Please Advise Future Wharton Undergrad

Can we do some myth busters with Wharton Undergrad?

I'm a high school senior interested in finance, and I was accepted at Wharton. I've been told a lot about the school, but I want to hear from people actually in investment banking/consulting/etc. What are your impressions of the school? Does having an undergrad degree there help a lot?

Below is a list of statements spoken to me about Wharton- I hope they can provide some talking points.

  • An undergraduate degree from Wharton means that I won't need an MBA down the road. Plus, my employer will pay for it anyways.
  • Wharton provides access to the elite BB- the connections to be made in finance are rivaled only by Harvard.
  • "You shouldn't be too concerned with debt at Wharton. The doors that will open for you will more than compensate."
  • "You'd be stupid to pass up the opportunity."
  • "The kids at Wharton are cut-throat."

So that you know, I love the school (the money is an issue though). But please spew out your honest thoughts!

Comments (68)

Feb 3, 2010

Just my 2c:

1) False
2) Mostly true
3) True
4) True, unless you get into HYP and prefer one of those
5) False, for the most part

Look, the thing about Wharton is that if you know you want to go into business and actually want to study it -- along with the bullshit MGMT, MKTG and BPUB courses that come with it -- nothing else comes close. But if you don't want to study business or aren't 100% sure you want to go into finance, no, you wouldn't be stupid to pass it up and go to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, or several other schools.

Feb 3, 2010

It's a good school. It has a great reputation in finance. The kids that attend are largely douche-bags with chips on their shoulders over not getting into Harvard. It's no more 'cut-throat' than any other Ivy. If you get into H/Y/P, I would go there. If not, go to Wharton or Columbia.

If money is an issue, and you're looking for guidance, what is your next best alternative?

Feb 3, 2010

Definitely false
Wharton is on the same level as H/Y/P/S
True
False. What are your other choices? There are number of schools I'd pick over Wharton.
Idk, but kids I saw from similar undergrad b-programs were complete d-bags and tools.

You will be surrounded by same people with same goals. Just keep that in mind.

Feb 3, 2010

High school senior already thinking bout consulting and IB?
Anyways,
for the most part, business school kids are all the same. big d-bags.

if you want to pursue finance, Wharton will take you farther than HYPS. Small IBs and small shop PEs do hire from Wharton and maybe other undergraduate business schools, but since they do not provide any formal training, they need people who can start right away. So they prefer business school kids.

Mar 8, 2010

Hmm, I doubt that there are significant differences between the kids at the top target schools. It all depends on how good the individual is.

Feb 3, 2010

Look its business school-type personalities not just Wharton. We compete on a curve for grades in every class, there is participation in almost every class, and we compete in clubs to get on board, and especially recruiting for jobs, we need to compete for those job offers.

its all a competition and thats how we view it from the beginning because once we entered our first class of management, we compete with our peers on the team to get the best grade.
we also don't get that interesting liberal arts education so we aren't that "intellectual".

look up silverlake private equity, and you'll see that they only hire from wharton undegrad. as for MBB consulting, wharton doesn't have a big advantage because the business acumen isn't necessary.

Feb 3, 2010

I understand that if you are at the very top of your class at Wharton (top 50) then it is, without a doubt, the best school on earth. According to the last VPUL survey, 3 went to Silver Lake, 9 to Blackstone, and a few to Carlyle and Citadel and such firms. I know that almost no one from Yale and Princeton went to these same firms I assume the same is true of Hedge Funds. For high finance, Wharton dominates.

But for the more human among us, would the average Harvard Joe be better off than the average Whartonite? Why doesn't Wharton just get rid of the curve if it is making tools out of its students. When you describe douche-baggery -if that is a word- are you just referencing their work ethic and competitive spirit? Or do they just not know how to hold a proper conversation and are insufferably arrogant? Also, I've been reading a lot of journals online and the general consensus seems to be that Wharton's MBA program, though very elite, is below those of Harvard and Stanford. Is that accurate? And for, "intellectualism" are Wharton kids generally as smart (using basic metrics like SAT scores and IQ scores) as your average HYP guy? What is the value-added of a Wharton degree in comparison to a degree from HYP?

