University of Dreams, is it a scam?

So I was contacted by someone at Uniersity of Dreams, Los Angeles about doing a possible internship with them this summer. I'm going to aim for New York City naturally because it is the hub of ibanking

It sounds like a scam, but when I checked the top 10 most represented institutions the University of Michigan as well as Washington University in St. Louis as well as Boston College are all mentioned on the list.

These are certainly very good schools so I don't think that this program is one of those, "we want your money" type of deals.

Has anyone done the program or have any information on it?

Thanks, appreciate the help.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (86)

May 16, 2017 - 1:21pm

StreetLuck truthfully it's better than most colleges where you pay $40000 to work in corporate in a medium sized city.

Let me hear you say, this shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Feb 22, 2007 - 9:06pm

i think its ideal for freshmen who cant get internships on their own. they help with resume building, interviewing skills and what not. they basically do all of the work for you, provide you with housing and transportation for the summer, and introduce you to a network of students your age. i think its good if you can afford it and if you're a freshman. if you're any older, forget about it.

Jun 22, 2009 - 6:41pm

im actually doing the costa rica program this summer and its great. when thinking about participating, i was definitely not going to pay so much for the NYC program. coming from boston and having family in NYC, i didnt think it would be worth it. the costa rica program was 5k and it includes housing, breakfast and dinner, and some great trips so far. we have done 2 overnight trips already. the money is well worth the experience here. it is something that is not easy to coordinate on ur own since we are outside of the country. if anyone has questions, or wants to know more about my experience, feel free to send me an email!

Jun 22, 2009 - 11:32pm

I have a friend doing this in NYC. He says his PWM internship is bullshit.. all he does is cold call from the phone directory and order lunch. He says the only positives are meeting new people around the same age and living in NYC (NYU dorms though).

Jun 23, 2009 - 9:30am

Step 1: Click on a browser
Step 2: Type in "newyork.craigslist.org"
Step 3: Select "Accounting+Finance"
Step 4: Pick one PWM job/internship out of hundreds available
Step 5: Send resume, get an interview
Step 6: Accept a job
Step 7: Start cold calling

On a serious note, there is nothing difficult in getting a PWM job/internship. In most cases they hire right away because they know that most people will quit after couple weeks of cold calling.

Dec 16, 2013 - 3:33pm

University of Dreams - HA HA (Originally Posted: 01/29/2009)

So I'm sure many of you have heard about the program... you pay $6K for the summer and they place you in your dream internship. In terms of Wall Street placement, the furthest you'll go is a PWM gig, if that.

In any case, I was browsing their website for fun and came across this testimonial written by a Smith Barney employee who hires the U of Dreams students for the summer. I am embarrassed for the company and anyone affiliated. Seriously, is the last sentence a joke? Rather, is the whole paragraph a joke?

"There are multiple benefits of going through University of Dreams for interns. I'll break it into two main facets: Convenience and Quality. With regard to convenience, University of Dreams sources only the best students for you. You get a pool of applicants and from there you get to pick and choose your favorites based on what you're looking to achieve. For example, we wanted someone articulate that wouldn't mind being on the phone for 50% of the day. We got that before we even started interviewing. The Internship Coordinator narrowed the pool so that I didn't have to look at all! With regard to quality, the program speaks for itself. The people are paying for the experience! That said, they want to develop and consistently crave more. If anything, you'll find it annoying how quickly they get work done and how much more they want to do. And in the back of your mind, you'll know that they can handle it."

Erik R. Flegal
Citi Smith Barney

Dec 16, 2013 - 3:37pm

elan- what are you talking about? please explain I'm curious.

p.s. banker-twat- univ of dreams is mostly shit, but if you havent done it than lower your pedestal because you dont know entirely what youre talking about. I know a freshman at my school (ivy) who got a investment banking internship at a middle-market firm servicing a niche industry. No doubt thats still amazingly great for a freshman (though he did say that it was the best one they had and the other interns from uod that placed there were also from ivy and top20).

Dec 16, 2013 - 3:40pm

i dont know, i feel like if you can't find your way to a PWM gig on your own, this is definitely a way to get there, which you could then leverage up later on.

lots of kids on here cry about how they want an internship in finance just so they can break into the business--if you really want it, being willing to pay for it isn't so ridiculous.

now obviously, i'm not saying you should pay for something that you can get somebody else to pay you for. but if you can't make the latter scenario materialize, then you know, whatever.

