McGill Desautels vs. John Molson

Hey guys !
I'm currently in my last year of high school in France. I was looking for an English business school in Quebec, and I found McGill Desautel and Concordia John Molson.
I've read lots of topics about those two schools but they're all from some years ago.
So if you can help me find out which is the best school for undegraduate program between those two I'd be thankful. Here some questions :
Which has the best intrenational reputation (especially in the US) ?
Which one has the best program for Investment Banking ?
Is McGill's "Honours in Investment Management" good ?
If you have others helpful things, let me know !
P.S : Sorry for my mistakes.

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Comments (33)

Nov 12, 2011 - 10:58am

please stop comparing mcgill to concordia again....ever....

if you can go to mcgill, by all means. McGill is very hard to get in, however. that being said, i know concordia has a pretty investment management program , which only takes in a handful of ppl each year.

regardless, if you want to do IB, obvioously McGill gives you an edge. Not saying its impossible for Concordia kids,as i hv seen ppl done it before, just harder....

Nov 12, 2011 - 12:10pm

Thank you for your answer !
I saw in old posts that Concordia Business School was getting much better than McGill, so I was just wandering if they have done it yet !
i wish I can to McGill ! Do you know French people who went/are in McGill ? And do you the grades they had ?

Nov 15, 2011 - 8:11pm

Is this seriously a question?

Have you seen the alumni of McGill, let alone the Honours program?
It's Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments..

/end thread..
no John Molson student has ever placed in those 4 firms.. EVER.. that speaks volumes..

Do yourself a favour and hit up McGill.. no comparison my friend..
it's target vs. NON TARGET.

you want to have a good time and have easy course.. go concordia.

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Nov 16, 2011 - 7:29pm

^John Molson is not a Canadian target.. John Molson does not place in Toronto therefore they are not a target.
John Molson places 1 in 1000+ students in IB.. that doesn't sound like great odds, does it?

Nov 20, 2011 - 11:03pm


There are two top business schools in Montreal: McGill Desautels and HEC Montreal. Both have much higher quality students than McGill. You can do your BBA at McGill, or do a bilingual BBA at HEC Montreal or even trilingual if you speak Spanish.

May 9, 2012 - 6:34pm

I am currently studying at McGill and let me give you some advice:
- Improve your english. If you want to get a work in an IB, you need to speak a decent english. You clearly don't know how to express yourself. You will be with a lot of French people in this program so be careful
- Work, dont party all the time
- If you want a good job, especially in Management, you need to be among the best
- Try to get in the Honours investment Management Program

Congrats and Welcome To montreal

May 9, 2012 - 6:38pm

Sorry are these both beers? I prefer a Rolling Rock or a Heineken. Whether or not it's an Honors beer is irrelevant to me, I'm assuming that just means it costs more so forget it.

I hate victims who respect their executioners
May 10, 2012 - 7:30am

McGill's Honors in Investment Management is very tough but excellent. The director of the program, Ken Lester, is a brilliant man. Knowledgeable in all fields, great network, and he genuinely cares for his students.
Work hard, aim for class top 10%, attend networking events, join the mcgill investment club and you will get where you need to be. Good luck!

Jul 30, 2012 - 2:06pm

Hey, could anybody go one step further and compare Economics at McGill, VS Finance at JMSB? I would still rather go to McGill for the name, but am I going to be hurt by only being in economics and not in finance, even if at McGill? Thanks guys.

