Trying to get into IB in Chicago, what schools should I be considering?

I'm currently at a non-target in Chicago and am looking to transfer to a school that's recruited for IB in Chicago. I have applied to Northwestern and Vandy thus far and am considering IU-Kelley. Aside from UChicago, what are some others? Thanks.

Comments (58)

Mar 11, 2011 - 3:09pm

Any target or semi-target school will make it easier on you. Non-targets will be harder, just gotta get a good GPA and network your ass off.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
Mar 11, 2011 - 3:22pm

Frankly, unless you're a strong student (can get above AT LEAST 3.6 at one of the Chicago target schools) and can get into special programs within UChicago/NU (very competitive; I know people who got turned down with 3.9s for certain programs), for instance, it's probably best to take the effort you'd expend attempting to transfer, and network instead. Just being at a school that's recruited for IB in Chicago does not (by any means) guarantee placement at an investment bank--especially not at one of the BB here. I'm not positive, but I'd estimate that between the BB offices in both Chicago and NYC, my class just got about 9-12 SA offers (though I have no idea about the boutiques and MMs). Considering the number of students interested in banking, that's fairly low.

Ask around and don't just take my word, but I'd assume that cold calling/asking if you can go to the other schools' networking events/asking if you could drop by the offices and meet people since they don't have information sessions at your school (which should be easy since you're already in Chicago) would be a lot more effective than attempting to transfer.

Anyone else have thoughts?

Mar 11, 2011 - 3:53pm
Vox:
Frankly, unless you're a strong student (can get above AT LEAST 3.6 at one of the Chicago target schools) and can get into special programs within UChicago/NU (very competitive; I know people who got turned down with 3.9s for certain programs), for instance, it's probably best to take the effort you'd expend attempting to transfer, and network instead. Just being at a school that's recruited for IB in Chicago does not (by any means) guarantee placement at an investment bank--especially not at one of the BB here. I'm not positive, but I'd estimate that between the BB offices in both Chicago and NYC, my class just got about 9-12 SA offers (though I have no idea about the boutiques and MMs). Considering the number of students interested in banking, that's fairly low.

Ask around and don't just take my word, but I'd assume that cold calling/asking if you can go to the other schools' networking events/asking if you could drop by the offices and meet people since they don't have information sessions at your school (which should be easy since you're already in Chicago) would be a lot more effective than attempting to transfer.

Anyone else have thoughts?

I think you're exactly right here. I know people with 3.7+s at NU/UChicago with sophomore finance experience that received roughly 3 of a possible 10-12 on-campus investment banking interviews for SA. Even people with 3.9s and solid resumes didn't get every (or even almost every) on campus interview. It seems like NU, UChicago, Illinois, Indiana, Notre Dame, and Michigan were core recruiting schools for these offices. It certainly doesn't hurt you by transferring to one of these schools, but I think with good networking, your chances are about the same.

Mar 11, 2011 - 3:26pm

Notre Dame

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
  • 1
Mar 11, 2011 - 3:44pm

Seriously--I cannot imagine the marginal benefit of transferring in terms of on campus recruitment would outweigh the loss of opportunities from proximity to downtown Chicago. If only 9-12 people got BB offers from one grade from UChicago/NU (and that's split between NYC and Chicago; I know of only 4 personally who got Chicago BB offers), fewer will probably get it from those other schools.

Anyone want to comment directly on my suggestion? I would think that going all out networking with targeted firms would yield better results than moving away from Chicago and attempting to be in the top 10% or less of the people who want to get into banking at these other schools.

Mar 11, 2011 - 3:57pm
Vox:
Seriously--I cannot imagine the marginal benefit of transferring in terms of on campus recruitment would outweigh the loss of opportunities from proximity to downtown Chicago. If only 9-12 people got BB offers from one grade from UChicago/NU (and that's split between NYC and Chicago; I know of only 4 personally who got Chicago BB offers), fewer will probably get it from those other schools.

Anyone want to comment directly on my suggestion? I would think that going all out networking with targeted firms would yield better results than moving away from Chicago and attempting to be in the top 10% or less of the people who want to get into banking at these other schools.

Agreed.

