Yale SOM or UCLA Anderson for investment management?

rotiron's picture
Rank: Chimp | 10

I'm in a fortunate position to be choosing from two really great schools.

As of right now, the plan is to career-switch from SF-based tech consulting into investment management or equity research. From what I understand, the on-campus recruiting process for IM is limited at both Yale and UCLA and will require a lot of self-directed networking. Looking at the employment reports for both schools it doesn't appear that there's a ton of IM interest (which seems true at most every T20 school outside of Booth/CBS/Wharton), but I feel comfortable charting my own path.

As the long-term goal is to live in California, I'm struggling with whether the geographic advantages of UCLA's location would contribute more to my career than Yale's marginally better brand and ranking. I wouldn't mind sticking around in NYC or Boston for 2-3 years to get some experience, and Yale would undoubtedly have stronger connections to the east coast IM scene. From what I understand, the IM/ER opportunities on the west coast pale in comparison to the open seats available on the east coast, which could be valuable for someone like me who is trying to make the career-switch without relevant experience.

What would you do if you were in my position? Is there anything that I'm not considering?

Stats: White Male, 26, 720 GMAT, 3.5 GPA, CFA Charterholder

I didn't receive a scholarship offer from either school.

Yale SOM
* Connections to the east coast IM/ER scene, which would allow me to get some experience in NYC/Boston before heading back west.
* My undergrad is a C-tier state school so it would be nice to claw back a bit of prestige with my graduate institution, even if it's attributable to the parent university and not necessarily the b-school
* I've lived in SF for a while now and wouldn't mind a change of scenery for a couple of years
* College town forces you to establish relationships with classmates

* East-coast location isn't where I'd be targeting long-term (although at least a quarter of the class takes jobs on the west coast every year)
* Not a school known for having a strong finance program?
* Younger school with a smaller alumni base
* Cold weather

UCLA Anderson
* Much stronger geographic connection to LA and SF offices. Would make recruiting into those positions much easier
* Living in LA would open up the possibility of doing an in-semester internship
* I feel like the LA culture is just a little more laid back, which suits me
* Great weather

* Slightly lower ranked compared to Yale (but UCLA has a higher finance ranking?)
* From what I've heard, the quarter system is not conducive to any kind of deep study
* Class is spread out over the city. People still keep their pre-MBA lives/social circles

United States - West
United States - Northeast

Comments (7)

Apr 2, 2020

My .02 =
- UCLA for pretty much everything actionable
- Yale purely for prestige and the club in Manhattan

Which would I take? Yale :) I wouldn't need help from an MBA getting into investment management. Only reason I'd consider an MBA is so I can stop saying my non-target university when people ask me where I went to college.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Apr 2, 2020

What do you mean by "actionable"?

Apr 2, 2020

From my perspective, UCLA seems to make the most sense. You will be plugged in to the IM scene in SoCal, a major hub, and want to be there long term. The alumni network will serve you much better down the road.

I bet if you gave Yale any other name and the same info/stats, you wouldn't think twice. I totally get the pull, I had a relatively unknown undergrad prior to b-school to, but UCLA isn't too shabby!

BTW, have you visited SOM and been to New Haven? The close-knit community thing found at Darden/Duke/Tuck didn't seem to be replicated there from my experience.

Good luck!


    • 1
Apr 2, 2020

Thanks for the response! You're definitely right that if Yale didn't have it's ivy league name, I wouldn't even be considering it...but it does.

I'm definitely eyeing opportunities with large firms in CA like Capital Group, TCW, Western Asset, Guggenheim, and Ares. I just don't want to show up to recruiting events and get smoked for not having finance experience. Another idea would be to simultaneously recruit for IB, since those offers are sent out earlier than IM and fall back on an IB offer if i'm unable to land a position on the buy-side.

For what it's worth, I've definitely connected better with the students I've met from UCLA than from those that I've met from Yale. UCLA kids just seem to be more fun. I don't have a huge sample size or anything though. I did visit New Haven and didn't hate it, but I can't really comment on the close-knit community as I was only there for a half day.

Apr 2, 2020

my 2 cents (and this is all gut instinct after a couple beers, so take it for what it's worth) is that UCLA is the easy choice if you want to stay west coast. the "why xx for your mba?" question is so much easier and more logical: because you wanted to be on the west coast long term. I feel like Yale SOM always plays second fiddle to the undergrad and law school. and when you're recruiting people know that, even if they don't say it.

Apr 2, 2020

There are a couple of fellowships through the Fink Center for Finance at UCLA I recommend you look into


Apr 2, 2020