Importance of Undergraduate Prestige?

dsmurf1's picture
Rank: Chimp | 4

Does the prestige and ranking of the university you attend for your ungraduate degree play a substantial role in obtaining a sought after job? I have always wanted to attend Texas Tech University because of the culture and people there. I also have family attending that university. On top of that I would be able to get a full ride scholarship. Would attending Texas Tech hurt my chances in getting into a prestigious MBA program later on and therefore affect job oppurtunities? (This is assuming I am very successfull at Texas Tech and graduate with their "Highest Honors" program.) Thank you for your time and please only comment if you have experience relating to this inquiry.

Comments (68)

Jul 25, 2010

for mba alone a lot more comes into play than your u grad....assuming you have top grades, good ecs, 720+ gmat, good work experience you will can get into top bschools. If wall street or IB is your goal out of undergrad, im really not to familiar with texas tech but I know UT places into all of the houston BB's and some NYC gigs.

Jul 25, 2010

Thanks. I have heard from a lot of people in the field the same thing about getting into a good MBA program. I know some people within Merrill Lynch that will probably be able to connect me with a job straight out of undergrad for work experience before attempting an MBA. The issue is, Texas Tech is a tier 3 school, so very low on any firms radars. I am just seeing if I will be able to make the jump from Texas Tech to hopefully ivy league MBA program to major wall street firm.

Jul 25, 2010

bro assuming your a freshman you can go to wall street straight out of UG,,,just get a PWM internship after freshman year at a bulge bracket in Texas develop some relationships and network then get a boutique internship summer after sophomore year or better yet get into IBD at the BB you worked at after freshman year then if you wanna go to NYC after junior year you should be competitive assuming you can leverage your connections and network. Right now focus on grades, internships, EC's, networking and learning about the industry. An MBA is a very long time away and you have a lot to focus on from now until then. It can be done it will just be an uphill battle and as long as you are aware going into it, you should be able to work around that.

Jul 25, 2010

You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

1) Top tier MBA programs REQUIRE full time experience. 4 years undergrad -> 2 years IB -> 2 years PE/VC/IB/Corp Dev -> MBA is one of the "standard" path for bankers.

Oh wait, I am wrong, there was a case of Wharton MBA accepting a girl straight out of the undergrad... not only she had top grades @ ivy league, amazing ECs, and internships, she also competed in Winter Freaking Olympics...

Oh and there was a kid who got into Harvard MBA w/o bachelor's degree. He also had only one job... being a personal assistant of the 43rd President of the US (Bush, who happened to graduate Harvard). You get the picture.

2) Your undergrad will KILL your chances of getting into IB. My non-target undergrad looks like a top-target -feeder compared to Texas Tech University.

Yes there is networking, and yes, everything is possible, and yes, there are cases of students from crappiest backgrounds getting into top IB, but they are outliers. It's not even an uphill battle for you, it's a freaking Normandy Battle.

I think it's time for you to break the family tradition of attending a crappy undergrad.

Jul 25, 2010

"Yes there is networking, and yes, everything is possible, and yes, there are cases of students from crappiest backgrounds getting into top IB, but they are outliers. It's not even an uphill battle for you, it's a freaking Normandy Battle."

This is actually pretty true. In IB, a lot of it is about what school you went to and your grades/internships. It's a rough battle, but if you land a BB PWM one summer and a boutique IB the next you should be in a decent shape come time for SA recruiting or FT recruiting the next year.

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Jul 25, 2010

In Texas you have a great chance, there are alot of botiques out there to break into after ugrad, then work towards MBA for BB or another opportunity. I go to Tech and there are alot of alums in alot of dallas hedge funds and boutique ibs throughout the state. I feel sorry for the easterners who have to go to ivy to get a job at t boutique or a hedgefund. WE DONT HAVE IVIES TO COMPETE WITH HERE, there are only so many UT/Rice alums to go around.

p.s. Job market is also one of the best in the union

Jul 25, 2010

at the very least you can get an MBA from UT, they have no problem admitting TT alums.

Jul 25, 2010

Thanks everybody. So if I have good grades and test scores along with starting level jobs and internships in Merrill lynch it won't matter much that I went to tech? I know it makes everything harder but as long as it doesn't make it impossible, I'll be content.

