Majors, Minors, and Latin Honors?

Current junior at a large lower T50 state school with a FO gig lined up at a EB/top MM. Here are my choices:

(GPA is 3.94 current for reference)

A) Double major in statistics and economics - this would require a lot of stress, limited free time, and likely a lower GPA (3.7~3.8). 

B) Major in economics and minor in stats - this would give me more free time and allow for the selection of more interesting classes, but I don't think anyone really cares about a minor (more of a stats guy than an econ guy as far as my personal interests go). GPA would likely remain at around a 3.9

C) Major in statistics - this would allow for some flexible, but not as much since I have done a lot of economics classes in prior semesters. Stats is a way harder major at my uni, and I think the hard skills learned are respected, but the cost will be to be GPA (likely around 3.8) and dropping economics altogether (my school does not have a minor in economics).

Any thoughts on how important a major is, Latin honors are, and minors are would be amazing. 

Long term, I would like to do either long only asset management (GSAM/JPMAM), equity research, or intelligence work after my years as an analyst. 

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Comments (15)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 18, 2021 - 12:51pm

Here's my $.02, you'd be wasting your time doing half that stuff. In reality, do what you like and what interests you. In college, I was so gung ho about majoring in econ at a LAC because I thought it would help prepare me for a job in banking. It doesn't help at all besides maybe a handful of classes; I'm assuming half your major requirements would be economic theory classes which frankly are unbearably boring and secondly not relevant.

You have an internship lined up, if anything be productive. Spend some of that time on stuff that will help you get a return offer. You'll never be this free, don't stress yourself out over classes, enjoy your time with your friends, go to parties, find some hobbies, etc and pick classes that you'll actually enjoy.

Nov 19, 2021 - 2:07pm

B

Just focus on your internship and kill it there and you should be fine.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 19, 2021 - 3:47pm

B, definitely. No one in finance is that impressed by double majors especially if you're already good on internships, and it's not worth the huge increase in time spent on classes. You have a job lined up, enjoy your last few years of freedom, spend time on your social life and hobbies. Your second, third, fourth job will barely even look at your college major(s) esp with such a high GPA.

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  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 19, 2021 - 6:27pm

Thanks for your insights. This (B) is what I was thinking. Chilling with friends before the 80+ hour weeks, as well as taking more interesting classes has major appeals. 

Do you think that future employees (after first job) will care that economics is not a super hard degree. Even with a 3.9, coming from non-target, I am worried that HR/HH at top AMs will insta-trash my resume. Are these concerns unfounded?

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 19, 2021 - 6:43pm

You're good, no one will even notice it or think about it that way. 90% of people in finance are econ or finance majors which are easy, the stats/CS/math types are a minority. Unless you want to be a quant out of school you're absolutely fine with econ. 3.9 checks the school box for HHs, your work experience is far more important.

Nov 19, 2021 - 7:41pm

To be completely honest, I had two majors (BA and BS) and a minor and was in the pursuit of knowledge and basically made up courses in my curriculum. If you have the thirst for knowledge, definitely go for the double major, but i don't think you should see this as an excuse to drop your GPA. You should still be able to hold a 4.0 if you're legit. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 20, 2021 - 12:20am

I am with you on the pursuit of knowledge being super important. But, at my school I would not have the flexible of selecting my courses (or the ability to "basically made up courses in my curriculum" which you were able to do) to the degree I would like. Honestly I feel that I would be able to learn more not double majoring (I would still take the same number of classes, just in finance and history not math and stats). Lastly, "you should still be able to hold a 4.0 if you're legit", in our stats department most classes only give As to the top 10-15% including grad students. This just is not something I can do. Maybe this means I'm not "legit" lol. Our stats department does create some fine coders, SWEs, and data scientists though, I will give them that.   

Nov 20, 2021 - 11:44am

Oh ok - makes sense 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Nov 20, 2021 - 1:27pm

Do something that's rigorous (all your options check the box), that you find interesting, where you can get a good overall GPA (let's say 3.7 given the estimates you provided), and that will let you have a good social life and be active in clubs and sports.

5-10 years from now those additional friends you made will be worth way more than the extra .1 GPA boost or being able to tell people that you majored in STEM.

FWIW I minored in math and it helped me a lot because interviewers saw that and were able to say "OK, he checks the quant box." I'm not sure how much more a math major would have helped for the jobs I was recruiting for (Especially since my grades would have been shit if I majored in it).

  • 4
  • Intern in IB - Cov
Nov 20, 2021 - 10:05pm

I'm sorry I've never seen the movie. Could you explain the joke? (Seriously, I'm confused)

Nov 20, 2021 - 10:10pm

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