Western Ivey or McGill Desautels

Let me start off by saying that I know this has been discussed previously - but I need clarification with better detail in order to make an informed decision.

[Have Western AEO and i'm confident I can keep 80% avg. by working hard]

Im deciding between Western Ivey or McGill Desautels for business in aims of breaking into investment banking at a top BB or EB after graduation.

However, I'm on the edge for which to choose considering these factors:

Western has a better employment report and constantly places more students in these position than McGill, but I know that I would need to be in the top 25% of students in either school to have a shot.

McGill is in Montreal which is a large city, and although ill be a broke college student [kinda] I still think it would be a great student life. I'm also a bit optimistic about learning French.

Lastly, Western has a general Bmos program which ill be in for the first two years, but does not start with proper case studies or rigorous business classes until 3rd/4th year at Ivey. Which might lead the first two years to be less engaging class wise.

Can anyone shed any light on what might be the better option based on personal experience, or just general advice?

Thanks in advance.

Comments (24)

Mar 8, 2021 - 10:45am

If you already have seen the previous discussions I don't see why this is a hard decision based on what you have described. London, Ontario is cheaper than Montreal. Western has a better social scene. Better for recruiting opportunities. Yes you are not in business classes but no business course is "rigorous" anyway. Take the AEO offer and study something other than business for the first 2 years. You will have a lot of fun. 

Mar 9, 2021 - 11:48am

See, when you said international reputation, you just meant US placement. I actually meant international reputation.

McGill as a brand is definitely very strong in places like the Middle East and South East Asia; there, Ivey is quite literally unheard of AFAIK. Outside of the North American business community, Ivey is just another meh business school.

Mar 9, 2021 - 12:25pm

Exactly my point too. I'm not sure why ElitistPopulist is worried about "international reputation" when the only thing that matters to OP is IB placements. For big international banks, Ivey is a better play than McGill, hands down.

Mar 9, 2021 - 12:44pm

All I said was that the global reputation of Ivey is not great, which matters if OP wants to extend his career beyond NA. This isn't about pleasing OP's parents; I'm sorry you seem a bit butthurt, but these are relevant factors to account for for some people.

Most Helpful
Mar 9, 2021 - 1:41pm

Again, not something that OP asked for so not sure why you feel the need to insert irrelevant points into the conversation. Also, international reputation for what? Non-finance roles? What school the convenience store owner down the street has heard of? Ivey places better than McGill for front-office finance roles globally regardless of jurisdiction, bar none.

The point you're trying to make is akin to saying Apple is the best consumer electronics company across all of its products / sub-verticals because it's the most recognized brand (and let's be realistic; McGill is not the Apple equivalent of universities). No one is butthurt about your argument that McGill is a competitive university - the push back that you're getting in this thread is because you continue to spew strawman responses while not providing any meaningful feedback relating to the criteria that matters most, which is IB placement.

Show me quantifiable data that suggests McGill places better than Ivey internationally in investment banking (I'll open it to FO finance in general to make it easier) - happy to be proven wrong.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 10, 2021 - 2:51pm

Ivey is still a powerhouse in the UK. Know of a handful of bankers + the Head of European Credit @ Apollo and the Head of GSO Europe were/are both from Ivey. Any underrepresentation in continental Europe is more a factor of the language barrier than anything. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 9, 2021 - 3:50pm

As a European, I've heard of both. McGill is better known, but people don't see it as a good school. They've just heard of it. Whereas the few who know of Ivey know it's a solid school

Mar 9, 2021 - 5:51pm

Agree with your sentiment on "the few who know of Ivey know it's a solid school" when it comes to East Asia (specifically China/Hong Kong). I personally networked a ton for FO finance positions in Hong Kong/Singapore and a bunch of analysts from the elite universities there (Tsinghua/Peking/NUS) responded very positively to me, because of all the cases they use in the case-based classes they took were Ivey cases. 

Mar 9, 2021 - 10:16am

Ivey - it's a no brainer. Better placements. 

Ivey classes really aren't that rigorous, and definitely not at a BMOS level. I've seen the type of finance/accounting content these guys learn - it's a joke compared to what you'd learn in a more specialized finance/accounting program. Ivey kids succeed because of their soft skills, sheer drive, and massive alumni network. If you look at search funds run by Ivey alum, they practically only hire Ivey kids as interns. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Mar 9, 2021 - 11:01am

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