Wharton vs Top Ivies?

bahena2's picture
Rank: Chimp | 14

Hi, I am new here and I wanted to see what you guys thought of the undergraduate Wharton vs HYP debate, I am international so there is not many people who can give me a good idea over here. After looking through the internet this is what I am understanding.

-Academically, Wharton and HYP are equally selective and all generally accept the same quality of students.

-If you want to go to business for sure, Wharton is the right choice, however, if you are not so sure, HYP would be better because they have stronger liberal arts educations compared to Penn's CAS (although Penn is right on their heels).

-Even though Wharton is highly business focused, it does not limit your academic interests by allowing students to take almost 50% of their classes in any of Penn's departments.

-HYP have more name recognition than Wharton, nevertheless, Wharton has more prestige in the business world (only paralleled by Harvard)

-Regarding recruiting, Wharton places first followed closely by Harvard, then Princeton and finally Yale.

-Wharton has a more pre-professional and competitive atmosphere, whereas HYP are more intelectual and offer a more classical college experience.

-Now, social life at Penn is a good balance of fun/party and academics, whereas HYP are more intelectual and nerdy, the party scene doesnt compare (only Yale/Princeton kids say that their social scene is AMAZING, yet people from the outside who visit say the contrary. At Penn no one denies it has a good social scene, although its kind of like the tallest midget)

Might I add that I have been accepted to Wharton and one of HYP, however, I want to avoid bias and get the general top Ivy vs Wharton idea.

Region: 
United States - Northeast

Comments (50)

Apr 15, 2010

what i think you need to do:

gather up all of the literature you can about the subject
take a nice, relaxing bath while toasting a bagel on the bathtub ledge

be careful not to let that toaster fall in the bath though!

finally, and this is a little secret of mine that saves lots of time, go ahead and blow dry your hair whilst still in the tub

after having done all of this, the answer should be clear

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Apr 15, 2010

You have all the information...now its time to make a choice. I would go with Wharton, but that's just me.

Apr 15, 2010

This decision is entirely up to you. I had the same decision back in the day, I chose Wharton and ended up at HBS. I am darn glad I made that choice. I honestly feel that I learned more at Wharton than I learned at HBS - although I cherish both experiences, but that's just me. I am not you; I have a feeling that you know where you want to go, have the courage to embrace your decision. God knows that if you end up in trading, you'll have to be able to make tough decisions decisively - this is good practice.

The fact that you are on this site posting this is indicative of something in your personality, as is the methodical way you've gathered your pretty darn accurate information. I know it's scant to judge you based on that, but judging on that alone, you seem to have the Wharton personality type and a slight pre-professional bend - you'd fit in better there. Culture-wise, Harvard is the closest to Wharton, then Princeton, Yale is very different - it's practically Wharton's anti-thesis.

If the HYP school that you got into was Yale, look up the "Yale thing" joke. JK, don't do that. Just make a decision.

Apr 15, 2010

Wharton is just a glorified trade school. HYP or bust!

Apr 15, 2010
reallycoolguy:

Wharton is just a glorified trade school. HYP or bust!

Way to go with that insightful post, it was so helpful. Troll.

Apr 15, 2010

You might think I'm kidding, but I'm serious. I have nothing against the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences, nor do I look unfavorably upon the College of Engineering. I even think Wharton is an excellent graduate school of business. Nevertheless, my allegiance belongs to the (increasingly unpopular) camp which maintains that an undergraduate education should teach students not simply a trade but a way of approaching life itself. In this regard, I believe HYP far surpass Wharton (though I suspect HYP are also beginning to gradually deviate from said objective).

The purpose of an undergraduate education is not to simply teach us the skills that will put bread on our tables, but to provide us with instruments that will facilitate a greater understanding and appreciation of that very life which the bread is meant to sustain.

To the OP. If you got into one of HYP, I strongly recommend you attend that school over Wharton.

Jun 21, 2012
reallycoolguy:

You might think I'm kidding, but I'm serious. I have nothing against the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences, nor do I look unfavorably upon the College of Engineering. I even think Wharton is an excellent graduate school of business. Nevertheless, my allegiance belongs to the (increasingly unpopular) camp which maintains that an undergraduate education should teach students not simply a trade but a way of approaching life itself. In this regard, I believe HYP far surpass Wharton (though I suspect HYP are also beginning to gradually deviate from said objective).

The purpose of an undergraduate education is not to simply teach us the skills that will put bread on our tables, but to provide us with instruments that will facilitate a greater understanding and appreciation of that very life which the bread is meant to sustain.

To the OP. If you got into one of HYP, I strongly recommend you attend that school over Wharton.