Dec 16, 2013 - 3:41pm

OK, I AM Erik Flegal. I was playing a game and ran across this while Googling myself. I feel the need to shed some light on the U of Dreams from an employer's point of view.

First, here's what your parent's $6,000 gets YOU the intern:
- Placment agent (searches for internships that match your skill set)
- Room and Board in another city (i.e. you're not paying 6k to live at home. You're meeting other interns from other parts of the US and other countries)
- Weekend Sightseeing (our interns go to Catalina, Vegas, Dodger games, and San Francisco among other places)
- Probably more...I'm not an employee or anything.

I'm a Regional Development Officer at Smith Barney. I've interviewed over 100 interns over my tenure at the company. Obviously, that's not in my job title, so less time interviewing is better for me. The process that the University of Dreams uses consistantly produces hard working, intelligent interns. I've come to trust the program to consistantly deliver quality. This is important because I'm not giving them filing and input projects. Because I know that the interns will be smart and creative, I generate meaningful projects that are true resume builders.

I believe in the abilities of interns. I started as an intern and I like to further the careers of positive, hardworking individuals. Most employers do. I set up a fantastic program in Los Angeles that in 2 years has prepared over 10 interns get placed at Investment Banking internships, finance rotational programs, and trading desk entry programs. The ones that we haven't placed yet are still in school. The internship is only available to select interns from local Los Angeles Universities and the University of Dreams. Why? Because they are consistantly positive, hardworking individuals.

I'll check back in a few days to respond more if you like. Shoot me any questions that you have on what we look for if you'd like some help. And one line critiques without substance aren't helpful nor harmful. They're just plain funny.

Dec 16, 2013 - 3:44pm

IT IS A SCAM!!!!! I had applied to their finance program in NYC and they could not place me in an investment banking program. So, they tried to convince me to sign up for their PWM program with all these unknow names, and it cost nearly 7,000$. Finally, I decided to drop it and get my 1,000$ refund back because they could not place me in an internship I wanted, and they DENIED me my money back. I tried fighting to get my money back but they came up with all these excuses not to give me my money back.

So, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THESE GUYS @ UNIVERSITY OF DREAMS! It is not worth paying over $7,000 worth for an internship that last less than 8 weeks and not be sure to have an offer after your unpaid internship. There are plenty of internhsip opportuntities out ther for free and paid as well, you just need to network and look.

Dec 16, 2013 - 3:47pm

Wow, glad i missed this shit in school

"Ambition and education is first and talent is second"- T.I.
Dec 16, 2013 - 3:49pm

University of Dreams? (Originally Posted: 01/05/2010)

Anyone heard of it? Apparently its an internship placement program. I was thinking about using it to place into an ibd internship since I go to a nontarget. Is it of any use at all. I am just skeptical because it is an expensive program but figure its worth it if i can get a SA position out of it.

Dec 16, 2013 - 3:54pm

They're really not investment banking internships. Although several of the internships are titled "Investment Banking," you can clearly see in the description that they are not IBD. PWM, stock brokering, etc. Of the few internships that are actually IBD, it doesn't seem like you'll be doing anything remotely technical -- no modeling.

Would you pay $6K+ for a PWM or broker internship?

Dec 16, 2013 - 3:55pm

PAY to work? Yeah, the guy who thought up this idea and has people paying him to get them employed in unpaid positions is a genius.

Anyway... you may want to try and reach out to school alumni, or even cold call small firms and offer working for free. Then you won't be down 6 thou... maybe 3 thou if you have to fish out $1500/mth if you're in nyc for 2 months, but even then, you're not paying as much.

And if you succeed in landing an unpaid position via cold calling... it also makes a nice story. You're not well connected because you're not son of Moneybags Sr. so you had to be proactive. 'I paid $6k to get my internship last summer...' would sound kind of lame in an interview...

Dec 16, 2013 - 3:56pm

University of Dreams (Originally Posted: 01/21/2010)

I was looking through some older threads regarding the University of Dreams and was wondering are ALL the finance internships, PWM internships? Does anyone know if they have any internships at boutique investment banks? I'm definitely not gonna pay to get a PWM internship but if I know for sure (by April/May) that I wont get a MM/boutique internship this summer by myself, I might just go through University of Dreams, but only if it's a legit investment banking experience.

Feel free to PM as well.
PLEASE no first time posters! I can't bare to read another one of these thread with U of D staff acting as past interns...

Thanks!

