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Early Decision undergraduate in Wharton, UChicago Economics, or Harvard Economics?

BrandishscarBrandishscar Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
My goal is get a job on Wall Street once I graduate, preferably in investment banking. I am also planning on getting a MBA later on in my life. Which one of the aforementioned schools would work the best for me?

Replies to: Early Decision undergraduate in Wharton, UChicago Economics, or Harvard Economics?

  • long2181998long2181998 Registered User Posts: 253 Junior Member
    Getting into a school for undergrad does not really increase your chance of getting into their MBA program.

    NYU Stern and Wharton are top feeders school for WS. Wharton is more prestigious anywhere else though.
    Uchicago is good but not as good as Top business schools like Wharton, Stern, Harvard, and Stanford.

    To be honest with you, there will not be many differences between Wharton and Harvard since any in the business industry will heard of both. I suggest you choose whichever has the best financial aid package or the college life that fits you best.
  • kaarboerkaarboer Registered User Posts: 315 Member
    Wharton/Harvard are the strongest feeders onto WS. Chicago is also a major target as well, but more for Chicago firms (and more recently SF). MBAs are mostly work-experience-dependent, so going to the best target possible helps, just indirectly (though Chicago definitely favors their own ugrads, and I'd be willing to bet H and W do as well).

    So, really, if you want to maximize your chances of going to WS, go to the most major feeder you can. Consider Stern (which does very well on WS, but also has probably the most competition of any school for iBanking slots), Haas, and Ross as well.
  • puzzled123puzzled123 Registered User Posts: 566 Member
    Chicago won't place as well as HSW, but its a much better option than Stern, Berkeley, or UMich. Also, keep your options in finance open- investment banking as an industry is doing a lot worse (still the brutal hours, but pay isn't so good anymore), and is being replaced by a lot of internal M&A departments in f500. If you want to leave trading as an option as well, consider adding MIT, Yale, and Princeton to your list.

    I would do Wharton Early Decision and Chicago Early Action (you can do them simultaneously). ED increases chances at Wharton by a ton, and the fact that you can get the early advantage on a second college is an added bonus. And if you are interested, you can add in MIT EA on top as well :)
  • qwertyzxcqwertyzxc Registered User Posts: 335 Member
    Actually Chicago is better than Stern. Haas, & Ross only for MBA recruiting not for undergrad recruiting.

    Stern, Ross, & Haas are top programs for finance recruiting. It may not make too much sense since Chicago is a top 5 school in the country and definitely can hold its own but that's just the way it is.
  • kaarboerkaarboer Registered User Posts: 315 Member
    That's at best debatable. Sure, in raw numbers Stern and Ross beat Chicago, but comparing apples to apples (Stern/Ross to UCIB) it seems pretty clear that Chicago is equivalent to/marginally ahead of those two. Haas is a bit of a different animal, especially since they primarily feed into SF/LA rather than NYC/Chicago. Now, dollar-for-dollar, Haas and Ross (NOT Stern) probably beat out Chicago, especially if you're instate.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,503 Senior Member
    I'd first think about what you want to study because there is a difference between studying economics and going to a b-school. One is not better or worse than the other but they are different. Economics is a liberal arts field of study. At a b-school you will take a business core with intro classes in disciplines like accounting, finance, IT etc. Spend some time online looking at the curriculum of schools you are considering to see if one path is more appealing to you.
  • qwertyzxcqwertyzxc Registered User Posts: 335 Member
    I was talking about for pure finance recruiting opportunities Stern / Ross / Hass is way than Chicago. For best value yes instate Ross and Haas make a lot of sense but would still take any of those three schools over Chicago if you are trying to get to WS.

    Chicago is by no means a poor school for finance recruiting but its just not as strong as the above three.
  • puzzled123puzzled123 Registered User Posts: 566 Member
    edited September 2015
    @qwertyzxc I think you are confusing finance and investment banking. There are a lot of finance roles that are not banking, pay much better, are more prestigious, and don't involve creating ppt slides all day (aka buy side). Almost none of the top hedge funds/quant funds recruit Haas/Ross/Stern undergrad. For example, under the campus recruiting header, you can find the colleges Jane Street Capital recruits at:


    Most banks that recruit at Haas/Ross/Stern also recruit quite heavily at UChicago. This means Chicago gives more optionality for students interested in finance, considering the students it places directly on the buy side every year at hedge funds, quant funds, Private Equity firms, and Venture Capital firms (out of undergrad).