No offense, but if you believe any school is going to teach you about life, you're dead fuckin' wrong. You learn that on your own through experience. So if you ask me, the question becomes: which environment am I going to have a better life experience in? For me it was Wharton and Philly, because I knew I wanted to go into business, the people are fairly diverse in that you get a good crowd from ever status level (and considering I come from a poor ass area, it was nice seeing all the snotty rich legacy kids who were way less smart than me but got better grades and had jobs lines up since high school because they knew how the game was played), and there was a city to hang out in, which I also never had growing up. So go where you think you'll be able to best diversify your experiences. That's how you'll find out more about who you really are, not which school teaches you more about Greek Mythology and "theory," whatever the fuck that means.

P.S. Learning for the sake of learning is for chumps. Total cop out. Find out what you like to do, get yourself a fucking job, and in your free time make some goddamn mistakes. Nobody's gonna care how "academically well-rounded" you are in your interviews, but they will care about how normal you are, so if you're a weirdass I'd try and spend my college years fixing that. That's all you should be focused on doing from 18 to 21.

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Apr 15, 2010

Personally, I would go Wharton. There is no denying its placement in business and it rules supreme on Wall Street. Plus, Penn's the social ivy, so I'm sure you'd have fun at the same time. But, if you know you may want to do something, which is totally fine/normal, then I'd pick the one out of HYP that you got into. IMO Princeton's campus is freaking gorgeous, but then again its got that WASPy atmosphere, so if you're an international it might be hard to fit in. I've heard/read Yale's not the strongest at finance at least compared the rest of HYP and New Haven is a dump. Harvard, well its Harvard, so the prestige the name connotes will open a ridiculous number of doors for you, but at the same time Harvard's atmosphere may not be for you.

Apr 15, 2010
ibdreamer:

Personally, I would go Wharton. There is no denying its placement in business and it rules supreme on Wall Street. Plus, Penn's the social ivy, so I'm sure you'd have fun at the same time. But, if you know you may want to do something, which is totally fine/normal, then I'd pick the one out of HYP that you got into. IMO Princeton's campus is freaking gorgeous, but then again its got that WASPy atmosphere, so if you're an international it might be hard to fit in. I've heard/read Yale's not the strongest at finance at least compared the rest of HYP and New Haven is a dump. Harvard, well its Harvard, so the prestige the name connotes will open a ridiculous number of doors for you, but at the same time Harvard's atmosphere may not be for you.

Since when is the "WASPy atmosphere" exclusive to Princeton? Have you ever been to Dartmouth? And while Harvard is Harvard, to this day I have never met a Harvard student who even pretends their school is fun (this is people who are and are not members of Finals Clubs). When the differences in recruiting are as marginal as they are at these top Ivies, I'd think you might want to consider other factors when deciding where to go to school.

I think the general consensus on this board is that Wharton is the best school if at age 18 you are 100% sure you want to do finance. But keep in mind it is incredibly competitive, as everyone is gunning for the same jobs, and sounds like you have to spend too much time working to really have any fun (this is anecdotal evidence, but I have heard this straight from the mouths of multiple Wharton students).

Apr 15, 2010

I go to one of the HYP schools, but I am from just outside Philadelphia so I have a good number of friends at Penn (including one at Wharton). I have spent a fair amount of time hanging out at Penn as well as one of the other HYP schools (have a good friend and ex-girlfriend at one of them), and I can honestly say that there is no comparison. The academic environment at HYP truly unlike any other school I have visited. Penn felt more like Duke (somewhere else I have spent time visiting friends).

As for the social scene, Penn's is certainly more traditional (rows of run-down frat houses serving cheap beer), as opposed to Princeton's eating clubs (rows of multi-million dollar mansions serving cheap beer) and Harvard's Finals clubs (rows of multi-million dollar town houses serving cheap beer). Overall, I'd admit Penn's social scene probably has a bit more going on (being in Philly helps), and the girls in the nursing school are all incredibly cute. But I've had a good time partying at each of HYP too, so I don't think the difference is enough to give Wharton the edge.

If you are 100% set on doing business, then I guess Wharton isn't a bad choice, but if there is any chance that you might want to do something else (and as a senior in high school, there is no way you are 100% about anything), then HYP is definitely the way to go. Wharton may make you a better 1st year analyst, but going to HYP will actually make you smarter, and in the long-term that's going to be a lot more useful.

Apr 16, 2010
phalanxOhTen:

Wharton may make you a better 1st year analyst, but going to HYP will actually make you smarter, and in the long-term that's going to be a lot more useful.

I didn't want to sound this blunt, but I wholeheartedly echo this sentiment.

Apr 16, 2010

Otter:
It's true. Wharton is very competitive. I feel like my harvard compadres have had more fun than I did in college. But there is no denying the top notch education.

May 8, 2011

v

Apr 16, 2010

that's for damn sure

BossMode

Apr 16, 2010

If you're 110% sure about a business career immediately after college (especially finance), then go to Wharton undergrad.