Mar 11, 2011 - 3:49pm

Notre Dame doesn't accept transfers for their Mendoza school of business. Also, my school is not recruited for IB at all. Actually, we're not even recruited for PWM by any of the BBs or MM firms. The big 4 are the only notable firms that recruit students at my school. Additionally, I feel that my school is a bad fit and I'd like to be at a more prestigious school, another reason why I'm transferring.

I'd also like to ask, how would you rank NU, VU, and IU-Kelley in order for IB in Chicago?

Would it be:
1. NU
2. IU-Kelley
3. Vandy
?

Jan 25, 2018 - 1:52am

.

"I don't know how to explain to you that you should care about other people."

Mar 11, 2011 - 5:51pm

Have a solid GPA, and you will clean up at IU for full-time recruiting (join the Investment Banking Seminar).

For SAs it may be different cause of the Investment Banking Workshop, and most go to NY (but you could prob get CHi if you stated that preference).

Mar 11, 2011 - 7:36pm

You're so uptight about which school will give you the best shot; there are so many other variables/factors that are much more important (namely, networking enough to land the interviews, then preparing well enough for the interviews to get past them). Between all of the schools mentioned, none of them is even going to guarantee you an interview--let alone an offer.

As mentioned earlier, even UChicago/NU can't guarantee even getting a foot in the door with interviews (what Golfer said is right about people with high GPAs, think 3.8, and previous finance experience literally getting about 3 or 4 interviews of about 10). Not to beat a dead horse, but I think it's a bad idea to move away from Chicago--take advantage of being extremely close to all of the offices (seriously, call them up and ask to visit--there's no way that can hurt).

That said, I know someone very well who goes to Vanderbilt; the banks recruit there for the most part, but I remember him making somewhat-joking comments about how most of the people in the business fraternity there (not that the business frat is a representative sample) had "really only landed PWM internships with the top places." Anyway, I'm sure that a successful student at Vanderbilt could make it to either Chicago or NYC--it's a great school too.

Mar 11, 2011 - 7:53pm
Vox:
You're so uptight about which school will give you the best shot; there are so many other variables/factors that are much more important (namely, networking enough to land the interviews, then preparing well enough for the interviews to get past them). Between all of the schools mentioned, none of them is even going to guarantee you an interview--let alone an offer.

As mentioned earlier, even UChicago/NU can't guarantee even getting a foot in the door with interviews (what Golfer said is right about people with high GPAs, think 3.8, and previous finance experience literally getting about 3 or 4 interviews of about 10). Not to beat a dead horse, but I think it's a bad idea to move away from Chicago--take advantage of being extremely close to all of the offices (seriously, call them up and ask to visit--there's no way that can hurt).

That said, I know someone very well who goes to Vanderbilt; the banks recruit there for the most part, but I remember him making somewhat-joking comments about how most of the people in the business fraternity there (not that the business frat is a representative sample) had "really only landed PWM internships with the top places." Anyway, I'm sure that a successful student at Vanderbilt could make it to either Chicago or NYC--it's a great school too.

I realize that going to a target or even semi-target doesn't guarantee that I will land an IB internship. However, there's no denying that it gives me a much better chance. If it helps at all, I worked for a financial services company for 5 months during the latter part of my senior year of high school. Also, I will be interning with a big 4 this summer. That said, I will have experience and hopefully with good grades and campus involvement, I'd be in a position to succeed at a target or semi-target.

Mar 11, 2011 - 8:16pm
Vox:

As mentioned earlier, even UChicago/NU can't guarantee even getting a foot in the door with interviews (what Golfer said is right about people with high GPAs, think 3.8, and previous finance experience literally getting about 3 or 4 interviews of about 10). Not to beat a dead horse, but I think it's a bad idea to move away from Chicago--take advantage of being extremely close to all of the offices (seriously, call them up and ask to visit--there's no way that can hurt).

I can almost guarantee if you have a 3.5+ at IU and are in the Investment Banking seminar (only admission criteria is having a 3.5), you will get several on campus interviews for FT middle-market firms (Blair, Baird, etc). If you have a 3.8+, you'll almost undoubtedly get around 15 interviews, including some top boutiques like Allen & Co.

