MSF: SMU vs Nova

BobTheBaker's picture
Rank: Human | 14,547

I've been accepted to both these schools for an MSF, I held off on choosing between the two because I was waiting on my 1st choice school (UT). I just got rejected from there so it's come down to these two. SMU had an 86% placement rate last year and the 2015 class has placements at American Airlines, Wells Fargo corp fin, GS IB, UBS IB, Stephens ER, and some local AM funds. Villanova's placements are well known on this site. From my perspective SMU seems to have more name brand firms whereas Nova has more banking/AM placements. I prefer Texas but would be willing to go to the east coast for better job prospects. There is the added benefit of SMU not having summer courses, that should help with getting an internship. Just wanted thoughts from the knowledgeable MSF alum and students of this site. Thanks.

Comments (34)

May 6, 2015

my friend in SMU MSF already started working after signing the MSF offer.
TNA will probably arrive, and despite his affiliation with Nova, he probably will offer fair comments.

But I dont think you've said about your target career yet. BB? Boutique? F500? AM? IB? What is it?

May 6, 2015

Congrats on the acceptances, will be applying next season so in for information

May 6, 2015

Goal is a front office finance job (IB/ER/AM) not really too worried about BB vs boutique as of now, just want to break in.

May 6, 2015

If you prefer Texas the answer is pretty clear.

May 7, 2015
BobTheBaker:

SMU had an 86% placement rate last year and the 2015 class has placements at American Airlines, Wells Fargo corp fin, GS IB, UBS IB, Stephens ER, and some local AM funds.

Where did you get this information?

BobTheBaker:

whereas Nova has more banking/AM

Where did you get this information?

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May 7, 2015

@Esuric the SMU placement information was given to me by their career services director and Nova's placements have been posted by ANT on this very website. @TNA I do prefer Texas but not at the cost of front office finance.

May 7, 2015
BobTheBaker:

@Esuric the SMU placement information was given to me by their career services director and Nova's placements have been posted by ANT on this very website. @TNA I do prefer Texas but not at the cost of front office finance.

If their placements were that strong, why wouldn't they explicitly market it on their website, or publish an official report?

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May 7, 2015

@Esuric that isnt information I have, I asked him for the information and this is what he sent, if you are implying they are purposely lying about it then I guess I have to call all placements into question. If these people would go out of their way to mislead then why not others? Also, their MSF brochure which you can easily dl from their site has some placement info on the class of 2013 that includes Duetsche bank, Goldman Sachs, Anadarko, Deloitte, PwC, Regions Bank, and Southwest bank. Honestly it doesnt surprise me as Dallas is a great city and SMU is a titan in dallas.

p.s. I dont see why u think the 2015 placements are so strong, 2 BB IB and one ER out of a class of like 25...

May 7, 2015
BobTheBaker:

@Esuric that isnt information I have, I asked him for the information and this is what he sent, if you are implying they are purposely lying about it then I guess I have to call all placements into question. If these people would go out of their way to mislead then why not others? Also, their MSF brochure which you can easily dl from their site has some placement info on the class of 2013 that includes Duetsche bank, Goldman Sachs, Anadarko, Deloitte, PwC, Regions Bank, and Southwest bank. Honestly it doesnt surprise me as Dallas is a great city and SMU is a titan in dallas.

p.s. I dont see why u think the 2015 placements are so strong, 2 BB IB and one ER out of a class of like 25...

Those placements, if correct, would make SMU's placements superior to virtually all other U.S. programs. I read through their brochure, and while it lists GS as "some of the companies that hired in 2013," it doesn't state for what position. The placement information in that brochure is incredibly vague, a major red flag when assessing the quality of an MSF program. The fact is that many of these programs are very dishonest and, in some situations, are straight up fraudulent. But if it doesn't bother you then it doesn't bother me.

May 7, 2015

Hey Bob, can you send me those placements you got? I'd love to put them on my site.