Otherwise, you will likely have a more well rounded experience at HYP or even at Penn CAS if you're not entirely sure what you want to do - it'll give you more room to explore. Or other top well rounded universities like Stanford, Duke or the liberal arts colleges out there.

Or another way to put it, if you're choosing between majoring in econ at HYP (or similar) versus Wharton undergrad, go to Wharton undergrad. But if you're looking for a solid liberal arts or pure sciences education - you will find a more dynamic experience outside of a top business program like Wharton.

The good and bad (depending on how you look at it) of a business undergrad whether it's Wharton, Stern, Michigan, etc. is that the educational experience is almost exclusively centered around recruiting -- as are most of the students. So the experience can feel a bit more "transactional" - i.e. purely a means to an end. Your peers are basically focused on jobs, with some whose focus borders on the pathological. It's not better or worse than the more well-rounded, exploratory experience of other schools - just different.

So it's really a function of your own personal values and what you deem to be ultra important.

I'll probably reveal my own personal biases here, but the value of a liberal arts education (or a pure sciences, or anything that isn't a purely "professional" program like business or engineering) won't be immediately tangible or apparent -- but is something you may likely be glad to have done decades after the fact. This is my own personal opinion, but in my view the professional programs like engineering and business are better at teaching practical knowledge, but at the expense of nurturing intellectual curiosity and imagination - compared to the liberal arts and pure sciences. Practical knowledge is tangible but a depreciating asset (all the technical stuff you learn in business and engineering and comp sci won't have much impact on your day-to-day decades from now) -- but a deep sense of intellectual curiosity and imagination can last for a lifetime.

Put it this way. Certainly, some of the most imaginative and curious people I've met (in business and personal life) had engineering and business backgrounds (but their imaginative attitude and curiosity in my view was in spite of their formal education) -- however, more often than not the more curious, imaginative and dynamic folks I've met when I was in banking, working in Silicon Valley startup land (and working with VCs, entrepreneurs, etc), my clients, in life, etc and so forth - tended to have liberal arts and pure sciences backgrounds. I can't really explain why, but I think what a liberal arts or pure sciences education teaches you is an appreciation for learning for its own sake (rather than "if this knowledge has no immediate or obvious practical value I won't learn it" which is a very transactional approach to learning that is the focus of most professional programs like business or engineering). You can't measure the value of intellectual curiosity and imagination in dollars and cents, but it can have a huge impact on your quality of life (which is not the same as your standard of living), as well as on the organizations or companies you work with.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Einstein himself: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

And innovation in any field (arts, business, technology) is rooted in imagination. In my opinion, lib arts and pure sciences are better at nurturing the former, whereas professional programs are better at nurturing the latter.

But again, if you're 110% sure about business and you simply want to get a high paying analyst job out of college and you see anything that isn't practical as "fluff", then go to Wharton. Different strokes for different folks.

Apr 16, 2010
MBAApply:

If you're 110% sure about a business career immediately after college (especially finance), then go to Wharton undergrad.

Otherwise, you will likely have a more well rounded experience at HYP or even at Penn CAS if you're not entirely sure what you want to do - it'll give you more room to explore. Or other top well rounded universities like Stanford, Duke or the liberal arts colleges out there.

this comment, pretty much all you need to know if you ever have to make the this type of decision.

if you are asking, 'whats better for business, hrvard/stanford/princeton/wharton/etc?', you are asking the wrong question.

the question you should be asking is, 'what do i want to do after undergrad, business or engineering or medicine or law or politics or non-profit etc etc etc'?

if you answer business, wharton is the place to be.

man made the money, money never made the man

Apr 16, 2010

Doesnt really matter in terms of prestige. Some choices are hard to make in life but still quite randomly made retrospectively (in fact i would argue, all choices are that way). I am also an intnl and I was at Penn, if you want to brag to your friends at home who dont really have any idea about anything happening in the world, when you say you went to Harvard, they will be impressed. When you say Wharton, they will say "cooool". So if in 30 years, you want to be the prime minister of the country you are from, Harvard will attract more votes for you because more people are going to think you are one of the smartest people on earth, which is not necessarily true for Harvard or Wharton or Princeton, as far as I have seen. I think when you are 80 years old, you will be more happy having died as a Harvard grad. Come to Wharton for MBA.

Apr 16, 2010

If you want the Harvard brand name, go get a Harvard MBA. If you go to Wharton undergrad and get a Harvard MBA, you have the best of all worlds. You get the hardcore technical finance knowledge that Wharton does best (and could potentially get you some very elite jobs that are essentially available only to Wharton undergrads) and you get the case method of instruction and general management skills from Harvard -as well as the prestige that makes donkey drivers in Egypt go "wow". The only way you will be able to experience both methods of business education is to go to Wharton for undergrad. That is an unbeatable combination.