If you're only freshman or sophomore, you might have a shot at getting into the Invest Banking Workshop after you transfer (much more competitive), and will have a pretty much guaranteed SA position at a BB or top boutique (the program has a 99%+ placement rate).

Mar 11, 2011 - 8:28pm
Aero:
Vox:

As mentioned earlier, even UChicago/NU can't guarantee even getting a foot in the door with interviews (what Golfer said is right about people with high GPAs, think 3.8, and previous finance experience literally getting about 3 or 4 interviews of about 10). Not to beat a dead horse, but I think it's a bad idea to move away from Chicago--take advantage of being extremely close to all of the offices (seriously, call them up and ask to visit--there's no way that can hurt).

I can almost guarantee if you have a 3.5+ at IU and are in the Investment Banking seminar (only admission criteria is having a 3.5), you will get several on campus interviews for FT middle-market firms (Blair, Baird, etc). If you have a 3.8+, you'll almost undoubtedly get around 15 interviews, including some top boutiques like Allen & Co.

If you're only freshman or sophomore, you might have a shot at getting into the Invest Banking Workshop after you transfer (much more competitive), and will have a pretty much guaranteed SA position at a BB or top boutique (the program has a 99%+ placement rate).

If that's the case, IU sounds like a great option relative to UChicago/NU. From what I've witnessed, you have to have the complete package (great grades, extracurriculars, finance experience) as well as a lot of networking at UChicago/NU to even get the on-campus interviews. Too many people have that complete package at those schools so you still have to network a ton to set yourself apart. Not to discount the work that I'm sure IU people put in to recruiting, etc. but it sounds like IU puts you in a better position with less effort based on what Aero says (again not to discount the hard work I'm sure IU kids put in).

Mar 12, 2011 - 1:08am

Not really that tough at NU.. considering you're still young, you can still network beginning of junior year and you'll have a good shot. I got a lot of help from not only NU alum but Kellogg alum as well. I'm not convinced that transferring isn't worth it because I'd argue that the network you could establish here is much larger than the one you could at DePaul.

Anyway, hit me up if you get in, good luck

Mar 12, 2011 - 3:59am

Not trying to shift the topic, but just a question:

For undergraduates, I had always viewed UChicago as an elite school, that is definitely up there with the ivy league (and in some cases, worth choosing over). Northwestern is similar but I had always viewed them as a level below UChicago. However based from the responses I've been seeing, it seems like finance recruiting (at an undergrad level) seems to be pretty low at UChicago and Northwestern, which are arguably the best schools for the Chicago area.

What I'm curious about is what is the reason behind this? Why do schools like NYU Stern get recruited much more than schools like UChicago (which I would say is arguably a better school?) Is location really that much a difference maker? I had expected that UChicago would get heavy recruiting as all elite institutions should - I am surprised to hear that that's not the case.

Best Response
Mar 12, 2011 - 1:34pm
chubbybunny:
Not trying to shift the topic, but just a question:

For undergraduates, I had always viewed UChicago as an elite school, that is definitely up there with the ivy league (and in some cases, worth choosing over). Northwestern is similar but I had always viewed them as a level below UChicago. However based from the responses I've been seeing, it seems like finance recruiting (at an undergrad level) seems to be pretty low at UChicago and Northwestern, which are arguably the best schools for the Chicago area.

What I'm curious about is what is the reason behind this? Why do schools like NYU Stern get recruited much more than schools like UChicago (which I would say is arguably a better school?) Is location really that much a difference maker? I had expected that UChicago would get heavy recruiting as all elite institutions should - I am surprised to hear that that's not the case.

Part of it is due to the fact that UChicago undergrads tend to favor academia over the private sector. People who go into investment banking are viewed as selling out. There is no such bias for Booth grads though, they are littered across the street.

Northwestern also has a bit of a liberal bias. Remember, banks are looking for candidates that fit a certain mold. People who go to schools such as NYU or Wharton are drenched in the finance ethos, whereas Northwestern and UChicago students are generally not (although there are plenty of exceptions).

