UCLA Anderson vs NYU Stern MBA

JohnJohn88's picture
Rank: Chimp | 10

Need some thoughts here...

I recently got admitted to UCLA Anderson and NYU Stern FT MBA programs and I need to make a decision in about a month. I am currently in the corporate banking division (within commercial bank) working on syndicated bank debt (credit side). Given my background/interest in debt financing, I want to transition into LevFin and figured MBA is needed to make that happen.

Below are pros and cons for each school that I came up with. I still struggle and go back and forth every min.. Welcome any thoughts and/or advice...

UCLA Pros:
- I already live in LA and the campus is 15 min from Santa Monica.. 340 days of sunshine
- Students are generally more down to earth and nice
- Great alumni base in LA and very strong IB/Finance recruiting in LA
- Cheaper than NYU (both tuition and living expenses)
- Smaller class size with not that many people recruiting for banking = less competition among students

UCLA Cons:
- Long term wise, I eventually want to work abroad (somewhere in Asia) but UCLA is not very well known outside of the U.S. Well... not very well known outside of West Coast
- Less opportunities in LA compared to NYC - not that many LevFin shops in LA compared to NYC
- I love living in LA but finance=NYC?

NYU Pros:
- Overall better brand name than UCLA, especially internationally
- It's NY.. better and more firms to recruit + will likely open more doors down the road
- I've visited NYC many times for both business and vacations and I could totally see myself living there as well

NYU Cons:
- More expensive (tuition is about ~$20k more expensive per year and living expense.. you know.. it's NY)
- Larger student body with more people recruiting for banking jobs
- Compete with other higher ranked schools (Booth/Wharton/Columbia, etc.) for jobs
- Big change for me personally/culturally given I've always lived in the South and West coast

I also got into Cornell but... damn.. after visiting Ithaca.. I can't live there...

All Asia Pacific
United States - West
United States - Northeast

Comments (18)

Feb 24, 2017

I'm not post MBA level yet, but do not discount the UCLA network outside of LA. It is a very strong connection to have.


Feb 24, 2017

Lev. Finance, NYU is a no brainer here.

Feb 24, 2017

NYU vastly outperforms UCLA for finance gigs. A couple years back Poets & Quants took a look at which schools do best on Wall Street, based on LinkedIn data. They found that Stern graduates showed up the most at big banks, representing 18% of alumni from top MBAs at these firms. That compares with 12% and 10% for Wharton and Columbia. A mere 3% of these bankers hail from Anderson.

Of course, there are some limitations to this sort of analysis. Stern has a big part-time program which is sure to help. More of the roles could also be back office. But a look at the scale of the difference does away with these concerns. From a recruiting perspective, you're vastly better off at NYU.

Feb 24, 2017

Cool, well done with the multiple offers. Could you share other stats? Thanks

Feb 24, 2017

Thank you. 710 GMAT/3.7 GPA from a regional university. I did get rejected from Booth and CBS (reach schools but I had to give em a shot). I still feel very thankful to be in this position.

Feb 25, 2017

Thanks, did you get interviewed at CBS? My view is NYU for US particularly NYC - location is strong strong factor here.

Feb 24, 2017

If you really love the west coast go UCLA all the way. If you just want to be around the most possible opportunities and don't hate NYC (some people do) then go for NYU.

Feb 24, 2017

If you gave up Cornell only because you dont like the living, you may miss the alumni network from Ivy league alone. If you want international presence, IVY + Stanford are the surest bets!

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Feb 24, 2017

@whattherock" I suppose that's why you also support that new program at Columbia.

Feb 25, 2017

I do agree with that and Cornell alumni network is very strong in Asia as well. But Ithaca is making it very hard for me... I might put Cornell back on the drawing board.. Appreciate the advice!

Feb 25, 2017

You can frame it both ways

Cheap, tight knit, ivy backbone, Cornell tech if you need

I'm not saying Cornell is better than NYU or not, but it wouldn't be a loser necessarily.

Some can also say, Nyu like MIT has the inferiority complex, but who cares? What works best for you is what gives you the best package for your needs

Feb 24, 2017

For what you're looking for in finance and possibly Asia in the future, I'd go with NYU/Cornell over Anderson

Feb 25, 2017

I think I am about 80/20 now... 80 being NYU.. Thanks for the advice!

Mar 1, 2017

UCLA's reputation in Asia is arguably better than its reputation in NY, and NYU's reputation in Asia is probably better than its reputation on the West Coast. Tie.

This is really just a geography vs Leveraged Finance question. You'll get some kind of banking gig on the West Coast from UCLA. But your odds of getting an LF gig are best if you do your job search in NY, and NYU will serve you just fine.

They're both on equal standing overall as schools, but obviously very different experiences - UCLA epitomizes So-Cal life, whereas NYU is in the Village. That said, c'mon - in "My Cousin Vinny", Ralph Macchio's character is going from NYU to UCLA. Same caliber school, different experience.

No right answer because the quality/strengths/weaknesses are really clear, just a matter of your tastes.

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Mar 1, 2017

Stern hands down

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May 5, 2017



May 7, 2017