I absolutely agree that a liberal arts education "broadens the mind" which is why I am so happy that you can do that at Wharton. Half of your classes are in the liberal arts; finance is going to be your concentration, the equivalent of the Harvardian who takes ancient Japanese literature or economics but dabbles in all that other stuff. Your liberal arts base is the same; you just specialize in something other. You can still study philosophy, science, and what have you at Wharton and have a broad open mind. But having an open mind is mostly self-taught. You can easily read books to your heart's content in your free time and gain that long after you are in the work force. Getting a liberal arts education is not limited to school, if you are smart enough to get into Wharton, you will be able to acquire that other stuff both at Wharton and after it. All of the things Alex says about a liberal arts education that you would get at HYP are also available at Wharton; the two are not mutually exclusive.

Go to Wharton, you will broaden your mind, have a lot of fun at the "social ivy" - I know I did, have the option of getting some of the most elite jobs possible, and get a set of skills that are unparalleled and applicable to what you will do for the rest of your life- no matter what you do.

When I die, I am pretty damn sure that I will be just as happy to be a Wharton alum as I am to be a Harvard alum.

Apr 16, 2010

The conversation was about HYP, not just Harvard originally. However, if it is Harvard you're considering, go. Unparalleld brand recognition and it provides effectively the same job opps as Wharton. In fact, certain top places (Blackstone, McKinsey) that hire almost no ugrads are a lot more likely to hire from Harvard than Penn.

Now, if you're at the very top at Penn (maybe in Huntsman) you might get some opps at PE/VC that are not available to top Harvardites. Also, if you're average at Penn the business education might give you a boost in securing finance jobs over someone who was avearage at Harvard.

My advice assumes you will be a top candidate at each school, maybe not just THE top. I think it still holds for Y and P, just not to the same extent. There is just so much value to being at the top, even relative to second place.

P.S. Went to school not in same league as these, this is based on what i have observed in the recruiting process

Apr 16, 2010
dazedmonk:

In fact, certain top places (Blackstone, McKinsey) that hire almost no ugrads are a lot more likely to hire from Harvard than Penn.

P.S. Went to school not in same league as these, this is based on what i have observed in the recruiting process

Most of this thread has been pretty darn good, but this post from dazedmonk is flat out wrong. Places like Blackstone, as well as PE/VC places also mentioned, are much more likely to hire from Wharton, because of the technical experience already provided through the Wharton curriculum.

Wharton and Harvard MBAs are both represented well at places like BX, but in terms of undergrad representation, Wharton trumps Harvard by far, although Harvard trumps all remaining schools at BX (analyst positions) by a significant margin as well.

The fact that dazedmonk did not go to either of these two schools just seals the deal.

Apr 16, 2010

If you want do business, go to H/Y

  1. Brandname of H/Y vs. Wharton is not the same level on the street or anywhere else. This is especially important if you want to have a career outside of the U.S. (which is probably relevant in your case since you are international) where Wharton means nothing to a big group of people, the same actually goes for P which is less prominent abroad.
  2. The business preparation aspect, it is true that academically Wharton has more relevant courses than HY, but you don't necessarily need them to prepare well for the job interviews. HY has pretty good courses in corporate finances which are pretty much the only courses you need to prepare for ibd interviews, the marginal benefit of other business classes that you need to get an ib job is basically 0. for st there is also a pretty rigorous course in capital markets at HY, I can't compare it with Wharton but I can't imagine the capital markets class in Wharton being more rigorous/quant.

Hence the fact is that the finance job interview process is too simple (in terms of technical knowledge) to give Wharton an edge. On a side note I have interviewed a bunch of Wharton undergraduats majoring in business/accounting/etc. who are actually knew surprising little about finance, not saying that Wharton has a bad program just want to point out that Wharton's preparation might be less applicable than you think.

  1. Think like a long term investor

Assuming if you want do business long term (if you are not then you should go to HYP anyway). Do you think you will know less about finance in 5-6 years time if you went to HY instead of Wharton, most likely not. But you probably more about Kant, Mozart, Watson than the Wharton Grad (despite the claim that Wharton offers liberal art classes, the fact is that the Wharton Grads in the top banks/P.E. are more finance focused than their HY peers). The fact that you have interesting stuff to talk about is pretty important when you are with clients/portfolio companies/bosses and so on at a later stage in your career.

  1. Business school

you don't understand how easy it is to get into Harvard/Stanford B School when you graduate from HY. If you had a decent gpa (>3.5), ok gmat (>700), decent job (bb ibd, st), that's probably all you need. Also I almost never hear any HY grads going to Wharton for B school (yes we do think it is a downgrade) and the opposite exists in abundance.

