USC/Kelley/Cornell HELP

Jahseh's Intern's picture
Rank: Chimp | 12

So I'm currently a freshman at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. I just applied to transfer to USC Marshall and Cornell ILR (not the business school). I did this mostly because my parents wanted me to, and I know I shouldn't count my eggs before they hatch but I genuinely feel that I have a decent shot at getting into both of them. However, my question is, is it even worth it to transfer? Obviously both USC and Cornell have significantly better brand names than Indiana, but that's about it. Here's what I know so far that is causing my inner conflict:

  • I intend to go into investment banking upon graduation and then private equity.
  • USC: Not known for finance, but they do have an investment club that seems to get pretty decent placement on the west coast. On top of this, I know a guy from my high school who is the VP of this club. Honestly probably not much better than Kelley for IB, but it's always been my dream to live in LA so that experience alone is a pretty tempting reason to transfer to me.
  • Cornell ILR: I didn't apply for the business school, but supposedly all majors have access to the same OCR at cornell so not really a problem. There are several finance clubs here that place well into IB; however, they are all extremely hard to get into and only accept less than 5 kids each every year. But because of Cornell's reputation, I wouldn't necessarily HAVE to be in one of these clubs to get into IB. Going here would be a trade-off: yes, I'd be at an Ivy but I'd also be in Ithaca.
  • Indiana Kelley: My current school. Pretty poor brand name compared to the other two, but I think it is underrated. We have a very strong Investment Banking Workshop here that has really good placement into IB. I think I have a pretty decent shot at getting in, but the problem is it is pretty much impossible to break into IB from Kelley if you're NOT in the workshop, so staying here is a bit of a gamble because I don't have much room for error.

All other factors aside, ultimately I just want to choose the place that will give me the best shot at breaking into IB. Will USC or Cornell give me better opportunities than Kelley, and if so, which one? I'm just feeling really conflicted about my future and any guidance would help.

Region: 
United States - Midwest
United States - West

Comments (13)

Jan 30, 2020

If you want west coast go USC otherwise go Cornell. Keep in mind you're probably going to change your career goals

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 30, 2020

USC is low-key underrated - they have a hegemony for LA banks and place very strongly in SF. Recently have started placing in NY as well.

    • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 30, 2020

If you go USC and get good grades, join the right clubs (TIS), and network properly, you'll be a shoe-in for LA banks. Plus you get to party your ass off in Los Angeles while Cornell is -10 degrees F.

If your goal is NYC then Cornell will likely be better, but not as big of a difference as one would think. Most of the USC kids who recruit IB want to stay on the West coast and therefore recruit for LA/SF. Not as many are gunning after NYC, but those who do (and are well-prepared) don't really have issues. As another poster mentioned, there is a growing presence of Trojans in NYC, all of which are incredibly helpful and will push for you, making the process easier.

Also worth mentioning that there are ~35 students from USC every year that legitimately recruit IB, versus 200+ at any Ivy.

This is just my two cents after going to USC for 3.5 years. I obviously know nothing about Cornell but wanted to give you my perspective. Hope this helps.

    • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 30, 2020

Spacing on this got all messed up since I'm on mobile, but you get the point.

  • Prospect in HF - Other
Jan 30, 2020

How would you compare USC to UCLA for banking placement?

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 30, 2020

I would say USC is "better" but with a caveat. USC has more kids who go through the process with a more focused IB program and UG business school. However, pretty much every post MBA associate in LA went to Anderson so any UCLA student would have no problem getting calls/interviews. I'm not as informed on UCLA though but from what I understand the school is very well-respected and thus shouldn't have issues.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 31, 2020

USC undergrads place much better than UCLA, but UCLA MBA's place better than USC's

    • 1
Jan 31, 2020

Cornell is the best option if you get in. USC is also great. The transfer is worth it because of brand and both places will set you up for your goals

  • Prospect in Other
Feb 1, 2020

Easy... USC!! Don't undermine college lifestyle

  • Prospect in Other
Feb 1, 2020

Cornell sucks... Cornell IRL is worse.

Apr 4, 2020
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