Cornell Dyson AEM, UPenn (Wharton), Northwestern, UChicago and Brown. I like the latter 3 for the curriculum flexibility, but Dyson and Wharton do offer more business-specific classes that may be helpful to acquire practical skills. I like Dyson a lot, but I'm not too sure about the location (and Cornell as a whole seems really big, though Dyson is smaller). Also, I've heard being in Dyson doens't give that much of an advantage over the rest of Cornell, but I may be wrong.

Wharton obviously has name brand, but people have told me it's very toxic/hypercompetitive and honestly, I'm worried that I wouldn't enjoy it, and that I'd spend too much time being sabotaged by/compared with my peers to truly be able to blossom into my best self.

Northwestern and UChicago are similar in my mind -- I like Northwestern a little better because of their location. I'd apply for Econ at UChicago, but probably Industrial Engineering (Financial Engineering focus) at NU. I worry that they're a little far from New England for opportunities, though.

Brown's open curriculum is what attracts me to it-- I'd be able to take a ton of different classes without any core requirements, and get a liberal arts education. I like Providence, and the student body seems really happy. That said, I'm not sure it's quite on the level as the others, but I may be totally wrong!

Sorry this is kind of long -- again, if I'm misinformed anywhere, please correct me. I fully acknowledge the limited scope of my knowledge, and I really appreciate anyone's critique to any of my arguments here, and any advice on where to head from this point on. Thank you all so much.

p.s. If there are any other schools you'd recommend me look into, either for ED/EA or just Regular Decision, please let me know! Thank you.

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Comments (7)

Aug 1, 2020 - 12:57am

If your sole criteria (which I know it's not) is career, Penn is your bet. But honestly, you would very likely be fine with recruitment at any of those schools - so if you're trying to maximize your chances of getting to specific jobs or firms, Penn will get you there, but you can still get there via any of the other schools while also optimizing for other aspects that you might value in a college experience.

FWIW I'm sure various people have different experiences - not to discount what you've heard about Penn (I did not go there) but in reality sabotage is not necessarily as common as you might think - and hypercompetitiveness won't matter in the broader context of your classes. Join a student org of some kind if you're worried about that so you have a community to support you through the bullshit.

Aug 1, 2020 - 10:43am

Chicago's curriculum isn't that flexible

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Aug 1, 2020 - 11:50am

If you disregard finance/consulting placements, (all the schools you listed are targets anyway) which would be your top choice then? Who knows, you might go into college and want to do something completely different.

That being said, it seems like you really like Brown, and from what I've heard its basically just a step or two below HYPSM

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