Apr 16, 2010
RWP:

If you want do business, go to H/Y

  1. Brandname of H/Y vs. Wharton is not the same level on the street or anywhere else. This is especially important if you want to have a career outside of the U.S. (which is probably relevant in your case since you are international) where Wharton means nothing to a big group of people, the same actually goes for P which is less prominent abroad.

April Fools day ended over two weeks ago bro, get with the calender. I have never heard someone claim that Yale has a better brand name than Wharton on the Street, both here and abroad. That is laughable. You can make a good case for Harvard (especially at the grad level), but certainly not Yale. Wharton's rep. on Wall Street at the undergraduate level is unparalleled, IMHO.

Apr 17, 2010
pinkbanker:

April Fools day ended over two weeks ago bro, get with the calender. I have never heard someone claim that Yale has a better brand name than Wharton on the Street, both here and abroad. That is laughable. You can make a good case for Harvard (especially at the grad level), but certainly not Yale. Wharton's rep. on Wall Street at the undergraduate level is unparalleled, IMHO.

I guess we are talking about high end finance jobs here (i.e. ibd, s&t, hedgefund/prop, consulting, pe) would be good if the wharton guys can comment on what exactly in the finance world/business jobs that really require the education from wharton.

I can see how in hedge fund/quant/prop you probably need a unique skill set that has to be learnt in school but honestly hyp def. prepares you much better for quant jobs than wharton, wharton guys (at least the majority) doesn't give people the impression for being the extremely quant type

pretty obvious that consulting firms like the liberal art bullshit of hyp anyway so there is no discussion here

s&t probably similar to hedge fund/quant//prop situation, but i am not familiar with this so cannot comment

for ibd/pe which i am in i just haven't seen anything on the job that is too hard for me to learn on the job. by learning i really mean just go through it and understand at the same time and i doubt that wharton cover these materials in school from the wharton guys i interviewed (20+). I am pretty sure that goes for most of the stuff in the business world which is just educated common sense (if you are smart enough to go to hyp you should get those). A lot of the business acumen comes with your work experience and not your college education. you do need a basic sense about accounting and corporate finance on these jobs but both of these you can learn at hyp as well and will be covered extensively in training (which is more than enough).

ok wharton does have a business brandname that will open doors to those big names companies. but the brandname at hyp is equally good in the business world and will open doors just as easily if you prepare accordingly. I am not saying that the hyp guy who doesn't know anything about finance will have the equal chance as the wharton guy (personally i don't believe in the harvard english major bullshit) but you can be well prepared enough at hyp open the same doors is you were at wharton (as i mentioned previously that the technical/business questions for entry level jobs are not extrememely challenging that you need to learn 4 years in school)

Apr 16, 2010

If it is Harvard, I'd say it is a 50/50 thing all things considered, it is your call - but I would choose Wharton, but only so that I could go to Harvard grad school and have access to both networks. I still think Wharton out does Harvard in essentially all PE positions at the undergrad level, some firms recruit exclusively at Wharton undergrad. I'm not sure your Blackstone anecdote is correct, but whatever I don't work there so I may be wrong. But really, these schools are so close it is really splitting hairs at the point. If you know you want to do business and think that you want to get an MBA, go to Wharton and get your MBA from Harvard - you get to experience both business schools that way. If you know you don't want an MBA (i.e. you want to be a trader) go to Wharton. If you think you might want to become a Prof., a doctor, or whatever, and a career in finance is just one of many options then Harvard is probably the best choice.

If it is Princeton, I'd go to Wharton - but personal choice would factor into my decision.

If it is Yale, I would certainly go to Wharton - it is not represented as the other three in high finance. Networking is key.

I'm willing to bet $100 that the guy above me went to Yale. Try to be objective bro; we are talking about the whole industry, not just IB. You know just as well as I that the top jobs in finance are far more demanding, and require a lot more financial knowledge than IB. Wharton gives you a huge advantage for such jobs.

And if getting into HSW is so easy, then he can easily get the Harvard brand name later by attending business school. Problem solved.

Apr 16, 2010
pinkbanker:

If it is Harvard, I'd say it is a 50/50 thing all things considered, it is your call - but I would choose Wharton, but only so that I could go to Harvard grad school and have access to both networks. I still think Wharton out does Harvard in essentially all PE positions at the undergrad level, some firms recruit exclusively at Wharton undergrad. I'm not sure your Blackstone anecdote is correct, but whatever I don't work there so I may be wrong. But really, these schools are so close it is really splitting hairs at the point. If you know you want to do business and think that you want to get an MBA, go to Wharton and get your MBA from Harvard - you get to experience both business schools that way. If you know you don't want an MBA (i.e. you want to be a trader) go to Wharton. If you think you might want to become a Prof., a doctor, or whatever, and a career in finance is just one of many options then Harvard is probably the best choice.

