Undergrad Dilemma

Just looking for a little advice here:

I'm having a lot of indecision about my college plans for the next 2-3 years. Right now I'm a sophomore at UCA (a semi-target at best), and I'm killing it academically(3.9)8 and have a PWM internship that looks good on the resume. But even with that, i feel it's near impossible to break into finance from UCLA. I am wondering if I could transfer and here are my three options I'm thinkiing:

  1. Apply to Michigans Ross, I'd say I'd be around an 85% chance of getting in. I am a michigan resident and the cheap tuition would be a huge plus.
  2. Apply to Wharton, a bit of a longer shot. The most prestigious of my possible choices, I'd put myself at a 50% chance of getting in. Tuition would be the same as OOS UCLA.
  3. Continue trucking along at UCLA, keep my GPA near a 4.0 and hope for the best. OOS tuition is very steep at UCLA, and it's been dragging me down, but I LOVE so cal and the beaches/people there. Try and get lucky and land an IB gig at a BB.

  4. Whatever WSO thinks is a good idea.

What would you recommend if you were in my shoes?

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Comments (13)

Dec 31, 2010 - 4:07pm

What's stopping you from applying?

I would transfer to either school if accepted (Wharton for obvious reasons and Ross for the in-state tuition). If you end up enjoying LA and want to pursue banking there, you can always simply decide not to transfer. All you've spent would be about a hundred bucks in applications and a little time.

Dec 31, 2010 - 8:25pm
South African:
Can you please shed some light on the model you used to calculate your percentage chances in getting into Ross and Wharton?

Basically, I assumed the fact that I already got into U of M when I applied as a HS senior is a good indicator of the fact that I can get in, couple that with my solid performance at UCLA, and I'd be surprised if I didn't get in.

As for Wharton, I pulled the number out of thin air, my only basis is that my not-exactly-brilliant friend, transferred to Penn last year with only a 3.6 from Loyola of Chicago, and he didn't have a family hook-up as he's from backwater Michigan like myself.

I really don't know too much about %'s of acceptance at wharton, but I feel I'd be near the top of the pack just straight based on my body of work, it probably would come down to my essays, which would be pretty boring, as I've led a simple midwestern life going to public schools my whole life

Best Response
Dec 31, 2010 - 5:16pm

First, UCLA is a great school and you've got a great GPA. So that will carry you a long way in whatever you decide to pursue.

Having said that, I agree that you should still do your transfer applications. OOS tuition is high and with all the budget cuts happening throughout the UC system, transferring is something to seriously consider.

I was in a similar situation a year ago, but decided not to transfer. However, I still was able to secure a summer internship interview with one of the Big 3 consultancy firms (I know you are interested in finance so that might not be completely applicable to your situation).

Lastly, you don't know exactly who you are going to be 2-3 years down the road so don't kill yourself over your indecision. Enjoy college and socal while you can.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - DT
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Dec 31, 2010 - 5:18pm

Apply to Ross and Wharton. Once you get into either/both, THEN you have a decision to make. Frankly, if I were to pick, I'd go:

1) Wharton
2) Ross

For a number of reasons, but mainly because if you want to go into business, Wharton beats all else. When it comes down to Ross vs UCLA, Ross is a very solid semi-target school whereas UCLA, while not ridiculously non-target (and probably does pretty well in Cali), won't open quite so many doors PLUS you get in-state tuition, effectively halving your post-graduation debt.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
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Dec 31, 2010 - 5:46pm

If you want to work in IB in so cal though UCLA doesn't seem like a poor choice. Also, many BBs regional offices recruit from local schools and there are some good ones in LA. CS sponsors is top notch in LA. A couple other banks are strong in LA as well. UBS used to be but sounds like there's been somewhat of an exodus in recent years.

People tend to think life is a race with other people. They don't realize that every moment they spend sprinting towards the finish line is a moment they lose permanently, and a moment closer to their death.
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Dec 31, 2010 - 7:37pm

Wharton trumps all else when it comes to undergrad business. Trust me, it's my biggest regret so far in life, not going when I had the chance.

If you can get in there, go for it. If you get into Ross, going there seems like a strong move since you'll get in-state tuition. UCLA isn't on the same semi-target status as Ross is. That being said, you have an insane GPA so you aren't screwed if you stay. At this point it looks like it's simply up to you to decide whether or not you're willing to fork out the cash for the application fees and see where the chips fall. Once you have actual options, then the decision is yours to make. Until then, it's all conjecture.

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Dec 31, 2010 - 8:28pm

Also, i don't know what the atmosphere at wharton is like, how competitive would it be to land a job in finance if I got in, and by job in finance I mean a Position in IB at a BB or doing corp finance at your google/microsoft level. I hear that even when you get in, you really underestimate the competition for high finance jobs, and as a transfer how far would I be behind?

Jan 1, 2011 - 1:19pm
Hey skiboyne, I'm a second year at UCLA also. I was just wondering how you were able to get your PWM internship? Good luck on the transfer process

Got it like most people do, through dumb luck and knowing the right person. PM me some time when your back on campus.

Jan 1, 2011 - 2:40am

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