Dec 16, 2013 - 3:57pm

PJC - obviously non first time poster. It's a great way to polish ur resume, organizations like SEO and the SEC look highly upon such experiences with the university of dreams. I hear that you might get placed at great boutiques like FTP, Evercore, broadpoint Gleacher, Greenhill, and Perella Weinberg. Of course space is limited so you should apply early!. Everything is fantastic except for the fact that you PAY to have an internship, but that's ok b/c you have the moolah.

========================================= We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria
  • 2
Dec 16, 2013 - 3:59pm

I went throgh U of D this summer. Everything they had available was PWM (I took one at Merrill Lynch). I did not pay the full amount ($7000?) to stay in their housing and do all the events, I essentially used them as a headhunter. I had offers from UBS, Smith Barney, and Merrill. The experience was great, but not if you want a I-Bank position for the summer. PM me if you want more details.

Dec 16, 2013 - 4:01pm

If you want banking, you might want to check out Analyst Advantage. I think they have a guaranteed placement into boutique bank/PE/HF. It's about 5k but no housing. I don't have any experience with them but have heard of them. They seem pretty legit if you want to fork over the dough. Good luck

Dec 16, 2013 - 4:02pm

The Analyst Exchange internship program states: "Guaranteed four-week internship at a premier private equity or venture capital fund is offered to each candidate after the training program. Here the skills taught will be honed as they work on real-world business transactions."

Has anyone gone through this specific program? Does anyone know if you gain any type of modeling experience and/or any IB related experience? I'm assuming this would be a better option to choose rather than University of Dreams?

Dec 16, 2013 - 4:04pm

Guys, stop getting sucked into these schemes and sales pitches. If you got the skills and what it takes you will land an offer at the respective BB or PE or VC. If your resume is good enough to land an interview then its good enoguh to make it all the way. Just polish up your interview skills. For all your information these guaranteed placement are all within PWM which are unpaid internships, that can be easily acquired through your school career websites. If not then start networking. Networking will always go a long way!

Dec 16, 2013 - 4:05pm

kbluearmor7,
Are you sure The Analyst Exchange internship program is also a PWM internship? I'm currently a sophomore at a non-target and have applied at some boutique/mm firms and have been networking along the way. Worse case scenario IF i have no offers for this summer then I might look into The Analyst Exchange. I'm just trying to have a Plan B. Like I said before, I wouldn't mind paying for this (specifically The Analyst Exchange) if I can gain legit modeling/IB experience.

Dec 16, 2013 - 4:07pm

They're relatively new and just started the program so I don't know if that many people have gone through it. Also, it doesn't sound like they really have all that many spots ( i think 15 per season)? It's also first come first serve in terms of which area (IB/PE/HF/ER) you get. Another place to look is Craigslist preferably if you live in New York since they do have internship postings some times.
In any case, I would reach out to Analyst Advantage if I were you. U of D is not going to be able to place you in a IB program period.

Best of Luck!

Dec 16, 2013 - 4:10pm

IT IS A SCAM!!!!! I had applied to their finance program in NYC and they could not place me in an investment banking program. So, they tried to convince me to sign up for their PWM program with all these unknow names, and it cost nearly 7,000$. Finally, I decided to drop it and get my 1,000$ refund back because they could not place me in an internship I wanted, and they DENIED me my money back. I tried fighting to get my money back but they came up with all these excuses not to give me my money back.

So, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THESE GUYS @ UNIVERSITY OF DREAMS! It is not worth paying over $7,000 worth for an internship that last less than 8 weeks and not be sure to have an offer after your unpaid internship. There are plenty of internhsip opportuntities out ther for free and paid as well, you just need to network and look.

Dec 16, 2013 - 4:11pm

The name is "University of Dreams" are you people serious?

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Dec 16, 2013 - 4:12pm

University of Dreams Internship programs (Originally Posted: 02/09/2010)

Has anyone been through University of Dreams Internship programs before? How is the experience? Does it worth paying that amount of money?

Mar 20, 2010 - 3:35am

xtingx - thanks for the post. Very informative and detailed. I came across this company today looking for internships and knew it seemed fishy. From what it appears, this company is clearly a scam. Basically, you are right, very spoiled and very rich kids are paying 6K to throw some big name firms on their resumes.

Dec 16, 2013 - 4:14pm

University of Dreams IB + Intern Program worth it? (Originally Posted: 03/25/2013)

I began looking at this Dreams today, I know that all their jobs from Finance are bs and are probably random stuff from PWM. But their online chat service told me that if I am looking for IB jobs, I should go the IB + Intern program.