Mar 12, 2011 - 3:46pm
chubbybunny:
Not trying to shift the topic, but just a question:

For undergraduates, I had always viewed UChicago as an elite school, that is definitely up there with the ivy league (and in some cases, worth choosing over). Northwestern is similar but I had always viewed them as a level below UChicago. However based from the responses I've been seeing, it seems like finance recruiting (at an undergrad level) seems to be pretty low at UChicago and Northwestern, which are arguably the best schools for the Chicago area.

What I'm curious about is what is the reason behind this? Why do schools like NYU Stern get recruited much more than schools like UChicago (which I would say is arguably a better school?) Is location really that much a difference maker? I had expected that UChicago would get heavy recruiting as all elite institutions should - I am surprised to hear that that's not the case.

From my experience, it's two things:
1. Location: New York City is the headquarters for all of the bulge brackets and therefore they'll need more manpower there. With all of the talent on the east coast with the Ivy's and Stern, they can find enough people to do the job. Why go and recruit in Chicago if you can stay local? Then it becomes a cycle because banks recruit from schools where they have heavy alum presence. Since there are generally fewer opportunities at regional offices in Chicago, recruitment will not be as aggressive.
2. Focus: NU and UChicago has a liberal arts focus. While there are some business programs (NU has Kellogg's Undergraduate Certificate program and UChi kids can take Booth classes), the most "relevant" major will be Economics. Also it seems like there is just a different vibe here in the Midwest, UChi tends to be more interested in academia, and NU favors consulting over banking for some reason.

But that's not to say banks don't recruit at NU/UChi - quite the opposite. I think all of the BBs with the exception of CS came here on campus this year. Good amount of boutiques too (Lazard, Greenhill, etc.). Note that this is mostly for their Chicago offices though, it's much more difficult to find something in New York.

Mar 12, 2011 - 9:40am
ILOVENYGUY:
If it is not Harvard, Yale, Princeton or Wharton - you should just give up

Obviously you're just joking, but a fair number of us just got offers that a lot of kids from those schools couldn't.

Mar 12, 2011 - 1:41pm

Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Wharton isn't as represented in Chicago because they all stay on the coasts. In Chicago, your best bet is the big ten schools with solid BSchools (IU, UMich, UI Champagne) or the solid midwest private schools (UChicago, Wash U, Northwestern, Notre Dame).

The school I know the most about is IU's Kelly School. Their investment banking club (or whatever its called) places very well and is a solid program. They have a lot of networking opportunities and workshops that prepare you for recruiting. I know at least some of the BBs recruit there. I know for sure that the majority of the MMs and a lot of the boutiques do as well.

If you go to Kelly, maintain a solid GPA and network your ass off....you should be fine. You'll also have the most fun at IU-Kelly. Bloomington is a fun town and that campus is stacked with good looking women.

Wherever you go...it all comes down to networking. I go to a non-target in the midwest where very few banks recruit and I'm working at one of the banks in Chicago next year. Wouldn't have happened if I didn't network my ass off.

Mar 12, 2011 - 4:16pm

^^ I think Steelo is pretty accurate on NU and UChi. They both have a LA focus. UChi seems to be more academic and a lot of NU kids go into consulting. I know for a fact that all of the banks recruit on both campuses, but usually for the Chicago offices.

Also important to note that the BBs don't necessarily have the largest analyst classes in Chicago. I heard BMO (who has their US hq in Chicago) has 40-50 in their income IBD analyst class.

Mar 12, 2011 - 7:34pm

NU/UChi get strongly recruited for SA... but come FT, IB presence will be much less. Maybe it was just because of the recession the past two years, but the number of banks recruiting for FT was a fraction of those here for SA. For SA we had more or less every bank you've heard of... FT, not so much.

Also, the description of NU as a consulting school is correct... everyone and their moms want to go into consulting at NU, and only a surprisingly small number of students want to go into banking. A lot of the kids at banking interviews will be consulting-focused guys who was just 'casting a wide net'.

Mar 12, 2011 - 11:18pm
cartman:
yeah, very few kids from NU get offers. It makes sense b/c Chicago offices are a lot smaller than NY offices.

I'm not sure what you mean by very few, but 10+ kids here received SA offers this year. If you network and know your shit, it's definitely more than possible.

