Need to pick between UMich Ross and USC Marshall, any advice?

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Rank: Senior Monkey | 72

Hello everyone,

I am a HS senior who has interest going into the VC or PE space (I would ideally like to work with a company who specializes in early stage investment, but obviously I'm fine with both early and late). I would ideally like to work at someone else's firm for a few years after college to get industry experience, of course capital, deal flow, and a variety of other things I could only truly get working in industry, my ultimate goal is to create my own early stage VC firm. I also have some interest in IB, but my main interest resides in VC/PE (I am currently an intern at a early stage VC firm here in LA, and have had a blast working here and learning about the industry, and really want to continue this).

So here is what I need to pick between:

USC Marshall School of Business - Full Tuition Scholarship, I would need to pay room and board (overall cost of attendance is something like 15-17k/year if I include food, etc. so it is extremely cheap)

University of Michigan Ross School of Business - I would need to pay the full price(around 65k/year) financially speaking, USC is the better choice. I am in a comfortable situation with my college choice as I have a 529 account which my parents and grandparents have been funding since I was a baby so I would be able to graduate debt free no matter where I go, it has around 350k or so in it. I am extremely grateful for this.

I weighed the pros and cons, USC is in a better location, close to home, has similar Greek and sports life. Same thing with UMich, expect the winters are rough, and the location is meh, and of course it cost a lot more. I want to pursue an MBA, so having that extra money would be nice.

However I heard that Ross has better job opportunities globally than USC, while USC is great for opportunities in LA only. What is everyone's take on this?

TL;DR:

I need to pick between USC Marshall and UMich Ross, I am hesitant to not pick USC because I'd go for 15k, as opposed to UMich Ross being 65k. I want to work in VC/PE or maybe, but not likely but would like to have the opportunity for IB. I heard Ross has the best global opportunities while USC is limited to LA. My ideal goal is to land a top notch VC or PE job out of college, work a year or two, pursue an MBA, work another few years in VC/PE, and eventually create my own firm. Cost of education doesn't really matter since it is coming out of a 529, but if I plan to pursue an MBA(although not sure if I even need it), having an extra 250k could fully pay for it, and then some, while having an extra 90k could only really pay for one year of an MBA.

Comments (13)

Feb 2, 2019

To add more context to my question, I would ideally like to be in the Boston or NYC area. Or the LA/SV area for VC/PE jobs. So given this and everything else I noted above, what do you guys think I should do? Job opportunity is one of the largest factors for me, but if the difference is marginal, I don't think I'd go Ross. Just wanted to ask people who probably know more than me.

Feb 2, 2019

In my opinion, Marshall is a no-brainer. The marginal benefit of recruiting at Ross isn't worth 200k, especially since you'll get the same jobs. USC places very well into many LA IB offices, which sets you very well for VC/PE in California. That said, with some hustle, you can definitely place onto the east coast as well. It just so happens that USC is becoming more of a target every year.

Don't forget about the girls and weather. With a couple extra calls or emails, you can eliminate any recruiting differences between the schools. Assuming that you're willing to put that hustle in, what does Ross have on Marshall? Nothing, except a 200k premium on the price tag.

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Feb 4, 2019

So would you say chances of me breaking into IB going to USC would be similar to my chances at Ross? Is USC a target school for west coast BB and a target for boutiques like Lazard etc.?

Feb 5, 2019

I personally don't know much about USC's on campus recruiting, but have talked with many analysts/associates in LA/SF offices that are from Marshall undergrad. They all emphasized the LA banking presence on campus. I'd bet money that recruiting is similar at Ross and Marshall, the only difference is location you'll get recruited into.

Feb 2, 2019

Another thing to think about is how many ib finance jobs there are in la vs nyc. Have friends at Marshall that have had a very tough time. If going to Ross makes it so that you don't have to go to an mba to do the career you want to do, it's worth the extra 65k for the time saved and all that comes along with that, I.e. 2 years experience, mba tuition, and 2 years of earnings. But college is more than just the job you get immediately after. Marshall is a solid school and can probably get you somewhere if you work hard. The school experience is also better imo.

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Feb 2, 2019

Agree with this. Both schools are great, and the points on the price tag are well made... but I went to a Cali school and the recruiting in the area is 95% LA/SF. I was trying to network in NYC and got referrals to LA and SF analysts. Those are great cities, but if you're saying you 100% want NYC/Boston I would go with Ross.

If you're planning to pursue an MBA quickly as you said (side note that most people do MBA after 2 analyst years + 2 VC/PE years, even that would be somewhat quick), you could do well at Marshall and stay in California for a bit before MBA/VC/PE. 2 years in LA/SF and then end up in NYC wouldn't be a bad plan. Lots of TMT groups and tech jobs if that's your thing.

Feb 4, 2019

How big of a difference is recruiting at USC vs. Ross? I am pretty sure Ross is slightly better overall in terms of job placement, but is the difference marginal?

Feb 4, 2019

I'm a sophomore at Ross and even I'd say USC. Greek life here is facing increased regulation and we can't operate the way we used to. Also, I've realized while we do well with EBs our BB placement is nothing stellar. Negative forty last week made me wish I was in LA.

"Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry."

Feb 4, 2019

So would you say overall IB scene at USC and Ross are similar, and any difference is marginal at best? (I.e are they both regional targets)

I would like to go to an LA/SF based BB but also wouldn't mind a EB or lower tier IB.

Feb 5, 2019

Ross places better overall but I don't see it being worth it. Use the 220k to buy a slum in compton or something.

"Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry."

Feb 5, 2019

in neither of the schools but friend transferred out of marshall- heard their placements into IBs are very limited outside of westcoast, though plenty of opportunities into big 4 (audit, tax, etc.)

Feb 5, 2019
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