Has anyone been through this program before? Do you still get PWM jobs or do you get the real IB/PE/HF jobs?

Dec 16, 2013 - 4:15pm

They have a listing for Imperial Capital. For $8,499 you supposedly get guaranteed placement. Considering that most banks pay, I would assume whatever you earn through the internship would pay for that $8,499. What is the catch? This sounds too good to be true.

Jun 23, 2011 - 12:06pm

IT IS A SCAM!!!!! I had applied to their finance program in NYC and they could not place me in an investment banking program. So, they tried to convince me to sign up for their PWM program with all these unknow names, and it cost nearly 7,000$. Finally, I decided to drop it and get my 1,000$ refund back because they could not place me in an internship I wanted, and they DENIED me my money back. I tried fighting to get my money back but they came up with all these excuses not to give me my money back.

So, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THESE GUYS @ UNIVERSITY OF DREAMS! It is not worth paying over $7,000 worth for an internship that last less than 8 weeks and not be sure to have an offer after your unpaid internship. There are plenty of internhsip opportuntities out ther for free and paid as well, you just need to network and look.

Best Response
May 15, 2017 - 12:01pm

PLEASE READ!!!! University of Dreams or Dreams Career (whichever you call it) is a scam and waste of your hard earned money!!!! If you are looking for an internship, there is no better way than networking your way through the career process instead of having to pay >$10,000 for someone to do it for you..... I tried University of Dreams during my junior year (2009-2010) in college and was struggling to meet their price tag of >$10,000. As I finally decided to take the leap and give it a shot, I made my $1,000 deposit and began noticing that the majority of my options were only in wealth management (a job literally anyone with a beating heart can land!). I couldn't fathom myself paying for more than $10,000 for an internship (not a full-time job) in wealth management... If I were to pay that much in money, I expect they could line you up with an internship in investment banking, private equity or even a business development role. So, to make a long-story short, I decided to cancel my membership and request that my deposit be reimbursed back, the representative (Janae Dean, who was completely unprofessional and yelling over the phone) told me that she cannot refund my money back even if UofD cannot place you in an IB role!! I couldn't believe what I was hearing but my loss is hopefully your gain here...** PLEASE DO NOT PAY FOR THIS SCAM**

Jul 7, 2011 - 4:21pm
samvera93:
IT IS A SCAM!!!!! I had applied to their finance program in NYC and they could not place me in an investment banking program. So, they tried to convince me to sign up for their PWM program with all these unknow names, and it cost nearly 7,000$. Finally, I decided to drop it and get my 1,000$ refund back because they could not place me in an internship I wanted, and they DENIED me my money back. I tried fighting to get my money back but they came up with all these excuses not to give me my money back.

So, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THESE GUYS @ UNIVERSITY OF DREAMS! It is not worth paying over $7,000 worth for an internship that last less than 8 weeks and not be sure to have an offer after your unpaid internship. There are plenty of internhsip opportuntities out ther for free and paid as well, you just need to network and look.

oh my god, same experience with samvera93!! i'm trying to get my money back but they would not honor their money back guarantee. Im seeking legal advice to see if i should sue them or at least tell them i would if they dont give me my money back.

Jul 22, 2012 - 1:39pm

I am currently one of the participant of this company's Hong Kong program. It is a not a Scam not it is at the same time almost a Scam. First of all, do not expect you will get any interviews with HSBC and other large companies, because you will be deeply disappointed to know what you can get. Second of all, be aware of a coordinator whose name is Ali Zaid, he told us there is a company which only has six employees in the office one of the best finance company in Hong Kong.

And, Guess how many interns there are in the office? 11! All of them being placed by him. I was trying to argue with them, they conducted false advertisement, and they told me at the time of making a decision of going with this internship or not, I have the right not to. However, given that he told me this is a very good and decent company, and I and us in the States, how could we possibly know what's it like?

They told us to pick top five companies we want to go to, and none of the 11 people in this company even got an interview from their "dream" companies. I can not say we all had great past experience, I personally was interning for management consulting and one of them had worked with UBS in NYC last summer. I am not even sure if they actually submitted our resumes to those companies we picked or not since there is a girl who actually had an opportunity to talk to an executive from a company on her "dream" list, and the answer she got is that they never received anything about her from her coordinator or otherwiser there will definitedly be an interview. However, the reason why she got from the coordinator that she did not get an interview is that she was rejected by the "dream" company.

