Is Williams a target school?

I'm wondering if Williams is a target school for top-tier BB, EB, and PE?

I'm a current HS senior and getting ready to apply ED to either Williams or Dartmouth. I like both schools about equally but have a pretty good chance of admission at Williams and so want to know how much opportunity I leaving on the table if I went there. I'm pretty quantitative and could study technicals wherever I go.

I'm ok transitioning to PE after a few years in IB, consulting, or business school.  

I also know that Dartmouth has recruiting by all of MBB while Williams only has Bain. 

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Comments (24)

  • Prospect in IB - CB
Oct 24, 2021 - 1:10pm

Williams is good, a top semitarget and maybe even a low target.

Dartmouth is better

The schools are very different in culture, though, and the difference in placement isnt big enough to warrant that being your main decision.

Oct 24, 2021 - 1:21pm

Thanks for the response. Know that I just need to choose one sometimes soon.

I like the culture at both schools so would be happy at either (think it's not that much different depending on what frats and circles you hang out in). Also considered earlying to HYP as my stats and ECs are great but like smaller schools. COVID has also made the regular decision cycle a living hell and want to play it safer.

  • Prospect in IB - CB
Oct 25, 2021 - 10:29am

If you're legacy at Williams or confident in Dartmouth I would heavily suggest you apply to those schools ED rather than HYP. Applications nowadays are crazy competitive, and trust me when I say that regular decision is a fucking bloodbath. I know people who applied to all t20 schools and only got accepted to HKU/UCSB

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Oct 24, 2021 - 1:49pm

If you got a shot at Dartmouth, take it. Williams is good, but Dartmouth is leagues better. It's up there with H/S/W for buy-side recruiting and general outcome per capital, and you get to take advantage of the Dartmouth-only winter internships at PJT, MS, BX, etc, through their trimester system.

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  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Oct 25, 2021 - 10:50am

Those are all top tier schools, arguably better for IB than Williams and the ability to be a finance major at each of those will make your recruiting/technical prep a lot easier.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Oct 25, 2021 - 2:55pm

Apply to Dartmouth or Williams ED and don't look back. If you like the small school environment, there is no reason to apply to HYP. Additionally, as someone at a comp to Dart and with a sibling who went to a Little 3, the applications at both places are unbelievably competitive. Know many people with 1550/34+ and strong ECs who have gotten rejected by both. Don't underestimate the competitiveness of the college admissions process.  

  • VP in IB-M&A
Oct 26, 2021 - 3:00pm

Know many people with 1550/34+ and strong ECs who have gotten rejected by both. Don't underestimate the competitiveness of the college admissions process.  

It's even worse than that these days with the pandemic deferments/weird class sizes, test optional practices, and alternative programming/diversity pushes at top schools. I know a dude whose daughter was salutatorian at a strong public high school, 1580 SAT, good ECs, had a really unique internship, killed all her AP exams (all 5s). She was rejected at all Ivies/NESCACs, including a school at which she was a direct legacy (and applied ED). That's one anecdote, but all you need to do is take an hour and read some online college admissions forums to realize there were thousands of similar stories this year.

It is beyond brutal these days. It's fully crossed over to absurdity. No one has a "good" shot at any of these schools unless they fit a few molds the school has decided to prioritize.

Oct 26, 2021 - 9:30pm

Yea, I know. It's a bloodbath these days, especially in RD. Waitlists are becoming more active though. EDs and REAs year at my school (semi prestigious prep school) were ok last year so wanna make sure I minmax my ED within the range of schools I like. Williams is a low reach (maybe high target) while Dartmouth is a reach according to my counselor but ED is all the difference this year. Also heard that Penn picked up 50% of class from ED compared to usual Ivy 35% so lower tier ivys will prob do more ED now that the precedent has been set.

Oct 25, 2021 - 7:00pm

You are splitting hairs. If you get into either school, you can do whatever you want to do, assuming you put in the work and focus on your goal. Williams College is very small, but the quality of its students and the education you'll receive (small classes, easy access to every professor) is second to none. Just because a school is larger and has more alumni in a given field, does not mean it is better. 

Oct 25, 2021 - 10:02pm

I would generally agree that Dartmouth provides more recruiting opportunities and has a bigger alumni base (due to school size) but other than that, I think its 6 vs 1/2 dozen. Williams is an excellent school and for sure a target. Not sure why people above would call it a semi/non target. Many people don't know much about LACs and because they don't know the name and because it doesn't have that much OCR, they think you'd be better off at a UNC or WUSTL or something like that.

With that being said, I'm slightly biased towards LACs, but I think they're generally slept on in terms of placement into all top jobs. Dartmouth might have an edge in recruiting due to its size, business school, and ivy league brand, but Williams is an equally good school from an education/reputation standpoint if not even slightly better due to small class size and number 1 LAC ranking. Also, small size means fiercely loyal alums, most Williams alums will pick up the phone for another alum. It's one of the biggest pros to small LACs. Although McKinsey might not come to campus, I guarantee that you could get an interview if you emailed a handful of the Williams alums at McKinsey.

As someone mentioned above, the feel of the schools will be different. Dartmouth is bigger, likely a little more social, Williams is small and tight knit, with a more academic vibe. I'd honestly go where you think you'll fit in better. It sounds like you'd pretty split on that, so I'd probably lean Dartmouth with your ED, but I think Williams is a very close 2nd and for a certain type of person, it's a better school in some regards. 

Oct 25, 2021 - 11:58pm

Chase Coleman has entered the chat

Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.
Oct 26, 2021 - 9:55am

Williams has been the top small college since forever. The most fiercely loyal alums I've ever met. A Williams grad told me ever job she ever landed came through cold calling alums. Even serious big shots returned her calls. Downside is, if you don't fit in or don't like small town in middle of nowhere, you'll be miserable. 

Dartmouth? Bottom of the barrel Ivy. All of Williams's drawbacks and few of its strengths.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 26, 2021 - 12:24pm

I did not attend Williams but attended a different small LAC with a tight alumni network and have found this to be true in my experience. Every. Single. Alum. Responds and gets on the phone. On top of that, every single one has put me in touch with other alums without me asking. While I attended a "non-target" (top 10-20 LAC depending on the ranking) there is something to be said about calling a group head at gs/ms/jpm and having them put you with touch with their college friends who are group heads at other banks after just a 15 minute call.

Oct 27, 2021 - 12:16am

Williams does well considering the class size. It's 1/3 the size of Dartmouth undergrad. Per capita does as well as an Ivy.

Sends a decent amount of folks to GS, MS, JPM etc. used to do well with Lehman / Bear pre-GFC. Williams and all the other LACs have tons of connected wealthy prep school kids. It was a more prominent school on the street back when that stuff mattered more.

As someone else pointed out, alumni there are very loyal. Flip side is recruiting depends on the pull of alumni in positions of power at each firm. Williams used to be a top target school for JPM back when Jimmy Lee the top JPM banker was still around. Not sure if it is anymore.

One benefit of LACs is much weaker competition. At the ivies you're up against hundreds of grinders who are obsessed with landing a top finance job. At the LAC's you're competing against a dozen other English/Philosophy majors. If you're sociable with good grades and are vaguely aware of what a DCF is you'll land a banking job out of the top LACs. Analysts out of those schools also tend to be some of the worst at the job initially...

And yeah, as the other guy said, there are some buyside folks too, a few of the big tiger cub founders went there, Chase Coleman and Andreas Halvorsen (Viking)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Oct 27, 2021 - 3:34am

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