    Also, overall, for a career in finance, UChicago is a much better school. Even though Haas/Ross/Stern may send more students to investment banks, this is because a lot more students at these schools are interested in investment banking and their universities have 3-5x the undergrad population of UChicago. And lets not forget that what your last job is matters so much more than what your first job is. Chicago will give you a much better education and life long career network than Haas/Ross/Stern will. Most people going (including a lot of students interested in finance) to Chicago use NYU, Berkeley, and UMich as safeties. For the early round, I think OP is right to focus on Harvard, Wharton, and UChicago, and I would recommend looking at MIT if he/she is more technical. Haas/Ross/Stern aren't bad backups for RD.

    I agree that if you are paying full price for the privates, and are in-state, Haas and Ross will give you more for the amount of money you put in.

    Also agree that you should decide if you want to study economics or business. I would recommend economics (or even math)- it is very easy to learn "business" if you know econ and math, but not the other way around. Also, it can hurt to not be technically oriented over the next 50 years.
  • qwertyzxcqwertyzxc Registered User Posts: 335 Member
    Nope - not confusing finance for investment banking although sell side is a huge part of the undergrad finance recruiting system in place at most top schools.

    You obviously have no idea of what the recruiting is like at Stern, Ross, & Haas if you think none of the top HFs / PE don't recruit at these schools. Paulson & Co., Och-Ziff (starting next year), Point72, D.E. Shaw all do OCR at Stern at least and probably at Ross and Haas as well. Sure Jane Street may not do OCR but they along w/ Bridgwater and many other HFs to resume drops at Stern which a lot times makes more sense since OCR costs money for a firm.

    Not many people are into Quant Funds at these schools btw since Quant Funds generally recruit out of graduate school / PHD programs more often than undergrad programs.

    I have several friends who interned at multi-billion dollar credit and equity HF funds including myself. You must be really misinformed of the kind of recruiting that goes on at top undergrad b-schools.

    Don't get me wrong Chicago is an amazing school but it has a stigma of being too theoretical / academic and that just doesn't translate that well to finance recruiting and are only probably a plus for specific type of jobs i.e quant funds which again do most of their recruiting at top Math / Comp Sci graduate programs.

    Also, I highly doubt that Chicago provides a "better career network". These business schools are some of the oldest in the country and have amazing networks.

    Also I think all 3 of these business schools are smaller programs than UChicago.

  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,503 Senior Member
    edited September 2015
    ^^^I would suggest you pick based on your personal criteria which may or may not match up with the results above. (as one example, I think the NYU results v Chicago is not specifically comparing the choice with economics at UChicago v Stern).
  • AoDayAoDay Registered User Posts: 703 Member
    You can't really look at overall admission numbers when comparing selectivity and undergraduate placement of a specific program. Every school has its strengths and Wharton & Stern regularly top the recruiting pool for entry level finance careers. Entering buy-side coming out of college is pretty hard to do regardless of your qualifications.

    Buy side is extremely broad although most people tend to focus on PE/HFs, prop trading such as Jane Street also falls into that bucket. However the typical recruiting path for these buy side entities differs significantly. Most prop trading firms and quant hedge funds will recruit people with academic, theoretical, or strong mathematical backgrounds. These firms make money by developing faster trading algorithms allowing them to take advantage of arbitration. This is tied to location as the servers for the different indices (NYSE, CME, etc.) are located in specific cities. The CME which is obviously in Chicago, developed due to it's location in the midwest originated as the main exchange for commodities although it trades many other assets today. This is important because firms that operate off of high frequency trading algorithms actually care about their office and server location as distance from the exchange as trades between these firms are competing at the level of microseconds. As a lot of quant funds and prop trading focuses on commodities, their growth and in turn main focus of recruiting has typically been Chicago.

    On the other hand, if you want to eventually go into hedge funds that focus on equities or real estate etc. you will likely find that there is less focus on the more academic & theoretical background of the aforementioned buy side entities. These firms will typically recruit from top 2nd year sell side analyst pools, so it really depends on what type of firm you want to end up at.

    To the OP's actual question of which of those schools he/she should choose for a career in ibanking and not the tangent that this thread has gone off on, I would say Wharton then Harvard then U Chicago. Cheers
This discussion has been closed.