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Re: Does School Prestige Matter?

MBAApply's picture
MBAApply - Certified Professional
Rank: Neanderthal | banana points 2,753

"Five years from now..." is a pretty good benchmark for the half-life of most business or career-related arcs (okay, maybe 5-10 years, depending on the career or industry).

As an undergrad or fresh grad, of course your undergrad matters - to you, to your peers, to recruiters, to your parents (if you have helicopter parents that is). Beyond 5 years, it doesn't.

As a b-school student and recent grad, your MBA matters for a while, but peters out within 5 years or so.

When you're in your mid- to late-30s (which to most undergrads may seem "old" but is not) - it's again what you've achieved in the last 5 years that factors into most decision-making (whether to hire you, invest in your company, etc) and far less if any what you did in your 20s.

In your 40s, no one cares what you did in your 20s or a decade before in your 30s for most cases. And so forth.

That's why the "what have you done for me lately" world is a double-edged sword: you can't rest on your laurels from long ago, but any failures are also long forgotten as well.

If there's one piece of advice I *know* from experience (and those I know) that I could give to undergrads and those who are early in their career, it's this:

Be prepared to reinvent yourself. At least a few times in your lifetime. From my own experience and those of my peers (now in their 40s and 50s), especially how the economy has sped up considerably (even more than 10-20 years ago), be prepared to start over faster than you think.

Treat every career like it's an NFL career: short-lived. You will get replaced by younger and cheaper players (and if you join the coaching staff, be prepared to be fired multiple times). And count on this happening every 5-10 (maybe 15?) years or so. Where you have to start over.

Sometimes there's no choice - it's 2008/09, you get fired from a finance job that won't return, so you start a new career.

Sometimes it's a huge change in your personal circumstances - marriage, divorce, kids, death in the family, unexpected healthcare issues with you or your loved ones.

Other times it's existential - you hate your career/life, you need a complete change, or you have some sort of wake up call, scare, or you discover a calling.

The prestige on your resume isn't going to protect you from this, nor is it going to help as much as you think - ESPECIALLY once you're in your late 30s and beyond when the world sees your 20s as "childhood" and heavily discounted.

And ask anyone who has had to do a complete 180 in their career/life - it's not easy. There's a hangover period, a transition period of sorts where you will be scared. But just know that it's an unavoidable fact of life.

Stop focusing on prestige, safety and guarantees - because it's not going to pan out. I'm not being pessimistic. It's a fact of life and the odds are stacked against it working out the way you have envisioned it in your mind. Maybe this job you've envisioned is cushy and takes you beyond b-school for the 2 years. But then what? You think you're all set up for the rest of your life? Here's what WILL happen: you will have to pivot, and pivot hard, at least a few times in your life - maybe it's by force, or by choice, but it WILL happen where you essentially have to start over. And no matter how hard you try to play God in your own life, it's unavoidable: sometimes you see your career ending like a terminal disease, other times it's sudden death.

So instead, build the skills for how to reinvent yourself. Being able to start over, reinvent yourself is going to be most important. And that comes down to one thing:

Curiosity - not many people are as curious as you think. Especially business types at a young age: obsessed with money, prestige, power and playing God in their fantasies. These folks have focused only on learning what they deem will be useful. Being truly curious means learning for the sake of learning - yes you have to balance between being a dilettante and being obsessive, but it's more a state of mind: to constantly challenge and learn about new people, experiences, etc. Learn a new instrument. A new language. Or take a cooking class, dance class, etc. And the more you can get into that habit now, the better, because as you get older and settle in, it's harder to do that. This state of mind and being willing to "be the beginner" is an important muscle that becomes crucial when you have to "be a beginner" when the stakes are higher: when you have to start over. You will find as you graduate and get into the workforce, a lot of people want to be the expert (or pretend to be), but are terrified of being a beginner, or being seen as a beginner.

When you are afraid of being a beginner, you are afraid of learning new things. When you are afraid of being a beginner, you are afraid of the small failings along the way, which only makes any large potential failing that much more terrifying.

Mod Note (Andy): Best of 2016, this post ranks #18 for the past year

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Comments (220)

Mar 1, 2016

+1 SB for a great post.

Do you happen to give TED talks? The "don't be afraid of being a beginner" is straight from one I attended.

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Mar 1, 2016

Haha no TED talks, but I wouldn't be surprised if some version of this was mentioned at TED, since I don't think it's a particularly new idea. It's just something we all need to constantly remind ourselves with some version of:

  • nothing comes fully formed from day one or day 100
  • the masters spent a lifetime making it look easy
  • you will go through an ugly duckling phase
  • learn to snowboard, you will fall on your ass many times
  • learn to sing, you will be awful at first
  • the first draft of your novel is going to suck; rewrite it at least once before sending it out
  • learn a new language, you will get ridiculed or feel humiliated at first
  • Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours to mastery
  • not going to be an expert right away
  • Rome wasn't built in a day
  • don't afraid to suck at first
  • everyone's a rookie at something

And so forth. I guess it's also reinventing an old idea to make us really listen for the first time when it's said in a different way.

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Mar 1, 2016

I can personally attest to at least 4 of these. great post!

Mar 1, 2016

great post

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Mar 1, 2016

Awesome. SB'd

Best Response
Mar 1, 2016

I agree with the basic message of your post in regards to reinventing yourself throughout your career/life, but I do not agree with the premise that your undergrad and MBA matter less as time passes. They continue to matter a great deal, although the relationship between your past education and your current status in life grows increasingly indirect as time passes. Why were you able to get into that prestigious university for your MBA? Primarily because of the undergraduate institution you attended and the job it afforded you after you graduated. Similarly, the job you obtain after receiving your MBA from [insert prestigious university here] is generally a direct result of having attended said school. The same relationship then applies to future positions.

Others that attend schools that are considered "less prestigious" simply won't have the same opportunities that someone graduating from Stanford or Harvard will have. Could two MBA graduates, one from your run-of-the-mill state school and the other from Stanford GSB, eventually end up in the same place as time passes? Sure. But I can guarantee you that it's going to be a hell of a lot harder for the former to do so.

So, yes, school prestige, for better or for worse, matters a great deal. If nothing else, it gives you optionality in life that others simply will not have.

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Mar 1, 2016

Despite all the shits you are being thrown, this is probably true even if people don't want to hear it

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Mar 5, 2016

.......................

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Mar 1, 2016

@WSO2009" i think there's a slight difference between your analogy and the analogy straight cash made. if i'm understanding you correctly, (in your analogy) you seem to refer to 2 established professionals who are already in X position at Y Company (having come there from different schools). They're both on equal footing and don't need to compete w/ each other to secure the job...it's theirs already.

on the other hand, i believe straight cash is using the analogy that these 2 established professionals are vying for the same job (now or in the future). In this case, however, 1 of these people went to a "run-of-the-mill state school", while the other went to a prestigious UG. if there is 1 slot and these are the final 2 candidates being considered (assuming they are both qualified), as a tie breaker, the more pedigreed candidate would often edge out his competition.

let's be real - this isn't news to anyone.

+1 SB @straight cash homie"

Mar 1, 2016
westcoastmonkey8:

@WSO2009 i think there's a slight difference between your analogy and the analogy straight cash made. if i'm understanding you correctly, (in your analogy) you seem to refer to 2 established professionals who are already in X position at Y Company (having come there from different schools). They're both on equal footing and don't need to compete w/ each other to secure the job...it's theirs already.

on the other hand, i believe straight cash is using the analogy that these 2 established professionals are vying for the same job (now or in the future). In this case, however, 1 of these people went to a "run-of-the-mill state school", while the other went to a prestigious UG. if there is 1 slot and these are the final 2 candidates being considered (assuming they are both qualified), as a tie breaker, the more pedigreed candidate would often edge out his competition.

let's be real - this isn't news to anyone.

+1 SB @straight cash homie

No, that wasn't my point. @WSO2009 is correct.

All I was trying to say is that going to a prestigious school affords you opportunities that others won't have, whether it's right after you graduate or 10 years down the road. Using an extreme example...how many MBAs from the University of Phoenix have you seen that are the CEO of a company? Probably none. CEOs from Harvard? Probably quite a few. Does having gone to a more prestigious school mean that the Harvard guy is necessarily smarter than the University of Phoenix guy? No (although I'm going to infer that he probably is). The guy from Harvard simply had more opportunities than the other guy. Maybe he got a job at GS for a few years, then transitioned to PE, and he's now started his own company. Does the University of Phoenix guy have those same opportunities? No. GS isn't going to be recruiting at his campus (if he even has one...he probably took online classes). And after blowing $100k+ on his MBA, he'll be lucky to be employed, let alone at GS.