If it is Princeton, I'd go to Wharton - but personal choice would factor into my decision.

If it is Yale, I would certainly go to Wharton - it is not represented as the other three in high finance. Networking is key.

I'm willing to bet $100 that the guy above me went to Yale. Try to be objective bro; we are talking about the whole industry, not just IB. You know just as well as I that the top jobs in finance are far more demanding, and require a lot more financial knowledge than IB. Wharton gives you a huge advantage for such jobs.

And if getting into HSW is so easy, then he can easily get the Harvard brand name later by attending business school. Problem solved.

....you probably think that if I went to Harvard I would have just mentioned H instead of HY, the world is more complex than that my friend.

"You know just as well as I that the top jobs in finance are far more demanding, and require a lot more financial knowledge than IB. Wharton gives you a huge advantage for such jobs. "

maybe, by the time you get to those jobs I don't think the extra businesses class you took at Wharton will help you anymore. You should be experienced enough by that time,

Maybe you can illustrate with concrete examples on how your education at wharton has helped you in your career that is unique to Wharton, I doubt there are any.

Apr 16, 2010

I've seen this topic done at least 2 other times in the last 30 days.

Protip: At HYPW they'll expect you to have some degree of common sense so you should be able to know how to use a search function.

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Apr 16, 2010

Lets cut the shit. Wharton will absolutely not make you "dumber" than HYP kids, that's just stupid. Kids from Wharton have succeeded in many areas outside of banking (Josh Koplemen, the weirdo who started Zynga). I dated a girl from Harvard for a while & have worked with another, & really I'm not that impressed. The people I've meet from Wharton, MIT, Stanford, Cornell, & Georgetown have all blown the previous two out of the water in terms or perception.

Go were you feel comfortable. The social scene at Penn is a little more open. The people who have the awesome parties at Princeton & Harvard are the legacy kids that went to boarding school together. And more likely than not if you didn't summer with them previously, you're not really invited. It's just kind of the way it is. Go were you feel at home. You won't be at a disadvantage.

Apr 16, 2010

^I don't know if you know this, but there are parties at places other than Ivy at Princeton.

Apr 16, 2010

I have heard though that competition is pretty fierce in Wharton, and that it's damned hard to get a job at some places because you're competing all the other geniuses in your class. The atmosphere gets pretty intense, almost too much so. Great if you're into that though.

Apr 16, 2010

You can still get a good liberal arts perspective if you're in Wharton. Aside from the core courses, you only need to take four classes for a Wharton concentration. This leaves a lot of room to pursue liberal arts classes from Penn's College, which is still very good. And, Penn is pretty flexible in terms of academic requirements, giving you a lot of room to explore whichever intellectual areas interest you, and allowing you to get a minor or dual degree relatively easily.

The Wharton classes and education that Penn offers is simply something that is not really available at HYP, whereas virtually all aspects of the liberal arts education that HYP offers is offered by Penn as well. Also keep in mind that Wharton isn't just finance. There are something like 20 concentrations with interesting areas like Real Estate, Legal Studies, Business Public Policy, etc.

I'm not necessarily saying to go to Wharton or one of the other three ivies, that's your decision to make, and it's definitely not an easy one. But keep in mind that going to Penn might leave you with a more balanced worldview, both intellectual and practical, as oppposed to HYP which might seem almost entirely intellectual / theoretical.

Apr 17, 2010

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their insightfull posts which have really made me think about this desicion, however, right now I am leaning towards Wharton and I will tell you why.

Where I come from and generally all around the world (in my experience) undergraduate studies are supposed to prepare you for your future career, not to spark your interest, over here that would be considered a monumental waste of time and money because you are already expected to know what you want to do right out of highschool. This might sound crazy to you but highschoolers here seek internships and ask many people to decide what they want, I did this and more to realize I wanted to go into business. Nevertheless, I am aware that even though I feel confident that I know I want to go into business, it is not set in stone and that is the benefit of a liberal arts education. Wharton gives me a liberal arts education with a strong business background, a good balance.

Regarding some of the above posts, I do not feel that a university, however good it might be, could not make you anymore or anyless intelectually curious, more intelligent as someone posted (I find this ridiculous), or even change the way you approach life. I believe that these are things that either we were born with or a consequence of how we were raised ( I can sort of agree that a university can change the way you approach life but I think that is a long journey of self-perfection through life experieces and wheather you attended HYP or Penn will have minimal impact). HYP might seem as though they shape up intellectually curious alums but the fact of the matter is that HYP attract intellectually curious kids, the student body shapes up the university not the other way round. I consider myself very intelectually curious and believe that no university can change this, for better or for worse (correct me if I am wrong). Given all the above I think that I am not missing out on anything by attending Wharton but gaining much more.