Jul 25, 2010

I'm not even sure PussnBoots believes that nonsense.

Jul 25, 2010
Cartwright:

I'm not even sure PussnBoots believes that nonsense.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2006/5/22/bushs-... http://www.berkshirepartners.com/bio_gottesman.shtml
http://media.www.whartonjournal.com/media/storage/...
You are right, I am wrong. She -> he. Winter Olympics -> Summer Olympics. UPenn 1996 - 2001, Wharton MBA 2002-2003

dsmurf1:

Thanks everybody. So if I have good grades and test scores along with starting level jobs and internships in Merrill lynch it won't matter much that I went to tech? I know it makes everything harder but as long as it doesn't make it impossible, I'll be content.

Yes it won't matter for MBA. But for "starting level jobs" it will matter A LOT. This is WSO, so I assume that he wants to get into IB.

Jul 26, 2010

Puss in the Boots is right, in dickhead sort of way,

The UG won't really affect your bschool app if all of your other numbers and experiences are in line. I definitely saw a lot of kids from strange undergrads at my bschool- fortunately they were pretty much rockstars.

As for the I Banking, it will be difficult to break in from Texas Tech. It is not a feeder school, and its really displaced from the finance world. That being said, it definitely can be done. TT is still a pretty strong school, although Puss in the Boots makes it appears as though it were SUNY- Oswego.

But most importantly, you do not have to go into IB in order to goto a top business school. In fact, it has little correlation. Many of my banking friends are now just to heading grad school, and not all of them are going to HBS/Wharton. Those schools are only going to take so many former bankers, so the competition is high and not as guaranteed as most WSO monkey's would like to realize.

Jul 25, 2010

I am sorry if I sounded harsh. I come from a non-target background and it literally sucks. "University of Non-Target" will drag my resume down for next few years, until I "prove" my expertise through work experience.

I've heard stories of top-bucket non-target IB analysts getting no interviews at megafunds (not that it's my ultimate dream, but it still sucks knowing). Of course there are always exceptions.

Jul 26, 2010

Personally, I would take Kelley.

Jul 26, 2010

Kelley isn't prestigious either. But it does have OCR, so I'd take it along with the loans.

Jul 26, 2010

I have not met a single Knight on the Street yet, so I'd definitely take Kelley.

Jul 26, 2010

So are you're out of state, and IU is paying for half?

Jul 26, 2010

OP, I was in your exact shoes in 2009: transferring to Kelley but would have had to pay $20K per year. I chose the absolutely free state school option, which still wound up costing $20K total.

I will say this: you get what you pay for. Go to Kelley.

Jul 26, 2010

Did you get into UF?

Jul 26, 2010

Speaking of Florida schools, UF would be the best choice correct? I'm at a community college currently and I'm trying to work my way up.

Jul 26, 2010

Kelley in a heartbeat. You may have to pay more in the short term, but think about where you'll be 10-15 years from now with the resources and alumni network that Kelley has to offer.

"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

Jul 26, 2010

UF is the best in general, but down here in South Florida UM is strong, FIU for accounting here too.

Jul 26, 2010

If you are interested in banking, Kelley will get you there and your bonus from two year banking stint alone will pay for your kelley loans.

Jul 26, 2010

have met more than few people in banking and PE from Indiana, have yet to meet someone from UCF (although a good amount from UF)

Jul 26, 2010

I'm OOS and to my surprise I didn't get into UF in state that's why I'm going for Kelley OOS. Thanks guys I think my decision is clear here now

Jul 26, 2010

Think of college as an investment in yourself. If you're not willing to invest in yourself how are you going to expect someone to invest in you?

Jul 26, 2010

Why is everyone telling this guy to take 80k worth of loans for Kelley? Hell, I don't know anyone taking more than 50k worth of loans (over 4 years) for Wharton/Penn. There's no guarantee you're going to get an investment banking job out of kelley and even if you do, the bonuses wont be big enough to pay for 80k worth of loans. For your own sake, go to UCF on a full ride, get a high GPA (I can promise you that you'll be able to get a 3.8> your first year if you put in the time) and transfer to UF, which is extremely simple to do if you have the GPA. UF has great OCR and routinely sends students to middle market banks and occasionally to BBs.