Best Response
Jul 30, 2012 - 5:42pm

I'm not going to weigh into which school is better, the debate is pretty pointless, but I figured I'd share my first-hand insight.
General: There is an ongoing joke that plays on both schools students' aptitude: JMSB students are students that got the rejected from Desautels (I'm sure there is some truth to this). McGill has a higher minimum academic admittance requirement (~90% avg vs ~80% avg), and McGill also accepts significantly fewer students (I think the number is roughly 600 vs 2500) [feel free to correct me if I'm wrong with these numbers]. In absolute terms, I don't think there are fewer intelligent kids at JMSB. I just think there are more dumbasses at JMSB. Kudos if you get into McGill, as you will definitely have the option of going to JMSB (more on this later).
School Life: When I first visited McGill during their open house, the school ambassador (a current student at the time) referred to the school as Desautels High. With a much smaller group of students, I think you eventually get to know everyone by the end of your school career. One distinct example that comes to mind is the school's internal email update. The update lets kids know what's going on in the university and is often littered with personal references to individual students and inside jokes. On the flip side, a smaller school with a lot of hardworking/smart kids, for me, translated into a much more competitive and cut-throat environment (I had that experience in Grade 12 and 13 [CEGEP… you're going to need to google that term] and I hated it). That small school feel completely contrasts with JMSB. It should not come as a surprise when you graduate from JMSB, to see faces of students you have never seen before. I felt that a bulk of JMSB students were there to get their classes done and get out… That's not to say if you go to JMSB you'll never meet new friends and people. JMSB has a great student life if you choose to get involved with it. Student life at JMSB really consists of the students involved with the school's case competition program and/or the school's student associations (go visit the fourth floor!). It's hard to say which school atmosphere is better… the broads at JMSB put out though (that's a guarantee).
Recruiting: I went through IB recruitment this past fall. McGill has a clear advantage in terms of access to the jobs (I had access to both job sites). McGill will get job postings from MS, GS, Citi, UBS, DB, JPM, Fidelity, the Big Six (TD, BMO, Scotia, NBF, RBC, CIBC), etc. Most firms will do some form of on-campus recruitment. At Concordia you will only get the Big Six (and BOA-ML), and a few of these firms will do on-campus visits (I believe this year it was TD, CIBC and BMO). On top of that if a bank has multiple positions but for different branches of the bank (ie a position for corporate banking and a position for investment banking), JMSB will only get access to apply to a few of the positions. In short the truth is you will have fewer jobs to apply for if you attend JMSB. That is not to say you can't still apply to these jobs through other means (I actually did an interview for a job at McGill for a McGill job posting). I think the lack of postings is largely because JMSB is a relatively young institution. Although Concordia has been around for quite some time, I think JMSB is less than 15 years old. I think as time goes on though, more and more firms will start to recruit outside of McGill (at both HEC and JMSB). UBS (I realize this is not the best example) just recently started to recruit at JMSB.
Interviewing: If you are a dumb ass and you go to McGill, you're still a dumb ass. Having the McGill institution on your transcript, doesn't guarantee you a job in high finance. In terms of my experience, I think students from both schools that compete for jobs in high finance are very comparable (this is based the interviews I went to, the number of students in first rounds from both schools, and the number of students from each school in second round interviews). After discussing with other kids that went through recruitment, I found that students from both universities (I'll even throw in HEC) were equally as unprepared in comparison to students from Ontario schools. Students from Queens and Ivey were much better prepared for the interviewing process. (I'd send my kid to one of these schools if they stayed in Canada)
Investment Management Program: Both schools have Investment Management programs. As there was no mention of it, there is an investment management program at JMSB. JMSB's program is called the Kenneth Woods portfolio management Program (google it). I can't really give any feedback on McGill's program but, Abraham Brodt (the program director of JMSB) runs a phenomenal program. Dr. Brodt not only taught me my knowledge on finance but also how to be a more respectable human being (// I believe both are very similar, both manage real money (equities and bonds), both have a mentorship program, both have a client committee with industry professionals, and both help you get jobs in high finance.
My Two Cents: The debate of which school to attend has existed forever. The only advice I can give is if you choose to go to McGill and you don't like it, you can always transfer to JMSB. The inverse is quite a bit harder, but not impossible. If you're looking for international recognition or even national recognition… go to McGill (I had to correct my boss initially that I went to McGill, and by correct … I mean smile and nod when he introduced me to a client) [at least he remembered my name… and that I worked for him]. In my opinion, JMSB is still developing. I graduated this spring from the school that you need to google, I work in investment banking, and I had a great university experience. I do not work for an American BB in NYC (and I don't work for a boutique or a MM) but in reality only a couple of kids from McGill get that opportunity. I don't think my journey was particularly hard (and I am definitely no boy wonder – I'm sure you can tell from my poor grammar and spelling) and I also know a dozen kids that have recently graduated from JMSB (over the past 2 years) that work in banking in Canada. I will never regret my decision as I am pretty confident that if I went to McGill I would have never even considered exploring the world of finance. Furthermore I would have less in-school experiences (association work, case competitions, etc.) and a lot less degenerate stories… and to boot I'd probably be an accountant. Visit the schools if you have a chance (and HEC, they're all relatively close), sit on a couple of classes to get a feel of the commitment you're going to make for the next four years of your life. Whatever you choose definitely go to both Frosh's (and every single year you're in university) and participate in JDC (even as a volunteer), and before you knock someone's school make sure you have a better job (well… at least have a job first).
I hope this helps.
big_chris, I'm not sure if you have access to the McGill finance job database and can attend the info sessions for recruitment if you do not attend Desautels…
btw i'm a huge fan of Rolling Rock. Black Hat, they brought it to Montreal last summer... so you're in luck. (visit cabaret amazons) [though they don't have rolling rock there…]

Jul 30, 2012 - 7:22pm

Hey chan, thanks for the answer. But what I was wondering, is if finance from JMSB will be better than economics from mcgill in terms of what I learn, and more importantly how recruiters interpret each one.