So, to say that the prestige of a school doesn't matter is flat out wrong. Not sure how anyone can argue this. And no, I didn't go to some private Ivy League school. I partied my way through college at a public school. It's just objectively wrong to say that the prestige of one's school doesn't matter.

And I can appreciate being at a disadvantage for not doing something others consider "prestigious". I had to work my way into PE from a non-traditional background. It was hard, and I got lucky. If I would have done IB right out of school, it would have been much easier.

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Mar 2, 2016

We're not talking about schools like University of Phoenix, idiot. That's a diploma mill. The OP was, I assume, talking about schools like Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Rice, USC, Kelley, and more, that are generally considered less prestigious than the Top 15 schools.

To give you an example, I know this guy who went to Kelley, and is more successful than this other Harvard guy who is a corporate slave and just miserable. The Kelley guy is so successful, he is currently in talks with LinkedIn, who are interested in his multi million dollar "start up".

I can give a lot of examples like that. But what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter where you go to school, it's how you use your skills and the degree. The problem is that not a lot of people are willing to struggle and persevere, which leads to this dependence on "prestige".

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Mar 3, 2016

.

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Mar 2, 2016

Thanks. My ex boyfriend, a college dropout but a wonderful business partner with a decent stake in the firm, works with that Kelley guy and is his right hand man :)

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Mar 3, 2016
ChloeJ90:

We're not talking about schools like University of Phoenix, idiot. That's a diploma mill. The OP was, I assume, talking about schools like Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Rice, USC, Kelley, and more, that are generally considered less prestigious than the Top 15 schools.

Really? The University of Phoenix isn't a good school? Thanks for that valuable insight. I'm well aware of that fact; hence, why I mentioned in my post that I was "using an extreme example" to illustrate a point. Better brush up on those reading comprehension skills before you take the GMAT.

ChloeJ90:

To give you an example, I know this guy who went to Kelley, and is more successful than this other Harvard guy who is a corporate slave and just miserable. The Kelley guy is so successful, he is currently in talks with LinkedIn, who are interested in his multi million dollar "start up". I can give a lot of examples like that. But what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter where you go to school, it's how you use your skills and the degree. The problem is that not a lot of people are willing to struggle and persevere, which leads to this dependence on "prestige".

You know one person from Indiana University who has a successful start-up? Good for him. Really. That's awesome. But that's one person. On average, from which school (Harvard or Indiana) would you say their respective graduates are enjoying better relative success? Since that data is readily available, let's take a look.

Kelley: http://kelley.iu.edu/GCS/files/GCSEmploymentReport... http://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/data/Pages/detailed-...

It's clearly Harvard. To say that "it doesn't matter where you go to school" is objectively idiotic. So, brush up on those logical reasoning skills, too. Ever hear of a small sample size? At this rate, you'll be attending the diploma mill, better known as the University of Phoenix.

And people not wanting to "struggle and persevere" leads to a "dependence on prestige"? So people choose Harvard over Indiana because they're too pussy to go to Indiana so they can fight the good fight against those Ivy Leaguers? What the fuck are you even saying? I'm at a loss for words. Why am I even responding to this post?

If I end up applying to b school, I'll make sure I only apply to average schools just to make it harder on myself. Also, by virtue of saying that people "struggle" going to these schools, you realize that you're admitting I'm right? I'm going to assume you don't. Enjoy attending the University of Phoenix.

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Mar 3, 2016

Looks like you need reading comprehension, not me. I clearly mentioned that it was only one of many examples.

Google Vin McCaffrey, that's another Kelley guy. Very successful, probably more than those in Silicon Valley, and those "prestigious" schools you mentioned rely on his services. But of course, that's only one of the many. There are hundreds of others from less prestigious schools who have proved that it's doable and it's not a sample.

And normally, someone who applies to Ivies do so because he/she knows they won't have to hustle a lot because they'll be handed everything at those schools, because it won't be as hard for them to break into certain fields as it will be for graduates from lower ranked schools. This is a fact, and it is also true.

Secondly, you can't use University of Phoenix as an extreme example. It's an official diploma mill. They have no standards, no similarities with popular schools like Harvard or lesser known schools like Arizona State, they don't even want people with their degrees to be professors there.

Lastly, are you saying that someone who goes to a lesser known school should be miserable, or is not as talented as the Harvard guy? You totally missed the point there. Some people make mistakes early in their lives which they can't undo, their circumstances, or they are just born into troubled families. You won't understand it so let me just give you an example. I was forced by my parents to choose a STEM major, and it totally destroyed me, both mentally and physically, fucked my grades, and I developed some bad habits that I'm still having a hard time to break. Now does that mean I don't deserve to be happy, or go to Harvard because I didn't work hard enough? If you think that I don't, well then you've never made a mistake and don't know what it's like to be miserable because of someone else. And I believe that you are partially right about that, because people who get into Ivies usually are product of good circumstances.

But fortunately, life is not all about schools, and being a corporate slave after graduation till the inevitable happens. Life is more than that. Life is about life, practical life you know ;) that's what the "miserable because they didn't work hard" people are so good at. Schools are just an educational tool for them, that's all. And maybe that's why there are so many college dropouts or those who went to no name schools running multi million dollar businesses, and those same Harvard guys end up working for them, and that's also a fact. Read about Andrew Carnegie if you don't believe me ;)

You probably won't understand this, but I had to put it out there anyway.

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Mar 3, 2016
ChloeJ90:

someone who applies to Ivies do so because he/she knows they won't have to hustle a lot because they'll be handed everything at those schools, because it won't be as hard for them to break into certain fields as it will be for graduates from lower ranked schools.

So, to get back to the crux of our original argument, it matters that you go to a more prestigious school? You just said as much in the above quote. Thank you. This is a stark contrast from what you had said before:

ChloeJ90:

But what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter where you go to school

As for the rest of your post, I can appreciate being at a disadvantage for not doing something others consider "prestigious." I had to work my way into PE from a non-traditional background. It was hard, and I got lucky. That being said, I can still be objective regarding the realities of the world and acknowledge that one's past and current educational/career history has a great impact on his/her future career opportunities. Saying it doesn't may make you sleep at night after you screwed up your GPA, but it's just not true. Does this mean you can't still be successful? No. You can still be great. But it's going to be harder because you're not going to have the same opportunities others will. So, if/when you do achieve success, it should be all the more fulfilling to you.

Best of luck.

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Mar 3, 2016

No. That's not what I meant, I was merely describing the mentality of the aspirants, and the people in general, and why they rely on "prestige" alone. And it's also true, you have more opportunities at those M7 schools than at private schools like USC, and Vanderbilt. It is true, but still, it does NOT matter where you go to school as it has been proven so many times by people like Vin McCaffrey.

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Mar 5, 2016
ChloeJ90:

No. That's not what I meant, I was merely describing the mentality of the aspirants, and the people in general, and why they rely on "prestige" alone. And it's also true, you have more opportunities at those M7 schools than at private schools like USC, and Vanderbilt. It is true, but still, it does NOT matter where you go to school as it has been proven so many times by people like Vin McCaffrey.

I thought like this (Harvard is a bunch of rich snobs who are just cruising) until I met people who went to HBS then applied and interviewed with a bunch of other applicants.

The people I met at HBS (both attending and interviewing) were hands down the best. Some of the most amazing people I've met with goals to do everything from economic policy in Nigeria to management consulting.

You talk about prestige exactly like I thought before I actually met the people first hand. I was dead wrong and you are too.

FYI, I didn't get into HBS and now go to a tier 2.5 regional target and will be interning in management consulting with the same company I would have targeted out of HBS. So after getting the same job I'm still telling you the school matters and it has nothing to do with prestige, it has to do with the people that prestige attracts and retains. I love my school but HBS was a different level.

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Mar 11, 2016

Um..you're included USC in the likes of your other schools...f'n stupid..the other schools have excellent programs and warranted prestige

Mar 1, 2016

This article solved my problem of being in a dilemma. A dilemma is created only when people start worry about the safest and tactical way to accomplish our lifelong goals. But in the process, many people do not enjoy totally. There should not be different attutide towards any stage of life. Clock is ticking, and if there is something we wanna achieve in the future, which is not possible yet right now, don't settle and cherish what we have now, cause somehow those dots can be connected in the future. Beliefs are most important, not the ability of maximizing the uitility of a single decision.

