Which college for ultimately wanting to do banking?

I'm asking this for a friend of mine.
Very well qualified, as in yes, I am 100% sure he will get into all these schools.
He doesn't want to do government, or anything within the public sector. He just wants either IB, PE, or HF.

Options for undergrad:

Penn (Wharton/Huntsman Program), Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT

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Comments (68)

Jun 13, 2008 - 2:41pm

Go to the college that youuu like assuming u get into all listed. You can make it to banking from any top tier college. I would study economics or finance as a minor and pick a "useful major" as a back up. As in anything, Banking is JUST A JOB and u can be let go anytime. I went to columbia and it was the best choice I could have ever made personally. I also did an accelerated nursing degree(stony brook) b4 entering wall street

Jun 13, 2008 - 2:45pm

BTW if u get into wharton, it would be great since they have combined 5 year degrees like finance/nursing anf b4 anyone laughs, rn's make a good living especially crna's working less than a 40 hr work week plus it looks good if u ever want to join the healthcare sector of IBanking. Im not a banker but know a few who went that route.

Jun 13, 2008 - 6:25pm

hmmm....rather than that finance/nursing thing....do M&T. Those people kick ass. Or maybe he shouldn't do M&T. My observation is that M&T kids either soar above everyone else during recruiting, or crash down in flames bc their classes were so hard they had low GPA's. It's a pretty binary experience. But if he's confident, there's a ton of opps that come out of doing well in M&T.

Jun 14, 2008 - 4:36pm
Warhawk_1:
hmmm....rather than that finance/nursing thing....do M&T. Those people kick ass. Or maybe he shouldn't do M&T. My observation is that M&T kids either soar above everyone else during recruiting, or crash down in flames bc their classes were so hard they had low GPA's. It's a pretty binary experience. But if he's confident, there's a ton of opps that come out of doing well in M&T.

Excuse my ignorance, but out of curiosity - what does M&T stand for?

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Jun 13, 2008 - 7:11pm

go to harvard.

whenever there is a choice between harvard and some place else, go to harvard.

caveat:

you like west coast and engineering, stanford

you like engineering, mit

otherwise, for all career/life opportunities, go to harvard.

if there is one thing i've learnt while working, recruiting and talking to people, it's this: go to harvard

Jun 13, 2008 - 9:27pm

Now is this because of the academics at harvard? He's one of those that find it very immature to decide on a school based solely on name. Something about not wanting to be defined by the stereotype of the school you attend or something along those lines.
He's not looking for connections, he has his own good share of them. He's not doing banking for money. Seeing his house, you would understand why. It really is because he just... loves finance just like someone loves math.

I actually decided to post this because he seems to not fit the typical mold of a prestige-oriented student. He really doesn't relate to the concept of wanting to pursue fame or the desire to make everyone envious. He loves... can't think of a better word other than really knowledge. "Nerdy" if you will.

So, the last time I spoke to him, he was leaning towards Penn. Stanford was a close second, because of its west coast location and also clearly its academics. He didn't like princeton because when he visited, he said it was very superficial. He didn't like harvard because they don't offer finance really, and he said his tour guide was very self-centered or something.

I'm posting more to ask whether a student like this would succeed on wall street. He's not money hungry, but wants to do banking, not power-seeking, but wants to do banking, ... you get the point.

I can actually see him becoming a professor more than a banker, but I know he's waaaay smarter than the average "I went to an Ivy and now work for goldman" person...

anyways, i know what I said may be confusing... regardless, thanks for your comments. appreciate it everyone : )

curiousmonkey:
go to harvard.

whenever there is a choice between harvard and some place else, go to harvard.

caveat:

you like west coast and engineering, stanford

you like engineering, mit

otherwise, for all career/life opportunities, go to harvard.

if there is one thing i've learnt while working, recruiting and talking to people, it's this: go to harvard

Jun 13, 2008 - 10:23pm

OP, I have a friend just like him. I just finished undergrad and my buddy has a year to go, but he is also a finance nerd - I'm convinced one day he'll be managing a hedge fund. Very smart guy, very interested in finance just for the sake of it, already from a wealthy background - sounds similar to this guy. Anyway, my buddy and I went to a school not on your friend's list, and my friend in particular is not majoring in a finance-related field at all (nor did I; he's starting out in buy-side and I'm in IB).