Also, This person will tell people this is a deadline for application for Visa and ask people to make a decision within 24 hrs, which make it sounds like you either have the "great" company or you are dropped out from the program. However, even after one month past in this program, some people in this program still have not got their working Visa yet.

We, 11 people actually got "luck" since we still have an office. However, there is a girl, and this coordinator told her that she will be interning for one of the best consulting company in Hong Kong, however that company only has two people in operation and these two people are a couple. This company does not even have an office. So, she got a big fight with them and threatened to take legal actions, so they changed a company for her. 

They also told us who are working for this small company that the reason why we were not accepted was because our weak past internship. However, in the company I am now interning for there are people who has worked with UBS in NYC before. After one of month of being here, most of us feel cheated and the internship itself is not worth of money trying.

I wasn't trying to get my money back, I just wanted them at least give us an apology, and see if there is anyway I also personally could feel this $8500 is worth of the money. So, I tried to argue with them that they have mis-advertisement and exaggeration issues, and the local coordinators basically said I was bullshiting at them, and if being here is a mistake, then it was all because we made our decision at pressured 24hrs and given the unreal information they told us.
I would suggest just use your $8500 and find internships on place like jobsdb and other recruitment websites if you be in Hong Kong by yourself or maybe while in the States. Even if you really want to go with this program, you should be aware if your coordinator is overstating or even lying on the internships your are getting and the deadline of Visa application.

 I heard other programs, especially in the States,  are legit, however, if you are considering the Hong Kong one, please be aware of what you are going to get into

May 16, 2017 - 1:22pm

Dream Internships (Originally Posted: 12/04/2012)

What are some thoughts on "Dream Careers," formerly University of Dreams. I was recently accepted (I'm pretty sure everyone is) into the NYC Investment Bank internship for next summer. I only applied because I had a promo code to waive the application fee. It's a mind blowing $10,000. Putting the merit argument aside, would these internships be good for non-target school folks? The intern coordinator I spoke with said that their internships are with boutique I banks in NYC.

May 16, 2017 - 1:24pm

sounds like a scam, and if not a rip-off. Anything for profit like this deserves caution. I'd rather get an internship on my own merit than pay for it everyday.

May 16, 2017 - 1:26pm

Voluptas quo necessitatibus cupiditate alias dolorem quia ut qui. Incidunt hic occaecati aut odio qui aut eius. Aut perferendis nemo error officiis nihil. Accusamus ab reiciendis quod.

May 16, 2017 - 1:27pm

Reprehenderit optio cupiditate nobis qui non accusamus. Sint labore molestiae quos. Minus quod tenetur maiores rerum alias sint placeat itaque. Mollitia id recusandae vel praesentium culpa id. Molestias consequuntur cum est voluptas autem repellendus consectetur. Occaecati doloremque ea quis tenetur dolore dolorum. Maxime dicta ut mollitia doloribus ipsam veniam mollitia.

May 16, 2017 - 1:29pm

Reprehenderit qui voluptatem tenetur dolores. Sit natus voluptatibus sit voluptatem soluta sunt. Aut qui qui voluptates tempore. Possimus quas sed ex praesentium consequuntur.

Maiores architecto ex doloribus odio ab accusamus sequi. Dignissimos veritatis veritatis ut reprehenderit odit corrupti. Ut assumenda nisi dolorem nobis modi.

Et non et et totam harum eum sunt. Aliquam quam vel quisquam perspiciatis. Aut quisquam voluptatum eius quo corporis ut labore.

Molestias repellendus ea perspiciatis temporibus quis. Est assumenda necessitatibus non laboriosam. Eveniet sed ipsum non sed facere consectetur nulla. Molestiae ab illum consequatur quidem voluptatem aperiam.

"Come at me, bro"- José de Palafox y Melci

Jul 23, 2012 - 8:15pm

Odio impedit officia odio voluptas. Ex aut doloremque assumenda magnam sint harum doloribus dolores. Vitae quo debitis optio non quibusdam sit ut delectus. Cupiditate odio laboriosam ratione ut nam. Occaecati aut voluptatem velit est harum vitae eos. Fuga possimus ut ducimus eum consequatur.

Eaque est fuga voluptatum ratione repudiandae. Qui quia explicabo maxime et. Ea aliquid nobis sint similique quae deserunt numquam.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

September 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (39) $363
  • Associates (220) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (135) $154
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (30) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (103) $143
  • 1st Year Analyst (487) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (377) $82