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Cornell ($) vs. UNC KF ($$$$$) vs. Stern (no $)

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Cornell Johnson ($) vs. UNC KF ($$$$) vs. Stern (no $)

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Cornell ($) vs. UNC KF ($$$$$) vs. Stern (no $) [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2014, 12:20
Hi, I would greatly appreciate your help as I have a very tough decision to make. I got into Cornell (with $), UNC KF (full-tuition scholarship plus I was also selected to be a member of Dean's Fellows) and Stern (no $).

My post-mba goal is to either land a position at a top investment bank or work in corporate finance at a F500. I am an international student with more than 5 years of work experience in corporate finance and impact investing, and I would like to work in the US after graduation. I also might consider other options in the emerging markets; therefore, a global brand recognition is an important factor. Money is also important consideration for me, so I would exlude Stern for now (no scholarship plus significantly higher cost of living in NYC). With respect to the remaining two options, I think Cornell is ranked higher, but I am not sure whether it worth almost 100k difference in costs should I decide to attend Johnson.

Cornell
Pros: greater brand recognition and Ivy League status; slightly higher average salary; immersions in corporate finance and IB
Cons: weather really sucks; significantly lower scholarship

UNC KF
Pros: better weather; UNC is also strong in finance (plus I believe that being on the Dean's list can provide some additional employment opportunities), global consulting projects (important if I decide to work outside if the US)

Thank you in advance!

Last edited by AlexInter on 28 Mar 2014, 13:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cornell ($) vs. UNC KF ($$$$$) [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2014, 13:32
I'd choose between Cornell and Stern given your career goals. They are basically peers though so I'd go with the $ Cornell offered assuming that you don't have big city vs small city preference.
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Re: Cornell ($) vs. UNC KF ($$$$$) vs. Stern (no $) [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2014, 04:16
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This is a tough decision, because if you want to get in to top investment banking, UNC will not get you there (at least extremely difficult). Although, if your goal is to do corporate finance, UNC with full tuition scholarship will be the hands-down winner.

It sounds like money is major concern in your decision making. I recommend that you prioritize your post-MBA exit, the expected chance of getting in that exit for each schools, and the "payout" monetary/non-monetary for you in the foreseeable future, and weigh that against the cost of attendance.
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Re: Cornell ($) vs. UNC KF ($$$$$) vs. Stern (no $) [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2014, 12:51
Asimov, seekingmba, thanks for your opinions.
In terms of fit, Cornell is actually #1 for me (whenever I interacted with the Johnson community I was thrilled how supportive they are, and I liked Ithaca during my visit), then goes UNC and finally Stern.
In terms of career goals, IB or corporate finance at F500 is equally appealing to me. The issue is that, as I understand, most of companies do not sponsor international students for H1B for their corporate finance (or managerial finance) functions. At least most of international students with whom I spoke from Johnson, UNC and Stern pursued either banking or consulting careers post-mba.
Then, if we are talking about IB, is it really difficult to land a position from UNC? I spoke with several student from their finance club, and I was told that it should be doable to land an ib position, especially in Charlotte. So again is it worth to pay extra 90-100k for a slight difference in rankings and recruitment opportunities that are available at Cornell (or Stern)?
Also, any ideas which school has greater brand recognition abroad?
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Re: Cornell ($) vs. UNC KF ($$$$$) vs. Stern (no $) [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2014, 14:24
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AlexInter wrote:
Asimov, seekingmba, thanks for your opinions.
In terms of fit, Cornell is actually #1 for me (whenever I interacted with the Johnson community I was thrilled how supportive they are, and I liked Ithaca during my visit), then goes UNC and finally Stern.
In terms of career goals, IB or corporate finance at F500 is equally appealing to me. The issue is that, as I understand, most of companies do not sponsor international students for H1B for their corporate finance (or managerial finance) functions. At least most of international students with whom I spoke from Johnson, UNC and Stern pursued either banking or consulting careers post-mba.
Then, if we are talking about IB, is it really difficult to land a position from UNC? I spoke with several student from their finance club, and I was told that it should be doable to land an ib position, especially in Charlotte. So again is it worth to pay extra 90-100k for a slight difference in rankings and recruitment opportunities that are available at Cornell (or Stern)?
Also, any ideas which school has greater brand recognition abroad?


Doable does not mean likely. A handful of kids from UNC land IB (and they aren't the strong IB positions), but you'll be fighting with a lot of people for those few spots. Your chance of success is a lot lower at UNC than Cornell. I think Cornell is the easy choice.
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Re: Cornell ($) vs. UNC KF ($$$$$) vs. Stern (no $) [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2014, 15:38
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My advice is to go to UNC. It sounds like your goal is to work in US is a finance function for a reputable company, and not a top tier IB. Most people don’t stay in IB long enough to get a green card (5-8 years), in which case you would need to find a company that can sponsor your work visa eventually. Although international students have a tougher time with job placement, it is completely doable to find a finance job in the US. The reason I recommend UNC is the money. Having little debt takes a huge burden off of your shoulders when it comes to finding a job that is right for you, and not settling for something just to service your school loans.

Hope that helps, and good luck.
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Re: Cornell ($) vs. UNC KF ($$$$$) vs. Stern (no $)   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2014, 15:38
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