So my advice to your friend, if he REALLY isn't concerned with name/prestige is Princeton or Yale. Princeton I've heard has the best undergrad experience of the above (and there's no shortage of Princeton fellows on the Street), and I personally really liked Yale when I visited. That said, knowing what I know now, out of that list, I would have picked Harvard solely for the name/prestige/connections, and as much as I loved my undergrad, it would still be a difficult decision to take my alma mater vs. Harvard.

Jun 14, 2008 - 1:45pm

Princeton or harvard. DO NOT waste your time studying finance. If you can get into one of those schools you can easily learn all you need to know about finance on your own.

Jun 14, 2008 - 3:43pm

Go to whichever top-10 school you like. Really, with good grades from any, you'll get a respectable banking gig. People saying definitive shit "Harvard, and only Harvard" or "Wharton. Nothing else matters" are ridiculous. Those schools all have very different cultures. There's no way your friend could like them all equally, so he should just go wherever he fits in the best.

Jun 14, 2008 - 5:40pm
brisbane:
Go to whichever top-10 school you like. Really, with good grades from any, you'll get a respectable banking gig. People saying definitive shit "Harvard, and only Harvard" or "Wharton. Nothing else matters" are ridiculous. Those schools all have very different cultures. There's no way your friend could like them all equally, so he should just go wherever he fits in the best.

i disagree with the whole 'fit' argument.

honestly, the people will determine your experience and the folks at all these schools are very similar. they applied to the same schools, have a similar socioeconomic background, did the same things in HS, econ/finance is the biggest major everywhere.

fit is nice and all, but in all honesty, you'll likely fit in and have a good/similar time at any of them.

i went to one of them and that's my perspective

Jun 14, 2008 - 7:44pm

In short, any of the schools will get you whatever finance job you want - none of the schools will really confer an advantage over the other; even at the undergrad level, as soon as you walk into the interview room, your school doesn't matter - it all comes down to how well you do as an individual (because they're hiring the individual, not the school). The school name just helps to get you the interview slot, and all the schools listed will give you about the same chance to get the interviews.

So it comes down to which undergrad experience you (or he/she if it's really for a friend) really think you'll get the most out of.

No matter how driven or ambitious one may be, you'll get much more out of your undergrad experience if you see it as more than just a means to an end (i.e. get a job at XYZ). The process of growing in those 4 years is more invaluable to you as a young man or young woman than just about anything else. It's really a defining experience, so you want to make the most of it.

Having had many friends, colleagues and clients graduate from these schools (and being an alum of one of them), here's the shorthand version of the differences between the schools:

Penn/Wharton -- a phenomenal education/academic experience if you want to study business, perhaps unparalleled compared to anywhere else for business. Flipside is that the Wharton undergrads are notoriously narrow minded, backstabbing, competitive and ulcer-prone. However, Penn itself is one of the "funner" Ivy Leagues if you avoid the Wharton undergrad crowd outside of class; if you're Jewish, you've found a second home as Penn is the Jewish Ivy League (not to mention less WASPy than Princeton/Yale).

Princeton and Yale -- similar in many ways in the sense that the undergrads generally have a great time while getting a great education in the process. Most alums I know have VERY fond memories of their times at both institutions (can't always say the same about Wharton undergrad or Harvard). Princeton is more science-centric, and Yale more libarts-centric in terms of the student orientation. Flipside is that it's also a bit of a haven for trust fund babies moreso than other Ivy League colleges; although it's more diverse than the past, the upper crust WASP is certainly stronger here than other Ivys.