I realize that I'm probably fitting the Wharton d-bag stereotype to the tee: by being on this site as a high-school student, by managing a portfolio for a year, and by reading deal breaker, [email protected], and the FT as if they were Penthouse. But hey, I'm crazy about finance which is why I want to go to Wharton. I'm sure that we would have described Warren Buffett and Steven A. Cohen as Douche-bags back in the day, right?

I know I am being annoying so I will just shut up now. Do feel free to answer some of my queries though. Really, I am curious to know what you guys think since you have actually been in the industry.

Feb 4, 2010

College NameOfCompany NumberOfEmployeesOnLinkedIN
Harvard Carlyle 115
Wharton Carlyle 54
Harvard Citadel 48
Wharton Citadel 37
Harvard KKR 28
Wharton KKR 17
Harvard "Blackstone Group" 98
Wharton "Blackstone Group" 89

Stop smoking. Harvard > Wharton.

You base intelligence on SAT/IQ scores. I hope college will change your mindset.

Feb 3, 2010

monyet: Average joe at HYPS is probably smarter than the Average joe at Wharton. Aren't they more selective?
Just based on that fact.

Next point: average joe at Harvard vs. average joe at Wharton to get a finance job? The average Harvard guy has to take classes at MIT and really have to reach out to get the finance education, when at Wharton its right in front of you and you learn it all. So basically, Wharton is the easier path to a finance career.

monyet people are d-bags are the ones who talk too much in class to devour the participation points and the ones who ask the recruiters too many questions at information sessions to kiss ass and also are very secretive about grades but want to know your grade and they dont share their notes.

there you go.

Feb 3, 2010

as a former trader, i worked with a few wharton grads, had one work for me and met a few while in the industry. is my opinion and end all be all? no, but heres what i think.

  1. depends. w/ an undergrad degree here, your prestige and seal of approval is pretty much covered. go back to bschool if you want. i knew several who did not. as to your employer paying for your mba, depends on what company you work for and which school. for example mine did it with NYU - you had to maintain certain grades and it was a part time degree of course, and i dont think all top programs have this option. so as you can see, no guarantees.
  2. i think this is true exclusively to investment banking
  3. agreed
  4. agree with the other posters, depends on your other options and your career goals...adding consulting changes things a bit.
  5. cant see how people disagree with this. every wharton undergrad (and grad) i have met is pretty damn competitive. their program is rigorous and coming out of here with all the other really focused finance kids, its seems just necessary to survive.

dont agree with the chip on the shoulder thing vs HYP. not if your focus is business. whartonites are pretty gaddam smart. isnt it the best ugrad bschool in the country? ive never met a wharton grad id consider an idiot. ive met a few from harvard and yale though. if youre talking all around, maybe there a chip? but not more than the kid that went to yale that wanted to go to harvard. i mean its still a top five national uni.

wharton kids act like douches by having a severe need to be right all the time and being number crunching badasses with less tact than your average top ugrad student. and theyre always calculating. im exaggerating, but youre looking to confirm stereotypes, right?

Feb 3, 2010

Please tell me people at ivy schools don't call themselves "whartonites", "harvardians", and "yalies".

Mar 8, 2010

Well, I doubt all this talk about Wharton being any more cut-throat than any other highly selective institution is fair.

Feb 3, 2010

From a practical perspective, it may be better to shine at a lesser school. I had a friend graduate from wharton undergrad two years ago and couldn't land a single finance job, ended up working for the government. IT is super-competitive and BB/PE will not hire their entire analyst class from Wharton, so they set aside a couple of seats, so everyone at your school is competing for a limited number of spots. So although you are open to more opportunities by being at Wharton, you are competing with the best.

HYP have a prestige that goes beyond finance/business which is where wharton's claim to fame lie. HYP will always be top tier target schools and wharton is considered up there with them. Perhaps, you will shine more with your passion of finance at HYP.

"It's all nonsense. Firms use titles to pander to the egos of the employees without giving away the store. If you are getting the money, who cares about the title?"

Mar 8, 2010

Yes and STFU.

Mar 8, 2010

Yes, because if you couldn't afford the $200K, you'd get financial aid/loans, and the difference in future earning power will be worth it multiple times over...