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Mar 2, 2016

When you are afraid of being a beginner, you are afraid of learning new things. When you are afraid of being a beginner, you are afraid of the small failings along the way, which only makes any large potential failing that much more terrifying.

Mar 5, 2016

............

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Mar 3, 2016

You don't get it, do you? Just because someone went to a state school doesn't mean that they're not as intelligent as someone that went to Harvard. I know this girl who went to ECU(East Carolina), and is the best programmer at her workplace. She's now been working as developer at Citadel, and she didn't even need a financial engineering degree from one of those "prestigious" schools for that. She relied on her experience, intelligence, and her degree from the STATE school. Like I've said before, you degree brand matters for the first few years, then its all you.

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Mar 5, 2016

...................

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Mar 3, 2016

And usually, they are product of good circumstance, which proves my point. Just visit ECU someday if you want to, most of the kids grew up in ghettos with troubled backgrounds.

You are simply clueless, and I won't respond to your comments again.

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Mar 5, 2016

.....................

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Mar 3, 2016

You really don't get it. Why am I even arguing with you? LOL. Financial aid doesn't mean that you're not a product of good circumstance. Everyone's not rich. But most are from middle class families, and not all middle class families can afford to pay that much, but they do have stable environment for raising their children without any major problems.

I have a friend who was valedictorian, who could get into Duke, but because of their appalling fees, she didn't even apply and instead went to ECU because they gave her full ride, the same girl who works at Citadel now.

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Mar 6, 2016
ChloeJ90:

You don't get it, do you? Just because someone went to a state school doesn't mean that they're not as intelligent as someone that went to Harvard. I know this girl who went to ECU(East Carolina), and is the best programmer at her workplace. She's now been working as developer at Citadel, and she didn't even need a financial engineering degree from one of those "prestigious" schools for that. She relied on her experience, intelligence, and her degree from the STATE school. Like I've said before, you degree brand matters for the first few years, then its all you.

You really seem to struggle with forming coherent, structured arguments.

Mar 3, 2016

School prestige absolutely matters. It is just a fact. I think it is borderline irresponsible to say otherwise. Not to knock Kelley but Harvard>>>>Kelley. The average outcome of students at Harvard blows away that of those at Kelley. It is important to, for the most part, ignore successful outliers.

Would you advise some highschool students that dropping out is okay because there are a couple of multi-millionaires out there who did so?

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Mar 3, 2016

No. All I'm saying is that it doesn't matter where you go to school. If you got accepted into Harvard, more power to you. If you couldn't get in, and got into Rice or Kelley instead, it's not the end of the world, you should be just as excited, and happy about it.

You probably should watch Mr Nobody. I love this quote : "Every path is the right path. Everything could've been anything else. And it would have just as much meaning."

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Mar 5, 2016

............

Mar 3, 2016

No I didn't. It was just an example since it's generally looked down upon. I didn't say that Harvard students are lazy, I just said that they are product of good circumstance with the idea that everything will be handed to them.

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Mar 5, 2016

............

Mar 3, 2016

So much exaggeration.

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Mar 5, 2016

........

Mar 3, 2016

Like I said, financial aid doesn't mean you're not a product of good circumstance. Stop it, okay? I don't want to feel obligated to respond to your nonsense.

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Mar 3, 2016
ChloeJ90:

You probably should watch Mr Nobody. I love this quote : "Every path is the right path. Everything could've been anything else. And it would have just as much meaning."

+1 for the quote. This is the most heated debate I've read here in awhile.

Mar 3, 2016

This thread is hilarious

Mar 3, 2016

Why is hilarious?

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Mar 4, 2016
ChloeJ90:

Why is hilarious?

Because your butthurt/inferiority complex is palpable.

It is truly laughable.

If you don't know who the sucker is at the table, it's you.

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Mar 4, 2016

It's not inferiority complex or "butthurtness". It is common sense(not so common these days).

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Mar 4, 2016
ChloeJ90:

It's not inferiority complex or "butthurtness". It is common sense(not so common these days).

You don't seem to know what "common sense" means.

Mar 3, 2016

The students who are accepted to Harvard and attend would arguably be just as successful as if they went to any other decent school. That is to say, predicting student success depends on a whole host of variables (GPA/SAT/ACT, Parent Education, Etc.), and a source of unknown variables (charisma? good looks?), all of which are largely formed prior to one attending university.

All else being equal and on average, of course it would be better for the same student to attend Harvard. On another note, I really derive pleasure from seeing all of the butt-hurt posters. Keep it up!

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Mar 3, 2016

Very interesting post, thank you for the tips!

Alexander Watkins,
Architectural Draftsman, Financial Chimp.

Mar 4, 2016

Lol this thread is why WSO is such a shit show. Guy writes a puff piece for inspiration and it turns into an unhinged, erratic and angry diatribe about outliers from mediocre schools who prove it to all those stupid privileged people holding us down.

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Mar 4, 2016

You guys are crazy.. I didn't say the OP was wrong. I was just merely explaining why prestige doesn't matter anymore. Y'all are victims of cognitive dissonance, because it really DOESN'T matter anymore.

That's what I like about the MSF programs. It doesn't matter if they don't have a "brand name", all matters is their ability to connect you with important people in the industry.

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Mar 4, 2016
ChloeJ90:

You guys are crazy.. I didn't say the OP was wrong. I was just merely explaining why prestige doesn't matter anymore. Y'all are victims of cognitive dissonance, because it really DOESN'T matter anymore.

You said I was wrong. If you remember, you called me an idiot.

Also, blanket, delusional statements like "prestige doesn't matter anymore" are why people are disagreeing with you. But apparently we're all crazy, so just ignore us.

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Mar 4, 2016

Like I told you, you need reading comprehension. "I didn't say the OP was wrong", well, you're not OP.

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Mar 4, 2016
ChloeJ90:

Like I told you, you need reading comprehension. "I didn't say the OP was wrong", well, you're not OP.

lol you continue to surprise me

Please keep posting.

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Mar 4, 2016

You probably don't have a life, that's why you're at it again. Well, I do & I have to go. Enjoy being ignorant.

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Mar 4, 2016

Don't go, this is amazing.

So just to be clear, you think that the average student at Kelley and Harvard have no differences, other than that the one at Harvard is a spoiled rich kid? And that ten years down the road, the Harvard kid and the Kelley kid will have equal outcome because the Kelley kid will work harder, because "feelings"?

How are you typing any of this with a straight face?

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Mar 4, 2016

Yes, that's what I think. However I didn't say "spoiled rich kid", stop twisting my words.

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Mar 4, 2016
ChloeJ90:

You guys are crazy.. I didn't say the OP was wrong. I was just merely explaining why prestige doesn't matter anymore. Y'all are victims of cognitive dissonance, because it really DOESN'T matter anymore.

That's what I like about the MSF programs. It doesn't matter if they don't have a "brand name", all matters is their ability to connect you with important people in the industry.

You don't seem to know what " cognitive dissonance" means either. I guess I would expect that from you low lifes who can't enjoy the good life, like me, with my plethora of opportunities handed to me at every HBS society meeting and my summers in Montauk.

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Mar 4, 2016

I would call that arrogance as a result of ignorance.

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Mar 4, 2016

I thought you had a life, so you wouldn't be responding anymore. What happened to it?

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Mar 4, 2016

Sure, I don't spend all day arguing with strangers.

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Mar 4, 2016

Going to an elite school doesn't make success a certainty. It can be very helpful. School name certainly matters but at the end of the day it doesn't mean a thing if its all you have.

The vast majority of potential employers want kids with good educations, good experience, and a good level of talent. School prestige isn't as important to most employers as it is for those in "elite" society. If your goal is to work on wallstreet then school prestige is going to be far more important. If you want a good job paying good money at a major corporation school prestige isn't as important.

Regardless of where you goto school if you seek out opportunities and make the most of them you'll most likely be successful. Developing talent, gaining experience, being intellectually curious, and having desire are the biggest determinants of success imo.

People who are going to be successful are going to be successful regardless of the school they attend. Going to a particular school doesn't make you smart. Not going to a particular school doesn't make you dumb. Its far more complex than that. Are the absolute brightest at Harvard smarter than the average state school student...yes. They're also smarter than the average Harvard student. Variation exists everywhere.