Jul 26, 2010

go kelley

Jul 26, 2010

Definitely go to Kelley. If you fall short of getting into IB, which I think you should be able to if you are smart, dedicated to finance and get into the workshop, you'll at least get a Big 4 accounting job most likely. I choose a school 20k cheaper per year than Kelley, and even though my school sends about ~10 to IB every year, I regret not choosing Kelley. If you get into IB from Kelley, there's a wide network in Chicago for IB/PE, and I would assume that the network is pretty tight. A huge mistake that I made.

Jul 26, 2010

go to UCF for a year, knock it out of the park, and go to UF as a sophomore. You won't miss any business school classes and you will save yourself 80k in student loans. Kelley is a great B10 state school but the business school is huge and IB recruiting is typically limited to a very select subset of the student body. IMO the 80k or more vs. UF is not worth the risk that you may end up in the 3-5 "elite firms" that IU gets access to and UF does not.

Jul 26, 2010

Would it be accurate to say that an IU kid who fails to get into the Investment Banking Workshop is out of luck when it comes to recruiting? In other words, how many kids outside of the workshop aim for I Banking, and how many of them actually get interview offers?

Jul 26, 2010

I have the same question. Kelly is great if you are in Workshop, but what about the other students? Workshop only takes about 32 per year.

Jul 26, 2010

i am sort of in the same situation, except that i'm an international, and will have to pay 150k for tuition. won't be taking a loan though.
I'm from Singapore and have a spot in business school locally as well.

What do you guys think?

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Jul 26, 2010

stay in the us. you'll have no problem beocming an ibanking analyst if you keep it up.

Jul 26, 2010

what's important isn't going to an 'elite school' per se. i went to top 5 school also so there's some credibility in what i say. the key is the recruiting availability at those schools; this will not exist at your european school

Jul 26, 2010

You make a compelling argument that it should be enough that you were accepted and proved your worth while you were there.

I see both sides because that experience is unique and relevant. But, I personally think it would be better to have the sheep skin read HYPS. You will be able to leverage that for the M&A experience in Eastern Europe if that is what interests you later down the road. But by the sounds of it, you want BB after you graduate.

Jul 26, 2010

4.0 is not top 1% at any of HYPS.

And "being accepted" != graduated from, so no it doesn't matter

Jul 26, 2010

It sounds the university you speak of is one you wouldn't have even applied to as a freshman, had it been in the US. Since the college is abroad, it's also unlikely that any prospective firms will have heard of it, as most Americans are only familiar with Oxbridge, LSE and the like.

This doesn't seem like a winning trade.

Jul 26, 2010

Could you be more specific as to the European Uni you might go to? Give comparables in that country if you prefer.

Jul 26, 2010

The university is in Germany and I would say it is comparable to the City College London (i.e. below Oxbridge and LSE), but I know that Lehman Bros/JPM/Morgan Stanley/Credit Suisse/Deutsche visit campus for presentations and/or first-round interviews. So it does seem to be a target school for some BBs.

Oh, and I should add that I have an agreement with HYPS stating that after I graduate in 08 from that school in Europe, I can return and complete my Master's degree in Engineering/Math at HYPS. Any comments?

Jul 26, 2010

You know, I'm a big fan of the road less travelled. My own path to Wall Street was unconventional, and I'd say that it has helped me not only as a banker but as a person to have taken it.

Still, I'd tell you to stay where you are, and do your best to take advantage of all the opportunities you have. If the only reason you want to go to Europe is for this work experience, don't do it. You'd be amazed by the opportunities at a top Ivy League school that most students overlook. I nearly did too.

Even if it's Eastern Europe you love, I'd ask you this: where else could you go to breakfast with George Schultz and Igor Ligachev, get a job as an assistant to a former director of the NSA, get dragged off in the middle of winter to meet Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, who might tell you he'd rather invade the Ukraine than let it walk away?

As a junior, you could have Eduard Shevardnadze tell you directly he didn't think he'd survive the year in the midst of his life and death struggle with Gamsakhurdia. That conversation could lead you into a situation where you find yourself in a two-day, running gunbattle across half of Ingushetia against a very determined band of Chechen boyeviks. Determined to get you, that is.