Harvard -- a school of subcultures; if you don't find your niche, you will be lost and lonely. It can be a cold, cold place to be if you don't find your own community. Less collegial than Princeton, Yale or even Penn. Not backstabbing hyper-competitive like Wharton undergrads, but just .... cold. Clinical. However, if you find your niche, you will have friends for life. Not to mention the name on the resume. Also, the school is surprisingly diverse - not as WASPy as you think, and more people from a wider range of socio-economic backgrounds than you'd expect at an Ivy. Unlike alums from other schools, Harvard alums less likely to gush or wax poetic about their college experience, but will say it was "worthwhile". It grabs your head and ego, but not necessarily your heart.

MIT -- a geeks paradise. Really. It's high school, but in reverse. Or an alternate reality. If you are an unabashed nerd, you will love it being surrounded by other people like you. The facilities suck, the place is a little drab and depressing, but it's like a refuge or a commune for geeks to celebrate whatever strange things they're tinkering with. Less of an alpha-male / fratboy machismo than any of the schools you listed. Given its the mecca of the math/engineering universe, lots of Asians - perhaps the most compared to the other schools above.

Stanford -- a lot more Asian in its student body and culture (given its science strengths and its CA location) compared to east coast schools. Like MIT, not very WASPy at all, and has a more west coast plebian mentality (i.e. it lacks the east coast prep school vibe of an Ivy, even if there are rich kids at the school). It's a mix of the "college experience" you'd get at a state school (it is in a decent athletic conference after all - sports, laid back vibe, school spirit, etc.), with the academics of an Ivy -- like a more exclusive version of Northwestern.

Alex Chu

Alex Chu
www.mbaapply.com

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:27am

Best UG Business Schools for banking? (Originally Posted: 08/12/2011)

Where can I find a list of the best UG for investment banking?
I know there are lists like US News and Business Week, but those are for business administration overall.

USC, NYU and Berkeley are some of the top, but what else?

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:36am
akptech:
That thread doesnt go low enough on the list. Im talking about schools that are semi target:
Indiana, USC, etc

Schools that are semi-target which happen to have good business schools (which may be why they are semi-target and not non-target) are not better than other schools that are semi-target. Indiana is not better than UCLA for example.

Furthermore, UCLA and USC are both semi-target so they're on par with one another. The fact that USC has an undergraduate business program does nothing.

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:33am
akptech:
Where can I find a list of the best UG for investment banking?
I know there are lists like US News and Business Week, but those are for business administration overall.

USC, NYU and Berkeley are some of the top, but what else?

I just finished the college process last year, so I spent a lot of time researching this sort of stuff. The list you're looking for doesn't really exist. The closest things are what you already mentioned, and even still those aren't really that accurate.

What I did, and what I recommend is checking out potential school's career survey or career placement statistics.

This sometimes takes a bit of searching, so be patient. For example, here's USC's: http://classic.marshall.usc.edu/assets/138/23102.pdf

This shows ALL the career placement details, what firms, the pay, etc. So lets see...at USC 22% of the graduates go into finance, and you can see a good number of BB's up there: JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, UBS...

If you're really into this, maybe you should make a spreadsheet and post it online! haha.

Good Luck!

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:35am
Wharton2GS:
akptech:
Where can I find a list of the best UG for investment banking?
I know there are lists like US News and Business Week, but those are for business administration overall.

USC, NYU and Berkeley are some of the top, but what else?

I just finished the college process last year, so I spent a lot of time researching this sort of stuff. The list you're looking for doesn't really exist. The closest things are what you already mentioned, and even still those aren't really that accurate.

What I did, and what I recommend is checking out potential school's career survey or career placement statistics.

This sometimes takes a bit of searching, so be patient. For example, here's USC's: http://classic.marshall.usc.edu/assets/138/23102.pdf

This shows ALL the career placement details, what firms, the pay, etc. So lets see...at USC 22% of the graduates go into finance, and you can see a good number of BB's up there: JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, UBS...