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Mar 4, 2016

State school guy now at HBS here. @ChloeJ90 you are wrong. Prestige matters. Yes there are legacies here and across the river but they are the minority. Feel free to swing by campus some time and I can introduce you to people from both sides.

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Mar 5, 2016

I don't trust chimps you know ;)

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Mar 5, 2016

This thread is prosposterous.
The bottom line is this. Most of the people who go to ANY "presitige" school are typipically of the same ilk, and are generally extremely intellectually competent.
That doesn't mean someone from Pace or Rutgers isn't just as capable it means they merely started from a different station.
In my extensive Wall Street experience I would say presitige gets you in the door because of networks and hiring managers assume you are bright - they don't have to guess.
A lower echelon school hire will have to prove themselves tenfold (which usually leads to the "Harvard guys are lazy" dialogue). Within 6 months all things are equal internally and only hard work and intellect move you up the food chain.
That said, without a doubt, presitige gets you an invite to the party, the same party that you are forced to hustle your way into if you come from an ancillary school - unless you have a connection at that firm.
I have hired scores of not hundreds of people and I can now say I would take ANYONE who finished top of class from a top state school (NC, Berkeley, Texas, Wisconsin, et al) undergrad and ANYONE who finished from a top 10 MBA first for a wide array of different reasons predominately work ethic and intellect.
Anyone who doesn't believe or understand this has never hired or managed anyone.
That said once you are in a firm, regardless of what your background is, or where you came from - it is all up to you.

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Mar 5, 2016

As a recent grad I can say I really appreciated reading this. Already bookmarked.

Mar 5, 2016

There are quite a few Baruch/CUNY alums at JPM and GS. The majority have high grade and a work ethic and/or story that can probably beat out a majority of kids at top tier schools. I have a friend at Baruch and tuition is like 7k for NYC residents but the majority get financial aid so they end paying a whole lot less. Plus many of them are from the city so they also save on room and board. She told me that JPM and GS hold OCR sessions all the time. She even got a 4 year rational internship program and scholarship from JPM in high school. She has met many Baruch/CUNY alums at JPM. Goes to show that sometimes where you go to school doesn't matter.

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Mar 5, 2016

...............

Mar 5, 2016

If you are a NYC resident and money is an issue, you can't go wrong with Baruch. It is definitely great for rotational programs.

Mar 5, 2016

.............

Mar 5, 2016

I wouldn't take person who asks for your "fun pics" seriously. There's nothing good about you, I can't believe Kellogg accepted you unless that's a lie too. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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Mar 5, 2016
ChloeJ90:

I wouldn't take person who asks for your "fun pics" seriously. There's nothing good about you, I can't believe Kellogg accepted you unless that's a lie too. You should be ashamed of yourself.

"fun pics"? Did I miss something?

If you don't know who the sucker is at the table, it's you.

Mar 5, 2016

The guy wanted my Skype to see my "fun pics". Backed off when I got too real and wanted to Skype call him.

Mar 6, 2016
SweetIceTea:

There are quite a few Baruch/CUNY alums at JPM and GS. The majority have high grade and a work ethic and/or story that can probably beat out a majority of kids at top tier schools. I have a friend at Baruch and tuition is like 7k for NYC residents but the majority get financial aid so they end paying a whole lot less. Plus many of them are from the city so they also save on room and board. She told me that JPM and GS hold OCR sessions all the time. She even got a 4 year rational internship program and scholarship from JPM in high school. She has met many Baruch/CUNY alums at JPM. Goes to show that sometimes where you go to school doesn't matter.

There are a lot of Baruch and CUNY alums at GS... but they aren't in investment banking or S&T. There are some, but banking doesn't do full OCR at all but a select number of top universities.

There have been like 2 actually good posts in this thread. Going to a "prestige school" gets you interviews that are much harder (and sometimes impossible) to get at other schools. That's an indisputable fact. That doesn't mean that the HBS guy is necessarily more capable than the CUNY guy, but the same person at either place is much more likely to have opportunities and doors open for him with HBS on his resume than he is with CUNY on his resume. If you've ever been in a hiring position in Finance, you know this is true.

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Mar 5, 2016

Great post!

Mar 5, 2016

Great post! Really appreciate it, and definitely not what I thought it was going to be. Definitely helps to do a check on yourself every once in a while and put things in perspective. Cheers.

Going all in on Finance.

Mar 6, 2016

I define success as not feeling the need to participate on either side of these threads by the time you're 5 years out of school.

Mar 7, 2016

It's no, All i am saying is that going to a regarded School doesn't mean that they are astute compared to someone who attends a Reputed school.
Only reason to attend school is to gain knowledge.

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Mar 7, 2016

The biggest risk is doing everything right but one day the music stops and you dont have a chair. Good friend of mine did it all; Valedictorian, Ivy, Wall Street, MBA, iBanking, nipping at MD - then his bank closed that division. Then the rest of wall street cut back on those jobs. Then unemployment, then a crappier support job in banking, then faced with a move to Asia or unemployment again.

Doing everything right prepares you for everything going right. It doesn't prepare you for all the sucker punches of life.

Reinvention is like a startup. You either work on it at nights and weekends or you bootstrap through with low overhead. Like entrepreneurship, it takes either guts or desperation to get out of comfort. I've seen guys more talented than me stuck in declining wages because they couldn't cut their personal overhead or were afraid of what their wife's reaction would be.

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Mar 7, 2016

I feel like people always miss the other side of everything. Most things that occur to us are due to our own fault and are egging us on to grow. Welcoming struggle can be the fastest way to grow and then prosper in the long-run.

Mar 9, 2016

I'd say if you ever went through buyside recruiting, school is 33% of the equation... Best of luck to us state school kids lol

but srs nice post agreed with most of it. Too bad finance is all competitive/presitge whoring

Mar 10, 2016

Thanks for the post. Gives encouragement to people who enjoy new challenges for the sake of testing themselves and wanting to avoid the Silo Effect.

Mar 11, 2016

Great post

Mar 11, 2016

great post!

Mar 12, 2016

I like how some people believe that HYPS grads are so far superior to their state college counterparts. I've fired multiple people from top schools who weren't worth a shit.

Apr 1, 2016

Thank you, you have just confirmed what most people know, it is not about where you went, it is about the attitude one takes in dealing with multiple situations. Plenty of schools jack up their tuition prices and try to justify them with the elite marquee etc.

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

Apr 1, 2016

Very sagacious words and very true, I had to reinvent myself multiple times from being a scientist, Engineer, Technologist and now trying to get into finance as a financial adviser. Things are going to change the only road kill that I often observe in my travels are the ones who hate and refuse to change. Either, it is people who refuse to change from using paper to computer based systems, to ones who refuse to follow/work on changes the company rolls out because they think it is a waste of time etc.

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

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Jul 3, 2016

"When you are afraid of being a beginner, you are afraid of learning new things. When you are afraid of being a beginner, you are afraid of the small failings along the way, which only makes any large potential failing that much more terrifying." Incredibly wise words, OP.

Jul 5, 2016

there's an inverse relation between the importance of school prestige and who you know. Of course, the more of both, the better.

Jul 7, 2016

prestige isn't the most important thing but its nice to have on the resume thats for sure.

Jul 18, 2016

Great piece of advice OP! However, coming from a prestigious school will always give you an advantage over those who do not.

Jul 18, 2016

Harvard College + Harvard MBA
Seriously though, very different kinds of people - Harvard college, much smarter
HBS often all flash and no substance, but generally have a reputation for being very driven and ambitious if not always too bright or pleasant to deal with

Jul 18, 2016

prestige?
of course Harvard College + Harvard MBA.
Some might venture to say that Harvard College alone has higher prestige vs. Stern/Ross/Haas + Harvard MBA.

But what's the exchange rate for prestige to $? It's not as much as some people think. Confounding variable problem.

Jul 18, 2016

Harvard College / HBS doesn't equal a ticket to success...... sorry

Jul 18, 2016

^ I share the same sentiment. The idea that Ivy students are THE BEST is simply false. Yeah they were the best in regurgitating useless bs in simple exams throughout high school, but that doesn't equate to being brilliant, driven, or ambitious.

Jul 18, 2016

I currently attend a top undergrad business program and I know that many of my peers are going to get prestigious jobs in ibanking or consulting but a Stern/Ross/Haas degree does not have the same wow factor for the general public as HYP.

Like everyone, I care about success in the business world, and graduating from any institution does not guarantee anything, even though it's a lot easier coming form a target school. This question is only about the wow factor in the business world and in the general public.