Those are the kinds of things that are open to you in a place where (if you take it) you have the chance to meet some utterly amazing people. The shame is that most people don't - I still regret not having taken better advantage of my time at school, and I did some pretty cool things.

dagobert:

Hello,

I am a sophomore at a top 5 college in the US (HYPS), and I will complete my second year here with a 4.0 GPA (among the top 1% of my class). I would like to enter a BB as an IB analyst, and I have already interned at ML last summer. Right now, I have the opportunity to complete my bachelor's degree in Europe while getting high-quality work experience with a boutique M&A firm specializing in Eastern Europe. However, since I will be doing the last 1,5 years at a European university, my degree will be conferred from that university, and not from HYPS. That European university is ranked among the top 50 in Europe and Asia, but is still MUCH less prestigious than the college I am at right now.

My question is: I know that it is important that you attend a top school, but how important is it that you actually get your diploma from that school? Isn't the important thing about an elite college that you were good enough to get accepted there in the first place, and that you were smart enough to rank high within that elite group of students? I proved my ability to be among the best at HYPS for two consecutive years, so will it hurt me if I get my degree from that school in Europe? Or should I forsake the opportunity to get work experience in M&A to get a degree from a more prestigious school.

I am really confused about how important your school really is, and I would really appreciate advice from all of you, especially from those "senior monkeys" like Miss Ind and Jimbo.

THANKS!!

Jul 26, 2010

The Master thing changes alot. Go to Germany to get the life experience+language skills and differentiate your CV, then return to US to get that HYPS pedigree down on paper.

Quantitative masters are highly regarded and you get time for an extra summer internship to try out something different.

Jul 26, 2010

The Master thing changes alot. Go to Germany to get the life experience+language skills and differentiate your CV, then return to US to get that HYPS pedigree down on paper.

One issue is that the masters will likely take up another two years of your life, without advancing your career prospects at all. You're not going to be hired as a second year analyst, just because you've got a masters under your belt. In addition, when the BBs come to campus, they looking either for undergrads or MBAs for the most part; a non-MBA masters may put you in no-man's land, so to speak.

Jul 26, 2010

If a Masters in the US is 2yrs then that's quite a long time to delay starting as an analyst. I'm pretty sure (although some NY banker may want to confirm) that a Masters will not harm your recruitment prospects though.

Generally speaking though, one shouldn't underestimate an experience abroad. In a 1.5yr stay you can really integrate, become fluent, see new things and have a whole lot of fun. I'm talking about understanding a different culture with a different history, where people think from a different perspective. Opens up your own perspective quite a bit, helping for banking but going way beyond.

Jul 26, 2010

Two things about time:

  1. If I actually go abroad, I will be able to graduate almost one year early, getting my bachelor's at 21.
  2. The Master's program is 1 year only, so I will effectively be graduating with my initial class, but by the time they get their bachelor's, I will have a master's degree.
Jul 26, 2010

Your graduating on time and with a Master's. Go for it, seems you already made up your mind.

Jul 26, 2010

agreed

Jul 26, 2010

BBs won't recruit for master's students for ibanking (Lehman is the only one I can even think that will take your resume), so that would be a very bad option

Jul 26, 2010

Well, that is really incorrect: just go to the homepages of some of the BBs and look up the section "Employee profiles". You will see there are quite a few Ibankers with Master's degrees listed there.

Jul 26, 2010

corgi 95 that is complete nonsense. where do you come up with that crap?

If you do a non-MBA masters you will still get recruited as a 1st year analyst but it doesn't harm your chances (as longs your masters is vaguely numerate)

Jul 26, 2010

Does anyone have an idea about whether the importance of the name of your undergraduate school is different for Ibankers than for people going into Sales&Trading?

Jul 26, 2010

"corgi 95 that is complete nonsense. where do you come up with that crap?"

My school's career website.
The only ibanking position that takes MS student's resumes is Lehman right now. I know this for a fact because I am a master's student.