Also, could you talk a bit about what happens at jmsb/concordia in terms of banks recruiting? I am clueless as to the process, so if you could fill me in I would really appreciate. I am guessing that banks send representatives that try to get you to fill out forms, and if they like what they see they call you back for an interview.. but I'm not sure.

Also you mentioned about going to both froshes.. how do those work? I am also clueless on this event, so please fill me in!

(going to economics concordia this fall btw, and cousin at mcgill told me he is a "frosh leader".. not sure what to expect.)


Jul 31, 2012 - 12:26pm

I can't really comment on how recruiters interpret each one, I haven't had any experience with being the recruiter. I can say that during interviews I have seen students majoring in Finance, Accounting and Economics.
I know you can attend Concordia a complete a degree in Economics both as an Art (B. Art) student or a Business (B. Comm) student. It is important to be a Business student (part of the faculty of JMSB) as you will not have access to the database with all the finance job postings otherwise. Furthermore you will not be able to register for Meet n' Greets.
In terms of recruitment, banks will send the business career management services an online posting. The bank may also organize a meet n' greet (these fill up incredibly quick) which you will also have to register for. During the meet n' greet they go over what the positions available are, what qualities they look for, and they tell you to apply. If your application makes it past the screening process, you will be invited to a first round interview. I don't know what you're referring to in terms of form-filling...
In terms of Frosh, you'll have to do your own research in figuring out how to attend; I had friends that attended McGill so I just tagged along. The association that organizes JMSB is known as the Commerce and Administration Student Association, McGill's is the MgGill Undergraduate Society

Jul 31, 2012 - 3:33pm

I've worked in banking in Toronto and New York and have never come across a single JMSB grad.

That should say it all. Anecdotal? Sure. But I'm talking of the hundreds of people I've met and worked with over the past 3 years, not ONE went to Concordia.

Oct 25, 2012 - 12:02am

Then your overall "career" in Banking must have been anecdotal. Moreover your three years of personal experience is not a valid argument. Nobody cares about your specific experiences, because you have NOT actually achieved anything great yet. Unless you think that three years of working can give you authority. Please enrich your argumentation with facts & info..Generalizations about alleged experiences are ridiculous..

Jan 11, 2013 - 10:54am

Has anyone heard of someone getting a good business education from Bishop's University, in the Eastern Townships? I know it's a small school with a questionable reputation but I'm trying not to be so narrow minded. Maybe there's a lot of value in going to a small school where you know your profs really well and can be a stand out. Thoughts? Opinions?

Feb 6, 2013 - 3:25am

JMSB is much better than McGill. JMSB is always ahead of McGill in all the Case Competitions. I have family members who went to McGill and some who went to Concordia and I can say that for Business, you definitely need to go to JMSB. JMSB has around 9000 students while McGill's Desautel has around 1800 so your networking members are much wider at JMSB but its all up to you.

Another thing which is important to say is that McGill's business program is not even accredited by the AACSB so which means that in the future if you decide to do your MBA in the US or some other university in Canada or elsewhere, you might have trouble to get in because most MBA require an undergrad degree from an AACSB accredited school.

If McGill's business would have not sucked, they would have not made a joint MBA with HEC-Montreal university, many professors at my undergrad said that McGill business programs are behind and they are old school. Read the book and you will pass. Concordia is a lot more challenging. This is the reality, McGill is a bite hard to get in but easy to stay in the program but Concordia might be a bite easy to get in but hard to stay in the program. Take accounting program at Concordia, they will rape you in pieces. McGill's CA students can't solve Concordia's undergrad exam questions. Big fail for McGill.

Take care folks. Make your decisions wisely! Research before you apply! Good luck!

