Senior In High School Looking For Advice on College Decision, etc.

Hi all, I have done a solid amount of research when it comes to IB recruiting and what I need to do to break in, although there is still much, much more for me to learn. I know that there is a lot of information on this site about how to break in from semi-target/non-target schools. So far, I have been accepted to TCU, Santa Clara University, and Pepperdine. I have a 33 ACT, 1400 SAT, and 3.86 GPA. Of these three, which one in your opinion would give me the best chance at getting a solid internship junior summer?

I am also planning on getting a finance industry internship this summer to give me a leg up on internships next summer. FYI, I am also waiting on UMichigan, Duke, Notre Dame, Villanova, UChicago, USC, Boston College, UNC. If anyone would mind providing sort of rankings as to where I should go between these, pending acceptance, it would be greatly appreciated.

I am also open to any advice on how actions to take now in order to best position myself to be working at a BB out of college. I realize that I am early in the cycle, but I am also a bit behind as far as target schools.

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Comments (49)

Feb 23, 2020 - 4:11pm

Thanks for the advice! Villanova is super high on my list if I am accepted. I was deferred from early action, so crossing my fingers that I will be accepted RD. What year are you, and are you looking into IB? If so, are there opportunities at Villanova that support a path such as that?

  • Prospect in 
Feb 23, 2020 - 5:14pm

Duke > Michigan/Chicago > USC > Notre Dame/UNC >>> Boston College >>>>>>> Villanova

Bolded schools you will have no problem breaking into IB if you follow the normal path (ec's, good grades, involvement, networking, blah blah blah)

also, nobody cares about your weighted GPA.. always give the unweighted

Feb 23, 2020 - 5:23pm

Thanks for the ranking. I've heard that schools such as BC and Nova have a lot of IB recruiting going on at their school as of the last few years. I understand why other schools are above those, but would these two in particular necessarily be much harder than the others to get into the industry?

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Feb 23, 2020 - 6:17pm

I can say that I have seen MANY people from BC break into IB with a relative degree of ease. Very strong alumni networks at Citi, RBC, Barclays and BAML. If you go through the usual motions you wont feel a whole lot of friction getting into superdays.

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom

  • 1
Feb 23, 2020 - 5:43pm

If tuition is not an issue and you are focusing on academic and school prestige, Chicago has the strongest training especially in economics and finance. It has the highest # of Nobel Prize winners and students are smart too. Duke and Michigan are good choices, as well. reputation

  • Prospect in 
Feb 23, 2020 - 10:12pm

From what is commonly talked about as "target" schools, TCU, Santa Clara, and Pepperdine don't usually show up. Since most of these are on the west coast, there really isn't much Wall Street recruiting, but that doesn't mean job prospects in other industries are low (not sure though). Look into whether these schools have specific programs that have connections and place students well into jobs. For example, PennState has the Nittany Lion Fund, U of Florida has a MSF program, and Kelley has their IB workshop. You apply to all of these once your in the school and its only for 25-30 kids. They have connections and place these kids well.

Second, it will probably be worth your time to look into Villanova and Boston College. UNC, USC, and Notre Dame may be achievable. Duke, UChicago, and UMich are very difficult to get into now.

Boston College places very well. Villanova gets solid recruiting but does not place like BC does (I am assuming).

USC doesn't get talked a lot about, but it will get you a solid job. East Coast jobs will be hard to land though. UNC places very well but applying during sophomore year is risky, and Notre Dame should also be pretty good.

If you applied to Indiana, I would say go there and never look back.

Feb 24, 2020 - 12:09am

Thanks for all of the info! I sadly didn't apply to Indiana, as it has been more of a recent realization that IB is the exact industry I would like to enter postgrad. You mentioned that applying to UNC business sophomore year is risky. Obviously competition would be tough, but if I got internships the next couple of summers and kept a high GPA with an EC or two I would probably get it, no? I don't know too much about that whole system, but would love to know more. Thanks again!