If you're really into this, maybe you should make a spreadsheet and post it online! haha.

Good Luck!

I hate to be that guy, but that list is completely useless.
It completely ignores the most important aspect; what job people actually get at these places.
It's great if you're at jp morgan, but not so much if that position is technology, operations, RFS, ...
The average salary suggests most of these positions are back office (unless CA or LA pay less)

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:34am

You need to be careful though. Sheer volume going to BB's isn't an exact indicator, for example a person coming from Yale would most certainly get precedent over the kid from USC even if they don't send as many kids to BB (I have not verified this.) Prestige, for banking, is probably the most important thing, and the US News survey is a pretty darn good list with regards to that (Except switch a few, such as Brown > Northwestern / JHU etc.).

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:39am

WHARTON is by far number one in finance and banking.

Others to consider: Cornell, NYU, MIT, Virginia, Michigan, Brigham Young, Notre Dame.

Actually few renowned private schools have undergraduate business programs... which really sucks. So you've got two options: either one of the above or just go to an Ivy League and get an at-least-slightly-related liberal arts major.

It is easier to get into banking if you come from an Ivy League with a liberal arts major than from a random school with a decent undergraduate program.

Thus, either choose one of the undergraduate business programs mentioned above or go to an Ivy League and do liberal arts. Otherwise getting into banking will be VERY, VERY DIFFICULT.

http://bwnt.businessweek.com/interactive_reports/undergrad_bschool_2009/

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:41am

Agree. Ivy League kids think they're the best until they realize in summer/full-time analyst programs that people from other schools can be just as competent and, in many cases, considerably more competent than them.

Anyone who has had a summer internship in a BB or who is currently working in banking knows this.

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:42am

I know of 2 BYU analysts with Goldman TMT...dumbyoungbum, you need to shut the hell up and continue working on your own resume.

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:47am

Any MBA program in the M7 (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Kellogg, Columbia, Chicago) would be your best bet. NYU would also be a good choice given location.

  • 1
Jun 19, 2008 - 1:49am

Which College for banking? (Originally Posted: 07/02/2012)

Hey guys, I am in a really tough situation for college. I want to get a degree in finance and then work in banking after school. I've narrowed down my college choice to two schools: Indiana University and Notre Dame.

The thing is, I received a full-ride merit scholarship to Indiana University and they basically guaranteed me entrance to their Ibanking workshop which has a pretty stellar record (almost 50% of the kids went to BB firms last year and only one didnt get a spot on Wall St somewhere). Also, I think I like Indiana more as a school - better college town, hotter women, more social, great basketball, etc. Plus, their business school is getting huge renovations and the facilities will be new.

Notre Dame has Mendoza, however. The name alone with a 3.7+ GPA will get you an interview at most places. I'm not the type that needs prestige, but I know the banking crew is all about it.

So my question is which one do you think is a better choice? At Indiana I will have NO DEBT and their workshop will probably hold my hand and prepare me better for banking. Notre Dame, however, is...Notre Dame. Very good name there, but is it worth $200,000? Do any of you work with kids from Indiana or have heard good things about it? Do the alumni seem well prepared?

Thanks all.

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:53am

I'm about to start paying my student loans and if they were 200k I'd probably murder myself. Go to Indiana and get good grades and good internships and you'll be more than fine. Oh yeah, and have fun.. it is college after all.

This to all my hatin' folks seeing me getting guac right now..
Jun 19, 2008 - 1:56am

So I guess it looks like the consensus is Indiana - I agree, that's where I'm currently leaning.

Does anyone know about this Ibanking workshop they told me about? Is it good? What if I had a full or partial ND scholarship (they dont have any in reality) but still guaranteed entrance to IUs workshop? Is IUs workshop good enough to stand on par with Mendoza?

I just want to know if I'm putting myself at a disadvantage if you take money out of the equation.

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:57am

IU's workshop is very good. U of I is trying to model a program after theirs (as much as it pains me to say it). If you have guaranteed entry you are not at a disadvantage for banking. However, you may be at a slight disadvantage if you decide to change your career path while in school.