Feb 6, 2013 - 3:53am

John Molson is waaayyyy better than McGill. McGill is behind and needs to catch up.
I recommend you watch the following the video once or twice and you judge about JMSB or McGill dot com/watch?v=jNYLiEzCCZ8 dot com/watch?v=Ts3b7YkWNBQ dot com/watch?v=etoJLl3QnFo

unfortunately there is not even a good marketing video or anything about Desautel's (Mcgill) it on youtube.. can't find s..t about Mcgill business programs. Mcgill should send their profs to JMSB to take Marketing 101 so they make their school a bite popular. Ciao guys!

Feb 6, 2013 - 6:47am

Guys seriously, JMSB does not place anywhere if you don't want to stay in Montreal. Who gives a fuck how they place in case competitions or if they have a marketing video; you get a business degree to get a good job. (And the stuff about not being able to go get an MBA is an outright lie.) I've met only one person in Banking/PE/HF (outside of Montreal) from JMSB. Moreover, most people I know who went to JMSB did so because they couldn't get into McGill.

I didn't go to either so I have no personal interest in this other than trying to steer people away from bad advice.

Feb 14, 2013 - 1:17pm

To anyone who's currently deciding between McGill and Concordia, do not base your choice on john.mcg's poorly executed arguments. You can clearly feel an inferiority complex through his 3 consecutive posts. He's although factually right about McGill's modest performance in QUEBEC case competitions. However, it is easily explainable as nobody at McGill gives a single f*ck about these provincial competitions. They have a hard time recruiting good students because of the language barrier first (students and judges are usually french-speaking folks) and also because performing students go to international case competitions instead. Surprise surprise, they do very well internationally in these competitions that do not invite JMSB.

I'm a graduating year student here at McGill with a major in finance and concentration in accounting and I couldn't be happier regarding my university choice. Nobody is saying that Concordia sucks. I would actually argue that we learn pretty much the same shit in our Bachelor. The key difference is the reputation and the quality of students.

Feb 18, 2013 - 6:38pm

I completed my undergrad at McGill in Math with a minor in Finance and my Msc in Finance at JMSB. To the people who said that nobody gets a job from JMSB, this is not true. This year for one bank, out of 5 available positions, 2 of them have been filled by JMSB grads. I also have met people who work in banking from JMSB. McGill is a great school, but their business school is in fact behind. At the end of the day, it will be your grades and the work you put into finding a job that will determine if you get into banking or not. There are no jobs period right now so when you have 10 possible positions a year at the big 6 and you are competing against Ivey, Rottman etc it really is a numbers game. Granted I cannot speak for BComm at JMSB, but regardless, banks are slowly moving away from BComm altogether. If you want to stand out it won't be because you went to McGill sorry to tell you. And FYI HEC is also a great school. All that being said, whatever school you go to use the resources and opportunities available to you to maximize your chances, but also go the extra mile - as in do not only rely on your school.

Mar 30, 2013 - 8:55pm

In Montreal, McGill won't get you very much ahead of JMSB.
If you want to go to Toronto, NY or even London, the fact that people recognize the name and know it's a top school will get you much further.
Academically, I would still think McGill will push you harder (HEC as well) than JMSB.
To answer an earlier comment, a degree in economics will be less "useful" right away, but I believe it will be more challenging academically than finance. The demographics of the degree are also different, more academically oriented and less into the business world, with many exceptions obviously!
I can't really tell you how well econ places in IB though.

Oct 2, 2014 - 4:52pm

I registered just to post here, there is a lot of false information being thrown around here. JMSB may be a better business school, but in terms of getting a good job in finance, there is no English school in Montreal which I can think of will get you to Wall/Bay Street quicker than McGill.

The numbers do not lie:
Cheers, and good luck.

Dec 9, 2013 - 12:45pm

This is a very old thread of mine but I thought I could give some updates if some people are looking at this and still trying to decide. (although my answer might be biased by the fact that I am now at desautels)

First of all, I think that mcgill alum comment is for the most part true and very accurate.

I have talked with students from JMSB and also to people working in Finance in Montreal, NYC or Toronto and I here's the conclusion I have drawn.
JMSB is better in term of academics than Desautels.
However, it is only known in Montreal and Quebec. Very few people outside of Quebec know about Concordia and JMSB.

On the other side, Desautels really takes advantage of McGill's international reputation and this is what's great about it. Also, it seems that Desautels is starting to build its own reputation through its MBA and recents competition won by Desautel students.

The last thing I want to mention is HIM. This program is really starting to be known in Canada and the US. I personally know several people getting into private equity with that program. Mentors of the program work at all the big firms. Also this program is very intense and very competitive (need at least 3.8 GPA to get in).

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