If adcoms are sending placements I'd consider them valid. I think SMU is a very good school. I do know that they've only recently been trying to make their program more of a "real" msf. I'd imagine they would do well in Dallas and Houston.

I'll have to hit them up again and try and get more info.

In the end, placements are going to be regional and depend on how well you do in the program and execute in your job search. if you're more comfortable in Texas then that will impact how you network and sell your story.

May 7, 2015

@TNA sent you a PM

May 7, 2015

@Esuric I am starting to think you are a troll. These placements put them below UF, UVA, WUSTL, Claremont, MIT, Vanderbilt, and UT, which basically puts them in the tier they are regarded at on this website. I mean how does 2 IB placements and 1 ER placement out of a class of 25 plus make their placements superior to all other MSF programs, I mean are you serious? Also, are you accusing SMU of fraud now? This is a serious question.

May 7, 2015
BobTheBaker:

@Esuric I am starting to think you are a troll. These placements put them below UF, UVA, WUSTL, Claremont, MIT, Vanderbilt, and UT, which basically puts them in the tier they are regarded at on this website. I mean how does 2 IB placements and 1 ER placement out of a class of 25 plus make their placements superior to all other MSF programs, I mean are you serious? Also, are you accusing SMU of fraud now? This is a serious question.

I don't give a fuck what you think, to be honest.

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May 7, 2015
BobTheBaker:

These placements put them below UF, UVA, WUSTL, Claremont, MIT, Vanderbilt, and UT,

Show me.

FYI: So far you've stated that SMU placed someone into GS IB and placed multiple people into AM. You have failed to provide any evidence for this claim.

Feb 28, 2016

He's not a troll. Villanova is actually pretty famous for faking their placements.

Feb 28, 2016
ChloeJ90:

He's not a troll. Villanova is actually pretty famous for faking their placements.

Villanova as a school has never faked placements. Not sure where you're getting your information from, but it's wrong. And SMU is a really good program. My opinion of them has grown over the years and they are definitely one of the programs to look at if working in Texas is of interest to anyone.

Additionally, not sure why you continue to bump old posts.

May 7, 2015

Thanks @Esuric I appreciate your valuable info, it has helped greatly with my coming decision on which school to choose. I understand why your input is highly regarded on this site. I appreciate you answering my questions regarding your accusations and why you think 2 IB placements and an ER placement makes SMU's placements "virtually superior to all other US programs". Lol my evidence is the placements sent to me, I mean dude what do I have to gain by lying? This has become a ridiculous conversation. 1 student to GS IBD does not make SMU as good as MIT or CMC or Vandy......

Best Response
May 7, 2015
BobTheBaker:

I mean dude what do I have to gain by lying?

It's not what you have to gain by lying, it's what the program has to gain by lying.

Placing people into BB IB (specifically GS) is something that's very rare among MSF's. Typically, positions like that are reserved for undergrads from targets or for top MBA graduates. If a school like SMU, which is generally considered to be second tier, can place people into BB IB and into AM, then that's something that deserves attention and should be highlighted. But unlike the wide-eyed MSF hopeful, I don't just accept what some adcom "allegedly" said, off the record, about his programs placements. There's an obvious conflict of interest and a critical mind should be skeptical about phenomenal placements that aren't explicitly advertised by the program. Also, and I know this from experience, a lot of these programs are very dishonest. Schools get caught lying about placements and admissions statistics all the time. I try to help people on this forum by providing unbiased, accurate information. This shouldn't make you uncomfortable.

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May 7, 2015

An email is pretty "on the record" dude. SMU is also a pretty rich school, the kids dad could be an MD at GS for all I know. Also, while no program places is known for BB IB placements, many top programs have a few kids get into BB IBD year in and year out. UF, MIT, CMC, and Vandy for sure. I am just saying, 2 kids getting into BB IBD out of a class of 25 plus is not that noteworthy, a history of multiple placements in BB IBD is. That is why Vandy, UF, MIT, CMC and the like are considered a cut above.

