Schulich iBBA vs Laurier BBA w/ co-op

Canadian hs senior here. Looking at the employment reports for both Schulich and Lauirer BBA, both have average salaries around 58k, and both send roughly the same proportion to finance, 23% and 19% respectively. Schulich is obviously more difficult to get into than Laurier, but that may not correlate with the quality of the program. Do Laurier grads really do the same as Schulich grads, and is placement at a BB (very difficult w/o Ivey or QC I know)/big 5 similar for both? Thanks in advance. 

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Comments (34)

Feb 11, 2021 - 9:03am

You'll likely get more looks from Schulich, but co-op at Laurier is really strong too.  BB won't be possible at Laurier though, while Schulich will send a kid every few years.  Big 5 you're good from either.

Feb 11, 2021 - 12:58pm

I guess you could phrase it like that.  It's definitely not a tier one business school like Ivey, Queens, or McGill, but definitely better than schools like Ryerson, McMaster, or Dalhousie, which all also have co-op programs.  If your goal is big 5, which I imagine it is given BB would be tough from Schulich, I'd recommend Laurier.  I'm sure you know its a great party town, of which you get to stay for five years, so if you're going to end up in Toronto either way, may as well enjoy yourself.  Co-ops pay really well by Toronto standards as well so you'll have a bit of money in your pocket. 

I'd recommend jumping on LinkedIn and taking a look at some of the co-op placements for Laurier students if you're still on the fence.

Feb 13, 2021 - 5:03pm

Personally, I don't really agree with this sentiment. It is near impossible, but not exactly a 0% chance. They've sent students to Goldman, Morgan Stanley, and I've heard upcoming HF and PE summer placements in the states as well. So although I think there are more people overall being placed at BBs at Schulich, it definitely won't be entirely impossible at Laurier. 

Feb 13, 2021 - 5:08pm

The kid at Goldman went transferred to Ivey.  There is one analyst at MS in Toronto, so you're right about that.  Respectfully, no one can verify what you've heard, and given that there is only one kid who made it to a BB satellite office after two IB co-op placements, I think its fair to say it is borderline impossible.

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Feb 13, 2021 - 3:01pm

If you are looking at your education from an ROI perspective I would choose Schulich as it adds abit more prestige to the resume while still offering a wide variety of finance focused courses and clubs.

The program has historically been known for accounting placements, however over the past 5 years graduates and current students are improving their footprint within many Canadian and US IB shops.

Right now I would say there is an advantage to choosing Schulich, compared to WLU, based on how quick the IB alumni basis has grown over recent years. 

Either way, like any other program, put in the work inside and outside of school, become proficient in the industry of interest and network your ass off and you will have no regrets. 

Best of luck!

  • Intern in AM - FI
Feb 13, 2021 - 4:06pm

Laurier w/Co-op is the 3rd best program in Ontario for High finance roles (Behind Ivey/Queens obv).  Without Co-op it is probably lower than Schulich (A negligible amount but can make an argument).  Schulich is not what it once was and really pumps out Big4 candidates but far fewer banking/buyside roles.  Co-op in laurier is not guaranteed btw, roughly half dont get it.  

Feb 15, 2021 - 1:10am

Schools are pretty comparable, but I'd say slight lean towards Laurier because of the co-op program

Also Laurier because Waterloo has a much better student life than York University which is in the middle of no where in Toronto

Feb 16, 2021 - 3:37pm

One interesting way of looking at this is through Linkedin statistics. 

BB placement is very very weak for both. However, let's take a look at, say, RBC Capital Markets placements (front office finance). 

UofT has 211-296 people working there (seems they're mainly Masters). 

Western has 94-161 people there.

Waterloo has 123 people working there (dominant for quantitative related stuff, but also lots of bankers from programs like BMath/BBA and AFM).

Queens has 84. 

Schulich has 74 people there, while Laurier has 57. Keep in mind though that Schulich has been placing people into the Big Banks for longer than Laurier in some ways, because it used to be very reputable, and this also includes Schulich MBA. In terms of more recent placements, it seems that Laurier is actually doing better. At BMO CM, there are 38 Schulich alumni compared to 36 from Laurier. 

When looking at Canadian buyside placements, neither Schulich nor Laurier place all that well. The Pension Plans are dominated by UofT and Waterloo kids, while the non-public PE firms like Onex are dominated by Western and Queens kids. OTTP based on the LinkedIn method has 27 Laurier alumni in finance roles, and 25 from Schulich. At CPP, we also see comparable numbers, with a slight edge to Laurier. 