I am a little bit surprised by some of the answers because I always thought that graduating from a good grad school was more important than undergrad but I really appreciate the comments.

Jul 18, 2016

How much the general public is wow'd is important. . . .

EDIT: added ellipsis to make sarcasm a bit more evident

"The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals but absolutely limited by the state."--Kenneth Boulding

Jul 18, 2016

the average person(99%) doesn't give a fuck what school you went to and can tell who is smart and who isn't just by having a conversation

now, on a side note

I seen some users who claimed they went Ives post some trade ideas and opinions over the economy and seen there ideas get ripped to shreds 3 weeks down the rode :/

they do know how to use correct grammar though, I was quiet impressed

<3

Jul 18, 2016

I guarantee you going to Harvard didn't make or break Bill Gates.

It's the whole chicken or the egg deal. The kids who go to top schools already have a proven track record. That means the odds of picking the future leaders/successful business leaders is increased by a lot.

If all the kids go to the local state university to party and Harvard is picking the best and brightest in the country than I wonder who will, on average, be more successful....

If you read the biographies of the great minds of the world, it mattered far more who they were working with rather than what credentials they had etc. It's all about performance, and the kids who go to top schools already perform well, so they will probably continue that trend. Harvard produces its fair share of screw ups. Nothing in life is perfect.

Now that's not saying you can go wherever you want, but going to aa top school matters far less than most people think, especially if you want to do something that isn't pedigreed (start a business etc.).

Just scroll down the list of Forbes billionaires... they went everywhere you can imagine.

Jul 18, 2016
Jul 18, 2016

How about Harvard undergrad, Booth grad school.

Need to get some freshwater credentials. Besides, Harvard may take in the best of the best, but Booth produces the best of the best. Once you graduate, much better to be from the same school as the current best-of-the-best than a bunch of 30-somethings who started a charity in Zimbabwe at age 22 and haven't done much since.

Jul 18, 2016

Good undergrad, good graduate school is how we usually approach it - most candidates we end up with go to a combination of top 10 undergrad degrees, top 6 b-school. When we recruit at b-school we end up preferring candidates with stronger undergrad background, but once the actual interview process starts it's all about the candidate rather than their undergrad. Strong undergrad gives you a leg up, but strong candidates almost always do well regardless of their undergrad.

Some PE shops only want HYP + HBS - that's a dumb approach in my view - but it does clearly gets the candidates who have been very focused on success and I see no reason to penalize those folks

Jul 18, 2016

It's the whole correlation vs. causation issue. It's not that any top 10/ top 5 school makes great thinkers.... it's that they get to select them from a huge group of applicants and cherry pick the best of the best. However, there is a huge difference between success in school and success in the business world / "life". There isn't any textbook on how to start your own business, only your own intuition.

Jul 18, 2016

These threads are stupid.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

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Jul 18, 2016

It's good to know what people are thinking (I am from a different country, where only Harvard, Yale, Berkeley and MIT are well-known)

Anyway, I am really happy at my top undergrad business program and I know that considering my personality/intellect, it was the best choice (I was also accepted at Dartmouth, Cornell and UChicago, didn't apply to HYP).

I am already the type of person who loves to read Descartes or Nietzsche. I am absolutely not a project-driven person, not just because I am lazy but because of my childhood and philosophical ideas. I hope that b-school is going to make me believe in the possiblity to have an impact/create change/act etc. instead of always thinking.

Jul 18, 2016

I guess...but the main person I know who's an ibanker and currently getting his MBA @ Stanford went to a state school for pre-med before switching majors. But GMAT will defnitely matter. But I think anything above a 700 is sufficient, I think?

Jul 18, 2016

Generally those banks are easier to get into; they usually recruit top students from schools in their region.

Jul 18, 2016
alexpasch:

Generally those banks are easier to get into; they usually recruit top students from schools in their region.

alright thats what i was thinking. i would love to work in ibanking but don't really like NYC, would prefer to stay in the midwest, but would love to work in the pacific northwest

And would they more likely to recruit at top public or private schools? or just a mix of both?

Jul 18, 2016

If you are coming from a non-target and aiming for a regional shop, you will have a shot, but your best bet will come from networking, keeping a high GPA and having relevant coursework and a relevant major so that these boutique shops, which often don't have formal training programs, will know that you are able to hit the ground running. Here's more help for breaking in from a non-target.

PM me if you have other questions.

Jul 18, 2016
BankonBanking:

If you are coming from a non-target and aiming for a regional shop, you will have a shot, but your best bet will come from networking, keeping a high GPA and having relevant coursework and a relevant major so that these boutique shops, which often don't have formal training programs, will know that you are able to hit the ground running. Here's more help for breaking in from a non-target.
PM me if you have other questions.

well I would just really like to go to a Midwestern school, majoring in finance or Econ in undergrad. If I went to Texas-mccombs or maybe Indiana-Kelly. Basically I have a 3.6ish in high school with only a few ECs and will probably get a 27 or so on the act, so I realistically dot think I could get into top privates/b schools. Figuring either a top public or maybe creighton/northwestern. At all of these wouldn't my best shot be at a smaller boutique/MM bank?

Jul 18, 2016

Also keep in mind, the greatest value for where you currently are in life is optionality. So if you wake up tomorrow and decide you no longer want to work at a boutique, will you still have the optionality of reasonably pursuing BB opportunities? If you decide you don't want to work in banking at all, what other types of jobs are you well positioned for? etc...

Jul 18, 2016

You will definitely have an opportunity to do so but you will have to be aggressive in your recruiting efforts (cold calling weekly). It's going to depend a great deal on what boutique you are interested in. I was in a similar situation graduating from a non-target and looking for a boutique in Chicago. It will still be difficult to get into a more "elite" boutique such as Greenhill, Lazard, Evercore etc. but easier with other shops such as William Blair, or Robert Baird.

Jul 18, 2016

I think you should look into Kelly. That appears to fit your credentials the best. Kelly is a top 25 school and gets some of the big banks there and has a good relationship with JP Morgan. They also have a supposed "elite IB club." Sorry to say, I don't think Northwestern is very realistic for someone with a 27 act and 3.6 GPA. Don't know about texas, but out of any of the other if you get a high gpa you can land an MM or well now boutique.

Jul 18, 2016
Adam_Smith:

I think you should look into Kelly. That appears to fit your credentials the best. Kelly is a top 25 school and gets some of the big banks there and has a good relationship with JP Morgan. They also have a supposed "elite IB club." Sorry to say, I don't think Northwestern is very realistic for someone with a 27 act and 3.6 GPA. Don't know about texas, but out of any of the other if you get a high gpa you can land an MM or well now boutique.

yeah, i havent taken the act yet, but take it in 2 weeks and have a study guide for it, so im hoping for a 30 or so, but projected to get a 26-27. I was hoping for a finance/econ major instead of just an MBA, because i thinkin if Ibanking doesn't go well, i could get into just the banking business in general and feel a finance major would help, but yeah really now I'm thinking my options for udnergrad are McCombs, Kelley, and Creighton (Creighton moreso if i end up just wanting to go into general banking)

Jul 18, 2016

Well, IMO admissions isn't as random as you're making it out to be. The very top students more often than not end up in the top target schools, and any stories otherwise are usually anecdotal and not the norm.

IB is basically a prestige machine, and since they get so many applicants it's easier for them to just limit their choices to "top x" schools.

Jul 18, 2016
Goldman Stanley:

Well, IMO admissions isn't as random as you're making it out to be. The very top students more often than not end up in the top target schools, and any stories otherwise are usually anecdotal and not the norm.

IB is basically a prestige machine, and since they get so many applicants it's easier for them to just limit their choices to "top x" schools.

there is significant randomness within the tiers, but not as much between tiers

Jul 18, 2016

Dean Fitzsimmons of Harvard once said that he could fill one class of Harvard students several times over with no measurable difference in quality. What I don't understand is why, then, top BBs place so much emphasis on your college's name.

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Jul 18, 2016
harryklein:

Dean Fitzsimmons of Harvard once said that he could fill one class of Harvard students several times over with no measurable difference in quality. What I don't understand is why, then, top BBs place so much emphasis on your college's name.

that's just PC BS.

if that was possible, but they still managed to pick a limited number, there must be a way of distinguishing the good from the best.

Jul 18, 2016
harryklein:

Dean Fitzsimmons of Harvard once said that he could fill one class of Harvard students several times over with no measurable difference in quality. What I don't understand is why, then, top BBs place so much emphasis on your college's name.