Jul 26, 2010

actually I just checked again,

GS maybe takes master's, as well as JPM

definitely NOT though:

Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Merrill lynch, UBS SF, UBS LA

Jul 26, 2010

is a girl in my current group at GS (IBD) that has a masters and is a first year analyst

Jul 26, 2010

yea you are right nap, GS, JPM, and Lehman do seem to be recruiting MS students right now for internships. There's still a bunch of firms that aren't (which is pretty strange to me since they all should be looking for the same thing)

Jul 26, 2010

I've been an observer for a while and thought it's about time to chip in my 5 cents. Here it goes...

From the general chat on this forum I've noticed that IB in US is largely about 'prestige', Ivy League and all that kind of blah blah. I'm not saying that this is completely irrelevant. However, in my opinion it's largely overrated.

dagobert, if you're really into the whole 'EU' experience - do it. I don't think you will lose out on chances of getting into IB. If anything, this experience will only strengthen your candidature.

I've done my studies in a few countries. The latest one being Netherlands (btw, I'm not Dutch). And none of these studies were at the world's top 5 uni's. My GPA is far from top 1% (even top 5%). This didn't hamper my chances of landing a job in IB (in London). In fact I interviewed with 4 of top 7 banks.

With regards to masters. In EU (continental) most people get higher degrees and some banks don't even consider people without masters. I don't think that any bank in US would mind a candidate with masters.

I would elaborate more on EU pro's against 'Ivy league possibilities' as suggested by GhengisKhan, but this would require a whole new other topic.

Jul 26, 2010

corgi - can you read? uh, simple enough question but firstly, it appears you cannot read even your (probably second tier) school's careers website and secondly you must be pretty dumb not to actually go to banks' own websites:

CS: "Analyst programs require a bachelors or masters degree."

http://campusrecruiting.credit-suisse.com/
I could on...

Are you telling me that you wrote

BBs won't recruit for master's students for ibanking

and you failed to realize the idiocy of your statement.

Jul 26, 2010

I go to one of HYPS. I'm reading directly off the on campus resume submission site, and unless you are not conferring your bachelor's degree until next year, a good chunk of the BBs will not even LOOK at your resume for on-campus recruiting. I even know a master's student who emailed his resume to Citigroup's recruiting contact, and received a phone call telling him "sorry, we're looking for juniors"

Jul 26, 2010
tallon123:

corgi - can you read? uh, simple enough question but firstly, it appears you cannot read even your (probably second tier) school's careers website and secondly you must be pretty dumb not to actually go to banks' own websites:

CS: "Analyst programs require a bachelors or masters degree."

http://campusrecruiting.credit-suisse.com/
I could on...

Are you telling me that you wrote

BBs won't recruit for master's students for ibanking

and you failed to realize the idiocy of your statement.

honestly, why do you have to act like an asshole AND be wrong:

"Interested candidates must be between their junior and senior years at a four-year college or university."

http://campusrecruiting.credit-suisse.com/en/Home/ Search_Our_Opportunities/ Investment_Banking_Analyst_Intern115410212120040. --Your_Career_OverviewAnalyst_ProgramsProgram_List.html

Jul 26, 2010

Please pay attention to detail. Many I-Banks do not recruit Master Level students for summer analyst internships.

But all I-Banks I know of will hire a qualified individual with a Masters Degree as a Full Time analyst for the grad program.

Jul 26, 2010
john99:

Please pay attention to detail. Many I-Banks do not recruit Master Level students for summer analyst internships.

But all I-Banks I know of will hire a qualified individual with a Masters Degree as a Full Time analyst for the grad program.

This could possibly be true, but since the VAST majority of hiring is from summers, good luck going through fall recruiting w/o a summer internship.

Jul 26, 2010

I find it hard to believe a bank won't give an internship to someone between a bachelor and a masters. After all, putting that person to the test a year before final graduation (as opposed to bachelor graduation) is the best time to avoid another bank poaching the talent.

Dagobert, if were you I'd make some calls direct to BB and boutique HR to find out for sure. You could also try GhengisKhan who's an IB staffer on this board.

Jul 26, 2010

They don't.

I tried, no US banks would consider me, although London banks were willing to consider me for an internship in the year in between BA and masters.

Anyway I'm a masters student now and starting as an analyst this year, I have 3 friends from my university also with masters starting as analysts, we go to a top UK university. Corgi you don't know what you're talking about.

Jul 26, 2010
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