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Williams College v. NYU Stern v. Georgetown McDonough v. Cornell A&S Economics

sn16ninilsn16ninil 3 replies5 threads New Member
Hello everybody! I am posting this in the hopes that I can get some advice from this wonderful community!

I was recently accepted into NYU Stern, Georgetown's McDonough School of Business, Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences for Economics, and Williams College. I am absolutely torn between which to commit to, because all four of these schools have their own merits and are incredible.

I am majoring in economics or finance-related concentrations for all of these colleges, but I also want to be able to obtain a double major or minor in computer science (I have no solid background in the subject but it has always fascinated me and I am eager to learn).

I also plan to visit Williams and Cornell's campuses to get a feel for them as I know they are more rural (I have already visited Georgetown and NYU and am familiar with their urban environment).

However, I am posting this because I am wondering about outside opinions on the alumni networks of these schools, their student life and atmosphere, the difficulty of changing majors/schools within the universities, internship opportunities over the summer, and their placement in prospective job markets out of college, especially on Wall Street.

Thank you all so much for your time!
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Replies to: Williams College v. NYU Stern v. Georgetown McDonough v. Cornell A&S Economics

  • Sunny66Sunny66 281 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Congrats on the great choices. I have no affiliation with any of the schools, but am a huge Williams fan based on what I have read. I suppose the first step is to decide whether you prefer a rural location or city, or if that is even a factor, and go from there. Given your Wall Street leanings, I would drop Georgetown and choose between NYU Stern, Cornell, and Williams. My guess is visiting Williams will tell you whether that's the place. If not, NYU vs. Cornell. Again, probably just need to see how Cornell feels. With these schools it's about fit -- all four are great, though I think three of them rise above and probably all have strong alumni networks. Williams will be the smallest in terms of # of alums, but it is very strong including on Wall Street.
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  • qwertyzxcqwertyzxc 335 replies0 threads Member
    Full disclosure: I go to Stern.

    I would drop GTown and Cornell and pick between NYU Stern and Williams. Stern is very lenient with being able to take classes at other schools / programs. You could very easily do a concentration at Stern and then Comp Sci major at NYU CAS. Alternatively you could even to do two concentrations at Stern and a comp sci minor at CAS.

    I believe Stern have the best job placement - very hard to beat being in the best UG business school in the business capital of the world. That alone offers a lot of perks. Also if you are really passionate about travel / study abroad you will get so many opportunities to travel at Stern.

    The difference between Stern and Williams is that Stern will give you a very practical education (it could be very liberal if you want to double major in Philosophy or something outside of the business school) and Williams will be very liberal-arts oriented all around (meaning a lot of required reading / writing classes).
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  • momrathmomrath 5986 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Because Williams, NYU Stern and Cornell couldn't be more different from each other on so many levels (I'm not too familiar with Georgetown McDonough) I think your decision will be clearer once you've had a chance to visit all of them.

    My son did his undergraduate at Williams and graduate at Cornell (in the arts, not finance) and even though both share beautiful rural environments, the campus cultures are quite different, as you would expect from a small liberal arts college with an outdoorsy ambiance and a medium-large university with a pervasive Greek presence.

    Many of my son's classmates have done quite well on Wall Street or with consulting firms all over the country. The Williams name is highly respected, both by employers and graduate school admissions. The alumni/ae network is loyal and supportive. Double (or even triple) majoring is common and experimentation across disciplines is encouraged. Professors know you personally and are there for you years later when you need letters of recommendation or just advice.

    I think @qwertyzxc explained it well that Stern is more "practical" with a dedicated business focus whereas Williams offers more of the abstract, intellectual side of the liberal arts. Neither is better than the other, but they are different in objective and atmosphere. Manhattan and Williamstown are polar opposites. For my son, Williams mountain environment was a huge plus (though he lived in large cities before and after college). You may feel differently.
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  • sn16ninilsn16ninil 3 replies5 threads New Member
    Thank you, I really appreciate your insight and advice! I really hope visiting these colleges will help me find the best fit for the next four years!
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  • merc81merc81 10589 replies164 threads Senior Member
    For analyses of economics departments by faculty publishing at your schools of interest, these studies from IDEAS are available: "Economics Departments at Liberal Arts Colleges"; "US Economics Departments."
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  • sn16ninilsn16ninil 3 replies5 threads New Member
    Thank you for taking the time to post these helpful studies!
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  • merc81merc81 10589 replies164 threads Senior Member
    Williams offers the opportunity to receive a certificate from HBS, which may align well with your interests: "Harvard Business School Expands Online to Liberal Arts Colleges," WGBH. The school is considered to be isolated, but sees no need to apologize for this.

    Stern, of course, has one of the most highly regarded business programs nationally (5th in USNWR).

    Cornell, to confound you further, has one of the most beautiful campuses in the country and is associated with a great college town.

    Lastly, Georgetown is terrific as well.

    Ideally, you will find some clarity with your final round of visits.
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  • deller123deller123 138 replies12 threads Junior Member
    edited April 2016
    Hello! Congrats on all your amazing options. I will be matriculating to Stern next year and thought that maybe I could give you insight why I chose it as my top choice (I did ED). I wanted an urban school so all LACs were immediately taken off my list and I wanted a business school, so every ivy except Wharton was off my list. It came down to Stern/Wharton. I didn't have the math scores I thought I needed for Wharton and didn't want to "waste" my ED so I applied ED to Stern (which I now regret not doing ED1 at Wharton and ED2 at Stern).

    In my opinion I would stick to Williams and Stern as your two schools. Yes... these are the two least "wow-factor" schools on your list. For a finance/econ education, however, Cornell and G-Town don't even come close to NYU's strength in these areas. Williams (for those who know the LACs) is very very impressive and will give you a one-of a kind tight-knit campus experience (my friend who goes there is very unique and artsy and fits right in). If you really want business school with finance specific education Stern is the absolute best school on your list for that (Stern's finance education is world-renowned) and ranks #2 in US.

    I know it's easy to go for the more prestigious Cornell or G-Town. I have actually even doubted my choice in NYU Stern, because most people don't seem that impressed with NYU in the South (most kids from my school who go there are average students that get into the really easy LSP program). However, Stern will open ridiculous career opportunities (for example NYU is Goldman Sachs' largest feeder school). Same goes for Williams.... most people will have no clue what Williams it, but all top firms will know how wicked smart you are for both being accepted there and for having graduating from there.

    Good luck in you decisions process and please PM me if you end up deciding on Stern!
    edited April 2016
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  • deller123deller123 138 replies12 threads Junior Member
    also... @merc81 The HBS thing you are referring to is HBX Core (developed for non-biz majors to prepare for MBA school)? It is now rolled out to the general public.... I believe what you are referring to is the soft roll-out when yes they limited the program first to Harvard students, and then opened it up to a few other schools (it is now open to anyone willing to pay $1,500).
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  • merc81merc81 10589 replies164 threads Senior Member
    @deller123 : HBS does appear however to have entered an ongoing agreement with six LACs (Amherst, Hamilton, Williams, Wellesley, Grinnell and Carleton) for their CORe program that offers two distinct benefits: 1) guaranteed space and 2) increased levels of need-based financial aid.
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