Mar 13, 2011 - 12:18am
Steelo:
cartman:
yeah, very few kids from NU get offers. It makes sense b/c Chicago offices are a lot smaller than NY offices.

I'm not sure what you mean by very few, but 10+ kids here received SA offers this year. If you network and know your shit, it's definitely more than possible.


I'm not saying it's impossible... I agree around a dozen kids sounds about right but that's not a lot by any means

I just wanted the OP to realize that it's not like going to Wharton where dozens of kids get SA offers. There's also a difference in that FT recruiting has been pretty shitty recently despite SA recruiting being decent.

In addition, I bet 3-4 of them are SA analysts in Hong Kong, New York, or San Francisco. Hong Kong actually happens a lot.

Mar 13, 2011 - 12:15am
ChicagoBears1:
So if NU's students are getting very few offers, who's getting the offers? UChicago?

There are fewer offers to go around in Chicago in the first place. Most of the BB offices are generally small and take a limited amount of Analysts. Recruiting for midwest regional shops like RW Baird, Blair, and BMO (although BMO doesn't come to NU) is better, but even then it won't be anything like New York analyst classes.

Chicago based offers are mostly NU/UChi kids with a few UIUC/DePaul/Indiana/Mich/UW + random kids mixed in.

Mar 13, 2011 - 12:36am

I think in Chicago it's going to mostly UChicago, Northwestern and Michigan Ross that'll dominate the recruiting... But then again, there are so little spots to begin with ...

Mar 16, 2011 - 5:24am

Definitely lots of misinformation on this thread. I skimmed it and have some thoughts to add:

  1. The Chicago offices took a big hit during the downturn, almost across the board with the BBs. Laz/Greenhill I think actually have grown since then.
  2. At GS/MS, you mainly have kids from top schools/targets. UChicago is better represented at GS, NU at MS. GS's Chicago office is a vastly better place to be than MS's. I'm sure if you asked around, you'd find out some not so pleasant things about MS Chicago. Both places will have some kids from Big 10 schools.
  3. Most kids from Ross end up in NYC
  4. Northwestern recruiting for banking seems to be very Chicago-centric, I don't ever recall meeting NU kids in NY offices/during training - they aren't very well represented at the BBs I think
  5. UChicago kids usually end up in NYC as well. While I think very few are at MS and BofA, there are a ton at GS, JPM, and CS and a good number at the other banks. A lot of UChicago kids seem to also take gigs in HK/Singapore.
  6. Laz/Greenhill are less target heavy in Chicago - the analysts are from state schools or other random places. I believe both places do recruit at UofC/NU but apparently they grill kids on technicals, which doesn't bode well for liberal arts majors at both schools
  7. Places like William Blair, Baird, and BMO probably prefer taking NU/UChicago kids but I think they have a hard time actually bringing them in

Hope that helps

Mar 16, 2011 - 3:58pm

FOXHOUND to the rescue!

For what it's worth, I was at a DB interview awhile back and the interviewer went on and on about the IU/Kelley students and how prepared they were for banking. IU is also very easy to get into compared to the other elite state schools/LA that are being discussed.

More important than school choice, however, is 1) networking 2) GPA and 3) know your shit. You need to show them that you love Chicago and aren't just interviewing as a safety net for NYC BB. That's why they take so many Chicago and midwest candidates- they know these people want to stick around in Chitown.

May 22, 2011 - 6:12pm
LeveragedFiend:
FOXHOUND to the rescue!

For what it's worth, I was at a DB interview awhile back and the interviewer went on and on about the IU/Kelley students and how prepared they were for banking. IU is also very easy to get into compared to the other elite state schools/LA that are being discussed.

More important than school choice, however, is 1) networking 2) GPA and 3) know your shit. You need to show them that you love Chicago and aren't just interviewing as a safety net for NYC BB. That's why they take so many Chicago and midwest candidates- they know these people want to stick around in Chitown.

The kids from Indiana who are prepared for the interviews are most likely in the IB workshop. If OP will be a sophomore and can attend IU in the fall, he has a shot at the program his junior year. Otherwise, he won't be considered and would have to try for the seminar senior year. Admission into the IB seminar is also being changed to be more selective.

Mar 16, 2011 - 8:45pm

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