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May 7, 2015
BobTheBaker:

An email is pretty "on the record" dude. SMU is also a pretty rich school, the kids dad could be an MD at GS for all I know. Also, while no program places is known for BB IB placements, many top programs have a few kids get into BB IBD year in and year out. UF, MIT, CMC, and Vandy for sure. I am just saying, 2 kids getting into BB IBD out of a class of 25 plus is not that noteworthy, a history of multiple placements in BB IBD is. That is why Vandy, UF, MIT, CMC and the like are considered a cut above.

you can ask Poets & Quants to release that kind of data. They'd much likely release more accurate data to P&Q than you, an admit who may send cash into the program.

May 7, 2015

Goldman has front office positions in both Dallas and houston. I don't think it would be a huge stretch for SMU to place someone in Texas at a BB firm.

Texas is a whole other world. Texas schools place in Texas at shops that they might not be able to get say in NYC. Just different regional competition. Besides, Vandy placed a guy at GS in SLC and in Dallas. Those placements happen.

If you want to have a discussion about the quality of GS NYC vs regional offices then that's a different thing.

And no program that I know of is lying about anything. Nothing to be gained and only to be lost by lying.

May 7, 2015

All I asked for is an official source.

May 7, 2015
Esuric:

All I asked for is an official source.

You can do a LinkedIn search. He's not lying. Recruiting in Texas is different than NYC. Don't think most bankers in Houston would treat an MSF kid different than an undergrad kid. Plenty of A&M MSFs (granted it's a special program at A&M that is a 4 year accounting degree + MSF) in Houston too. Don't see the big deal with one guy going to GS (mid-tier BB in Houston).

May 8, 2015

I just heard from a SMU Cox MSF kid that their MSF had those IBs in UBS and Citi. still current students.

May 12, 2015

I appreciate all the help guys, I've decided on SMU. I guess I'm just a Texas boy at the end of the day.

Feb 28, 2016

GS also recruited from University of Utah's MSF. It's not a big deal. The big deal is what Vanderbilt has been doing. Even though not a lot of BBs recruit their graduates, they still have very strong connections and actually place most(above 90-95%) if not all of the class. What I hate about these 3rd tiers MSFs is that when a kid gets BB(in house undergrad usually), they make it a big deal and flaunt, while their overall placements suck a$$!

Feb 28, 2016

@ChloeJ90 no idea why you resurrected this thread but I'll humor you

I agree that mostly SMU undergrads get BB and I would not come here for BB only. But I will say this, FT OCR banks: Evercore, Stephens, Cowen & Co., and Wells Fargo all came to campus recruit FT, SA had all the banks mentioned plus JPM, Moelis (sure im missing some here) . Corp fin (honestly too many to count): Intel, PepsiCo, Halliburton (for Corp Dev straight from ugrad/grad amazingly), Sabre, American Airlines, Anadarko, Comerica, Chuck E. Cheese (corp strategy) and i'm sure I am missing some. There are also numerous consulting opportunities: Bain only MBB but the rest of the big 4 recruited, I personally know 2 people who got offers in advisory (one EY and one Deloitte) and another for TAS (Accenture). Buyside recruiting is limited to family offices and Prudential Capital Group, but guess what? THERE ARE A TON OF FAMILY OFFICES IN DALLAS. PWM is readily available, both BBs and smaller Dallas shops. With me going the RE route, I can say there may not be a much better school right now b/c Dallas real estate is so hot: personally had phone interviews w/ The Related Companies, Hines, and The Howard Hughes Corp, all in development/acquisitions roles, this past week. Honestly the sheer number of development/repe opps w/ no experience available to these kids is astounding, when I hear on the RE board those are the most difficult to get.

p.s. this only discusses pretty sizable companies everyone knows, there are a ton of smaller consultancies, RE groups, banks (like stonegate capital), and smaller firms that recruit as well.

Feb 28, 2016
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