All in all, while LinkedIn analytics are by no mean the best manner to do a comparison like this, Laurier grads aren't doing that differently from Schulich grads. Both of them have similar placements in Investment banks. Decent placements, but its still better to try to go for Ivey or Queens for traditional investment banking or Waterloo for the more quantitative roles like trading.

Feb 17, 2021 - 5:33pm

I don't really know to be honest. I'd just say that if you want front office, its hard to get IB or PE except out of Ivey/Queens, and hard to get S&T or quantitative hedge funds except out of Waterloo/UofT. 

Feb 17, 2021 - 7:39pm

I think Schulich is by far the better option. From the perspective of U.S./BB recruitment they absolutely kill it. They have pipelines at Goldman (IB and ER), Moelis NYC, Jefferies SF, UBS NYC etc. Can Laurier beat that? I doubt it. I'd even go as far as saying that their platform is as good as Ivey or Queens these days due to proprietary processes. Ivey has lost their dominance (do they even place anyone at Goldman these days?) and their boutique spots are being contested by Queens (recent wave of placements at EVR,HL, Moelis etc.). Meanwhile, Schulich has been quietly killing it sending people to Goldman, UBS, Moelis, Credit Suisse, U.S. buyside (with the Jefferies/Goldman being propriety pipelines unavailable to the more plebian schools). In regards to Toronto, they place at all the Big 5s (multiple RBC summer placements just this cycle), global, boutiques and buyside shops. All in all, their alumni base is growing rapidly, the education/professors are top notch and the life is really good (Moda anyone?). All that for just 10k a year? Best IRR on the market.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Feb 17, 2021 - 7:59pm

Yeah, I agree. For being so cheap you do get a pretty good rate of return on your education. Not too mention all those alumni at Citadel

Feb 17, 2021 - 8:11pm

Yeah that makes sense, considering the fact that even though they only sent 32 grads into banking in the past 5 years, which pales in comparison to Rotman and Waterloo, they only have 500 students, making up the highest rate out of all 4. I just asked because I bombed the Schulich interview, even though I crushed the Leadership Profile.

Have you applied/are you currently attending Schulich? If so, do you by any chance know how heavily do they weigh the interview relative to the Leadership Profile?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Feb 17, 2021 - 8:49pm

Do you really want to go to Schulich though? York University is not a great student environment and I wouldn't completely ignore the fact that you will be attending this school for 4 years so there are other factors to consider outside of your potential job opportunities. Lots of people have started out at Laurier and transferred to Ivey after 2nd year so that is another option to consider if you can't get into Ivey right out the gate. 

Mar 10, 2021 - 1:15am

Significantly overstated the alum network if it's only one junior person at each one of those shops... I would avoid the value trap that is Schulich

Most Helpful
Feb 18, 2021 - 5:27am

Aside from Ivey/Queens, any of the top 6 schools will provide you with the similar opportunities for finance. To get those interviews, you're going to need to learn finance, get leadership positions in clubs and have some relevant experience. Main difference is that Schulich students have to network their behind off and face stiffer competition as they recruit from a much larger pool for summer roles. Laurier has the co-op program where the recruiting is more concentrated on fewer students and there's less competition for winter and fall roles. In terms of sell-side placements, it'll more or less be the same namely big 5 and boutiques. BB/EB neither school places well, any student that has landed were the exception not the rule, so this shouldn't factor into your decision. Most people that landed at either school got into Ivey/Queens and chose to attend their respective school for personal reasons (I know students at both schools that have done so). In terms of buy-side placements, Laurier definitely does better than Schulich. You pretty much have postings to most equity research, private equity, public equity firms.

Overall IMO your decision should be based on 3 factors

- Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or small fish in a big pond?

- How much do you want to study? You're going to have to study hard for both, but probably a few more hours at Schulich.  

- How much fun do you want to have? Schulich is a commuter school, Laurier is a party school.

Feb 18, 2021 - 9:49am

Thanks for the insights! Based on what you've said, it seems Laurier would provide the best ROI on my time, given the lesser competition for work experience due to off-cycle co-op and the easier academic workload. 

Mar 10, 2021 - 1:11am

Go to Laurier, if you perform well you can do off-cycle internships at OTPP, Altas, CPP, etc. and be really well-positioned for interviews. Schulich is bad lol

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