Undergrad- Hobart College vs. University of Maryland

gfour's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 244

Not sure how many people ask for advice about undergrad programs but I'm pretty desperate for advice as the deadline to commit is approaching fairly quickly.

Right now I'm into Hobart college and University of Maryland (for finance). I've been waitlisted at UMichigan, Colgate, Colby College, Hamilton College, and UVA, all of which I'd accept if I was invited in off the waitlsit.

My goal is to get into IB after college and then an MBA.

At Hobart I'd likely be an economics major, at UMD I'd probably double major finance with econ or another liberal art. Both are non-targets obviously, but are totally different schools in different regions so the prestige factor is hard to discern. Both schools have a few fairly prominent alumnus, but Hobart gets a lot of kids who are better connected than your average UMD student. Their career center also appears to be top-notch, and the prospect of working closely with professors is certainly a hook. Being a state school, the Maryland kids are definitely more middle-class, the classes are larger, the alumni base is more impersonal, and the school doesn't have as much of a vested interest in each student.

However, I'm certain my peers within the finance program at Maryland would be, as a whole, smarter and more motivated than those at Hobart. The Smith School of Business also seems to offer a ton of opportunities like an honors program and a student-run endowment. Also, as a prospective investment banker, I think a finance degree would be helpful.

I talked to an industry guy who said that, personally, he prefers hiring liberal arts kids because he knows they'll be critical thinkers and good writers while kids with vocational degrees from business schools are less likely to have that base. Again though, I'm sure prestige factors into this a lot with LACs and he's referring mostly to the Williams Amherst Swarthmore Midd crowd.

I've been rambling, but in your opinion, which school would you choose? I'm thoroughly undecided so any piece of advice is immensely helpful.

Comments (11)

Apr 27, 2015

University of Maryland is a step up from Hobart, but still is not a target or semi-target. You'll have to hustle if you want to make it into IBD from there. That being said, Maryland is still worth it, if you can afford the cost.

Also, don't listen to what that "industry guy" said about liberal arts students. What he said is applicable only if you get a liberal arts degree from a top notch university. Furthermore, his viewpoint is not the norm.

Apr 29, 2015

Planning on working hard. Have an apt. in NYC for networking trips.

Yeah I get what he was saying, but he was also coming from a position of having graduated a top LAC in the 80's. My dad also got into IBD as an english major from a LAC but it's a different world now.

Apr 28, 2015

It's good to have IB and MBA goals; it is just a bit too far ahead though, because you'll realize that just few days into college.

since you're not too firm about you want to do for major, I recommend Maryland. You can try step it up and transfer to UVA or Michigan later, if you want. Although not a hot target, it is fine school that is likely to give you ample resources, even i fou want to change your major to something wildly different.

Apr 29, 2015

I'm pretty sure of finance. I was accepted specifically to the business school and it's the best department there that interests me.

Apr 30, 2015

Your plan is perfectly fine as long as you keep one open eye at the rest of the world. :)

Apr 28, 2015

UMD is the choice....

Apr 28, 2015


Apr 28, 2015

sounds good will do

Apr 29, 2015

Haha that's exactly what it seemed like. I have one friend going there who's dad is a goldmans vp and snorts up an ounce a week.

    • 1
Apr 30, 2015

I was in a similar boat to you deciding between a small upstate NY school and a large state school. I ultimately ended up going to Ohio State, and believe that the bigger school will serve you well, it exposes you to many more things, and provides you with a larger network.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jun 2, 2020