The importance of undergraduate business school

March 29 is the day wharton undergrad decides if I will be part of the school. If I do not get in to this or other undergrad b-schools, will it limit my business career and will it limit how far I can go in the business world?

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Comments (45)

Mar 18, 2012 - 10:01am

WOW. Narrow minded as hell.

Please search through the forum, especially the I Made It section and see a host of non-targets. If you do think your life is over after getting a Wharton reject, then it probably is.

Mar 18, 2012 - 1:02pm

If you don't go to Wharton you automatically forfeit any chance at making it to Wall Street, everyone knows that

I hate victims who respect their executioners
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Mar 18, 2012 - 2:21pm
I would strongly consider quitting life if you don't get in..

Nice troll..but the reason I asked this question was that everyone says you have to go an ivy league to get an exceptional network and receive more chances.
The Four E's of investment "The greatest Enemies of the Equity investor are Expenses and Emotions."- Warren Buffet
  • 2
Mar 18, 2012 - 2:16pm

semi target, 4 people going BB IBD from my school this year, b-school class of 150

difficult but not impossible. the majority of the kids don't even try for those kinds of jobs so it's not like 150 applied and only 4 got accepted.

just work hard and network, the world isn't black and white

Mar 18, 2012 - 4:03pm

You don't have to be a business major to get into business. Read the forums, read the backgrounds of some CEOs, and engage some common sense.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
Mar 19, 2012 - 9:15am

You are the only one that limit's your career, there is plenty of non-target grads that reach great success. Network and work your balls off you will be fine.

Mar 23, 2012 - 8:39pm

It's important but not that important. If you can go to a target school life is way easier for sure. A student at a target school with a decent GPA has companies lining up to hire them. It's a sweet life, I should have done that.

Though if you are able to almost get into Wharton you are close enough. Schools are mostly useful for their alumni anyway. You won't have companies coming to you at a non-target school but if you put in some effort to network and make a contact at a company you should be able to get your career in gear

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:32am

Going to business schools is definitely an advantage. The advantage in terms of building your network and not so much as how to make a business successful.
Apr 10, 2012 - 4:33am

How important is choice of undergrad college for investment & finance careers? (Originally Posted: 11/29/2012)

Let's say I want to wind up working at a hedge fund of some sort. Is the 'normal' route for me to go to an Ivy league school major in engineering, work in consulting for a while, get an IVY MBA and then ease into that world? Or is that not how it works? Is it mainly about other things. Is there a typical path? Finance/investment/trading actually interests me. Also what are important courses to take, I am a junior in high school.
Thanks JC

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:34am

You're still so young... it's good to have an idea about what you want to do but make sure you keep an open mind at the same time as to other career possibilities. Did you even take the SAT yet? Focus on ECs/grades/not getting caught drinking for now. Do well on the SAT and if your HS offers an intro to investments or economics class (mine didn't), take it and see how you like the material. A year from now you will still be in HS and your interests might change.

That being said, UG choice absolutely is important for having as many opportunities open to you as possible. But like I said before, focus on your work and ECs now in order to have those doors open for you later and take the process a step at a time.

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:35am

jeez a junior in HS??? No conventional path. Do your best, get into the best school that fits you. Major in something you like/good at (econ), Start reading WSJ, and read through WSO---> your question has been brought up a lot, use the search function.

Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.
Apr 10, 2012 - 4:36am

Going to an Ivy league school and majoring in engineering is a start, but I don't know that the rest of your "track" is really necessary. You can probably get the role you want out of undergrad if you go to the right school and get good grades.

In high school, you should be doing what you can to knock off some credits (AP courses) and taking calc/stats/hard classes to become a candidate for a top school. You should also be making mistakes, partying, and getting laid though. Don't get too sucked in just yet brah, you have some time ahead of you...

"That dude is so haole, he don't even have any breath left."
Apr 10, 2012 - 4:42am

What I recommend is that you focus less on your career trajectory and on actually developing your interest subject of finance. You're only in grade 11, you shouldn't be worrying about mapping out your career path because anyways, there is no conventional path to working at a hedge fund. And you're too young to narrow your path in life so early. But if you are genuinely interested in finance, read articles about the industry, look at the different types of hedge fund strategies (also, b/c different hedge funds employ people from different backgrounds), learn and learn. Let your career form out of your interests and not the other way around.

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:43am

Importance of UG school? (Originally Posted: 07/13/2015)

Hey everyone-
I have been spending the past couple of days reading through this website, mainly about getting a job after college, and it is giving me extreme amounts of anxiety.

After high school, I attended a community college for two years, to avoid student loans and eventually transfer to a 4-year school. I completed my two years with a 3.75 GPA and transferred to what you would refer to as a "non-target" school, again, mainly to avoid debt. With my main plan being to work hard (hopefully maintain a 4.0) and learn relevant skills for a career in IB.

However, after reading through some of these threads about college students that are out of top schools and struggling to get jobs is making me very nervous about my current situation.

How important is the undergrad school to getting a job in investment banking? Any advice helps. Thanks in advance!

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:45am

Okay, I also realize this question has been answered quite often...

So what's better...going on with a crappy undergrad school or taking this semester off and re-applying for better schools, for the spring semester? Or go this semester and still apply for transfer?