The other several times over goes to YPS, the rest of the ivies, etc. not to random non-targets

Jul 18, 2016

I think it largely depends on the fact that recruiters see it as some sort of guarantee of quality. The recruiter knows that the candidate from a target has been subject to top quality education and been fostered in an environment that on average is a bit more professional than at a non-target university. They are basically playing it safe.

Your comment about randomness in college admission is probably quite accurate and the whole system with extra-curriculum, sport skills, racial quotas etc as means to get accepted to US universities is quite baffling for some Europeans. Where I come from it's simple your GPA and SAT that matters, which to a pretty large extent (but not entirely) removes any arbitrariness in the admission process.

Jul 18, 2016

The difference between attending Harvard and a state school like Michigan could come down to whether or not one particular undergrad admissions officer liked you and advocated for you.

You don't honestly believe that do you? Financial needs/personal preferences aside, do you really think someone who was competitive with the average Harvard student would, because of college admissions randomness, end up with nothing better than Michigan? The probability of a student that smart getting rejected by every single target school is pretty slim.

Jul 18, 2016
abcdefghij:

The difference between attending Harvard and a state school like Michigan could come down to whether or not one particular undergrad admissions officer liked you and advocated for you.

You don't honestly believe that do you? Financial needs/personal preferences aside, do you really think someone who was competitive with the average Harvard student would, because of college admissions randomness, end up with nothing better than Michigan? The probability of a student that smart getting rejected by every single target school is pretty slim.

This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. The schools these days don't even focus on grades/sats since so many people have 4.0s/2400s, they care about the essays and why you want to attend each college. it's not like you just apply to every one of the ivies, with the expectation of your stats getting you in, because "fit" matters most. The applications have to be perfect, very unique, individualized, thought provoking and even if they are, if you're asian, well tough luck.

Jul 18, 2016
tkid3400:

This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. The schools these days don't even focus on grades/sats since so many people have 4.0s/2400s, they care about the essays and why you want to attend each college. it's not like you just apply to every one of the ivies, with the expectation of your stats getting you in, because "fit" matters most. The applications have to be perfect, very unique, individualized, thought provoking and even if they are, if you're asian, well tough luck.

Pretty sure

Jul 18, 2016

I never bought that college admissions was random. All the amazing kids I know got admitted to almost every ivy and the kids that were pretty good got admitted to all the middle ivies and maybe scraped one HYP, etc. Even if it is true that there is some randomness in the process (and I agree there probably is some), it's not like you apply to Harvard and if you don't get in you end up at community college. There are eight ivies and a lot of other amazing schools like Standard, MIT, and Duke where you can go. Does that mean there aren't smart kids at state schools, obviously not. But, as a previous poster said, banks like ivies just because its a kind of "guarantee" that all the kids will be quality.

Also, with regard to Michigan, because you referenced it as a school that doesn't get recruited as heavily as Harvard, I can tell you that now that the banks are listing all the applicants they accepted into the investment banking, my friends and I who are going to a lot of the "good banks" are really blown away with just how well schools that some people don't mention in the same breaths as Harvard and Wharton are doing. I think Notre Dame, Michigan, NYU, and Georgetown (schools with UG business schools) almost certainly place every bit as well as some of the more mid-level ivies. Of course, there are probably more kids gunning for spots in banking at those places as well, but I still was really impressed.

Jul 18, 2016

One point that might not have been mentioned is that employees at banks are biased and so the alums of certain schools will consistently pick/recommend students from their alma mater. It's self perpetuating, to some extent.

Jul 18, 2016

I definitely admit that in general/more times than not a randomly picked Ivy student will be better than a randomly picked other student, but to say it is anywhere near a "guarantee" is ridiculous. Not saying this out of jealousy, but seriously, the amount of crap that gets mixed in at Ivies is crazy. And even among the Ivy students who aren't what I consider crap, there are still students who just plain can't do finance despite their amazing academic abilities and work ethic.

I am assuming that the posters above were just trying to explain how banks/firms justify their decisions and cutting of corners (in a sense, since they aren't doing the best looking over of each candidate), but it is important to realize how inaccurate of a generalization it is to say that target means a "guarantee."

I have spent a lot of time in both target/non-target environments, so I am just saying how amazing the variety is at an Ivy. You get a number of brilliant people, but then you get plenty of duds who are being given similar opportunities as those who are significantly more deserving from that Ivy.

Jul 18, 2016
frozencheese:

And even among the Ivy students who aren't what I consider crap, there are still students who just plain can't do finance despite their amazing academic abilities and work ethic.

For such incredibly smart people at the Ivy Leagues there are an amazing number of socialists and communists or far leftist students at these schools who reject capitalism. I've always been astonished how such intelligent people could reject human psychology 101, mathematics 101, and history 101, all which lead to the conclusion that capitalism and free markets are successful and that centralized planning is largely a failure.

My brother is one of those hyper intelligent people who is incredible at math and can do literally anything he sets his mind to, and yet he thinks finance, capitalism and the free market are wicked concoctions of man and should be and can be replaced with utopian thoughts and systems. Unbelievable that these hyper intelligent people don't understand basic human psychology or the basic and simple rules of supply and demand. I'll never understand how someone can crush the SAT and yet not understand, for example, how government imposed price controls cause supply shortages or how raising taxes can create labor disincentives or how a complicated and expensive tax code can create an environment of mass tax avoidance or how liberally issuing college debt can cause the cost of college to rise at a clip 4 times that of inflation. Painfully obvious and basic concepts some of the smartest people I know reject. Mind numbing.

Jul 18, 2016
DCDepository:
frozencheese:

And even among the Ivy students who aren't what I consider crap, there are still students who just plain can't do finance despite their amazing academic abilities and work ethic.

For such incredibly smart people at the Ivy Leagues there are an amazing number of socialists and communists or far leftist students at these schools who reject capitalism. I've always been astonished how such intelligent people could reject human psychology 101, mathematics 101, and history 101, all which lead to the conclusion that capitalism and free markets are successful and that centralized planning is largely a failure.

My brother is one of those hyper intelligent people who is incredible at math and can do literally anything he sets his mind to, and yet he thinks finance, capitalism and the free market are wicked concoctions of man and should be and can be replaced with utopian thoughts and systems. Unbelievable that these hyper intelligent people don't understand basic human psychology or the basic and simple rules of supply and demand. I'll never understand how someone can crush the SAT and yet not understand, for example, how government imposed price controls cause supply shortages or how raising taxes can create labor disincentives or how a complicated and expensive tax code can create an environment of mass tax avoidance or how liberally issuing college debt can cause the cost of college to rise at a clip 4 times that of inflation. Painfully obvious and basic concepts some of the smartest people I know reject. Mind numbing.

I wish I lived in a world that was as black and white as the one you seem to live in.

Jul 18, 2016
duffmt6:
DCDepository:

frozencheese:
And even among the Ivy students who aren't what I consider crap, there are still students who just plain can't do finance despite their amazing academic abilities and work ethic.

For such incredibly smart people at the Ivy Leagues there are an amazing number of socialists and communists or far leftist students at these schools who reject capitalism. I've always been astonished how such intelligent people could reject human psychology 101, mathematics 101, and history 101, all which lead to the conclusion that capitalism and free markets are successful and that centralized planning is largely a failure.
My brother is one of those hyper intelligent people who is incredible at math and can do literally anything he sets his mind to, and yet he thinks finance, capitalism and the free market are wicked concoctions of man and should be and can be replaced with utopian thoughts and systems. Unbelievable that these hyper intelligent people don't understand basic human psychology or the basic and simple rules of supply and demand. I'll never understand how someone can crush the SAT and yet not understand, for example, how government imposed price controls cause supply shortages or how raising taxes can create labor disincentives or how a complicated and expensive tax code can create an environment of mass tax avoidance or how liberally issuing college debt can cause the cost of college to rise at a clip 4 times that of inflation. Painfully obvious and basic concepts some of the smartest people I know reject. Mind numbing.

I wish I lived in a world that was as black and white as the one you seem to live in.

The world isn't black and white, which is why ignoring human psychology in constructing economic ideas is the Ivy League student's greatest failure.

Jul 18, 2016
DCDepository:
frozencheese:

And even among the Ivy students who aren't what I consider crap, there are still students who just plain can't do finance despite their amazing academic abilities and work ethic.