Mar 8, 2010

Obviously.

Mar 8, 2010

You didnt get into anywhere better than the unranked state school except Wharton? in my opinion, no school is worth $200k in debt

Mar 8, 2010

Wharton

Mar 8, 2010

Its a fallacy that people come out of these school 200K in debt. From NYU maybe. Not from the Ivy League or any top-15 school worth its name.

Heck it was cheaper for me to go to my private school than my state school. The fin aid departments in these schools are damn good.

Mar 8, 2010

WHARTON.

"Know thyself"

Feb 3, 2010

Hey thanks so much for your input.

Honestly here's where I am at right now:

  • I have a strong interest in business; however, I am very opening to exploring different fields. (I haven't even ruled medicine completely out yet).
  • I would never attend Harvard or Princeton solely based on the reputation the kids have for being arrogant (which is worse than at Penn imo). Too many of them are there to toss around the brand name, and many feel that it's all they need in life. Could this stereotype be wrong? Yes, but nevertheless I have no interest. Yale, well, the chance of getting into Yale is 1% for my background. I could go to OSU for next to nothing.
  • I will be in debt coming out of Wharton. This for me has been my greatest concern. However, as you have all confirmed, many biz people have told me not to worry. Agreed?
Feb 4, 2010
Whartonite:
  • I would never attend Harvard or Princeton solely based on the reputation the kids have for being arrogant (which is worse than at Penn imo). Too many of them are there to toss around the brand name, and many feel that it's all they need in life. Could this stereotype be wrong? Yes, but nevertheless I have no interest. Yale, well, the chance of getting into Yale is 1% for my background. I could go to OSU for next to nothing.

Where the hell did you hear that crap? I attended one of the HYP and while I can't speak to the other two with much authority the one I did go to I can tell you that the vast, vast majority of people I met were down to earth and pretty normal (aside from being smart and talented at whatever it was that got them into HYP). It's not like everyone was wearing top hats and monacles while sipping martinis and on slow nights they'd get their butler to drive them around in their rolls royce to find poor kids to throw rocks at.

Mar 8, 2010

Start a company, run a non-profit, invent something, win a competition at the national level, get a recommendation from Trump etc.

Cmon man, get creative.

Mar 8, 2010

Sophomore from high school? Why the flying fuck are you on this website...

Mar 8, 2010

Literally my exact thought.

Mar 8, 2010

Hahaha

Mar 8, 2010

Ask this in collegeconfidential or something. If you desperate for advice, PM me

Feb 3, 2010

Whartonite: harvard kids are not as arrogant compared to princeton. They know they are the best, while princeton kids have a chip on their shoulder for not getting to harvard.

if you think humanities and science is boring, you'll like Wharton.

Mar 8, 2010

Here is the article: it was originally published in Poets & Quants with a different title:

http://poetsandquants.com/2014/05/02/who-says-the-...

Within just weeks, the Class of 2014 will be pouring out of the nation's colleges into a job market that is slightly better than last year's but still a bit uncertain. But at one school and one major--at least--there are no concerns whatsoever.

With graduation set for May 18th, the latest crop of undergrads at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School is being eagerly received by an otherwise so-so job market. Led by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, a veritable Who's Who of America's Corporate Elite have been waving some hefty job offers at the roughly 650 students in the Class of 2014, making freshly minted Whartonites among the most richly paid business undergraduates in the world.

More than 80% of the class is expected to receive average sign-on bonuses of nearly $10,000, on top of annual bonuses over $26,000 each, more than what many MBAs get. And the base salary for these undergrads? While the numbers aren't yet in, last year's class averaged an enviable $67,986-and this year the average is likely to pop slightly higher.

As Zoe Greenberg reports for Poets&Quants, Wharton is one of the most respected, and selective, undergraduate business programs in the country.

....see more at link above

Betsy Massar
Come see me at my Q&A thread
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b-school-qa-... Ask away!

Mar 8, 2010

Thanks Betsy!

