I created this thread to make the case that NYC recruiting is more open to a wider number of schools than is commonly accepted here on CC. I listed 60 schools and made some general groupings of how Wall Street perceives the intellectual strength of these schools. This thread, at least in my posts, has NOT been about feeder schools or which college has the greatest number of students working on the Street.
Most high school students have no idea what an I-banking analyst does, but they hear about the high $ currently being made (warning: Wall Street is VERY cyclical) and they think they have to get this job and thus have to go to such-and-such school in order to get this posting. Frankly, I believe that such focus dissuades students from choosing the school that is the right fit in favor of one that they are being told will give them the best chance in four years of an investment banking analyst job at Lehman Brothers.
For example, suppose a student is choosing between Bucknell and another school that is a stronger “feeder” to Wall Street, eg, U Michigan. If the student believes that Bucknell is the better fit, then I want to encourage that student to have the courage to make the choice that is right for them. Bucknell offers a terrific education. Great environment. Some of the kids from there are terrific-smart, good to work with, HAVE SOME HUMILITY, dedicated and they have succeeded on Wall Street, albeit in smaller numbers than U Michigan. Your advice gives them this guilt that they have to go to U Michigan or some other “feeder” or they’ll never make it. You think they need the imprimatur of the school in order to get the job. I don’t. It certainly can help (although I think you vastly overrate U Michgan vs other schools in their placement abilities and student body quality), but it is not the be-all, end-all. The individual is the key, not the school. I believe that there are LOTS of great students out there at schools that are not traditional sources of hiring for Wall Street. I am trying to expand people’s imagination and college search beyond the limiting assumptions that you are pushing. Furthermore, with the heavily swollen number of Echo Boomers and the growing number of qualified applicants, not everyone is going to go to a “feeder.” I think Wall Street understands this and will welcome smart people into the process from many more non-traditional sources than is regularly posited here.
You brought up the 3.7 GPA as something that was very impressive. My comments were in response to that and meant to put it in context and in comparison with other schools. I personally think the high school GPA numbers have very low value in measuring the quality of a student body. The quality of the schools and the standards of grading are all over the place.
If you could have all excellent students as your classmates, why wouldn’t you? No study is necessary. I think it’s self-evident. Everybody wants to go to a school with smart people. Isn’t this a large part of what this college rat race is all about? Trying to get with the strongest group possible, learn a little, make some important relationships and then go off and have a successful career? As for my proof, I point to the entire college process. I don’t see many people going out of their way to associate with inferior students.
For your Harvard/ Wash/Math/Psych question, it doesn’t matter at all if you are both trying to get a job with in the consulting industry or the real estate industry or the telecommunications or…. What matters is the institution you come from (in terms of affecting how difficult it is to get into the process), your own experiences throughout your undergraduate career (academic and other), your preparation for the interview and then just you and how you connect with the interviewer. This is partly why I don’t give the same level of weight to faculty in valuing a school. For example, for a consulting job, does the Bain interviewer really care about how good the Math professor or the Psychology TA was? I don’t think so. He/she cares about you and initially the school and what you have done during your four years there and what personal qualities do you bring to the job.
For SAT scores, those anal NE employers that you refer to are the exact ones that Alexandre and others are pointing to as the holy grail for postgraduate employment. I also have recently read some articles (WSJ?) that profiled non-financial employers who use SAT scores in their interviewing and hiring practices. I personally think that its relevance 5-6 years later should be pretty low, but they do it so what can I say.