For such incredibly smart people at the Ivy Leagues there are an amazing number of socialists and communists or far leftist students at these schools who reject capitalism. I've always been astonished how such intelligent people could reject human psychology 101, mathematics 101, and history 101, all which lead to the conclusion that capitalism and free markets are successful and that centralized planning is largely a failure.

My brother is one of those hyper intelligent people who is incredible at math and can do literally anything he sets his mind to, and yet he thinks finance, capitalism and the free market are wicked concoctions of man and should be and can be replaced with utopian thoughts and systems. Unbelievable that these hyper intelligent people don't understand basic human psychology or the basic and simple rules of supply and demand. I'll never understand how someone can crush the SAT and yet not understand, for example, how government imposed price controls cause supply shortages or how raising taxes can create labor disincentives or how a complicated and expensive tax code can create an environment of mass tax avoidance or how liberally issuing college debt can cause the cost of college to rise at a clip 4 times that of inflation. Painfully obvious and basic concepts some of the smartest people I know reject. Mind numbing.

People who are insanely smart tend to patter their thoughts and beliefs on theoretical ideas rather than proven realities. For example, socialism is a very successful way of dispersing limited resources. Why then does it fail? Because, in the dispersion model they do not account for human nature and human psychology. The idea of everyone having enough to live comfortably is in line with a human trait to not want to see suffering. However it ignores the human traits of greed, ambition, desire for power. By understanding that people who are super smart model their thought patters on theoretical ideas it is easy to understand why the HYP of the world tend to be a collection point for people with similar ideas.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jul 18, 2016
heister:
DCDepository:

frozencheese:
And even among the Ivy students who aren't what I consider crap, there are still students who just plain can't do finance despite their amazing academic abilities and work ethic.

For such incredibly smart people at the Ivy Leagues there are an amazing number of socialists and communists or far leftist students at these schools who reject capitalism. I've always been astonished how such intelligent people could reject human psychology 101, mathematics 101, and history 101, all which lead to the conclusion that capitalism and free markets are successful and that centralized planning is largely a failure.
My brother is one of those hyper intelligent people who is incredible at math and can do literally anything he sets his mind to, and yet he thinks finance, capitalism and the free market are wicked concoctions of man and should be and can be replaced with utopian thoughts and systems. Unbelievable that these hyper intelligent people don't understand basic human psychology or the basic and simple rules of supply and demand. I'll never understand how someone can crush the SAT and yet not understand, for example, how government imposed price controls cause supply shortages or how raising taxes can create labor disincentives or how a complicated and expensive tax code can create an environment of mass tax avoidance or how liberally issuing college debt can cause the cost of college to rise at a clip 4 times that of inflation. Painfully obvious and basic concepts some of the smartest people I know reject. Mind numbing.

People who are insanely smart tend to patter their thoughts and beliefs on theoretical ideas rather than proven realities. For example, socialism is a very successful way of dispersing limited resources. Why then does it fail? Because, in the dispersion model they do not account for human nature and human psychology. The idea of everyone having enough to live comfortably is in line with a human trait to not want to see suffering. However it ignores the human traits of greed, ambition, desire for power. By understanding that people who are super smart model their thought patters on theoretical ideas it is easy to understand why the HYP of the world tend to be a collection point for people with similar ideas.

I think you nailed it. And what the Ivy League graduate's lifetime earnings indicate is that socialism is for the people, not the socialist (to quote Andrew Wilkow). It reminds of of a passage from the Bible--James 1:23-24: "Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." It's like these people don't even recognize their own self-interested human nature.

Jul 18, 2016
DCDepository:
heister:

DCDepository:

frozencheese:
And even among the Ivy students who aren't what I consider crap, there are still students who just plain can't do finance despite their amazing academic abilities and work ethic.
For such incredibly smart people at the Ivy Leagues there are an amazing number of socialists and communists or far leftist students at these schools who reject capitalism. I've always been astonished how such intelligent people could reject human psychology 101, mathematics 101, and history 101, all which lead to the conclusion that capitalism and free markets are successful and that centralized planning is largely a failure.
My brother is one of those hyper intelligent people who is incredible at math and can do literally anything he sets his mind to, and yet he thinks finance, capitalism and the free market are wicked concoctions of man and should be and can be replaced with utopian thoughts and systems. Unbelievable that these hyper intelligent people don't understand basic human psychology or the basic and simple rules of supply and demand. I'll never understand how someone can crush the SAT and yet not understand, for example, how government imposed price controls cause supply shortages or how raising taxes can create labor disincentives or how a complicated and expensive tax code can create an environment of mass tax avoidance or how liberally issuing college debt can cause the cost of college to rise at a clip 4 times that of inflation. Painfully obvious and basic concepts some of the smartest people I know reject. Mind numbing.

People who are insanely smart tend to patter their thoughts and beliefs on theoretical ideas rather than proven realities. For example, socialism is a very successful way of dispersing limited resources. Why then does it fail? Because, in the dispersion model they do not account for human nature and human psychology. The idea of everyone having enough to live comfortably is in line with a human trait to not want to see suffering. However it ignores the human traits of greed, ambition, desire for power. By understanding that people who are super smart model their thought patters on theoretical ideas it is easy to understand why the HYP of the world tend to be a collection point for people with similar ideas.

I think you nailed it. And what the Ivy League graduate's lifetime earnings indicate is that socialism is for the people, not the socialist (to quote Andrew Wilkow). It reminds of of a passage from the Bible--James 1:23-24: "Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." It's like these people don't even recognize their own self-interested human nature.

Wait what? The ivy league grads are selfless in nature I thought.... as opposed to the selfish, ignorant, and uneducated commoners.. which is why they support socialism and feel that it has to be brutally imposed for the welfare of all

Jul 18, 2016
tkid3400:

Wait what? The ivy league grads are selfless in nature I thought.... as opposed to the selfish, ignorant, and uneducated commoners.. which is why they support socialism and feel that it has to be brutally imposed for the welfare of all

This also reminds me of what Andrew Wilkow asks: if Social Security is so popular as the left asserts then why does it have to be mandatory? If socialism is so popular why does it have to be imposed?

Jul 18, 2016

there is little randomness in college admissions given a student applies intelligently. Meaning the guy who didn't get into hypsw but is SOLID will get into another strong but not top-5 target school. Sure random people might get into H but get denied by ypsw but the guy who got into H and not ypsw also got into (say) georgetown. Get it?

Now if some idiot (who was book smart) applied to only H and Umich then he fucked himself frankly.

Jul 18, 2016

do the investment banking workshop at Kelley and youll be fine

Jul 18, 2016

kelley undergrad is a decent b-school. It may be tough to land a top BB group coming out of there, but you can get a decent BB gig in Chicago or something else and then leverage that into getting into a top MBA program, which is what's really important.

Jul 18, 2016

it'll matter quite a bit for quite a while. not only do banks care for on-campus recruiting, but PE and HFs and their headhunters definitely care significantly about the school you went to. so even if you land a great banking job out of college, you might find it harder to get a PE job.

of course, it's still possible and you can definitely get to the best jobs with kelley, but just know it will hurt for a long time. in addition a 4.0 from kelley might look better (for both banking and buy side) than a 3.5 from NYU stern, but i can't comment from the specifics of that at all.

Jul 18, 2016

Purely for investment banking purposes, there are only a few other state schools that would give you a better chance than IU (Michigan, UVA, but the difference is minimal esp. if you're in-state for IU)

If you transfer, the only schools you should consider should be the ones with a significantly better academic reputation and at least a decent party scene, which pretty much only leaves places like Wharton, Duke, or Gtown

Jul 18, 2016

It matters until the end of your life. First, your sexual life will suffer - you won't be able to pick up chicks by whispering in their ear, 'I went to Kelley!' On the other hand, if you went to Harvard for example, you would be able to spread your genes pretty much everywhere in Boston (and in the US for that matter) and thus contribute to evolution. Also, if you go to a better school (Harvard again!), you are pretty much guaranteed to marry a hot chick and your children will also be hot. Otherwise, you'd be stuck with some 4 or 5 at best and your children would be at high risk of being ugly and unhappy their entire life. And that just because you didn't transfer when you could. Think about it.

Jul 18, 2016

You would absolutely be better off being near the top of your class from IU over middle of the class at Stern.

You may not be able to land the absolutely killer megafund job coming out of undergrad, but with those grades you'll be in good position to land a job and then after a top MBA you will be on the same playing field. You wouldn't land the whale coming out of Stern with average grades either.

Jul 18, 2016

^^I agree with the above post. I actually graduated from IU's arch rival and I contemplated a similar transfer when I was a junior...but looking back, I'm glad I stayed put.