That being said, I agree that Indiana is a no-brainer.

Jun 19, 2008 - 1:59am

University of Banking

"Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old"
Jun 19, 2008 - 2:00am

Indiana. If you go through the workshop, stay committed to I-banking throughout the program, and manage to get some internships over your summers, you will be in an excellent position to interview for BB jobs in Chicago, and most likely some in New York as well. What is more distinguishing between the two universities is the social life. I will be straight with you - Notre Dame has none. South Bends sucks, the students there suck, the living conditions (parietals and gender-separate dorms) suck. You will undoubtedly have more fun in the Greek system at Indiana than you would playing on a shitty intramural team and hanging out with high school losers at Notre Dame.

In case you couldn't tell, I hate Notre Dame. So I might be a little biased.

Jun 19, 2008 - 2:02am

Shouldn't you have decided already? It's early July. Anyways, I agree with everyone else. Pick IU.

I live in Indiana so I have good buddies at both schools. I go out of state, but I've visited both universities. The weekend I visited at IU was one of the craziest in my life. The weekend I visited ND was...let's be nice and say it was forgettable.

Beyond that, the IB workshop at IU places kids very well. You'll have faculty helping you network and getting you internships. I met a guy who works at GS that went to IU, so they're definitely getting some good positions at the very least. ND probably has better representation on the street, but if you have guaranteed entry into that program, take it.

Unless you have really good financial aid at ND, I would venture to say that nothing beats a full ride. Congrats.

Jun 19, 2008 - 2:04am

Indiana. Like zero doubt on this one. Their Ibanking workshop is great also. You should have no problem finding a job on the the street.

Jun 19, 2008 - 2:06am

Best B-School for Banking (Originally Posted: 03/16/2016)

Would it be really stupid to pass on Wharton to attend Sloan? I also just got into Booth today, and with the rankings shift that doesn't seem too bad an option either.

Sloan was the school I like the most (haven't attended Booth or Wharton weekends though) but ultimately the thing that matters most to me is which school will help me get that associate position at a top bank. In this regards, is attending Sloan a big disadvantage compared to the finance schools?

Jun 19, 2008 - 2:07am

Did you attend the Sloan admitted students weekend?

Basically everyone I met when I was there who wanted an offer got a BB offer. Everywhere from Allen & Co, to Evercore, to GS. There aren't a lot of alumni across wall Street but they do great in a few concentrated firms. You won't be at a disadvantage over Booth or Wharton as long as you put in the time and effort to network effectively at the firms you are interested in.

Jun 19, 2008 - 2:08am
AllDay_028:

Did you attend the Sloan admitted students weekend?

Basically everyone I met when I was there who wanted an offer got a BB offer. Everywhere from Allen & Co, to Evercore, to GS. There aren't a lot of alumni across wall Street but they do great in a few concentrated firms. You won't be at a disadvantage over Booth or Wharton as long as you put in the time and effort to network effectively at the firms you are interested in.

Yes, it is interesting you mention Allen & Co and Evercore because the message I got during the weekend was that all the BB recruit but not so much boutiques.

But I guess you are right networking and interviewing is what is most important.

Jun 19, 2008 - 2:10am

Yes, it would be stupid to pass up Wharton (and Booth) for Sloan.

On the other hand, it's not like you're not going to get looks from banks b/c you chose to go to Sloan...

Jun 19, 2008 - 2:11am
westcoastmonkey8:

Yes, it would be stupid to pass up Wharton (and Booth) for Sloan.

On the other hand, it's not like you're not going to get looks from banks b/c you chose to go to Sloan...


I can't stress enough how ignorant this sentiment is.

Your career will be basically no different from any 3 of these schools for banking. Go to the school you feel you fit on at the most. That's the school you'll be the happiest at. That's the one you will thrive at. And no door will be open to you at Wharton and especially not Booth that isn't open to you at Sloan.

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