West Coast Semi Targets

So I have heard that the West Coast targets are primarily Stanford, Berkeley, and UCLA. I was wondering what are some West-Coast semi targets. Thanks.

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Comments (72)

  • Intern in Other
Apr 18, 2020 - 1:21pm

I think the competitive landscape looks like this

For California
Stanford (top target)
Clermont Mckenna/USC (semi targets - targets in LA)
Smaller UCs: Irvine/Davis...etc.

Then there are UBC, UW, and more northern schools which get a good look in

  • Intern in CorpStrat
Apr 18, 2020 - 1:33pm

In terms of people looking outside in, it is probably considered a tier above; however, the three schools are relatively similar so you could put them all in one target 'band' if you want

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Apr 18, 2020 - 1:32pm

West coast semi-targets are probably UCLA, USC, Claremont McKenna, and Ponoma. I think UCLA fits in better with this tier because while they send kids to IB, it's more like 10 to EBs, which is line with other semi-targets rather than lights out placement at targets.


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  • Intern in CorpStrat
Apr 18, 2020 - 1:34pm

If you look at linkedin alot of UCLA kids go to BBs as well, probably more so than EBs. The main reason a lot go to EBs is due to location: moelis and HLHZ are in LA

Apr 18, 2020 - 1:57pm

I'm not sure what you mean when you say a lot go to EBs because of location. I'm saying sending 10-15 kids to EBs is similar numbers to other semi-targets, like UNC, Indiana, Texas, Emory, Vandy. Also, HLHZ CF is MM, only their RX is EB.


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  • Prospect in 
Apr 18, 2020 - 1:36pm

How do schools like the smaller UCs, UW, Pepperidne, and Santa Clara do in the West Coast?

  • Prospect in Other
May 13, 2020 - 11:38pm

I think in terms of BB they do the best with BAML, with two incoming summer interns. This year Lazard also had a legitimate resume drop up on Handshake.

May 15, 2020 - 11:39am

horrible. avoid at all costs if you want banking. transferring from tier 2 UC as there is virtually no chance to break in. anyone who says otherwise is lying

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Apr 18, 2020 - 2:05pm

I dont think so

UCLA and Berkeley are the top public schools in the nation, have strong national/international brands, and are well regarded academically. USC less so

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 18, 2020 - 4:22pm

This is false - USC absolutely sends more kids into banking than UCLA; I personally think UCLA is the better school but when it comes to IB recruiting, the alumni network at USC is unparalleled and they all go to bat for each other like no other school.

Pinging Synergy_or_Syzygy , he probably has a better idea when it comes to this though.

Apr 18, 2020 - 11:21pm

It depends a lot on the bank with regards to hiring practice. I would say in general USC has an actual finance program (compared to UCLA's biz-econ) and a generally bigger and more organized finance club in the Trojan Investing Society. So there is a bigger candidate pool at USC which is of high quality.

That being said, UCLA's Sharpe Fellows program (Link) has some of the best resumes I've ever seen and those students receive great mentorship.

Our bank will continue to recruit heavily on campus at USC as well as always interview some top UCLA students who are proactive and reach out to us, including the Sharpe Fellows. Same applies for top UC Berkeley students who reach out to us; our Bay Area office goes on campus and sends students who have expressed an interest in LA to us.

All of the above applies definitely to LA banking recruiting. New York is a different animal and I won't pretend to be able to speak to who is a target where.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
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  • Prospect in 
Apr 18, 2020 - 2:02pm

Any thoughts on how UW places in West Coast? I heard they do a recruiting trip to SF? Are they general well regarded, they're like 20th in the nation on rankings

Apr 18, 2020 - 3:54pm

I wouldn't say UW is overrated. By nature of being in Seattle (Amazon/MSFT HQ, large presence of most other big tech-virtually no big banks) it is dominated by tech and Corp fin. However, Foster is a well respected business school, and if someone takes the necessary steps, recruiting is possible for most banks. I know alumni who currently or previously worked at GS, JPM, MS, Laz, Moelis, Blackstone, and more. There just aren't that many students gunning for positions discussed on this site. Happy to answer any other questions about UW.

Apr 18, 2020 - 3:55pm

Curious on which rankings. #20 schools are like Georgetown, UCLA, USC, Berkeley

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Apr 18, 2020 - 2:35pm

Search USC vs UCLA for finance recruiting and the different reddit / college forums results. I think you'll see more folks saying usc is a better target for finance at the undergrad level. Not sure about consulting though

  • Intern in Consulting
Apr 18, 2020 - 2:42pm

what are the reputations of Stanford/UCLA/Cal/USC internationally?

May 14, 2020 - 12:21am

Target for Texas but non-target for West Coast, though a few kids will make it to IB in SF/LA


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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 14, 2020 - 3:48pm

Santa Clara's banking culture is growing very fast. Have been placing kids in BBs and EBs over the past few years.

May 14, 2020 - 7:41pm

I got to one of the core west coast schools. I think usc/ucla are equal, both sending 25-30 kids into ib. UCLA kids are more technically prepared but lack EQ/connections/trojan network of USC. The early recruiting timeline of alot of west coast offices benefits the early prepraration of ucla and as function of that ucla signs more, earlier, at the good shops. However, when you look at NY recruiting, USC is able to place more numbers into better shops. As a public school without undergrad biz, ucla is more cut throat and has 10-20% less kids who recruit.

Hass is clearly beter than both schools. Stanford as well but they tend to have less kids wanting to go into banking and those who do tend to go to NY. Kids at the core schools tend to do alot of offcycle internships, something most CMC/pomona kids don't do which kind of shafts them for recruiting.

  • Prospect in IB - Cov
May 16, 2020 - 1:27am

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 14, 2020 - 9:23pm

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