I'm not sure what year you are (freshman/sophomore/etc.), but I would focus on the long term. If you graduate near the top of your class at IU, you should be able to land a good job. You won't have access to recruiters like you would at a top 20 undergrad, but you should be able to land a good job nonetheless.

Then, as long as you are strategic for the 3-5 years following graduation, you shouldn't have a problem landing a spot in a top 10 MBA program. And from there you'll be on the same playing field as everyone else at the top programs.

My advice is to keep at the top of your class and get your hands on as much leadership experience as possible. Graduating at the top of the class at Kelley is much better than graduating average at Stern!

Jul 18, 2016

Brand name but most importantly make sure you know what Recruiters pull there, some schools are more recruiting heavy on consulting while certain others are for investment management etc. Why don't you just name the school you're talking about?

Jul 18, 2016

Well, I can say that top recruiters come there. Lets say I get into the program and then into a BB investment banking. Hypothetically.

Won't I be better off getting a Masters in Finance than a Generalist Masters ?

Sorry if the questions are naive, I am new at this.

Jul 18, 2016

Just name the school you dork. Speaking in vague generalities doesn't help anyone with anything.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jul 18, 2016

Duke MMS. There is a reason I wasnt naming it. Your comment was really uncalled for.

Now some help here please ?

Jul 18, 2016
Riffoholic:

Duke MMS. There is a reason I wasnt naming it. Your comment was really uncalled for.

Now some help here please ?

Based on this response, you're going to a get a lot of wedgies there. Duke is alpha-ville, be prepared. Brand name >>>> everything else

Jul 18, 2016
UFOinsider:
Riffoholic:

Duke MMS. There is a reason I wasnt naming it. Your comment was really uncalled for.

Now some help here please ?

Based on this response, you're going to a get a lot of wedgies there. Duke is alpha-ville, be prepared. Brand name >>>> everything else

Errr... I did not understand what you said or are trying to say ?

Jul 18, 2016
Riffoholic:
UFOinsider:
Riffoholic:

Duke MMS. There is a reason I wasnt naming it. Your comment was really uncalled for.

Now some help here please ?

Based on this response, you're going to a get a lot of wedgies there. Duke is alpha-ville, be prepared. Brand name >>>> everything else

Errr... I did not understand what you said or are trying to say ?

I'm just playing around, but honestly, most of the people I know who went to duke are ball busters so get used to it.

Jul 18, 2016
UFOinsider:
Riffoholic:
UFOinsider:
Riffoholic:

Duke MMS. There is a reason I wasnt naming it. Your comment was really uncalled for.

Now some help here please ?

Based on this response, you're going to a get a lot of wedgies there. Duke is alpha-ville, be prepared. Brand name >>>> everything else

Errr... I did not understand what you said or are trying to say ?

I'm just playing around, but honestly, most of the people I know who went to duke are ball busters so get used to it.

Okay, you're scaring me now man!

Jul 18, 2016
Riffoholic:
UFOinsider:
Riffoholic:
UFOinsider:
Riffoholic:

Duke MMS. There is a reason I wasnt naming it. Your comment was really uncalled for.

Now some help here please ?

Based on this response, you're going to a get a lot of wedgies there. Duke is alpha-ville, be prepared. Brand name >>>> everything else

Errr... I did not understand what you said or are trying to say ?

I'm just playing around, but honestly, most of the people I know who went to duke are ball busters so get used to it.

Okay, you're scaring me now man!

It's not THAT bad, just get a little cocky

Jul 18, 2016
UFOinsider:

It's not THAT bad, just get a little cocky

Doesnt matter man! Thats the least of the things I am thinking right now!!!

Nevertheless, what makes you say Brand Name > Academics ? Any anecdotes would be appreciated

Jul 18, 2016
Riffoholic:

Duke MMS. There is a reason I wasnt naming it. Your comment was really uncalled for.

Now some help here please ?

Grow some balls dude.

Duke MMS is a money-maker for the school. You do it to get the Duke name (and alumni, recruiting, etc.) on your resume, they get your tuition dollars.

Jul 18, 2016
SECfinance:

Duke MMS is a money-maker for the school. You do it to get the Duke name (and alumni, recruiting, etc.) on your resume, they get your tuition dollars.

Yeah, I did kinda reckoned that.

And if after the program I dont end up with a job, I am screwed right?

Which MFin (less quanty) programs are prestigious out there?

I am planning to apply to Simon MFin and Olin MFin. What do you think?

Jul 18, 2016
Riffoholic:
SECfinance:

Duke MMS is a money-maker for the school. You do it to get the Duke name (and alumni, recruiting, etc.) on your resume, they get your tuition dollars.

Yeah, I did kinda reckoned that.

And if after the program I dont end up with a job, I am screwed right?

Which MFin (less quanty) programs are prestigious out there?

I am planning to apply to Simon MFin and Olin MFin. What do you think?

If you don't end up with a job, you're in the same position you are in right now, minus your tuition money.

FWIW, my dad (very small asset management firm, Duke alum w/ IB exp.) hired a Duke undergrad/Duke MMS grad this past year over some very qualified candidates and it seems to be a good hire.

Jul 18, 2016

Brand matters more.

Your company will train you on whatever you need to know for that position. Only exception will be the interviews: if you're interviewing for IB, you'll have to be sufficient technically to pass the interviews. But you don't have to be a finance mastermind to do the job.

Take a look at the analysts the BB IBs hire, or the analysts MBB hire in consulting. Lots of liberal arts kids from brand-name schools. These kids probably have never taken a finance class in their lives. They study enough to do the interviews, then get trained on the job.

So brand definitely matters more. But as the poster above said, ask to see where students from previous years placed. You want to make sure that the companies for which you want to work are actually recruiting at the institution you choose to attend.

Jul 18, 2016

Because it doesn't matter if you know everything if you cantget hired at the top firms and stop being all stealth mode and o no the school will find out I'm asking omg!!'1

Jul 18, 2016
shorttheworld:

Because it doesn't matter if you know everything if you cantget hired at the top firms and stop being all stealth mode and o no the school will find out I'm asking omg!!'1

okay!

Its not about school finding out, its something else.

Anyway, How do the job opportunities look for internationals out there?

Jul 18, 2016

I think people who do MMS here do fine. A lot of the info sessions I've been to this year had an MMS student as one of the recent hires. That said, I can't imagine the program is great on the academics, but like the posters above said..you have Duke OCR. And MMS uses the same platform as undergrad, so you're getting a top 10 undergrad recruiting platform as well. Most jobs are for Senior, Masters, and maybe Alumnus.

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Jul 18, 2016

Use the search function and read up on the schools don't come here asking us to be your magic 8 ball

Jul 18, 2016

I got a general consensus from this forum that Simon MSF is not worth it. Is it so? or did I misapprehend ?

Jul 18, 2016

You did not misaprehend I don't think. Not really sure since that isn't a word but if you can get into Duke, don't bother with Simon (Where/what is that by the way)

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jul 18, 2016
happypantsmcgee:

You did not misaprehend I don't think. Not really sure since that isn't a word but if you can get into Duke, don't bother with Simon (Where/what is that by the way)

I meant University of Rochester: Simon GSB Masters in Finance - Quite expensive as well - 65k$ for 1 year

Jul 18, 2016
Riffoholic:
happypantsmcgee:

You did not misaprehend I don't think. Not really sure since that isn't a word but if you can get into Duke, don't bother with Simon (Where/what is that by the way)

I meant University of Rochester: Simon GSB Masters in Finance - Quite expensive as well - 65k$ for 1 year

Thats roughly a year of pay at a good job right out of UG to live in Rochester...no

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jul 18, 2016
happypantsmcgee:

You did not misaprehend I don't think. Not really sure since that isn't a word but if you can get into Duke, don't bother with Simon (Where/what is that by the way)

University of Rochester's B-School

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Jul 18, 2016

I think I've misapprehended this thread.

Jul 18, 2016

PM me. A friend of mine goes to Duke's MMS. The program is great and the brand name is obviously the strong suit. I don't know how much you will learn though. At this time it is hard to find an MSF with the rep that Duke has.

Have you looked at MIT's MSF?

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

Jul 18, 2016

@ANT
I will pm you.

I did checkout MIT Columbia UCLA and all such programs, but MFE might not be for me as I am a business grad and am not that proficient in advanced math.

Not to mention MIT is very expensive!

Jul 18, 2016