Mar 8, 2010

Damn it feels good to be a banksta

Mar 8, 2010

Pretty much everyone from Wharton undergrad will find a job that pays 55k/60k atleast. A lot of people in the bottom half of the class end up doing less prestigious stuff though (e.g. operations). If you go to Wharton, you're not guaranteed to be super successful, but you'll probably at least be upper middle class, unless you become a coke head or something.

Mar 8, 2010

67 grand without bonuses is pretty good lol averaged...

thats taking most IB people at 70,75, 80 and not even counting bonus.

Mar 8, 2010

Is Wharton killing it even more than the likes of Harvard and Princeton?

Mar 8, 2010

Nobody at Wharton does "ops" at a bank

To paint a picture with broad strokes, the past few classes have trending away from banking and towards consulting.

Feb 4, 2010

This is flame. The only way you could be accepted at this point is if you applied early decision, in which case you have no choice but to go and these questions are meaningless

Feb 4, 2010

Yes I applied early. However, ED does not commit you if money is an issue.

Feb 4, 2010
Whartonite:

Yes I applied early. However, ED does not commit you if money is an issue.

ED is binding, you signed a contract stating you would attend if admitted. The fact that you're considering going shows that you clearly could afford tuition, its a matter of whether you want to. You might be able to get out of it, although that exception really only applies for people who truly cannot afford it for some reason, but in the end this shows that you're either irresponsible and didn't consider the consequences of your actions or you're unethically trying to game the system. Or you're just trolling

Mar 8, 2010

If you are a high school senior you probably won't be able to land an investment banking internship this summer, despite how smart you might be (Congrats on the acceptance, btw), unless you have strong connections at investment banks. The most typical alternative is usually Private Wealth Management which is much easier to land, although still difficult for a high school senior IMO. Also take into consideration that we are nearly in April so you have that counting against you, as most firms have already signed their summer analysts. My advice to you is to try to land a finance-related internship through your connections. Try to think long and hard about anyone you or your parents might know who work in finance and reach out to them. Basically nepotism is your only option for this summer. Best of luck!

"The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer."

Mar 8, 2010

If you are a senior in high school, I do not recommend getting an internship for this next summer. Odds are that you will not find a job at all, and if you do, it will be PWM cold calling, which is neither fun nor interesting. If you are dead set on sitting at a desk calling people all summer, however, your only chance at this point is to reach out to family and friends and ask them if they have connections in the finance industry. You can also trying cold e-mailing companies and sending out a resume.

In regards to reading, there's no reason for you to read anything highly technical in finance, since you won't be having any of those classes your freshman year anyways. If you are interested in learning more about business and finance in general, I recommend the following classics, if you have not read them already:

"Barbarians at the Gate" by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
"Liar's Poker" by Michael Lewis
"The Buy Side" by Turney Duff
"The House of Morgan" by Ron Chernow

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these books should serve to keep your summer busy.

Mar 8, 2010

Enjoy the summer. You have the next 40 years to work, take the time off while you still can.

Array

Mar 8, 2010

Congrats on the acceptance. I'd wait until after freshman or sophomore year to find internship experience. Best of luck.

Mar 8, 2010

Thank you all for your help. I will surely be reading the literature posted by Mr. Gangster Putin.

Does anyone else have any other literature or newspapers or websites I should check out? Thanks!

Mar 8, 2010

One up on wall street
A random walk down wall street

Mar 8, 2010

Goldman Sachs

Mar 8, 2010

You're at Wharton, just get decent grades and wait until sophomore summer to find something. Enjoy your life, do something interesting (travel, volunteer, a personal project, etc.) for the next two summers. If you want IB, you will have no problem getting an internship Soph and Junior year. Just relax and try to be a normal 18-19 year old kid for a while, work will always be there after college.

Mar 8, 2010

Couldn't agree more. Work on being an interesting person!

Mar 8, 2010

Definitely agree. I've done F500/BB/PE internships every summer in college, but I wish I had done something more interesting, especially during the summer after my freshman year. Study abroad, "intern" abroad, or volunteer somewhere cool. Since you go to a target, you will have plenty of IB/PE opportunities later in your college career.