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:46am

Go this semester and still apply to transfer to a better school, but keep in mind some universities may only allow a certain amount of credits to transfer, usually 60. Also the transition from nontarget to IB has been done many times before. Networking is extremely important.

"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do business from there." - Colonel Sanders
Apr 10, 2012 - 4:47am

How important is your undergrad school for MBA? (Originally Posted: 06/04/2008)

I'm a Junior, i go to Baruch College (nontarget for most banks/target at JPM for ibd/s&t). I will probably graduate with a 3.5 GPA. So far I've done an accounting internship, a boutique investment banking internship, and right now I'm doing consulting, where I will probably stay at until I find a job in ibanking or something better. I've been involved with a few non profits, mostly in a mentoring role, and I was the VP of the Ibanking club at my school. For what it's worth, i'm hispanic. Given all of these factors, with a tentative GMAT score of 700, and a couple of years in banking....what are my chances at a program such as Columbia or any other ivy? Or what do you guys think I could do to improve my chances? Thanks Thanks

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:48am

Going to a top undergrad certainly helps, but going to a lesser name school won't automatically shut you out; yes, you'll see more kids from top schools at places like Columbia, but there's also plenty of folks that aren't from target schools - it's about the totality of your candidacy (GPA/GMAT, quality of work experience, quality of extracurricular accomplishments, career focus, etc.).

Alex Chu

Alex Chu

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:49am

If you go to a top non-US university [e.g. Oxbridge/Imperial/LSE], will this be at all advantageous when it comes to US biz school apps or should you stick to Europe where the university name is more recognisable?

Does work experience and post-university activities outweigh undergrad qualifications?

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:51am

Adcoms are pretty knowledgeable about schools outside the US, at least in countries like the UK, France, Germany, Russia, Israel, China, Japan, India, etc, so I wouldn't worry about it.

At top schools, the undergrad profiles of the international students are similar to the US students - a disproportionate number graduated from their respective countries' top universities.

Alex Chu

Alex Chu

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:52am

I went to a third-tier public university in the US. This was after transferring from another school where I was rocking out with a ~2.7 because I couldn't get off the beach and go to class. Now I'm heading to Stern at a pretty young age (24), so yes, you most likely will not be shut out based on your undergrad. Based on what you say above, you're doing well already.

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:53am

How much does undergrad matter for IB? (Originally Posted: 12/11/2013)

I'm currently attending a community college looking to transfer within the next two semesters. My end goal is to be a quant, so I am primarily looking at math as my major and finance as either a double major or a minor. As I go through the process of picking which schools to, many things go through my mind - does undergrad really matter? What if I have excellent grades, extra curricular activities and internship and trade forex on my own as well? will it help me get a job in IB? I really want to go down to Miami to University of Miami for undergrad because I want to do business with Latin America for a period of time, but I hear it's a non target? How much does that matter? I know GS, UBS and a few other IBs have offices down there, so my question is: with good grades, extra curricular activities and trading experience, how likely am I to get hired for IB if I go to a non-target school (Miami) and also how much does undergrad matter?

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:55am

Networking is key, as people break in from all kinds of schools. (Note: Transfer ed from a CC to a non-target during undergrad and now a First Year IB Analyst).

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:56am

I see. I really want to go to University of Miami because I want to eventually do business in South and Central America, but I don't want to sacrifice job opportunities because I went to a non target. Thank you for the advice JBanksohn

Apr 10, 2012 - 4:59am

How important is UG? (Originally Posted: 05/26/2010)

Hey guys,
I've been lurking and this forum is by far one of the most useful sources I could find.

I just want to know what type of job opportunities are available for me and in what fields? I'm still a sophomore so I'm not yet quite sure what I want to do. But is it even possible for me to get into Investment Banking considering that I go to the University of Tampa? I also would be interested in other jobs though, I just want to know whether Investment Banking is a possibility because I have a feeling like it's the hardest field to get into and my school is not that well-known. So I guess my main question is how important is UG?

University of Tampa
GPA 3.8, still sophomore (trying to raise it)
Top 10% (maybe top 5%? I haven't checked...)
Major: double major in economics and philosophy
Bunch of club extracurriculars, hopefully I'll have leadership opportunities by the time I graduate. Not much work experience yet since I'm still a sophomore, but I got an internship this summer.

Apr 10, 2012 - 5:00am

If you graduate at the top of your class, anything is possible. I've seen many people who went to non-target schools but were at the top of their class (summa cum laude, validictorian etc) who were able to get BB IB jobs.

Further, look for some regional firms that hire in the South. I believe Raymond James recruits a lot from Florida schools.

Apr 10, 2012 - 5:01am

You have two options:

1) Network hard and try to get an internship at a boutique or Raymond James (for junior year SA)

2) Transfer to a better school in that region (think: Emory, Duke, UF, etc) if you want to stay in the south.

I will guess that you are a rising junior, so transferring is probably out of the question. Raymond James is your best bet. RJF is headquartered in St. Pete/Tampa so you should start networking with those individuals. Track down alumni from your university in the investment banking industry and go meet with them.

To answer your question though, UG is important to a certain extent. At the end of the day, going to a top target will not get you the job but it will certainly get you into the door. That is the issue that you face = getting an interview.

What type of firm are you interning at this summer?

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