I just have one more question to Wharton alums, if you could do it all over again, would you choose Wharton?

Just in case people wanted to know, I got into Harvard but I wanted to avoid the typical 'dude its harvard, harvaaaards!' Bias.

Apr 17, 2010

Bahena2:
Here is another opinion from a Wharton alumn.
If you got into Harvard, I say go for it. The networking is incredible there. Are you so sure that you want to work in IBD? I mean yes Wharton might take you farther for IBD/PE, but how do you know already?

If you aren't 100% sure you want that path, you will enjoy life at Harvard alot more. Wharton is so pre-professional with people already attending information sessions as freshman and acting like tools.
You have classes where teachers force u to participate about the dumbest crap ever, and especially when the answers obvious you still have to play dumb and answer it. Yes maybe it makes u more well-rounded and speak up whenever you want, but the classes at Harvard I bet are alot more interesting.

It's Harvard. Best undergraduate education you can get in the whole world. Was I challenged at Wharton? I guess I was a bit, the hardest finance courses I thought weren't that hard. But at harvard, you can be intellectually challenged and enjoy it. Plus Harvard has grade inflation while at Wharton we are always on a curve.

Seriously grade inflation is so worth it.

Apr 17, 2010

Dude, if you got into Harvard...go there! then go to Stanford or Wharton for bschool.

Apr 18, 2010

Qwerty:

I was trying to make a distinction between firms that are merely highly selective (BX, McK) and firms that technically don't even take undergraduates, but in reality take a few special ones annually (many PE/VC) funds. I think the latter are more likely to end up with a few crazy Wharton kids who got on the radar.

Perhaps I was wrong about BX. However, I did meet a lot of their analysts so there'd have to be something going on for the sampling to be so off.

Apr 18, 2010
dazedmonk:

Qwerty:

I was trying to make a distinction between firms that are merely highly selective (BX, McK) and firms that technically don't even take undergraduates, but in reality take a few special ones annually (many PE/VC) funds. I think the latter are more likely to end up with a few crazy Wharton kids who got on the radar.

Perhaps I was wrong about BX. However, I did meet a lot of their analysts so there'd have to be something going on for the sampling to be so off.

You were totally off the mark with Blackstone, Wharton is tops by far at essentially all PE firms (right out of undergrad). McK is more balanced, but that is consulting. Wharton absolutely prepares you for a quant jobs, more than HYP IMHO (especially Yale). Look at their finance department; it is top in the world. Just look at the top quants (Wharton is heavily represented): Asness, Cohen, etc that is what Wharton is known for. Top shops like Citadel and hedge funds like SAC also take the majority of their analysts from Wharton. Let's stick to the facts gents.
Harvard's brand name is great, it has gotten me pussy on multiple occasions, but save it for grad school. If you get a good enough job out of Wharton, get a good GPA, and are not boring as hell, getting into HBS will be a breeze. And HBS is way stronger than Harvard College in terms of networking opportunities. At the MBA level, HBS has produced more billionaires than any other school. At the undergraduate level, Wharton has produced more billionaires than any other school. Solution? Go to Wharton then HBS, problem solved.

Apr 18, 2010
pinkbanker:
dazedmonk:

Qwerty:

I was trying to make a distinction between firms that are merely highly selective (BX, McK) and firms that technically don't even take undergraduates, but in reality take a few special ones annually (many PE/VC) funds. I think the latter are more likely to end up with a few crazy Wharton kids who got on the radar.

Perhaps I was wrong about BX. However, I did meet a lot of their analysts so there'd have to be something going on for the sampling to be so off.

You were totally off the mark with Blackstone, Wharton is tops by far at essentially all PE firms (right out of undergrad). McK is more balanced, but that is consulting. Wharton absolutely prepares you for a quant jobs, more than HYP IMHO (especially Yale). Look at their finance department; it is top in the world. Just look at the top quants (Wharton is heavily represented): Asness, Cohen, etc that is what Wharton is known for. Top shops like Citadel and hedge funds like SAC also take the majority of their analysts from Wharton. Let's stick to the facts gents.
Harvard's brand name is great, it has gotten me pussy on multiple occasions, but save it for grad school. If you get a good enough job out of Wharton, get a good GPA, and are not boring as hell, getting into HBS will be a breeze. And HBS is way stronger than Harvard College in terms of networking opportunities. At the MBA level, HBS has produced more billionaires than any other school. At the undergraduate level, Wharton has produced more billionaires than any other school. Solution? Go to Wharton then HBS, problem solved.

Blackstone hires just as many from harvard undergrad as wharton. and citadel does NOT hire the vast majority of its analyst class from wharton. their analyst class only has like 15-20 people and it's split among multiple schools. citadel has never taken more than 3-4 from wharton in a given year.