Feb 8, 2010

Pussinboots, your use of Linkedin does not prove jack. Some may simply have wrote, "University of Pennsylvania" instead of, "Wharton;" whereas every single Harvard name you typed in would have come up whether that is Harvard college, law school, or whatever. I used the exact same site as you but came up with totally different results. This is the methodology I used: I typed in University of Pennsylvania (All of Penn is included) and Harvard (all of Harvard is included) and I searched for current employees. If you typed in Wharton vs Harvard you would get just Wharton versus ALL of Harvard, that means the law school, the business school, all other graduate schools, and the college all in one versus Wharton alone, which is obviously an unfair comparison.

Would I now say, "Stop smoking. Wharton > Harvard." No, because I know that the results you get out of a biased LinkedIn search do not mean shit. There is selection bias in terms of what you type in (as I just proved), what the people on LinkedIn type in and a million other variables. Using LinkedIn to prove one college has better job placement than the other is retarded. I would rather get my info from the incoming analyst class who can tell us how many people from each school are represented using their booklets. Or from people who actually work in the firms. But are you fucking serious? LinkedIn? That's like writing a research paper for the UN and using Wikipedia as you source. Furthermore, considering you are not in the industry I am very skeptical on whether you know jack shit about job placement.

SAT/IQ scores aren't perfect, but it is what we have so we must make do with it.

FTPIER: As for Wharton's selectivity, last year the admit rate was 8%, 2 percent lower than Princeton and one percent higher than Harvard and Yale. This year, thanks to the huge jump in apps the acceptance rate is likely to go under 6% or so. SAT scores are comparable between the two groups. Conclusion: they are equally selective.

Wharton Goldman Sachs:448
Harvard Goldman Sachs: 311

Wharton Morgan Stanley: 595
Harvard Morgan Stanley: 296

Wharton SAC Capital: 18
Harvard SAC Capital: 13

Wharton KKR: 19
Harvard KKR: 16

Wharton Carlyle: 33
Harvard Carlyle: 42

Wharton Blackstone: 70
Harvard Blackstone: 49

Wharton Citadel: 58
Harvard Citadel: 21

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Feb 4, 2010

monyet, you are certainly ahead of your future classmates in terms of douchiness. Keep up the good work.

Feb 4, 2010

Sorry if I hurt your feelings. Just get your facts right next time :) I've removed any Ad Hominem attacks I made against you, it's not worth it.

Feb 4, 2010

"Ad Hominem attacks"

I am a non-target, stop using fancy words with me

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Feb 4, 2010

Wow - what a terrible thread. Go to Wharton, work hard, get good grades, you'll get a good job. People drastically underestimate the luck factor in life so in a sense, you're getting a ridiculous degree of false precision.

Pussinboots - aren't you always moaning about being a non-target senior? Why are you giving advice on "School X > school Y"? There are a number of schools you'd pick over Wharton? Based on what? Listening to other kids jerking off to brand names on WSO?

Feb 4, 2010

the bottom line is this.
If you want to work in Finance and don't care about a liberal arts education, go to Wharton.

If not, go to HYP.

Feb 4, 2010

Why would anyone want a liberal arts education?

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Feb 4, 2010

^^

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

BossMode

Feb 4, 2010

And thanks everyone so much for your comments!

My comments about the perceived arrogance of Harvard and Princeton students is my opinion based off of several traders I've personally talked to, along with conversations I've held with others regarding the schools in general.

By no means do I believe that everyone at the school is arrogant; however, I hold to my stance that my impressions have prevented me from wanting to attend. Whether they are right or wrong, it doesn't matter much. At the end of the day we all have to follow our gut.

Feb 4, 2010

The main negative i my mind about Wharton is that it is extremely competitive to get good jobs.

While at HYPS, students want to be lawyers, doctors, professors, business, etc, everyone at Wharton wants to get into business. Yet the number of spots for BB is limited (probably around 10 into each IBD per year). This leaves quite a few students with less desirable jobs.

So you had better get an extremely high GPA and solid internships.

Feb 4, 2010

Also, you are going to find that there are plenty of highly connected "arrogant" kids at all of these schools. Wharton is no exception,

Feb 4, 2010

Agreed with CashCow.
Right on the mark.

Feb 4, 2010
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Feb 4, 2010
Feb 9, 2010
Feb 9, 2010