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 24, 2020 - 2:11am

UNC is a weird place. Lots of IB recruiting but very few students interested in IB, results in less competition and easier placement compared to Michigan, Virginia, Texas, and Berkeley. Not too familiar with how important the business is, but I interned at a top BB this summer and every UNC person was in the business school.

Feb 25, 2020 - 9:47am

USC is a very safe bet for LA and a solid bet for SF. Probably 30ish a year from Marshall go to NYC but keep in mind most people don't want to go to the east coast. network doesn't help a lot over there. If your dead set on NYC IB, id hope for Michigan and maybe even choose Boston college over USC. (Even if you'd be missing out on USC experience;). So depends where you want to work after grad-the best overall would be duke in my opinion. USC Marshall student for the record but I'm not that biased- love it here

Feb 24, 2020 - 3:03am

IB isn't popular on campus. Only one other did IB over the summer. She did M&A at Goldman in their Salt Lake office, the other was me in REIB. Tbh, banking culture/personality comes into direct conflict with the school culture.

If you do choose to go to a liberal arts school whether that is here or elsewhere, understand what a liberal arts school is/what it implies for your course of study. They are fundamentally different than your standard research university. Best of luck.

Feb 24, 2020 - 11:42am

Thank you so much, I will definitely rethink my options when it comes to lifestyle and liberal arts or not. When I was deciding where to apply, I didn't yet know that IB was where i wanted to be (although through the past couple of months that is what I have found.) Pepperdine, as you said, was attractive to me due to the location. I do, however, realize that it isn't the best for fostering IB placement. Thank you!

Feb 24, 2020 - 2:56pm

As someone in LA, don't go to Pepperdine. USC = UCLA = Berkeley >>>>>>>> UCSB >>>>>>>>>>>>>> other options

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
  • 1
Feb 24, 2020 - 7:44pm

If nothing else, TCU to Texas IB is a path as well.

"Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry."
Feb 25, 2020 - 3:51pm

Just don't forget to live your life. Speaking from experience, having a great paying job and having prestige is cool and all, but when you look back and you saw how miserable you were spending all that time studying and what not, saying no to too many people, breaking relationships, missing opportunities not relating to your professional life, it's tough. Just make sure you're allowing time for the things you truly value and that you'll look back on and appreciate.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 1, 2020 - 11:20pm

It is not his fault. Banks are recruiting earlier and OP is making the correct decision to be ahead of the competition. Rather safe than sorry.

Feb 24, 2020 - 11:59pm

are you from California? If so I'm curious why Berkeley and UCLA aren't on the list. Both schools are targets for IBD (albeit each is more regional, ie. software in Silicon Valley vs. entertainment/CR/RE in LA). If you're from Cali, you want to go to an in-state school. Saddling yourself with 4 years of private school tuition debt is a death sentence for many, as if forces you to make pressured decisions later.

Feb 25, 2020 - 3:51pm

I am from California, but I decided not to apply to any UC's. Sure, OOS is expensive, but in the finance industry I figure I will be able to pay off any student loans within a short amount of time.

Apr 1, 2020 - 11:22pm

Not true unless your parents are helping you out. Considering that you're making about 70k after taxes you have to live pretty frugally to pay off the debts immediately. Why no UC's though?


Mar 4, 2020 - 4:59pm

Not to increase uncertainty, but some of these schools, including the University of Michigan, have separate admission processes for their BBA programs. Do you like the idea of going to a particular university even if you aren't admitted to their BBA program? There is a second level of consideration here.

Mar 5, 2020 - 4:46pm

I am fully aware of the separate admissions to BBA at schools such a UMich and UNC, and I applied for those programs as well. If I am not accepted to the BBA programs, I will consider attending and applying sophomore year once again.

Mar 7, 2020 - 2:18pm

Perfect. I just want to make sure that you're working with a complete set of information.

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