Harvard is better than wharton undergrad. better educational experience, more prestige, more talented and interesting people, and of course bragging rights. plus, philly is a shithole while boston is a great college town.

using HBS to get pussy? lol, you're a joke. i guess it works well for ugly jewish and asian chicks.

Apr 18, 2010

If you want MBB,
Harvard is a better place to go. There is less competition.

Apr 18, 2010

You guys do know that BX also hires kids from Cal/UVA, both of which are far from Harvard/Wharton?
Also, Lazard didn't even do a presentation @ Yale.

Picking a school just because firm XYZ recruits there or school has more billionaires is straight-up retarded. Good luck getting BX, SLP, or Citadel @ Wharton. There will be 499 other students desiring same jobs, and I bet 25% of them will have great IB/PE connections for that sweet BB IB internship after sophomore year.

My MD graduated from Wharton in 80's. He had only one B/A- in his entire undergrad career. He graduated 2nd in his class. That was almost 30 years ago when students didn't care about their GPA as much.

Bottom line is, if you argue what's better, Wharton or Harvard for undergrad, get a fucking life.

P.S.: I hope my friend doesn't mind me mentioning this fact (he is also a WSO monkey). He beat few kids from Wharton during 2nd round for an SA gig @ BB. He went to school that's not even in top-100 and no one was pulling strings for him.

Apr 18, 2010

PussinBoots hit the nail on the head. Great advice. Just go wherever you like best.

To the poster who said that HYP will make you smarter where Wharton will make you a good 1st year analyst : A library card will make you smart. Every super smart 21 year old kid I have ever met simply excels in regurgitating text book material. Gotta get a couple years of experience under your belt first.

I really respect the kids who kick ass and take names with a non target schools diploma hanging on their wall. Those kids are the ones who actually have to be competent and hungry. If you need a Harvard diploma to get into banking thats pretty sad.

Threads like these ruin this place.

May 8, 2010

Which school did you end up choosing?

May 11, 2010

I ended up choosing Wharton, no regrets.

May 12, 2010

you are gonna regret it. Harvard is #1.

May 12, 2010

PA, what's your problem? Did you have bad experience at Penn? Did you not get the job you wanted? For god's sake, not everyone is as bitter about their college experience as you are. No need to insult Penn at every turn possible.

You never went to Harvard, how are you so sure it trumps Wharton? If I were to do it all again I would go to Wharton undergrad, just as I did before. I knew tons of kids that turned down HYPSM for Wharton. For a kid interested in business, Wharton is clearly number 1. If need be, you can go to Harvard for your MBA. You made the best choice possible bahena2.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Mar 25, 2016

There aren't tons of kids who turn down HYPSM for Wharton. There are many kids who turn down HYPSM for the dual degree programs at Penn (M&T, LSM, Huntsman, Vagelos), but for Wharton much less so.

May 8, 2011

My 2 cents (from Harvard)

First, a lot of people are throwing a lot of BS around (eg. finals clubs being million dollar townhouses ... clearly you've never seen them ... the land is worth that, but they're quite run-down).

Second, it depends on what area you'd like to pursue in Finance. For IBD/PE I would say Harvard is weaker (though it has the brand). We don't really have an undergrad business program. I looked at the Wharton undergrad offerings - they tend to be more along the lines of what HBS offers.

Harvard introduced a 'finance-track' a year or two ago - its entirely quantitative. This is basically the entire story - if you want to enter finance with a CS, Math, Stats background I'd say Harvard offers the brand and a solid solid education (though in those majors you'll work hard as hell).

Since you seem to have your shit together, feel free to PM me and we can talk about the school in more detail.

May 9, 2011

My own personal perspective is that:

Harvard = Princeton > Yale = Wharton

disclaimer: You can't go wrong with any of these schools and there could be an argument to be made about the advantages of each one... i just tend to find kids from H/P (and I'm friends with dozens of them) to be the best and the brightest.... very, very subjective.

May 9, 2011
International Pymp:

My own personal perspective is that:

Harvard = Princeton > Yale = Wharton

I agree with this. Also, +1,000,000 to whoever mentioned grade inflation being worth it.

Those four schools have quite a different feel to them as well. Wharton seems to attract more international students because it is so pre-professional. I've visited Wharton a number of times, and it' can be fun but I can't even imagine having gone there for school. People seem to be obsessed with finance/jobs in a way that just kind of takes the fun out of college. There's something to be said for being friends with a diverse group of people (girls especially), most of whom wouldn't give their firstborn child for an analyst position at Goldman.

To the OP - you can't really go wrong with any of the schools you're considering. It seems like the kind of very pre-professional experience is what you're looking for, so you probably made the right call based on what you want out of college. Congrats on the acceptances and good luck at school.

Jun 21, 2012
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Jul 10, 2012